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Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Outline – Act 1 – Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

In the previous post we talked about our method of outlining, which is to fall somewhere between the full-blown, no stone left unturned outline, and “we know the beginning and the end, let’s just write and see what happens” outline.  We have a generally good idea of where we wanted to go with it, and so we needed to do a broad brush painting of each act.

Pretty much 95% of the screenplays out there are in three acts.  You’ll see all these guidelines and screenwriting books that you must have three acts — it’s the way everyone does it.  The first act needs to be about 30 pages, they say, the second act about 40, and the final act around 25, give or take.  But if that doesn’t work for you, fine.  Write what works for you.  My only thing is that your story works, and you write it well.

If you are working in the three act structure, then the first act is for world-building.  We learn about the characters, what relationships they have, and the world in which they exist.  You also will typically will have what is known as the “inciting incident”, which pushes the protagonist into his or her story for the rest of the film.

With “Lake Regret” we will probably be following the three act structure, and so we need to do a little world building in the first draft of our outline.

We know we have our script set at a lake house, and we know a high school graduation party is going on throughout the film, so we have to start with getting our protagonist to the party, and introducing the main players (both the heroes and the villains) that will be driving the story.

We came up with five main characters and a couple of supporting characters to revolve the story around:

— Jimmy “Jinx” McCarthy,  our main protagonist.  Jinx is the kid that everyone used to like at his school, but ever since an accident caused the death of another student, he feels like he’s been shunned at the school, which may or may or not be imagined by Jinx.  He’s created a world in which he feels like everyone’s against him, and is determined to leave this small town he’s grown up in forever now that he’s graduated.

— Ellie Burton, Jinx’s friend and someone that Jinx has had a crush on for years.  She’s tried to build him up during his difficult time, but he’s still in a dark place.  Despite the crush Jinx has on her, she may have eyes for someone else.

— Tate Oliver, the person who knows Jinx better than anyone.  When he learns Jinx is trying to leave forever, he tries to be the voice of reason, and caution. But does Tate have an ulterior motive in keeping Jinx around?

— Hunter Callahan, who was a friend and football teammate of the student who died, and who is seeking revenge on Jinx.  The question is how far he will take that revenge.

— Cassie Wilbanks, an attractive student that flirts with Jinx throughout the party and may sabotage any chance of a relationship between Jinx and Ellie.

Now that we’ve outlined our main characters, we need them to start interacting.  Stay tuned to see where we take them…

 

_______________________

The further adventures of the screenwriting and marketing process of Lake Regret wherein Gary Howell documents his and Rick Hansberry's screenwriting adventures from concept, to the writing, to how they handle disagreements, to marketing the script. Reproduced with permission

Friday, October 12, 2018

October 2018 One Week Challenge! - post author Don

Write a 4 to 7 page (not including the title page) properly formatted short script.

Theme: “Creature Feature”
Genre: horror, thriller, suspense, noir, or keeping with the season
Rating: PG (no cursing or excessive violence)
Challenge: Create a three page comic. Each scene would be one panel of a comic. And there could be one to 7 panels per page. Visit HyperEpics.com to help you visualize your action slugs.

Submit your script anonymously to SimplyScripts.com/OWC

Notes to the writer: Be descriptive with the visual cues, but leave the artist some room for creative interpretation. Also, be mindful of space constraints. Avoid extended sequence of dialogue/narration so that you don’t overwhelm the images. You only have three pages at your disposal in the comic, so use page one as establishing the story, page two is where the action takes place, and the third page offers the conclusion. Surprise or twist endings will work well in this format.

Lastly – be bold. Don’t be constrained by budget as anything you imagine can be drawn into a comic format!

One script will be selected by HyperEpics.com from the pool of top Writer’s Choices to be translated into a comic.

Note: If your script is selected to be translated into a comic you agree to allow Hyper Epic and SimplyScripts to publish the visual representation of your script to their respective sites. The writer will still retain all rights to the submitted screenplay. Writer will be credited with “Story by”.

There will be a review page emailed to you for you to score the scripts you read. Please only give scores to scripts that you have read. Please do not rate scripts in your review.

Schedule:
Friday 10/12 – Theme and Genre release
Friday 10/19 – Scripts due 11:59 pm edt
Wednesday 10/24 – Writers Choice votes due
November 10 – Writers Choice and Hyper Epic’s choice revealed (

This isn’t a contest – it’s a challenge. There are no official prizes…

You may submit more than one script but it’s better to write one GREAT script than two or three mediocre ones. You may also have a writing partner.
You can revise your script as many times as you wish up until the deadline. Do not put your real name on your script – this is an anonymous challenge. However, please use your real name when submitting your script. After the challenge closes you can either have your script removed or resubmit your script with your name on it.

Participants are strongly encouraged to read and comment/review the other scripts submitted.

Please put © on your title page.

Best of luck and I hope everyone enjoys this challenge.

Talk about it on the Discussion Board

A Face to Die For – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

A Face To Die For (6 pages in pdf format) by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau

A man with the ability to make people laugh with a funny face finds his gift his worst nightmare when his loved ones suffer the consequences…

In A Face To Die For, Jeff has a secret weapon. A unique skill: His face is funny. Not just funny “ha ha”. Seriously funny – you could literally die laughing when Jeff pulls ‘his special face’ on you.

Which may sound dire… but it’s a skill that gets Jeff out of any scrape:

  • Can’t pay the rent? Pull the face.
  • Is a cop approaching your vehicle – speeding ticket in his hand? No problem. Pull the face.
  • Didn’t finish your work? Performance evaluations are due. And the dreaded Boss is on your case? Easy peasy. Pull the face.

You get the idea. Jeff gets what he wants, when he wants. All due to that simple, secret gift.

But what does Jeff want most? To make his girlfriend Yhanna and her young daughter Betty happy all the time. So Jeff pulls ‘the face’ every day, in order to keep them amused… until one terrible day when tragedy strikes. Leaving Jeff to realize: power is no laughing matter. Not when lives are at stake.

Which leaves Jeff to make hard decisions in his life. What should he do to protect himself? And the ones he loves most of all?

Written by Jean-Pierre Chapoteau, A Face to Die For has an awesome hook. Wow, is this a doozy! If you know – or consider yourself – a young Jim Carrey, imagine the possibilities! A talented actor could bring brilliance to this performance – and the script itself is razor sharp. So don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Get to reading A Face to Die For. Now!

Production: Minimal. 4 main speaking parts (and extras for the montage).

About the Writer: Jean-Pierre Chapoteau started writing feature-length scripts in 2005, then focused on shorts in 2009. Since then he’s had three scripts produced and two more optioned. He has won several awards for his shorts and has become a moderator at the site MoviePoet, who specialize in the craft of the short scripts. Jean-Pierre was a finalist in the RAW TALENT Competition for his faith-based feature-length script: ‘Far From Perfect.’ And was also a semi-finalist in the SLAMDANCE teleplay competition and a finalist in the OBSWRITER teleplay contest for his adapted teleplay, Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Guardian. You can contact Jean-Pierre Chapoteau at: jeanpierre425 (a) gmail.com

Read A Face To Die For (6 pages in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Find more scripts available for production

About the Reviewer: Elaine Clayton is a London-based screenwriter, who has written several well-received shorts and is currently working on her first feature length scripts. Comfortable in a broad range of genres, Elaine has an innate sense of structure and arc development. Contact her at Elaine_clayton (AT) Hotmail(.)co(.)uk

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Survivor by Mark Renshaw – Produced graphic short - post author Don

The Survivor (16 pages in pdf format) by Mark Renshaw

A teenager embarks on a perilous trek for supplies in a dangerous world where society has collapsed and the air is toxic. With only his toy robot as a companion, he faces lost souls, crazed zealots, and corrupt law enforcement officers. But the real danger is waiting for him at home.

Mark has had a lot of success with The Survivor: A tale from the Nearscape. It was released as a short film and now it has been made into a short comic. The Survivor was written by Thomas Tuna from the script by Mark Renshaw and illustrated by Armandroy Canlas. Please also listen to “The Suvivor Sketches” by Zaalen Tallis. Talk about this script, comic and movie on the discussion board

(click the image to take you to the full version)

Read the rest at HyperEpics.com/Survivor


About the Writer: 2018 Page Awards semi-finalist Mark Renshaw can be reached through his website at Mark-Renshaw.com. An award-winning writer and producer, his last project earned ‘Best Sci-Fi’ at the Top Shorts and Festigious film festivals.

About Hyper Epics: Home of the 3 page sagas, Hyper Epics is a bold anthology series that offers diverse and exciting comic book stories on its website – www.hyperepics.com – and in print form. Each original story is packed with stunning artwork, memorable characters, and captivating stories enhanced with dazzling soundtracks. It is quickly becoming a go-to destination for readers worldwide.

Monday, October 8, 2018

How to Talk to Women – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Guest Reviewer

How to Talk to Women (pdf format) by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

When an old trunk is unearthed at his construction site, a lonely guy’s life takes a turn for the better.

Bradley Taylor is a lovely guy: kind heart, good job, real nice home. The problem is: it’s a home that’s empty. What Bradley’s missing is a lady love. Someone to share his life with. Sure, Bradley’s got a personality that makes him a keeper: but he gets tongue-tied each time a prospect comes along.

Still, Bradley’s being proactive – doing his best to improve his chances and skills. Including reading a self-help book – unimaginatively titled: How to Talk to Women.

A no-brainer, easy-fix.

Or is it too simplified? After all, the best laid plans of Mice and Men are often complicated by real Life.

Especially when Bradley finally meets the girl of his dreams: Agent Dana Parker. The setting: a construction site. The situation: the discovery of a dead body which may – or may not – be Jimmy Hoffa.

Almost immediately, Bradley sets out to impress Dana. But he’s busy being anyone but himself, and messing up… big time. Even funnier is the other side of the equation: that Dana’s perusing a self-help book herself: ‘ Be Irresistible to Men’. And she’s diligently following all the steps.

Even if that results in giving Bradley the world’s worst massage, in an awkward attempt to flirt:


     Vinny approaches as Taylor tries to stand.

            VINNY
What da fuck happened to you?

            TAYLOR
Agent Parker gave me a neck rub.

            VINNY
Holy shit. She fucked you up.

            TAYLOR
You gotta help me. I don’t want
her to know she hurt me.

Ironic isn’t it? Kindred spirits and crossed wires. Two would-be lovers trying soooooo hard to connect that wrong signals and mixed messages whistle like missiles through the air.

In the end, neither knows where they stand. Or in Bradley’s case, how to stand.

Will these two losers in love end up winning hearts? Or at least score a first date?

Get this page turner under construction as soon as you can. Sure, the setting’s so unromantic it hurts. But if you wanna push boundaries on genres, then Marnie Mitchell-Lister’s your gal. With this short film, you’re building something meant to last. Think Two Weeks Notice – and hammer your way to festival success!

Budget: The setting’s really up to you and how much of a construction site you want. It’s easy to keep it real simple with the focus on the two main characters.

Marnie Mitchell-Lister has creative A.D.D. Some of her writing can be read here: BrainFluffs.com. Some of her photography can be seen here: marnzart.wordpress.com.

Read How to Talk to Women (pdf format)

Find more scripts available for production

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

About the reviewer: Elaine Clayton is a London-based screenwriter, who has written several well received shorts and is currently doing a Masters in Playwriting and Scriptwriting. Comfortable in a broad range of genres, Elaine has an innate sense of structure and arc development. Contact her at Elaine_clayton (a) hotmail(.)co(.)uk

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Original Script Sunday for October 7th and Shifters - post author Don

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

And when you are done reading, may I interest you in a free, full length horror movie?

Who doesn’t love a full free horror movie? SHIFTER is a new vampire movie with all the chills of classic vampire movies and all the blockbuster thrills of a teen screams cabin in the woods movie! In this genre-bending action horror thriller, eight young friends on a weekend vacation are pulled into an eternal struggle between two ancient and powerful beings.

Watch it NOW at ShifterMovie.ca

This is the kind of late-night movie your 14 year-old self would sneakily rent for a sleepover with your best buds…so make sure you’ve got some people to share the laughs and screams (and beers) with!

And save future you a few minutes and subscribe to California Balloon Films You Tube Channel. A little bird (named Chris) told me that there will be some future movies there tht future you would love.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Outlining for the script, how I hate it (but oh how I need it) – Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

So before we delve into today’s post, just a bit of horn tootin for both Rick and me. Rick recently had another short film completed, “Missed Stop”, which will be hitting the festival circuits in the near future. I have a short script, “Last Rites”, that is set to be filmed in California over the Labor Day weekend, and so I hope to see a finished cut before the end of the year. Always great to see how the words you’ve written are interpreted by the director, the cinematographer, and the cast.

But getting those words to the script are always paramount to the writer, and how they get there varies from writer to writer.

There are those writers who need to have every beat in the story crafted out, the story blocked out to the greatest extent possible, characters fully described and the protagonists main arc perfectly delineated. Once they have all that then they can finally sit down and type out FADE IN and craft their script in accordance with their outline. I can’t do that. I just can’t. If that works for you and that’s the only way you can tell your story, then by all means, go for it. To me, it’s a little bit of paint by number writing, because you’re going through each scene and you’re writing based exactly on what’s in that outline without any room for maneuvering lest you sabotage the rest of the outline.

Then there are the writers who sit down at the computer with only a general idea in their heads about the story and the characters and just start typing. In their mind they want to see where the characters take the story — which is a bit of a fake out. The writer is the one driving the characters, so the writer still is the one making up the story on the fly. To those writers who can pull that off, I tip my cap to you and secretly loathe you, because that’s not how I can do it.

I think both Rick and I are somewhere in the middle group. We’ll look at each act, prepare a general, but not overly detailed, synopsis of each act, and then work from that. This allows us room to deviate from the big picture as the spirit moves us without having to go back and revamp the entire outline. It gives more flexibility to operate, and I feel, to be more creative overall.

I encourage anyone preparing to write a script to work with whatever gets you motivated to sit down and start writing. Do what works for you, and not because you read it in a book or because someone told you that it HAD to be done a certain way to be successful. Most of the people telling you that haven’t had any success to speak of.

That said, it’s time to start outlining. Let’s see where our outline takes us on our trip to Lake Regret.

_________________________

The further adventures of the screenwriting and marketing process of Lake Regret wherein Gary Howell documents his and Rick Hansberry's screenwriting adventures from concept, to the writing, to how they handle disagreements, to marketing the script. Reproduced with permission

Friday, October 5, 2018

Kidnap in Room 12 by Victor Daniel-Kalio filmed as “Abduction 207” - post author Don

Kidnap in Room 12 (11 page thriller in pdf format) by Victor Daniel-Kalio

The events of a ghastly kidnap unexpectedly force an oblivious wife into confronting the truth about her shady husband.

Official Trailer

Abduction 207 – Official Trailer from Vis Brown on Vimeo.

Discuss on the discussion board

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Geek by Cindy Keller – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Dena McKinnon

Geek (7 pages in pdf format) by Cindy L Keller

Unable to get help and without hope, a bullied boy is pushed to a morbid end.

Jesse sizes himself up in the mirror while he washes off his blooded knuckles. His face is bruised but not as bad as his soul. His glasses are broken, and this isn’t the first time. Guilt sinks in as he begins blaming himself. Jesse can’t seem to find help from his teachers, his principle…even from his own parents. With no hope, Jesse writes a suicide letter and heads to the garage with a rope cinched into a noose. On his way to end his pain, his arch enemy shows up. Curt, the bully, mouths off and a fight ensues.

What I love about this story.
Oh Irony. When Jesse finally wins, he really still loses. I really care about Jesse and want him to find help. It’s both a sad and strong story that will either make you cry or make your blood boil. Use of voice over is done well over strong images. This was a clever way to tell the story making us FEEL Jesse’s pain.

Why this SHOULD be produced.
It’s a story that needs to be told a zillion times to make people aware. A hard but attractive subject for festivals, this script is also budget friendly with only one location.

Production: Budget – low; Characters – 1 main, 6 extras; Location – 1 location

About the writer: Cindy Kellor is an award-winning screenwriter. She’s been a finalist at Page, finalist at Gimme Credit, Sixth place winner at American Gem, and the winner of Hellfire’s Short Horror Contest. She has had two shorts produced, and has more shorts and features available for production. Cindy can be reached at skyburg (a) hotmail

Read Geek (7 page drama in pdf format)

This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.

Find more scripts available for production

About the reviewer: Dena McKinnon is an optioned and produced screenwriter who also writes on assignment. Her IMDb credits. She can be reached at: girlbytheshore (a) hotmail.

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