Recipe for a science fiction movie Take 11 lines of dialogue and 3 core concepts from Independence Day. Add the squids from The Matrix. Fold in some War Of The Worlds remake, stir. Accidently knock over the Mars Attacks and…
If you haven’t read the blog post Birth Of A Genre: Cowboys and Aliens, read it now.
Since that posting, we’ve seen Jonah Hex:
Followed by Priest:
Have special effects finally gotten so accessible that indie spectacle filmmakers can focus on story?
The short film Plot Device was put together to showcase the new Magic Bullet Suite 11 from Red Giant. So yeah, it’s a “gee whiz look at the affordable but awesome FX extravaganza” whose primary aim is to highlight the software.
But it goes a step beyond that, and includes some great acting, a fun story, something of an arc, and a truckload of homages that are lovingly included (my favorite: The simple fact that he’s barefoot throughout the story).
Chip Street gets small (but very much appreciated) mention in Script Magazine
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman wrote an article on the Script Magazine website, profiling two of my very favorite Twitter buddies, Julie Keck and Jessica King, a writing team collectively known as King is a Fink.
Color me incredibly appreciative. The BlueCat Screenplay Competition Newsletter featured a synopsis and link to my 10 Things To Think About When You Option Your Screenplay blog posting. Can’t thank BlueCat enough … for the extra traffic, and for the…
On one of the many screenwriting forums I frequent, a screenwriter posed the question “Did this producer steal my screenplay?”
Good question. Here’s the story.
Making the sale
It seems the writer was approached by a producer who was interested in one of her screenplays. They swapped a series of emails, exchanged several versions of a sales contract, and arrived at a purchase agreement. Yay for her.
The screenwright delivered her screenplay via email, the producer delivered the agreed upon sum. Again, Yay for her.
But the final contract didn’t arrive with the payment. In fact, neither the screenwriter or the producer signed a hard copy.
It’s true, I like me some reality TV.
If you’ve known me long enough, you know how unlikely that statement is. I was one of the (many? few?) decrying reality TV as the launch of the apocalypse 10 years ago, the first of the 4 horsemen. But its siren song called to even me, and as a consequence I’ve just finished watching my 10th season of American Idol (the show that, yes, brought my lovely wife and I together) and am hunkering down for my annual fix of So You Think You Can Dance.
I do have my standards, though. My preference is for reality TV that rewards some kind of creativity and talent, extra points for illuminating a little known process or industry, double points for maybe inspiring others. And I don’t have much patience for behind-the-scenes cat-fighting (not too much, anyway … I’ll still DVR my Project Runway … I think mostly it’s because of Tim Gunn, who I think is hilarious and awesome and classy and I would love to have a beer with).
If you want to sell a screenplay, or win a screenwriting contest, you have to get past the gatekeepers: The Readers.
The Readers hold the keys to the kingdom … The Readers are the ones tasked with slogging through the “slush pile”, that unfiltered stack of screenplay submissions, and decide if any of them are good enough to pass up the food chain to the people who sign the checks. It’s The Readers who decide if the screenplay gets a “consider” (rare), a “recommend” (essentially a unicorn), or simply tossed out after failing to keep them engaged past page 15 (the fate of 99.9% of submissions).
The Readers are charged with reading stacks of scripts … dozens, hundreds of scripts … and they are, mostly, terrible scripts. Sad, but true. Anyone can press keys on a keyboard. Few can turn it into art. So The Readers get jaded, maybe discouraged, maybe even angry.
So how do you get your brilliant new screenplay past The Readers?
Another “regular guy” wants to be a superhero. Will this trend ever end?
“In this heart-warming family comedy, average accountant, Dennis Sullivan, is assigned to the account of a young widow and her son, a boy fascinated with a TV hero known as “Man America”. Taking an instant shine to the kid, Dennis visits The Imagination Superstore, where he tries on the ‘Man America’ costume. When he leaps from the dressing room to thwart a robbery, he embarks on a journey more complex than he ever could’ve imagined.”
I’ve already shared a list of six “regular guy superhero” movies, from Kickass to Zebraman. And the list just gets longer …
Liver cancer and comedy prove a perfect match.
Live Your Dream Or Die Trying
At 35, comedian Steve Mazan learned he was dying of liver cancer. So he did what any sane person would do: he dedicated the next year of his life to earning an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.