Tag Archives: Screenplay

Success!

Two friends of mine who I’ve had the pleasure to trade notes with through the Chicago Screenwriter’s Network have both seen (more!) recent success with their new scripts.  I read both scripts and can understand why they’re doing well and receiving recognition:

GOD GETS FIRED
by
Ron Meade
Third place out of 1,000 scripts in the WriteMovies 28th Writing Contest


ESCAPE FROM THE FRIEND ZONE
by
Colin Costello (Colin’s website)
Finalist in the Beverly Hills Film Festival Screenplay Competition



Well-deserved success for two hugely talented screenwriters!


L5 Pilot Released!

Back in December of 2010, my multi-talented brother Kaelan told me about a new Sci-Fi series he had a part in.

Having been a huge Sci-Fi fan since I was a kid, I was very excited to hear he was involved in such a project and got a chance to read the script and post a review.

Needless to say, when the pilot was released last week, I couldn’t wait to see it…

WATCH THE L5 PILOT

… and I wasn’t disappointed

I really enjoyed the amazing post-production effects coupled with an interesting premise and solid acting.  A storytelling technique I always like is when technical jargon is used that the viewer is not expected to understand, but makes sense to the characters.  L5’s fabric is woven with this (both in dialogue and visually) and gives the pilot a marvelously rich texture.

Well done, L5 Crew!  Here’s wishing you all the success you deserve!

Find out more…


What motivates and inspires you?

While there’s an infinite amount of motivations for success, I suppose most of us aspiring screenwriters are driven, at least in part, to see our work on the screen; to be blessed to have our stories told; to make a living by doing what we love, etc.

Then, sometimes, there are those things that both motivate and inspire.

Once I’m in the chair, click the Final Draft icon, and get lost in the script, what carries me?  What tethers my soul to the story and, at the same time, keeps me accountable to change what I love in service of what is right for the story?  What gets me excited to read a fellow writer’s script and provide quality feedback?  What won’t let my mind stop attacking a logic problem for days on end?

Lots of reasons.  But one of them is…

I want my story to be worthy of a Thomas Newman Soundtrack.

Even when I’m not listening to music while writing, it’s subtle motivating inspirations like these that help me to stay true to the story.

What motivates and inspires you?


Be gentle?

I was at the monthly Chicago Screenwriters Network (CSN) meeting this past Sunday and was chatting with a guy who asked me to read his script awhile back.  For the purpose of this post, the original conversation went something like this:

THE GUY
Do you want to read my script?

ME
I’d be glad to!  I’ll read it, then we can get together before
the next meeting and go over the script and my notes.

THE GUY
Oh, I don’t want any feedback… it’s done.

Oh, it’s done?  Okay.

… back to this past Sunday…

While I was chatting with this writer, he dropped a couple of hints like “Oh, I think I sent it to you, right?”

I finally said, “Listen, you said you didn’t want any feedback so, to be honest, I put it on the back burner.”

He seemed a little taken aback — which is understandable — and admitted he probably shouldn’t have said that.  I shared with him how I have paid for professional coverage in the past and have actually gotten even better notes from members of the CSN group on the same material that got a “professional” CONSIDER rating!  In fact, based on those later notes, I’m surprised the earlier version of that script got a CONSIDER rating from one of Hollywood’s top coverage services.  But that’s a topic for a whole other post…

So, he said he’d like for me to read his script and give him honest feedback.  That night, he sent me an updated version with one line in the email:

Be gentle lol.

Really?

Be gentle?

Why?

So you can just feel good about your script and not grow?  So I can spend hours reading material by another aspiring writer only to be put in a position where I can’t be totally honest?  How does that help either of us?

That’s right, I said “us.”

Look, I’m not here to be preachy, but at this stage of my development as a screenwriter, I learn a ton by reading screenplays and putting together notes for fellow writers.  It seems when I’m focused on someone else’s material, my shortcomings as a writer — along with flaws/plot problems in what I’m currently working on — always float to the surface and the process of helping someone else becomes an amazing opportunity for personal growth.  It’s a win/win in my opinion.

I have no illusions that I’m any kind of expert on the subject of screenwriting.  But I do know one thing: I certainly know a helluva lot more about story and screenwriting than the average Joe.  Ironically, trading scripts to provide brutally honest feedback is one of the main purposes of the CSN group!

Coincidentally, I drove home from the meeting that night with another writer who has sold scripts and had his material produced, and he said, “By the way, thanks for your notes on <SCRIPT>, it just won <SUCH AND SUCH> contest.”

Because I agreed to,  I will spend the hours it takes to read and put together honest, coherent thoughts on this writer’s script.  I can only hope that my time and effort will help him.  Regardless, I know it will help me.

On a positive note, I also got a script from another friend of mine who wants nothing less than painfully honest notes.

I felt a little like Josh Olson there for a minute.  Except he’s a talented, successful screenwriter and I’m, well… feeling a bit better for having written this. :)