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I was just there. It's a shame. It was the first board I found and really liked, this was the second. If movies have taught me anything it's that Good always prevails over Evil and movies never lie, do they?
I wish I had an agent.
I guess the answer lies in the reason your agent doesn't believe in your work. Ask why and then consider the reason. Are script changes needed to make it more marketable and are these changes something you agree with? Your agent can't be expected to promote something he/she considers inadequate or they risk burning their reputation which is theirs and your bread and butter.
But if you really believe these scripts are the best thing yet than consider finding an agent that feels the same.
I have also heard of people who make a living as hired guns to pitch ideas. I remember reading something about a guy in the marketplace/spec sales section of creative screenwriter. I can't get my hands on my back issues right now but try emailing the editor and asking about it and they may be able to dig up the guy's name.
Many agents take on new clients on a sript by script basis so they inesence only represent the script. Ask you agent how he/she feels about you shopping around material he/she isn't interested in and do it anyway. Life's too short.
I've paid 100.00 to a qualified reader whose credentials I liked but 300.00 sounds like a lot to me. Try the Chaski Board and contact JennaFG regarding her FREE script exchange.
I hope we both win a Nicholl Fellowship and can meet at the awards banquet, aka, smooza-paluza.
The board is only as good as the people who use it. I agree the recent troubles have disrupted a once supportive arena for writers but we can't surrender the castle to the barbarians. If you see a Bullsh@# posting don't follow-up, ignore the pest.
I think of this and Chris' board as a writer's group in someone's home. Wipe your feet at the door, express your ideas with respect for others and please leave the shit out side where it belongs.
That's how I see it.
I dug up the issue of CS for you, it was in vol 2, number 4. The pitchmister is Brad Luff, he pitches other writer's ideas then produces the films. Luff is reped by Jeff Frankel of Mitchel,Silberberg & Knupp.
No it wasn't Adam Kline, he now has his own production company called Ark Pictures, and he actuall accepts logline queries via mail or fax so try him at 6423 Wilshire Blvd. 1st Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90048, Fax 213-951-0157
And last but not least, Creative Screenwriter is an excellent offline mag but here is their address, Creative Screenwriting, 6404 Hollywood Blvd., ste 415, Los Angeles, CA 90028-9728 and I don't have their wed addy off hand but you should find it easy enough or email them at SCRNWRT@aol.com.
I hope this helps.
A waitress in a coffee shop with a grade six education has as much chance of selling a screenplay as anyone. It's all in the material.
Go to school if you're interested in it or want something to fall back on. You may or may not build relationships that will help your career but ultimately the only thing that will matter is your script.
Never had any problems myself. He was quick to respond to queries. Polite and receptive and remembered who I was for subsequent submissions. No complaints from me.
What do you think of the standard Hollywood feel good ending or do you prefer the tragic Bonnie & Clyde dance with death or some where inbetween?
I usually opt for the feel good but on my last script I went for the tragic hero dies in the end and really liked it.
My favorite ending at the moment is from Schindler's List when Schindler makes that speach about wishing he had done more. I love it.
Which endings do you like to write?
It didn't sound hackish at all. You're right, a good writer can make any ending seem original and satisfying, that's what "good" writers do.
Do you think Hollywood is changing the trend fro the "everything works out in the end" formula to a more bitter-sweet formula. Everything in Hollywood is a formula, just add water and stir movies.
Are you saying they posted your scripts without your consent? Did they tell you they would do that or did you just find your stuff on their web site one day?
If you check out the site from my earlier post you will find an excellent interview with greg about the fellowship's judging process. He makes it clear that the readers are looking for good writing, but statistics show that dramas tend to be favoured.
My first time in the quarter-finals was with a very high-concept sci-fi action. It may be a crap shoot but you can load any dice with good writing.
You can also try www.teleport.com/~cdeemer/scrwriter.html
The term "sparingly" with regards to camera direction is misleading. it sould read "NEVER". Your script is meant to be read first and last. You must campture the reader's attention so any distractions with swish, pan, cut, close, zoom, fade or any other crap only interupts the momentum, makes you look amateurish and insults perspective Directors. Write the movie you see in your head and leave the directions up to the Director.
I was surprised by 7 as well. I think As Good as it Gets was another pathetic movie where Jack plays a jerk and somehow gets a babe half his age.
Endings need to be organic and logical to the story but too often I see a movie where it looks as if it was tacked on to satisfy the studio.
It's my weakest too. I think of it as fishing. First you got to hook them, then land them and clean them. Start with a bang and go up from there. Keep your eye on them and you must be passionate about what you are saying, passion is infectious. Be prepared for them to turn cold so have two back-up stories and be ready to switch to them and not miss a beat.
Disney and Nicholl and most others state that they allow partnership submissions. As far the intern process I guess it would be up to the partners to work out how the money and work is split.
Partners can be a great help if you find one that both challenges you to be a better writer and compliments your style.
Nothing yet. Fingers and toes crossed.
I can't help you with tracking down the play, sorry. I can tell you that "Saving Private Ryan" is based on the story of the sulivan boys that led to the Act. Good luck in your search.
I just noticed Screaming In The Celluloid Jungle has a pitching link that also has realaudio samples and trascripts. check it out. http://members.tripod.com/~SiberianWolf/
Tracy and James are giving me deja-post. I say forget City of Angels and see Wings Of Desire. I can only take so much droopy-eyed monotone Cage.
I recieved my letter today and for the second year in a row I failed to advance to the 1/4s but did have a hand-written notation from Greg "Close-in the next 10%". I think considering the volume they have to go through it is a very well run orginization. I won't give up the fight and I hope none of you do eaither. Congrats to those who did advance, keep us informed on how things turn out and good luck!
I agree with Tracy & Nathan and many others who posted a reply. I think that unless it's intrinsic to the character or story you should leave your descriptions as open as possible for any actor to play.
That said there does seem to be a market opening up for "black" stories so producers in this market may be more receptive to a "black" character.
Pick the people you are submitting to and adjust your script if you feel it will help. The film business is a business and you have to do what it takes to make a sale. Just another 2 cents.
The studio's mareting division.
I guess I'll be the first to disagree and say that although it was visually moving it failed in one major way. The pivotal character of James Ryan was to be the witness character who learns the value of the sacrafice the soldiers made for him and us. His arch or growth was non-existent and thus the impact of what he say was deminished. Yes he was a man deeply indebt to the soldiers in the end but his character was too committed to the brotherhood of his fellow soldiers. I think that had he been less devoted his realization and arh would have been improved and the ending would have had more power for me. That said and done, I know it will get an avalanche of oscar and globe nominations.
I have done both, writing with people I know in mind and writing with an actor in mind. In both cases I never get specific enough to identify them but it helps me to picture their actions and hear the dialogue in my head. It works for me.
High concept is just that. The concept is the major driving force behind the film. It's a concept that is so compelling that it captures the audience's interest without hearing the plot. Usually these concepts are kept to a one-liner or log line presentation.
Here's a section from Robert Kosberg's "How to sell your idea to Hollywood" Many people credit the derivation of the one-liner caption for high concept to Barry Diller and Michael Eisner. In the late 60's they were at ABC working to promote the TV "movie of the week". To get forty million people to tune in to a TV movie without the familiar faces and story formats that viewers were used to watching on the regular shows, Diller and Eisner had to devise a way to grab attention in a TV Guide listing with just one or two lines. That's how the term high concept originated. To capture an audience, that one scentence had to convey just how exciting, sexy, provocative, and entertaining the moive is going to be to watch.
: A DEEJAY IS TERRORIZED BY A WOMAN WHO HAS FALLEN IN LOVE WITH HIM. FEELING BETRAYED, SHE DECIDES TO MURDER HIM. -- Play misty for me. / Fatal Attraction type film.
You get the idea. I hope this helps. Jay
Monistar Productions Short Screenplay/Short Story Competition Deadline: July 15, 1998 Fee: $25.00 (Canadian) $1,000 fist place, $750.00 Second, $250.00 thidr for unoptioned, unsold or unproduced scripts and short stories. Scripts must be 30 pages or less and one winning entry will be produced. Contact: Monistar Productions 1543 Bayview Ave, Ste 343 Toronto, ONT, M4G 3B5
I am also working on a script with religious themes. Mine is more about faith and not so much about the church as an institution. Hope it works out for you.
For me time and distance work best. After the first draft, which is always perfect, I give it to my wife to read and distract myself with reality or read or rent videos on films opposite to what I'm writing. Then when I get my wife's feedback I consider divorce, murder and suicide. Then after a week of self pitty and loathing I reread my perfect creation and ask out loud "WHAT THE HELL WAS I ON"? Then I sit down and cut out all that crap I once thought was so great. I then repat the above as much as neede or until my wife says enough is enough. It must be love.
I posted an answer for you on the chaski board. I hope it helps.
Formatt is in some ways more important than content because your script will be rejected out of hand if it is improperly formatted.
For script formatt, try picking up "Making A Good Script Great" by Dr. Linda Seger.
For stroy structure try: "The Writer's Journey" b Christopher Vogler.
Subscribe to "Scenario" and "Creative Screenwriting" Magazines.
My software of choice is plain old Word97 with a template I downloaded off the net http://home1.gte.net/racesale/wscript.htm
Not yet. I don't think the 11th qualifies as mid August. I'll let you know when I hear anything.
A synopsis looks more like what you would read on the back of a viedotape or in the TV guide. It should capture the readers interest and tell enough of the story so they understand what it's about but not too much so they are left wanting more.
If you check the bottom of the page of topics there is one for high concept and I think you will find a good definition and criteria there.
I went, I saw, If there was a t-shirt I'd have got it. Cool web site. congrats.
Referencing a film or play is fine but using a line from one no matter how small is a very gray area.
Alva, An agent will help set up meeting with producers and studio execs so you can pitch your must see ideas to them, the trick is to get an agent. Robert Kosberg will take an idea and pitch it for you and try to develop it. He may have moved but this is the olny address I have for him: c/o IDEAS, P.O. Box 727, Hollywood, CA 90078. I suggest you double check that address and look for an email address on the Hollywood Creative Directory page. I hope this helps.
The new additions are fantastic. I'm still unsure about the profile but who knows, I'll think about it some more.
I emailed those agents on the Movie Bytes PRODUCER LIST and two replied that they do not allow unsolicited email submissions, which I thought begged the question, WHY INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS? Has anyone else encounted any similar reactions?
Nicci, I did send a query, (first contact) I would never just send a script unsolicited by any medium.
I thought I had mentioned that I did send only queries in my original post and the names of those who rejected the queries via email asking for snail-mailed queries.
The producers were Keneth Atchity and PMA LitFilm.
I have had mixed results. It has been my limited experience that production companies are more open to email queries than agents are. The reasons for this escapes me. As far as adding a personal touch I think you can do that by sellecting stationary options from your mail program or adding a background picture to create your own stationary and letterhead. I have learned the hard way that most people are unwilling to open attachments to if you send a query either type it out in your mail program or convert it to html format and insert the text directly into the message. I would think that since time is money and in hollywood money is everything; they would be eager to embrace the idea of email queries, I hope that more agents catch on to it.
Also, speel check everything you send, which I obviously did not do with the above. :)
I think Phil was talking about story craft. I think you can order it here: http://www.teleport.com/~cdeemer/scrwriter.html
If only I had your problems. I think Terrance may have been right in saying you might have put the horse before the cart. Most agents and producers will only listen to a pitch from established writers because they know the writer will deliver. You my dear are in the enviable position of having an agent want to see your work and since you are an unknown factor you must produce something they can read to prove you know what you are doing.
Take a deep breath and decide between two things. Either contact the interested agents and explain that you wish to pitch the idea and see if the stars are in alignment and they will take you on, or, write like hell and get it in their hands before they forget who you are.
I have read scripts with the exchange at:
and I know Jenna can line you up with a good reader who will look over your work for format and structure or whatever you want. If you wish you can email me directly, I don't know if I can help but I think you have reached the point where the rubber meets the road. Good luck.
I think the medium or the client is not relevant to the definition of a "Professional Writer". I believe contests put limits on amounts earned as a writer, i.e. money paid for you to write something, anything. If you make more than the income cap than they consider you to be a professional writer, by their standards.
Just playing Devil's advocate. If in doubt contact the contest and get their final word. Good luck.
Expect to interupted by phonecalls and have to wait to see him/her. Be sure to call before you go to the meeting to confirm. Be sure to get to know his.her assistant, they hold the keys to the gate. Have twenty good ideas to be ready with and be ready to have them all shot down. Your first meeting will be a test to see if you are the kind of person they want to work with so remember to ask yourself the same about this agent. Most of all enjoy it, your only a virgin once, or twice if your Madona. :)
You devil you.
I agree with everything you said, and with Tim. The Nicholl Fellowship has an excellent set of guidelines that I think most contests would follow. My point was that the term "Professional Writer" is so vague it could apply to anyone writing anything and getting paid to do it, that's why I think if you are in doubt you should contact the contest administation and get their take on your situation. :-)
I'm going to set my sights on finding a site whaere I can read all the cites on spelling a gramar. Move on and move up. The higher the fewer and all that. I don't know why I made this post, just wanted to play. Have a great labour day everyone.:)
I have nothing but positive things to say about Cary Solomon and Numenorean Films. He responded quickly to my query, after a few bumps in email format were ironed out. His reaction was very positive and he seems genuine. I had my doubts at first so I did some digging and found that he is very well connected as a producer and the fact that he was a writer before switching hats makes it easy to talk to him about the material and he has a healthy respect for serious writers. (boy that was a long scentence) I think not getting a reply is part of the business and is not a reflection on the producer but on the volume of material everyone in the business recieves for aspiring writers like us. Try not to take it personal. If you really want a reply, submit it again and again until you get one. I have also noticed a negative attitude toward producers here and think you need to understand producers are your best ally in getting your script produced and the producer writer relationship is a very neccessary one. They want the same thing you do, to make your script into a movie. As far as Numenorean goes, try checking www.dejanews.com and search Numenorean or look on the wordplay letters forum. You could try the HCD or contact the writers guild but don't just limit your search for information to this board. It's your career. Good luck. Jay.
Same thing minus the 50's childhood. Sent a script after an enthusiastic reply to a query then nothing. Who knows why but take comfort in knowing you are not alone. Misery loves company. Jay.
Depends on the Prod Comp. If disney or universal wants you you'll be flown first class and there will be a car to pick you up at the airport. If a middle or low level Prod Comp wants to see you then you will pay for your own standby flight and rent the economy car and stay at the Motel 6. Producers generaly just want to put a face to the name because it is such a personality driven business. They just want to meet and greet and see if they are even interested in you. It's like buying a lotery ticket but if they are willing to request a meeting your odds of getting lucky are good. Ask them what they expect from the meeting and if you feel it would be worth the money, spend it.
I'm in the same boat, misery loves company. I think they try to mail the notices by the end of September but if they had more submissions than expected it could be a little later. Give a week or two for snail-mail and say if you don't hear from them by mid-October then you should contact them. I too prefer to think that no news is good news and we have not heard because we have advanced and weren't cut early. Good luck to all.
All's quiet on the western front.
I think in dialogue numbers are usually spelled if double didget or more. Everywhere else numerics will do. I may be wron but that's the way I do it. Any one else?
Similar reaction for me from Abraham. You should know that Abraham IS the partner in MT. 9375 Star Ln. Bozeman, MT 59715 - OblivionFilms@usa.net to be exact. His partner Rorie D. Van Klaveren is at 2842 Sherwood Dr. Salt Lake City, UT 84108 - Byshtypha@aol.com
They are in the midst of preproduction on their first film at the moment so there will be considerable delay in responce time for a while so they can focus on the film.
Stu, sounds like you need more fiber in your diet.:)
Every question is important to the person who asked it. There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers.
Art, you are correct sir. My bad.
Same here. Honourable mention. It was really a shock because this is the first time in three years I have not atleast made it to the quarters, and I thought this was my best script yet. Oh well, that and a buck will buy me a coke.
I think it defeats the reason of using a pseudonym if you tell the submit-e that you are really not a man or woman or whatever. Use a name you are comfortable with. James Cameron goes by Jim in real life. All my scripts have written by James but I sign all query letters and email as Jay and never had a problem. The idea of misrepresentation is a two way street, if you call yourself Mitch and they assume you are a man that's their problem, just explain it's a pseudonym you want to use. Many writers have used pseudonyms for crap they had to write to pay the bills and were ashamed of.
So long as the material is registered to your full legal name or copyrighted to you, you are covered. You can call yourself the Great Gazoo with agent and producers if you want, but if you go to court the proof that YOU wrote the material will come down to the name used for registration. Go with D. Smith on your work and Dawn Smith on legal documents and reistration forms. That's what I would do.
Awsome! I want to know what happens next.
Release forms are SOP. I have never dealt with an agent or producer who didn't require one before looking at the material.
Form letters serve the contest and not those who labour over their scripts and invet hard earned money into the contest. They could start with putting your name on the letter, it's not that hard to do. Then they could actually help by giving you exact info on how your script scored by each reader in each. Something like Plot: 5, Character: 5, Dialogue: 5, Story: 5 and the average score for your script. Then they could tell you the average scores of those that advanced to each level and the number of scripts that did so and finally the scores of those that win.
This would help a writer identify weak areas in their script and to understand why they did or did not advance. That way the competition would help every writer and show them all respect and not just the .5% that win.
In today's letigious crazy world you need indemnification just to walk down the street. The release form esentialy says that you are submitting the material with no obligation to the agent/producer to do anything with it if they don't want to. Seems fair. It also says that you understand they may have similar material to yours already and may chose that over yours. If this clause bothers you take comfort in recording information on when and who you send your scripts to for future refference in court if needed. And that is the heart of the release form, it does not give away any rights to the material at all. If I was an Agent I wouldn't touch a script with a ten foot pole unless there was a release form. But that's just me.
I only have their NY address:
Anthony West Firstlook Talent & Literary Agency 511 Avenue of the Americas, #3000 New York, NY 10011
They also have an LA office but I don't have the address, they may be in the agent section on this board. They are a new agency and are not yet WGA signatory. They seem like a good outfit.
Bob's your uncle. Knock me up in the morning.
Scriptware is excellent. Easy to use, formats for spec scripts, shooting scripts, tv and plays. It imports final draft and any Word Processor generated script. It generates scene cards and allows you to shuffle scenes in the cards and your script like magic. It can export in any format, generate scene break downs and scene cards. It is completely flexible in every way. You can change any margin or preset and character lists. In my opinion the dictionary and thesaurus are better than Word 97's. If you want to can go to www.scriptware.com and download a free demo of the program and test drive it before laying out the cash.
Check Deemer's site in his software section for links to the stand alone programs as well as a good bunch of FREE templates that work very well with various word processors. www.teleport.com/~cdeemer/scrwriter.html
If you check the Online Communicator Writing for Film site they have a software review section with reviews from fellow writers for almost every program out there. www.communicator.com/writfilm.html
The highlights or lowlights of this are:
1. You must pay a non-refundable 100.00 fee with your application.
2. You must have a deatailed budget conforming to Feature Film Project standards and a detailed production schedule with two unbound copies of the script, the CV of all key members, a demo tape for the director and a chain of title document for the script. All this must be on their desk by the 16th.
This would be a very tough nut to crack and I am still not sure if I want to risk the 100.00 since previous experience has taught me that these Canadian projects tend to hinge on the producer's experience which is a catch 22 because if you had the connections they look for you wouldn't need the money from them, you could get it else where. I'll think about this but my gut says save your money.
I was talking with Cary a few days ago and he said friends of his mentioned how popular (sarcastic) he was on this board. I thought this whole thing was over but some people just won't let it go. We had a good laugh at the whole thing and all I can say to those who like to throw stones, pull your head out of your ass and take a good look around. Hollywood is a very small town and the net is microscopic. I won't get into a protracted debate on what constitutes a "legit" producer or how by some form of twisted logic you connect a lengthy sheet of credits as being a producer you can trust. That logic is laughable. Have you contacted the WGA to verify Carry's or Chuck's writing credits? Did you check their production credits? Do you know what they are working on and who they are working with? If you had the answers to any of the above you would realise how stupid and childish you sound. I don't mean to be so rude but I am so frustrated with all the time and energy spent on hurting and insulting others and the lack of positive and productive posts. I'll end with one statement of the obvious. If numenorean had a long list of credits with first look deals with every major studio they could still rip you off if they wanted to but chances are they wouldn't because they wouldn't even give you the time of day let alone read your script.
They are REAL producers. There are hundreds of REAL producers who don't meet your benchmark but are still reputable, professional, and producing materil that sees the light of day. I'm saying that if a producer had the kind of credits you seem obsessed with they would be so busy and so connected to big agencies they would never give new writers a chance. Gale Ann Hurd wasn't always the big name she is today, everyoe has to start somewhere, even producers.
It all sounds good to me.
I love the idea of getting your scores back.
My only question is about the submission of the loglines. Would you set up a link to email the logline or would you require it by snailmail?
I was wrong, I have another question, How much lead time would you give in the notice of the opening date and would you send that out to those subscribed to the newsletter or just post it on the homepage with all the other contests or both? I think limiting the submission time is a good idea.
That's it. Good luck with it, I can't wait to enter.
The key is to use universal themes and characters. Star Wars wasn't about science or technology it was about people. It was the journey of a boy into manhood which usually involves a confrontaion and defeating of the father figure. It's a tale as old as time. It was also a story of faith in others and in something beyond the physical world. It was the conflict between what we know and what we feel. It was all these universal ideas and many more that made the characters accessable to the audience and made the story resonate within us. That is the connection to the real world. The same rules apply to westerns, period dramas, comedy and romance and any other story. If the characters are based on real human emotions and represent real human values - good and bad - than you have a story connected to the real world and thus to the audience.
If it's a good book you want pick up Andrew Hoprton's "Writing the character centered screenplay" and Chris Vogler's "The Writer's journey" Both are excellent at deconstructing cliched characterizations and help you to create genuine original characters.
I have to agree with Kim,
High-concept scripts lend themselves easily to logline format but other more subtle stories tend to need more room to express the true heart of the story. Maybe you might want to have two seperate categories like the Empire contest and have a High-Concept category for the "Jaws in space" types and a High-Impact for the "The last picture show" types.
You might also consider reducing the high cost to the semi-finalists by requiring a $10.00 entry fee for the loglines, send in txt format or ascii should be fine for cross-platform and OS importing.
Writing for any show is never a waste of time. It's money in the bank, experience both in the craft and busniess of writing and if it's something you enjoy, it's joy in your life. These three things combined or as only one are never a waste of time.
I always thought Star Wars was more of an allegory for the Roman Empire's fall and the rise of Christianity.
I too am obsessed with a smooth first draft. For me a script starts with an idea followed by reams of papers with free-flow thoughts and depending on the script, volumes of research. Then come more reams of organised thoughts into a hybrid of treatment/outline/script then the fun begins. I start with FADE IN: and work like hell to give every beat, sequence and bit of action and dialogue its full glory. This often results in spending days labouring over one page or even one line. Often I find the story takes twists and goes in directions I never imagined, it's what I think of as the LAW OF EVENTUALITY. When you mix certain elements they will eventually form a specific compound, so if this is not what I wanted I must back-track and remove some of that and add more of this until the whole thing is just right. Once I reach that magical moment of FADE OUT: I step away and clear my head. After some time I look it over and start the real work, rewrites.
Try this site as an altertnative to drew's:
You can check the research links at both Screaming's and Done deals' sites for New York'ez: http://www.scriptsales.com/ http://members.tripod.com/~SiberianWolf/
I hope this helpz youz. Jay:)
Forget 'bout it. :-) Jay.
To protect you from any bias or prejudice. Blind judging puts everyone on a level playing/judging field so only the material is judged and not the writer. Your script is given a number which the administration can use to identify the writer but the reader has no idea who wrote it.
Start here in the templates and add-on section. There are free templates for almost every wp and platform.
Good luck. Jay.
Cross your fingers and your legs. Keep up a good relationship with the "producer" but don't do anything you don't want to do. If you don't have a verbal or written agreement or option then you are free to shop it around to whom-ever you want. Things like this happen all the time and not always because the producer is a bad guy/girl. They have a lot on their plate and sometimes you get lost. It never hurts to send friendly email or the ocasional phone/fax to remind the producer you are still interesed and excited about working with him/her. If you feel you have been strung along then just move on and remember never to burn any bridges. The "nobody Producer" of today could be the next "hot producer" of tomorrow. Jay.
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