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.

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 1

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 2

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 3

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 4

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 5

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 6

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 7

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 8

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 9

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 10

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 11

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 12

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 13

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 14

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 15

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 16

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 17

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 18

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 19

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 20

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 21

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 22

Zero Draft Thirty: Day 23

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!


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.


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,

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.

Interview (Written): Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan (“Westworld”)

September 24th, 2016 by

A Wired interview with Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, co-creators and exec producers of the upcoming HBO series “Westworld”.

The original Westworld came out in 1973. What made you want to revisit this world?

Jonathan (Jonah) Nolan: I’ve been working for several years now with [show executive producer] J.J. Abrams on Person of Interest. Twenty-three years ago he sat down with Michael Crichton, who had directed the original film, to talk about remaking it, but he couldn’t figure out how to tackle it. Twenty years later it dawned on him that part of the difficulty was that the film is packed with ideas. For instance, there’s a throwaway line in the original about the thing that’s propagating the error from robot to robot being like a virus. I looked it up, and the first computer virus didn’t appear in the wild until 1974. There are so many ideas that J.J. thought, “There’s a series here.”

James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood in “Westworld”

Reporters at a recent press event questioned HBO programming head Casey Bloys about the network’s portrayal of sexual violence—an exchange that was spurred in large part by Westworld’s pilot, in which one of the female androids is raped, off-camera, by a human male.

Joy: The way we portray violence of any sort, including sexual acts, is something that we spend a lot of time talking about. With every scene, we ask ourselves: Is it integral to the story? Are we doing it in a fair way, not a gratuitous way? Of course, questions like that are subjective. Especially with a theme park in which humans are encouraged to let their id run free, to indulge in whatever their heart desires, it felt like these were topics that we did have to touch on in order to fully explore human nature.

Nolan: This is a story about how people behave when no one is keeping score and there are no apparent consequences. You have to deal in these transgressions.

A trailer for “Westworld”:

For the rest of the interview, go here.

“Westworld” debuts on HBO on October 2.

Daily Dialogue — September 24, 2016

September 24th, 2016 by

Sergeant HARTMAN stops in front of a black recruit, Private SNOWBALL.

HARTMAN: What’s your name, scumbag?
SNOWBALL: (shouting) Sir, Private Brown, sir!
HARTMAN: Bullshit! From now on you’re Private Snowball! Do you like that name?
SNOWBALL: (shouting) Sir, yes, sir!
HARTMAN: Well, there’s one thing that you won’t like, Private Snowball! They don’t serve fried chicken and watermelon on a daily basis in my mess hall!
SNOWBALL: Sir, yes, sir!
JOKER: (whispering) Is that you, John Wayne? Is this me?
HARTMAN: Who said that? Who the fuck said that? Who’s the slimy little communist shit twinkle-toed cocksucker down here, who just signed his own death warrant? Nobody, huh?! The fairy fucking godmother said it! Out-fucking-standing! I will P.T. you all until you fucking die! I’ll P.T. you until your assholes are sucking buttermilk.

Sergeant HARTMAN grabs Cowboy by the shirt.

HARTMAN: Was it you, you scroungy little fuck, huh?!
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
HARTMAN: You little piece of shit! You look like a fucking worm! I’ll bet it was you!
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
JOKER: Sir, I said it, sir!

Sergeant HARTMAN steps up to JOKER.

HARTMAN: Well … no shit. What have we got here, a fucking comedian? Private Joker? I admire your honesty. Hell, I like you. You can come over to my house and fuck my sister.

Sergeant HARTMAN purnches JOKER in the stomach. JOKER sags to his knees.

HARTMAN: You little scumbag! I’ve got your name! I’ve got your ass! You will not laugh! You will not cry! You will learn by the numbers. I will teach you. Now get up! Get on your feet! You had best unfuck yourself or I will unscrew your head and shit down your neck!
JOKER: Sir, yes, sir!
HARTMAN: Private Joker, why did you join my beloved Corps?
JOKER: Sir, to kill, sir!
HARTMAN: So you’re a killer!
JOKER: Sir, yes, sir!
HARTMAN: Let me see your war face!
HARTMAN: You’ve got a war face? Aaaaaaaagh! That’s a war face. Now let me see your war face!
JOKER: Aaaaaaaagh!
HARTMAN: Bullshit! You didn’t convince me! Let me see your real war face!
JOKER: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
HARTMAN: You didn’t scare me! Work on it!
JOKER: Sir, yes, sir!

Sergeant HARTMAN speaks into cowboy’s face.

HARTMAN: What’s your excuse?
COWBOY: Sir, excuse for what, sir?
HARTMAN: I’m asking the fucking questions here, Private. Do you understand?!
COWBOY: Sir, yes, sir!
HARTMAN: Well, thank you very much! Can I be in charge for a while?
COWBOY: Sir, yes, sir!
HARTMAN: Are you shook up? Are you nervous?
COWBOY: Sir, I am, sir!
HARTMAN: Do I make you nervous?
HARTMAN: Sir, what? Were you about to call me an asshole?!
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
HARTMAN: How tall are you, Private?
COWBOY: Sir, five foot nine, sir!
HARTMAN: Five foot nine? I didn’t know they stacked shit that high! You trying to squeeze an inch in on me somewhere, huh?
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir.
HARTMAN: Bullshit! It looks to me like the best part of you ran down the crack of your mama’s ass and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress! I think you’ve been cheated!n Where in hell are you from anyway, Private?
COWBOY: Sir, Texas, sir!
HARTMAN: Holy dogshit! Texas! Only steers and queers come from Texas, Private Cowboy! And you don’t look much like a steer to me, so that kinda narrows it down! Do you suck dicks!
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
HARTMAN: Are you a peter-puffer?
COWBOY: Sir, no, sir!
HARTMAN: I’ll bet you’re the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddam common courtesy to give him a reach- around! I’ll be watching you!

Hartman moves down to Pyle.

HARTMAN: Did your parents have any children that lived?
PYLE: Sir, yes, sir.
HARTMAN: I bet they regret that. You’re so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece! What’s your name fat body?
PYLE: Sir, Leonard Lawrence, sir.
HARTMAN: Lawrence? Lawrence what… of Arabia?
PYLE: Sir, no, sir.
HARTMAN: That name sounds like royalty. Are you royalty?
PYLE: Sir, no, sir.
HARTMAN: Do you suck dicks?
PYLE: Sir, no, sir.
HARTMAN: Bullshit. I bet you could suck a golf ball through a garden hose.
PYLE: Sir, no, sir.
HARTMAN: I don’t like the name Lawrence, only faggots and sailors are called Lawrence. From now on you’re Gomer Pyle.
PYLE: Sir, yes, sir.
HARTMAN: Do you think I’m cute, Private Pyle? Do you think I’m funny?
PYLE: Sir, no, sir!
HARTMAN: Then wipe that disgusting grin off your face.
PYLE: Sir, yes, sir.

Tries to stop smiling.

HARTMAN: Well, any fucking time, sweetheart!
PYLE: Sir, I’m trying, sir.
HARTMAN: Private Pyle I’m gonna give you three seconds; exactly three-fucking-seconds to wipe that stupid looking grin off your face or I will gouge out your eyeballs and skull-fuck you! ONE! TWO! THREE!
PYLE: Sir, I can’t help it, sir.
HARTMAN: Bullshit! Get on your knees scumbag!

Pyle drops down to his knees.

HARTMAN: Now choke yourself.

Pyle wraps his own hands around his throat.

HARTMAN: Goddamn it, with MY hand, numb-nuts!

Pyle reaches for Hartman’s hand.

HARTMAN: Don’t pull my fucking hand over there! I said choke yourself; now lean forward and choke yourself! [Pyle does so] Are you through grinning?
PYLE: [gagging] Sir, yes, sir.
HARTMAN: Bullshit, I can’t hear you!
PYLE: [louder] Sir, yes, sir.
HARTMAN: Bullshit, I STILL can’t hear you! Sound off like you’ve got a pair!
Private Gomer Pyle: SIR, YES, SIR!
HARTMAN: That’s enough! Get on your feet. Private Pyle you had best square your ass away and start shitting me Tiffany cufflinks or I will definitely fuck you up!
PYLE: Sir, yes, sir.

Full Metal Jacket (1987), screenplay by Stanley Kubrick & Michael Herr & Gustav Hasford,

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Military Moments, suggested by Will King. Today’s suggestion by Lois Bernard.

Trivia: R. Lee Ermey went to Stanley Kubrick and asked for the role of Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann. In his opinion, the actors on the set were not up to snuff. When Kubrick declined, Ermey barked an order for Kubrick to stand up when he was spoken to, and the director instinctively obeyed. Ermey got the role.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Talk about an introduction to military life. Hartman is a ‘hard’ man, indeed.