Writers Wanted! MovieBytes is looking for articles. Call for Submissions
Unfortunately we won't be there, but just wanted to see if any other MBers were attending...
--Gene & Paul
I couldn't make it either, but I know that Michelle Muldoon (who you might have met in Austin) is going.
I received an email tuesday that I was a finalist and asked if I was going to be there. But I still dont see my name on their finalist list.
Anyway, I was so shocked I was afraid to answer because of course, I cant make it to LA from Iowa on such short notice. I work and I don't fly.
But then it hit me . Hey maybe, if I just happen to be a top finalist that I could send over some COUNTRY BALLROOM DANCERS to perform for their festival instead of me flying in. Im sure the guests would like that allot better.
I offered it to them but I havent heard back. So I guess maybe it was a bad idea or... Im no where near the top so it doesnt apply.
Anyway, CONGRATS you guys. And good luck, but not too much.
Hmmm...Michelle Muldoon...the name doesn't ring a bell, but that doesn't mean much because I wasn't feeling well during that trip and wasn't at the top of my networking game. Maybe you could ask her if she met us. ;)
Best of luck to all the finalists (including the super-secret ones whose names haven't hit the website list yet) -- but especially to Connie Tonsgard. :)
P.S. Now I *really* wish I could go, just to see the look on their faces when a nightmarish horde of COUNTRY BALLROOM DANCERS swarms in upon them...oh the chaos, the terror, the inescapable madness...!!
Couldn't make it either despite being one of the SUPER SECRET FINALISTS. :)
Good luck to those who make it to the Gala and to the winners, whoever they may be.
Looks like all the SUPER-SECRET FINALISTS have been posted... :)
Anyone hear anything from the event?
Who cares! Im finally legitimate. I'm so happy. It's just not right being an orphan.
Oh yeah, I forgot, I was so excited. Good luck L- boys, Connie, Irin, Peter and anyone I missed. Even if it is really all over already and you all probably know the results, Good luck anyway, just in case you don't.
Well Irin, looks like Michelle is a winner! Sure wish I could remember if I met her or not.
Strangely, there are fully 17 winners in this contest. Fortunately we're not among them, so we don't have to agonize about how one would list such a win on WinningScripts.com without a 1st/2nd/3rd ranking. ;)
You were so funny, Janet! Thanks for adding me. Do you no when the next time will be?
No, Gene's funny. Nightmarish horde indeed. I think I will purposely enter the same contests they do from now on.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS!
Yeah - Michelle won and was thrilled, of course. I wish I could've seen her win though!
See Gene, I think Connie thinks its a
good idea to send Country Ballroom Dancers to a festival. I mean good grief
how else is anyone going to find out what Im talking about in my script if I dont show them?
I think most readers are lost when I start describing the dance routines in my script. So I just thought heck, since my script is first and foremost a dance musical, why not give them a preview?
I mean, most professional ballroom and country western dancers know all of the dances that I describe in my script. I just have to tell them what song, what dance and how to present it that makes the difference.
So I dont think it would be that difficult to find some in any BIG city to perform for a festival. I just have to have enough notice to do it. But hey, maybe Im wrong and nobody but me thinks its a good idea, so you probably dont have to worry.
Any writer worth a damn doesn't need props. If you can't describe these dances with clarity on the page, they shouldn't be in your script.
Frankly I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than sit through a performance of country western ballroom dancers. Thank God I never will.
It's not about clarity Eric. It's that
most readers don't know the first thing
about dancing. If dancers were my readers I wouldn't have a problem. But they're not. I cant possibly describe the dances or steps (so that they know its not the same old thing) without using some technical dance terms. Which is what I mean by, some of them getting lost.
And by the way, its not Country WESTERN Ballroom dancing. Its Country Ballroom. See, you don't know what your'e talking about. And I think the millions that watch shows like DANCING WITH THE STARS and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (which is pretty much ALL ballroom dancing) might disagree with your needles in the eyes theory.
But thanks for sharing.
Oh, and not to change the subject but
I think this contest is just wonderful.
I was just one on the very long finalist list and I just received an award certificate in the mail.
See, its little things like THAT that really set certain contests apart from the others.
Way to go Cinema City. You're the best.
Actually, Janet, I do watch DANCING WITH THE STARS and SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and would still take the eye needles over sitting through a country ballroom dancing number.
It shouldn't matter whether you're writing about country ballroom dancing, disarming an atomic bomb or pulling off a complicated robbery. If you're not capable of painting a clear picture for the reader with words, you have FAILED as a writer.
On a different thread you declared you were not a screenwriter and don't intend to write more than one script. If you need a visual aid like dancers to get your point across, you were absolutely right.
I'm not going to jump into this one...
But as someone who was an indie production company reader for several years, no reader is going to watch a video. And I assume festival readers won't either. No one wants to extend their time on the job (you should see readers when they flip to the last page immediately upon being handed a script, see "120" and groan). I've seen videos and CDs being sent with scripts, but they usually aren't handed out. (Though I did get some great music for my iPod off a CD - thank you "High Moon" writer! Great tunes and your script was very well written by the way...)
Eric, How do you know you would take needles in your eyes when you havent ever seen a COUNTRY BALLROOM dance number before? IT was actually something I made up.
And...I have watched every single episode of both of those shows and I have never seen one on either show.....EVER. So I don't think you really have any idea what it is.
AND what it ISNT is Hollywoods idea of country western dancing. But also country western is very different than Country ballroom. I was never so horrified in my life when I saw Dancing with the stars interpretation of country western dance.
I mean possibly thats the way country western dancers in California dance but it certainly is not the way we COUNTRY dance.
Basically, COUNTRY BALLROOM is all the ballroom dances you see on THOSE shows. Waltz, cha cha, swing, tango, foxtrot, hustle, jive, rhumba, salsa mixed with.....all the different variations of 2-step which by the way there are several.
But its also a style difference. Instead of all the posing , which professional ballroom dancing does, ALLOT, its more fluid.
NOW, as far as my comment about not being a screenwriter. I think that I have worked really hard to try to write to the caliber of "a real screenwiter". What I meant by THAT comment was that people who write REAL DANCE musicals are not concidered REAL screen writers so IM at a disadvantage. Name me one Dance musical that has ever won one of these contests.
Now maybe thats because, like you, they dont think that much of dancing or.... maybe its because like I said before they have no idea what theyre reading so they automatically mark it down.
My script has 16 dance routines in it. Thats a dance routine every 5-6 pages. I hardly call THAT a PROP. ANYWAY, I hear what both of you are saying. You dont like dancing and you dont like dance musicals. And maybes thats how MOST screenwriters feel and MOST coverage readers and contest judges.
However, it seems to me that maybe you and they should learn how to like them and understand some music and dance terminology. Because it seems to me they are VERY POPULAR RIGHT NOW. HMMM who did better at the box office? MAMMA MIA and HIGHSCHOOL MUSICAL OR the READER and BENJAMIN BUTTON.
Props indeed. Dance haters!
OK, OK before you set me straight. Benjamin Button did do as well as
Highschool musical. They both made around 250M world wide.
But good grief Benjamin spent 150M to do it and High School Musical only spent WHAT? 33M!
I would say its pretty safe to say High school Musical 3 (a stupid little musical with allot of dance routines in it) did much much better.
And let me see the other two. Mamma Mia made 500m world wide and the Reader did what? 30m? And oh let me see MM only put 50m into theres and Reader put in 30m.
YEP. Definitely Mamma Mia (another studid little musical with allot of dance routines in it) hands down!
It's not that I dislike dance musicals, I just don't like bad ones. I know you made up this country ballroom style. That's where the eye needles come in.
My original point was, Janet, if you want to introduce something new to Hollywood, you better damn well be able to explain it clearly and in as few words as possible. Your country ballroom fruit salad sounds like one big clusterfuck. Why don't you call it SCHIZOPHRENIC BALLROOM instead?
Eric's right to a certain degree but he's wrong as well. First, a Mamma Mia was a musical. That includes singing. As well, Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers all sang.
I'm not saying you can't do a dance musical but your points of references were all musical which dancing was a part of, not the main attraction.
I'm not going to criticize your choice of genre but there are perception difference between a musical and a dance themed musical.
I mean, I have seen more than my share of musicals but I would be hesitant to see one that revolved around dancing.
But that is me and not meant to insult your work.
Thomas, there is a little singing in my
dance musical which the leading lady performs. And since the leading lady should be someone like Alicia Keyes, Rhianna, Cassie or Sierra (who are all
Singers and....dancers) it should be fine.
Eric, so its not dance musicals that you hate but bad ones, which you assume mine is because it has country ballroom dance in it . Which obviously you assume is country western. I think maybe Im starting to understand the reason for your dislike.
Could it be the dancers and not the dancing itself that you have a problem with? Say cowboys? Hah! If you read my script you'd see that there is contemporary ballet in almost every routine. I don't know any redneck cowboys that could do that, do you?
No, my dancers would definitely have to be ballroom AND contemparary ballet dancers decked in stetsons not vice versa. As a matter of fact, I named several of my cowboy characters in my script after (well known) Male contemparary ballet dancers that I had in mind for the parts. If DANCERS read my script they would know that.
My point is Eric you are PRE-judging something you shouldn't.
Eric, sorry man. I know what you're trying to get across, it's just coming out the wrong way for Janet.
Janet. You really need to take a deep breath and chill a moment.
Now, do you realize you have spoken your own magic words?
If dancers could read it? LOL They can read.
Why the heck aren't you trying to get dancers attached?
Why aren't you having them help get others involoved, maybe even their actor friends, their managers? Hey, they might even know some producers who love dance.
Why aren't you trying to get them to pitch in financially and produce it yourself?
And why the heck are you arguing over the musical merit when you've not told a soul what the story is behind the music and dance?
You don't have to justify your choice of concept to anyone. But you do have to be able to get them interested in your vision. Not brow-beaten. They have to be able to see your vision and love it to the point they are willing to spend years working on it with you.
Unlike a stage production or concert, film setup take a lot more time and a lot more dedication, from you and everyone else involved. Or it will fall apart before it's begun.
Focus on that.
If your script has what it takes, your professionalism in all matters will get it futher than you can imagine.
I wish you a world of luck.
Just one more thing.
Thomas, How about Step up 1 and 2 and Hairspray? They both did really well and they were pretty much exclusively dancing. I mean OK Hairspray had some singing but its about the same mix mine is.
And oh let me see. They are working on sequels for both of those, too.
I think (right now) singing and dancing musicals are both doing really well so it doesnt really matter which. I think you're right though the key for me too is wether or not the singing and dancing is good. Which by the way Im still apalled by the singing in Mamma Mia. They just happen to have ABBA to pull them.
I think there are probably allot of different factors that go into wether or not a musical works or not. And it seems to me the ones that are working right now are ones that somewhat different from the same old Urban Rap music and break dance/hip hop that we have seen (over and over) for the past 30 years.
So Im pretty safe on THAT front.
Orlanda, I am working on that and
I am chilled. I think you need to go back and read Erics post not mine. He's the one that's pre-judging and attacking, not me. He called dancers PROPS and let me see.....
And....the only point I can see that he's trying to make is that HE doesn't want to see any demonstrations at any festivals of Country Ballroom Dancing because he is SURE it is something he wouldn't like. I got it.
What kind of music do you usually have here?
CLAIRE Oh, we got both kinds. We got country AND western.
One of my favorite musicals of all time...
I'm not talking about dance movies or musical dance in general, Janet. Whan I mentioned bad ones, I was referring specifically to what I read of YOUR script on this site.
Perhaps if you spent more time learning how to be a more skilled screenwriter rather than dominating these boards and bulling talented writers like Jean Hunter, you wouldn't constantly complain how no one can see your vision.
I just saw that "musical" again recently and that scene with the chicken wire is still incredible!
Ok let me get this straight. I made a suggestion about something and out of the blue you come in and attack my idea, attack dancers, attack me as a writer.
AND IM THE BULLY DOMINATING THE BOARDS?
You simply made a suggestion? Not too objective, are ya, Janet? You assumed I don't know anything about dance but I do. You assumed I never watch shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing With The Stars" but I do. You accused Jean Hunter of not giving blacks a fair shake in her excellent script "Lady Jazz" without even reading it. I read it and it's not one bit racist. You've argued with me about the benefit a High Concept rather than an unmarketable concept like country ballroom dancing. You accused me of judging your work without reading it but I have.
You deny dominating these boards but after a close look at your massive number of posts since you joined this site just a little over six months ago, there's not debate about that either.
Frankly I could go on and on but that's your specialty.
Ok, so I talk allot. Personally, since according to Orlanda dancers can't even read, I thought that was kind of a plus.
But...I think you are mistaking debating and questioning for accusing and assuming. I don't recall ever saying that Jean didn't give blacks a fair shake in her script or that there was something racist about it.
If I recall correctly I was simply questioning something in her logline. As a matter of fact I believe that there should be racism in a black and white romance script. That the way it is, its real.
Although, once again I will apologize to Jean if I insulted your script in any way, I am sorry. That truly was not my intension I was simply curious. Im sorry.
Now Eric, resorting to personal attacks is really pathetic. You should really learn how to argue better. Oh let me see that might come in handy pitching your script.
Janet you seem to always want to take the discussion one step further. Now, it's the "pitch bitch-out."
Eric made the original point that as writers it is our job to hook the reader with our words. It is not our job to act as "talent scouts" and booking agents to book dancers into a film festival in order make a reader/film festival attendee understand what a particular script should describe.
As a reader and from a reader's point of view - the dancers don't matter, the dancing doesn't matter, the type of dancing doesn't matter. What matters is the writer's ability to make the reader engage in the story and the characters. That's it. Nothing more.
(HOWEVER, it might help to have a Lap Dancer doing her thing while I read the script.) :)
That's it. Writing. That's the only issue. Good Writing. Not talent booking. Not video montage. Not cut and paste a DVD from other movies and include it in a script just so the reader will understand what it is in the script that the writer is attempting to do.
You may feel free to bitch me out for asking for a lap dance while I read your script. Humor. Hello! It's a yoke.
Now, back to writing.
OK FINE! But what if someone asks me to to have some COUNTRY BALLROOM DANCERS perform at their festival? According to you guys Im suppose to say, NO? Yeah right!
Janet - Please go back to my post. You will see that I said "Dancers can read"
And what I meant by "chill" is for you to not take offense when someone doesn't see things the same as you do.
OK FINE! But what if someone asks me to to have some COUNTRY BALLROOM DANCERS perform at their festival?
Register here to receive MovieBytes' FREE email newsletter featuring contest deadline reminders, news, articles, and much more. Choose a password to access the MovieBytes bulletin board and other great features.