Friday, April 10, 2009  

FREE Screenwriting Classes, Courtesy of StoryLink

Did you know there's a sector that's not just surviving, but thriving in this tough economic environment? With soaring box office receipts for 2008 and beyond, Hollywood is quickly proving to be recession-resistant.

While the booming business in Tinseltown presents an awesome opportunity for aspiring screenwriters to get to work on selling their scripts, StoryLink recognizes that not every potential scribe has the means or the resources to learn how to target Hollywood buyers. That's why we work hard to create accessible writer-centric events that encourage and support the creative community.

To that end, StoryLink is proud to once again present our acclaimed (and 100% FREE) event, StoryLink All-Stars Live at The Great American PitchFest, taking place June 13-14, 2009 at the Marriott Hotel & Convention Center in Burbank, CA. These classes, conceived in partnership with The Great American PitchFest, who shares our mission of helping screenwriters advance their craft and their careers, are presented in the interest of developing strong writers and to further the screenwriting craft.

Take FREE classes with:

Pilar Alessandra, On the Page
Michael Hauge, Author Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds
Dara Marks, Author Inside Story
Ellen Sandler, Emmy Nominee & Co-Exec Producer, Everybody Loves Raymond
Blake Snyder, Screenwriter & Author, Save The Cat & Save The Cat Goes To The Movies
Chris Soth, Million Dollar Screenwriting & Hollywood By Phone
Kathie Fong Yoneda, Former Disney Exec & Author, The Script Selling Game
Julie Gray, The Script Whisperer

And many more!

To register for a free class, please visit the StoryLink All-Stars Event Page. Please note that all classes are available on a "first come, first seated" basis and tend to fill up quickly; however, participants who have also registered for The Great American PitchFest are guaranteed seating in all classes. For more information and to register for The Great American PitchFest, please click here.


Thursday, April 02, 2009  

Storylink - Post a Question for Greg Reitman

For the Earth Day-themed April edition of the StoryLink eZine, they are featuring a Q&A with environmental advocate Greg Reitman, producer of Fuel, the 2008 winner for Best Documentary at Sundance. Wondering how you can get into the green scene? Greg will answer questions posed by the StoryLink community, so post your query today!

Fuel is a revelatory film that explores America's addiction to oil, from its historical origins to political constructs that support it, ultimately revealing alternatives and steps the country can take to make a change.

Reitman was recently named one of "10 Moviemakers Making a Difference" in MovieMaker magazine and is preparing to shoot at the UN for Earth Day as part of his upcoming film, Roots of Peace. He will be joined in our Q&A by Fuel director Josh Tickell and its screenwriter, Johnny O'Hara. Tickell's bestselling book, From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank, jumpstarted the US biodiesel movement, while O'Hara was nominated for a 2009 WGA documentary screenwriting award for Fuel.

Submit your question for Greg and the team behind Fuel by March 30. If your question is chosen, you'll win a one-year subscription to MovieMaker Magazine.

Post your query today!

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Sunday, March 29, 2009  

Books - Writing Screenplays that Sell

A complete blueprint for writing and selling film and TV scripts that is now considered the most practical book on the subject of scriptwriting. A myth-busting book that puts purpose behind your dream of breaking into the film industry and polishing your skills to stay for the long haul. Fascinating chapters on Four Paths to a Deal, Living and Working Outside Los Angeles, and The Life of a Screenwriter.

Format: Softcover
ISBN: 62725009
Publisher: Harper Perennial


Saturday, March 28, 2009  

Screenplay Quickie - Cold Mountain

Anthony Minghella directs this tale based on the best-selling book about wounded Civil War soldier Inman (Jude Law) making the long, treacherous journey to his home in Cold Mountain, N.C. Along the way, he thinks of his love, Ada (Nicole Kidman), who has fought for sanity and her father's farm's survival while Inman has been gone, even with a brave young drifter named Ruby (Renee Zellweger, in an Oscar-winning performance) there to lend a hand.

Download the Cold Mountain Screenplay.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009  

Writers inside tips on how to write a screenplay

Almost everyone thinks they know how to write a screenplay. Weve all heard someone watching TV saying I could write better script than that!
The truth is that just about everyone does have a story worth telling. Unfortunately most do NOT know how to write a screenplay. Most professional artists are very particular about their tools. The screenplay writer is no different. The key to writing is being organized. Before even writing a single word, you must have an inner road map that your characters are going to follow.

If you are writing a novel, you CAN take the time to ramble and develop your descriptive talents. A screenwriter cannot!

Just like any muscle, the writing muscle has to be exercised on a regular basis. The simple process of sitting in front of a computer for set periods of time is critical in training the subconscious that THIS time is when you are going to call on your creativity. In order to learn how to write a screenplay you have to understand STRUCTURE. Unlike a novelist, you do not have the luxury of allowing your script to develop into 300 plus pages. It will not get read if it does not conform to an industry standard of around 110 pages.

The structure of most contemporary screenplays: 1) Establish the character and general situation, 2) force them up a tree and throw rocks at him and 3) get the hero down again.

Firstly, you get the audience to know something about the character and his situation. Secondly, a situation must be created that goes against your characters comfort zone. He must have a nemesis trying to destroy everything he stands for. This bad guy takes pleasure putting your hero up that tree and making it as uncomfortable as possible. Thirdly, our hero needs to overcome all odds and payoff' the bad guy. If it really is that simple, then why isnt everyone a screenwriter? The answer is they really do not know how to write a screenplay.

So let us say that you have a clear idea of what your three acts are going to be. Well now you begin to develop the characters. They have to play off each other and either support or destroy our main character. Any time the characters are neutral, the screenplay is dead. Just remember: conflict equals drama. No conflict, no drama.

So how do you go about becoming a screenwriter? Like the road to Carnegie Hall - you practice! Each day you become sharper in your telling of the story. Each day you improve your writing skills. Each day you look back and see how far you have come.

So how does your screenplay rise above the sea of scripts waiting to be read? Follow up! It isn't because your script isn't good that it hasn't been read and responded to. That is the very last consideration. Any producer that is worth his salt has a groaning desk of submissions. Yours is simply ONE of those. So follow up - but politely. It may well be the most important thing in your life but to any producer it simply just ANOTHER screenplay. There are a million legitimate reasons why Hollywood should not immediately fall at your feet but YOU are going to overcome this. If you do not believe this, then do not even attempt to learn how to write a screenplay! If you DO believe in yourself, then hey why shouldnt you be the one that gets lucky?!

So yes, learning how to write a screenplay isnt so difficult. The difficult part comes AFTER you have written the screenplay.

Richard Patton - author and screenwriter shows how to write a screenplay and get paid for it. Find the writers Gold in Summer Acting Camps and what the best screenplay writing software is.


Sunday, March 22, 2009  

Books - Screenplay Companion

Have a great idea but are having trouble turning it into a screenplay? The Screenplay Companion is here to save the day! Not a how-to guide, but a fill-in-the-blanks workbook that will help you organize your thoughts, break down the story and dig deeper into characters. Never lose your notes again, there’s always a place to put them. The Screenplay Companion contains sections on Time Management, Scene Analysis, Writer’s Journal, Character Analysis, Character to Character Relationship, Story Elements, Story Line, Theme, Premise, 3 Act Storyboard, Contact Management, Script Submissions Log, and Resources.

Format: Softcover
ISBN: 963917714
Publisher: Write-Side Productions