How social media (almost) ruined my screenwriting career

facebook logoOr “Why Social Media is like a bad tattoo”.

Okay, that’s hyperbole. But I relearned a lesson recently.

If you’re a budding screenwriter, an indie filmmaker, an aspiring or established anything, social media should oughtta be part of your life. It’s where we make professional connections, build our brand, spread the word and mebbe, just mebbe, start careers.

Are you doing it right?

First, a related story.

Last month, we were interviewing for someone to manage our online marketing. We had one excellent prospect, who interviewed well. He had worked in online marketing for a large name corporation, but had spent the past 18 months doing other things. Understandable. The past 18 months have been tough on everyone. But he was ready to get back into the game.

After the interview, and while contemplating the next round, we did a little Googling. Of course we found his Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a blog. In the bio section of the blog was this: Continue reading

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Black Swan – mini review

Saw Black Swan tonight. It was everything I wanted it to be… almost. Intense, dark, sexy, twisted. I enjoyed it, but in the end I was a little bit “that’s it?”.

Black SwanWhy?

Story. Again. Sure, all the parts are there, but the whole wasn’t greater than their sum. I’m not sure the characters did anything they didn’t need to do to move the simple core of the story forward. The universe, and the lives of the characters, didn’t seem to be any bigger than the frame of the film.

Was I guessing at what was real and what was not? Yup. But did the truth turn out to be anything utterly unexpected, anything other than either the simple A or B the trope sets up? Not really.

Glad I saw it. I’d rather see films like this than unimaginative remakes that take no chances. That’s why I like Aronofsky.

But ooh, so close! Missed it by that much!

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Film Binder – Indie Film Distribution Service

FilmBinder film distributionThought I’d share. Stumbled across another Indie film distribution channel: Rent or stream your films with FilmBinder. It’s nonexclusive, you keep your rights. Sounds like a pretty good deal… let me know if you’ve got any experience with them.

Writing screenplay description with personal style

Finding your descriptive voice in screenwriting

Screenplays aren’t Literature.

screenplays aren't literatureIf there’s one core screenwriting truth you’re supposed to learn as soon as possible, that’s it. All the stuff that made your fiction writing awesome, all the flowery language, the detailed descriptions,¬†and lengthy internal dialogues are anathema to the script. That two page treatise on your protagonists 1970’s wardrobe and its roots in a painful high school career fraught with bullying and inattentive parents?¬†Fuggedaboudit. What got you gold stars in creative writing will get you tossed at page one by an intern at insertprodcohere.

In screenwriting, the industry tells us, your descriptive passages must remain simple, clear, minimalist. Describe ONLY what the viewer might see (with a few exceptions) and eschew Literary flourish (as well as directorial specifics – but that’s another discussion).

Play a little telephone

I often tell people: Imagine you’re watching an awesome movie (your movie is awesome, right?), and you’re on the phone with a friend. You’re describing to them what’s happening, while it happens. In fact, try it. Turn on the TV, call a friend, and see how it feels to really try to keep the story moving real time… 1 minute per page, 90 pages for 90 minutes.

Here’s what happens when you insist on being Literary on the phone: Continue reading

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Scream Queens returns to VH1

WooHoo!

Scream Queens returns to the air for season 2 on VH1. All the awesomeness of Project Runway meets Project Greenlight with twice the blood!

Oh, and for one of the most accessible and invaluable blogs on the process of making TV and movies, you must check out the producers’ blog: JokeandBiagio.com.

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