Converting Screenplay to Novel: Rocket Summer

rocket summer movie posterAnother excerpt from the novelization of the Rocket Summer screenplay.

It was everything she’d imagined it could be and more, and yet she felt strangely disconnected and was compelled to reintroduce herself. She walked along the car, her car, trailing her fingertips on its side, the metal warm in the early morning sun, and she was almost certain it trembled at her touch. She apologized that she hadn’t been instrumental in the forging of its every detail. But somehow now it knew, she was sure, that the very idea for its second life had come from her.

Hello again, she thought. My how you’ve grown.

There was a pinwheel on the antenna, and it seemed to turn in greeting by some imperceptible breeze.

Screenplay to Novel – Rocket Summer

rocket summer movie posterAnother chapter down… now we’re at the point where a great trust has been broken. It was a delicate trust to begin with.

Betrayal:

Dwayne hopped out of the Jeep, approached Lacey. There was menace in his posture. “Where’s the rockets at, Junior?”

Lacey snapped her head at Darlene. “You told them?” She dropped down off the truck bed, drilled Darlene with a look that should have made her burst into flame. “This is our car, Darlene! We trusted you!”

“Hey, you didn’t trust me,” Darlene replied flatly. “You paid me.”

“They paid you?” Dwayne snorted. “Hah! Sweet!”

The betrayal hit Lacey in the chest like a sack of dirt. Her knees threatened to buckle under its weight, but a rush of adrenaline stepped in and held her up, flushing her system with vibrating energy, and her nails dug crescents in her palms. Her heart pounded in her ears as she advanced on Darlene, and through its rhythmic roar she heard herself yelling. “Dammit, Darlene, we trusted you! How could you do this to us?”

Amazon Studios’ New (Old) Screenplay Option Model Part 2

If you’ve been following my previous post on Amazon Studios’ option model and consider list, you know I’ve chosen not to accept their offer to post my screenplay to their shortlist. The post was featured on John August’s website, and mentioned on Bleeding Cool.

But I still hold out hope that Amazon can straighten out all the confusion among screenwriters, and find some way for the writers to take advantage of the offer without compromising rights to their own screenplays.

I did get a follow up email from Amazon Studios that promised to clarify things. It didn’t. Continue reading Amazon Studios’ New (Old) Screenplay Option Model Part 2

Amazon Studios New (Old) Deal for Screenplay Options

faeries feature horror movie screenplayFollow me on Twitter.

NEW: Follow up post here

Amazon (yes, that Amazon) is launching a movie studio, and they just gave our horror screenplay Faeries a “consider”. What’s that mean? Not a lot, as near as we can tell.

First, here’s a brief primer on the history of the Amazon Studios deal. (I’m confident in my understanding of this history, but if I’m wrong about any of the details, point me at a source, and I’ll make a correction.)

How it all started

About a year ago, Amazon announced that they were going to become a movie studio, and produce their own content. Continue reading Amazon Studios New (Old) Deal for Screenplay Options

Was this screenplay option a scam?

Was this screenplay option a scam?A reader posted a comment on the article “10 Things To Think About When You Option Your Screenplay” and it’s such a common question, and my answer ended up being so long, that I thought I’d just turn it into a post of its own.

THE QUESTION:

I have been given a six-month, non-exclusive option by an older, award winning producer, for two of my scripts. While it sounds good on the surface, I wonder if I’m being conned. The query was sent to his production company, but he wanted to read the script as a “consultant” and if he liked it, he’d option it. Continue reading Was this screenplay option a scam?

Rocket Summer screenplay sells to eKidsFilms

ekidsfilms logoThe family feature screenplay Rocket Summer has officially sold to eKidsFilms.

Those of you who know the story of Rocket Summer know it’s been around for nearly a decade. My first feature screenplay, it’s been through an option and extension, and myriad rewrites. The past few years it’s sat in my virtual drawer while I worked with my writing partner Sean Meehan on the family road trip screenplay Grampa Was A Superhero, the horror screenplay Faeries and a yet to be titled western-horror mashup screenplay currently in its first draft.

eKidsFilms approached me last month to inquire about the screenplay’s availability. We talked about their vision for the film, and I agreed to do a rewrite to incorporate their notes and modify the third act. Continue reading Rocket Summer screenplay sells to eKidsFilms

Faeries horror screenplay does not make finals in BlueCat

Sad but true.

faeries feature horror movie screenplayFaeries, quite possibly the best unsold or unproduced creature feature horror screenplay on the  market today, did not make the finals in the BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

Boo.

But the readers over at BlueCat did have great things to say.

…awesome, intense, unusual and original … sickly satisfying … [keeps] the audience at the edge of their seats … the only way to do horror movies

And thanks to BlueCat’s unprecedented resubmission process, and feedback notes from multiple readers, we got some great feedback on the screenplay that made it better. And that’s a good thing.

So we’re disappointed. But we wish the finalists, and the winner, all the best.

On to the next challenge!

Possibly the best collaborative screenwriting software tool ever

collaborative screenwriting softwareMy screenwriting partner and I can’t always be in the same room at the same time… so we’ve been searching for the best collaborative screenwriting software solution since 2009.

In a perfect world, collaboration would be real-time, it’d work on a Mac or a PC, and it would be compatible with Final Draft, Movie Magic, or any other screenwriting software.

Asking too much? Continue reading Possibly the best collaborative screenwriting software tool ever

Get personalized, actionable feedback from screenplay consultant Adam Levenberg

Getting feedback from a screenplay consultant or reader can be humbling, and confusing. Maybe even a little demoralizing.

how to interpret screenplay reader feedbackKnowing what to do with screenplay feedback can be crippling.

Partly because it’s just words on a page. Just like an email or a text message, written feedback doesn’t provide an opportunity to discuss and clarify, so if the screenplay consultant misunderstood something, or isn’t clear in their recommendations, you’ve got no recourse. You’re left to interpret (or misinterpret) to the best of your meager ability… or simply discard what could be valuable feedback.

What can you do about it? Continue reading Get personalized, actionable feedback from screenplay consultant Adam Levenberg

When to listen to the reader: Understanding screenplay feedback

Faeries horror creature feature

* This post was recommended and redistributed by the fine folks at BlueCat Screenplay Competition.

We hear it all the time. If you want to write a better screenplay, get feedback and listen to it.

But I promise you this: the feedback you get from contest readers, other writers, and even friends and family will not be consistent. Readers will contradict one another, you’ll get mixed messages even from single readers, and figuring out how to use any of it to build a better screenplay will be overwhelming.

A few years ago I attended a talk with Sony’s Sam Dickerman. My favorite observation of his was that when producers say “That’s great, but can we add aliens somewhere?” they don’t literally mean “add aliens”. They mean they’re looking for something spectacular and unexpected, and it’s your job to understand what result they’re looking for, and find ways to deliver on that while remaining true to your story (and yourself).

So what do you do? Continue reading When to listen to the reader: Understanding screenplay feedback