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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Best Adapted and Best Original Screenplays - posted by Don

Best Adapted Screenplay (and best acceptance speech) – Graham Moore

The Imitation Game – undated, unspecified draft script by Graham Moore (based on “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges) – hosted by: The Weinstein Company – in pdf format

Based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing, the film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain’s top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II.

Information courtesy of imdb.com

Best Original ScreenplayAlejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
Birdman – undated, unspecified draft script by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo – hosted by: Fox Searchlight – in pdf format

Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a fourth installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new retelling of a classic Broadway dramatic play called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the opening night …

Information courtesy of imdb.com

If course, read other Nominated Screenplays.

2015 Oscar Nominated Screenplays - posted by Don

Final WB has come through and posted Inherent Vice and American Sniper.

Below are the scripts to the nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay posted by the studios. All scripts posted by the studios for award consideration can be found here.

Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper – undated, unspecified draft by Jason Hall (based on the book by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice) – hosted by: Warner Bros – in pdf format

The Imitation Game – undated, unspecified draft script by Graham Moore (based on “Alan Turing: The Enigma” by Andrew Hodges) – hosted by: The Weinstein Company – in pdf format

Inherent Vice – August 7, 2013 final shooting draft script by Paul Thomas Anderson (based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon – hosted by: Warner Bros – in pdf format

The Theory of Everything – November 2013, shooting script script by Anthony McCarten – hosted by: FocusGuilds – in pdf format

Whiplash – undated, unspecified draft script by Damien Chazelle – hosted by: Sony Classics – in pdf format

Original Screenplay

Birdman – undated, unspecified draft script by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo – hosted by: Fox Searchlight – in pdf format

Boyhood – undated, unspecified draft script by Richard Linklater – hosted by: IFC Films – in pdf format

Foxcatcher – undated, unspecified draft script by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Story by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman and Bennett Miller) – hosted by: Sony Classics – in pdf format

The Grand Budapest Hotel – undated, unspecified draft script by Wes Anderson (story by Wes Anderson and Gugo guinness) – hosted by: Fox Searchlight – in pdf format

Nightcrawler – November 27, 2012 unspecified draft script by Dan Gilroy – hosted by: The Wrap – in pdf format

– Don

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sham’s The Doll got made and is an official selection for NY Scary Film - posted by Don

Sham’s script The Doll (4 pages, pdf format) has been made.

Some presents don’t like to be wrapped.

And, it is an official selection for the NY Scary Film Award. Check it out! You will have to register, but it is quick and easy.

Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Scripts of the February One Week Challenge - posted by Don

Wherein writers were challenge to write a scripts between 1 and 12 pages on the theme Urban Legend. The genre was open. Thirty writers took the challenge. Check them out on the Unproduced Scripts page.

– Don

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How the Crazy Lady at CVS Can Help Write Character and Dialogue – Repost from CHIPSTREET - posted by wonkavite

How the Crazy Lady at CVS Can Help Write Character and Dialogue

You wanna write screenplays?  Seriously?  Hopefully for a living?  Well, one thing you’ve got to do is perfect your art. Write. Rewrite.  And keep plugging away… nonstop. Keep polishing your craft until it shines!

…and be open to lessons learned from those who’ve been in the trenches, and blazed the same trail that you seek.  STS is happy to be reposting a series of articles from ChipStreet.  Folks, this is a terrific website – we recommend that you check it out in more depth!  (Original article available here)

About Chip: Chip Street is an IMDB credited indie screenwriter, director, and art director. His short films have screened at festivals, and his feature screenplays have been optioned and sold. He is a screenplay analyst, competition finalist, screenplay judge for a major industry competition, screener for an International film festival, founder of Write Club Screenplay Challenge, and a respected blogger on the art and business of screenwriting. He’s been published or cited by The BlueCat Competition Newsletter, Script Magazine, JohnAugust.com, Bleeding Cool, NoFilmSchool, ScriptTips and IndieWire.com.

*******

Originally Posted on June 24, 2011 by Chip Street

People watching may be the best way to hone those sub-textual writing skills.

So I was standing in CVS looking for a father’s day card for my son (note to self: There are no father’s day cards from dad to son-who-is-a-dad) and of course I wasn’t the only person who’d put it off perilously late.

To my right, a woman and her teen daughter scanning the rows of leftovers.

Enter screen right: A third woman, tension radiating from her clenched up little form like heat waves on a hot tarmac.

She ingratiated her way between the mom and daughter team, in that way that Obi Wan assured the Storm Trooper that these were not the droids he was looking for, by standing behind them making furtive little half-steps toward the space-between-that-was-not-large-enough-for-her, audibly huffing little puffs of what I was sure must be steam from between her pursed lips, until they realized that they must part for her just to get some of the sticky tension she was exuding off their person. She never said “excuse me”. She never addressed them directly. She just “made them want to step aside”.

Then she spoke. “Bobby. Suzy. Come here.”

No one came.

“Bobby, Suzy, now.”

Still no one came.

“Bobby, Suzy, come here now! Over here! Agh!”

I looked to my left, and there were two sweet kids I assumed were Bobby and Suzy, calmly looking through a row of “Father’s Day for Grampas” cards, guided by a man I assumed was Bobby and Suzy’s father. He pointed out options, the kids read (or looked at pictures at least).

“Grk! Come here, now! Bobby! Suzy!”

She stomped over to them, and I half expected her to grab both their wrists and drag them back to the (now very uncomfortable) mom and daughter duo. “Will you come here?”

Finally dad replied. “They’re looking here.

She tried to melt his face with eyes that, in another universe, would have been two lumps of burning brimstone. “The Grampa cards are down there,” she hissed.

Dad didn’t say anything. He just indicated the section the kids were already rummaging through. It said “Father’s Day for Grampa”.

She seemed to shrink, just a little. “Oh.”

I thought that was it. Tension defused. “I didn’t know,” she fumed. Then: “Well, hurry up.”

Dad exhaled. Inside, I knew, he had just counted to ten. “They’re looking.”

“Just hurry up! Pick one!” She paced. She paced uncomfortably close to their backs. She made those same little half-steps, from one end of her tiny invisible cage to the other. I think her knuckles were white.

Apparently, they didn’t move quickly enough. She huffed again. “God! Will you just hurry? Never mind. Forget it. I can’t stand this. I’m going outside.”

Dad turned, and put a hand on her shoulder. He kind of guided her away a step. “Just calm down, will you? Wait over here.”

“No!” She stamped back to position one. Mom and daughter had beat feet. She had her section to herself. I’m not sure why the cards didn’t burst into flame.

Dad saw the kids hadn’t found what they were looking for, and crossed behind me, guiding them gently toward mom. I don’t know how much pushing he had to do.

I’ve never been so tempted to stop someone and say “Is she always like that?” Or “You’re a saint.” Or, to her, “Do you have any idea how fucking unpleasant you are?”

But I didn’t. Because, of course, I don’t know if he’s a saint. I don’t know what came before the drugstore. I don’t know her relationship with the Grampa, how late they were to get somewhere else, or what hellions the kids had been in the car. None of which, of course, should excuse her terrible behavior. But all of which, very possibly, very likely, informed it.

What I did know was, in all likelihood, this exchange was not at all about the cards.

And therein lies the point.

It’s the subtext, stupid

Most arguments, and many conversations, are not really about the subject at hand. That’s what subtext is all about. Writing dialogue that in fact reflects the true nature of the dynamic between characters is “on the nose”. It is “exposition”. It is (almost without fail) suboptimal.

In the first Write Club Challenge, script analyst John Rainey stated that “Rarely do characters say what their objective is. They speak around it in an effort to persuade the other character to give him/her what he/she wants. A guy on a date would never say ‘Let’s go to my place and have sex.’ … To say that would be ‘on-the-nose.’” (read more of John Rainey’s screenwriting advice here…)

We don’t know what the crazy lady at CVS was really angry about. She didn’t tell us.

It’s possible they were running late, but she never said “We’re going to miss dinner at Grampa’s if you don’t hurry and pick out a card.”

It’s possible she hates Grampa, but she never said “I don’t know why we’re wasting money on an emotionally abusive old man who never gave me a birthday card my whole life.”

Real people, at least the interesting ones, don’t do that. They talk around the problem. They project their anger elsewhere, perhaps (usually) inappropriately. They often don’t even know themselves what they’re actually angry about.

They don’t explain their anger. They are just angry.

This scene, with this woman, was fascinating in its intensity, its impropriety, its inference that there was much more to the story to learn. More than I would probably ever know. And, it was fascinating in its organic realism.

As writers, it’s our job to hone our observation skills, to people-watch, to make mental notes, to become keen spectators of human communication … and to see the truth of just how imprecise, and woefully inadequate, it really is.

As writers, it’s our job to know what’s going on in the character’s mind (even if they don’t); to know how much the character does know; to know what the character wants out of the scene (or the scene needs out of the character); and then to find ways for the character to express what they want without ever letting them say what they want.

In a perfect world.

Are you doing enough people-watching? Has it made you a better writer?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Shout out to Tommy Draper - posted by Don

Shout out to Tommy Draper who was recently interviewed by Neil Oseman about his recent projects (recent as of 2012). One of those recent projects was Pro Kopf where he was the screenwriter.

Tommy has been a member of the discussion board for over ten years and sometimes I lose track of successes. Check out Tommy’s Facebook page and his web site.

Alligator Tears – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by Gary Rowlands

ALLIGATOR TEARS

A peaceful lake, a missing woman, a frightened child. A small-town Sheriff must enlist the help of his estranged son tofind out what…or who happened to a vacationing family.

Since virtually the dawn of time, father and son stories have been mainstays in literature and fiction.  Be the form film, book or play: familial tales of love, loss, deceit, betrayal and death will forever resonate.

From Shakespeare’s tragic Hamlet, to Pixar’s Finding Nemo: the special bond between father and son provides a never ending source of drama.

And so it is with Alligator Tears.

Our story opens on a tragic tableau: a distraught father and son sobbing on a Florida beach. Where’s Mom?  Missing.

Crusty local Sheriff Mickey Nemar takes charge, but the boy (Charlie) is inconsolable. Momma went skiing with Dad, Charlie says.  And a huge alligator ate her!

As Mickey gently prods for clues, Aaron Ames arrives on scene – an agent for the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Not to mention Mickey’s bitter, estranged son.

Immediately the two clash; at loggerheads.   Aaron casts doubt on his dad’s findings (not to mention his character.)  He particularly scoffs at the idea of an animal attack; the lake’s too populated for a gator.

What follows is a deftly written war of words brimming with conflict and mystery.  Can father and son set aside differences long enough to crack the case? And what exactly did happen to Momma?  This is one script that positively shines with subtext just below the surface… like an alligator about to rise.

Drama directors: don’t miss this one.  Much like a missing persons report… the result can be a tragedy.

About the writer: Kirk White is an independent film maker, web sen”sation” and figure of note in the world of global logistics.  He is currently in pre-production on his second feature, The Soul Garden, which will basically be the art-house version of Re-Animator.  If you’re into that sort of thing, or just love movies with no fear…no limit…no budget,  check out www.quitefilm.com for all the juicy goodness.

Pages: 12

Budget: Moderate. All you need is a beach. Small boat. Couple of vehicles. And a small but talented cast to do this clever script justice.

About the reviewer: Gary Rowlands cut his teeth writing sketch comedy for Spitting Image a hugely popular show broadcast on national television in the UK. He has since gone on to write several high-concept features and can be contacted at gazrow at Hotmail dot com

READ THE SCRIPT HERE – AND DON’T FORGET TO COMMENT!!

FOR YET MORE SCRIPTS AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION:

PLEASE SEARCH SIMPLYSCRIPTS.COM 

OR THE BLOG VERSION OF STS HERE.

All screenplays are copyrighted to their respective authors. All rights reserved. The screenplays may not be used without the expressed written permission of the author.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Original Script Sunday for February 8th - posted by Don

Over on the Unproduced Scripts page are Thirty two original scripts for your reading pleasure.

Please note that script submissions are closed for the week whilst the February, 2015 One Week Challenge is going on. Give it a go.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Movie Poet – The Final Curtain - posted by Don



MoviePoet.com is proud to announce the winners of our December 2014 short script competition.

“Christmas Cards” by David M Troop ~ First Place
An elderly man spends Christmas with his friends and family.

“Fair Share” by Pete Barry ~ Second Place
Fay and Eddie find out their relationship is built on lies, damned lies, and statistics.

“Side Scroller” by T. James DeStein ~ Third Place
A video game sprite must overcome the obstacles faced by its predecessors in order to move the world forward.

I am very sad to report that this is the last Movie Poet winner announcement. It is a sad day for the screenwriting community. A lot of screenwriters got his or her start at Movie Poet honing skills with short scripts and a supportive community. I was very lucky to have a supportive relationship with Chris and there are many aspects of Movie Poet that I strived to emulate.

Chris is going to focus on NJ Film School. I hope that those of you in the New Providence, NJ area can support the en devour.

– Don

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