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    Screenwriting Problems? Questions? Complaints?
    #1
    Senior Member wcmartell's Avatar
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    Since this message board seems to be close to dead, let me try to keep it moving...

    Do you have any screenwriting problems or questions that you need some group help with (or maybe someone to commiserate with)?

    Post it, we'll see if we can help.

    Bill


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    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    My problem is that nobody wants to buy my scripts!...My most recent rejector said my script needed "branding". Uh, that's why I gave it to you dummy, so you can brand it.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    Senior Member wcmartell's Avatar
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    I have no idea what they meant by "branding" with a spec script.

    Most of the time a spec script is a job application for a writing assignment... of some branded property (or some awful idea the producer has). "This isn't for us, but we love your writing and have a project we think you'd be perfect for... a comic book no one has ever heard of about a hair dresser who uses his martial arts skills to avenge the death of his male lover called A BRUSH WITH DEATH. Would you like to read a xeroxed copy of the comic book and pitch your take to us?"

    Bill


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    Senior Member Batutta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcmartell View Post
    I have no idea what they meant by "branding" with a spec script.

    Most of the time a spec script is a job application for a writing assignment... of some branded property (or some awful idea the producer has). "This isn't for us, but we love your writing and have a project we think you'd be perfect for... a comic book no one has ever heard of about a hair dresser who uses his martial arts skills to avenge the death of his male lover called A BRUSH WITH DEATH. Would you like to read a xeroxed copy of the comic book and pitch your take to us?"

    Bill
    They thought it needed to be attached to a book or comic or tv show or pop song or diet soda or something. I'm not getting any assignments from my specs either unfortunately. I have a script currently in production in Malaysia, but I mainly got that job because the producers are friends from college. Every single break or assignment I've gotten has been from friends. I should quit writing specs and just make more friends, I guess.
    "Money doesn't make films...You just do it and take the initiative." - Werner Herzog


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    #5
    Senior Member wcmartell's Avatar
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    I would not option the film rights to Mr. Pibb soda...

    I think the "attached" thing may be a polite way of saying "no", and if the specs are not getting you meetings you might want to take some time to improve your writing rather than make more friends. A good script will make friends for you.


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    I think the hardest thing I struggle with is keeping the pace of the story


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    Senior Member wcmartell's Avatar
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    Nathan, do you outline or freewrite?

    I outlline and consider the pace at the outline stage. I want to make sure I don't have some long slow patch in the script.

    If you freewrite, you can work on pacing in rewrites. The thing about working either way is that you need to be able to edit out scenes or characters and rearrange things to improve the script. Often people become "married" to what they have written and don't want to fix problems because it will mean cutting out their favorite scene (which may get in the way). In the prose writing world they say you have to be able to "kill your darlings", and that's true in screenwriting as well. If your script has *any* problem, you have to be able to look at your script *objectively* (yes, easier said than done) and make the changes that improve it. The first step is knowing what the problem is... and you've taken it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by wcmartell View Post
    If you freewrite, you can work on pacing in rewrites. The thing about working either way is that you need to be able to edit out scenes or characters and rearrange things to improve the script. Often people become "married" to what they have written and don't want to fix problems because it will mean cutting out their favorite scene (which may get in the way).
    Right now I'm in a group where I'm the 'how to write script expert', that's sort of self declared, but given what I've been given for 'scripts'... I think it is safe to say.

    One guy was pretty amenable to my 're-write' of his first set of ideas, and we have used that script for the 30 second commercial he wanted to do.

    The second person, has been 'working' on her project for a 'very long time', and is just now getting to the point of making promo type 'trailers' of her ideas. She tends to have wordy dialog, with the usual excessive exposition. She has gotten a couple of locations, one of which is 'hard to get' for shooting her promos, but we only have 3 hours, 5 am to 8 am to shoot... so, I'm trying to convince her that laconic is 'good'... or at least less expository...

    We'll see how it turns out... but I have wondered what would happen if she actually did sell the rights to the story, and they turn it upside down and inside out...
    (The story is sort of a "Some Where in Time" without the Matheson 'fantastic' time loop element, but just having two couples and their parallel lives but separated by 100 years or so... Lifetime sort of thing...).


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    #9
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    "Do you have any screenwriting problems or questions that you need some group help with (or maybe someone to commiserate with)?"

    My problem is that nearly everything that comes out of Hollywood seems to have been written by lobotomized baboons, drenched in liquor and imprisoned in factory farm cages to do Mammon's bidding. Can I get a product placement?




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    Senior Member wcmartell's Avatar
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    Then screenwriting is not for you.

    You can still make your own films and do whatever the heck you want, then it's up to the audience to watch them or not.


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