Monday, October 13, 2008

Screenwriting News & Links! 10/13/08

Hollywood: What Financial Crisis?
Studios are more nervous about the financial exposure they face if SAG does go on strike. But the prospect of gaping holes in their distribution slates for 2010 and 2011 is a worse scenario for the majors, and so they are willing to risk the consequences of moving ahead despite the SAG uncertainty.

Unruly WGA Mob Protest 'Project Runway' Rodeo Drive Shoot

Q&A with Ridley Scott
You’re used to dealing with prima donnas, though. I mean, you handle Hollywood stars ...
Look, actors are all different. They’re not all volatile. Some are sweet, some are volatile, but what is fundamentally in there is something that has to be paid attention to, in that they are, I would say, needy. Maybe that’s what Hitchcock meant when he said, "Actors are children." But I don’t think stars are children at all. They’re usually the most intelligent, no question—all the stars I know are really, really bright. But yeah, every director devises their own methodology. By the time I got to do my first feature, in ’77, The Duellists
, which was with a certain tough guy called Harvey Keitel ... He was what they call Actors Studio and all that—Method acting and that kind of thing. Method? I told him I have a method too. I had absolutely no idea what the fuck he was talking about, and I think he had no idea what the fuck I was talking about. What I’ve devised over the years is being honest with actors and if I don’t know, saying "I don’t know. Let’s talk about it. You tell me."

Q&A with Jenny Lumet
Kym is an interesting character because, funny as it sounds, she has this neo-Western hero thing going on...
Because she comes swaggering into town and blows shit up...
She blows shit up, and is she good? Is she bad? Has she done bad things or is she misunderstood and wounded? What was your intention with her as a character?
I love everything you just said so much. I wish I had freakin’ known that, the whole neo-Western thing, because then I could have said it. Can I steal that?
Sure, but it might be the most idiotic thing...
No, no, no, she’s like this completely unstable, mysterious gunslinger who comes into town and does crazy shit.

Jenny Lumet extorted her dad to get script to Demme
I understand your dad gave your screenplay to Jonathan Demme, who ultimately directed "Rachel Getting Married."
I essentially extorted my dad. I was like: You will never see your grandson again unless you get this script to Jonathan Demme. And eventually it paid off.
Were you hesitant to ask him to do that?
I live on [West] 95th Street. And there are probably 15 screenwriters on my block who are freaking geniuses, right? And they can't get the right person to read their screenplay because it's so freaking hard. So I'm not dumb. You have to have a connection and you have to use it.

Bwaah ha ha! I love her.

Okay, you’ll love this. Above is the trailer for
0804 The Uprising, a straight-to-DVD affair that was written by our good friend Joshua James. WARNING: the sound is NOT mixed. CONGRATS, JOSH!

Plus, here are a few pics from the film:

Guillermo del Toro & The Hobbit
"I find you have to discipline yourself to write in the morning, and then watch and read in the afternoons stuff that seems relevant, even in a tangential way. For example, reading or watching World War I documentaries or books that I think inform The Hobbit, strangely enough, because I believe it is a book born out of Tolkien's generation's experience with World War I and the disappointment of being in that field and seeing all those values kind of collapse. I think it's a turning point that you need to familiarize yourself with. I'm starting. Peter Jackson is such a fan of that historical moment and obsessive collector of World War I memorabilia, and he owns several genuine, life-size working reproductions of planes, tanks, cannons, ships! He has the perfect obsessive reproductions of uniforms of that time for armies of about 120 soldiers... each. I asked him which books he recommended… because I wouldn't be watching Krull or The Dark Crystal, I need to find my OWN way into the story. That's the same way I did Pan's Labyrinth or Devil's Backbone, by watching stuff you wouldn't think about.

WGA up in arms over The Osbournes' new show
According to BBC, the WGA has warned its members that they could be subject to a fine if they accept work on the planned variety series.

Goldman’s “Nobody Knows Anything”
now applies to bankers.

Angie Harmon can’t wait to start screenwriting
Like other intelligent performers, Angie looks beyond her acting career. “Because of my pregnancy, everything is on hold,” she said. “But I can’t wait to start screenwriting, directing, and producing.”

This 47 year old screenwriter in Miami would like a nice friend

Screenwriter In Blockbuster Battle With Disney
Cyrus Nowrasteh has taken his battle with Disney and ABC to the video store, where his documentary, Blocking the Path to 9/11, is being released Tuesday. Nowrasteh's ABC miniseries, The Path to 9/11, which received high ratings when it aired in 2006, contended that missteps by the Clinton administration led to the successful attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was subsequently denounced by Clinton officials and the Democratic Party. The Path to 9/11 was never repeated or released on DVD. In the documentary, Nowrasteh argues, according to the Hollywood Reporter, that ABC bowed to pressure from Clinton and other Democrats, and he shows scenes purportedly removed from the miniseries at their request.

Australia Movie Screenwriter Inspired by Actual Australia
In a recent interview with National Geographic Adventure magazine (not online), screenwriter Richard Flanagan talked about his childhood in Tasmania and the northern outback region that inspired him to pen the script. The Hobart native is an accomplished canoeist and river expert, and worked for several years as a guide on the Franklin River, a job that provided the inspiration for his first book, Death of a River Guide. He didn't always exercise the best judgment, though. As Flanagan admits in the interview, he and a friend set off on kayaks one morning for a friend's wedding in Sydney, only to be rescued from a force 9 gale at dusk. They had never been sea kayaking before, and were severely under-equipped for the long journey.

Movie Magic Streamlines the Writing Process
…Luckily, the people at Write Brothers Inc. have the solution to [cheating the overwritten script by manipulating margins]: Streamline for Movie Magic Screenwriter, a software program that analyzes a screenplay, finds small changes that can be made to trim its excess material and, in the process, lower its page count. With Streamline, the analysis and deletion of everything from words and trailing lines to paragraphs and transitions marks an end to script cheating, making an honest, quick and easy process out of what was once a major pain for screenwriter’s editing their own scripts.


On the Contest Circuit:

CWA Announces Contest Semfinalists

BlueCat Announces Contest Winner

Screamfest Announces Finalists


And finally

ScriptGirl (from 10/10/08)