poor neglected bastards

July 26, 2014

 

Yez.  I have been totally neglecting you.  “But why?,” you say.  “Why would you do this to us?”

Fair question.

Because, oh adorable fiendish followers, I have been rebuilding the school site.  And it was one big job.  Yegads.  But it is done now, or mostly gone.  Go see:  :::new and improved afw site:::

 

The new and improved AFW school site.

 

But also to make up for neglecting you, here is a treat.  Zombie Pie Chart!  Yay!

 

Zombie Pie Chart!

 

You’re welcome.

Smooches.

 

white_chairs

 

What do you see on the screen?

Nothing until you put it on the page. And then, for someone to see something while they read that page? The writing must be Visual with a capital V.

Visual Writing begins Tuesday.

There are open seats.

:::HIT THAT:::

 

not the chair!

June 7, 2014

 

Screen shot 2014-06-07 at 2.22.43 AM

My beautiful little office chair is trying to go poof like a :::lucky T-shirt:::

Well the edge of the seat is.

It’s not actually covered in leather, it is covered in “leatherette.”

I guess “leatherette” has a 3 year expiration date.

I’m tracking down the manufacturer to see if I can buy the little chair a new seat.

I’m looking really hard at vinyl repair kits.

Dear Universe, if you know a good way to repair “leatherette,” help!

 


*i am mad dependent on unchanging physical pillars in my work environment, change or move furniture and it shoots a shock wave through so hard it can shut me down for weeks — this really confuses the :::social writers:::

 

 

wtf_red_question_markMax’s Dictionary of Screenwriting Hmm Moments:  “Hmmm” = A moment reading a script when a reader stops on a dime and says, WTF?

A Few of Those Moments —

1.  The pilot of a passenger jet liner rolls down the cockpit window.  [For double credit, while flying.  For triple?  It's not a passenger jet. It's a submarine.]

2.  Someone whips out a cell phone.  In WWII Germany.

3.  Someone’s picking strawberries.  From a tree.  In a pine forest.

4.  INT.  DESK — DAY  [For double credit, recreate at random using INT.  TABLE --- DAY || INT. WOOD BLOCK --- DAY.  And your protagonists are not termites.]

5.  Someone’s doing a Google search.  In 1950.  On an iPhone.

6.  Doctors in an emergency room whip out defibrillator paddles.  To treat a concussion.  [For double credit, it's a broken leg.  For triple?  She's having a baby!]

7.  Intravenously shooting up marijuana leaves….

8.  Human beings without helmets or suits jump about.  In an outer space vacuum.

9.  People struggle with the safety.  On a Glock.

10.  People collect chicken eggs.  On a farm.  In a stable.

 


[I guarantee you the big fight here will be on chickens laying eggs in stables.  Shhh.  I will tell you why later.]

 

 

 

screenplay_stackI spend a good deal of my time lately —

Staring at lists of script titles in my immediate future with a sense of impending loathing and horror.

This is based entirely on the titles.

I have no idea what’s inside there. But the titles? Ahhh!

 


 

When this happens, I sort scripts not based on which script I want to read first — but on which script I want to read last.

 


 

This is not a good scenario for a script.

 


 

Writing is a seduction.

That seduction starts with the title.

 

 

Screen shot 2014-04-19 at 8.03.30 AM

 

We did the BOOK MEME. That was awesome.

We did GOING BANKSY. That was awesome.

We did TNSSG T-SHIRT PHOTOS. That was awesome.

We need to do something new and fun for the book.

 


One of the coolest things people used to do when the first book was out was send in photos of themselves with the book.

Here is David’s Baby Luke with the original book. Yay!

Luke The Smartest Baby In The World

Here is Ben with the original book. Yay!

Benjamin Green With The Screewriter's Survival Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LET’S DO THAT!

Post a photo of you with The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide to the book’s Facebook Page.

 


Sure sure sure, “Why Facebook” you ask. Isn’t Facebook a device of the devil?

Yes, yes it is, but less a device of the devil than me trying to single handedly play catcher in the photos in email game.

Post it to the TNSSG Facebook Page. It will be great.

 


The Rules: We are not big on rules around here, but let’s go with no blatant nudity.

The Prizes: There will totally be prizes for cool photos but we haven’t decided what they are, you already have the book, but we have other swag and prizes so photo up, sports fans, and let’s find out what you win yay!

The Photos: Your photo does not have to be with the paperback, take a photo with you and the book on the Kindle or iPad and that flies with us.

 
 

 

marilyn_head_shotThis really darling piece —

Showed up on Jezebel the other day, all about women needing stronger [or at least with better dialogue] roles in Hollywood. [I'll give you the link later, hang in there.] It features a youtube clip of actress and producer Olivia Wilde.

[From House, you punks, start reading the fucking credits.]

It’s titled “Olivia Wilde Crushes It When She Talks About Women in Hollywood.”

Olivia Wilde totally does crush it too. [I'll give you that link too if you stick around.]

[Stop scrolling, you attention deficit bastards, there is method to my madness.]

The problem is the Jezebel writer, Hillary Crosley, doesn’t “crush it.”

[Sorry, Hillary, I'm sure you're a lovely person.]

 



 

Here is how Hillary’s “go girls” article ends:

“First you get the producers, then you get the power, then you get the women.”

Cute. But. No. Though it is a darling twist on the protest quote “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

That is Gandhi right?

 



 

Hollywood is not Occupy Wall Street. Hollywood is a corporate living breathing high school metaphor — that is supposed to make a profit, not topple banking corruption or withstand pepper spray in New York parks. And the emphasis there though it should maybe be on “high school” is on “make a profit.” As in “huge fucking profit.” And if you don’t get that? You don’t get Hollywood.

Oops.

 



 

In Hollywood, producers don’t bring in the money – or the power.

Producers in Hollywood are matchmakers. They match talent [actors, actresses, directors, writers] with projects [books, adaptations, concepts, specs] and studios [studios are the purse that is highly corporate and also linked into more corporate deals like “distribution” which is often with other studios and often highly problematic and is also another subject entirely that would take a whole other post so moving on].

Or, using another metaphor, let’s pretend we’re planning a home coming dance.

Yay! Back to high school!

 



 

Producers are the party planners. Producers bring everyone together, but producers in Hollywood aren’t paying for the dance or directing the dance. They are just matching all the right players up so it sounds like a really fun party and everyone goes, “Hey, great party, fuck, everyone will come, let’s do it!” Then the studios supply the cash and you know, if you’re bankrolling the party, that gives you some say. But if you throw [bankroll] a party and no one comes to the party [no cover charges, no drink sales, ahhh!]? Like, the homecoming queen and king say, Fuck you, dead party, we’re going to the country club instead?

Dead in the water.

So that’s why the [prom queen] talent can have more clout than the studio [bank roll]. The talent [prom queen] is the core of the equation. Because if the prom queen boycotts your party?

No fucking party.

Did the metaphor work?

 



 

So the power, making Hollywood films? Resides with studios [the money], and with talent [the people the studios will throw money into a project with because if those people boycott future parties?, no more parties].

So how does this all boil down in terms of hot female lead and hot dialogue for female characters projects in Hollywood?

You don’t go to the producer. You go to the toughest female Hollywood talent on the block, with or without tats, they have served their time and fought their way up through the hierarchy and have the clout.

 



 

This does not mean producers are not important. Producers are crazy important. Mostly the party would not even happen without producers. But do you know who Gale Anne Hurd is? [God I hope so but doubt it. Go IMDB you fools. Ahhh!] How about Robert Evans? [No? Ahhh!]

 



 

In other words, Miss Crosley? You got it wrong.

You want to make hot female driven projects? You do not start with “the producers.” You start with the toughest women in Hollywood.

And when I say “tough,” I don’t mean prison tats. I mean, they are the prom queens of Hollywood. They have such powerful track records with the studios, have starred in so many films that made the studios so much money, if they say, I want to make this or star in this or produce this or direct this? The studio suits will say, “I can’t risk you not showing up at my next party, I will write this check.”

But —

There is a caveat.

[There always fucking is a caveat. This is Hollywood. Bummer.]

“If this party fails, you go to Tough Hollywood Babe With Clout Jail” and stop making me fund parties no one shows up to.”

That means the tough girls in Hollywood have something to lose every single time they back something. See, if the suits get really pissed? They could screw up that other thing we don’t have time to talk about — distribution. And something we haven’t even mentioned here — promotion. And to cannon ball past all that? That’s a lot of effort. And why would they do that for another woman instead of for themselves making profit off a film that is important to them, stars them, and will keep them and their film career alive another decade or more?

And that’s another subject that would make this post too long. So. Let’s go back to the original point.

 



 

You want more women dominated films in Hollywood? You want better roles for women in film? You want better dialogue for women in films? You don’t talk to the party planner [producers]. You talk to the prom queens [tough ass kicker women actors and directors and writers in Hollywood -- and the big prom queens are the actresses, you can't fire them halfway through principal photography without dropping millions, everyone else is fungible].

 



Wait, I promised you the Olivia Wilde clip too. Here you go yay!:

 

 

Also, I should link you to the Jezebel piece. Sigh:

:::jezebel piece:::

 



 

PS: Dear Jezebel Peeps: If you need someone who actually understands Hollywood on the payroll? Hit my link. If I’m too busy or expensive? I’ll refer you.

You’re welcome.

 

this cracks me up

February 25, 2014

 

kermit_writer_face

 

*For all my students who come out of :::classes:::
looking at old scripts with new eyes.

 

 

This is fun. It is from The Single Screenwriter:

 

Screenwriters, This One’s For You! from TrailerWorks on Vimeo.

 


:::check out the article:::

 

go read this

January 15, 2014

 

water_faucet:::THIS::: is important.

[Yes, that was a link.]

 


WTF? Still here? Oh you lazy ass slackers!

Fine. You need convincing.

[So sad.]

Here is an excerpt:

 


 

To hell with you.

To hell with every greedhead operator who flocked here throughout history because you wanted what we had, but wanted us to go underground and get it for you. To hell with you for offering above-average wages in a place filled with workers who’d never had a decent shot at employment or education, and then treating the people you found here like just another material resource—suitable for exploiting and using up, and discarding when they’d outlived their usefulness. To hell with you for rigging the game so that those wages were paid in currency that was worthless everywhere but at the company store, so that all you did was let the workers hold it for a while, before they went into debt they couldn’t get out of.

To hell with you all for continuing, as coal became chemical, to exploit the lax, poorly-enforced safety regulations here, so that you could do your business in the cheapest manner possible by shortcutting the health and quality of life not only of your workers, but of everybody who lives here. To hell with every operator who ever referred to West Virginians as “our neighbors.”

To hell with every single screwjob elected official and politico under whose watch it all went on, who helped write those lax regulations and then turned away when even those weren’t followed. To hell with you all, who were supposed to be stewards of the public interest, and who sold us out for money, for political power. To hell with every one of you who decided that making life convenient for business meant making life dangerous for us. To hell with you for making us the eggs you had to break in order to make breakfast.

To hell with everyone who ever asked me how I could stand to live in a place like this, so dirty and unhealthy and uneducated. To hell with everyone who ever asked me why people don’t just leave, don’t just quit (and go to one of the other thousand jobs I suppose you imagine are widely available here), like it never occurred to us, like if only we dumb hilljacks would listen as you explained the safety hazards, we’d all suddenly recognize something that hadn’t been on our radar until now.

To hell with the superior attitude one so often encounters in these conversations, and usually from people who have no idea about the complexity and the long history at work in it. To hell with the person I met during my PhD work who, within ten seconds of finding out I was from West Virginia, congratulated me on being able to read. (Stranger, wherever you are today, please know this: Standing in that room full of people, three feet away from you while you smiled at your joke, I very nearly lost control over every civil checkpoint in my body. And though civility was plainly not your native tongue, I did what we have done for generations where I come from, when faced with rude stupidity: I tamped down my first response, and I managed to restrain myself from behaving in a way that would have required a deep cleaning and medical sterilization of the carpet. I did not do any of the things I wanted to. But stranger, please know how badly I wanted to do them.)

And, as long as I’m roundhouse damning everyone, and since my own relatives worked in the coal mines and I can therefore play the Family Card, the one that trumps everything around here: To hell with all of my fellow West Virginians who bought so deeply into the idea of avoidable personal risk and constant sacrifice as an honorable condition under which to live, that they turned that condition into a culture of perverted, twisted pride and self-righteousness, to be celebrated and defended against outsiders. To hell with that insular, xenophobic pathology. To hell with everyone whose only take-away from every story about every explosion, every leak, every mine collapse, is some vague and idiotic vanity in the continued endurance of West Virginians under adverse, sometimes killing circumstances. To hell with everyone everywhere who ever mistook suffering for honor, and who ever taught that to their kids. There’s nothing honorable about suffering. Nothing.

 


Now :::GO FUCKING READ IT:::

 

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