Archive for October, 2013

October 31, 2013

The Grudge Script

grudge

The Grudge was written by Stephen Susco based on a series of films by Takashi Shimizu. Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2013

Quote of the Day: Graham Greene

I began to write, and the past lost some of it’s power – I wrote it out of me.

October 30, 2013

7 Life Lessons for Writers (and Everyone Else)

mauricesendakposters9Maria Popova of the wonderful website Brain Pickings recently celebrated seven years creating that site. As her way of acknowledging the achievement, Maria compiled seven life lessons that she has learned over the course of the last seven years. These lessons apply to the population at large, and more specifically to artists, and even more specifically to writers. If you’re feeling stifled or stuck or if you want to take your career and life to the next level, read on:

  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
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October 30, 2013

Quote of the Day: Erika Weinstein

[On the most common note AMC gives] Let your character breath. Don’t give them too much to do in a pilot. We need quiet moments to see who they are.

October 29, 2013

Practical Advice for Finding an Agent or Manager

AFF_LogoOne of the great things about the Austin Film Festival and Screenwriting Conference is how well the conference creators have balanced panels about the craft of screenwriting with the business of it.

On Friday, I attended a panel called Breaking In: Finding Representation. The panel featured two up and coming writers, Justin Marks and John Swetnam, and their representation. Justin’s manager, Adam Kolbrenner is a co-founder of Madhouse Entertainment (currently accepting submissions), and John’s agent David Boxerbaum is in the lit department over at Paradigm.

The main take-away from the session came from John, though everyone on the panel underscored his words: If you want representation, he told us, you need to write a good script. Not just a pretty good script or a script that your family thinks is good, but a script that you truly believe could compete with the movies that are showing at your local theater.

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October 29, 2013

Quote of the Day: John Swetnam

The best way to get an agent? Write a good script. If your first one isn’t good enough, make it better. If it still isn’t good enough, write a new one. Once you write a good script, the rest will work itself out.

October 28, 2013

Six Second Screenwriting Lessons from Brian Koppelman

Tired of reading the same advice in screenwriting books? You’re in luck: Brian Koppelman is here to help.

Brian is the writer of such films as Ocean’s Thirteen, Runaway Jury, and Rounders. In a recent interview with Rachel Syme of The New Yorker, Koppelman explained his frustration with the business surrounding writing that tries to help new writers succeed, usually by making them pay for a product or service that is, in truth, total bullshit:

What he hates, he tells me, channelling Hecht’s twilight slash-and-burn attitude toward the business, is the industry that surrounds screenwriting, the world of how-to books and motivational retreats that cinch the craft like a belt. He hates the gurus, the seminars, the “For Dummies” guides that tell aspirants how to churn out popcorn hits. “If Ben Hecht woke up in a screenwriting genre seminar being taught in a conference room at the Radisson, I think he would puke all over everybody,” Koppelman says, with a boyish grin. “I mean, I have friends who do that, and I don’t want to sound like a jerk! But I think that, somehow, screenwriting became this golden cash cow that everyone wants a part of, and then, on top of that, the industry creates the feeling in people that there is some mystery to doing this work, and so in the end it can very easily prey on dreamers.”

But Brian has a way to help:

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October 28, 2013

Quote of the Day: Annie Dillard

Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.

October 24, 2013

Despicable Me 2 Script

Despicable-Me-2-Poster

The Despicable Me 2 script was written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio.

October 24, 2013

Quote of the Day: Louis Malle

If you have someone on the set for the hair, why would you not have someone for the words?