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Monday, May 18, 2015

In Search Of – Guest Reviewers for STS! - posted by wonkavite

In Search Of – Guest Reviewers for STS!

Writers out there, take note! STS (Shootin’ the Shorts) is in search of a few TERRIFIC guest reviewers. After all, readin’ and reviewin’ scripts is hard and sweaty work. We need all the talented help we can get.

What we’re looking for: Seriously good writers that can preferably commit to one review a week. Though if it’s less, we understand and still want to hear from you! (In terms of time involved, we’ve generally found that a review can be written and polished in about one and a half hours, if not less. Depends on one’s writing style.) And regarding that writing style – we encourage reviewers to have their own voice but follow the general STS formula. IE: positive, humorous or poignant reviews that market the script’s best attributes.

What we offer: Well, like most writers, we’re all rolling in the money. (Insert sarcastic eye roll here.) Yes, folks – it’s a volunteer position. Unpaid. But what you gain is two fold – for every script you write, you’ll have space for your own “About the reviewer” logline. And a bit of exposure for your work, in that space. And you also gain writing experience – something to put on your resume, and hone your snappy writing skills until they bleed and shine. And trust us: that’s a very, very good thing.

Anyone interested, please send a shout-out to moderator Wonkavite at janetgoodman “AT” Yahoo.* Feel free to just introduce yourself. Or send a sample of your writing work (in the body of your email, please.)

Spammers need not apply. Seriously. None of us at STS needs a knock-off Armani bag, a mortgage refinance, or six extra inches. At least not the last time we checked…

 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Congratulations to Richard Russell! - posted by wonkavite

His reviewed short, Last Date, has been officially been optioned by Digital Cafe, LLC.  We’ll keep you apprised as more information becomes available.  Including teaser trailers, of course!  :)

About the writer: Richard Russell lives in North Carolina where he plays golf and writes.  He has been writing since college when his short stories appeared in the university literary magazine.  He loves writing screenplays, and THE CALL, written with his partner, Felice Bassuk, is one of their best.  They have written an award-winning feature, THE KOI KEEPER, which they hope to see on the screen in the not too distant future.  Richard has a trove of shorts and feature length screenplays and continues to add to the inventory.  Writing remains the sole source of sanity in Richard’s chaotic world.

Friday, May 8, 2015

You’ve Finished the Damned Script – Now What? (Anthony Cawood Primers for a Networked World) – Part 6 - posted by wonkavite

You’ve Finished the Damned Script – Now What?

(Anthony Cawood Primers for a Networked World)

Part 6: Options, Sales and Production

A few people have asked me recently how I manage to sell and option so many short scripts.

My response? I usually laugh, and get embarrassed (what can I say – I’m a Brit!) Anything to move the subject along.

Others have shared their experiences of optioning/selling scripts, and their frustrations regarding what happens next. Or as is often the case – what fails to happen next.

As a result, I thought it would be useful to take a look at both sides of the coin, and share my personal experiences. Note: In this article, I’ve strived to be as ‘full disclosure’ as possible without discussing individual deals. And please keep in mind, this all relates to my experience only. Your mileage may vary.

Sales and Options

According to my calculations, I’ve written 30 short scripts over the space of just shy of 2 years.

19 of them are currently sold, or under option. I say ‘currently’ because I’ve got an additional 6 shorts where the options have technically lapsed. So you could argue the number’s 25.

I’ve also written three scripts specifically at someone’s request. Only one of those has actually made it to fruition. In the other two cases, the “commissioner” of the script proved unable to move the project forward, leaving me with the unproduced work. One of those has since sold to a different producer.

Let me clarify what I mean when I use the terms Sales or Options. Trust me, I have my reasons.

Sale: Someone buys the script outright for money. And a contract exists to formalize that.

Option: Someone agrees to try and pull the resources together to make the script within an agreed-upon window – normally 6-12 months – with agreed payment to follow.

A further note regarding options: these are usually offered by newer producers or directors (sometimes students) who don’t initially have funds available… or just want to ensure they can get the project off the ground before sinking capital into it. Any agreed payment for such deals is often only a percentage of the profits the short may make, rather than a defined monetary amount. This type of deal is often called a Free Option.

Sales have $$ paid up front. A couple include bonus $$ upon start of production, things of that nature. Note: Whenever I can, I make a point to obtain a percentage of the profits on the backend as well. Shorts usually make no profit at all. But I want to be included in case it goes viral, or blows up some way!

When talking with a Producer or Director, I ask if they have a budget for purchasing the script, then go from there. Why? Because I strongly believe a writer’s work has value. We spend time, effort and emotional energy on every script we create. So we deserve to be compensated when it’s possible.

Contract and agreements, I tend to play by ear. Some people will disagree with this strategy – and I do wish to stress I only do this for shorts.

When payment is involved, there’s usually a contract. I don’t use a lawyer or agent – just my common sense. Knock on wood… it’s worked. So far!

With options, I email an outline of my terms to the producer, and make sure all parties are in agreement on the terms.

A quick note when it comes to both types of agreements (both email and signed): don’t be scared to ask for anything you consider right and fair. And never be afraid to say no, if you’re not comfortable with a deal.

As to what contracts contain: that’s always different! Usually, they’re drafted by the Producer/Buyer. On a couple of occasions, I’ve been asked to supply them. In those circumstances, I just retrofit one I’ve already got. If you don’t have one on hand, Googling for templates also works.

For me, the essential elements are these:

  • What rights are you granting to the producer? e.g. Sole and exclusive, region specific or worldwide?
  • What does it extend to? e.g.: is it just this script, or does it grant rights over sequels, remakes, etc (you should definitely try to keep these rights.)
  • Make sure the contract specifies how long it’s for.
  • Make certain payment terms and amounts are included – plus timings and delivery mechanisms (Paypal is one great method– though they do take a cut.)
  • If in doubt about a clause, seek clarity before you sign.
  • Very, very important note: if and when I get to this stage with a Feature script, I’ll be seeking professional legal advice.

Pre-production Frustration

I recently shot the short “Txt M” from my own script – precisely due to frustration with how long it can take films to get made!

So for those who’ve sold/optioned scripts and now wait in limbo. Please believe: I feel your pain

But in the end, there’s very little you can do. Producers and Directors are not doing it to you on purpose (as much as it may seem that way!). No, there’s a whole host of reasons it can take awhile before an optioned script goes into production.

  • They have a window – which just so happens to be 6 months away.
  • Their plans change. Many short film-makers have other jobs. Your short is just their passion project, which can only be done on their off time.
  • Resources and/or finances change. Or disappear.
  • They flat-out change their mind.

Of course, none of those reasons make the process any less frustrating… however how valid they may be. My advice. Patience is a virtue. Practice it. Often and wisely.

As a side note: it’s often interesting to see how willing or unwilling the film maker is to involve you in the process. In my experience, I’ve had audition tapes sent to me for my review. Rewritten scenes as required. Advised on prop selections, etc. Even if the producer prefers you take a ‘hands off’ approach, there’s no harm in letting them know you are keen to work with them, if desired, so as to better understand the process.

Post-production

But once a script is finally produced, everything comes up roses.

Right?

Well kinda. But not really. Among other things, one learns about (drum roll)…

Post-production.

Post-production is where a lot of the magic happens. Film editing. Sound effects. Colour adjustments. Music, titles, credits. And more.

Needless to say, that can take awhile. So you’ll need to practice your patience again.

Please don’t interpret any of this as a complaint. If I didn’t think it was all worth it, I wouldn’t have written 30 shorts and 2 features. I’d have found something to do with more instant gratification.

But it’s good for writers to be aware of the potential bumps in the road. Factor them into your expectations.

Thank God – The Damned Thing’s Filmed!

Yes, that day has finally come. You’ve been sent a Vimeo link, or a DVD of your film. Now you can relax and soak in compliments from your jealous friends.

Right?

Well. Sorta. But then you watch the film – and your over-critical ID chimes in.

Because, unless you directed and edited the final movie, it’s very, VERY likely it won’t be exactly the same as what you envisioned in your mind’s eye.

Reasons for changes are unending. Budgetary concerns. Dialogue can be altered. Casting may not be your taste.

And make no mistake – there’s nothing you can do about it… unless you morph into a director, and insist on making scripts your way.

So focus on the positives!

  • You conceived a great idea – and it got filmed.
  • You had the creative skill to distill your ideas into a successful script.
  • You had the gumption and fortitude to get that script into the hands of a real film maker, who thought highly enough of it to invest time, effort and money to make it a reality.

As a result, you’re now watching something that has your name in the credits. You’re a produced screenwriter, which is no small achievement. No matter how arduous the journey was.

As for my own stuff? Well, I keep plugging away, and will broach every opportunity to push and promote my scripts. But there’s no magic involved. It’s just an established plan that’s worked for me. So far:

  • Have a decent idea. Follow it up with a decent script.
  • Get feedback to make sure that script is as good as it can be. I mostly use Simplyscripts and Stage 32. Both are invaluable to me!
  • Get your script listed everywhere (I’ve discussed go-to links in my previous articles.) But for the record, Simplyscripts and Inktips have given me the majority of my success.
  • Refresh your listings. Change your loglines. Always keep working on the scripts.
  • If someone requests to see one of your works, make sure you use it as an opportunity to build relationships. They may not ultimately want the script they ask for. But they may like your writing, and choose something else you have. Or ask you to write something for them.
  • Always, always – persevere.

And the result? Out of my 19 scripts, 3 have been produced and are watchable (links available on my site.) 2 are in post production (I’m hoping to see them in the next 2-3 months.) 8 are slated to start production six months from now. The rest, further out than that.   And I have a feeling that as least another 2-3 will end up as lapsed options. Sad as that may be…

And speaking of future predictions: I’ve started to concentrate on Feature scripts. Which means going through all the pain, agony and frustration all over again. But in new and interesting ways.

I’ll keep STS posted. Perversely, I’m looking forward to it!

About Anthony: 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 www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

In Search Of – Guest Reviewers for STS! - posted by wonkavite

In Search Of – Guest Reviewers for STS!

Writers out there, take note! STS (Shootin’ the Shorts) is in search of a few TERRIFIC guest reviewers. After all, readin’ and reviewin’ scripts is hard and sweaty work. We need all the talented help we can get.

What we’re looking for: Seriously good writers that can preferably commit to one review a week. Though if it’s less, we understand and still want to hear from you! (In terms of time involved, we’ve generally found that a review can be written and polished in about one and a half hours, if not less. Depends on one’s writing style.) And regarding that writing style – we encourage reviewers to have their own voice but follow the general STS formula. IE: positive, humorous or poignant reviews that market the script’s best attributes.

What we offer: Well, like most writers, we’re all rolling in the money. (Insert sarcastic eye roll here.) Yes, folks – it’s a volunteer position. Unpaid. But what you gain is two fold – for every script you write, you’ll have space for your own “About the reviewer” logline. And a bit of exposure for your work, in that space. And you also gain writing experience – something to put on your resume, and hone your snappy writing skills until they bleed and shine. And trust us: that’s a very, very good thing.

Anyone interested, please send a shout-out to moderator Wonkavite at janetgoodman “AT” Yahoo.* Feel free to just introduce yourself. Or send a sample of your writing work (in the body of your email, please.)

Spammers need not apply. Seriously. None of us at STS needs a knock-off Armani bag, a mortgage refinance, or six extra inches. At least not the last time we checked…

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

You’ve Finished the Damned Script – Now What? (Anthony Cawood Primers for a Networked World) – Part 5 - posted by wonkavite

You’ve Finished the Damned Script – Now What?

(Anthony Cawood Primers for a Networked World)

Part 5: Competitions

I decided to enter a few competitions last year with some of my short scripts… And quickly discovered that, as screenwriters, we are spoilt for choice. There’s hundreds of contests out there, with new ones starting every year. So which ones should you be entering, and spending your hard earned money on?

When all was said and done, I collected one 1st place, one Runner’s up, a Third, a Finalist and one Semi-Finalist placing. (In the interest of full disclosure, I also entered five more scripts that got absolutely nowhere. Nada. Zilch!) But I did gain knowledge and experience in the process – and that’s valuable as well.

But, let’s back up for a moment and ask one important question… Exactly why do you want to enter competitions in the first place? For me, it was reasons 3 and 4 from the list below. But different competitions offer different opportunities. It’s important to define your goals at the very start, in order to plan proper strategy. Do you want to:

  1. Get yourself an agent, manager, producer.
  2. Get professional coverage.
  3. Win prizes, such as money/trophies/software/film festival passes, etc.
  4. Add ‘award winning screenwriter’ to your resume.
  5. A mix of various aspects of the above.

Let’s consider these motives, one by one.

1) Obtaining an Agent, Manager or Producer

There are only a handful of screenplay contests that will consistently get you this level of attention – and then only if you place semi finalist or finalist. These are the big players in the game: The Academy Nicholl Fellowship, Page Awards, Scriptapalooza, BlueCat, and a handful of others (that I have less direct experience with.)

But remember – if you’re angling for these big fish – these contests attract thousands of entries. Competition will certainly be fierce!

Page has been around for over 10 years and has a $25,000 First Prize. In 2014, it was won by Matias Caruso, whose shorts have been showcased here on Moviepoet, SS, and in STS.

Nicholl has been around even longer – thirty years and receives over 7000 entries annually. Up to five winners can receive $35,000 fellowships.

Scriptapalooza has been in the game over 17 years, receiving over 4000 entries annually. One major plus: the judges are all agents, managers or producers and the first prize is $10,000.

BlueCat has been around since 1998, attracting over 4000 entries per year. This one boasts a $15,000 grand prize (and $10,000 for the winning short too!)

Not to mention other high profile comps, like Final Draft’s Big Break, Script Pipeline, Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition, etc. Score big with one of these, and your feature, short or TV pilot could connect with the ‘right’ people.

2) Get coverage

You can get coverage from a variety of sources – from the free opinion of people right here on the SS boards, to shelling out hundreds of dollars for professional readers (of varying quality.) You can also get it as a result of entering some screenplay contests – which is sometimes packaged as part of the entry fee. Bluecat does that. So does ReelWriters. So when you are contemplating a competition, research if they do a coverage package – and determine if that’s useful for you.

3) Win something

Prizes range all over the map: nice trophies. Free software, discounted services… all the way up to some pretty substantial monetary prizes. Check out what the competition you’re considering offers – and if it’s something valuable to you. IE: is it worth spending $30 to enter a competition for a copy of Final Draft 9, if you bought a copy recently? Probably not – if that’s all that a win will mean.

4) Award winning screenwriter bragging rights

Does this matter? Well, if it’s Page, Nicholl, etc – then yes, it probably does. As for the others… Well, here’s how I think about it personally. When trying to persuade producers/directors to read your scripts, I think ‘award winning’ may help get your script read. (And maybe even read first.) It may also be something a producer might be able to use while marketing your work. I’ve never heard anyone say it’s a bad thing. Though you have to balance that against the cost of multiple entry fees!

5) All the above (or any combination)

Hey – wouldn’t it be grand to win a competition and really score? Get the prizes, the coverage, the bragging rights – and have your work seen and produced? Well, one can definitely dream. And if you back it up with hard work… those dreams do sometimes come close enough to reach…!

Researching Competitions and Lists

Okay – so you’ve decided competitions are worth a try. But if you’re not ready to tackle Nicholl, where can learn about the smaller fry? Here are a few handy links that I’ve used in my searches – complete with details on submission requirements, deadlines, etc…

1) Movie Byteshttp://www.moviebytes.com/

2) InkTiphttp://inktip.com/competition_directory.php

3) FilmFreeway (Film Festivals too) https://filmfreeway.com/

4) Without A Box – (Film Festivals too)https://www.withoutabox.com/

* It’s worth pointing out that some Film Festivals – like Austin, Nashville, etc – have screenwriting comps within their festivals. Getting into the finals of these often includes free passes for the festival as well.

Finally, let’s end with a few tips – garnered both from my own experience and common sense:

1) Thoroughly research any competition you are thinking of entering. How long has it been established, who runs it? Are there any complaints online? If you have serious doubts… spend your money elsewhere.

2) Does it have a genre bias and does any bias fit with your script(s)? If so, use this to your advantage.

3) Does it offer different categories for scripts, e.g. Drama, Horror, Comedy? In general, the more categories the better. That means that your horror opus won’t be competing against indie dramedies. (Especially good if you get a reader whose favorite film is Juno!

4) Do all scripts have to have a certain theme? I found an Australian comp where all the films had to involve dogs!

5) What can you afford? Competition entries can mount up fast. Always spend wisely. Look for discounts via sites like FilmFreeway and MovieBytes. And take advance of early entry discounts, too.

6) Do you want your script tied up? Most competitions have “no option” entry requirements. If your script’s been optioned/sold, that disqualifies it from competition. Now, that’s no problem if you’ve just landed a $10K option. But what if someone wants to option it for free, or $1? Remember, too, that many competitions have very long entry windows. Your script could be ‘considered’ for months.

7) Read the rules carefully. Make sure you understand all the requirements, and any rights you’re potentially signing away. (For instance, winning the Disney Fellowship or entering the Amazon Studio competition requires certain compromises.)

8) This should go without saying, but make sure you send in the best version of your script possible. And I don’t just mean the strongest story. I mean proofread the script within an inch of it’s life. Why spoil your chances – and waste your money – with a poorly formatted script, strewn with typos and littered with grammatical errors?

9) Send a properly formatted script in PDF format. Word docs and other files are a strict no-no.

10) Don’t forget to take your name and address details off the script title sheet if the competition asks for it (Page does, for instance).

So what now? Get out there and research! Pick your competitions wisely. Polish your script until it shines. Then submit…. And let it go. It’s in the hands of the judges now….

About Anthony: 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 www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Why Your Screenplay is NOT What Defines the Movie it Becomes – Repost from CHIPSTREET - posted by wonkavite

Why Your Screenplay is NOT What Defines the Movie it Becomes

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 to tread.  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.

*******

Why your screenplay is not what defines the movie

Here’s one example of how the best stuff that appears on screen can have nothing to do with what’s in your screenplay… and why that’s great.

Filmmaking is a collaborative art form.

New screenwriters hear that truth often, but until you’ve spent time on set watching the process, you don’t get it. You really don’t.

Newbie screenwriters are convinced that it’s their job to provide every parenthetical direction (mad) (happy) (confused) and every stage direction (he points, he smiles, he nods) the story needs.

And that’s fine (to a degree)… you have to paint a picture for the reader, or it’ll never get to production.

But the mistake is in believing that the screenplay will remain the blueprint for the director and the crew to faithfully reproduce the vision the writer had in their head. That it’s your unique vision, the movie you see in your writer’s brain, down to every sadly happy pointing nod, that everyone is dedicated to creating.

Those naive young screenwriters are incredulous, if not offended, when they’re told that their screenplay will be changed, edited, enhanced, and improved by everyone from the director to the lighting guy in ways they can’t even imagine… and over which they will have no control.

What really happens

In reality, something magic happens on set … it’s an intense group enterprise driven by a motley crew of creatives and journeymen, who are under the gun of insane deadlines, unpredictable circumstance, weather and egos.

They all want to put their creative mark on the project, and they all want to do their best work. They all contribute to the quality of the story, to the characters, and to creating special moments on screen that were never imagined by the writer.

A simple example

I worked as art director on the film Fat Rose and Squeaky, and there was a scene where Bonnie (Louise Fletcher) takes off with her two troublemaker buddies in her classic ’57 Chevy.

The script said that the three women got in the car, where Bonnie opened the glove box, and retrieved a pack of cigarettes.

I learned from my mentor Brian Sharp that when breaking down the scene as art director, it’s my job to think beyond the literal script and give the director, and the actors, choices. So when I got to this scene, I had to imagine “what else would be in the glove box of an 80 year old woman’s car?” See, if she opens the glove box and the only thing in there is — conveniently — the cigarettes the scene calls for, they’re obviously a prop.

So I got a pack of cigarettes. A cool vintage Zippo lighter and matchbooks. A poorly folded map. Black Jack gum. A couple of those little travel sized packages of Kleenex. Hard candies. Ladies driving gloves. And five pairs of old classic sunglasses.

I thought it would be funny to have a crapload of old lady stuff spill out when she opens the glove box so she has to rifle through it to find her smokes (knowing of course that that’s not my call… I’m giving the director options… he makes the final decision.)

(As an aside, on the day of shooting the car showed up and as the scene was coming up shortly, I ran out to dress the car, only to find that it had no glove box… the door was there, but there was no box inside. Just an empty space inside the dash open to the floor. I had 20 minutes and a sheet of black foam core to build a glove box and install it for the shot.)

What finally happened

When the actors (Louise, Lea DeLaria, and Julie Brown) ran a rehearsal, they found all those funky sunglasses, and started riffing with each other, trying on the different pairs. It quickly developed into a “bit”, where they simultaneously donned the glasses and struck a pose. The director loved it, and once it was shot and set to music, it became a “trailer moment”.

That was magic. And it wasn’t on the page.

It happened because everyone contributed to the creative alchemy of filmmaking.

The art department thought beyond the page, and provided the director and actors with fun choices.

The actors did what they do best, and imagined what their quirky characters could do with those choices.

The director recognized the actors’ genius, and gave them the room to do their thing.

And the editor and composer folded it all into the finished product in a way that created a “moment” that defined the characters, added humor, and frankly helped sell the film.

What I’ve learned

Being on set is invaluable for understanding what it takes to get from page to screen. As a screenwriter, I worry less now about the choice of just the right prose nuance, and focus instead on making the story flow, and creating characters and moments that are ripe for others to capitalize on.

And I find myself able to let go of the minutiae of blocking, and stage direction, and parentheticals, and trust in the director and actors to make the right choices, choices I might not even consider, to bring the scene to life.

I’ve watched dialogue get rewritten on set, the finale of a film get rewritten during lunch break, entire scenes cut for lack of time, characters cut for lack of space on set, and all kinds of new funny, drama, or scary added by improvisation.

If you’re a screenwriter, and you haven’t spent time on a working set, find a way. Not in the capacity of screenwriter… I promise you there are student and indie productions in your neighborhood that would love an extra pair of hands to carry heavy things, fetch coffee, or distribute sides.

While you’re there, observe. Learn. Get a look at the script, and watch how it evolves.

You’ll have a greater appreciation for all the work that goes into making movies after the screenplay is done.

Footnote:

I got involved in production to understand the process, so I could do a better job as a screenwriter giving everyone what they need.

Since then I’ve worked on 11 features, 9 shorts, and 2 TV series in some capacity, as a writer, director, producer, art director, prop builder, or storyboard artist. I’ve had a chance to observe micro-budget and multi-million dollar projects (all at the indie level — admittedly no studio projects). And I love what happens on set.

BTW, if you’re a writer-director, you may have more control over translating your screenplay to the screen. If your screenplay is your personal magnum opus, and you’ll die a sad hollow death if it isn’t faithfully reproduced, then produce and direct it yourself. And more power to you.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Congratulations to Mark Lyons – 2911.21 Optioned! - posted by wonkavite

STS sends out a resounding congratulations to Mark Lyons, whose reviewed script 2911.21 has been optioned and is going into production with Sunil Kulkarni and NexGen Films. 

You like dark, raw, no-holds-barred scripts?  Then reach out to Mark and see what else he’s got available.  Because 2911.21’s the tip of the (bloody) iceberg…

Read the review for 2911.12 here.

2911.21A down-and-out squatter seeks refuge in an abandoned house.

About the writer: Mark Lyons is a screenwriter from Youngstown, Ohio. He’s written several scripts, most notably ‘Best Film’ award winner “God’s Empty Acre”, which was filmed as ‘Girl(s)’, at the 2013 Winter Shorts Film Festival and Best Drama at the 2013 World Independent Film Expo. He has also written the feature “Thistles” which was a Quarter-Finalist in the 2013 Bluecat Screenwriting Competition and the short “Ginger” which was a Finalist at the 2013 Shriekfest Film Festival. He can be reached at markielyons “AT” yahoo

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Congratulations to Gary Rowlands – Offline Feature Optioned! - posted by wonkavite

STS sends out a huge congratulations to Gary Rowlands.  His reviewed limited location horror, Offline, has now been optioned by The Gorlitsky Group.  We’ll keep all abreast re: developments from here.  Haven’t had a chance to read it? Then, explore the following links for more:

Offline’s March Review

Offline Script/PDF

And for any agents/managers out there: Gary’s got far more scripts in store, and is actively seeking representation.  Reach out to him at gazrow at hotmail dot com!

About the writer: Gary Rowlands cut his teeth writing sketch comedy and was a commissioned writer on the hugely popular Spitting Image broadcast on national television in the UK.

 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In Search Of – Guest Reviewers for STS! - posted by wonkavite

In Search Of – Guest Reviewers for STS!

Writers out there, take note! STS (Shootin’ the Shorts) is in search of a few TERRIFIC guest reviewers. After all, readin’ and reviewin’ scripts is hard and sweaty work. We need all the talented help we can get.

What we’re looking for: Seriously good writers that can preferably commit to one review a week. Though if it’s less, we understand and still want to hear from you! (In terms of time involved, we’ve generally found that a review can be written and polished in about one and a half hours, if not less. Depends on one’s writing style.) And regarding that writing style – we encourage reviewers to have their own voice but follow the general STS formula. IE: positive, humorous or poignant reviews that market the script’s best attributes.

What we offer: Well, like most writers, we’re all rolling in the money. (Insert sarcastic eye roll here.) Yes, folks – it’s a volunteer position. Unpaid. But what you gain is two fold – for every script you write, you’ll have space for your own “About the reviewer” logline. And a bit of exposure for your work, in that space. And you also gain writing experience – something to put on your resume, and hone your snappy writing skills until they bleed and shine. And trust us: that’s a very, very good thing.

Anyone interested, please send a shout-out to moderator Wonkavite at janetgoodman “AT” Yahoo.* Feel free to just introduce yourself. Or send a sample of your writing work (in the body of your email, please.)

Spammers need not apply. Seriously. None of us at STS needs a knock-off Armani bag, a mortgage refinance, or six extra inches. At least not the last time we checked…

 

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Script of the Day
May 29, 2015

    Teeth by Bill Sarre (Reef Dreamer) (writing as: Hank Scorpio)

    Tormented by violent noises in his head, a wounded soldier must persuade the doctors that it's caused by his teeth, before they diagnose him as insane.
    Discuss it on the Forum

    *Randomizer code provided by Cornetto.

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