#screenwriting #TV #writing
"The story so far:
Amazon.Com has decided to get into the online streaming TV series cuz, you know, they’ve been having a good year and want to find a new way to lose money. Professional TV production just bleeds $$$, but it appears that this most popular of shopping sites just can’t keep itself from creating more loss leaders. (Like all those Kindle variations, dig?)
We’ve written before about Amazon Studios and its call for submissions from new creators, and even talked a little bit about some projects Amazon has bought. The latest announcement (via AllThingsD.Com)is that the following sitcoms are the company’s favorites:
- Alpha House, about “four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC.” Written by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, who also made the vastly underappreciated “Tanner ’88” for HBO.
- Browsers, “a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website,” from former “The Daily Show” head writer David Javerbaum.
- Dark Minions, an animated series “about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck working an intergalactic warship,” from “Big Bang Theory” co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie.
- The Onion Presents: The News, “set behind the scenes of The Onion News Network.”
- Supanatural, an animated series about “two outspoken divas who are humanity’s last line of defense against the supernatural”; one of the producers is “The Daily Show” star Kristen Schaal.
- Those Who Can’t, “about three juvenile, misfit teachers,” written by three guys Amazon found via its open call for submissions.
What makes Amazon Studios’ creative process fun…….”
#screenwriting #film #story
"THE HOBBIT was disappointing. It had all the spectacle you could possibly want. It had a quest, and evil, battles, a wizard, and a decent, ordinary man caught up in the middle.
It left us unmoved. It’s a bad sign when you see a movie in the middle of the day and, at six, you’re thinking, “Boy, I’d really like to see a movie.”
I feel that its tone does not match its story. The book is a light entertainment. It has lots of humor. There is never any really strong reason why Bilbo Baggins needs to go on an adventure, but he does, and many surprising and amusing things happen to him.
The tone Peter Jackson takes in THE HOBBIT is the epic tone of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. But that worked for LOTR. That was about a decent man who, very much against his will, undertakes a terrifying journey, because the fate of the world hangs on it, and he is the only one who can do it. (All, right, and his handyman.)
Bilbo does not need to go on an adventure in THE HOBBIT, and the only thing that hangs in the balance is whether some amusing dwarves will get their……”
#screenwriting #film #contest
“Geoffrey Fletcher’s exemplary writing for the 2009 drama “Precious” scored him an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, making him the first African-American screenwriter to win in that category.
And now in an effort to help spark the imaginations of aspiring filmmakers, Fletcher recently launced with the Tribeca Film Festival and Bombay Sapphire the Imagination Series filmmakers competition.
Beginning May 8 filmmakers around the world will have the chance to submit their very own short film based on a short screenplay written by Fletcher.
“We’re looking for inspiration and passion above all,” Fletcher told The Huffington Post.
"Spending a lot of money [on a production] never guaranteed any inspiration from the heart on any project,” he added. "We really want to make it known that the greatest investment in this piece should be oneself."
"At the end of the day that’s what resonates and inspires any audience," Fletcher said.
Five winning entries will be chosen by Fletcher and the Tribeca Film Festival, with the five filmmakers going on to direct and produce their own films; these will debut at an international movie premiere in 2013.
A Harvard graduate, Fletcher aims to inspire participants to become more creative in their everyday lives as well to encourage risk taking on projects.
"I would like to see studios take chances," Fletcher said. "We had so many great films from the 1970s because of that spirit, but I also realize that the stakes are very high today."
"It takes a lot of money to put a film out. And there are fears and pressures, certainly. But it would be great to operate as much or more from a place of desire," Fletcher said.
"There is so much talent out there and not quite as much opportunity. So hopefully we’ll find some fantastic new voices and at the same time we’re excited about people involving more creativity in their everyday lives. And perhaps they’ll make more films or approach their work differently or inspire someone else to create and imagine.”
Find out more information about the film competition, at this website.”
Why You Should Enjoy Script Spankings
by Amy Rhinehart Bailey
You don’t have to pay leather-clad, whip-carrying women who spank people for money in order to get the thorough beating that you and your latest screenplay deserve.
But, you ask, where can I get worthwhile input and vigorous discipline? I’m not going to lie to you, this is what we in the South call a “booger” of a problem, but I’m going to try and help you sneeze it out as best I can.
On April 1st of 2011, the Muse, who is usually doing ballet or break-dancing on my forehead, forgot to take her Prozac. Then with a sadistic giggle, she tip-toed into my ear -and in a moment of psychotic enthusiasm - whispered that I should write a screenplay.
So, naive to all that lay before me, I read about 20 how-to screenwriting books as well as between 50 and 60 awesome movie scripts (available on the Web) and decided to give it a shot.
I challenged myself to a double-pinky-dare and seeing a deadline of an upcoming script contest, I decided to crank one out over Memorial Day weekend. Just to see if I actually could.
Well I somehow stuck everything I ever read or wrote into a mental blender and in three and a half days — I whipped that baby out and sent her off to be judged.
About a week or so later, I was innocently eating a spicy tuna roll at the sushi bar when my smart phone received an email scorecard from the contest.
I was ecstatic. Not only did I get 7s and 8s when I was hoping for 4s; after going over the fairly detailed notes, I could tell the reader had not only really really read my script, I’d be dad- gum if she didn’t understand my plot better than I did.
She also gave me constructive formatting criticism as well as ideas on pacing and character development. Yes even these little slaps on the hand were hard to accept at first. But I took them to heart none-the-less. And I was encouraged.
Sadly, my further quests for input on this script with contests and script consultants did not have happy endings. Most were little more than scanner readers (often of only the first ten pages) with hurried, shallow input and accompanied by a freakishly inaccurate synopsis.
Not to be thwarted, next I decided to take my time and I spent between two and three weeks writing the first draft of a script based on my published humor book.
Okay, this is where I have to stop and say that I am not trying to psyche out the majority of screenwriters who are spending two or three years writing a script that is beautiful, personal, and meaningful.
Thomas Harris spent ten years writing “Silence of the Lambs” and I’m not worthy to swab Tea Tree Oil on his toenail fungus.
I’m hyper (as in I don’t need caffeine, I “am” caffeine), I’m a journalist, and an advertising copywriter. Therefore I’ve been brain-washed and traumatized into doing all my creating in a big dang hurry.
And dollars-to-donuts, compared to your scripts, mine have the depth of a very shallow mud puddle.
Anyway … I finished my Romantic Comedy and read articles and surfed the Internet. And I found that what I was calling an editor, the film industry calls a “script coach.” These are not to be confused with book doctors and you need to be very very very careful choosing one.
A real script coach:
1) gives you input and editing advice but doesn’t write your script for you.
2) has at least eight years of specific (not general) industry experience - as in ten years working for Paramount in script acquisitions
3) will have you compose not just two or three story arcs, but make you grind out ten to twenty story arcs (or plot threads)
4) will write copious page by page notes on your script from everything from formatting issues to notations like “this just doesn’t work” or “this needs distilling”
5) will have minimal one hour phone sessions with you where you will feel like a freight train has been run through your brain
6) will charge anywhere from $200 to $1000 (depending on how you set up your edits and phone sessions) and will be darn well worth it
In a nutshell, these guys and gals are the real McCoy and they can save you years of banging your head against the wall.
But if you are ultra sensitive and can’t take a personal, creative script spanking- because your baby is just way too precious to you - then just chill and keep going at your own pace.
On the other hand, if you are willing to endure and embrace the pain, then you’ll end up a masochist like me - and start really, really enjoying it.
Check out Amy’s script website at: www.fishgutting.com
#screenwriting #television #writer
“hows change over time and characters evolve. This generally begins happening when the original showrunners either leave to pursue other opportunities or back off their day-to-day involvement. New writers come on and although they try to be faithful to the series, elements of their sensibilities begin to seep in. It’s only natural. And by the way, sometimes this can be a good thing. Occasionally show improve as a result of the new blood. Many DR. WHO fans feel that way about Steven Moffat’s arrival to that series.
My writing partner, David Isaacs and I once found ourselves in a quandary about how to write FRASIER.
We had been writing the Frasier Crane character since he first joined CHEERS in the third season. We continued to write him for the first few years of his own show. Then we went off to do ALMOST PERFECT for two years.
When that show was unceremoniously dumped by CBS we were invited back on FRASIER. By then Casey, Lee & Angell were less involved than the first few years. Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan were essentially …..”