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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Goodnight, Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

I’ve been dreading writing this post for quite a while, probably because I’ve known it’s been coming.  But it’s time to say farewell to Lake Regret, at least the idea of the script and this particular blog. I definitely liked the concept of chronicling the journey of a script from idea genesis to the final marketing of the script, and I thought beginning writers could learn something from the fits and starts that Rick and I went through.

But under the law of unintended consequences, and maybe the other law of “no good deed goes unpunished”, it became clear over a period of time that the the original idea I had for a single setting script wasn’t working out the way we had anticipated, and the more I struggled to fix the problems with the outline or the idea, the more of a slog it became.  Consequently, it had an effect on the blog, because if you don’t have the right idea, you don’t have the right outline, and you don’t have a path forward, ultimately no matter how good a writer you are, you won’t be able to turn that sow’s ear into a silk purse. Or even a script.

So we’re moving on from the original idea we had. And as a writer, you should never be afraid of doing that. Don’t be so wedded to an idea or concept that you can’t see that it’s not working. And don’t be afraid to accept criticism of your concepts, your scripts, or your writing is general. The trick is being able to discern the good criticism from the bad. Sometimes you never know.

As for Rick and me, we’ll continue to write together in the future. There’s always the next great idea just down the road. But it’s probably safe to say I just won’t blog about it.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read our ramblings, and we wish you nothing but great success in your future writing endeavors — and even if you don’t have success, we hope that you will continue to write, if that’s what brings you joy. We can all use a little joy in our lives right now.

FADE OUT.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Eighth Grade and First Reformed – For You Consideration - post author Don

Here are two from A24

First Reformed – undated, unspecified draft script by Paul Schrader – hosted by: A24 Awards – in pdf format

A minister of a small congregation in upstate New York grapples with mounting despair brought on by tragedy, worldly concerns and a tormented past.

Information courtesy of imdb.com
Eighth Grade – undated, unspecified draft script by Bo Burnham – hosted by: A24 Awards – in pdf format

An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.

Information courtesy of imdb.com

Check out these are more on the Scripts Movies Post for Award Consideration.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

BlacKkKlansman and Boy Erased – For Your Consideration - post author Don

Big thanks to Richie for the heads up on these two from Focus Features

Black Klansmen – undated, unspecified draft script by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee – hosted by: Focus Features – in pdf format

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.

Information courtesy of imdb.com
Boy Erased – undated, unspecified draft script by Joel Edgerton (Based on the memoir written by Garrard Conley) – hosted by: Focus Features – in pdf format

The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

Information courtesy of imdb.com

Monday, December 3, 2018

Keeping it Fresh – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Keeping it Fresh (6 pages in pdf format) by Rick Hansberry

Ken and Ruth have done it all. Except this.

What are you willing to do to keep things fresh? That’s a question many couples in their 60s dare to ask, and Ken and Ruth do their best to answer.

Does Fresh mean honest? Or just exciting? And when the stakes are ‘whatever needs to be done to share one’s life’, how can a couple truly know?

As veteran writer Rick Hansberry’s script opens, we meet Ken and Ruth in their well worn family car; tersely discussing their “action plan.” Ruth’s awash with nerves – her hands playing with a folded piece of paper. Ken tries to be sensitive to her concerns, but fails miserably at every attempt.

Where is this duo going? And why?

Their destination – a grocery store. What on Earth could be nerve racking there?

Soon, we discover Ken and Ruth are in… a race. Of what kind? The truth’s unclear. But what unfolds next is a comedy of errors – a wondrous blend of anxiety and charm. Imagine the slapstick as Ken and Ruth dodge obstacles, friends, enemies, wet floors, and – of course – time.

What will the finish line reveal? We won’t spoil the surprise (or the produce). But you will find a warm, sophisticated comedy – ala a young June Squibb or Seymour Cassell.

This is a script with tons of buy-one-get-two-free.  Including: a budget friendly tale, featuring characters of a “specific” (and underrepresented) age. All of which makes this story stand out – and write it’s way into even old and jaded hearts.

Need some older actors? Consider giving your parents’ “cool” friends something to do for a day. But regardless of who you cast, you’ll charm your way into festivals with this Fresh, young-at-heart gem!

Budget: All that’s needed are two good actors, and access to a deli or supermarket – at least a few aisles.

About the writer: Rick Hansberry is a screenwriter, producer and director with more than 20 years of industry experience. His SAG Foundation award-winning Branches features narration by Daniel Stern and garnered international festival awards. In 2017 his thriller/horror film, Evil In Her was released on Amazon Video and Vimeo On Demand. His most recent short, inspired by true events, has won praise for its portrayal of one girl’s positive approach to handling her Type 1 Diabetes. You can view It’s Not Permanent free on YouTube. Rick has two shorts playing in the festival circuit now and has several other shorts and features available here and is presently available for hire for new story ideas, rewrites and adaptations. He can be reached at djrickhansberry – AT – msn, (cell phone 717-682-8618) and IMDB credits available here.

Read Keeping it Fresh

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: 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 (a) gmail.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Original Script Sunday for December 2nd - post author Don

Over on the Original Scripts page are fifteen unproduced, original scripts for your reading pleasure.

– Don

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Shoving Forward, and Moving Back – Lake Regret - post author Gary Howell

Rick and I got back into the outline business, albeit on a superficial level, as I’m in the Pacific Northwest on vacation (I love Houston, but when it’s 95 degrees in September, it’s time to get the hell outta hell for a week to cooler climates).  But as I mentioned in our last post, I felt like we needed to give a little boost to our main protagonist’s decision to leave town on a permanent basis.

Now, for the moment, I’m not going to reveal what my suggestion to change was. Suffice to say, it was a very significant change to the character.  Rick’s was hesitant to make the change, as he thought that it would necessitate going back to the beginning and completely redoing the outline draft, and in addition, that it might change the tone of the movie from a dramedy in the vein of “Juno” or “Little Miss Sunshine” to a straight drama.

My argument was that the character change would already be known to the other characters, so it would only result in minor changes to the outline, and there was no need to change the tone of the film, because a film like “Juno” dealt with tough subject (abortion and teen pregnancy) while still making it an uplifting and, in many cases, a wildly funny film.

The bottom line is that we’re both wanting a film in the tone of “Juno” and we’re going to ponder this character turn and see where it leads us.  If we decide to make the change you’ll be the first to know.

So back to the outline as it’s currently situated: when we last left the outline, Jinx was in the house and Cass asked him to come over and sit on the couch with him while Hunter watches.  Hunter and Cass share a conspiratorial smile and then Hunter goes outside and find Ellie, and tells her that “her boyfriend Jinx is putting the moves on Cass”.

Ellie dismisses it — “he’s not my boyfriend” — but we can see that she’s fuming over this news.  More conflict created!

Back inside, Jinx has extricated himself from the situation and is going down the hallway looking for a restroom.  He accidentally opens the doorway to a spare room in the lake house where Lucas’ dad, Paul, is running on a treadmill. Jinx is embarrassed by the interruption, but Paul waves him in eagerly.  He stops the treadmill, and Jinx apologizes for the intrusion. Paul says he needed to stop anyway.  Can run and run all he wants on it, but never gets anywhere.  A little bit of subtext towards Jinx, who is intending to run away from this small town at the first chance he gets, but will he really get anywhere if he does?

Paul shows Jinx a picture on the wall.  It’s of Jinx and Lucas working at the hardware store.  Paul reminds Jinx that Jinx helped Lucas get a job with his parents’ business.  Kept him away from some bad people (like Hunter) at a time in his life when Lucas really needed it.  Jinx says he just wanted someone fun to work with during the summer.  Maybe it worked out for both of them.

And now we go on in for a reinforcement of why Jinx wants to leave.  Paul asks about Jinx taking over the parents’ business someday and Jinx fidgits for a response. “I get it. Not your thing.” Jinx is surprised at that reaction.

“So what are you doing instead?”
“Going to college,” Jinx replies.
“And?”
“That’s as far as I’ve gotten.”
“Well, that’ll be further than a lot of the kids in this town. This place is a black hole. Unless you get far enough away from it, you’re sucked in permanently.”

We’ve now established that even the adults in this town know that if you stay here, you’re stuck here, and that Jinx needs to go.

We’ll keep you updated on what we’re going to do with Jinx’ character, and I’ll be updating the post on screenwriting software soon!

 


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

Beautiful Boy screenplay. And interesting observation - post author Don

Interesting development on writing credits for the screenplay Beautiful Boy posted by Amazone I’ve just noticed noticed.

This version of Beautiful Boy posted on the 29th has it credited as: Screenplay by Luke Davies & Felix van Groeningen, however this more recent version posted three days later has Screenplay by Luke Davies and Felix van Groeningen (emphasis added).

In the case of the WGA screenwriting credit system, an ampersand, “&” means that two writers wrote as a team. WGA considers them to be one person. However, “and” means that two writers worked on the script at different times.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

He Drives Them – Crazy by David Lambertson – Produced - post author Don

He Drives Them – Crazy (10 pages in pdf format) by David Lambertson (eldave1)

An Uber Driver hearing voices in his head seeks a passenger to end his misery.



Discuss this script on the Discussion Board

About the Writer, Dave Lambertson: I took up writing rather late in life having already been retired before I put pen to paper (okay – finger to computer key) for the first time. My favorite genres to read and write are dramedies and romantic comedies.

In addition to this short, I have written four features; “The Last Statesman” (a 2015 PAGE finalist and a Nicholl’s and BlueCat quarterfinalist), “The Beginning of The End and The End” (a PAGE Semi-Finalist). Taking Stock (a drama) and a new comedy – “Screw You Tube”. Want to learn more? Reach Dave at dlambertson “AT” hotmail! And visit his website.

About the Film Makers: Filmed by Chinecherem Eze and Opportune Akendeu

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Ten Thousand Souls by Marnie – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Ten Thousand Souls (6 pages, pdf format) by Marnie Mitchell-Lister

In England’s darkest hour of the 1300’s, a Doctor makes a deal with Death Himself

What would you do if the Grim Reaper came a knockin’? If you’re Bill and Ted, you go on a Bogus Journey… Only a few of you will get that reference, but it’ll kill (pun intended) those of you that do.

What if, instead, you made a deal with the Reaper? IE: the Harbinger of Death? That is the very question asked in the script Ten Thousand Souls, penned by apt scribe Marnie Mitchell-Lister.

We meet Doctor Oliver Blackburn in 1900, visiting a gravely ill patient. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much that can be done. So Doctor Blackburn offers to sit with the man until his time comes – and he “goes”.

Sweet, right? Not so fast. Because soon as the man passes, Doctor Blackburn… well, let’s just say, “makes his move”..

Throughout Ten Thousand Souls, Doctor Blackburn narrates our story, keeping us hooked as we jump through centuries (from 1350 to 1970 to 2011). Twists and turns abound until our journey is brought to a satisfying – albeit tragic – end.

A script with multiple advantages, Ten Thousand has the potential to play well to the festival and awards crowd, but to help make a name for a director looking for their start.

Blue Oyster Cult once sang “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”Ten Thousand Souls reminds us that maybe, just maybe, we should.

Budget: Notable. There are several time jumps (from 1350 to 2011 and a few in between). It also has multiple settings. However, there are only a few characters (Doctor Blackburn and Death most prominently) which lessens the budget a smidge. There are, of course, some effects that will be necessary to bring this tale to life on screen. That said, a clever director with a set, access to some costumes and some loyal actors could likely make this work for less. Anyway, what are you doing reading this? Contact Marnie and get this thing made!

About the Writer 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 Ten Thousand Souls (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: Mitch Smith is an award winning screenwriter who offers notes, script editing and phone consultations. Follow him on twitter @MitchScripts, or email him at Mitch.SmithScripts (a) gmail.

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