Jeanne’s Tuesday Screenwriting Tips: Outlining a Script
Source: @scriptmag @jeannevb
#screenwriting #film #story
“To outline or not to outline a script? That is the eternal question for writers. At least it is for some, but not for me. (Well, maybe the real eternal question is how do I get paid to write, but we’ll leave that for another day.) Because I am the kind of chick who needs a plan, outlines are always the foundations of my projects, especially when working with a writing partner.
You can find plot development tips in many places, but implementing them is another story. The first step is to breathe. You are not alone. Many writers struggle with starting projects, myself included. So let’s explore some options in hopes you’ll find one that works best for you.
First off, there’s no one way to outline. Some writers jot notes on bar napkins or use index cards while others prefer a more techy approach of using software, like Truby’s Blockbuster 6.0 or Save the Cat! It all depends on what gets you excited. As you already know, you will not sit in that seat and write unless you’re having fun doing it.
I’ve tried many ways of outlining, finally formulating a spreadsheet by merging several techniques together in what I call my Structure Grid of Character and Plot Development (I’ve shared this with our readers as one of our many free screenwriting downloads). But spreadsheets aren’t always “fun” for writers.
One of my screenwriting friends uses the first chapter of Pilar Alessandra’s The Coffee Break Screenwriter: Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time to help her outline her scripts. For all of us who have day jobs, writing in 10-minute chucks sounds amazing! I’m definitely going to try…..”
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Finalists, December/January, 2014
#TLLjournal || #december #january || #finalists || #loglines
The prize-winning, top six loglines are listed in order. The remaining finalists are listed in no particular order.
Genre: Historical Drama
Logline: When an anxious wife decides she can no longer stay at home in the stifling indentured life of a woman in the 1860’s, she dons a soldier uniform, hides her identity from the rest of society, and searches for equality fighting alongside her husband who has just enlisted in the Civil War.
Screenplay title: Frances
Written by: Dina Payne
WGA Registration Number: 1690238
Genre: Comedy Thriller
Logline: When four disabled people discover a dishonest social worker has taken a bribe to force them from their house, they frame him for the unlikely heist they must commit to save their home.
Screenplay title: ThisAbility
-Finalist / All Access Screenwriting Competition for feature Senior Moments
-Semi-Finalist / Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards for feature Getting Betta
-Semi-Finalist / Write Movies Screenwriting Competition for feature Cure for Love
Written by: Don Fried & Mike Fuhrmann
WGA Registration Number: 1-1169330891
Genre: Sci-fi, Action
Logline: The year is 2045. Vikram Rao, creator of Infinilife, a technology that allows for immortality, discovers himself in the body of a homeless man just as an imposter takes control of his company. Along with Elena, his newly hired head of security, Vik must uncover the mysterious forces working against him while evading attack by a group of seemingly unkillable assassins.
Screenplay title: The End of Death
Written by: Alfonso Guerrero
WGA Registration Number: 1683712
Logline: Still reeling from the premature death of their first born, a desperate couple make an agreement with a miracle-working doctor to help conceive, only to learn his power comes from a group of murderous black-eyed kids who will stop at nothing to “collect” on their dues.
Screenplay title: The Collectors
Quarter-Finalist / ScreamCraft Horror Script Contest 2013
Written by: Justin Bamforth
WGA Registration Number: 1614647
Logline: Upon return home with her newborn son, a young mother finds that her child’s father left her and took all her possessions with him. Bitter and disillusioned, she swears to raise her son to be the murderer of his father. She succeeds beyond her expectations.
Screenplay title: To Raise a Murderer
Written by: Svetlana Lockwood
WGA Registration Number: 1702085
Logline: “Downton Abbey” goes Grand Guignol. A camel mysteriously appears on the doorstep of a vicar and his wife, and dramatically changes their lives, causing misery and terror for rich and poor in their small English village.
Screenplay title: Beast at the Door
-1st Place, Fade In Awards (Noir Category) for BLIND TURN
-Finalist, Table Read My Screenplay - Screenplay Contest for “DECEIT: The True Story of the Amorous Landlady”
-Semi-Finalist, Fade In Awards and Scriptapalooza Screenwriting Competition for WINDFALL!
Written by: Bob Canning
WGA Registration Number: 1562092
Logline: After being stranded on a deserted highway during a treacherous snow storm, an unsuspecting family becomes terrorized by a man seeking revenge. In a race against time, the town sheriff, must stop him before the family pays the ultimate price for mistakes made in the past.
Screenplay title: Snow Advisory
-Finalist/ Colorado Film Festival
-Finalist/ Filmmakers International Screen writing awards
Written by: Lisa Beuk
WGA Registration Number: 1237234
Logline: Years after his wife’s death, a Philosophy professor re-encounters someone very like her among his students, coming face to face with the very dilemma he teaches: what if?
Screenplay title: Anam Cara
Written by: Calla Parmly
WGA Registration Number: 1674438
Genre: Suspense, Comedy
Logline: After stumbling upon a brutal murder, a bungling burglar with a weak stomach is determined to find the killer for the sake of the cat and dog left behind.
Screenplay title: For the Love of P&D
Written by: Youlanda Brewster
WGA Registration Number: 1699495
Logline: It’s evil versus evil when a group of convicts are sent to an abandoned prison where they are hunted by three psychotic inmates, but the game is turned on its head when the teenage daughter of one of the convicts comes to break him out.
Screenplay title: Hell’s Prison
-3rd Place/2010 The-Greenlight.com - 2nd Annual Contest - REMATCH
-Finalist/2013 Writemovies 31st - REMATCH
-Finalist/2013 Action On Film – Written Word Competition – SIRENS VENDETTA
Written by: Antoine Mizel
WGA Registration Number: 1362232
Logline: Torn between his religious beliefs and the thrill of gambling, a brilliant inventor and Baptist family-man, desperate to break out of his dead-end job, invents the world’s first personal computer and uses it to take on the blackjack tables in Vegas.
Screenplay title: David vs. Vegas
-First Place Winner, TVME Contest - “ Gate’s Flying Circus”
-Quarter-finalist, Nicholl Fellowship – “ Victoria’s Gold “
-Semi-finalist, American Accolades – “One Shot at Glory”
Written by: Dennis DeBon
WGA Registration Number: 1249239
Logline: A young blonde “go-getter”, raised in a typical black family finds you don’t have to give up love and music just to make it in the corporate world, and that sometimes lies become the most delicious truths. Lesson courtesy of a sexy young homeless sax player. (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL for adults.)
Screenplay title: The Joy of Life
Written by: Youlanda Brewster
WGA Registration Number: 1699497
Logline: As an assassination plot unfolds against a rising African American presidential candidate, he must make a decision to carry on his family legacy of breaking down barriers or submit to the pressures engulfing his life.
Screenplay title: Houses on the Rock
-Semi-Finalist/Write Reality TV Show Idea, for the reality show, “I’ve Got to Tell You”
-Finalist/Scriptapalozza, for the reality show, “I’ve Got to Tell You”
Written by: Kenneth Masler & Daniel Mahoney
WGA Registration Number: I259988
Logline: A young fashion designer must overcome her crippling social anxiety as she gains access to New York’s elite through her long lost aunt.
Screenplay title: The Mean Reds
Written by: Liri Navon
WGA Registration Number: 1681790
Logline: Using lucid dream techniques, a promising musician investigates his haunting visions and dreams while trying to maintain reality with his wife and son.
Screenplay title: Lament
Written by: Mitch Flores
WGA Registration Number: 166606
Logline: A middle age man falls for the descendent of a Greek Goddess who causes him to get younger.
Screenplay title: 25/50
Written by: Alan S. Ferguson
WGA Registration Number: Copyright PAu 3-681-013
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Six Second Screenwriting Advice and Why All Screenwriting Books are a Con
Source: @indiewire @briankoppelman
#screenwriting #film #story
"A few months back, I started making Vines. I called them Six Second Screenwriting Lessons. The name meant to be ironic, of course, a statement on the absurdity of anyone teaching anyone else to write a screenplay, a way of calling out the screenwriting gurus who make money by sharing the ‘secrets’ of the trade with anyone willing to pony up a few (or a ton) of bucks. The way I felt then is the way I feel now: all anyone in a creative field can do for anyone else is to be an example, to encourage, to be honest about the challenges and rewards of attempting the same path.
I’m glad that some of you have gotten something of value out of these messages. To those who have gotten in touch with me to say that they are writing again after a long hiatus or finally finishing that screenplay, I want you to know that I’m thrilled for you. And I hope 2014 brings you even more accomplishment…
Now that 2013 has come to a close, I want to revisit two of the most controversial Vines.
On the first Six Second Screenwriting Lesson, I said, “All screenwriting books are bullshit. All. Watch movies. Read screenplays. Let them be your guide. And then on the fourth one, I said, “The so-called screenwriting guru is really the so-called screenwriting con man. Don’t listen to them, if you don’t know their movies.”
Since then, I have been asked many times, “Do you really mean all screenwriting books? Aren’t there any of any value?” And, “Are you including Robert McKee in those statements?”
There’s a safe way to answer those questions, and it’s an answer I’ve given, “I haven’t read every book. There are parts of McKee’s book that are interesting. Some screenwriters I respect, including Billy Ray and Akiva Goldsman have told me that they’ve gotten a lot out of McKee’s course…”
But if I am being honest, my real answer is that I fully believe what I said in the Vines.
Yes, McKee has been able to break down how the popular screenplay has worked. He has identified key qualities that many commercially successful screenplays share, he has codified a language that has been adopted by creative executives in both film and television. So there might be something of tangible value to be gained by interacting with his material, either in book form or at one of the seminars.
But for someone who wants to be an artist, a creator, an architect of an original vision, the best book to read on screenwriting is……”
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Is Hollywood’s blockbuster model broken?
#screenwriting #film #story
"It may have lacked a generation-defining event movie like 1977’s Star Wars, or even a technological groundbreaker like 2009’s Avatar, but 2013 was still the year of the Hollywood blockbuster.
This year, 26 films costing more than $100m (£61m) each were released by the major Hollywood studios - more than ever before. They are likely to have raked in tens of billions of dollars in worldwide box office revenues as a result - close to the record $35bn (£21.5bn) delivered in 2012.
Some of the films did badly. The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp, barely made back the $250m it cost to make. But the hits outweighed the flops: Iron Man 3 took $1.2bn in box office receipts around the world, topping the charts and making it the fifth highest-grossing film of all time.
But despite the runaway successes, there are concerns within Tinseltown that blockbuster budgets are getting dangerously high.
"There’s eventually going to be an implosion, or a big meltdown," said Hollywood elder statesman Steven Spielberg in a speech earlier this year. "Three or four or maybe even a half dozen mega-budget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that’s going to change the paradigm."
Steven Spielberg has warned of an “implosion” in Hollywood
It has happened before. In 1980, Heaven’s Gate effectively bankrupted United Artists. The budget for the sprawling Western got out of control, the film bombed, and the studio was forced into a takeover by MGM.
The irony is that Spielberg almost singlehandedly invented the blockbuster genre. When his film Jaws was released in 1975, Hollywood realised that making a few big-budget films a year that appealed to the masses was more lucrative than making dozens of smaller ones, and a business model was born. Since then budgets have soared and artistic merit has taken a back seat.
Hollywood watchers say it’s a statistical certainty that another bomb to rival Heaven’s Gate, or even 1995’s Waterworld, is around…..”
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WGA West & Scribe Sued For Fraud By Nu Image/Millennium Over ‘Expendables’ Credit
"There might be one less name on the credits for The Expendables 3 if Millennium Films and Nu Image get their way. The producers have taken the Writers Guild of America West and scribe David Callaham to court this week for fraud, unjust enrichment and declaratory relief over the original Expendables. They claim a flawed and misinformed 2009 Guild arbitration gave the writer undeserved credit on the successful Sylvester Stallone-directed 2010 retro action pic as well as its sequels. To that end the plaintiffs want back the $102,250 that was paid to Callaham for as a “writing credit bonus” after the WGA arbitration went his way four years ago. In their demand for a jury trial and unspecified damages plus legal fees (read it here), they also want any sequel payments nixed and the court to rule that Callaham committed fraud by withholding vital correspondence from the WGA that revealed his true and much more limited role in The Expendables script. They also want the 2009 WGA ruling partially reversed and the Guild to “discipline” UTA-repped Callaham for not revealing emails in which he seemingly indicates his lesser involvement in the Expendables script.
“Plaintiffs are informed and believe that Callaham intentionally withheld these material emails, and concealed the limited extent of his contributions to The Expendables from the WGA screen writing credit arbitration panel in 2009 and instead continued to assert before the arbitral tribunal his patently false assertion that he was entitled to sole ‘Written By’ credit for The Expendables,” claims the 17-page complaint filed Monday in LA Superior Court.
According the filing, the alleged misrepresentation at the 2009 arbitration only recently came to light after Callaham made move earlier this year for sequel payments, which is why Nu Image and Millennium are pursuing this action now. That and the fact that with Expendables 3 set to be released on August 15, 2014 they don’t want to have…..”
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