Source: @scriptmag @jeannevb
"Always on the hunt for writers taking control of their own destiny, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Guinevere Turner writer of American Psycho, The Notorious Bettie Page, and now a full-on indie filmmaker with a new project at hand. Once I watched her IndieGoGo video, complete with puppets doing drugs, I was hooked.
Let’s dive in and see what makes Guinevere Turner tick…
JVB: What’s your current project about?
GT: My current project, Creeps, is about two best friends, a gay man and a lesbian, and a week that they spend trying to stay sober. (They like their drugs and alcohol). Really it’s kind of about the way we create family in our LGBT culture. It’s about a whole kind of alternative family group of friends and their lives in a week.
JVB: After writing films like American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page, what inspired you to go indie?
GT: Ha that’s a hilarious question. They are indie to me! They were both extremely challenging to raise money for. A movie with the word “Psycho” in the title, that isn’t really a horror film at all, and a movie with one of the sexiest women of the century that is more of an intimate character piece. Not easy to sell. But what’s making me go DEEP indie now is a.) That is where my filmmaking instincts started (Go Fish), b.) My movie Creeps is also a hard sell (LGBT functional addicts who aren’t that nice), and c.) The whole crowdfunding option intrigued me and appeals to my thrill-seeking, risk-taking side. So why not go for it? If not now, when?!
JVB: Having co-written Creeps and other scripts, what’s your process working with a co-writer?
GT: It depends on who it is. I personally really like to be in the same room (I loathe talking on the phone anyway), and I like for there to be only one computer that gets passed back and forth. I know some collaborators pick scenes and go off and write them separately, but that doesn’t work for me. It’s about the conversation in the room, and brainstorming. And who types…..”
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#screenwriting #film #story
"As the comics world knows, writer Peter David recently had a stroke. I’ve known Peter for a long time and I both respect and often envy his talent, skill and the breadth of his work. Peter has health insurance but there are plenty of bills that just won’t get covered and, as pointed out here on ComicMix, fans who want to show financial support can do so by purchasing his work at Crazy 8 Press. That’s incredibly easy; not only do your help Peter and his family but will probably get a damn fine read out of it at the same time. Like I said, Peter is a very talented writer.
Peter’s better prepared (as far as anyone can be prepared for something like this) than many in the field; he has health insurance and most other freelancers – including myself – don’t. It’s hard to get, and harder to afford, health insurance when you’re a freelancer. By it’s very nature, a freelancer’s life is precarious.
Take for example, job security. There isn’t any. Beyond your current contract (ifyou have one), there’s no guarantee you’ll have a job when it ends. You may be on a title for a long time, but that always ends. I had a “continuity contract” at one time with DC which guaranteed me so much work (and health insurance) within a given time frame, but that is long since gone. I don’t know if it’s offered any more. It was difficult for me to get a mortgage back when I bought my house (which I no longer own) and I dare say it’s tougher now if you’re a freelancer.
When you’re a freelancer, you only get paid for the work you actually do. There’s no sick pay, there’s no paid holidays, there’s no paid vacation. You sometimes get royalties ( or “participation” or whatever term a given company chooses to call it) and that’s nice. Amanda Waller’s “participation” in the Green Lantern movie sent me some nice bucks that were sorely needed at the time but that’s like finding an extra twenty in your jeans that you forgot you had. You never know when it’s coming and you can’t rely on…”
#screenwriting #writer #fiction
"Every teenage boy’s wildest fantasy becomes his worst nightmare in this provocative erotic thriller debut novel from one of Hollywood’s masters of suspense. SST Publications announced today the worldwide publication in trade hardcover, trade paperback and eBook of famed motion picture screenwriter and director Eric Red’s first novel, the dark coming-of-age story about teenagers, Don’t Stand So Close. The official release date is July 1st 2012.
Publisher Paul Fry says: “From the very first time I read Don’t Stand So Close I was hooked. It’s excellently written, erotic, exciting and compelling. The book draws you in and doesn’t let you go until the very end. Eric Red’s writing is very descriptive and atmospheric, and once the book has you in its grip, it’s very hard to let go.”
Plot Summary: When handsome 17-year-old Matt Poe moves to a rural town in Iowa, he is the new kid in school. An outsider who can’t fit in, his only friend is his beautiful and sympathetic teacher, Linda Hayden. The older woman is the first to take an interest in him, helping him adjust to the community and keep his grades up. Matt can’t help falling hard for Linda and what begins with a kiss becomes a torrid, secret affair. But his teacher is a lot more than he bargained for and the kid’s wildest dream becomes his worst nightmare. The only people who can save Matt are his two classmates, Grace McCormack and Rusty Shaw. But the three of them are in way over their heads against an evil adult trying to make sure they stay after class permanently.
About The Author: Eric Red is a Los Angeles based motion picture screenwriter and director whose films include The Hitcher, Near Dark, Cohen and Tate, Body Parts, Bad Moon and 100 Feet. He has had short fiction published in Weird Tales, Shroud, and Dark Delicacies III: Haunted. He was also the creator & writer of the graphic novel Containment for IDW Publishing. Don’t Stand So Close is his first novel.”
#screenwriting #film #screenplay
"It’s been wisely coined nobody ever endeavors to make a bad movie. It’s also been said as much or more effort goes into making a bad movie as does a good movie. Not long ago, I wrote a screen adaptation of Carsten Stroud’s novel Black Water Transit. To this day it remains one of the best screenplays I’ve ever written. In Hollywood-development-speak, it’s a sort of Traffic meets Crash. Despite the heat on the script, because of its dark crime genre, it seemed destined for independent financing. The studio put the project in turnaround (movie parlance for when they allow the producers to shop it to other buyers). The property eventually landed at an indie company with big money backing.
A side note. Most business people in the indie world are obsessed with the title of producer. The sound of calling oneself a producer is probably easier on the ears of the actress he’s trying to bed. Despite serving no actual producer function on a picture, since they control a portion of the cash, a particular tax break, or represent a foreign territory with funding guarantees, a producer credit is their exalted expectation. In motion picture history never had so many who contributed so little demanded credit equal to that of the movie’s actual producer.
Back to subject du jour. Before we’d rolled a foot of film on Black Water Transit, a picture property that started with only one producer, we were already over-bloated with eight producers. And we weren’t finished yet.
Fast forward through two years, a freight train of cast changes, a super-hot commercial-shooter-slash first-time-movie-director, the shifting of filming locales from New York to Los Angeles back to New York and finally to New Orleans, the bankruptcy of the indie-company, the addition of even more damned producers, and last but not least, my eventual dismissal as sole writer. But hell. At that point? Why not sack the writer? The big-shot commercial director’s ego needed some semi-plausible denial for his constant casting snafus. Truthfully? I wasn’t that unhappy to hit the exit. I’d grown annoyed with the late night conversations, placating the insecure boob with crap dialogue like “Oh, no. It’s not you. You’re awesome. You’re gonna direct a great movie.”
Three months later I get a phone call from Black Water Transit producer number… I forget. Was it fifteen?
“Remember me?” he asked seconds after he repeated his name.
“Of course I remember.” My tone was polite. But I recalled this guy too well from my last movie. He worked for the company financing the picture. His title of “Executive in Charge of Production” was astonishing to many on the picture because of his considerable lack of production knowledge. Go figure.
As the new-and-improved producer of Black Water Transit, he explained the following: that the financing honchos behind the defunct indie company had decided to take over the production chores. That they were nine million in the hole without having shot a frame of film. Oh. And they’d just fired the hot-shot commercial director eight weeks shy of the start of principal photography and the entire crew was in New Orleans, awaiting new marching orders.
“Please come back on board,” the producer pleaded. “We’re going back to your original script. We just need to get you and our new director on the same page.
You’ve heard of music to a writer’s ears? This was an Italian aria piped-in from heaven. Writers never, ever get this good of news. Maybe this……..”
#screenwriting #television #writing
A script doctor is like a baseball player who comes in at the last minute and saves the game. If a movie’s in trouble, a really talented writer can spot what’s wrong with the script, rewrite it, and make the film a winner instead of a loser.
There have been many script doctors in Hollywood history, and Tom Mankiewicz did major rewrites on a number of films. His work on Superman I and II was substantial, and he also wrote the 70’s James Bond films Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun - and worked on both The Spy Who Loved Me as well as Moonraker.
He also created the hit TV show Hart to Hart, and did uncredited re-write work on The Deep, WarGames, Gremlins, among many other films. Plus, Mankiewicz wrote the first script for the 80’s big screen Batman, which was a obviously far different movie than the one that finally hit theaters in 1989.
Tom came from a long respected Hollywood dynasty - his father wrote and directed All About Eve, while his Uncle Herman penned Citizen Kane. Knowing this was quite a lot to live up to, Tom went his own way as a scribe, writing big budget Hollywood entertainment, and like his relatives, was very successful at it. Sadly, Tom passed away in 2010, but his autobiography is slated to hit store shelves on May 28 via The University Press of Kentucky.
As the Amazon entry for the book tells us, My Life as a Mankiewicz recounts Tom’s life and career, where he would spend his summers on his father’s film sets, how he had his first drink with Bogart, ate dinner with Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, and of course became a successful Hollywood scribe and one of a long line of talented Mankiewicz men.
If you love comic book films, you definitely owe a debt to Tom, whose writing on the Superman films treated the characters with realism, wit and respect. Mankiewicz told me he didn’t do the campy approach of the Batman TV show because you couldn’t keep camp up in the air for two hours, and the first two Superman films set a benchmark that stood for many years.
Having met and interviewed Tom back in my days as a contributor for Creative Screenwriting, I’m really looking forward to reading his life story, and his behind the scenes memories of writing for Superman, Batman and Bond.”