Slowly publishing the Faeries feature horror script a section at a time online.
FAERIES – the full release
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Faeries was an experiment in process, a personal challenge to complete a feature script from concept to completion in 12 weeks, and prove that we deserved the opportunity to deliver on a writing assignment. Did we make it? Read the writing blog – each day of the writing process was meticulously recorded. (Remember that the blog posts sort in reverse – so start at the bottom and work your way through ’em)
We finished the play, submitted it to 2009 Shriekfest, and were chosen as Finalists.
We’ve since had a half-dozen production companies request it… but we’ve also got a number of writer friends who wanted a peek. So we decided to release it a section at a time right here.
Lauren Bacall / Josh Hutcherson film gets a new lease on life
Last year I was fortunate to do a little work on a film for a friend. Brian Sharp is an amazing art director (taught me everything I know – about art direction) and hired me to build him some props for Carmel By The Sea, a feature being shot in a nearby town (Carmel By The Sea film blog here).
Turns out the flick starred some of the biggest names in Hollywood, both new and seasoned… Lauren Bacall, Alfred Molina, Josh Hutcherson, and Hayden Panattiere, to name a few. The film had a terrific crew and the footage looks amazing.
New Kickass superhero movie expands sub-genre of regular-guy superheroes
Dave Lizewski is an unnoticed high school student and comic book fan who one day decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no powers, training or meaningful reason to do so.
Lion’s Gate’s KICKASS is the latest entry to the burgeoning unsuperhero genre that I wrote about a few months back. What’s an ‘unsuperhero’? It’s a guy (or gal – er, woman) who takes on the mantle of superheroic responsibilities, with no actual superheroic powers.
It’s a sub-genre with a history, from early comers like John Ritter’s Hero at Large:
(aka: Percy Jackson: The Story Thief)
“Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” – a review about mismanaging story
*** NOTE: Spoilers galore. ***
I am not one of those “the movie is never as good as the book” guys. Ever read Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the source material for Blade Runner)? You couldn’t help but make a better movie than book, as the book is laughably bad. And Blade Runner is one of my all time favorite films.
And I’m not in love with Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief as a book. It’s engaging enough, and full of big ideas, but somewhat lacking in story structure.
So why am I so struck by the failure of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief the movie?
I think, the more I ruminate on it, it’s because the mistakes seem so rooted in fundamental story issues, and seem to favor the weaknesses of the book over its strengths.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE BOOK *** spoilers ***
Got an offer to option your screenplay? Here are eleven terms you should know when talking to your attorney.
[See PART I – 10 things to think about when optioning your screenplay]
Okay, so you’ve gotten an option offer, you’ve thought about the 10 things, and you still want to do it. Now it’s time to talk to your attorney, and make some decisions about the negotiation points. Your attorney is going to toss some notes back to you for consideration, and chances are these things are going to be included. (There’ll be lots more than this… from simple typos to wholesale rewrites. But these are the top contenders for “things I think you should know”.)
Ask your attorney to spend some time with you to explain what they mean in the context of your deal… but here’s my take, based on my experience.
DISCLAIMER: I shouldn’t have to say this, but: I Am Not A Lawyer, I am not offering legal advice, and none of the numbers used as examples here should be considered recommendations or as examples of my personal previous contracts (which are none of your beeswax 😉 ). They are provided as hypothetical examples only. Talk to your own attorney about your particular deal.
What does it mean to have your screenplay optioned?
A producer wants to option your script. Should you do it? What are the considerations? Here’s one guy’s opinion.
Part I of II [Click for Part II: Eleven More Things To Think About When Negotiating Your Screenplay Option]
Now that I’ve been through the option gauntlet a couple of times, I get asked about the experience and the process. It’s a little humbling, cuz I’m just a lucky guy with one indie sale and a few indie options, but I know how much I appreciate when I stumble across some good first-hand info, and figured it would be a good idea to share what I know. So I thought I’d gather my notes together here, in the hopes that it’ll prove useful to others. This is no substitute for having an attorney, mind you… more on that later. But I wish I’d had this list.
Where The Wild Things Are – a disappointing imbalance of dramatic and thematic intent.
I knew going in. I’d heard the reports, seen the reviews, and I knew.
“It’s awfully dark,” they’d say. “It’s not a kid’s movie.”
“But it’s a kid’s book,” I’d say. “It’s about a boy who imagines a land with friendly monsters. How can that not be for kids?”
But in my mind I thought maybe at least it would be an interesting adult take on a kid’s story. And it was a tossup between WTWTA and Jim Carrey’s new 3D Scrooge extravaganza from the people who brought you the robotic and unengaging Polar Express. So I opted for WTWTA.
Ah, but they were right. And I was wrong. And here’s why.
It’s official… Miss Julie Brown is attached to the Rocket Summer project in the role of Mercy!
Rocket Summer is great, I love it and would love to be in it!
– Julie Brown
Julie and I worked together a few years ago on the film Fat Rose and Squeaky (where I was Art Director), and I couldn’t be happier to have her involved with RS.
For those of you living under a rock:
The following is excerpted from my Paranormal Activity review… it’s a portion of the post that I find myself referring to and wanted the passage in its own post for reference.
THE LIMITATIONS OF AUTO-CHRONICLING
The “auto-chronicled narrative conceit” has its innate issues. It creates a single camera situation shooting in real time (Blair Witch circumvented this by having two cameras available, but didn’t really leverage it), with one character nearly always off screen, that does away with (or severely hampers) all the established film vocabulary tools… the wides, the two-shots, the over-the-shoulders, the singles, the cutaways, the inserts. All the film tricks that directors and editors use to subconsciously establish relationships between characters, to control tension and mood in dialogue exchanges, to communicate unspoken subtext, to control and structure our experience of the story into a narrative that works, are suddenly wildly restricted if not impossible to leverage.
Although our screenplay “Faeries” didn’t win at Shriekfest, we still got to see the judge’s notes… those kind folks who put so much time into reading all those screenplays. We’re feeling pretty good about what they had to say… A…