was successfully added to your cart.
Category

Uncategorized

December 2015 Script Sales

By | Uncategorized

Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions picked up Claire, a thriller spec by Brad Ingelsby. Claire follows a mother who protects her daughter after she falls in with the wrong crowd. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire will produce Wayne Lemon’s spec The Havana Affair, a true-story thriller about the CIA’s Operation Mongoose. Amazon Studios is moving forward with Max Hurwitz’s Black List spec Forgive Me, a biopic about 60 Minutes’  Mike Wallace and his struggles with depression. Finally, Jason Bateman will produce Jesse Zwick, Allan Haldeman, Emerson Davis, and Michael Weintraub’s untitled crime script based on Operation Pandora’s Box, a sting operation that resulted in Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca’s resignation in 2014. Other script sales include: – Christopher Nolan to write/direct Dunkirk for Warner Bros. The film will be set during WWII and is based on a true story. – David Koepp has signed on to script a Bride of Frankenstein remake/reboot for Universal. – Evan…

Read More

Another Top 10 Films You’ll Never See on a Top 10 List

By | Uncategorized

Sneakers (1992) See that poster? The list of names? If you’re over 25 years old, you might recognize all of them because they’re all legendary. One of the finest casts ever assembled. Superbly written and directed. Vastly underrated. Unless I missed something in the past decade or so, I don’t think Hollywood makes movies like this anymore. There would be a perceived lack of box office draw, as it doesn’t fit neatly in a particular genre and it’s not based on an existing property, albeit it was helmed by the already established Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams), Walter F. Parkes (WarGames), and Lawrence Lasker (also WarGames). This is no Ocean’s Eleven, or cookie-cutter crime/dramedy ensemble. It doesn’t resort to big action pieces, evil villains, or contrived twists, which conceptually it could have very easily gotten away with. Sneakers is what I would refer to as a “low-key thriller,” although even that moniker isn’t quite accurate. Watch it yourself,…

Read More

Stop Trying to Win An Oscar

By | Uncategorized

Many years ago, in the quasi-rebellious suburbs of Los Angeles, I read somewhere that the first thing you should do before starting a screenplay is write your Oscar acceptance speech. It was the opening paragraph in one of the six billion books on screenwriting. I figured it had to be good advice. And you know what? I did it. I wrote my Oscar speech, I wrote the script, and would later win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Twice. . . . please. I thought that recommendation was just as ridiculous when I was 17 as I do now. The intent is genuine, though. By many counts admirable. The point, of course, is to motivate you to keep writing, to have something bigger to aim for. To not give up. Like that lame cat poster: if you “hang in there,” great things will happen. And it’s more or less true. But the problem isn’t that writing an Oscar speech sets an…

Read More

The Top 10 Films You’ll Never See on a Top 10 List

By | Uncategorized

You know, there comes a time when we have to search far beyond the limits of our conscious mind and determine who we are. Our identity as writers and filmmakers, in the hopes of discovering our creative selves. Where we fit in the cinematic landscape. And I’m sorry, but you have to stop saying The Shawshank Redemption is your favorite movie. All of you. According to studies, 35% of “frequent to highly frequent” movie-goers side with The Shawshank Redemption as their default motion picture darling. Over 20% pick The Godfather or a Woody Allen movie, while the remainder select films in AFI’s best movie list or smaller but highly popular cult favorites. Sure. These are all excellent movies. Without a doubt, there are actual Shawshank fans out there. And yes, the aforementioned statistics may be nothing more than my educated guess based on IMDB’s rankings and have no scientific basis whatsoever (like I have time to do…

Read More

When Is Your Screenplay Finished?

By | Uncategorized

Rather than spur a micro-analyzed philosophical debate impossible to win, allow me to first clarify: the process of writing a screenplay does end. Because it has to. A protege of Mario Puzo isn’t locked up in some Bronx basement still writing The Godfather in an eternal, Sisyphean loop of infinite futility. It was written, it was produced, and it was released. Script done. The End. Or “fin,” if you’re into that sorta thing. This whole “you’re never done writing a screenplay!” nonsense is nothing more than buzzy seminar filler and pseudo-screenwriting advice to arouse, I guess, comradery amongst writers. But it’s easy for some to take this claim literally and sit stoic on the fallacy that no matter what they do, they haven’t “finished” their script. It’s one of the easiest ways to spoil a sense of accomplishment. So they edit, rewrite, tweak, polish. . . usually without professional guidance, erroneously making an educated guess at what needs work,…

Read More

The Myth of “Realistic” Writing

By | Uncategorized

“Just write it more realistic,” they said. Makes sense. Realism. That’s like everyday stuff, right? Easy. And then, maybe an hour later, you break down–this hollow, brink-of-tears, absurd frustration stemming neither from the sadness of failure nor the euphoria of success. Those would be concrete emotions. This is utter confusion—a special breed of creative annoyance impossible to solve. A riddle without an answer. “Write something realistic,” you repeated aloud. “What does that mean? Am I living in reality right now?” Yes. You are. Truth is, all writers have been there, and hitting this dead end is no fault of your own. Because “write realistically” doesn’t really mean anything, at least not without context. Over the last decade, I’ve given (and received) the old-timey “just make it realistic” note probably over 100 times. Basically, what the reader is saying is that the experience should come off as “realistic” within the world you’ve created. Specifically. What they may…

Read More