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I discovered this site a few days ago and have been checking out the recent e-mails. Everyone seems very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. I have been screenwriting on and off for a few years, but have only completed a couple of scripts. I am just about ready to send out the work and am trying to determine the best venues. The advice I've seen so far on this site is very helpful.
I was wondering if anyone has opinions about upcoming conferences and which ones are most worthwhile in relation to honing writing skills as well as marketing the work. (I'm located in Colorado, so closer is better - and, of course, cost is a factor.)
I'd appreciate any input. Thanks!
Thanks all for the welcome and words of advice. I'll check out the Santa Fe event - the timing and location sure sounds like a good fit.
I have only had my work looked at by other aspiring writers (in screenwriting groups), but not a professional. That does seem the next logical step. However, I am nervous that I will not choose appropriately. I'm not worried that the work will be stolen (I should be so lucky), but more that I will choose someone that isn't much help. Anyone have suggestions of someone they really liked?
Thanks again for the warm welcome!
This may sound like a strange suggestion, but I was thinking that maybe you could contact an employment agency in the area and see if they had anyone who would do the legwork for you. You might need to pay a minumum of four hours for the job (what most temp. agencies require), but it might be worth a shot, depending on how badly you need the article.
Just a thought.
Both the logline and the summary are interesting to me. I am curious about the character and where the story goes, thanks to the details left out of the summary (which always seems crucial to a good hook).
According to "The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats - Part I: The Screenplay" by Cole/Haag, "a montage incorporates ... at least two or more different but related subjects which dissolve in and out of and onto one another."
As an example, say to describe a riot:
A) Mobs of people marching down the street.
B) Store owners being pulled into the street and attacked.
C) Police arriving and battering the riot participants.
D) Looters running from stores with merchandise.
In the book, it is also noted, that the montage is often confused with a "series of shots." The format of both are the same, but the definition of a series of shots is "a series of short, usually action-type "mini-scenes" which serve to move the audience quickly through time or a sequence of events."
Doesn't sound like it matters much what it's called, since the formatting is the same, but thought I'd through it in at no extra cost.
I do think about that kind of stuff when I'm trying to create a logline, or a brief summary since that's what the trailer should include. Although, some trailers give away the whole movie, but I think the best ones are just teasers to get the audience interested in finding out more about the story - same as a logline or query should do.
Whoops - that's "throw" it in at no extra cost.
Classic: The Thin Man (I love the dialogue).
Modern: Ghost World (I love the characters).
Future: Anything with characters that aren't stereotypical cookie cut-outs that we've seen a million times.
Okay, this is a lame question:
What are the margins (left, right, top and bottom) supposed to be for proper feature film spec screenplay format?
I have the Final Draft software (a pretty old version - not that the version should matter) and am using the default, but the margin measurements aren't consistent with some other resources I've consulted about margins. Any thoughts?
Thanks, Ellum. That's a big help.
I've read varying things about the Moondance Film Fest's contest. The entry fee, $75, seems pretty high, but is worth it if the experience is good. The final entry deadline is 1/31/03.
Any thoughts out there? Anyone enter this one and if so, how was your experience?
In the script for "Bound," the steamy love scene between the women is very vague. It allows the reader to envision whatever version she or he decides is described.
Of course, this script was written by the directors of the film so maybe they didn't feel they needed to be too explicit. Still, it's a terrific scene description, probably because of the lack of specificity.
I am in the process of writing a one-page synopsis and found some great examples on the Writer's Script Network (www.writersscriptnetwork.com).
They were in the free section, to be used as a tool for other writers. The ones listed also include a logline. These are intended to be the one-page or so kind of synopsis, so it won't be exactly for what you are looking, but should give you a good jumping off point.
I'm pretty new to the site, but have so far found it very useful. Whenever I have posted a question, at least one person (and usually more than that) has answered back with some good tip - whether it is about a contest or scriptwriting in general.
I tend not to participate in the topics that don't relate to screenwriting. As an earlier poster suggested, I am learning to skim the topics and bypass those that are not of interest to me. I do agree that once in a while someone gets in a tizzy about something and acts less than gracious, but that seems to be the exception. Most on this forum are very well-mannered. As for those topics that are not on screenwriting, it seems that some just like to connect a bit with a fellow screenwriter. I see no harm in that, esp. if one can avoid those topics at one's choosing.
My biggest challenge is focusing and prioritizing my writing - i.e., getting my butt in the chair to actually do the writing. I think the main reason for my hesitancy is that I am worried that the work will be trite or poorly written or unbelievable, or even worse - all three.
As for the actual writing, I find the biggest challenge to be the dialogue. It all reads lame to me, so I try to keep it as minimal as possible. It seems that the story should be communicated mainly in action or visuals, not in the dialogue - although, I do love a script or movie with clever, snappy dialogue even if it doesn't necessarily move the story along but just fleshes out the characters more (a good goal, of course).
Anyway, I have only completed a couple of scripts so I am hopeful that as time goes by and I keep writing, I will be able to hone the screenwriting craft. I do love the storytelling & character exploration process so.
Thanks for the great tips. I, too, am a new-ish screenwriter - just having completed a couple of scripts recently - and was wondering the best route to go. My writing partner and I are going to enter a few contests just to see if anything happens there, but I think we will take MK's advice of trying a little bit of everything also. That sounds like what anyone would do if looking for any kind of job; kind of a buffet style approach to success - a little of this, a little of that, easy on the heavy sauce . . .
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