Daily Dialogue — July 28, 2014

July 28th, 2014 by

Anne Sullivan: [making hand signs which Helen feels with her hands] C… A… K… E…

Helen makes the letter signs for “cake”.

Anne Sullivan: You do as my fingers do, never mind what it means.

She gives Helen a piece of cake. Helen stuffs it into her mouth.

Anne Sullivan: Now…

She brushes a doll against Helen’s face. Helen feels Anne making hand signs.

Anne Sullivan: D… O… L… L.

Helen resists doing the right hand signs. Anne takes her hand to make the L sign.

Anne Sullivan: L.

Helen does the correct hand sign. Anne gives Helen her doll.

Anne Sullivan: You may take now. Understand later. End of the first lesson.

Helen hauls off and whacks Anne across the face.

The Miracle Worker (1962), screenplay by William Gibson, based on his stage play

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Teaching.

Trivia: The original Broadway production of “The Miracle Worker” opened at the Playhouse Theater on October 19, 1959, ran for 719 performances, and won the 1960 Tony Award for Best Play. Anne Bancroft (winner of the 1960 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play) and Patty Duke recreated their stage roles in the movie. Also in the opening night cast were Kathleen Comegys as Aunt Ev and Beah Richards as Viney, both originating their movie roles. William Gibson wrote the teleplay, the stage play and the screenplay.

Dialogue On Dialogue: This is one of those movies that had a profound effect on me as a youth when I first saw it, a number of scenes seared into my memory… like this one.

Go Into The Story Week In Review: July 21-July 27, 2014

July 27th, 2014 by

Links to the week’s most notable posts:

A proposal about uncredited screenwriters

Conversations With Wilder: Part 6

Daily Dialogue Theme for Next Week: Teaching

Daily Dialogue Topic Index

Declare Your Independents: Volume 22

Documentary: “The Silence of the Lambs: The Inside Story”

Found: Online Song Lyric Generators

Great Character: Shannon Mullins (The Heat)

Has “Snowpiercer” shifted the VOD / theatrical model for indie films?

Interview [Video]: Diablo Cody

Interview (Video): David Seltzer

Interview (Written): Mike Cahill

On Writing: Orson Welles

Reader Question: Are writers included in “nuisance lawsuits”?

Saturday Hot Links

Scene-Writing Challenge, Day 15

Scene-Writing Challenge, Day 16

Scene-Writing Challenge, Day 17

Scene-Writing Challenge, Day 18

Scene-Writing Challenge, Day 19

Screenwriting 101: J.J. Abrams

Screenwriting News (July 21-July 27, 2014)

Script To Screen: Lost In Translation

Spec Script Sale: “Untitled Arabian Nights Project”

The Physics of Story Concepts

The Stories of Your Life

Update: Gender in Spec Script Sales

Want to write a script in 6 weeks?

Writing and the Creative Life: The Tactile Experience of Writing

Interview [Part 7]: Jason Mark Hellerman

July 27th, 2014 by

One script that received a lot of attention in the 2013 Black List is “Shovel Buddies” by Jason Mark Hellerman (it garnered 22 votes). I was quite struck by the story — “Over 24 hours, four teenage friends try to complete the “Shovel List” (a will/bucket list) left for them by their best friend before he died of Leukemia” — and reached out to talk with Jason about it. We ended up talking for 90 minutes, an excellent conversation covering a lot of territory. I think aspiring screenwriters will find Jason’s insights particularly relevant as we got into quite a bit of depth about his process of being outside the business to inside it.

Today in Part 7, Jason shares what it was like to learn “Shovel Buddies” had made the 2013 Black List:

Scott:  I’m looking at a tweet from December 16th, 2013, at 1:07 PM from the Black List “Shovel Buddies” by Jason Mark Hellerman, Black List 2013, what was that like?

Jason:  It was surreal. I’ve followed the Black List since it was a thing. I have a news piece from my dad from 2007, whenever he first realized it. It was, “Hey isn’t this cool? Maybe someday you’ll be on there,” and I was.

To me, it was this weird sense of fulfillment. “Hey, Jason you’ve done a lot of dumb things. You got through them.” I want to go back to Jason standing in the hallway, dialing his dad’s phone number as he decides he’s going to quit being a doctor, and be, “It’s the best decision you’ll ever make. You were right. Don’t be afraid of what you’re supposed to do. Don’t be afraid of anyone who’s going to say, ‘You’re never going to get a job out there, man. You’re going to be making 20 grand the rest of your life. You’re going to be doing this. A writer’s one in a million.’”

For me, the moment that went out, knowing that I had made it to a goal that I had set for myself, seven years prior, was like this giant rush of “OK, time to get down to it. Great, I did it once. Now let’s do it again.”

It was nice hearing people liked “Shovel Buddies.” I’m sure students will get this, because I got this. For the longest time “Shovel Buddies” was a PDF on the Internet that I wasn’t sure anybody was reading. For a longer time before that, it was a PDF on my laptop that nobody had read.

Knowing that people had read it, not only read it but also liked it, and not only liked it, but were willing to tell other people they liked it, changed the game for me. Writers notoriously lack self‑confidence, and that was like going on a date with Kate Upton.

I was blown away. I was, “Oh, my God. You like me.” Insert Sally Field quote here. I was just shock, awe, and flattery. I felt like I had made everybody proud. Michael was able to roll calls that day and be like, “Did you see my assistant, Black List.” Plus, rolls my calls, plus, helped me out at home.

My parents got to put it on their Facebook page with their four friends.

It was cool. My girlfriend said, “I’m proud of you.” I was, “Oh, I did something, something that wasn’t just a PDF on my laptop.” That’s all it really takes. That’s all any writer ever wants to hear.

Scott:  You’ve written a 65th draft of the script and it’s going out to directors. Is that right?

Jason:  Yeah. It’s out to directors, we’ve had a lot of interest. Here’s what I added. One of the big things that I had been trying to do, but ran out of time was Susan, Ted’s wife. I was never happy that Susan gets the cop out ending of, “Well, let’s not tell mom.”

I always thought about that, and I had time over Christmas to be with my own mom, and to really talk with her about everything, about life and big decisions. I thought, “Damn, if that happened to me, I’d want my mom to know where I was.”

I just wasn’t satisfied anymore that Susan was going to spend the rest of her life thinking her kid was in an urn that someone handed to them. I went back, much as I did with Ted. I sat and I added six scenes with Susan.

Here’s Susan’s journey by herself. She leaves to get some air. The kids break in, they take the thing, Ted goes. When Susan gets back to the house no one’s there, and she’s, “Oh, where are people?”

She doesn’t want to be there alone, so she sets off on her own journey through the night, which brings her to a convenience store to pick up Sammy’s favorite snack. It takes her downtown to get a cheese steak, where she has a very late night 3:00 AM cheese steak with a very famous person.

Then in the end, it brings her to a stoplight in a minivan, where Ted is sitting in his beaten cop car, in his pajamas, and she pulls up next to him, and says, “What the hell are you doing here? Where’s our daughter?” Spoiler, it takes her to the stadium, so that everyone can say goodbye. I sat for a long time and I looked at it.

Like I said, I talked to my mom and I knew you can’t Bogart a goodbye from a parent. That’s one thing. I had to be mature with “Shovel Buddies” to understand that there was a mature theme to it. If my parents were going to sit and watch this movie, they would want to say goodbye to me, and how much I’d want them to be able too.

That’s the addition of Susan. Everything else is the same. What happens at the end is that Susan pulls up in her minivan after the kids have dropped the body and they’re smoking. They’re, “How do you want to get home.” Susan and Ted pull up in the minivan and we end with all of them in this minivan, and they start laughing.

That to me was the ultimate full circle. We all start crying with a situation like that.

I thought that night, those events, and what happens to Susan, Ted, Kate, Jenny, Dan, and Lump the only way you could end is laughing, because if they ended crying it would be different movie. They end driving on this highway, Ted makes a joke, and everyone just laughs. They laugh and laugh and laugh, and we fade out on that.

Tomorrow in Part 8, Jason talks about his approach to the craft of screenwriting.

For Part 1 of the interview, go here.

Part 2, here.

Part 3, here.

Part 4, here.

Part 5, here.

Part 6, here.

Jason is repped by CAA and Management 360.

Twitter: @JasonHellerman.

“Conversations With Wilder”: Part 6

July 27th, 2014 by

Billy Wilder is my all-time favorite filmmaker. Consider just some of his movies: Double Indemnity (1944), Sunset Blvd. (1950), Stalag 17 (1953), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), an oeuvre that demonstrates an incredible range in a filmmaking career that went from 1929 to 1981.

One of the best books on filmmaking and storytelling is “Conversations With Wilder” in which Cameron Crowe, a fantastic filmmaker in his own right (Say Anything, Singles, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) sat down with Wilder for multiple hours and they talked movies.

Every Sunday for the next several months, I’m going to post excerpts from the book, add a few thoughts, and invite your comments. I trust this will be a good learning experience for each of us. And while we’re at it, why don’t watch some Wilder movies to remind ourselves what a great writer and director he was.

Today’s excerpt comes from P. 33:

CC: There’s a great story you told once, and it is about the very nature of collaboration. I heard that when you were writing Ninotchka, you and Charles Brackett were stuck on just how to accomplish her eventual love affair with capitalism. You’d written pages and pages–

BW: Yeah, pages. We needed a thing to prove in a short, in an abrupt, version that she too fell under the spell of capitalism, that she too is vulnerable.

CC: And you were all stuck on this story point. And [Ernst] Lubitsch didn’t like anything you’d written. Then Lubitsch goes to the can, emerges after a minute, and says, “It’s the hat.”

BW: “The hat.” And we said, “What hat?” He said, “We build the hat into the beginning!” Brackett and I looked at each other–this is Lubitsch. The story of the hat has three acts. Ninotchka first sees it in a shop window as she enters the Ritz Hotel with her three Bolshevik accomplices. This absolutely crazy hat is the symbol of capitalism to her. She gives it a disgusted look and says, “How can a civilization survive which allows women to wear this on their heads?” Then the second time she goes by the hat and makes a noise–tch-tch-tch. The third time, she is finally alone, she has gotten rid of her Bloshevik accomplices, opens a drawer and pulls it out. And now she wears it. Working with Lubitsch, ideas like this were in the air.

I love this anecdote. “Why, Scott. It’s just about a hat.” Ah, you think! Check out the setup of this precious little subplot:

First off, this bit of business with the hat is precisely the type of thing screenwriters face all the time in crafting a story. You’re going along, something doesn’t work, then you hit on a solution which causes you to go back to set something up so you can pay it off here or later. We reverse engineer stories constantly, stumbling into a payoff which requires an earlier setup.

Next: This is a great example of visual storytelling. One’s instinct might be to have Ninotchka express her shift in favor of capitalism through dialogue, but those are just words that drift in one ear, out the other. So much more effective to demonstrate her transformation through an image which the audience can see. The Hat = Capitalism. We know that because Ninotchka has said as much with her first line of dialogue about it. She sees it as decadent symbol of all that is wrong with capitalism. Yet by the third beat in the subplot, when she surreptitiously puts on the hat when she is alone, that says it all. She has bought into capitalism. Picture worth a thousand words – boom!

Then there is the fact that the hat has its own subplot. Movies are filled with subplots, each of them – in good stories – tied to and advancing the Plotline. Ninotchka’s relationship to the hat is one way to trace her metamorphosis.

Finally, there is the Magical Number 3. The idea of Beginning-Middle-End, the foundation of narrative as first elucidated by Aristotle, works not only in terms of an overall story, but also for scenes, sequences, and subplots. And here we have a perfect example:

Beginning: Ninotchka decries the hat as a symbol of capitalistic decadence.
Middle: Her “tch-tch-tch” still conveys a generally negativity, but not as firm as before.
End: She dons the hat signifying acceptance of capitalism.

This is how professional screenwriters think. They confront a problem. They try various solutions. They push themselves to come up with one that really works. And they look for simple, elegant, and oftentimes visual solutions that are always tied to the overall narrative.

It’s not just a hat in Ninotchka. It is creative brilliance.

ninotchka-1939-greta-garbo-hat

Next week: More from “Conversations With Wilder.” If you have any observations or thoughts, please head to comments.

For the entire series, go here.

Screenwriting News (July 21-July 27, 2014)

July 27th, 2014 by

David Diamond and David Weissman writing sequel to Last Vegas for CBS Films.

Michael Finch rewriting video game based project “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” for CBS Films.

James Gunn writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 for Marvel.

Jay Martel and Ian Roberts writing live action/animation remake of TV series “Manimal” for Sony Pictures Animation.

Jose Rivera and Richard Regen writing remake of thriller “Deity” for YRF Entertainment.

Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair adapting biopic “A Boy Named Shel” for Wonderland Sound and Vision and Motion Theory.

Micheal Spierig and Peter Spierig rewriting horror “Winchester” for Hammer Films for them to direct.

J. Michael Straczynski adapting his science fiction graphic novel “Titans” for Chernin Entertainment.

David Weil sells untitled Arabian Nights spec script-ment to Warner Bros in preemptive deal.

Interview [Video]: David Seltzer

July 27th, 2014 by

An excellent resource for screenwriting interviews The Dialogue Series. It’s now available online for free. Here is an interview with David Seltzer whose screenwriting credits include The Omen (1976), Punchline (1988), and Shining Through (1992).

For the other videos in the series, go here.

HT to Cinephilia & Beyond (@LaFamiliaFilm) for the heads-up about The Dialogue Series going online.

Daily Dialogue — July 27, 2014

July 27th, 2014 by

The Old Man: Nice shooting, son. What’s your name?
Murphy: Murphy.

RoboCop (1987), written by Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Robot.

Trivia: Edward Neumeier came up with the idea for RoboCop after he had helped out on the set of Blade Runner (1982), which was about cops hunting robots that looked like humans in the future. Intrigued, Neumeier turned the scenario around into a future where a cop looking like a robot would be hunting human criminals.

Dialogue On Dialogue: With that one word — “Murphy” — his character answers a critical question that has loomed since he became a hybrid robot: Who are you? Classic case of Disunity to Unity arc whereby he reclaims his humanity at the end.

Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Teaching

July 26th, 2014 by

The Daily Dialogue theme next week: Teaching.

5.0.2

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute.
We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.
And the human race is filled with passion.”

* 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 re screenwriting?

Here is our lineup for upcoming Daily Dialogue themes:

August 4-August 10: Grief

August 11-August 17: Voice-Over Narration

August 18-August 24: Smack Talk

August 25-August 31: Delivering Bad News

Check this out: The GITS Daily Dialogue Topic Index! You can read about Liz and Allie, two sisters who are big fans of the blog, and were inspired to create the index. A great resource for writers looking for inspiration for their own dialogue writing. You can be a part of this proud tradition with your ideas for weekly themes and Daily Dialogue suggestions.

Please post your ideas for this week’s theme — Teaching — in comments. Thanks!

If you have any ideas for Daily Dialogue themes, feel free to post as well.

Interview [Part 6]: Jason Mark Hellerman

July 26th, 2014 by

One script that received a lot of attention in the 2013 Black List is “Shovel Buddies” by Jason Mark Hellerman (it garnered 22 votes). I was quite struck by the story — “Over 24 hours, four teenage friends try to complete the “Shovel List” (a will/bucket list) left for them by their best friend before he died of Leukemia” — and reached out to talk with Jason about it. We ended up talking for 90 minutes, an excellent conversation covering a lot of territory. I think aspiring screenwriters will find Jason’s insights particularly relevant as we got into quite a bit of depth about his process of being outside the business to inside it.

Today in Part 6, Jason talks about how his script got noticed in Hollywood and ended up finding representation:

Scott:  When you were in the MFA program at Boston University, did you ever imagine you’d write two lines of dialogues like this? “Kate, what are we going to do with the body?” “Danny, which one?”

Jason:  It’s so weird to me, still. I’ve wanted to do a dead body movie since Penn State. I wrote a dead body movie, and it just didn’t work. It was a goofy one. It didn’t matter.

I knew it didn’t matter because I never wanted to rewrite it. I wrote it and I was like, “This blows. I don’t want to work on it.” I couldn’t figure out why. It took writing some other scripts to get that what we talked about earlier… if you don’t love it, if it’s not about something.

This script [“Shovel Buddies’], for me, was a bereavement.

This is my letter to the fallen comrades, the people who I thought deserved it more than me and didn’t get there, not because they fucked up, but because the world took them away.

I always came back to that. I thought, “That’s the story where it has to be…” I set out to write that story. I remember pitching it in class and people asked, “Is it funny?” I’m like, “No, it’s really sad.” They’d say, “We’re not going to laugh at that.” I’m like, “I know, because this is not going to be funny.”

I remember writing the opening pages and having people say, “We’re laughing way too much. There’s a dead kid.” I was, “It’ll work. I promise you it’ll work. I’ll just spend enough time to make it work.” I was so manic about it. I knew it had to work.

Scott:  That dovetails right into the next question. You’ve got a really interesting mix of tones here, even genres. There’s a drama. You’re dealing with death and loss. It’s got some action with some chase scenes. It’s funny, sometimes a very angry kind of humor.

How did you land on the precise tone you did?

Jason:  I was conscious of it. Here’s the deal. I wrote it, and it was the angriest first 10 drafts of anything I’d ever done. All the feedback I got was, “Wow, Jason, do you want a hug?” Anyways, it was mad. There was vitriol. You think Dan is bad now? He was poison.

It was everything that I was frustrated with. Then it was paring that back. When they say, “Don’t send an angry email at night.” It was like that. I had written the angriest script that I sent to people at night that they’re all, “Whoa, tone it back.”

I looked at it, then I started writing a love story. It was a love story between two friends, but I had to write that love story only using the words in this angry email. It became an exercise for me.

Like we talked about, I love all kinds of movies, there’s not a particular genre I don’t like. For me, it was just sitting there, knowing that this had to be funny, because life is funny and because when both my friends died, there was a lot more I laughed at than I thought I would.

But I also knew that I had to cry, because when my friends died, there was a lot more I cried at than I thought I would, and just knowing that I wanted there to be equal parts laughter and crying.

I think taking that anger and actually self‑examining it and fleshing it out into different feelings was probably the best thing for me.

Scott:  So this incredible process, 60 drafts of this script, what did you do to get the script noticed?

Jason:  I was out here, working for Michael Costigan. I wrote the original “Shovel Buddies” draft in four days. Legitimately four days. I had outlined it, but I just sat up and wrote it and wrote it and wrote it and wrote it. I knew I needed to get noticed. I knew I needed to get read. People were reading different scripts I had and saying, “Oh, these are good.”

I had met with a couple of producers off a different script I wrote that they read and were like, “This is funny. What else do you have?” Then, they didn’t like anything else I had and it was, “OK, good luck.”

The Black List website had just debuted in October and while I was at Scott Free, I remember bringing water to a kid in the waiting room and he was so young. He was my age and I asked the assistant, “Who’s that guy?”

They were like, “Oh, that’s the guy that wrote ‘McCarthy’”.

Scott:   Justin Kremer?

Jason:  Yeah, and they said, “It was off the Black List website.” I said, “No shit.” I saw him in the waiting room and I thought, “I want to be that guy. I’m interning here. I want to be the guy in the waiting room. How do I get to there?”

I went home. I went to the Black List website. I said, “Fuck it. Why not? Why not? I’m already so deep in student loans.” Putting money on the credit card for screenwriting, to me, felt so much more logical than anything else.

So I loaded up a different script, not “Shovel Buddies”, a script I wrote called “Nativity Knock‑Off.” I loaded it up there and I left it up for three months and I got a lot of really mixed reviews.

It sort of broke my heart and there was, what I thought at the time, was my best written script and I was like, “Damn it, why don’t people love this?” I got really upset one night and I took down “Nativity Knock‑Off” and put up “Shovel Buddies”.

I was so nervous to put up “Shovel Buddies” because of the pure emotion. Whereas, “Nativity” was jokes and more of a comedy, but that was pure, raw, upset emotion.

I put it up there and the first responses I got were great. I don’t know if people, the readers, if they’re familiar with the Black List website, you can host your script on there and then you pay for individual readers to rate your script one through 10.

I paid for three readers to rate “Shovel Buddies” right off the bat and with “Nativity”, had gotten bunches of sixes and sevens, which, I guess, are good, but not great. But with “Shovel Buddies”, I got nines. I got three nines to start out. Immediately I started getting more downloads.

I made the front page of the Black List website. I felt really good and I was getting emails from managers. “Let’s meet. Let’s talk.” I went and met with the managers, but we just didn’t jive.

They were nice or they had different ideas or they’d be like, “Hey, this script is too sad, man. Maybe, the kid could really be alive. Maybe, they can use a defibrillator at the end. They shock, he’s back to life.”

I’m like, “No, that’s not at all what I want to do.” I just left it up there [on the Black List site]. Then October 2013 rolled around and I got this email from Franklin Leonard and Terry [Huang]. They were like, “Hey, Jason, we love ‘Shovel Buddies’. It’s really cool that you’ve got,” I probably had 75 or 80 downloads, and ratings.

A lot of times, I’d either be getting nines or I’d been getting fives. I would think, “That’s weird.” They were like, “We love how polarizing it is and people on the site, they either really like it or they just don’t like it. We’re going to start doing a script of the month thing, a script of the week,” or whatever it was at the time. I think it’s two weeks long.

They said, “We’d like you to be the first one. Would you like to participate?” I was like, “Yes, thanks. More than anything, yes.”

I emailed them, said, “Yes, it’s amazing.” They sent me this guy who would draw a poster for it, which was cool. We did all that jazz. He drew the poster. I was super stoked.

It goes up on a Tuesday and, of course, I was at work. I’m rolling calls and I’m really busy. Michael [Costigan] had just had one of his assistants who quit, so I’m back on his desk answering phones. I hadn’t been in a while, so you’re very rusty. I’m rolling with big time agents and other producers. I’m having a very stressful day, but I’m doing OK.

Then the script goes live. My cell phone just starts ringing, and rings and rings and rings. I’m getting all these calls and voicemails. You’ve got six voicemails and you’ve got whatever. Then, I guess through the power of Linkedin and Google, people started figuring out where I was working.

They started calling Michael’s line and emailing him, “Hey, that assistant you’ve got. I think he wrote a script and it’s pretty popular.” Michael called me in his office and was like, “What did you do?” I said, “Hey, remember that script we talked about a while ago?” Michael had read “Shovel Buddies” and really loved it. We had made this sort of pact between men. He was like, “Look, buster, ask me for a year and I’ll help you for a lifetime.” And I was like, “Yes, sir.” Whatever.

At this point, he had given me everything, every opportunity. He had paid my rent. He had been amazing, like a movie father figure to me.

He said, “OK, let’s make a list.” We sat there, and I played all the voicemails through. We looked at all the emails, made a list of everyone who called me. He said, “Look, take the next week, go to breakfast with all these people, one by one, and let’s circle back at my house on Friday night and pick.” I was like, “OK, great.”

He helped me filter out who he thought would be good for me, and who he thought wouldn’t, and who he thought, “These people won’t return your calls.” He was just great about that.

Then I went and met with all these managers, and I settled on Dean [Sneider] and Ali [Itri] at Management 360. People are always like, “Why did you pick them above everybody else?”

A, they were the first ones to call me, which meant a lot, and, B, it was because I told them, “Look, I work for Michael Costigan. He’s graciously allowed me to have breakfast with people, but I don’t know when I can meet you because he has a call at 9:00 AM, I have to dial him in.”

They said, “We’ll meet you at 7:00 AM, at Nate & Al’s,” and I was like, “Seriously?” They were, “Yeah, we’ll meet you there.” I got there at 7:00 AM, and they were already outside waiting for me. I didn’t have to wait for them.

They were upfront about their plans and what they liked about the script. It wasn’t like they heard it was hot. They had read it. They each had personal stories about it. It meant a lot, so I signed with them.

I signed with CAA the next week, with Allie Trussman and Matt Martin and John Garvey, who were the same deal. Not only were they among the first, but they had a personal connection to what I did. Also what I thought was a logical, “Hey, Jason, we think you write a lot like this person. Do you like these movies? This is what we’re going to do to get a director. This is what we’re going to do to help you next.”

Again, I sat with my mentors and people I talked to. “How do you pick?” They said, “Look, if you feel good about, that’s all of it. That’s a hundred percent. CAA is a name that everybody recognizes, but if you sit across from these people who are going to be your agents and going to be your managers, and you like them and you’re laughing with them and they get your jokes, and you think they’re actually laughing at your jokes, then that’s it. We can’t teach you anything more than that.”

That was it. That was in October, and my life has been a whirlwind since then.

Tomorrow in Part 7, Jason shares what it was like to learn “Shovel Buddies” had made the 2013 Black List.

For Part 1 of the interview, go here.

Part 2, here.

Part 3, here.

Part 4, here.

Part 5, here.

Jason is repped by CAA and Management 360.

Twitter: @JasonHellerman.

Saturday Hot Links

July 26th, 2014 by

Time for the 144th installment of Saturday Hot Links!

Today: The Celebrities On Helium Edition!

Comic-Con 2014: THR’s full guide to parties in San Diego.

Related: Comic sales rise in paper and pixels.

TIFF 2014 lineup announced.

Related: Toronto Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival appear to be at war.

2014 Venice Film Festival lineup announced.

Nikki Finke: Inside the Sony shakeups [Part 1].

Some oddly specific niche blogs.

12 essential martial arts movies.

15 Twitter accounts for history buffs.

Boyhood coming to Criterion Collection with special features.

Related: Why Richard Linklater makes movies.

10 concentration apps that will help you get down to business.

5 reasons Sex Tape came up flaccid at the box office.

10 body parts you could do without.

20 survival films that will take you into the abyss.

Casey Kasem’s body missing from funeral home.

Filmmaker Magazine names 2014′s ’25 New Faces of Independent Film’.

X-rays of toys and their complex interiors.

FXX passes on Charlie Kaufman TV pilot “How and Why”.

Related: Is Charlie Kaufman too smart for TV?

46 awesome life-hacks.

“Simpsons World” announced: Critics lose their minds.

Ohio veteran fights to keep his therapy ducks.

Netflix crosses 50M subscribers.

McDonalds and Taco Bell apologize for selling expired, garbage meat.

Highest paid actor in Hollywood? Robert Downey Jr.

Can an excess of exercise actually lead to heart disease.

Is Matthew McConaughey circling a Black List script for his next project?

5 previous attempts to split up California.

How going Hollywood paid off for Wired magazine.

Chubby Checker settles penis size app lawsuit.

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert battle over who is the biggest Star Wars fan.

14 rare and unreleased Weird Al parodies you may not have heard.

Why UPS trucks don’t turn left.

Writer-director Scott Derrickson (Deliver Us From Evil) on how to make a studio horror movie.

10 children’s book series that deserve adaptations.

15 Nirvana covers you may not have heard.

A new screenwriting and movie podcast series: Chicks Who Script.

Did you know there are over 13,000 concert videos in YouTube’s vault.

50 essential feminist films.

7 animals that eat one food almost exclusively.

10 banned movie posters.

Why does garlic make your breath smell so bad.

John Fasano, whose screenwriting credits include Another 48 Hrs., Tombstone, Alien 3, dead at 52.

Book Deals: Week of July 21, 2014.

Screenwriter Bob Saenz blogs about radical rewrites.

The power of positive science fiction [audio].

Are you ready for a 1/6th scale Marty McFly action figure?

Not wanting ‘trust fund kids,’ Philip Seymour Hoffman left his entire estate to their mother.

Top 10 stunts of all time [video].

14 hidden things to look for at Disneyland.

Why are some people more prone to mosquito bites.

Jon Stewart launches $10B Kickstarter campaign to buy CNN… sorta.

A brief history of the roller coaster.

22 all-time great directors and their final films.

If you get hit by an ambulance, do they have to pick you up.

13 stereotypes of the British film industry.

How Mao Tse Tung accidentally turned mangoes into divine objects in China’s cultural revolution.

How Marvel became the envy (and scourge) of Hollywood.

A middle school heavy metal band lands a $1.8M record deal.

5 man-made things you can see from space.

Galaxy Quest: The Oral History.

Beatles member George Harrison’s memorial tree killed by… beetles.

9 Kickstarter films from 2014 that deserve your attention

So these two folks went whale-watching in their kayak and… [video].

Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch 1999 two-woman show [video].

Six female characters you really should stop writing.

Headphones are shortening your career.

Watch 4-minute supercut of computer hacking in 8os movies [video].

Thomas the Tank Engine voice actor quits over salary dispute.

See the evolution of Superman’s costume in film and TV.

How to name your sequel: Not just Roman numerals anymore.

Amazon to spend $103M on original series in Q3.

The story of a story [video].

New book you might want to check out: “Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader” by Howard Casner.

THR Q&A with 22 top TV network executives.

Finally an appreciation for actor James Garner who died this week at the age of 86.

Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week: Frequently people email me asking if there is a way they can support Go Into The Story. They suggest I put a tip jar for contributions or some such thing. I would never do that just like I don’t believe in having ads on the site. It’s important to me that everything at GITS is free with no strings attached. The result is in all the time I’ve hosted the site, I’ve never made a dime directly from it.

Recently I got an email from a writer who took one of my Screenwriting Master Class courses. She wrote that although she was tentative about enrolling in an online class, something she’d never done before, she was interested in the content, liked my approach to screenwriting as conveyed on the blog, and that she felt by taking the class, she would be supporting Go Into The Story.

You know what? She’s right. I have several ‘revenue streams’ and SMC is one of them. All of them combined enable me to put the time and energy I do into GITS.

So if you’ve hesitated to take an SMC course before, the fact is by taking a class, you are in effect supporting the blog. Beyond that, I’m sure you will enjoy and benefit from the experience.

In that spirit, here are some of my upcoming classes:

July 21 – Core II: Concept (Scott Myers)

August 4 – Core III: Character (Scott Myers)

August 18 – Prep: From Concept to Outline (Scott Myers)

September 1 – Core IV: Style (Scott Myers)

September 8 – Pages I: The First Draft (Scott Myers)

September 15 – Core V: Dialogue (Scott Myers)

October 27 – Core VI: Scene (Scott Myers)

November 10 – Core VII: Theme (Scott Myers)

December 2 – Core VIII: Time (Scott Myers)

Want to support Go Into The Story? Why not take a Screenwriting Master Class course. You’ll learn a lot, make progress as a writer, and help to keep GITS going strong.

As always, I look forward to the opportunity to work with you!