Thursday, April 14, 2005  

MovieBytes Interview: Screenwriter Robert Gately

An interview with screenwriter Robert Gately regarding the ZoieFest Writing Competition.

Q: What's the title of the script you entered in this contest, and what's it about?

A: The title is HAT TRICK, and it's a comedy where three retirees get to do the Full Monty at the Super Bowl. It's more of a character study of three guys who overcome some difficulties in life, but they show us that retirement can be a fun time.

Q: What made you enter this particular contest? Have you entered any other contests with this script? If so, how did you do?

A: A couple of things made me enter this contest. First, the price was right. As you enter contests the price becomes important. This one was $25. It also employed the internet as it's venue to celebrate and showcase films and screenplays. I liked that, plus I like the fact that Victoria Lynn Weston was heading it. She's has a fairly good rep as a writer. Besides being the president of Zoiefest, she founded PsychicVista,, and Akashic Who's Who. Of course, I have entered other contests with HAT TRICK. Many others. In fact, Hat Trick has made into number one spot as winningest screenplay in moviebytes database with this win. But I don't anticipate it being there for long. I'd keep my eye out for Howell's "Paper Route" and James Ossi's "Healing Marie". We've been leap frogging over each other for the past year, and we will probably continue doing so.

Q: Were you satisfied with the adminstration of the contest? Did they meet their deadlines? Did you receive all the awards that were promised?

A: Yes. Right now it's too soon to tell, but Victoria has made some commitments to present HAT TRICK to some managers/agents, and I expect that she'll do just that.

Q: Were you given any feedback on your script? If so, did you find the feedback helpful?

A: I'm expecting feedback shortly.

Q: Has your success in this contest helped you market your script? Were you contacted by any agents, managers or producers?

A: I'm planning on using this win quite extensively. Since it has propelled the script into the lead in the moviebytes database, I'm going to use this opportunity to promote myself with agents and producers before those clowns Howell and Ossi overtake me. Ossi has already threatened to stalk my family and harrass them at the supermarket (and stuff like that) if I win another contest. In fact, I'm looking out the window now and I think I see him behind the oak tree.

Q: What's your background? Have you written any other screenplays or television scripts?

A: Yes. Since retiring early in 1998, I've written 8 screenplays, 2 stage plays and a novel. No television scripts as of yet, although a couple of screenplays could be pushed as MOWs. I'm going broke, though. I've entered all these manuscripts into contests. I win some and lose some. To date I've placed in 92 contests since retiring.

Q: Do you live in Los Angeles? If not, do you have any plans to move there?

A: I'd move there, certainly. Everyone has his price. Mine is cheap because I'd do anything to get away from Ossi.

Q: What's next? Are you working on a new script?

A: I'm working on a book. My first non-fiction. However, I have a couple of ideas floating for new screenplays. Too early to talk about.

CONTEST WINNER? Let's talk. If you've finished first, second, or third in a screenwriting contest, MovieBytes would like to interview you:

Wednesday, April 13, 2005  

11th Annual Power-Pitchfest

11th Annual Power-Pitchfest & Hollywood Screenwriters Conference

May 21 & 22, 2005
Renaissance Hotel, Hollywood, CA

- LEARN: Pitch Class sessions with A-list filmmakers.

- SUBMIT: Agency Submissions ( ICM, William Morris, UTA, Endeavor and others)

- PITCH: Over 70 prominent production companies, studios and agencies to pitch to/meet with (including Paramount, Warners, New Line, William Morris, Comedy Central, HBO, FX Networks and many many more)

- NETWORK: Catered Networking Reception

Fade In conferences are limited to 175 attendees and do sell out in advance. Dont be fooled by copy-cat pitchfests. Fade In conceptualized the pitchfest in 1993. Since then, weve had more sales and options and agency signings than any other event.

INFO: (310) 275-0287 or (800) 646-3896

The Craft of Writing the Creative Documentary

(via Creative Screenwriting Magazine )

There's a new type of documentary creature roaming the landscape: the creative documentary, a form that encompasses everything from Super Size Me to Riding Giants to Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Catherine Clinch talked to those filmmakers and more to find out what you need to know about this new way of looking at the truth. Here's Monster's co-director, Joe Berlinger, talking what how he and partner Bruce Sinofsky were thinking about while filming Metallica:

"When you set out to make a cinéma vérité film," warns Berlinger, "you never know where it's going to take you. We knew we'd have the recording of the album to bring some structure to the film -- without some type of loose structural possibilities, we might have been hesitant to start shooting." Then, serendipity blessed the filmmakers with a much greater subject than they had signed on for. When the filmmakers obtained a guarantee of complete access to the band's group therapy sessions with [Phil] Towle, Berlinger realized they had material for a great documentary. "Seeing Lars, James and Kirk interacting in those sessions gave us our first inklings that we might something really special on our hands."

It was only after compiling 1,600 hours of footage that the filmmakers realized the new subject matter raised on entirely new issue -- how do you service your target market while protecting your artistic integrity? "When we started this project, we figured we were making something that wouldn't really appeal to anyone but Metallica fans," Berlinger explains. "As things unfolded, and we found ourselves in these really intense therapy sessions and emotional moments, we became concerned that the people who might really object to it would be Metallica fans. The film focuses so much on interpersonal relationships and self- examination. Would the fans, who look up to these guys so much, really want to see their heroes as real people with real struggles, both personally and creatively, rather than their Monsters of Rock stage personas?"

Friday, April 01, 2005  

Get 1/2 Off Top Screenwriting Class

Get 1/2 Off the Regular Price of this "Top" screenwriting class if you register this week!

Screenwriting 101 is an online class for beginning writers or writers wanting to brush up on the fundamentals. For four weeks you will interact and study under the guidance of your instructor to jumpstart your writing and hit the ground running. Also, two online LIVE lectures during office hours to help you as you do your assignments and work on your script.

The class presents the fundamentals of screenwriting: character development, plot development, structure, conflict, and dialogue. Mainly focused on beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Students gain enough knowledge to continue writing their screenplay, start their first screenplay, and finish.

Cost: was $200 YOUR COST: $100