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Im new to all of this. I decided to write a screenplay four months ago and here I am, having completed it and thinking about entering it in a competition or two.
I have written my first official draft and have a number of friends and family reading it. I have read on one of these posts to get people in the industry to review it and get some quality feedback.
Is it best to pay somebody to give it a coverage or are there people out there like on this board who are willing to read it?
Any information would be great, as you can see I am clueless.
Can anybody tell me if this site is worthwhile?
Luckily I'm one of the few exceptions capable of producing a million dollar script or that article may have deterred me.
I was just thinking about that period the other day while watching a doco on the great ancient city of Carthage. I have studied Ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt and would like to hear from you. Drop me an email - email@example.com
Dont mean to spoil the moment...
But how long are you able to enter a script in contests before the competition organisers disregard the script?
This is obviously a great script but is there not some point in time where it must be disregarded even if it's the best piece entered so it doesnt take the spots of other new scripts which may be challenging for top spot?
If it was my scipt I would probably be doing it too but it just doesn't make sense that the same script can be peddled for so long.
...just curious of other peoples take on this.
Can anybody tell me if the conditions for entry in this competition look legitimate. I haven't entered anything before and would just like to make sure these conditions are above aboard. I don't want to sign a release form handing them rights to my script.
That's what I thought. It sounds long winded for "We can steal your script and you cant do anything about it coz u signed it over to us"
Can somebody else who has experience in entering contests check out this release form and let us know if it is normal?
As a first time writer I sent my script to Barb for review recently. I was very happy with the quantity and quality of feedback I recieved. My script had a number of plot, structure and character flaws which she has pointed out to me.
I am in the process of a major re-write while still keeping my characters and plot intact. I can see the dramatic improvement in my script by following the correct writing guidelines.
This informative (and no doubt time consuming) post is another example of why this lady has such a great respect within this community.
Thanks Barb. Respect.
If you were to attempt to attach an actor to your script what are the feasible methods of going about this?
Are you able to pay for representaion from one of the above peoples (Angents/Managers/Attorneys) to target certain actors or do they only represent you according to your percieved talents.
Feel free to make me look more stupid than I do already...
Thx for the info.
What if the person I wanted to direct my script to eg. Jason Alexander has his own Production company (Angel Ark Productions). What is the best way to target my script at this person? Do I need to get an Agent to get in the front door or do I simply need to send a query letter to his Agent?
For those who have used Scriptblaster or a similar service I was wondering how you setup your query letter.
I have decided to mass query my letter as well as individual letters to specific prod companies/producers but would like to know how people have set these mass query letters up.
To whom it may concern,
How do you begin these generic letters?
Do you still include all of your contact info on the bottom of letter or is this all sent out with your info u provide in the fields?
Anyone who can shed some light on this for me please take the floor...
Are there some locations you must stay clear of because of filming problems, costs etc.
I have begun writing a script based heavily in Central Park. Is this an off limits location? Does anybody know if this would be a major turnoff for a studio when selling a script like this?
Is that standard..that once you option your script the person who holds the option can tamper with your script?
Or is this simply a optional clause?
I am a screenwriter living in Australia currently writing a project based in New York, primarily Central Park.
I am desperately looking for an amateur photographer living in NYC to take some shots for me of the area in Central Park surrounding Belvedere Castle.
I am unable to pay a huge sum of money but if anyone has a digital camera and a little bit of spare time I'm sure we could come to a financial agreement.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and can help me out.
I have exhaused all possible images from the internet, books and movies. But after all that is said and done, I still need some very specific photos, which just are not available to me. I need somebody to be my eyes for a couple of hours in Central Park.
They feed off people who are desperate and delusional. If you are willing to hand over your scripts rights for a period of time for $1, then you don't respect your work or yourself.
If somebody is offering you a $1 option then this player isn't in the game, he aint even watching from the stands.
I eagerly await one of these small time hustlers who has the nerve to ask me for a $1 option
As Ralph Wiggum would say...
"What's a contest?"
It is too long for a logline. It is too short for a synopsis and if you are trying to get the attention from a Hollywood exec who doesn’t know you from thousands of other wanna-be screenwriters then you should be using a query.
What’s wrong with this logline, which is what this is, not a synopsis.
Never use ‘But’ to begin a sentence.
The logline seemed to confuse me. I had to read it a couple of times to understand what is going on here, it is too jumbled!
Try and break down your concept into who is the protagonist, who is creating the conflict (antagonist) and what are the stakes? By simplifying your concept into one sentence you should be able to crystallize your idea.
Here’s a quick example of something which is more to the point, more economical and doesn’t complicate the story with unnecessary minor details:
“A hard-hitting stand up comedian helps his exotic dancer girlfriend escape the clutches of an obsessive boss that uses his underworld connections to track them down.”
Not great, but I hope you get the drift.
If you want to lure an executive/assistant/Hollyood person to read your script you need a QUERY LETTER.
Look around the place on how to write a query letter. Have a read of this article:
I don't understand why everyone is saying this concept smells like 'B' grade material?
Any concept could end up a B grade production, and any an 'A' production dependent upon quality of script, actors on board, producer, director....and many other variables that make a movie.
Your movie concept sounds similar to 'Last Boy Scout' and that wasn't 'B' grade...
I don't know how someone can read a logline and tell somebody that their script will only be fit for a 'B' grade cable movie...je ne comprends pas!
I'm not sure what this has to do with the price of coconuts selling on a beach in Fiji...but
Of course it could work as a movie, HOWEVER I would think it would have to change the dynamics of the show in a fashion so bold that it may end the tv series.
For example maybe the movie could be the last episode where Sarah Jessica finally gets married. The stakes would have to be VERY HIGH for a reason to turn the TV episode into a movie, but marriage is probably the KEY ISSUE of this TV show and perhaps this may be a stake strong enough to launch it into a movie...but then maybe it's still only a 2 hour finale tv episode like Seinfeld.
But I'm still not sure how this example is related to my post?
Seriously, we need to prevent this thread from becoming anything like the last one you started Ben - possible one of the worst threads ever!
Lets be honest. You need to learn a hell of a lot about screenwriting before you even attempt to "woo hollywood execs".
You seem to be looking for the pyramid scheme of screenwriting - a get rich quick scheme - NEWSFLASH!!! It's not going to happen.
Don't worry about loglines, taglines, queries, pitches, treatments or a synopsis...go and learn something about the art, write like mad and in a couple of years you will be able to answer some of these questions yourself.
I feel 'more dumberer' every time I look over that thread, and now this one...
A threesome sounds more exciting.
To think I was trying to meet the deadline for this competition...and to know the state my script is in now during a major 2nd draft rewrite makes me laugh!
Contest Deadlines are designed to torment us...
I am interested to know how Kate Hudsons character read in the script?
I have watched the movie and quite enjoyed it, HOWEVER I feel the protagonist(Hudson) failed to reach out and grab me, I didn't really care about her, and therefore had a negative impact on the overall delivery.
The concept was unique, interesting and well executed (except in one minor instance where they contradicted the theory of the voodoo magic).
So I can only summise that the reason this movie wasn't more enjoyable was because of the lead character.
Saying that the script may have been completly different to the final product.
Does anybody have any experience in obtaining an option for a literary piece of work for an adaptation to the screen?
I am thinking of approaching an authors agent whose rights to a novel is available.
Being an unsold writer and not a big time producer with big bucks to bring to the table what would be the best way to approach this?
The book was published in the late 80's and is by a popular author(s). None of the authors books have been adapted to screen as yet although rights may have or may not have been purchased, something I intend to find out.
I am thinking of offering a token option price for up to 2 years against a considerable price if ever produced.
Is this a dream? Or is something like this common practice?
Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
Damn you John for bringing M Knight into this thread...now he has taken this over too!!!
I guess if I was to offer a token option it would come down to whether or not the author wanted to see the novel adapted to screen or left alone.
With respect to what you have said about agents I might email the agent with my query and how I want to go about it and cc the author in on the email too.
When you are talking about these huge prices you are talking about purchasing rights? I'm talking about an option.
Obviously the options contract would have to involve the price of the rights should it be developed so you don't get left up sh*t creek without a paddle.
To say that "The Village" was not as good as "Sixth Sense" is by no means derogatory. There are very few films or scripts in the last decade that can say that they were.
In regards to "The Village" I personally enjoyed it alot...some people didn't. I think they felt cheated in the aftermath because they were expecting a horror.
M.Knight is the master of manipulation and therein lies the brilliance of his work.
"To me, it was pretty obvious that the children were being manipulated."
-- I'm not talking about the children, I'm talking about the AUDIENCE!
If you knew what was going on half way through that movie then you my friend are one smart cookie...
M KIGHT uses misdirection to throw off his audience and nobody is better at concealing the "OFF SCREEN MOVIE".
"why didn't Hurt just go get the damn medicine himself? Or one of the adults who were in on it? Why send your blind daughter? MAKES NO SENSE!"
The reason - subconciously they didn't want to succeed, derived from fear.
Remember, the reason they removed themselves from the world in the first place was because of the pain they were all caused by living in it.
The elders used fear to keep the truth hidden from the village in the form of monsters.
They prided themselves on being self sufficient. What would happen if one of the elders went out and came back with the medicine?
It would give others the courage to go out - BUT THAT WAS THE WHOLE IDEA!
They feared their loved ones would also endure pain in the real world.
It was a unique way to show how a parent ptotects their children. How somebody's bad experience in any event is then forced upon others, instead of letting them make up their own mind and own experiences.
Well I've noticed you have Schizophrenia!
I started this thread to discuss novel adaptions and options which you then turned into a M Knight thread and then when I decided to discuss M Knight you changed it back to adaptations...
So I'm not going to bother discussing adaptations again because I know M Knight will return in the following message just to p1ss me off.
Maybe you are also John?
Maybe you are everyone on this board except me?
Or maybe I am you?
Maybe it is I who has Schizophrenia?
If I didn't suffer from Alzheimers I could probably remember...
As if Seinfeld was about nothing...
It was always something with them.
I am an avid Seinfeld fan and I know the joke but some people really believe the show was about nothing, not saying you, but if they really were about nothing then why does each episode have a name?
The Statue The Chinese Restaurant The Bubble Boy
The Summer of George!
Costanza is by far my favourite character.
Nobody plays the loser better than Jason Alexander...big fan.
Does anyone outside the States celebrate Thanksgiving? I know I don't. Hell, I don't even know what it is all about.
The world exists outside the States.
Them some good people to know.
If you don't have the courage to help yourself could you please put a good word in for me?
P.S I will be waiting by the phone for Uncle Syd to call.
I'm thinking of starting my own Industry.
This Hollywood thing has been going on for far too long.
But they already have the Indians!
I was thinking Greenland.
So much space and so little there...its a goldmine, some could say the new land of opportunity?
Anyway I'm going to hire a boat this week and sail via New Zealand, South America and up the West Coast of the U.S. So start packing!
I'll be in L.A in 3 weeks, then full steam ahead to Greenland...this plan is foolproof.
P.S Bring a camera if you have one.
Do they have Lama's in the Czech Republic?
Anyway, I was thinking of a Talk back show hosted by a talking Lama with an eye patch and a pirates accent.
Maybe even a parot on its shoulder...lama's do have shoulders don't they?
Please send US$1,000,000 to the following bank account for my idea.
BSB - 061092 A/C - 56709823
Thanks. Let me know if you need any more great ideas.
"We buy just ideas, no relocating necessary." - Great Tagline!
Sorry, but I can't take this seriously...
I could dream up some great idea. Draw up a 1 page synopsis and send it to you.
I may never hear from you again and for all I know my show could be the biggest TV hit in the Czech Republic and I wouldn't know.
Saying that, I have another great idea:
TV Show - "Double Dare"
Step 1 - Hire an extreme host who has no fear.
Step 2 - Issue members of the audience or public to a dare for cash/prizes.
Step 3 - The audience member can then agree to undertake the dare or issue a "double dare" back at the host who must successfully complete the dare or the audience member will win the cash/prizes.
Now if you can find an extreme Lama with a pirate accent, a dodgy eye and parrot accomplice to host the show I think you could really be onto something.
A Pirate Lama and his parot walking a tight rope over a canyon...I'd like to see that!
Let me know if you want me to draw up a synopsis?
Please use same Bank account details to pay me the usual fee.
98% of people on this board couldn't even read 5 words on that site. (Margin of error - 2%).
In all seriousness there are just too many red flags for anybody attempting to help you in this situation.
" To help me, Troy? You confuse the conceptions. Begining writers are those who need help, not me."
Don't assume everyone in here is an amateur writer...coz you know what they say about assumptions.
"At $50 average a pop to enter contests where the first round of readers only skim through the first few pages, isn't worth my time, money, or hard work."
Tis the cold hard truth...BUT
For an unsold writer it is the best way to break into the industry.
And if your script is any good, you would be unlucky not to progress through the initial stages.
If you can't hook a readers attention by page 10 then your first act fails and if you havent sold them by the 2nd act then it's not working...
I want to talk about my script!
But I have nobody to talk to bounce it off...
I have what I think is a great concept and a strong protagonist BUT I can't seem to execute it.
I wrote a first draft months ago and I have been fiddling with a second act since and I cant seem to work it out.
It's a supernatural thriller/drama.
I also like to write comedy.
Note to myself - Proof read before posting.
I meant Second draft not second act.
"Though Horror/Supernatural Thrillers are my forte.."
As noted above I'm having trouble with the execution of my supernatural thriller/horror. I am writing up a treatment to show a few people so I can get opinions/ideas on what is working and what isn't.
Would appreciate it if you could have a look at it for me if you have time?
Thanks Terri, Greg.
Will email it to you in next couple of days.
"Prodcos are constantly looking for the next SAW. How in the world is someone supposed to come up with an ending to top THAT?!"
Just as surprising but with an emotional payoff.
And the writers were Australian, so it only makes sense that it is I that delivers it.
"Okay, Mr. Australian. I want to see an ending in your Supernatural Thriller that tops SAW. LOL!"
Next couple of days.
My concept is also based on Religion to some degree.
Does anyone know who was the first wife of Adam?
There are varying opinions on correct formatting styles.
I believe when you know enough about formatting then it comes down to personal preference in many areas.
-- When you know the rules you can break em.
For example I use CAPS for sounds.
I don't think it detracts from the story, but rather adds to it, especially in suspenseful scenes or other scenes where tone is important.
Act 1 - Beginning
Act 2 - Middle
Act 3 - End
Act 1 is the setup. Usually runs between 15-30 pages. Sets up the Protagonist, the antagonist and delivers the "inciting incident" - the event which changes the protagonists life in such a way that they must alter their course in life to pursue something relating to that event.
Act 2 is the conflict. The journey which shows the protagonist trying to achieve their goal. The antagonist provides the conflict or hurdles preventing the main character achieiving their need/desire.
During the end of Act 2 is the Turning Point where an event occurs leaving the main character at a point of no return...there is no turning back. The goal appears insummountable and they must charge into Act 3 with everything they have.
Act 3 is the resolution. Time to resolve the conflict and answer all the questions asked of the audience in the first 2 acts.
Thats my take, and it's a pretty quick and basic overview. Not all scripts adhere to those principles.
I'm sure people will disagree with some of the comments above but rather than take varying opinions read some of the authors below.
Read Mckee, Syd Field or Hague for basic concepts of structure.
My current script uses a 4 Act structure.
I believe the 3rd Act can be broken into two acts. The Resolution and The Aftermath.
This depends heavily on the type of ending your story has. If there is a considerable change or twist between the resolution of the conflict and the resolution of the story/character then a 4th Act could be used to distinguish this change of mood.
I recommend you look to get your hands on some of these:
Story - Robert Mckee
The Screenwriters Bible - Dave Trottier (a must)
How to make a good script great - Linda Segar
The Hero's 2 Journeys DVD - Hague & Vogler
Those should get you started.
My understanding of 'High Concept' requires it to be both 'original' and 'simple'.
You should be able to easily explain to somebody your high concept idea and leave them pondering "why didn't I think of that?"
thats my take on it anyway....
I would be happy to do a swap. I have a treatment of sorts I would like feedback on.
My email address is in my profile.
I haven't seen it. I want to see it. BUT I live in Australia and can't get it feasibly.
Would you be willing to send me an original copy or copy and I will pay you through Paypal if you have an account setup with them?
If you are willing. Are you able to give me an estimate of the cost?
"that would require me to spend more time writing, less time downloading Gloria Estefan pictures"
You are beginnning to scare me now Jay...
Why bother with Hollywood when you can go straight to Bollywood I always say.
yeah...what he said.
These two examples aren't good.
I haven't read these scripts but I'm guessing the characters were formally introduced with first names.
Even if they weren't they were referred to as Mr Wilson and Ms Robinson because the protag is looking up to this person who is superior in age.
Do you really think Dennis, a young boy would call his old next door neighbor by his first name?
In 'The Graduate' they use Ms Robinson to illustrate the age difference and magnify the inappropriate relationship that forms between these two people. If he called her by her first name then it wouldn't seem so wrong.
Re: Maurizio Marmorstein
I wouldn't care if this agent only wanted to deal with one of my scripts.
Agents know what they can sell and what they can't. It's a business. Let them use you to sell your script and take a commission...it's a win-win situation for you. Once you have a sale behind you, you will be able to attract other agents.
Agents and Managers have different roles. Go and sell that script!
Inspiration will only drive you so far.
Motivation is driven by passion.
If you don't have the passion to tell your story then who else is going to care about it?
Don't force yourself to fix it. When you lose the passion for the story, move on or you will only waste time.
Thats my opinion,
For me, its not the concept that motivates , nor the characters, it's the underlying THEME of the story that inspires me to spend countless hours re-writing to achieve that elusive thing we all writers seek - VALIDATION.
You are telling a story, using characters as a vehicle to deliver a message. If you don't feel strongly about that message then it is all for nothing.
There is a 117 post thread on LA neighborhoods and advice on moving there over at the Done Deal boards. Here is the thread.
A server crash conveniently removes a heated exchange between members...
You and your computers...
If I fail to sell a script because I write that a 'tree sits in the forrest' I will stand on my head and attempt to suck my own...
I think you get the point.
Well done Eric.
I would be interested in hearing about your experiences with your new Agent down the track, keep us posted.
DJ -- Well done also. Did you end up getting your money from that contest you won last month? I was going to email you a few weeks back about something but I lost your email address???
Hi, Mr X.
I skipped Screenwriting 101.
Did you have anything a little more advanced, say Screenwriting 102?
This is a song...
LA LA LA...
That's not good DJay.
What contest was it again?
Take the money and run...
You cant make much with $10,000 but you can have a great holiday!
"You have to remember, there are good Writers in remote locations who don't have access to meeting "important" people in the Industry to make contacts."
Would you say Australia was remote?
I read somewhere just the other day about the pint sized posters on postcards, maybe it was the latest edition of script mag, can't remember.
I have decided to create a website, not the first I know, but I think it's a good way to help someone visualize your movie as they read an online query/synopsis.
WARNING: Shameless Promotion...
You crazy yanks and your fast food!
What is this...Bizarro World?
The have noticed of late that the quality content on this board is slipping...
Somebody delete this thread.
Personally, I wouldn't accept anything less than seven figures, and that doesn't include any re-writes, production bonuses or my steep Executive Producer fee.
But that's just how I roll...
ummm....that was a joke.
Who says nobody on this board has a sense of humour.
Couldn't happen to a nicer person, good luck!
There are a few big contest deadlines expiring this month, e.g. Scriptapalooza, American Accolades, Page Int, ScriptPimp and the Nicholl May 1st.
Anyone entered or entering some of these comps?
Find the Funny.
Any contest where they have prizes for each genre.
Page International is one of these and their deadline is May 15.
Make that April 15.
That response simply isn't neccesary, Ellum.
Next time you feel the urge to post something stupid, punch yourself in the head really, really hard.
The latest InkTip letter confirms you have made another sale.
Soon as I read it I thought "Murder from the Grave" sounded better or "Grave Murder"
"Murder from the Dead" sounds awkward.
Well, movie titles obviously ain't my specialty since I have finally decided to change the title of my own script after numerous comments to do so.
I haven't visited this board for some time but after reading this thread the reason has become crystal clear.
Start over at the Done Deal boards and post some of your pages in the Script section for review. www.donedealpro.com
If you want free script reviews try Triggerstreet and Zoetrope, not that I have ever used them. You will have to complete three or so reviews of other peoples work before you will get something in return.
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