screenplay contest despair

September 9, 2014

 

vogue_1950

I’ve got writers flipping out over not placing in the Austin Film Festival screenplay competition.

Seriously?

Just stop it.

 


 

THE PURPOSE OF SCREENPLAY COMPETITIONS IS GET READS AND GET SOLD AND GET THE MOVIE MADE.

 


 

Do you need to win a competition to get a script read, a script sold, or a movie made?

 


 

NO

 


 

 

Oh yez, hot September classes are right around the corner. You should all go sign up for them right now.

Academy of Film Writing September Classes 2014:  The Sex Scene

Academy of Film Writing September Classes 2014: High Concept Writing

Academy of Film Writing September Classes 2014: The Art of the Pitch

 

this is adorable

August 23, 2014

 

push_up_dan_post_photo

 

The PushUp peeps posted a photo of everyone at PushUp waving to the AFW peeps.  That is adorable and hilarious to me.

Don’t know what I am talking about?  I will assume you have been in a monastery in Tibet under a vow of silence.  Hey, welcome back!  Go check out :::what I am talking about:::

 

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.

 

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