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Thursday, August 25, 2016

I Can See You – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

 

Laptop-Shorts

I Can See You

While delivering the mail, a joyless postal worker begins to see messages in the form of graffiti, then the seemingly harmless words take a dark turn.

There’s something about quirky scripts that’s just – charming.  Both to indie audiences and script reviewers.  Think about it: Juno.  Scott Pilgrim Saves the World.  Napoleon Dynamite.  Seven Psychopaths. Sure, raw drama has its place. But write something with character and a touch of mystery?  When done right, the result is magic… a film that’ll stay with your viewers long after the lights have gone up and the curtain down.

A solid example of that genre, I Can See You tells the tale of sad sack mail worker Carson Fox. Beaten down by life, Carson lives with his no-good brother Frank and Shelby (Frank’s too-good-for-him wife.) Though secretly crushing on Shelby, Carson knows he has no chance.  But Carson’s fate is about to change.  Assigned a new postal route, Carson starts to see strange signs… cryptic messages painted on the sidewalk and walls. Telling him how to win Shelby. Urging him towards other – darker – things.  Has Carson finally gone postal? Or is there meaning behind the madness?

Written with a subtle, humorous touch, I Can See You offers the best of what “quirky” has to offer. A unique premise and memorable/relatable characters.  What more can you ask for in a script?

About the writer: An award winning writer AND photographer, Marnie Mitchell Lister’s website is available at brainfluffs.com.  Marnie’s had 5 shorts produced (so far) and placed Semi-final with her features in Bluecat.

Pages: 15

Budget: Medium.  There’s a variety of indoor and outdoor settings in this one… but not all that many characters.  And definitely nothing that requires FX.  Still – it’s not a script that an absolute newbie should attempt.  This one requires a touch of artistic experience.

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.

 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Deathlife – Short Script Webisode for Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Deathlife

A zombie Iraq War veteran and his band of misfits cope with their decaying bodies as they hunt for unaffected survivors of a worldwide plague in a desperate effort to reverse their fate.

It’s often said there are no new ideas under the sun. Or in Hollywood, at least. Nope, just the same old stories, again and again. A never ending go ‘round of recycled monsters. Sad and wrinkled. Past their prime. Not to mention the parade of cliché concepts and characters. In the horror genre, it’s particularly bad. How many times can one see demon possessions, vampires and living dead lurch across the screen – before there’s nothing left to say?

Yet, sometimes a script surprises you. Imbuing fresh blood into an old, rotting idea. The sub-genre in this case is – if you haven’t guessed – Zombies. With his webisode series Deathlife, writer Rob Barkan’s given it a whole new spin.

In the pilot episode, we meet Iraqi war veteran Sol, accompanied by a weary band of survivors. Yes indeedy: the Zombie Apocalypse has arrived. Pretty cliché stuff, right? We’ve seen this before. Or have we? There’s just one tiny detail. Sol and his friends are the Walking Dead. And not in any figurative way. They’re corpses. On the other side. But don’t starting grumbling Dead Like Me. Cause there’s yet another twist in store. These zombies are intelligent. Sane. Acutely aware – trapped inside putrifying, rotted shells. In this zombie world, society has still collapsed. But it’s the zombies that have been forced to flee – the ultimate in social outcasts. They’re just trying to hold themselves together – literally – while seeking a cure to save their “lives.”

As is his daily routine, Sol leads a team of armed zombies into the woods in search of food (venison, not people!). His biologist zombie girlfriend Kate is on the hunt as well. For uninfected human blood. She needs several vials for medical experiments. Needless to say, there are no volunteers.

The group stumble across a mansion. Well lit, with generators. And scores of amenities. That fact’s suspicious enough. But it gets even more dubious when a truck pulls up to the door. With a struggling Warmblood (human) hostage inside.

Sol and his team zero in to investigate. It’s search – and possibly rescue. But will what they discover be too horrific to stand? Even for the Living Dead?

An honestly fresh take on the zombie genre, Deathlife’s a shock of fresh air. You like zombies, and want to make your directorial mark? Then get your FX team assembled – stat. Deathlife’s your ticket to something unique!

About the writer: A writer from the tender age of seven, Rob Barkan has had already seen publication with several of his prose horror and fantasy tales. Like Deathlife and want to find out more? Email him at robbybarkan “AT” yahoo!

Pages: 14

Budget: Not too low. You really want to do this right. It doesn’t have to be AMC level – but decent FX are a must!

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.

 

 

Friday, July 29, 2016

So Dark the Series - posted by Don

Awesome news from Mark Renshaw

I thought I’d share a bit of good news which all started off on Simply Scripts.

Back in 2012, a script found on this website called So Pretty was produced. It was written by our very own James Williams and I helped produce it. A sequel followed called So Dark. Since then, development has slowly continued behind the scenes.

Recently it was repackaged and relaunched on Amazon as a web TV mini TV series in development. In only two months, these two ‘episodes’ have had over 210,000 views and yesterday was given a 100 Stars Award by Amazon.

See the Official FB page for further details.

dodark-theseries

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Visit With Pearl – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - posted by wonkavite

A Visit with Pearl
When a lonely old man visits his beloved wife’s grave, he encounters a charming little girl who lifts him out of his doldrums and gives him hope.

Love and loss; it’s an age old theme brought to life with an elegant touch in Jason K. Allen’s A Visit With Pearl.

The scene: a cemetery in the country. A lonely grave. The name etched on the headstone: Pearl.

Old and barely able to walk (let alone sit down), Preston’s just mustered the courage to visit his wife’s resting place. A widower after fifty-five years of marriage, Preston still feels the fresh sting of grief, one year after her death.

At a loss, Preston talks to Pearl. Communing with nature… and silence.

Until company intrudes… in the form of a precocious pigtailed girl. Ignoring her mother a few feet away, the little girl skips over to Preston – filling his solemn moment with vibrant life. Not to mention the usual flurry of questions a child asks; innocent, straightforward and naively sweet.

Which ultimately makes Preston realize there’s more to life than loss. And that the world’s – sometimes more than what it seems.

Grab this one and do it justice. It’ll bring more than one tear to your eyes.

Pages: 8

Budget: You’ll need one location and three actors. The closer you can match Preston to the old man in Up, the better. Couple him with a small role for a woman and a spirited girl. And lots of nostalgia, as well.

About the reviewer: Rachel Kate Miller is a veteran of the feature animation industry, having worked on several Oscar winning films, bringing stories to life. In 2012, she left animation to move to Chicago and run the design department for President Obama’s reelection campaign. She is now living in New York, writing, consulting on various projects and creating an educational animated series for elementary students focused on engaging kids in science. Want to drop Rachel line? She can be reached at rachelkate.miller “AT” gmail!

About the writer: Jason K. Allen is a writer and filmmaker from Nashville, Tennessee. His produced short scripts include AMERICAN SOCK, which won Best Screenplay at the 2014 San Diego Film Awards, and AUTUMN LOVERS, winner of the Audience Award at the 2013 Artlightenment Festival in Nashville. He also wrote the feature film LUCKY FRITZ starring Julia Dietze (IRON SKY) and Corey Feldman. Jason is also a wilderness guide, nature photographer, and published author. See IMDB for his complete credits: www.imdb.com/name/nm3021924

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.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Based on a True Story – Feature Length Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Laptop Features

Based on a True Story

A fictional film about non-fictional events that are entirely fictional.

Senses of humor vary radically. Some people think Porky’s is the height of hilarity. Remember that one, folks? Others prefer Woody Allen’s neurotic wit and TV shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm. One thing’s for sure… humor’s changed a hell of a lot over the years; with the focus veering towards over-the-top gross outs. This is the End anyone? Whatever happened to smart, character based comedy? Is there anyone out there still writing intelligent humor?

Yep. His name is Matt Dressel. The script in question is Based on a True Story. (That’s the title, folks. Not the description. The script itself is completely fictional.)

Smart, funny and low budget, BTS revolves around protagonist Bill, a screenwriter that can’t seem to get his big break. (Gee, I wonder how often that happens in real life?) Demoralized, Bill pays the bills working at a 911 crisis center, and most of his nights hanging out with incompetent actor pals Tim and Sam. (Okay, Sam’s not exactly a friend, more of an unfortunate acquaintance.) They live in Quigley Quagmire’s hotel… a depressing little 80’s reject hovel that’s only one step removed from the Roach Motel. In other words, life ain’t going well.

That is, until Bill has his brilliant idea. Hollywood likes reboots and movies based on True Stories, right? Why not stage a bank robbery themselves….and then cash in on the press with a best selling screenplay? Between Bill and his crew, they’ve got creativity, actors and props on their side. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

How often has that question been asked? With the logical answer. Everything.

What follows is a highly intelligent – and yet goofy – romp through an escalating comedy of errors: from “Auditioning” the other bank robbers (and other theoretically important stuff, like how to handle guns and bank vaults) to the actual caper. And the inevitable complications that ensue. A master of understated comedy, Matt Dressel populates the script with colorful characters… not just the protagonists, but walk-on supporting bits as well. Not to mention rioting Nazis, pizza delivery men, and David Bowie groupies. (Don’t even try to ask. Just read the script and see.) Sound over the top? In Dressel’s hands, this script actually maintains comedy balance … peppering the script with wonderful lines like that of Crusty Detective Vic Cardigan: “I’ve been chasing (these robbers’) sorry asses for nearly 25 years of my life – ever since I was a rookie on the force.” Police officer: “They appear to be about 30 years of age, sir.” Cardigan: “Damn, they’re good.”

You know what’s really good? This script. It’s an indie breath of fresh air in a world populated by dick jokes and vomit gags. (Not that there’s anything wrong with those… in moderation.) But if you’re an up and coming director looking for a comedy with intelligence and staying power, check this one out. Fast. Before it gets away like a bank robber with the loot…

About the writer: Matthew Dressel recently wrote/produced/acted in his own web series Let’s Kill John Stamos! One of his feature films, Killing Daniel, has been optioned by Darius Films. You can catch more of Matt’s work at http://www.matthewdressel.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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Room - posted by Don

Thanks Anonymous for the heads up on this link to The Room hosted by DocDroid.

Anonymous writes, The [purported] original script for The Room by Tommy Wiseau was even more ridiculous and nonsensical than the 2003 cult classic movie from which it was adapted. This is the original 114-page script from 1999 which was seemingly written to be a play, though at times a movie, then back to a play again (don’t ask), along with out of this world scene plots and a dialogue that rivals the groan factor of the greatest 80’s action one-liners a doubter dares bring to the table.

The Room –  script by Tommy Wiseau – hosted by: DocDroid – in pdf format

Johnny is a successful banker who lives happily in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancée, Lisa. One day, inexplicably, she gets bored of him and decides to seduce Johnny’s best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again.

Information courtesy of imdb.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Patch-Up Kid – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - posted by wonkavite

Laptop-Shorts

The Patch-Up Kid

Scavenging dead bodies and fixing people was all that the Patch-up Kid knew, but a cowboy in Nino Sangre has one more test for him.

When you’re twelve years old and you live in a dusty, wild west town called Niño Sangre (Child Blood) you need skills. Plenty of ‘em.

Meet the Patch-Up Kid. He’s twelve. And sure enough – he’s got skills. Like plugging up bloody bullet holes in gunfighters’ bellies. Or yanking the gold teeth from the mouths of the other guys – the still-warm losers who didn’t walk away from the gunfight. Assisted by friends Fingers, Squeak and Mule, the Kid does the dirty deeds that others twice his age won’t do…

A kid’s gotta make a living, right?

Yep, the Patch-Up Kid’s a survivor. Y’gotta be when you’re half-white, half-Native American, and grotesquely scarred with only one good eye (the result of a grizzly bear attack, or a drunken father – depending on who’s telling the tale.)

And speaking of tales… imagine a gritty portrait of a street kid – told old west style. Expertly painted by screenwriter Rustom Irani, TP-UK is a poignant story about a hard-luck kid with True Grit, with light-heart touches of humor crusting the dusty edges.

This particular script focuses on the Kid’s run in with big n’ burly Dawson – a wounded desperado who blackmails the young gang to dig a bullet out of his chest (and arrange for a quick get-away outta town.) Just five pages long, it’s a colorful intro to the character.

But ambitious directors take note. This is one world that has plenty left to explore. The Patch-Up Kid works beautifully as a stand-alone story. But it’s also ideal as the intro for a feature length movie. Or TV series for the right producer! So grab the opportunity while you can. ‘Cause nothing stays still in the Wild West for too long…

About the writer: A film and video aficionado based in Mumbai, Rustom Irani works as a freelance editor and screenwriter for projects ranging from narratives, commercials, and documentaries to corporate and music videos. His website is available at www.planetrusty.com, and he can be reached at rustyirani “AT” gmail.com!

Pages: 5

Budget: Low to moderate. We would have said low, but it’s a period piece – which might drive the cost up a touch. (All those six-shooters and Stetsons, y’know?)

About the Reviewers: Scott & Paula Merrow are a husband and wife screenwriting team. Since 2006, they’ve written over 50 short screenplays, several of which have been produced. They tend toward family-friendly scripts, but they’ve written a little bit of everything: horror, fantasy, sci-fi, comedy,… the whole nine yards.

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.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mitch Smith Scripts: Look out Sheriff, There’s a New Coverage Service in Town! - posted by wonkavite

STS: When we premiered about 2.5 years ago, our mission was to create a platform: to give talented writers the exposure they need – and a high-profile platform to be heard. Built for writers – by writers. And we’ve been succeeding gang-busters, ever since! With our international readership growing everyday, STS regularly has the pleasure of hearing success stories from writers who have gotten their scripts optioned and produced… thanks to reviews that let them be seen.

And it should be firmly noted that the credit for that is two-fold. First: the writer’s talents and dedication (of course.) But there’s also the unsung heroes of STS – our committed volunteer guest reviewers who sacrifice time out of their day to help promote the work of writers they often don’t even know. Why? Love of the craft, and dedication to quality. That’s our goal – above all else.

In that spirit, STS would like to announce that one of our very prolific (articulate and insightful) reviewers has recently set out his shingle for more. Yes, he’ll still be gracing STS’s pages regularly – but also providing a new script notes service that we’re happy to tell you about. Sure, there’s tons of competition out there, but consider this: Mitch Smith has already proven his worth “in the trenches.” We’ve found he’s got an eye for talent, and story – so we strongly suggest you give him a shot!

Mitch Smith Scripts

Want to excite executives everywhere? Want to confidently pitch a script you know is ready for the big time? Look no further, because award winning screenwriter and STS reviewer Mitch Smith is opening his own script notes service! Cool, you say, another script notes service… yay… not. We get it, as a writer you’re constantly bombarded with services offering “professional” help and “detailed” notes. Never fear, Mitch Smith Scripts is not your typical notes service, it’s a collaborative effort in which we work hard with you, the writer, to make sure your scripts are the best that they can be and give you the tools and confidence to make a killing in Hollywood (not a literal killing, you’re gonna want to go to Home Depot for those tools).

What sets Mitch Smith Scripts apart from other script services is the variety of help that we provide and our guarantee that you will walk (or swivel in your chair, we are writers after all) away happy. But Mitch, how can you guarantee something like that? Great question. Here’s our great answer: Mitch Smith Scripts offers script editing, formatting and even phone consultations all of which are specifically geared toward being straightforward, no-nonsense and supportive! If that wasn’t enough, we also have pitch preparation coming soon!

At Mitch Smith Scripts we are dedicated to working with writers collaboratively to make sure that your scripts are ready for the big screen. Are you so excited that you’re ready to sign on the dotted line? Good decision. And it’s so easy to do. Just check out http://mitchsmithscripts.wix.com/scripts and choose the service that works best for you. Look out Hollywood, here we come!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

STS Exclusive Interview: A Chat with Kent Tessman, Creator of Fade In Screenwriting Software! - posted by wonkavite

Kent Tessman is the creator of Fade In screenwriting software, no small achievement in itself… but he’s also a great screenwriter and film maker too. Details of his feature Bull can be found at http://www.bullthemovie.com/ and you can hear a fantastic table read of his script, Chrome Noir, on the Blacklist podcast http://blacklist.wolfpop.com/audio/35178/chrome-noir-pt-1

In addition giving up his valuable time for this interview, Kent has also provided a 20% discount code for Fade In for a limited time! Just use the coupon code SIMPLYFADEIN2016 when purchasing through http://www.fadeinpro.com until May 25, 2016.

So without further ado… over to Kent.

Q: Could you give me a little bit of background on yourself and how you got into screenwriting?
I was one of those film kids. I was nine years old and taking books out of the library and learning how traveling mattes worked. I think I was fourteen or fifteen when I wrote my first feature and sent it to Steven Spielberg. I got back a “No thank you” letter, which of course I kept. I doubt everyone got a letter back from Amblin, so it must’ve been pretty obvious a fourteen year-old wrote the script.

Q: And how many features, shorts etc have you written now?
The cool answer would be three: the two feature-length things I directed plus CHROME NOIR. The real answer, however, is lots, most of which really weren’t very good at all.

Q: Can you give us a brief logline for Apartment Story and what was the inspiration for it?
APARTMENT STORY is about a guy who decides one day not to leave his tiny little apartment, and came about because I was living in a tiny little apartment and that was the one location I knew I had access to. The production budget was pretty much my rent cheque. It was done right at the time when you first could do a film like that, thanks to digital video and computers.

Q: Same question for Bull?
BULL is a murder mystery that takes place during the summer during a heatwave amidst the skyscraper canyons of the Toronto financial district, because I remember what it was like working during the summer in a heatwave amidst the skyscraper canyons of the Toronto financial district and always thought it would be a hell of a lot more interesting if there was, you know, a murder mystery or something going on instead. It was another technologically well-timed project, among the first of the independent HD films, and the whole goal was to make something that looked like it cost a couple million bucks for far, far less, complete with a real, professional cast, elaborate locations, and visual effects.

Q: Any other Options/Sales/near Misses along the way?
I think for anyone trying to do this the ratio of Things I’ve Done to Things I’ve Almost Done/Things That Almost Happened is probably tiny. You learn early on not to get too excited and/or disappointed about any particular thing. It’s nice when someone says something nice. It’s nice when something nice happens. When it doesn’t, well, it doesn’t.

Q: You’re also the creator of Fade In, screenwriting software, what prompted you to create your own software and not use the more traditional and established products?
Honestly, because I’d used those more traditional and established products — for years — and thought they could be an awful lot better than they were (and are).

Q: You have a famous and vocal advocate in Craig Mazin, do you think one day you could replace Final Draft as the software of choice for screenwriters?
I’m genuinely grateful for the kind things Craig has said about Fade In, and I’m glad that I’ve been able to provide him and other writers with a writing tool that they find useful and hope that I’ll be able to continue to do so. The nice thing is that I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Craig a little, and he’s a very smart guy who puts a lot of thought into what he says, and who doesn’t mince words and who doesn’t suffer fools (or foolish software), so while I’m happy with the kind things, I try to pay more attention to what he and other professional writers are saying they want and need because it only helps to benefit the software and, as a result, everybody who uses it.

(And by the way, anyone out there who isn’t listening to Craig and John August on their Scriptnotes podcast is just plain crazy and missing out. It wasn’t that long ago when it would have been completely unimaginable to have a totally free opportunity every week to hear two extremely well-spoken, well-informed people talk inside baseball about the film business from a writer’s perspective.)

As for Final Draft, I honestly don’t think about it that much, other than when a user presents me with an issue they’re having with a Final Draft file, or with their workflow, etc. The fact that so many professional writers are switching to Fade In does say at least a little something about “software of choice”, though.

Q: Any other well-known screenwriter users of Fade In?
To be honest: quite a few. There are a number of movies and television shows coming out this year and next, for instance — some pretty big ones, too. I won’t run through all of them here; but I’ve started to list some at http://www.fadepro.com under “Who uses Fade In?” where people will probably recognize a name and a title or two.

Q: I see you also did some VFX work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, must have been interesting, which element did you work on?
For that film I worked on the IMAX 3D version. And the most interesting part was easily getting paid to sit down every day in front of Bruno Delbonnel’s cinematography. And that part was wonderful.

Q: Writer, Director, Editor, Composer, Game Creator and Software Developer, bit of a polymath, any particular discipline you prefer out of these and why?
Prefer? Directing. It’s the closest you come to actually making the movie. (Or, more accurately, to actually living out The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I read fifty times when I was a kid.)

Writing is one of those things where are definitely better writers than me, but that doesn’t mean there are better screenplays available for me to direct. For obvious reasons. So writing is at least partly borne out of necessity. As is pretty much everything else that follows.

Because there are definitely better editors than me, too. And there are definitely better composers, but that’s something I’ve really enjoyed doing, and I look forward to hopefully doing it again.

As for software development, I wouldn’t call it enjoyable. I would, however, maybe call it useful and sometimes sort of satisfying. Useful because it gives me — and hopefully others — better tools to work and write with. And sometimes sort of satisfying because programming is different from, say, writing in that really you can solve any problem you have as long as you just hit the keys long enough. (And the game(s) I created because I had a couple of screenplays that weren’t going to get made into movies.)

You chose “polymath” when the other way you could’ve gone was “master of none”, and I think that’s maybe actually a cautionary tale worth talking about. I mean, I’ve known — or certainly known of — people who have spent twenty years doing almost nothing but shooting film, whether commercials and/or movies, and on most days I’d happily have traded places with them had that at all been a possibility. But one big reality of this sort of undertaking is that it’s like wrestling a whale, and you don’t always get to pick the direction the fight is going.

Q: Did you undertake any formal writing/film making training, courses or just jump in?
Oh, I went to film school. I’m old enough that when I was a kid and wanted to do this, going to film school was pretty much the only way you were going to get your hands on a camera and lights and editing equipment, at least coming from where I was coming from. That’s not the case today.

Q: You don’t live in LA, but have managed to work within the industry, how have you achieved this?
“The industry” is an expansive term. There are films getting made in Canada. Not as many of them, and not as…easily. But they do get made. There are films getting made in England. There are films getting made in India and Hong Kong and Nigeria and pretty much everywhere else. And an independent film, well, that you can make anywhere, by hook or by crook or by smartphone. And then again there’s Hollywood, and Hollywood is in Hollywood (most of the time).

As for writing, you don’t have to be in LA to write. You can write anywhere. Now, you may very well have to be in LA to meet and work, depending on what you want to do, but that’s another discussion. (And that said, I have lived in LA, for varying lengths of time, at different points. But as a Canadian that can be a tough thing to manage to do full-time and long-term.)

Q: And have you managed to get representation along the way? If so, any thoughts on this aspect of the industry?
I have, at points along the way, had representation. My experience with this aspect of the industry is that it can provide you with some highly entertaining stories for dining out.

Q: Your excellent script, Chrome Noir, was recently featured on the Blacklist table read podcast, how did that come about?
Well that’s very kind of you to say. I had been fiddling with CHROME NOIR for years, since before Fade In, and finally forced myself to pound out an actual first draft and threw it up on the Black List website anonymously (in case everyone thought it sucked). Luckily people seemed to like it, and it was really well reviewed, and when they decided they’d let the audience pick the next screenplay to be produced for a table read, Franklin Leonard asked me if I’d like to put CHROME NOIR up for voting and I figured I had nothing to lose. I guess people were curious enough about “Men in hats. Tommy guns. Robots.” to pick it.

Q: And has the additional exposure resulted in any additional interest?
Oh, for sure.

Q: What do you think of services like The Blacklist and Inktip for writers trying to break in?
I think the Black List (website) is unique and that, despite some similarities to other services, there’s really nothing else like it for a couple of key reasons. I should start by saying — and I’ve actually said this before elsewhere — when the Black List website first debuted I was quite skeptical of it. But even before I had a positive experience with CHROME NOIR I began to see where what it was doing was different. The fact is, you just can’t do what I did when I was first starting out, which is to mail your screenplay or your tape (yeah, I said tape) to a studio executive. You just can’t get away with that sort of thing anymore. But the Black List has a curated membership of industry professionals, and they have industry readers doing the evaluations. So it ends up being a fairly low impact way of potentially getting your work read in a professional forum, by people actually in the industry. When I recognized that, that’s I decided to give it a whirl with CHROME NOIR. Anonymously. Like a coward.

I do think that people have to be realistic about it. I don’t think it’s perfect. It costs money and there are no guarantees. In fact the odds in general are stacked tremendously against you — just like they always are. I think that’s probably the number one thing that everybody really has to get their heads around. That even if you have a great script — by industry standards, not just in your own — it still doesn’t necessarily mean that “something” is going to “happen”, not by a long shot, because there are just too many variables in play. But hey, we’re writers, not statisticians. (I don’t really know anything about Inktip and can’t comment on it.)

Q: How do you approach structure in your scripts? Do you follow any particular method?
No, I don’t.

Q: What’s the best and worse screenwriting advice you’ve been given?
As far as bad advice goes, when I first started writing it was before Twitter and the proliferation of websites and forums, and so advice overall for the most part came in books. And I read more than a few bad ones (because there were and still are very few good ones). The best advice I’ve ever gotten has probably been something along the lines of: “Do you wish to save before closing? OK | Cancel”

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring screenwriters on SimplyScripts?
What advice would I give? Find someone smarter than me to take advice from. There are probably things I’m qualified to give advice on, if I think hard enough, but for aspiring screenwriters, that’s probably the best I can and should do.

Q: Any advice for writers who think they have the next $500 million hit script if they could just get an agent/make a connection?
Probably that…they’re mistaken? It’s probably easiest to think that when you haven’t read a lot of the really good screenplays that have been in development over the years, or if you don’t know how many really good writers there are writing them, or if you don’t know just how much more complicated things are than “Oh, that’s a great script, here’s your big bag of money, let’s make a movie.” But things just don’t work that way. And it’s probably useful, then, to spend some time absorbing all the information you possibly can about the way things do work.

But look, what do I know? Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe they do have an amazing screenplay, and if only they could connect with someone it would change both the box office and cinema itself as we know it.
In that case I promise to buy a ticket.

Oh: but I’m also one of those people who really believes that if your motivation revolves around writing a $500 million hit script then probably your motivation isn’t right. It’s not a lottery. It’s a craft, at least, and at best it’s art. And in the end the odds of fabulous financial rewards are slight, to say the least. The point is that if you’re going to do this, it should be worth it to you, still, even with full knowledge of that.

Q: What other projects are you working on now and when can next expect to see your name on the credits?
One thing I’ve learned is to talk about these sorts of things less and work more.

Q: Any final thoughts for the screenwriters of SimplyScripts?
If you take any of what I’ve said as advice or instruction, you’re probably making a terrible mistake.
Except this: always use Fade In!

About reviewer Anthony Cawood: I’m an award winning screenwriter from the UK with over 15 scripts produced, optioned and/or purchased. Outside of my screenwriting career, I’m also a published short story writer and movie reviewer. Links to my films and details of my scripts can be found at http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

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    Forever and Always by Thomas Brookes

    After a one-night-stand David becomes obsessed with Lisa. he will do anything to be with her, but things take a gruesome turn. (8)
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