Entries Tagged 'screenwriting' ↓

The Adventure Continues

The production company received my release form late Tuesday and off went the script on Wednesday morning -- couldn't resist a few last minute tweaks. I should hear from them in a few weeks. And the wait begins....

At some point, I plan on resubmitting to the companies that didn't respond on my first go around, but I'm trying to sync it with early contest results. And speaking of contests...

I'm not foolishly putting all my eggs in the Nicholl Fellowship basket this year. The Austin Film Festival and the PAGE Awards are two other likely candidates. Austin's screenplay competition is on that next tier after Nicholl. I haven't experienced it, but the festival itself is said to be an excellent place to network. PAGE has a pretty good reputation and nifty cash prizes. I also like the fact that both contests feature genre categories.

More Adventures in Querying

Not much to say... except that I got a bite. In case you're wondering, my query letter was pretty straight-forward and vanilla. Introduction, logline and a brief synopsis. Each week, I've tried different variations (start with a hook, just a logline, etc.), but I haven't queried enough to draw any definite conclusions.

My excitement is somewhat tempered because they're not actively looking for supernatural/horror material. However, I'm not dumb enough to look a gift horse in the mouth -- always wanted to say that. Now I have to sign and drop an intimidating release form in the mail...

Adventures in Querying

I did say something about being more pro-active this year, because it's highly unlikely that the heavens will part and a spec sale is going to fall right into my lap. I've been querying production companies for the last couple of weeks... pretty lame adventure so far. Had a brief nibble, but the synopsis didn't quite match their tastes, or I might have given away too much.

I'm around two dozen e-mail queries at this point. The low response rate is a bit disheartening, but also to be expected. According to a post on sellingyourscreenplay.com by Ashley Scott Meyers, a 2% positive response to an e-mail query is pretty good. Odds are slightly better with faxes and good old-fashioned snail mail. Gonna try a couple of those.

There is one positive to take away from a rejection: they're willing to read material. If not this script, then maybe the next.

Surprisingly, it's not that difficult to track down contact information. Google is your friend, which probably explains the low response rates. These producer's inboxes are being flooded with dozens of query letters and unsolicited scripts. I'm sure there are mass deletions every morning. Thanks a lot, Hacks!

At this point, it's a waiting game. Query. E-Mail. Wait. Tweak. Query. E-mail. Wait. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I'll keep you posted if anything develops.

Listen Up!

Remember when I trashed Jumper (film, not the script) a while back? Well, here's an excellent podcast from Creative Screenwriting Magazine with its co-writers, Simon Kinberg and Jim Uhls. It's fascinating to hear about all the changes the story went through. Quite a bit can happen to a script from sale to shoot (I owe them a huge apology) -- kind of ties into the recent debate that's set the scribosphere ablaze.

Geek Syndicate has a great interview with Howard Overman, the creator of the Heroish UK series, Mifits. Even though it's not yet available in the States, there's an online graphic novel that you can check out here.


I've been spending so much time on Twitter, I think my blog got jello (I'm in the middle of "Jennifer's Body") and rejected the slick template that I installed last month. From now on, I'll stick with my own designs, so the basic black will be around until I can whip up something. So what else is new? Contemplating on another screenwriting contest. Kind of wish I had entered Austin or Page -- even the tiniest bit of validation wouldn't hurt at this point. Probably going with trackingb. Good odds and a chance at representation.

Still putting together a list of production companies to query. I'm waiting on the results from another contest, so no big rush. Gives me more time to work on the query letter -- putting together a little something extra. I know it's a Hail Mary, but I'm also going to query a few managers that rep actors, see if I can get some talent attached to the script.


Ever come up with what you believe is an absolute dandy of a premise -- only to discover that it's already headed to a theater near you? Pandorum is pretty close something that I've been kicking around for a while. Not exactly the same, but enough similarities to make me curse under my breath while watching the trailer. Amnesia. Creatures. Confined spaces. Feels a little Resident Evilish -- no surprise there, it's from the RE creators. I'm ticked that someone beat me to it, but I'm not about to give up on the idea just yet. It all comes down to execution.

Deal Breaker?

So Kirk Acevedo is off "Fringe" and Meghan Markle joins the cast -- used to be one of the "Deal or No Deal" show-models -- as a junior FBI agent. Charlie was the skeptic. He didn't buy into the crazy theories, just did his job. Kinda like Skinner on "X-Files". Might screw up the dynamic. I also read that a slew of new writers are being brought in. Just when the show had started to find its legs....

"Mutant Chronicles" is exactly what you'd expect from a sci-fi zombie movie. Decent cast -- I didn't get the Pras from the Fugees cameo. Apparently, John Malkovich will agree to *any* script thrown in his direction.... maybe I should get his contact info! Simple, silly story. Struggles when it tries to go beyond the limited budget. Murky shadows and digital blood splatter can only go so far. I think plans for a theatrical release fell through.

Stuck in the mud with the new script -- okay, stuck is the wrong word. I have options, I just don't like any of 'em. Think I'll work on something else until inspiration strikes. I have an idea for a low budget thriller that I'd like to get off the ground anyway. By hook or by crook, I'm gonna start and finish two scripts this year.

Script Poker

Mentioned earlier on Twitter that I passed on the FOX/P&G sitcom contest. I would’ve been able to crank out a script before the deadline, but of questionable quality -- there‘s always next year. Instead, I tossed my hat into the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival. In the past, the top scripts have gotten reads at Lions Gate... seems like a decent enough gamble.

I'm currently waffling on entering a third screenwriting contest -- Screamfest or the Austin Film Festival . Screamfest seems like the obvious choice, but Austin has a good reputation (offering free feedback for second rounders this year) and a special category for horror/sci-fi -- kinda pricey at 70 bucks though. Maybe I’ll pass on both. There are plenty of broke screenwriters with contest wins/placements and not much else. Already thinking about phase two of my quest: querying production companies.

Started on a new concept. Comedy, romance and of course, a supernatural angle. This one has a lot of commercial potential. Gunning for a first draft in a reasonable time frame. Maybe 2-3 months? Trying to cut down on my usual hand wringing.

Killing Babies

Well, not literally. Just trimming my page count. Trying to hover around 110 pages. Went from a page long conversation to a menacing gesture -- incredibly satisfying and a bit embarrassing at the same time.

A New Day

There were a bunch of things that I was trying to accomplish before the new year, but my laptop had other ideas -- I’ve been trying to drag it, kicking and screaming into 2009. Luckily, the really important stuff was already backed up. My blog entries might be a little sporadic this month.

One of my goals in 2008 was to finish a script -- ole lappy screwed that one up, should be done by tomorrow. For 2009, I’m aiming for multiple scripts. I have some low-budget ideas that I’ve starting fleshing out. The plan is to be more proactive in the second half of the year: contests, e-mail querying, cold calls, etc. Good luck to everyone in ‘09!

BTW, in totally Prince related news, Vanity turned 50 yesterday. Damn, I feel old!

Saving Story

Maybe Shyamalan was on to something... or not. Interesting article in last week’s New York Times about the sad state of storytelling. There is an unfortunate trend of big special effects strong-arming story into a corner, but I don’t believe we need an updated “Hero’s Journey" for today’s ADD audiences.

Screenwriting is more art than science -- which is why everyone thinks they can do it. Maybe if writers were given more respect, there would be better stories. Of course, better stories don’t always translate into box office success... is Hollywood willing to take that risk?

Script Alert!

Ain’t It Cool News’ very own Moriarty, aka Drew McWeeny, co-wrote the July 24th episode of “Fear Itself”. He talks about “Skin and Bones” here and links to the actual teleplay -- which will only be online until the 24th. The script is actually a pretty good read, especially when you consider that it was completed in six days -- two of those six days were spent making revisions based on network notes. Cool insight into the process...