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Got into the finals with Common Ground. Thrilled. And, as so often happens on this board, yet another satisfied Barb Doyon customer. Anybody else going to the Moondance festival?
Anybody ever have any dealings with this one? My script has strong female protagonists, so it would seem like a good place to send it, but I couldn't find any info about it at all on this board, and that makes me kinda leery...
Robert, Jean, many thanks! I am really looking forward to going to the fest - have heard good things about it. Happy just to make it to the finals, though it would be lovely to walk out with a win.;) Jean, how did you like the festival? I guess since you went twice, it must not have been terrible...
Yeesh. I shall steer clear. Have you ever entered the Reel Women one? Just trying to suss out the comps that might be appropriate or at least more kindly inclined toward my story...
Toying with the idea of sending them a script...well. Having entered Moondance, Page, Scriptapalooza, Nicholl, Rhode Island (wish I'd read the boards first)and Woods Hole, I kind of feel like I've reached a certain saturation level. Not to mention that it does get expensive.
This is so exciting. What a talented lot you all are - congratulations! Fingers crossed that y'all continue to move up.
Congrats to Connie T. for taking second place honors in the Sci-Fi category with The Raven's Treasure! Woot woot!
Congratulations Jean! That's awesome. BTW, I have a question for everyone here - do you have a place where you post your scripts for people to read? There are so many obviously talented people on these boards, it would be wonderful to be able read your work. I don't know if that's considered kosher or not - I'm fairly new here - so please don't flame me if what I've just suggested is verboten!
Congratulations to all who made it! Alas, I hear nothing but the chirping of crickets here - PAGE, wherefore art thou? ;)
What a fascinating thread. As a career actor and singer, I've done more than my fair share of the old "warhorses" of musical theatre - much depends on the direction. If you get a director who wants to go a little deeper than cheesy smiles, and understands "song-as-monologue" - that is, that the songs advance the story, rather than being musical timeouts from it, it makes all the difference in the finished product. I remember taking my Mom to see Cy Coleman's "City of Angels" when it was on Broadway - I thought at the time, and still do, that it was an absolutely brilliant example of contemporary musical theatre - great music, great plot, etc. But it kind of left my Mom cold - to her, musical theatre is about showmanship, ie, lots of tapdancing, powerbelting, fancy shiny costumes, boy meets girl, loses her, gets her back in a big splashy finale. Expectations are a funny thing... I saw a mention of Josh Whedon on this board. A 2003 episode of Buffy that won a slew of awards was a musical episode titled "Once More, With Feeling". I urge all of you to watch it, if you haven't seen it. It is a wonderful example of a writer using music and song - quite skillfully, I might add - to advance a story line and give his characters emotional depth.
Janet...I was just thinking...how tough would it be for you to shoot your work yourself? Are your musicals set in foreign or fantasy type locales, or in simpler (ie cheaper to shoot) settings? Most of the musicians and actors I know would give their eye teeth to have the opportunity to work on something new. Even if you just shot a staged reading of it - no costumes, simple lighting, bare stage, but with really great singers/actors - you could use that as a calling card of sorts. Do it as an Equity Showcase - you wouldn't have to pay your actors much, but you'd still get great people, and you could rent a small theatre space for not a ton of money. Put the finished product up on your website as a sample of your work. But perhaps you've thought of this already?
Hey Janet - Well, we can both learn this process together, as that is part of what I plan to do with my script! But here it is, in a nutshell:
1) Pick your domain name (ie, what do you want your website address to be?) - mine is going to be CommonGroundTheMovie.com. But you could have yours be your name, or anything else you like. There are many places to buy domain names - you essentially "rent" the name for 3 year blocks of time, and you can keep renewing your "lease" as long as you like. I purchased mine from GoDaddy.com - I think I paid 20 bucks, or something equally low, for the privilege.
2)Shoot something! You are a creative person - you must have creative buddies, who might be able to help w/cameras, etc. If there's a university near you that offers any courses in film-making, betcha there are some starving students who would love to do some work to get it on their resumes. In your case, I think you could get away with a very simple setup. Cast your movie as a staged reading - ie, a bunch of actors standing in a semi-circle behind music stands on a small stage/podium/any place where you can control the lighting a bit. (If you use Equity people - and you probably should - you will need to get their permission to film them and use the result - but that shouldn't be too difficult. Just be upfront about what you're trying to do.) Then either you, or someone you trust, sets up a decent video camera in one place to record the action. 3)Editing...take a look at what you've recorded. Pick out 1 or 2 choice scenes, and upload those to your website. Once again, there have to be some starving students who could help you with this - maybe they set you up so that when people click on your website link, the website opens up w/15-20 seconds of flash video - your work - just a quick teaser of it - and then the main website loads and offers people the option to see more, if they like. 4)You mentioned the dancing at the fair - why not record that, and use it if you think it's helpful. (Make sure you get permission from people!) Alternatively, you could hire actors who could actually perform some of the dancing for you.
I am a big believer in writers taking ownership of their work. While it would be lovely to have someone read our work and suddenly rain pots of money down upon us...well, it doesn't happen that way too often. I say, try doing it yourself. This way, you actually have a visual to offer - and it's a lot easier to get people to click on a website link, than read a screenplay. 'Cause most people are lazy, or perhaps simply lack your great imagination! :)
Janet - one more thought - how hard would it be to "sell" the Iowa board on allowing you to do a documentary of the state fair? If it is as colorful a spectacle as you say, it seems to me that it would be well worth recording. Note that I am not suggesting this in place of shooting your musical - merely an adjunct to it. You will need a decent video camera, a tripod (to keep the camera level so you don't get footage that bobbles and makes people run for air sickness bags)and something to record sound. Some video cameras have a sound recorder already in them - that's not ideal, but it could work. Once again, any colleges/universities in your area that could help you with equipment/students? In terms of paying students for their time, just tell them you will foot the bill for their food for the day(s) you shoot. And possibly a frosty adult beverage or two at the end of the shoot, if they are of age. Anyway, just a thought...
Robert, I thought your post was funny. Although it would be a fabulous tag line for a horror flick... Cartoonist Gary Larsen has a foreword in each of his collections wherein he states that his older brother used to lock him in the cellar with the lights off, and that his Mom never realized that the claw marks on the back of the cellar door were not in fact made by the family dog. But I think your demonic "imaginary friends" sound ever so much more interesting. ;)
Well...got the email this AM - didn't win, but am still very happy to be a finalist, as this is my first screenplay. I am definitely going to the festival at the end of August. The synopses of the films they are showing look really great, and I think it will be fun to meet other writer/producers, as that's the direction I'm headed. Besides, Colorado is gorgeous in the summer! Anyone else from these boards planning to attend?
Janet - Moondance just posted their winners for this year, and they have a musicals category. File that away for 2009...
Question: does anyone here know how best to contact Harpo Films? The reason I'm asking is that my script dovetails perfectly with the kind of work the company produces. I have the sneaking suspicion that Harpo won't take unsolicited submissions, but I just thought I'd put this out here, see if anyone had any thoughts... Thanks!
Joe, Jean - thank you so much. That's pretty much what I suspected. I think a better approach might be for me to wait until I go to Moondance, and pick the brains of the folks out there - they do claim to push the work of everyone from finalists on up, and perhaps I can find someone with one or two degrees of separation from Harpo, as opposed to my current six degrees east of nowhere... again, thank you!
Thanks all - you guys are so supportive. So glad I found this board. Best of luck to the rest of you as you await the final results from other competitions!
"The intent is never entertainment but purchasing." Sad but true. Gotta sell those oh-so-necessary douches... *grumble*
Spellbound - 1945
Dr. Anthony Edwards (Gregory Peck), sent to replace Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll) as head of Green Manors mental hospital, is an impostor. When Murchinson calls the police, Edwards leaves, followed by Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman), who has fallen in love with him and wants to treat his amnesia. She believes he is a medical doctor whose name is John.
Skiing down a long slope, accompanied by Constance, John relives the memory of his brother being impaled on an iron fence with parallel bars, an accident for which he feels responsible. Police find the real Dr. Edwards' dead body and John is accused of his murder.
Is this the one you were thinking of?
Wow Jean! Congrats! Sounds like you have great momentum with Lady Jazz...
Way to go Flo! Now ride this wave right smack into your next great story... ;)
That's insane. A good story is a good story, regardless of who wrote it or what their chronological age happens to be. You don't hear of that type of discrimination in the book industry, unless of course you're writing chick lit, and who the hell wants to do that anyway. (Not that I have an opinion or anything.)
Congrats, Jage, and add my voice to the chorus of praise for Barb - she is insightful as hell, doesn't pull punches, and offers constructive advice...what more could any writer wish for...
Priceless. Thanks, Joe!!
Hey all - I know this is a screenwriter's forum, but I was wondering if any of you had a recommendation for a book editor? I'll be finishing up a solid first draft of my novel probably by the end of November. Thanks, Mary
Just got back. Had a blast. Met tons of creative, interesting movie-makers, writers and musicians. Took a great 2-part writing seminar w/Sally Walker on writing the romantic screenplay, and came away w/lots of useful info on building believable character relationships. Saw many movies - the overall quality was very high. Made good connections with some agents and producers. And Boulder, CO is gorgeous and has great food! Festival seemed a bit sparsely attended, perhaps because the Telluride Film Festival was going on at the same time. Nonetheless, I had a marvelous time and would definitely attend again.
Thanks, guys! I appreciate all the suggestions...
Thanks, all! Yes, I've definitely put in my time doing research on structure, etc. I feel pretty confident that I've got an interesting, original story. I know where I'm going with it - but as you all know, it just takes time to knock it out. I work at a very demanding day job (don't get me wrong, given today's news re: Lehman, AIG and Merrill, I'm delighted to HAVE a day job that pays the bills) but I do try to knock out a few pages every night. We'll see how I feel after I complete my first draft, as to whether I will try to edit the sucker myself...
Late to the party, here, but congratulations Jean & Irin!! That's fantastic...
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