SCRIPT PIMP FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER
(http://www.scriptpimp.com)

Contents:

(1) CALL FOR ENTRIES: Script Pimp 2010 Competitions
(2) Script Pimp Interview: Evan Daugherty, 2008 Contest Winner
(3) Recent Script Sales – January
(4) Box Office Report: January 22-24
(5) Script Pimp Partner Article: Marvin Acuna, “Meet Buster” Part 3
(6) Script Pimp Success Stories
(7) Script Pimp Feedback
(8) Script Pimp Partner: InkTip.com
(9) Script Pimp in the News
(10) Miscellaneous - Top Websites for Screenwriters

 

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(1) CALL FOR ENTRIES: Script Pimp 2010 Competitions 
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8th Annual 2010 Script P.I.M.P. Screenwriting & Teleplay Competitions

EARLY DEADLINE: March 1st, 2010 - $45

FINAL DEADLINE: May 1st, 2010 - $50

$17,000 overall CASH to winners & $80,000 in prizes

For registration, visit: http://www.scriptpimp.com/writing_competition/home.cfm

**Writers may also request general script notes for an additional $40**

The 2010 Script Pimp Screenwriting and TV Competitions are accepting entries for feature film and TV scripts—all genres, styles, and lengths accepted.  This is an international competition and non-U.S. writers are welcome. 

$20,000 in cash to the finalists/winners, and $80,000 in prizes given away to ANYONE who enters.  Finalist loglines/scripts are sent to over 200 companies.

Four (4) Grand-Prize winners receive:

--$14,000 total cash ($3,500 each)

--$250 travel voucher and invitation as recognized finalist to attend the Script Pimp Awards Ceremony at Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, CA in July 2010 where the winners will be announced

--$1,000 toward the "Think Tank" program at Writers Boot Camp ($4,000)

--Winning script recorded by iScript ($800)

--Plus ALL the finalist prizes listed below. . . .

Top 20 Finalists receive:

--$3,200 total cash (16 finalists receive $200 each)

--$250 travel voucher and invitation as recognized finalist to attend the Script Pimp Awards Ceremony at Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, CA in July 2010 where the winners will be announced

--Guaranteed circulation to over 200 Companies

--Mentor teleconference meetings with a producer, manager, or agent to discuss the finalist's script

--5-year memberships to Script Pimp's Writers Database ($10,000)

--Featured 'Script Pimp Recommend' listing on Ink Tip™

--$100 "Creative Currency" for Writers Boot Camp ($2,000)

--A seat to Chris Soth's Million Dollar Screenwriting Teleseminar (appx. $250/seat)

--A seat to Philippa Burgess' Million Dollar Screenwriting & Content Career Teleseminar (appx. $300/seat)

-- A seat to Steve Kaplan's Comedy Intensive Course (appx. $250/seat)

3rd Annual 2010 Script Pimp TV Writing Competition

$1,500 Cash to Best Overall TV Script; Top 10 Finalists chosen

The 3rd Annual Script Pimp TV Writing Competition: http://www.scriptpimp.com/tv/home.cfm   

Acceptable entries: Specs (current or former TV shows); Original Pilots; Reality/Game Show Proposals. Any length or genre.

Grand prize is $1,500 to the best spec, pilot, or reality series proposal.  Nine (9) other finalists receive $150 each, as well as guaranteed circulation to 200 companies and other prizes.

Contact entry@scriptpimp.com with questions or to request more information.

To submit: http://www.scriptpimp.com/writing_competition/home.cfm.

Script Pimp Home Page: http://www.scriptpimp.com

***All new Writers Database members get one FREE entry into either competition!***

Sign up here: http://www.scriptpimp.com/writers_database/index_wdb.cfm

*miscellaneous prizes are given away at random

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(2) Script Pimp Interview: Evan Daugherty, 2008 Contest Winner
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We recently interviewed Evan Daugherty (“Shrapnel”), whose Grand Prize spot in the 2008 Script Pimp Screenwriting Competition led to representation by Energy Entertainment and quickly set his career as a professional writer in motion.  Less than a year after the Script Pimp contest, Evan secured a writing assignment with Warner Bros., and now has his sights set on other feature film projects.

***

1) How long have you been writing screenplays? Did you writing start with scripts, fiction. . . ?

I’ve been writing in one form or another for a long time: short stories, poetry, etc.  But to be honest, from an early age, I was more interested in “making movies” than just “writing scripts.”  Most of my creative energy went into filming backyard movies with a digital video camera.  I think I started to write my first feature script as a senior in high school.  I didn’t know how to write a screenplay and was clueless about formatting, so it was kind of a disaster.

I didn’t write a “real” screenplay until I started at NYU Film School the following year.  I wrote four feature screenplays while I was at NYU.  Only one of them was for a class; the rest were extra-curricular.  Once I graduated, I wrote three or four more scripts before SHRAPNEL.  It’s essential to keep writing and not be discouraged if your first few scripts aren’t very good.  If you keep at it, your writing will improve.

2) What has influenced your writing most?

That’s a tough one.  SHRAPNEL is a gritty, almost “arthouse” thriller.  It was influenced mainly by films like SOUTHERN COMFORT, DELIVERANCE, HELL IN THE PACIFIC and the DUELLISTS.  That said, my writing as a whole is probably more influenced by writers like James Cameron, Scott Frank, David Koepp and, of course, William Goldman. . . with a little bit of David Mamet thrown in for good measure.

3) SHRAPNEL: where did the idea come from? What made you say, "I have to write this?”

I originally wrote SHRAPNEL to direct myself.  NYU film school gives out grants every year to recent alumni to help pay for their first feature films.  I wanted to write something cool and unique but also cheap.  I thought about writing a typical “cabin in the woods” horror movie, but those have been done to death.  Then, I stumbled onto the idea of doing a “cabin in the woods” political thriller.  I also thought it would be interesting to explore aspects of World War II that don’t usually get discussed or depicted in most films. 

But above all, I really wanted to see an old-school mano-e-mano action movie where both of the combatants are grizzled, old dudes.

4) Had the script been in other contests? What was it like being announced as a Grand Prize winner for Script Pimp and making the 2008 Blacklist?

After submitting SHRAPNEL for the NYU grant (which I didn’t win), submitting it to contests was very much an afterthought.  I think I might have submitted it to one other contest, which I don’t remember the name of.  The whole Script Pimp process was really great.  I was still living in Dallas at the time and when I was announced as a finalist, I decided to actually fly out to LA for the ceremony.  I had no expectation of winning, I was just using it as an excuse to visit some LA friends.  So, when I was announced as one of the Grand Prize winners, it was a real shock.

It was the same as the Black List.  I had heard about it, but would never have dreamt that just a couple of months after winning this contest, SHRAPNEL would make it onto the list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood.  It was definitely an honor.

5) Tell us about what happened after the contest. Your introduction to Jake Wagner at Energy Entertainment, the meeting with Warner Bros. . . did it feel like just a logical next step, or did it take some getting used to?  What was it like in the WB meeting?

After the Grand Prize win, I was contacted by a few different managers, all of whom seemed to be big fans of SHRAPNEL, but Jake from Energy Entertainment seemed like the best fit for SHRAPNEL and for me.  I quickly moved out to LA, and Jake and Brooklyn started putting me in rooms almost immediately.  A few months later, they sat me down with a few different agents, and I ultimately signed with Tobin Babst and Rio Hernandez at UTA.

I worked on a few different takes and pitches but ultimately landed my first job at Warner Bros. doing a rewrite on GRAYSKULL.  I have to admit that all of it took a lot of getting used to.  For instance, when I was announced as the new writer in the trades, I wasn’t prepared for the torrent of internet discussion surrounding the project.

6) In all likelihood, GRAYSKULL would have been a huge franchise for WB. How was the experience?

Unfortunately, Warner Bros. decided not to renew their option with Mattel on the Masters of the Universe franchise.  It’s kind of a bummer because I was very proud of the work I did on GRAYSKULL.  It was a really fun experience, though.  Silver Pictures was great.  And it was especially rewarding to work with John Stevenson (KUNG-FU PANDA), the director who was attached to GRAYSKULL at that time. 

7) As an up-and-coming writer with a new view on the inner-workings of the industry, has it been largely positive? Negative? How so?

To be honest, it’s been surprisingly positive so far.  Fingers crossed.  I’ve met with hundreds of people in town, and I’m always surprised by how friendly, energetic and creative they are as a whole.  That said, Hollywood is a strange place, and I’ve had a few horror stories.

8) What are your short-term and long-term goals in the industry? Any new scripts in the works?

My short term goal is to just keep writing, and to keep working with cool, talented people.  I have a few spec scripts at various stages of completion, as well as a pitch for a TV show and some good prospects on the writing assignment front.

As for the long-term goals, I’m still working those out. . . .

9) Advice to beginning writers?  What do you wish you'd have known about the industry earlier on that you know now?

There is a perception amongst young writers or writers who haven’t broken into the business that people in the industry want you to fail.  This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Everybody wants you to succeed.  They want to work with you on a great idea that will take the town by storm.

In terms of advice, I’ll go with the clichéd answer and say, “write.”  As I mentioned, I wrote seven or eight screenplays, some good, some bad, before I wrote SHRAPNEL, the script that earned me a manager, agent, and my first job.  Beyond that, I would say that it helps if you’re basically a nice, friendly, open person, who can engage with the people you meet on a real human level.

***

From everyone at Script Pimp, we wish Evan the best in his writing and filmmaking endeavors.

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(3) Recent Script Sales – January 
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Star vehicles push January’s script sales—both old stars and rising actors—as well franchise sequels.  “G.I. Joe” was apparently worthy of a second installment, as was “Paranormal Activity” (of course) and “Four Brothers,” with the sequel “Five.”  A handful of scripts, three dramas and a thriller, are also headed into development with Philip Seymour Hoffman’s production company.

Other selected script sales include:

--Tom Hanks and Julia Robert set to star in “Larry Crowne,” revolving around a change of careers for a middle-aged man (surely it’ll be more interesting than that).  Hanks will also direct.

--Comedian Demetri Martin’s script “Will” is set to star Zach Galifianakis and Paul Rudd.  Will Ferrell and Adam McKay to produce.

--A biopic of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Steven Spielberg will co-produce.

--An as-of-yet untitled George Lucas CGI project.

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(4) Box Office Report – January 22-24
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“Avatar” has officially broken the record set by James Cameron’s “other” movie “Titanic.”  And it doesn’t look as though the film is losing steam—a scary thought for the other pics trying to lure a decent-sized audience.  Meanwhile, the $90m budget “Sherlock Holmes” continues to overachieve with an impressive $190m thus far, as is the sequel to “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” given a relative lack of family fare in theaters.

Top 10 is as follows (updated as of Jan. 25th, with TOTAL domestic rake in parentheses):

1. Avatar ($551,741,499)                                                           

2. Legion ($17,501,625)

3. The Book of Eli ($60,735,686)

4. The Tooth Fairy ($14,010,409)

5. The Lovely Bones ($31,242,633)

6. Sherlock Holmes ($191,076,852)

7. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel ($204,140,348)

8. Extraordinary Measures ($6,012,594)

9. It’s Complicated ($98,270,085)

10. The Spy Next Door ($18,544,619)

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(5) Script Pimp Partner Article: Marvin Acuna, “Meet Buster” Part 3
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Meet Buster (Part 3)

By Marvin V Acuna

Buster has successfully maneuvered an elaborate and confusingly intricate series of events. He's close. A sale is within his grasp.

But, first Buster must confront the other powerful and remarkable force on this bewildering and complex journey. This remarkable force has the ability to breathe life into Buster or take it.

And we're moving.

Here encased in this glass structure you can get a rare glimpse at the specimen. DNA and fossil evidence indicates that this powerful and remarkable force originated in West Orange, NJ back in 1892.

THIS specimen has the true power in Hollywood. . . the power to say "YES.”

And we’re moving.

“Wait!”

And we’re stopping.

“What it’s called, what’s it called?!”

No need to get hysterical sir.

Everyone, what you see in front of your very own eyes is. . . the Studio President.

Keep in mind that a majority of the people Buster has encountered along the way are simply a "cog" in an elaborate process. Truth is that the people Buster faced directly or indirectly on his trek have limited powers. To actually buy Buster they must get the approval from the Studio President. 

Let me be VERY clear: These "cogs" are valuable and important, especially to the Studio President! He relies on them and all of the mechanisms in place to serve as his eyes and ears. To function as filters and to effectively identify the projects that meet the Studio's mandate, impact the bottom line, and tap into the talent relationships the Studio must serve or desires to serve.

To persuade the "cogs" to passionately coax and leverage their relationship with the Studio President, Buster must use all the charm and magic of his words, the clarity of his story, and more importantly the scale of his concept.

Buster must effectively reduce himself to a sound byte that stirs the emotions, evokes images, and indicates the market.

Fact is the “cogs” have but a few brief moments to convey why the Studio President should commit valuable and finite financial resources to Buster.

Fortunately for Buster his creator knew this and prepared him well. The result, Buster is triumphant.

Sold!

And we’re moving.

This marks the end of our tour. I leave you here at the gift shop for souvenirs and other memorabilia. If I may be so bold I recommend you pick up one or two of my personal favorites: the bobble head agent with the Cheshire grin. Any final questions before we part ways?

“I have one. Prepared how?”

Well, Buster’s creator did the following:

In essence, Buster’s creator recognized early in his career that the key to a successful business, ANY business (and if you weren’t clear sir, here it is---screenwriting IS a business), is to know your market and give them what they want to buy.

And I’m moving.

Oh yes, almost forgot I’d like to leave you with these final words. . . .

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others... I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent”

- Thomas Edison, inventor, scientist, and first studio president

About Producer Marvin V. Acuna: Recently executive produced The Great Buck Howard (John Malkovich, Tom Hanks, and Colin Hanks), Two Days (Paul Rudd, Donal Logue), and produced Touched (Jenna Elfman) and How Did It Feel (Blair Underwood).

To receive a copy of Hollywood’s Most Valuable E- Newsletter “The Screenwriter's Success Newsletter”FREE sign-up at http://www.TheBusinessofShowInstitute.com. The #1 Online Information Hub for Screenwriters on the Business. . . of Show Business. for

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(6) Script Pimp Success Stories
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Former Workshop Recommends and Script Pimp writers are finding success with their screenplays and films.

Most recent updates:

2009 Screenwriting Competition finalist Kevin Jones found representation with Zero Gravity Management.

2009 Screenwriting Competition finalist Matt Allen garners representation with Script Pimp industry contact Abstract Entertainment.

Brian Watanabe, writer of “Rogues Gallery,” has signed with The Gersh Agency.

2009 Screenwriting Competition winner Troy Taylor’s script, “The Eleven,” optioned by Etch Media.

Former Script Pimp Recommend writer Sam Benavides’ short horror script MANSFIELD PATH recently completed production, and a sneak preview screened in Pasadena, CA on July 25th.  Other screenings to be planned in the near future. 

Recent Script Pimp Recommend writer Micah Barnett has been signed by Jake Wagner (Energy Entertainment), literally days after receiving a Script Pimp Recommend.  His screenplay, THE MERC LIST, an action/thriller set in the future, was Recommended in May 2009 and is now primed to make its rounds in circulation.

Former Script Pimp Recommend screenplay STRENGTH AND HONOR (dir. Mark Mahon), now a multi-award-winning film with plans for a sequel, was featured on NBC’s Today show.  The film’s star, Michael Madsen, was interviewed by Meredith Viera on his role and the film’s success, along with an appearance by writer/director Mark Mahon.  For the entire interview: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/31426232#31426232.

To join the film’s Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/STRENGTH-AND-HONOUR/52594506857?ref=ts

Former Script Pimp Competition finalist Mandie Green recently began a writing assignment through Larry Levinson Productions to write a TV movie, “Sisterly Advice,” for the Hallmark Channel, an opportunity credited in part to contest placements for her script THE MICHAELS.

With the assistance of Kersey Management, Matt Savelloni, a former Script Pimp writer, has been placed with the agency Hohman, Maybank, and Lieb, one of the top boutique agencies in Los Angeles.  Matt is currently teamed with another writer developing two projects with high-profile producers.

More success stories: http://www.scriptpimp.com/success_stories/success_stories.cfm

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(7) Script Pimp Feedback
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As always, thanks to all the writers worldwide who took the time to send in their comments.  Some recent quotes, including writers who requested additional competition feedback in 2009:

“Thanks for the prompt service. I found the notes to be exceptional—well written, incisive, thorough, and upbeat. I have taken many of the suggestions to heart and will begin a rewrite forthwith.” – 1/26

“Although I'm just printing this out now to read, I would like to extend a big thank you for responding so promptly to my questions. It looks like Andrew [consultant] addressed everything I wanted to know.” – 1/22

“I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your comments and the time you invested in this. This is way above and beyond anything I've encountered from contests in the past--and I've entered many of them.” – 1/5

“Thank you very much for the quick and personal responses. I have asked many questions and you have always answered them very promptly and without the "copy and paste" answers most companies provide.” – 11/21

“That was a great interview with Chad Clough. I feel like I just hit the mother lode of help as a new writer. I can't believe how generous you, Matt, Chad and Philippa [Burgess] are to all of us as new writers.” – 10/22

“Thank you so much.  The reader did an EXCELLENT job.  Not only is it clear that the script was read with extreme attention, the critical notes are thoughtful and VERY helpful as opposed to destructive.  And also, thanks for the praise, that's always nice, though the suggestions for improvement were even nicer!  I would say the best aspect of the coverage was the acute understanding by the reader of the script I am trying to achieve.  The notes address the script I would like to write, not some fictional notion of the script I might have written.” – Zeke F. (10/13)

“As for your evaluator, I would give him/her a 10 across the board.   Although I didn't agree with everything, the comments and suggests were all valid and smart.  In my revised script, I incorporated many of the suggestions.    Money well spent.  Thanks again.” – Mark A.

“I have to say Script P.I.M.P. has been a great experience. The staff is always courteous and professional. Any questions are immediately answered, 24/7. The writer's database has been a fantastic resource and I look forward to continuing my relationship with the P.I.M.P.” – Sean Fallon

“I've found SP to be very professional and proactive, even going so far as calling me the day before the contest posted, to let me know that I was a finalist. Matt, over at Script P.I.M.P, has been very communicative throughout the entire process, and answered all my questions in a timely manner. The best thing about the contest though, is that I've already received several read requests from managers and production companies.” – Jason Carreiro

“Script P.I.M.P.'s contest is very professionally run, and so far it has been an excellent experience. I feel that the contest definitely has potential to open doors, and potentially offer significant exposure to winners and finalists. I highly recommend this contest and commend the very helpful people running it!” – Matthew Altman

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(8) Script Pimp Partner: InkTip.com
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Script Pimp highly recommends partner InkTip to help with the promotion of your script to numerous industry pros, with over 50 credits as a Screenplay Facilitator in the past five years.

***InkTip: Find good scripts fast and easy.***

InkTip, a screenplay facilitation company, has been helping producers, filmmakers, agents, managers and name talent find good scripts and writers since 2000.

Over 80 produced films have been facilitated by InkTip with a current average of 19 films produced per year.

To see our IMDb profile, go to IMDb.com and search for ‘InkTip’, or visit: http://www.inktip.com/welcome.php?cid=SSsolo&pg=main_inktip_on_imdb.php

In less than 2 minutes, see how InkTip works for you by watching the InkTip Explained video: http://www.inktip.com/welcome.php?cid=SSsolo&pg=itexplained.php

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(9) Script Pimp in the News
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To view all Script Pimp company credits, visit: http://www.imdb.com/company/co0173374

For the Rogues Gallery Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=64778963348&ref=mf

View all Script Pimp Press:

http://www.scriptpimp.com/ (scroll down to In the News section)

“The Living Wake” Picked by Movieline as a “Masterpiece” of the 00s: http://www.movieline.com/2009/12/7-masterpieces-of-the-00s-youve-likely-never-seen.php/?page=3

Script Pimp Named Top 50 Websites by Moviemaker:

http://www.moviemaker.com/producing/article/50_best_websites_for_moviemakers_2009_20090610/%23When:20:11:00Z

Script Pimp Reviewed by Associated Content:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/369671/review_of_script_pimp_pipeline_into.html?cat=31

Chadwick Clough Interview:

http://www.filmmaking.net/articles/show_article.asp?id=91

Script Pimp's "Rogue's Gallery":

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3if7b717939831cbe299581383a70dea5a

Script Pimp's feature film "The Living Wake" reviewed by Variety: http://www.scriptpimp.com/newsletters/variety.cfm

Script Pimp on TV (Peter Bart's Sunday Morning Shootout):

http://www.scriptpimp.com/ (click on link at top of home page)

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(10) Miscellaneous - Top Websites for Screenwriters
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The following is a guide for the Script Pimp community of five-star websites for screenwriters and aspiring filmmakers.  To post your site in this section for approval, please contact us at matt@scriptpimp.com.  

NETWORKING SITES:

Screenwriters Federation of America

http://www.screenwritersfederation.org/phpBB2/

Shooting People

http://www.shootingpeople.org   

International Screenwriters Association

http://www.networkisa.org

RECENT SCRIPT SALES

Done Deal – http://www.donedealpro.com

SCRIPT COPIES

MovieJigsaw.com (UK) - http://www.moviejigsaw.com

FREE SCREENPLAYS ONLINE

Script Pimp – http://www.scriptpimp.com/show_me/free_screenplays  

iScript – http://www.iscriptdb.com

Simply Scripts – http://www.simplyscripts.com  

SCREENPLAY CONTESTS

Screenplay Contests.com – http://www.screenplaycontests.com

Kairos Prize – http://www.kairosprize.com 

Cinestory – http://www.cinestory.com

Slamdance –  http://www.slamdance.com

SCREENPLAY FACILITATORS

InkTip – http://www.inktip.com  

SCREENPLAYS TO BUY

Script Pimp – http://www.scriptpimp.com/show_me/screenplays

Hollywood Script Shop – http://www.hollywoodscriptshop.com

SCREENPLAY REVIEWS

Screenwriters Utopia – http://www.screenwritersutopia.com

SCREENPLAY CONSULTANTS

Script Pimp – http://www.scriptpimp.com/show_me/script_consultants

Writers Boot Camp – http://www.writersbootcamp.com

SCREENWRITER INTERVIEWS

Movie Bytes – http://www.moviebytes.com

SCREENWRITING BOOKS

Script Pimp – http://www.scriptpimp.com/show_me/screenwriting_books

Writers Store – http://www.writersstore.com

SCREENWRITING RESOURCES

Script Pimp – http://www.scriptpimp.com/show_me/resources_and_reference  

SCREENWRITING SOFTWARE

Final Draft – http://www.finaldraft.com

Movie Outline – http://www.movieoutline.com

SCREENWRITING MAGAZINES

Script Pimp – http://www.scriptpimp.com/show_me/magazines_and_papers  

SCREENWRITING SCHOOLS

AFI – http://www.afi.com

Vancouver Film School – http://www.vfs.com

SCREENWRITING SUPPLIES

Writers Store – http://www.writersstore.com  

OSCAR SCRIBES

Script Pimp – http://www.scriptpimp.com/show_me/oscars

SCREENWRITING HOW-TO

Screenwriting Info – http://www.screenwriting.info/