Archive for ‘News’

November 22, 2013

Recommendation: Jameson First Shot Competition

CaptureThe deadline for the Jameson First Shot competition is around the corner on January 2. This screenwriting competition is a rare chance to have your script professionally produced and starred in by a well-known actor. This year, the actor is Uma Thurman.

In previous years, the competition was not open to residents of California, but the rules have changed. Entry is free, and if you win, you’ll get to direct your own production.

This competition has some very specific rules in terms of script length and content, so be sure to review those carefully before you start writing. The contest states:

We’re looking for more outstanding writer/directors to enter the 2014 competition, where we will be offering an incredible opportunity; giving people a ‘first shot’ in the film industry by having their short film produced by the Academy Award-winning Trigger Street Productions and giving them the chance to direct Uma Thurman in the leading role.

In order to enter you must be from South Africa, Russia or the US (now including California!), be at least 25 years-old, and write a script of no more than seven pages based on one of three themes (‘Legendary’ OR ‘Humorous’ OR a ‘Very Tall Tale’).

I don’t know of any other contests quite like this one. Good luck!

November 21, 2013

Enough Said Script

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The Enough Said script was written by Nicole Holofcener.

November 21, 2013

12 Years a Slave Script

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The 12 Years a Slave script was written by John Ridley.

November 20, 2013

Hemingway on How to Be a Writer

My beloved Brain Pickings has done it again. This time, Maria Popova has found a wonderful excerpt from Hemingway on Writing, in which Hemingway poses as “Your Correspondent,” answering the questions of “MICE” (aspiring writers.) Granted, mice is not the most flattering name Hemingway could have chosen for young writers, but perhaps with his knowledge we will one day graduate to correspondents. Hemingway writes:

MICE: How can a writer train himself?

Y.C.: Watch what happens today. If we get into a fish see exactly what it is that everyone does. If you get a kick out of it while he is jumping remember back until you see exactly what the action was that gave you the emotion. Whether it was the rising of the line from the water and the way it tightened like a fiddle string until drops started from it, or the way he smashed and threw water when he jumped. Remember what the noises were and what was said. Find what gave you the emotion; what the action was that gave you the excitement. Then write it down making it clear so the reader will see it too and have the same feeling that you had. That’s a five finger exercise.

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November 19, 2013

Honoring Syd Field: The Master of Screenplay

SydField_4x5Syd Field has passed away, and the writing world is mourning his loss. William Yardley of The New York Times has written a particularly poignant obituary for the legendary man:

The term “plot point” appeared in The New York Times fewer than 10 times during the century or so before 1979. Since then, it has appeared more than 200 times.

Syd Field in an undated photo. Mr. Field’s work served as a reference for James Cameron, Judd Apatow, Tina Fey, Frank Darabont and scores of other successful screenwriters

This book, published in 1979, was widely regarded over the next three decades as the “bible” of screenwriting.

It happens that 1979 was the year Syd Field published “Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting,” a book that over the next three decades became widely regarded as the “bible” of screenwriting, the paperback enabler of Hollywood dreams.

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November 18, 2013

Fruitvale Station Script

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The Fruitvale Station script was written by Ryan Coogler.

November 18, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines Script

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The Place Beyond the Pines script was written by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio and Darius Marder.

November 15, 2013

Martin Scorsese’s 85 Films You Need to Watch

Rick Tetzeli of Fast Company recently shared a list of 85 films that Martin Scorsese thinks every serious filmmaker (screenwriters included) should watch. The full list is in alphabetical order on Fast Company. Below are the films from the list that we have scripts for:

Apocalypse Now: This Francis Ford Coppola masterpiece is from a period when directors like Brian DePalma, John Milius, Paul Schrader, Scorsese and others had great freedom–freedom that they then lost. 1979

Born on the Fourth of July: Produced by Universal Pictures under Tom Pollock and Casey Silver, this Tom Cruise movie (directed by Oliver Stone) was an example of how that studio “wanted to make special pictures,” says Scorsese. 1989

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November 14, 2013

Lone Survivor Script

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The Lone Survivor script was written by Peter Berg based on the book by Marcus Luttrell.

November 13, 2013

Video: Writer Roundtable with This Year’s Likely Oscar Contenders

The Hollywood Reporter recently held their annual Writer Roundtable, and they invited some of the hottest names in screenwriting:

When The Hollywood Reporter invited George Clooney and Grant Heslov to participate in this year’s Writer Roundtable, their Nazi art-heist drama The Monuments Men was considered likely to contend in multiple awards categories. Alas, four days after the Oct. 18 discussion at The Los Angeles Athletic Club, Monuments Men was bumped by distributor Sony Pictures to Feb. 7 — unfinished visual effects were cited as the reason — and out of the awards race (at least for this year).

Luckily, Clooney, 52, and Heslov, 50, are such good talkers,THR readers likely won’t care that their movie isn’t in contention yet. The duo joined Clooney’s Gravity writer Jonas Cuaron, 31 (he penned the action-heavy script with his director father, Alfonso), Before Midnight co-writer Julie Delpy, 43, Enough Said writer-director Nicole Holofcener, 53, 12 Years a Slave‘s John Ridley, 49, and Lee Daniels’ The Butler‘s Danny Strong, 39, for a conversation that veered from Paddy Chayefsky to Sarah Palin and Edward Snowden. Said Clooney, “Now we’re getting in some deep shit!”

Visit The Hollywood Reporter to read the transcript of the conversation.