Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday sale!

Okay - this is a complete cheat. I just changed the title. But classes on CD are still on sale...

For those of you who don't know - Black Friday is our crazy shopping holiday in America. The day after Thanksgiving, when all of the Christmas sales begin. A retail store in the red can get back in the black in one day (which is why it's called Black Friday). Not wanting to be left out of the festivities, I figured I'd slash some prices for 5 days...

Best Prices Ever on Classic CD Classes - will never be this low again (Okay, maybe *next* Black Friday)!

CYBER MONDAY SALE! (click here for sale price)

These prices good ONLY November 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30... Sale ENDS November 30th at midnight.

After I pick up my DVDs on sale, I plan on writing a blog entry about how reading screenplays is *critical* to learning how to write screenplays - and that is still coming!

- Bill

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Tennis Plotting - and SPEED.
Dinner: Actual turkey burritos.
Pages: Still behind on the new spec - but I did write a good scene yesterday (Sunday), so I'm not beating myself up much.

PLUS... I am so sorry...

Movies4Men - 11/26- 14:50 - Crash Dive - The crew of a nuclear submarine rescue supposed victims of a boat disaster, but the victims turn out to be terrorists intent on capturing nuclear weapons aboard the sub.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Those Mayans Aren't Giving Up!

On the corner of Vineland and Vanowen in NoHo is this bus bench advert... it was there *yesterday*!

Now, either:

1) They are putting out a special edition soon in cinemas, like AVATAR.
2) They thought the film was going to be much more popular than it was, and bought adverts thinking it would still be in cinemas a year later in Nov of 2010.
3) It has nothing to do with the movie, and is just warning us that those Mayans are still predicting the end of the world.

- Bill

Monday, November 15, 2010

Filler Material

Still recovering from AFM and the post-AFM work catch-up, so here's a trailer for one of my films from Germany...

The quest for peace seems to involve lots of explosions, huh?

New blog entries are coming soon!

- Bill

Thursday, November 04, 2010

November Issue Of Script Magazine!

Nov./Dec. issue of Script is on newsstands now! (Bought a copy from a newsstand yesterday in Santa Monica)

The Top-10 Scriptwriters of the Decade
by Bob Verini
Script looks back at the 2000s and names the most influential scribes of the decade. From Quentin Tarantino to Christopher Nolan, find out who made the cut and why.

Interview: The Next Three Days With Paul Haggis
by David S. Cohen
In The Next Three Days, veteran writer-director Paul Haggis remakes a French caper film, darkens it up, and turns the conventions of the prison-break movie upside down.

Writers on Writing: Conviction
by Pamela Gray
Screenwriter Pamela Gray struggled with the true story of Betty Ann Waters’ fight to vindicate her brother Kenny, who was wrongly accused of murder in 1980. Gray’s eight-year journey from script to screen involved thousands of Post-its, close interaction with director Tony Goldwyn, and a unique approach to structure that essentially melded four movies into one.

Writing 127 Hours: An Interview With Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
by Ray Morton with additional reporting by Joshua Stecker
In May 2003, amateur mountain climber Aron Ralston was hiking alone in Utah’s remote Blue John Canyon when a large boulder tipped, crushing his right forearm against the canyon’s wall. Five days later—out of food and water and facing certain death—Ralston finally saved himself by using the dull blade of a cheap multi-tool knife to saw off his own arm. Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) took on this heartrending story of survival and the challenge of writing a script where the protagonist spends much of his time immobile.

Beyond the Page: Grape Expectations With Robert Mark Kamen
by Peter Hanson
In this first in a series of articles about what screenwriters do when they’re not writing, Script visits Robert Mark Kamen’s vineyard to discuss his intoxicating form of personal expression—winemaking.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems
by Jim Cirile
Scribes everywhere dream about the six-figure spec sale, but how much of that money do you bank, and how do you survive until the next sale comes along? Here’s how to keep from going broke as a successful writer.

Interview With Megamind’s Brent Simons & Alan Schoolcraft
by Joshua Stecker
Writing partners Brent Simons and Alan Schoolcraft discuss how their spec Megamind went from long-distance collaboration to finished script, from writing sample to sale, from live-action to DreamWorks Animation, and what they learned along the way.

Making Magic: Wizards of Waverly Place
by Zack Gutin
Script steps inside the writers room with the Emmy®-winning staff of Wizards of Waverly Place to learn the secrets of making Disney magic.

Scenes We Missed, Part Two
by John Buchanan
The popular article on the realities of scene omissions is back with a look at Point Break, Patriot Games, Under Suspicion, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Learn what scenes were cut and how the screenwriters feel the edits affected the final film.

Holiday Shopping for the Screenwriter You Love
by Jenna Milly
Show the scriptwriters in your life how special they are with the gift that touches their hearts and supports their craft. Get the can’t-miss list of gifts for every writer on your list, from the novice to the pro.

Script Secrets: Distinctive Dialogue
by William Martell
One of the most common problems with screenplays is you can’t tell one character from another when they talk. Fix this script-killing flaw with tips and tricks from veteran scribe William Martell.

- My article is a part one, part two in the January issue!


- Bill

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Elements - is this the best possible location for your screenplay? Best possible protagonist? Best possible concept?
Dinner: I'm at AFM, so it ended up being pizza.
Pages: AFM - but I have written 8 family synopsis and 13 disaster synopsis a couple of action synopsis to try and set up. Out of all of that work, I am hoping one of the stories clicks.
Bicycle: No - but lots of stair climbing.

Oh, and the usual warning that one of my films is attacking the U.K.

Movies 4 Men Channel - 11/7 - 16:00 - Steel Sharks - When a United States submarine is seized by terrorists, a rescue attempt by Elite Navy Seals goes awry. The submarine crew wages a silent war beneath the waves in this tense undersea thriller.

I am sorry.

- Bill

Monday, November 01, 2010

First, Let's Kill All Of The Consultants!

Over on The Artful Writer, Craig Mazin came home from the Austin Festival with a bug up his butt and wrote a pretty strong piece against Script Consultants and People Who Write Screenwriting Books. John August came back from Austin with a similar though more level headed) blog entry.

I came back from Santa Fe and wrote this:
Act 2: Conflict!(Mentor Panel)

And have a Script Tip in circulation with this advice:
Should I Pay For Notes?

But I think we are all adults, here - except for that danged 12 year old girl working on her screenplay - and we can make our own decisions. I understand wanting to protect writers from scams and scammers, but over reactions always make me wonder if there are other motivations involved. When the reaction seems *personal* instead of informative, I wonder what those motivations are. Also, when someone hits too hard, I feel like hitting back - even if I don't have a dog in the race. You just want to *react!* even if you more-or-less agree with the comments.

I think most of you people are going to think twice before spending $2,500 on some consultant who has never sold a screenplay and isn't currently part of the film biz. That's a lot of money! I think $20 for a book is fine, I buy and read screenwriting books every once in a while to see if there's some technique I can use. But, I also expect you to be smart enough to compare whatever a book says to the actual screenplays you have read - and not just do whatever the book says to do. Especially if it seems weird.

There is a difference between helping people and punishing people - let's try not to give in to the dark side of the force.

* And Speaking Of The Dark Side Of The Force...

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is election day, so go out and vote. I'm not going to tell you who or what to vote for, that is not my place. But if you don't vote, you will not be heard. It always seems like the extremists on either side get all charged up and vote, and those regular folks in the middle just aren't angry enough to stop by the polls and cast their votes. Hey, vote even if you are not angry. The regular people in the middle are usually the majority, so make sure your voice is heard. We have to live in this country, so we might as well see if we can make it the kind of place where we are comfortable. So - VOTE TOMORROW!

* Comments Section?

Any comments on the whole Script Consultant & Book thing are welcome in the comments section, any political stuff will be deleted.

** BIG PS: So, why are there folks who are so anti Screenwriting Book and Script Consultant and Screenwriting Teacher? What causes that knee-jerk reaction? What causes that in a character?

- Bill

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Theme & Emotional Conflict - and why even silly summer popcorn films need to be well written.
Dinner: Salad.
Pages: Finished an online interview, but not the big 2 day project I had planned to do.
Bicycle: Saturday - no, rain. Sunday - yes, but not far.
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