Tag Archives: screenwriting

my new job and why it made me disappear

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. A few folks have been asking where I’d disappeared to, so I figured I’d catch everyone up.

screenplay writingIn September of 2009 I took the first full-time job I’ve had since 2002. Well, that’s not entirely true… it’s the first full-time job working for someone else. See, back in 2002 I was working in the dot-com web development space, doing project and account management. Then everything went to hell (remember when web developers wore black turtlenecks and had cappuccino machines at their desks? Remember that? Yeah… good times… ) and I was unemployed. Prior to that I’d spent 17 years in the office products industry… ever seen “The Office”? I was Jim. I couldn’t bring myself to go back to that, so I sat on my couch for 7 months ruining a perfectly good credit score. Then, since no one would hire me, I decided to start my own web-development company – groupofpeople.com – with two other unemployed guys from my old job.

That worked out pretty well… we did a bunch of really good work for about 2 years, employed 12-16 contractors at any given time, and had a cool little office (no cappuccino machine though). I did all the business management, plus project management, usability audits and information architecture. Then my partners realized they didn’t want to be owners, they wanted to be employees – regular paychecks and no headaches, who could blame them – so they took off. I closed up the office and ran the company out of my house for a couple years, then closed it up completely to pay attention to my real passions… writing and art. Continue reading

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where the wild things are – review

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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. Continue reading

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Positive feedback on the Faeries script feels so good

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 lively, unusual slasher movie that delivers plenty of gore, and introduces a new set of monsters that could be worth a franchise.

I could see this as a movie… so many are hard to see actually made. This could be a fun little romp. 9 out of 10!

Clear and atmospheric writing that flows easily down the page. I enjoyed it. Definitely above average writers.

Thanks, amazing readers at Shriekfest! We appreciate your time, attention and obvious good taste!

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Faeries at Shriekfest Film Festival

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Shriekfest Screenplay Competition finalists include "Faeries" by Chip Street and Sean Meehan.

Let’s get the news out of the way right off the bat: Faeries did not bring home an award in the screenplay competition. But the good news is, the grapevine tells us that we were a very close runner up, and an unofficial judge ‘s favorite for commercial appeal and shootability. Moreover, we walked away with two producers interested in reading the script, and one well-respected studio reader itching to rep it to a few prodcos. So we’re still chuggin’ along.

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But we did make it to Hollywood for the Shriekfest Festival, and win or lose, what a gas! Founder and fest director Denise Gossett, her most excellent husband and a bevy of dedicated volunteers put on a really fun, intimate, quality fest on the grounds of Raleigh Studios. Denise is a certified Scream Queen in her own right whose next project, the horror comedy Crustacean, is already in post-production. Continue reading

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paying to pitch

There are lots of sites and services that charge writers or filmmakers for the opportunity to “pitch” their projects. And there are just as many filmmakers and writers who decry the practice as an outright scam focused on simply taking the money of starry-eyed newbies with no intention of ever really making their movie (see the recent Nehst Studios post).

Sometimes those same writers and filmmakers pay for pitch sessions as adjuncts to seminars, festivals and etc, like the Great American Pitchfest. Unknown writers put out hundreds of dollars, maybe a couple thousand when you include travel lodging and food, to go to the Pitchfest in LA. They get to pitch their unknown project(s) to a bunch of “producers”, some of whom are legit, some of whom possibly are not, none of whom have ever heard of said writer, or have ever shown any interest in his work. They only agree to hear his pitch because he PAID. And many such writers seem to think this is a great opportunity, completely legitimate, money well spent, an investment in their careers, etc.

I still don’t understand why some folks insist that a Pitchfest makes sense, but when ONE producer or website makes the same offer, it’s a scam. It may be a scam, if that particular producer is a thief. But why is it by definition a “scam”, when a Pitchfest is a legitimate “opportunity”?

I’d love to hear examples and experiences about Pitchfest-esque events, individual producers/agents/managers who charge for pitch sessions, and online sites that charge to connect you with pitching opportunities.

And I’ll be writing a comparative blog soon on sites like VirtualPitchFest.com, GreenWriter.org, InkTip.com and ScriptStork.com, who charge (or not) to host your projects in the hopes of connecting you with a legitimate producer.

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