30 September, 2006

My Brain Hurts

Was it something I wrote?:

"Spend more time thinking than typing. Thinking is hard. Typing is easy."

29 September, 2006

Opening Weekend

Film Reel

World Trade Center
Focussing on one of the many tales of bravery on 9/11

Written by Andrea Berloff
Directed by Oliver Stone

Official site
Andrea Berloff interview
Oliver Stone interview 1
Oliver Stone interview 2
Oliver Stone video interview


Adam Sandler fast forwards through his life with a magical remote control.

Written by Steve Koren & Mark O'Keefe
Directed by Frank Coraci

Official site


Animated Little Red Riding Hood meets The Usual Suspects tale

Written and directed by
Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech

Official site
Cory Edwards interview 1
Cory Edwards interview 2


Life & Lyrics
The UK's answer to 8 Mile.

Written by Ken Williams
Directed by Richard Laxton


Nina's Heavenly Delights
A Scottish Asian young woman goes back to her roots.

Written by Andrea Gibb
Story by/Directed by Pratibha Parmar

Official site
Pratibha Parmar Interview


Echo Park L.A. (Quinceanera)
A pregnant teenager moves in with her gay cousin in this Sundance award-winning drama.

Written and directed by Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland

Official site
Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland interview


Musical reworking of the Joan of Arc story set in a hospital

Written by Yvette Biro,Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi
Directed by Kornél Mundruczó

Kornél Mundruczó Interview 1
Kornél Mundruczó Interview 2
Viktória Petrányi interview


Krisana (Fallen)
Drama about the aftermath of an apparent suicide

Written and directed by Fred Kelemen

Fred Kelemen Interviews


Mountain Patrol (Kekexili)
Follows the volunteer team that protect animals against poachers in China's vast, icy nature reserve.

Written and directed by Chuan Lu

Official site
Chuan Lu interview

'Fiction' reveals truth: Write stuff plays big

Hollywood Reporter:

"'If you have something great and palpably enjoyable,' Doran says, 'studios and directors can't wait to do it.'

At its best, great writing cuts through all the rules in Hollywood."

28 September, 2006

Word of Mouth

Clerks II

This is a date movie for really broadminded couples. This was really funny and scatological but it does have something to say about friendships and relationships. You don’t need to have seen the first one to enjoy it but, seriously, why haven’t you seen the first one? My only real quibble was in the last act where there is an over-long, too-sentimental scene which slowed things down and wasn’t entirely saved by wise-cracking onlookers. Recommend.
Box office #10

Rabbit Fever

Is it just me or do most British comedies seem to be mock documentaries? Maybe it’s because they’re a much easier to write.

There were very few of us in the movie theatre on Saturday night and one person walked out. The biggest surprise is that person wasn’t me. Despite the one-star reviews I have seen far worse British films than this and was relatively happy to stay until the end – although I wouldn’t give it more than two stars to be honest. Thinking about it, it’s a film about vibrators that’s an 18 certificate and the walker probably expected some ‘action’, if you know what I mean. Actually some ‘action’ would have been very welcome. Sorry, I don’t mean welcome I mean inappropriate and exploitative and just very very wrong.

Usually with British mockumentaries the documentary aspect isn’t done properly at all but here more effort was made than usual and it did get some laughs. However it’s just not substantial enough for an evening out. It could have been great as a normal character and story comedy though.

Children of Men

I saw this expecting it to be worthy and dull and while it is certainly worthy it is not dull in the slightest. It provides visceral thrills and excitement but makes subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) points about immigration, pollution and terrorism. Recommended.
Box office #1

Trust the Man

I didn’t feel I wasted my time or money but it’s still hard to recommend this. It feels honest and real and has some laughs and has a great cast enjoying the great dialogue but the story is a bit 'bleh'. A bit 'so what?' Worth catching on DVD maybe.
Box office #8

27 September, 2006

If we move fast, we can curb the film world's male bias

Natasha Walter, The Guardian :

"Of all the statistics that show that the world is still weighted towards the boys, there are few quite as telling as the percentage of major feature films that are directed by women - we're still talking just 7%."

23 September, 2006

A New Day?

Writers Guild of America article on how TV networks are allowing writers creative freedom and freedom to fail.:

"“What we've come to learn is, it is all about the writer,” says Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. “We're aggressively developing projects year round. We tell writers, 'Bring us your passion projects; bring us the project that excites you.' So, if they bring us something that's serialized, if they bring something that is closed-ended, if they bring something that is unorthodox and unusual, it doesn't matter. If we at the network respond to the quality of the storytelling, and it's a great opportunity for us, we're going to move forward on it. We don't preclude development of any one form over another. The point is: it's about the writer's vision. How does he or she best feel the story is serviced.”"

22 September, 2006

Opening Weekend

Film Reel

Children of Men

Drama. A futuristic society faces extinction when no children are born and the human race has lost the ability to reproduce. England has descended into chaos, until an iron-handed warden is brought in to institute martial law. The warden's ability to keep order is threatened when a woman finds that she is pregnant ...

Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón based on the PD James novel
Official Site
Alfonso Cuarón Video Interview

Clerks II
Ten years ago best friends Dante Hicks and Randal Graves were New Jersey mini-mall clerks still slacking off together in their early 20s. Now working in the fast-food universe, Dante and Randal have managed to maintain, and even hone, their in-your-face attitudes, agile skill with vulgarities and unbridled love of screwing the customers

Written and directed by Kevin Smith
Official Site
Kevin Smith Interview 1
Kevin Smith Interview 2
Kevin Smith Interview 3
Kevin Smith Interview 4

Drama. We first meet William Keane in the Port Authority bus terminal where he is desperately searching for his 6-year-old daughter, who has been missing for months. Repeatedly drawn to the site of the purported abduction, Keane wanders the bus station compulsively going over the events of that fateful day ...

Written and directed by Lodge Kerrigan
Lodge Kerrigan Interview 1
Lodge Kerrigan Interview 2

A three-part anthology film about love and sexuality: a menage-a-trois between a couple and a young woman on the coast of Tuscany; an advertising executive under enormous pressure at work, who, during visits to his psychiatrist, is pulled to delve into the possible reasons why his stress seems to manifest itself in a recurring erotic dream; and a story of unrequited love about a beautiful, 1960s high-end call girl in an impossible affair with her young tailor.

Part 1 written and directed by Wong Kar Wai, Part 2 by written and directed by Steven Soderbergh, Part 3, Written by Tonino Guerra and directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Official site

Trust the Man
Romantic Comedy. Rebecca, a successful actress and her Mr. Mom husband, Tom, have two kids, a virtually nonexistent sex life, and a marriage counselor who is too baffled by the pair to offer any real help. Rebecca's slacker younger brother, Tobey, has been dating the exasperated Elaine for eight years but can't seem to commit to getting married and having a family. The status quo is then given a serious jolt.

Writer and directed by Bart Freundlich
Official site
Bart Freundlich Interview 1
Bart Freundlich Interview 2

Rabbit Fever
Mock documentary comedy. The Rabbit is the world's belling-selling vibrator. In the past year alone, millions have been sold all over the globe. Now experts are warning the Rabbit is becoming the new addiction; women who start using often find they simply cannot stop. Rabbit Fever is the first film to follow the trials and tribulations of a group of Rabbit Addicts as they attempt to kick their Rabbit habit.

Written by Stephen Raphael and directed by Ian Denyer
Official site
Stephen Raphael Article

21 September, 2006

Just because The Others Do It...


"Readers have a crafty little rule up their sleeves that gets them out of having to read the millionth spec script that week. It's called NO CLEAR IMAGE."

The Scriptwriter's Life Diagram

The Scriptwriter's Life

Tim Clague, Projector Films:

"This is a new approach for scriptwriters, like me, to think about what they need to do in order to be successful. The diagram contains, all in one place, the life of a scriptwriter. Its a map that we can use to see what we need to tackle next. As far as I know no-one has done this before."

Tim's diagram is a major new resource for screenwriters that's both practical and beautiful. Although it's an early version, there's more than enough there to be getting on with.

Darklight: Women Direct Horror


"Why don’t women direct horror? In 100 years of cinema history we can barely name a handful of women horror directors. Warp X, in partnership with Threshold Studios, have established a unique training and production initiative to encourage women directors keen to reinvent the horror genre for the 21st Century.

How does DARKLIGHT work?
With funding support from Skillset Film Skills’ Fund, DARKLIGHT: WOMEN DIRECT HORROR will provide an opportunity for female directors to develop their horror ideas through residential workshops and with specialised script editing and mentoring support. At least two of the ideas will be produced by low budget digital studio Warp X in 2008.

Who is the initiative aimed at?
Female directors with projects that may or may not have a writer attached. Directors should apply with a CV, DVD showreel and 3 x 1 page project outlines. These projects are not expected to be at script stage. Please bear in mind that as project development is a key feature of DARKLIGHT it would not be appropriate for directors to start the training programme with ideas at more advanced stages of development.

How does this 'project development' work?
The DARKLIGHT training and development programme will consist of two residential workshops in February and May 2007 led by a team of industry specialists. Between these two residentials, directors will work with a script editor to develop their idea. We will also provide support to produce a treatment package including production sketches and storyboards where appropriate.

What happens after the residentials?
Ten projects will be developed to outline stage with supporting visual material. Four projects will have writers and producers attached and will be developed to 25 page treatments. At least two of these will then be developed to script stage and greenlit on the normal Warp X terms and conditions for production in 2008.

When is the closing date?
The closing date for applications to DARKLIGHT is Friday 3 November.

How do I get hold of an application pack?
Application packs and guidelines will be available from Friday 1 September. To register your interest and receive a pack by email please contact Uzma Choudhry at Threshold Studios "

TEST - Tools for European Screenwriters' Training

TEST - Tools for European Screenwriters' Training

18 September, 2006

Variety Screening Series

Variety Screening Series - Series Page on Yahoo! Podcasts:

"Variety's Screening Series showcases the most anticipated films from major and independent studios, featuring a QA with the director, producer, writer and or cast members."

17 September, 2006

2006 PAGE Award Winners Announced

From over 2500 entries, submitted by writers from all across the United States and around the world, the judges have now selected the winners of the 2006 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards competition. Awards have been presented to the top three scripts in each genre category, and to this year’s Grand Prize Winner, Scott LaCagnin, for his wildly funny action/comedy WARMONGER, INC.

For more information please visit: www.internationalscreenwritingawards.com

14 September, 2006

Writing and Developing Drama for Young Audiences

Cornwall Media Focus

Cornwall Media Focus : notes from their event

Brave New Roles - Theatre Award

Sphinx logo

Sphinx Theatre Company is pleased to announce a new award for the playwright who creates the most interesting role for a woman in a new play. This is a scheme designed to create a body of work containing stronger roles for women in contemporary plays.

The winning playwright will be awarded £2000 in addition to a commissioning fee and the successful play will be presented as part of the Brave New Roles showcase. Five additional short-listed writers will also have their pieces performed as part of the award's lunchtime showcase. The winning play will be produced in 2007/2008.

The award will go to the writer whose play contains the most interesting and strongest role(s) for a woman. Merit will be given to characters which move away from the usual stereotypes of women, often seen in theatre.

Judges for the Award include: Gemma Bodinetz (Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman Theatres), Jack Bradley (National Theatre), Rebecca Lenkiewiecz, actress Tanya Moodie, Sue Parrish (Sphinx Theatre Company) and actress,writer and director Janet Suzman. Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Manchester Royal Exchange, York Theatre Royal and Soho Theatre are proud to be associated with this initiative and award.

To be considered for the award writers must be UK residents and qualifying plays must be previously unperformed and over 30 minutes in length. Submissions cannot be accepted by email or on disk.

More details:
Sphinx Theatre Company

Deadline: 30 September 2006

Alternative Structures with Linda Aronson

| The Script Factory course

12 September, 2006

Diary of a Screenwriter

James Moran

James Moran's Blog

It's not as much fun now that you know it has a happy ending but it might be useful for aspiring screenwriters to start at the beginning in 2003 and follow the progress of the successful Severence slasher scribe.

10 September, 2006

Channel 4 Comedy Writers Competition

Amnesty SPB

Channel 4 are running a competition for comedy writers to pitch an idea for a sketch on Human Rights. As well as a cash prize, the winning pitch will be turned into a sketch to be performed at the Secret Policemen's Ball in October. It will be shown on Channel 4 - which would be a nice TV credit for your CV.

Go to Channel4.com/4Laughs now for full details.

Q&A: Deva Palmier, writer-director

Deva Palmier

Light & Shade Interview:

"Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers or writer-directors?

Go for it. Listen to advice and then follow your instinct."

08 September, 2006

Subtext example

Knowing and understanding subtext is key to us becoming better writers. People very rarely say exactly what they mean in an on-the-nose way; we have to read between the lines. John Eastwood gives an example on the UK Screenwriters Network:

"RE: Looking for Third Person in Houseshare

I thought that post could have been a little clearer, so hopefully I can clear up any confusion on behalf of the guys looking for a housemate.

Translations in CAPS.

Two professional males (24 & 31) looking for a third person ... (preferably female to balance the house) - WE CAN'T GET A GIRLFRIEND, WE'VE REALLY REALLY TRIED

We are looking to move into a 3 bedroom house asap - WE'VE BEEN EVICTED AND ARE STAYING WITH OUR MUMS

and need that third person to be tidy - DO ALL THE HOUSEWORK

and easy to get along with. - WILLING TO SLEEP WITH US

Glad I could help.

John "

04 September, 2006

Goals for September 2006

The Daily Pitch

Matt has stated his goals for September in the link above which reminds me that I should be setting my own goals. I do vaguely set goals in my head but I've missed all the goals I vaguely set in my head for August. It needs to be on paper.

I'm also going to do a four month plan, checking on what competitions and events are going on for the rest of the year and working out what to prioritise and what I'll need to do to participate.

For instance, Matt's 14 Day Screenplay Challenge begins again in October and not only would I like a proper story worked out before it starts but, erm, I would, sort of, like to finish the last one before the new one starts. That would be too embarrassing. I can just imagine me, years down the line, making the excuse: "Oh, I thought you said 14 Year Screenplay..."

So I'll be writing down my goals from now on and I recommend it for everyone.

Character Building Training Course

A Script Factory course

Taught over six sessions on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 September, Character Building is suitable for screenwriters and all those involved in the script development process, including creative producers.

Training takes places at The Script Factory in Central London. The fee for Character Building is £150 + VAT (total £176.25) which includes lunch, light refreshments and a comprehensive training pack.

01 September, 2006

Alan Ayckbourn interview

Mr A's amazing recovery:

"Alan Ayckbourn lost all feeling in his left leg. Then his arm. His reaction? 'I don't need all this. I have a play to rehearse.' He talks about his stroke and its aftermath."

On Discipline by Paul Guyot


"Want to be a good, successful writer? Do this:

1. Learn how to write. Meaning, learn all the rules of writing – so you will be able to intelligently break them later.

2. Get disciplined. I have no idea if this can be learned or not. I’m inching my way there, year by year. If I do learn discipline, I will let you know it can be done."