Zero Draft Thirty 2016 Autumn Challenge: Day 25

September 25th, 2016 by

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 25.

September 1: Type FADE IN / The Beginning.
September 30: Type FADE OUT / The End.

30 days. 1 script. Movie script. TV script. First draft. Rewrite. Whatever.

Get it down. Get it done.

For background on how the Zero Draft Challenge came into being and what it is, go here, here, and here.

To download your very own Zero Draft Thirty calendars — created by Yvetta Douarin or Chris Neumann — go here and here, then keep track of your progress!

On Twitter, use this hashtag: #ZD30SCRIPT.

Facebook: Here. 1200+ members strong.

Join the conversation for a chance to win The Marion Award!

Today’s Writing Quote

“Drama comes from objectives and obstacles.
The stronger those two elements are,
the more engaging the story.”
— Nick Palmer

Today’s Inspirational Video

Talismans. A physical object with symbolic meaning. Here a lanyard. Wonderful.

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Zero Draft Thirty: Day 24

Check back later for the winner of today’s Marion Award!

Spread the word.

Join the Zero Draft Thirty Facebook group! Follow on Twitter: #ZD30SCRIPT!

Onward!

UPDATE: The latest bit of fun emerging from the ZD30 Facebook group is this courtesy of Ricardo Varma:

Dubbed Scamper the Hamster in honor of the zero draft approach to writing sprints — we prefer to scamper in order to bring both motivation and fun to the process — I decreed Scamper to be our official #ZD30SCRIPT mascot. And that has led to this:

Hamster on a swing

And this:

And this:

Which has led to this: Ricardo is today’s recipient of the Marion Award!

AA Francis Marion Varma

For your chance to win the Marion Award, one given away each day during the Challenge, post something inspiring — even with hamster! — here on the blog, via Twitter, or the Facebook group.

Congratulations, Ricardo!

Spread the word.

Join the Zero Draft Thirty Facebook group! Follow on Twitter: #ZD30SCRIPT!

Now everyone go write!

Only 5 days left!

Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work: Set a deadline

September 25th, 2016 by


There are a lot of find things to motivate a writer to write.
The desire to craft a wonderful story…
The fantasy of writing a million dollar spec script…
The realization of putting on paper the singular story your life has led you to tell.

And then there’s possibly the best motivator of all…
Humiliation.
Or the threat thereof.

If you can orchestrate events so that the fear of being humiliated by not writing is greater than the fear of having people read what you do write, then you will be well on your way to getting your ass in chair and plowing ahead to FADE OUT.

So how to ensure this threat of humiliation?

Set a deadline.
Not just any deadline.
A public deadline!

Prepare an email in which you state your goal — “I am going to finish a draft of my long cherished screenplay ‘Leopard Lips'” — and most importantly, you select and include a due date. To up the stakes, you can add something like, “And if I don’t produce a draft of ‘Leopard Lips’ by [due date], I hereby proclaim you have the right to belittle my manhood / womanhood however you see fit by any electronic means including email, Twitter, Facebook, IM, SMS, BBM, or even archaic conveyances such as smoke signals or semaphores.”

Then take a deep breath, let out a guttural scream, and hit SEND.

There.
You’re screwed…
Unless, of course, you write the draft.

And that’s the point.
You will be publicly humiliated by all your friends and family…
You’ve opened that door wiiiiiiiiiiiiiidddddddddeeeeee open.

The echoes of their laughter (and the exponential growth of the laughter once they spread your email to their friends and family members) will literally haunt you, getting in the way of any form of enjoyment until you…
FINISH YOUR DAMN SCRIPT!

So set a deadline.
Publicly.
Put into motion the visceral threat of abject and utter humiliation.

That is sure to see you from FADE IN to FADE OUT.

This has been another installment of Dumb Little Writing Tricks That Work.

[Originally posted March 10, 2009]

Screenwriting News (September 19-September 25, 2016)

September 25th, 2016 by

This week’s writing deals and movie project news.

Amy Aniobi adapting “The Love Playbook” for Codeblack Entertainment.

Christian Contreras 2015 Black List script “LABryinth” moving forward with Open Road Films with Johnny Depp to star.

Richard Cordiner writing untitled Wimbledon FC project for Fox 2000.

Christopher Cosmos sells historical drama spec script “American Rebel” to Pascal Pictures.

J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani adapting mobile game “Fruit Ninja” for New Line Cinema.

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi adapting horror thriller novel “Breed” for Twentieth Century Fox.

Jenny Lumet writing untitled pilot for CBS.

Dylan Meyer rewriting “Heist Society” for Lionsgate.

Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera adapting “Hearts” from a Stephen King novella for The Fyzz Facility with Roberts to direct.

Kel Symons adapting “Sandman Slim” book series for Studio 8.

Sheldon Turner adapting “Wolf Boys” for TriStar.

Terence Winter writing “Warhol” for Michael De Luca Productions with Jared Leto to star.

Video: Jenny Nicholson – “Batman V Superman Script Doctor”

September 25th, 2016 by

Another funny / smart video from Jenny Nicholson, this time critiquing Batman Versus Superman: Dawn of Justice:

For more from Jenny, go here.

Interview (Video): 2016 Santa Barbara International Film Festival Writers Panel

September 25th, 2016 by

One of my favorite movie journalists Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) moderates an It Starts With a Script writers panel every year at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. This year was no different with a panel that featured Pete Docter (Inside Out), Emma Donoghue (Room), Alex Garland (Ex Machina), Drew Goddard (The Martian), Jonathan Herman (Straight Outta Compton), Charlie Kaufman (Anomalisa), Phyllis Nagy (Carol), Charles Randolph (The Big Short), and Josh Singer (Spotlight).

Here is video of the 70 plus minute panel:

Here is a review of the event.

Daily Dialogue — September 25, 2016

September 25th, 2016 by

“What have I done?”

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), screenplay by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, novel by Pierre Boulle

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Military Moments, suggested by Will King.

Trivia: The bridge cost $250,000 to build; construction began before anyone had been cast.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The pivotal moment in the movie’s Final Struggle in which Nicholson (Alec Guinness) realizes he has undone the Allied plan to blow up the bridge, setting the stage for the dramatic finale.

Zero Draft Thirty 2016 Autumn Challenge: Day 24

September 24th, 2016 by

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 24.

September 1: Type FADE IN / The Beginning.
September 30: Type FADE OUT / The End.

30 days. 1 script. Movie script. TV script. First draft. Rewrite. Whatever.

Get it down. Get it done.

For background on how the Zero Draft Challenge came into being and what it is, go here, here, and here.

To download your very own Zero Draft Thirty calendars — created by Yvetta Douarin or Chris Neumann — go here and here, then keep track of your progress!

On Twitter, use this hashtag: #ZD30SCRIPT.

Facebook: Here. 1200+ members strong.

Join the conversation for a chance to win The Marion Award!

Today’s Writing Quote

“My best writing has been on the scripts
I wrote as suicide notes to the industry–
sort of, ‘Fuck you, guys, I’m outta here.”
— Marc Norman

Today’s Inspirational Video

One of the most memorable moments in baseball’s World Series history. Game 7, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the mighty New York Yankees, tied 9-9 in the bottom of the 9th inning, Bill Mazeroski steps up to the plate. I saw this as 7 year old boy and can still remember it to this day.

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Check back later for the winner of today’s Marion Award!

Spread the word.

Join the Zero Draft Thirty Facebook group! Follow on Twitter: #ZD30SCRIPT!

Onward!

UPDATE: Here’s an important reminder from Lindsay McRae at the Facebook group.

For that, Lindsay is today’s Marion Award recipient!

AA Francis Marion McRae

For your chance to win the Marion Award, one given away each day during the Challenge, post something inspiring, here on the blog, via Twitter, or the Facebook group.

Congratulations, Lindasy!

Spread the word.

Join the Zero Draft Thirty Facebook group! Follow on Twitter: #ZD30SCRIPT!

Now everyone go write!

Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Clairvoyance

September 24th, 2016 by

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Clairvoyance.

“Redrum.”

The Shining (1980)

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDb Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway related to the craft of writing? If so, feel free to lay that wisdom on us.

Consecutive days of Daily Dialogue posts: 3,054.

Be a part of the proud Daily Dialogue tradition, make a suggestion, and have your name emblazoned on a blog post which will forever hold a hallowed spot in the Go Into The Story archives!

Upcoming schedule of themes:

October 3-October 9: Cooking [Katha]
October 10-October 16: Coaching
October 17-October 23: Cover Up [Will King]
October 24-October 30: Discipline
October 31-November 6: All Is Lost [Melinda]
November 7-November 13: Embarrassment
November 14-November 20: Bechdel Test [Will King]
November 21-November 27: Enthusiasm
November 28-December 4: Alien Invasion [Michael Waters]
December 5-December 11: Excuse
December 12-December 18: Fish Out Of Water [Will King]
December 19-December 25: Faith
December 26-January 1: Failure [Will King and Melinda]

Be sure to post your ideas for this week’s theme: Clairvoyance.

Continued thanks to all of you Daily Dialogue devotees, your suggested dialogue and dialogue themes. Grateful for your ongoing support of this series.

Saturday Hot Links

September 24th, 2016 by

Time for the 256th installment of Saturday Hot Links, your week’s essential reading about movies, TV, streaming, Hollywood, and other things of writerly interest.

‘La La Land’ Wins Toronto Audience Award.

Has the Toronto Film Festival Gotten Too Big for Its Own (or Anybody’s) Good?

‘Suicide Squad’ Could Have Been ‘Better on the Creative,’ Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes Admits.

China’s Wanda Forming Major Alliance With Sony Pictures.

Lawmakers Raise Questions About Chinese Investment in Hollywood.

Female Screentime Disproportionate to Men Can Now Be Analyzed With New Technology.

We’re Way Too Hard On Female Characters, Hollywood Screenwriter Explains.

Feminine Perspective And Power In ‘The Silence of the Lambs’.

“Miss Stevens” Director Julia Hart on the Need for Telling Female Stories.

Hollywood movies are being cast based on how many social media followers actors have.

What Happens When Women Hit 40 in Hollywood.

Medalists Revealed At 2016 Student Academy Awards.

DreamWorks Shuts Down Ghost Story ‘Haunted’ Weeks Before Start Date.

Re ‘Blair Witch’: Is Horror Dead?

Paul Verhoeven Reveals Why the ‘RoboCop’ and ‘Total Recall’ Remakes Failed.

Frat’s entertainment: Why Animal House is still the king of college comedies.

Harry Potter’s Childhood Home Is Now For Sale, But It’s Missing One Key Feature.

Bill Murray, Brooklyn Bartender.

Warren Beatty To Be Honored by Santa Barbara Film Fest.

How Wes Anderson Is Influenced By The Peanuts.

Universal Announces Five Writers for Emerging Writers Fellowship.

Why Marriott Wants to Make Movies.

The 30 Most Beloved Micro-Budget Movies Since 1990.

Here’s Why You Should (Almost) Never Shoot Your Shots in Order.

A Small Issue at Movie Theaters Is Becoming a Major Problem.

Disney Under Fire Over ‘Moana’ Halloween Costume.

The Beginner’s Guide: Bollywood.

Emmys 2016: Full Winners List.

9 Best Jokes From Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmys Monologue.

Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest TV Shows proves we’re really in the Golden Age of Television.

Sublime Primetime: Celebrating 2016’s Emmy-Nominated Writers.

The Couple Behind HBO’s Westworld Want to Know What Is Wrong With Us All.

Even in the Age of “Peak TV,” Television Doesn’t Quite Fit Into a Film Festival.

Is TV Doomed? Two-Thirds of Young Millennials Use an Ad Blocker to Watch, Study Says

‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘The Blacklist,’ ‘Preacher’: Misdirection in Opening Scenes Is All the Rage.

‘Firefly’ Cast Recalls the Crazy Joss Whedon Pitch That Was Never Filmed.

Netflix Targeting 50% of Content to Be Original Programming.

Twitter Stops Counting Videos, Images and Polls Against Tweet Character Limit.

Twitter in Sales Talks With Google, Salesforce.com.

5 Reasons Why Google Would Want to Buy Twitter.

Snapchat to Launch $130 Video Sunglasses, Changes Name to Snap Inc.

MacArthur Foundation’s 23 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners for 2016.

Music Streaming Wars: Consolidation Looms as Lower Prices Kick In.

Read: Here’s How To Finish That Fucking Book, You Monster (Chuck Wendig).

Listen: 3rd & Fairfax (Episode 32).

Listen: The Broken Projector (Vomit Draft 24).

Listen: Scriptnotes (Episode 268).

Watch: The Lost ‘Star Wars’ Sequel.

Watch: Jimmy Kimmel’s Road to the Emmys.

Watch: Top 10 Favorite Rule Breaking Films.

Watch: Brie Larson 2013 directed short film “Weighting”.

Watch: ‘Michael Clayton’: The Tortured Path to Redemption.

Watch: ‘Whiplash’: From Short to Feature.

Watch: The Heroines of Studio Ghibli.

Watch: Wes Anderson’s Violence.

Watch: The Christopher Nolan’s Darkness.

Watch: Doc – On The Edge Of ‘Blade Runner’.

Watch: Rogue One – A Pixar Story.

R.I.P. Curtis Hanson (1945-2016).

Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week

Every time we sit down to write a script, we are faced with a scene. This can be a daunting task considering a script may have 50, 60, 70 scenes or more. In a very real way, screenwriting is at its core scene-writing.

Therefore it is essential for you to know how to handle writing scenes.

Beginning next Monday, October 3, I will be offering my 1-week online screenwriting course, Core VI: Scene. It is part of the 8-part Core curriculum which itself comprises the foundation of the screenwriting theory I teach in The Quest.

This class presents key guidelines to help writers develop a deeper understanding of scenes — what they are, how they function, and most importantly how to approach writing them.

* Learn six fundamental questions you should ask about every scene as you construct and write it.

* Put theory into practice by workshopping some of your own original scenes.

Six lectures written by Scott Myers
Special insider tips
24/7 daily forum interaction
Workshop writing exercises with instructor and class feedback
A 90-minute live teleconference between instructor and class members

Plus you can workshop a logline of one of your original stories and post it for feedback.

So go here and sign up now.

I look forward to the opportunity to work with you!

Spec Script Deal: “American Rebel”

September 24th, 2016 by

Pascal Pictures acquires historical drama spec script “American Rebel” written by Christopher Cosmos. From Deadline:

It is based on the true story of Deborah Sampson, who risked her life during the Revolutionary War by disguising herself as a man and joining the Continental Army.

It is a “major pre-emptive spec-script deal” reportedly in the “high six figures”.

It is the first sale for Cosmos who is repped by Paradigm and Madhouse Entertainment.

By my count, this is the 49th spec script deal of 2016.

There were 46 spec script deals year-to-date in 2015.