Friday, December 07, 2007

Screenwriting News & Links! 12/7/07

4 Screenwriting Tips that Annoy Me
I love you, Mark Albracht. I’m going to print and frame your article. And if we meet, I’m going to ask for your autograph. You’re a golden god. Mark this down as MM’s Favorite Screenwriting Article of 2007.

On the flipside, here’s the Worst Screenwriting Article of 2007:

How to Write a Screenplay in Two Weeks!
“So you want to write a screenplay. It's not as daunting as it may appear. Follow these simple steps and you'll churn out a masterpiece in just two weeks... Difficulty: Moderate”


I really hope she doesn’t let all this get to her head:

Diablo Cody: from stripper to screenwriter.
Off the Stripper Pole and Into the Movies
Diablo Cody says attitude towards women in Hollywood is "nauseating"
Tattooed Screenwriter Diablo Cody Is Bloodied But Unbowed by Hollywood Blogs Like Us.
You can also read
an excerpt of the Juno screenplay. It’s a good scene.

Oh, and some guy named Jason Reitman was interviewed

David Koepp is just hoping to God
he didn’t screw up, which isn't any more encouraging than when he said, "I'm going to get my ass handed to me." And if you’ve heard the same cameo rumors that I’ve heard, you’d be saying the same thing. While we won’t see a trailer until February, we should see the first teaser poster later this month.

Without a Writer, is a Joke Still Funny?

Screenwriters Stranger Than Fiction
We should all be offended by this.

Screenwriter uses art to save child soldiers
“His screenplay, titled "Ana's Playground," has captured film industry awards, as well as the attention of political activists working to stem the tide of children being pressed into service as soldiers around the globe. After winning best screenplay honors last year for his original short version of the script, Howell was encouraged to expand the story so that it could be considered for feature-length film production…”
Good for you, man. That's so damn cool. I love it.

Where Did ‘The Golden Compass’ Go Astray? And Was Tom Stoppard's Original Script a Masterpiece?
"Like many fans, we'd always assumed that Stoppard's draft must have been a work of genius, and that his replacement by Weitz surely doomed the project. Much to our surprise, upon reading the screenplays, we're wrong. Had Stoppard's screenplay been filmed, the movie would have been ponderous, a bit dull, and far too long. Weitz's original script was actually great and makes us sad about the movie that could have been."

Haggis reveals interesting change to early Casino Royale script
"They came to me and I said: 'I think the biggest problem with the script is that you don't have an act three. Would you like one?' And they said yes..."

New Screenplays:
No Country For Old Men
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Gone Baby Gone
The Hoax

LionsGate has some bucks
“Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, reported record high quarterly revenues of $343.5 million and a net loss of $56.2 million for its fiscal quarter ended September 30.”

Say “Hello” to Daniel Battsek, President of Miramax
Hey, you might meet him someday.

John August Doesn’t Announce Post-Strike Live-Action Tim Burton Film

To hell, with the truth
"What if the big stories of 2007 were put on film?"

On the Strike:

Writers finding solace, stories on picket lines
"[TV writers] are truly a different creature," says Alec Sokolow ("Toy Story"), who prefers picketing at Sony because its older crowd tends to be less TV-centric. "They love a certain social herd-like interaction. Most feature writers don't get that opportunity, so you get together and very carefully begin a conversation with somebody, and then decide if somehow it's gonna lead you to more Xan- ax."

The Picket Line Is The Place to Meet A Writer in L.A.
"Fans Turn Out in Numbers, And Bored Scribes Bask; 'They're Nice, They Talk'"

Film scripts into TV pilots?
"CBS considering finished unproduced works"

Will weak box office end flock to docs?
"Distribs find niche films can't support hefty prices"
What have

WGA Talks More About Fixed Residuals

Angry Studio Chiefs Claim Writer’s Demands Could Kill Internet Streaming
"Moguls remain restrained in public but privately are angry about the WGA’s latest demands; which is going to make it nearly impossible to do a deal by Christmas. Directors Guild waits and watches, but not for long."

Studio Head Roger A. Trevanti Explains the AMPTP’s Complicated Proposal in Simpler Friendlier Terms.
“I hope you writers get ass cancer and die.”

WGA likely to see final offer from majors
According to Variety, “With few clear signs that the five-week writers strike will end soon, the WGA faces the daunting prospect that the majors will lose patience with the slow pace of negotiations and make a final offer as early as next week.”


On the Contest Circuit:

Movie Script Contest Announces Feature Script Semfinalists

MoviePoet Announces October Contest Winners

Writers Place Announces May-October 2007 Finalists

Kaos Films Announces British Short Screenplay Contest Winners

WriteSafe Announces 3rd Quarter Contest Finalists

American Gem Announces Quarter Finalists

Final Draft Announces Big Break Contest Winners

(Second place was our good friend,
Ger! I was one of the first to read Knight Knight! and gave him some feedback. I loved it.)


Elver said...

"Oh, and some guy named Jason Reitman was interviewed here."

So Mystery Man is Jason Reitman? ;)

Mystery Man said...

Wouldn't you like to know?


wcdixon said...

Um. Yeah. I'd like to know.

Seriously, seriously great round-up of links, sir.

Mystery Man said...

Thanks, Dix.

I used to save links like these for future articles I would write. I finally said, "screw it, just post the links."


Unk said...

"Your focus should be on what a character says, not how she says it."



Mystery Man said...

Amen, brother! Preach it!



Rose said...

Hiya MM! Just stopping by to check up on ya. I hope you're well, I see you're still kicking!

Happy Holidays!

terraling said...

Hi MM, discovered your blog a week or so ago and have been digging my way through the archives, there is some oustanding content, keep up the good work (whoever you are!).

Thanks for the links to the screenplays. Wondered if you knew where to find the screenplay by Kelly Masterson for "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.". You mentioned how good it was in a post the other day and it will probably be a while before the movie screens over here in Europe...


Mystery Man said...

Rose - Hey, baby! SO great to hear from you!

Terra - You're very kind. Thanks so much and welcome. I haven't read that script yet. I had quoted Ebert's review because he had praised this first-time screenwriter's unique structure. I just wanted to make the point that it's good and essential to be able to write the 3 Act sctructure. After that, you should feel free to break structure, because a lot of first-time screenwriters get sales BECAUSE they broke structure. In any case, I get all my scripts from Simply Scripts. They're good guys and they keep their site up-to-date.

Hope that helps.


Elver said...

Bah. Simply Scripts doesn't have the script for Rescue Dawn. That's the first film in recent times to make me think "boy, I really wanna get my hands on that script." Mainly because there's stuff in it that ought not to work, but does, and I wanna know how it was written.

Has anyone seen this script?

Mystery Man said...

Elver, it's not that SS posts scripts, but they report on all the scripts that have been posted onto the web. If it's not reported on SS, it's likely it won't be on the web at all, although there have been a few occasional exceptions. I'd suggest a google search.


Mystery Man said...

Wouldn’t you know that after mentioning how new screenwriters breaking structure break-in more often in the industry that Variety posts an article on this very subject:

More scripts take nonlinear route
“Forget Screenwriting 101. Some of the year's most audacious screenplays throw out the rulebook, jumping back and forth in time instead of unfolding in a linear, three-act fashion. Such experimentation is as old as the movies themselves, dating back to such storytellers as D.W. Griffith ("Intolerance") and Abel Gance ("Napoleon"). But the tendency has become increasingly common in recent mainstream releases, from "Michael Clayton's" car-bomb opening to "Atonement's" fragmented, time-jumping intrigue.”

A few more links:

Cate Blanchett & Ray Winstone's characters revealed in Indy IV

Writer Strike Talks Finally Optimistic

Famed Screenwriter Irv Brecher On The WGA Strike

Lane Shadgett to write Lunar Park script


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