GITS: What to expect in 2013

January 1st, 2013 by

As this blog enters its sixth calendar year [2008-2013], I do as I have done in years past: Take stock of what goes on in this tiny part of the virtual world. Some things will remain the same such as the basic daily and weekly schedule:

Monday-Sunday: Daily Dialogue
Monday: On Writing
Tuesday: Screenwriting 101
Wednesday: Script To Screen
Thursday: Business Of Screenwriting
Friday: Great Characters
Saturday: Written Interview / Saturday Hot Links
Sunday: Video Interview

I will continue through the current Sunday series, analyzing the 1920 book “How to Write a Photoplay” by Anita Loos and John Emerson, probably wrapping that up in February.

In addition, I will stay on target tracking news related to the movie business with an eye toward screenwriting including spec script sales, features on screenwriters and the craft, as well as trends and analysis.

The monthly GITS Script Reading and Analysis series forges on, this year focusing on well-known hit movies. The script for January: Groundhog Day. More on that soon.

I will continue to look for interesting themes related to writing which we can explore as weekly series such as an upcoming set of posts on the rewriting process. I think series can be helpful because they allow us to dig more deeply into content than, say, random tips.

An area I will probe more fully this year: the nexus between story, writing and spirituality. The more I write, the more convinced I am that we, as writers, are on a pilgrimage. I want to explore this particular aspect of the creative experience and figure a great way to do it is commit to an ongoing series of posts, so you can look for that, perhaps as soon as Sunday.

One arena which looks to get a serious boost in attention this year: interviews. For example, I’ve already conducted three sessions with 2012 Nicholl winners with a 4th on the way. Also several 2012 Black List writers, writers who have broken into the business by selling a spec script in 2012, plus a reprise of the Screenwriting Roundtable with six top rising Hollywood screenwriters. In addition, I look to expand to conversations with other industry insiders including managers, agents, and producers with some already in the works. This type of insight and information is critical, and I will do my best in 2013 to bring GITS readers as much of these interviews as possible.

Something that blew up beyond all expectations last year was The Quest Initiative and all of the corollary activities. In virtually all respects, it was a resounding success. However it also required a considerable amount of my time. As the 24-week workshop winds down, I need to take some time to assess things and determine if I should go forward with the Initiative again this year, opening up the possibility of working with four or more writers — for free — in The Quest. More on that later.

The Quest Initiative was something I had no idea would happen when 2012 began, but that type of thing is pretty much par for the course with this blog as some of the best, most popular features here have emerged in the spirit of the spec. What lies ahead in 2013? Who knows!

As always, I am completely open to your suggestions, so if you can think of anything you believe will contribute to the conversation on the blog and the general edification of readers, by all means post here in comments or email me.

One final point: I do this blog as a labor of love. I love movies. I love writing. I love Story. I love engaging in a dialog about all of that. Apparently there continues to be a strong appetite in the online writing community. In 2012, there were 1,242,468 visits to this site and 1,927,627 page views.

There is also strong anecdotal evidence to support the fact that what goes on here has a growing reach into Hollywood. For instance, almost every writer I contact about interviews — Nicholl winners, Black List writers, writers who have sold spec scripts, established professional screenwriters — reads this blog.

Beyond that the countless emails I receive from writers from around the world, sharing their own success stories, whether it was finally acting on their inspiration to write a story, completing a draft, producing a short film, getting representation, and so forth.

The thing is, what I do each day – on average 6 posts – just kick-starts the energy and conversation on the site. It’s you who contribute mightily to the unique atmosphere that exists here, a place where writers can drop in frequently to find reliable, quality information about the craft of screenwriting and inspiration to do what one needs to do to break into the business and sustain one’s creative focus.

Therefore as always, I thank you for being a part of this blog.

Special thanks to Franklin Leonard for the Black List and what it represents: The never-ending search for compelling stories, talented writers and ultimately great movies. I am thrilled to do whatever we can on the blog to help writers discover, develop, and write those type of original screenplays.

And so as we launch into 2013, I offer you this mantra as you delve more fully into your writing adventure: Further up and further in!

10 thoughts on “GITS: What to expect in 2013

  1. Scott, thanks for everything you do with this blog and the screenwriting community. Any chance you could update us on your book? Maybe a series on that would help stir up ideas as you write and revise.

    1. Scott says:

      David, I have several titles lined up. Frankly overseeing all aspects of The Quest Initiative last year ate up almost all of my time I had earmarked for books, but I will definitely move forward on one eBook this year with more to come. Thanks for your interest. Knowing people actually want to read a book gives me more motivation.

  2. Shaula Evans says:

    Scott, you’ve got so much planned, it is almost overwhelming. There’s so much to look forward to!

    1. Scott says:

      Thanks for your suggestions via email. A weekly and monthly recap: Good ideas both.

  3. Shaula Evans says:

    PS When the Anita Loos series is over, would you consider working through another book like that? It’s been a really great series.

    1. Scott says:

      I’ve found the Loos & Emerson series interesting, plus at least a few other folks. Not sure how many others. There are a few other old books on screenwriting I’ve found [thanks for the suggestion you sent via email], but what I may be more inclined to do is something deriving from the History of American Screenwriting class I teach. Even if I did a series on the evolution of screenplay format and style, that would be helpful in providing a broader context re the subject. I’ll keep thinking about it…

  4. if we’re voting here, please cast my ballot for the GITS Script Reading & Analysis monthly class. Because that’s what it is – an in-depth study of what works and what doesn’t, all while studying really successful films. Some are in my preferred genre; others are squarely out of it (which is important). And it’s a lot of work (sure is!) but for my money, the best way to learn and move forward is to:

    * watch the film (for enjoyment first – no notes allowed)
    * read the screenplay
    * then re-watch the film (and the time counter) with the screenplay open on your desk, and compare them “script-to-screen”
    * finally, politely debate your classmates, and see what they’re taking away from the film

    Asking what was kept in there / or left out / or changed / emphasised / reordered / how they dealt with Time / or made a scene more visual is a great way to learn. Maybe the best.

    For example, the film Bull Durham offers several lessons in how to disguise exposition scenes that are just unbelievable. Another – does Indiana Jones really have a character arc? (and does that matter so much in the Action genre? James Bond usually doesn’t). Or with Pretty Woman – how does the writer go about making a hooker a sympathetic character? The King’s Speech had me – an American guy – cheering on this elite British royal, pulling for him to find his voice because he had the balls that his brother didn’t, and his country needed him to lead them in time of war.

    We’re always told to get to “the core essence”. Okay, if I could only access 1 thing on GITS every month, it would be this series.

    Just one guy’s opinion.

    John A

    1. Scott says:

      John, I’m going to keep doing this monthly series, at least through this year. As noted in a post last year, at the very least it will serve as a recurring reminder to people about the importance of reading scripts. Also it will give me an excuse to do deeper analysis of scripts and movies I have wanted to do over the years. As always, I will continue to hope folks will be involved with the conversation. Certainly appreciate your observations and analysis!

  5. Erica R Maier says:

    I only discovered this site a couple months ago, and it has been such a valuable tool as I immerse myself back in screenwriting. Thank you, Scott, for being willing to help the underdog …..

    1. Scott says:

      Erica, thanks for the kind words. Glad you found the site and all the best on your creative efforts in 2013!

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