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First post ever (so, Hi)...
Best logline advice I've ever seen (and I've seen it more than once in disparate pubs/sites)... SEE TV GUIDE for any TV Movie description.
The point is to give people a feel for the content, not NAIL it perfectly. One sentence is sualy best and don't bother with wasted adjectives.
Here's one: A Detroit cop solves a murder in ritzy Beverly Hills. (Not even going to bother insulting you with what movie this is)
Other loglines take the form of comparisons thrown together (from preexisting high-concept films, usually): DIE HARD on a bus ! ...OR... LETHAL WEAPON only one partner is a dog!
Hope this helps even a little.
Very little. Only place I've seen mention of them is on soyouwannasellascript.com (or something like that). They're a Management group is all I've managed to gather.
Haven't heard of Weiss, though.
Don't have my "marketplace" guide with me or I'd look 'em up for you.
I agree with Richard. I would also further research how other well-known adaptations of similar stories have been title-paged. Check Drew's Script-o-Rama for copies of just about anyscriptyoucanimagine...
Great, time-saving and intuitive software. If you're serious about screenwritintg this little baby will save you tons of time in trying to set up clumsy macros in Word. It's also a good error-checker and suggestion-maker.
I have version 6 (the latest) and swear by it.
Calling all Central Virginian Screenwriters interested in starting a small in-person group to meet once a month (to start) for scene/script critiques, etc. Only those who have completed a full script need bother. I want the serious-minded, here, not those in need of cheerleading. Interested in meeting in a Richmond/Fredericksburg/Petersburg (bar TBD). Email me with your experience &interest-level and a reliable way to contact you: email@example.com
There have to be MORE of you out there. Don't be shy. There are three of us commited in the Richmond-area.
Do I hear four?
I had been struggling with this problem for years when I finally figured out that even if I'm not actually writing, as long as I'm planning or reseacrhing or even thinking hard about a scene, that I'm indeed making some progress toward completing the work.
There is probably no single group of artists which beats itself up as much as writers do. All it takes is a slight shift of perpective to stop the self-flagelation and simply work, even if it's not actual pages added, only thoughts to puzzle out the next scene.
I've lately begun to work through my scripts in this fashion: I first sketch out a scene in mini-beats in long-hand (already knowing what the main beat of the scene is). Next day or next hour (when I'm happy with the mini-beats; sometimes even when I'm not), I write the scene. Sometimes all the mini-beats make it into the scene, sometimes they don't. Mostly, they don't. Doing the mini-beats process helps with self-editing. This non-official method allows me to discard or change what may not have been sitting comfy in my story.
Hope this helps even a little. I thought Dennis's comments were very helpful, as well, and I thank him for them.
Well, it certainly piques MY interest. I do think it could be shorter, though, more broad and indicate the stakes for the main character.
What's at stake? The shrink's state of mind? His marriage? His sanity? Does his life unravel as a result o this patient's probign?
I would also nix the "with nothing to lose" portion, as it paints too clear a picture of that character (something I would save for a summary/treatment). I think "schizo" would do, that way the main character is still the focus.
Hope this helps even a little I'll check back to see if you post other iterations.
Nice one, Greg. I'll file "kwoon" away for later keeping. Didn't know that.
Re the posts above: anyone remember the Celebrity Boxing TV fiasco with the washed-up kid-actors? (Wait for it... wait for it...)
Haven't had this much fun/disbelief reading a thread in awhile. Thanks for all the ego-plucking and defensiveness, Mr. Howell.
If your posture (kung fu ready-stance or otherwise) is any indication of your ability to work with people, you must be having tons of fun in this business where having a thick-skin is a necessity.
Terribly out of place and unbecoming a gentleman. Here, especially.
We now have four screenwriters interested (enough to start, in my opinion).
Anyone else wanna join?
I'll be coordinating the distrib of work-to-discuss in early January. We're shooting for a mid-January first meeting, probably in Northern Richmond (to make it easier on the Fredrick'g folks).
Having been to both...
Psychiatrists are MDs trained in psychology who can write prescriptions...
Psychologists listen to you blather but can refer you to the former if they feel you cannot truly progress without benefit of pharmaceuticals...
...and they BOTH "see" people.
Live ones. ; )
Rule #1: Don't pay for things from the questionably up-and-up that the reputable folks (I use the term loosely, it IS Hollywood, after all) are supplying for "free" in the role of reputable agents/producers/managers who are queried about material they genuinely feel has merit. The latter folks don't ask for money; they'll ask for a release or permission to shop/rep you.
Rule #2: If you submit a spec to anyone and they say it has potential but still foist you off onto a 2nd-party 'specialist' for a paid consult, walk away. It means they are getting money on the back-end and likely have no intention of pursuing the script, even after you've been blessed by the specialist.
Rule #3: If your script is truly worth something to someone who can truly move it within the industry, they'll help develop it for nothing. Up-front, anyway.
Rule #4: If it sounds fishy...
Just slap it here in this string. It may take a few whacks before it meets your approval, but I think the combined input of the folks on MB could help it out a ton. They've done some fantastic things in the past.
I know I can start a *new* year anytime I want, but it sure is a bigger impetus when everyone else is starting one, too.!
Here's to exterminating bad habits (procrastination being my chief nemesis) and buttressing the good ones, like believing in oneself and one's work enough to keep sending it out (over and over and over again).
Happy (your religious/secular holiday here) everyone... ; )
Not as much whining on that site, huh? Funny how these folks who should be feel pleased and fortunate for PGL's selection have the gall to gripe about their "maligning portrayal". If you're always a great and shining soul, how do they edit IN all the nastiness? Never happened, I guess?
They knew what they signed up for. Reality TV's been around too long for anyone not living under rock to assume that the true story won't be manipluated for added tension.
Finaly, last time I checked, a director's merit was judged by final cut and box-office, not by how pleasant he is. Not that one can't do both.
Happy Days, everyone! Chin up and pen to paper.
Agreed. Not for me, either, no matter the subject.
While everything I've read and heard concerning Ben and Matt seems to support that they're great & wonderful young men, I believe the "promise" of PGL was somewhat compromised by the need to turn the process-documentary into a typical RTV soap opera of creative editing. I think it did the experiment a dis-service and probably lead to its downfall.
Having participated in the first one, I can attest to becoming soured over the whoile thing (not because I was weeded out after the the Top 250... really!) due to the snipey stereotyped characters that the show portrayed. I was looking forward to some revealing looks at REAL movie people in a REAL creative process. What I got was cartoon-ish and barely scratched the veneer of what I already knew or feared about the industry.
I DO applaud the attempt. It was almost a revelation to many of us. Sometimes, the final product disappoints. That's another parallel to the business, I suppose.
Best for the New Year, everyone.
The writer bows.
Applause continues, then slowly dies.
The writer gets back to work.
(Good show, Gil!)
I don't really see how this is any different from contests/requests that specify "by women" or "by african-americans" or...
This sort of "segregation" has become acceptable in such forms, I guess. Didn't phase me one bit. Now, if I saw an announcement requesting "by white men"... I'd have certainly raised more than an eyebrow.
It happens, surely. It just isn't announced as such.
Beyond the obvious politics, I'm fairly certain there's a business-reason or esoteric-Canuck reason for their Canadian request.
Hollywood is an investment business, run by bankers and MBAs with the imaginations of... bankers and MBAs. You want original? Look somewhere else. Anything that breaks through that BS was championed by an actor/director/producer NOT a studio/distributor... and NO, it WASN'T easy. It's also far more rare and required a helluva lot of marketing/PR than you think.
There is a higher cost/complexity to marketing an original with "no built-in audience".
Sad, all of it. But it's the nature of the mainstream and not likely to change... ever. The magic equation has been exposed and they're not going to stop making money to please people like us. That's just bad business.
Back to topic... (ahem)
Just do it and don't get presumptuous about where it'll get you.
Don't do it for any other reason than you simply want to make something funny that you'd watch. THEN, make sure you still have rights to take the final product around and shop the hell out of it.
Oh, and make sure your monkey doesn't spell anything wrong. That apparently irks some peeple.
If I'm undertsanding the question, you are curious about re-querying an agent/prodco with the additional contest-kudo being the only difference?
If that's right and you've queried more than three weeks ago, I'd say, what the hell... worst that can happen is they pass (which is the usual "worst that can happen")
Frankly, if you're marketing your self and work, treating both like a "new and improved" product (even though it's the same) can't hurt and might prick up some ears.
Hope this helps.
Yes, please Ron, give us some examples. Just at taste, nothing compromising.
Also, I'd be curious to know if the deal had re-write implied or if he'll only get "story by". Thanks.
I don't give a flying crap if your post looks like juvie chat-room dribble, as long as I can understand it. I know SOME of you are posting quickly between passes by the boss or whomever and are crunched on time. Or you somply wanna git it slapped down and done wif.
To this end, I highly recommend the following book:
"The Savvy Screenwriter: How to Sell Your Screenplay (and Yourself) Without Selling Out!" by Susan Kouguell
Best of luck to you and your work in the New Year.
Laughed hard for the first time this new year. Thanks guys!
Ed, what WAS your decision? We're all hanging here, my man.
You're on the right track, already. Signatory agencies are actually "creative" agencies, as you put it, only they have agreements with the WGA that they'll protect the rights of screenwriters, where non-signatories are potluck. Either way, have a lawyer involved when selling something.
While the HCD is your best bet for a full list of agents (especially the always updated online version), it IS a bit to pay for access to the info (it's cheaper to buy the book, but that isn't auto-updated).
The list on WGA SHOULD tell who accepts unsolicited queries from new writers (it once did). There are very few. I would suggest simply getting your script's 1st draft nailed, get it read by some knowledgable folks, then revise, revise, revise.
Meanwhile, fill your downtime by reading some Martell, Epstein and Lazlow (among others) and some already produced scripts... just to be sure you're not running out the door making true novice mistakes.
Then... start querying. Horse, the cart.
Hope that helps.
On inktip, sure (and maybe other such places), but I hope we won't start seeing loglines elsewhere that read:
A university professor discovers the alchemical formula for gold and has to use his wits to stay alive in this 4th Annual Radmin Company & Filmmakers.com Screenplay Coontest Semi-finalist script.
Yeesh. More words for the contest than the logline nugget!
If I'm not mistaken (it HAS happened), Cartoon Network owns the rights to the entire catalog and has license to create new work (usually parody) with the old HB characters.
Not sure that HB exists, any longer, as a true company. I'd approach CN or Phantom Planet. If they're not forthcoming, call Crawford studios in Atlanta. They're the satellite source-point for all of CN's broadcasts and they might know whom to approach with new work.
Hope that helps (and you didn't hear that last from moi).
- EVENT HORIZON with Sam Neill/Laurence Fishburne
- BURNT OFFERINGS with Bette Davis and Richard Burton
- CABLE GUY
- ROSEMARY's BABY (which is ripe for remake, BTW; the pacing and delivery are painful in the wrong way)
- PLAY MISTY FOR ME (the inspiration for Cable Guy)
Obviously I'm more enamored of thriller/horror that involves a 'situation' the character has brought onto herself.
(I was serious about CABLE GUY, btw. Humor aside, that crap's scary.)
Your comment 'for its era' pretty much says it all for me. I watched the film again last week (hence it being so fresh in mind) and have to disagree with you on nearly every level, save two.
The story is great (and is point-for-point the same as the novel from which it sprang). Ruth Gordon is great.
As for Farrow, OVER-acting is what I'd call that. Same for virtually the entire cast, and this is largely why the movie seems so dated for me. Okay, the decor and the fashions don't help, either.
The novel is short and can be read cover-to-cover in LESS than the film's running time. Not a good equation.
Polanski has always been the master of finding the right story (okay, Ninth Gate was weak), but he has never, in my opinion, been much of a visualist. Whichever DP he has at the time has always been the leader on that.
I'd like to see it in the hands of D. Fincher or C. Nolan.
Opinions, only, of course. I still say "ripe for remake", as without it, a couple generations of casual movie-goers will certainly miss something unique and disturbing.
As is, it's more of a comedy.
Speaking which, what did you mean by: "And forget Cable Guy, it was the literal inspiration for another modern horror film of sorts, Fatal Attraction. " Didn't FA come far before CG?
Aaron, I believe your subject-matter request has been compromised. I apologize for contributing to this. Hopefully you got something new out of the titles before things went Zombie/Action/Vampire on you.
I agree with you that RP is unique, but I stick my take on RB needing a latterday overhaul, if only to place it in contemporary hands for the moviegoers who would not otherwise see it. Think about the last generation who has no idea about this STORY at all (and I must emphasize that it IS the story I'm concerned with losing, not this piece of cinematic history).
I still find it a tad surprising how incensed some folks get when you tap the wand of "remake" on the vaunted shoulders of their idols (not that you're doing this, but I think you'll udnerstand my point). I really meant no disrespect to the film (for its time) or Polanksi. I simply feel it could be retold to a new audience by a new director and not be diminished at all.
Remake is not always a dirty word, is all I'm saying. Sometimes, it's necessary if a story is to survive in the 'canon' of popular culture.
I'm 'familiar' with three Virginians who are produced screenwriters and none of them have moved or would consider moving to L.A.
However, they unanimously state that as far as getting assignments for re-writes (the bulk of the money-work coming out of L.A.), it's easier when you live near the epi-center (pun intentional).
Not IMpossible, but easier.
HAHA! Nice one, Fred.
With a full-time 5-day/9-5 job and four children, I have to steal time in the early morning (4:30am - 6:45am), before everyone rises. My body allows this for exactly four days straight, but no more. On the fifth day, I don't even hear the alarm. It's a loud-ass thing, too, and right by my head.
The fifth, sixth and seventh days of the week (which encompass the weekend) are spent editing/outlining in snippets of time thoughout the day.
This has worked for me for two years.
BTW, I agree completely with Jerry's consistency advice: "...get into a disciplined habit of writing daily."
You can read all the inspirational writing books you want--that's the one thing you CANNOT forget.
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