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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  October, 2011 One Week Challange  /  Preparation for the October, 2011 OWC
Posted by: Don, September 25th, 2011, 1:59pm


The Challenge is on!

Go here for the deets: http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-OCT11/m-1318039238/


The Schedule:
10/1 Main Site/Facebook/Twitter/Email drop announcing the upcoming challenge
10/7  10:00 pm edt: theme and genre revealed
10/14 11:59 pm edt: submissions due
10/15 - 10/18 - scripts posted without author's names
10/25 - Writer's choice selection due
10/31 - Audio presentation of one selected script presented by iScript.com

You must write a script (properly formatted) between 6 and 12 pages (courier 12 point font) on the theme and genre announced.

One entry per person.

Open to anyone

This is NOT a contest.  There is no official judging.  There is no winner.  Three scripts will be selected based upon input from the participants, people's choice and webmaster of SimplyScripts.  Those three scripts will be sent to iScript.com who will select one of the three scripts to be audio performed.

This will be open to all comers.  Discussion board membership is not required, though encouraged.  
Posted by: Don, September 26th, 2011, 5:12pm; Reply: 1
Yes, bumping my own thread.  

Working out the details of the October One Week Challenge.  

These are not the 'official' rules, yet.  

Thoughts?  Hopes?  Dreams?  

Don
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 5:15pm; Reply: 2

Quoted from Don
Thoughts?  Hopes?  Dreams?


I wish I wasn't lactose intolerant.


Phil

Posted by: mcornetto (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 5:16pm; Reply: 3
That's a wish Phil. He didn't ask for wishes.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 5:17pm; Reply: 4
I dream of eating ice cream, Mike.  I really do.


Phil
Posted by: Dreamscale, September 26th, 2011, 5:19pm; Reply: 5
Don, as I said on another thread, I think it would be great if there was a way you could post all the entrants at once, or at least within a few hours of each other.

It seems that as days pass, interest wains, and the latter scripts don't get the attention that the first early batches get.

Since people seem to pick and choose which scripts they read and comment on, it would be nice if they had the entire selection to choose between.  I don't know if this is feasible or not, but IMO, it sure would help to even the playing field and give each script an equal shot at getting read and receiving feedback.

Just a thought...
Posted by: mcornetto (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 5:20pm; Reply: 6

Quoted from dogglebe
I dream of eating ice cream, Mike.  I really do.


Phil



http://www.lactaid.com/products-home#Vanilla_Ice_Cream
Posted by: Don, September 26th, 2011, 5:26pm; Reply: 7

Quoted from Dreamscale
Don, as I said on another thread, I think it would be great if there was a way you could post all the entrants at once, or at least within a few hours of each other.

It seems that as days pass, interest wains, and the latter scripts don't get the immediate attention that the first 2 batches get.

Since people seem to pick and chose which scripts they read and comment on, it would be nice if they had the entire selection to choose between.  I don't know if this is feasible or not, but IMO, it sure would help to even the playing field and give each script an equal shot at getting read and receiving feedback.

Just a thought...


Jeff,

My thoughts exactly.  I think if I set expectations with folks that the scripts won't be posted until 24 to 48 hours after closing, that would save the emails and posts about "where are the scripts".  

Good suggestion.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 5:43pm; Reply: 8

Quoted from mcornetto


Lactaid is overrated, but thank you for trying.

Phil (dreaming and wishing)

Posted by: mcornetto (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 5:46pm; Reply: 9

Quoted from dogglebe


Lactaid is overrated, but thank you for trying.

Phil (dreaming and wishing)



I don't know.  I think that whole animation with the banana dropping on the the plate then getting covered with vanilla plops was darn good entertainment.

Not as good as an October OWC, but good nonetheless.

And speaking of OWC suggestions - what about an OWC where we have to write something where there's no human characters?  
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 6:01pm; Reply: 10
Might be hard to get people interested in directing one.
Posted by: mcornetto (Guest), September 26th, 2011, 6:15pm; Reply: 11
And does every OWC have to be about low budgets?  What about expanding our writing ablities?  And just because it doesn't have a human character - doesn't mean it has to be expensive to produce.
Posted by: stevie, September 26th, 2011, 6:21pm; Reply: 12

Quoted from mcornetto


I don't know.  I think that whole animation with the banana dropping on the the plate then getting covered with vanilla plops was darn good entertainment.

Not as good as an October OWC, but good nonetheless.

And speaking of OWC suggestions - what about an OWC where we have to write something where there's no human characters?  


No humans? So it's an SS script then? Full of wild animals?  ;D

AWESOME!!!

Posted by: Grandma Bear, September 26th, 2011, 6:51pm; Reply: 13
I still suggest having a button at script submission that asks how many actors/characters are in the cast. That's very helpful to filmmakers...
Posted by: Sandra Elstree., September 26th, 2011, 10:47pm; Reply: 14

Quoted from stevie


No humans? So it's an SS script then? Full of wild animals?  ;D

AWESOME!!!



Perhaps another script full of more sheets. (If you don't know; don't ask). Another grandiful time with costumes that are quite spiritual and as old as Halloween itself.

:) ... I'm just adding this on now as an edit, but it might be an interesting
theme for this OWC. This might just be the theme and everyone could vote on all kinds of parameters to devise to make it an interesting challenge.

So yes, I found this, really loved it and wanted to share:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xjPODksI08&feature=player_embedded#!

Sandra
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 11:05am; Reply: 15
Hi, guys

Looks like there was a pretty good turn out for the SEP OWC.
32 accepted entries.
Nice!
Eventually I'll get around to applying my typical excruciating dissection to them, spreadsheet and everything.

Regarding the 2011 OCT OWC I'll commit to this and suggest some reference back to last year's entries for some direction.
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-10OWC/m-1287202296/s-90/

First, I'd like for it to be horror. It'll be October, folks. Channel the (negative) energy of the  season. Use the power, rather than fight it.

Second, last year there were
- 20 "Ghosts, Haunted Houses, Possessions & Spirits" stories submitted,
- 7 "Monsters and Physical Non-Human Things",
- 8 "Madmen and Psychotics", and
- 10 "Upset People" stories.

A - Do we want to go with the gut instinct majority?
B - Exploit less traveled avenues?

The conundrum is is that the ridiculous audience wants something familiar - and - unique at the same [expletive] time.
Goooooooood.
Lorrrrrrrrd.
So, what do you wanna do?
How do you wanna crack that nut?

Tried and true cliché?
Blow their minds with freaky new sh!t?

Third, in last October's "SimplyScripts Radio - The Pagan Edition" Ed Pagan had discussed his views on the future trend in the development of horror, primarily from "Madman-with-an-Axe to Monster Movies".
http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-RadioSimply/m-1286499940/s-new/

With that in mind plus in consideration of the second point above, I'd suggest proposing a monster/creature feature (which I believe Babz has clients looking for, anyway [think of a short that could become a feature, in other words]).

Who saw the indie debacle of "Creature"?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/11/idUS372254666720110911

Yeah.
Let's try not to do that, though.
Please.



Quoted from Don
Thoughts?  Hopes?  Dreams?

Thought I had a clue
Hope I get one.
Dream of whirled peas.
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 11:26am; Reply: 16
I quite like the idea of a script with non-human characters.

But can I ask - would Tories count?

(A joke there for the Brits)

Seriously though, what about taking the Sept OWC one step further and limiting the script further - say to just one speaking character. A monologue.

Just a thought, for what it's worth...
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 11:30am; Reply: 17
One other thought...

I know it's Halloween, but what about NOT having a horror theme?

Bit radical there!
Posted by: bert, September 27th, 2011, 11:35am; Reply: 18

Quoted from SLM
I know it's Halloween, but what about NOT having a horror theme?


It's been done.

But it's never popular.

But it's never stopped them.

It's like anything-can-happen week.
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 11:43am; Reply: 19
Some people will write horror whatever the theme, I suppose.

Monologue - the last man on a zombie infected world as they batter at his door.

Rom Com - Man falls for zombie girl

Shakespearean - Hamlet comes back as a zombie
Posted by: Dreamscale, September 27th, 2011, 11:48am; Reply: 20
A 1 person monologue script would be a complete nightmare to slog through.  No one would want to do it and hopefully, only few would even write.  I know I sure wouldn't (hey, there's an idea, if you want me not to participate in this coming Halloween OWC, go for the 1 person monologue idea!   ;D ;D).

Limiting it to non human characters is also very lame...and far from cheap to produce.

Ray, are you aware that Creature now holds the record for lowest ever Box Office on a feature film that opened wide, at a minimum of 1,500 locations?  Yes, it was, and yes, it looks horrendous.  I couldn't even get myself to go see it.
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 12:03pm; Reply: 21

Quoted from Dreamscale
Ray, are you aware that Creature now holds the record for lowest ever Box Office on a feature film that opened wide, at a minimum of 1,500 locations?  Yes, it was, and yes, it looks horrendous.  I couldn't even get myself to go see it.

Yessir.
Painfully aware.

It was such a high profile disaster I think it has managed to do a great deal of damage to the entire "independent film' industry.


Finishing a feature screenplay is great and all.
Getting someone to produce and direct it is delightful.
However, no can start popping the champagne just yet.

Unless you want it to go direct to video or video on demand (and you'll be lucky even to get that), the producer/studio needs a distributor.
And as you can see from my indie films distribution spreadsheet even having B or C stars + festival acclaim + distributor doesn't guarantee the producer/studio jack sh!t nothing.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsBznn8D13zOdHh6cHJBMW5aQkZSMzZYR2V3VUxQVUE&hl=en_US#gid=0

Theater owners & purchasers can be every bit as much of a cock-blocker as distributors can be to filmmakers as director/producer/studios can be to screenwriters banging out (un)holy writ on their drives.

170 theater's & 15 weeks on average.
$7.7m expense
$7.9m gross

To say this sh!t is hard to do in this industry is kind of a disservice platitude.


BTW, how you coming along with that spreadsheet you're working on?
I'm (perversely) very interested.
Posted by: Hugh Hoyland, September 27th, 2011, 12:05pm; Reply: 22
This will be my first October OWC.

Now if I can only come up with a good idea and make a good screenplay out of it I'll have it made! Thats a tough task for me, but I'll give it my best lol.

I do think I'm learning a lot here, but of course I have a lot more to learn. Im not kissing up but I honestly think this is the ULTIMATE site for beginner and pro writers. I'm glad its here.

Now for October I'm thinking sidequel to my September entry! ;]

Posted by: Dreamscale, September 27th, 2011, 12:30pm; Reply: 23
Ray, I decided against pursuing my spreadsheet, as I've lost faith, so to speak and decided that I was tired of trying to "prove" various points to SS'ers.  I can E-Mail it you if you'd like to give it a look and want to work on it, etc.

IMO, if you can make a decent to good movie for under or around $10 Million, get it released wide/semi-wide, you'll recoup your costs and then some (when it's all said and done).  The  big problem is that the majority of movies are not decent or good, but they're still making money...that's why they're being made.

Creature is a bad example for being a warning for indie movies, IMO.  I did not see it, but based on what I've read, I clearly see why it was destined to fail right from the start.  

1) It's a throwback monster movie with a guy in a cheap looking rubber suit.

2) Ridiculous backstory/premise

3) No star power (except for Sig Haig).

4) Few/lame onscreen kills and gore.

5) Ridiculous characters doing and saying ridiculous things.

6) Horrible word of mouth.

If you want to make a throwback monster movie, you at least need to have it be gory and show your kills.  You need a premise/setup/plot/story that makes some semblance of sense.  You need it to be scary or intense.  You need a memorable monster.

This had none of the above.  If I won't even go see it, who the Hell is?  I think they had an average of 8 paying customers per showing over its first weekend.
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 12:41pm; Reply: 24

Quoted from Dreamscale
A 1 person monologue script would be a complete nightmare to slog through.  No one would want to do it and hopefully, only few would even write.  I know I sure wouldn't (hey, there's an idea, if you want me not to participate in this coming Halloween OWC, go for the 1 person monologue idea!   ;D ;D).


Can I vote for a Monologue OWC now please.
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 12:45pm; Reply: 25

Quoted from Dreamscale
Ray, I decided against pursuing my spreadsheet, as I've lost faith, so to speak and decided that I was tired of trying to "prove" various points to SS'ers.  I can E-Mail it you if you'd like to give it a look and want to work on it, etc.

Yessir, I'd love to.
If you composed it on goog docs then you can PM me a share link.
If you've composed it on an Excel-like spreadsheet then yeah, email it to me at rewriteitagain@gmail.com.

Very much appreciated!

Regarding "Creature", yeah, it's not so much that the movie sucked, it's that the producer was able to call in so many favors and markers to get this POS into so many theaters (1,500 is a HUGE! distribution for an indie film where the average is 170 theaters).
This makes it very difficult for other distributors to coax revenue guarding theater owners to go with non-major/minor studio product.
Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad for the indie biz.

If you're gonna fail - please keep it discrete.
IDK WTH so many theater owners were thinking.
Sometimes I wonder if they were doing this just to screw Sid Sheinberg on purpose.
I wonder if he's p!ssed off quite a few folks in the past.



EDIT:
Got it!
Thank you.
Replied back to you.
Posted by: Dreamscale, September 27th, 2011, 1:14pm; Reply: 26
You throw your vote in there, Simon. I'm sure it carries alot of weight.

I think you should just go for a single character monologue October OWC entry anyways.  I'm sure peeps are lining up already to read it.  I for one, just can't wait.
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 1:22pm; Reply: 27

Quoted from Dreamscale
You throw your vote in there, Simon. I'm sure it carries alot of weight.

I think you should just go for a single character monologue October OWC entry anyways.  I'm sure peeps are lining up already to read it.  I for one, just can't wait.


Are you drooling acid, again?


Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 1:27pm; Reply: 28
I would think the idea of a Challenge is to be, well, a Challenge...

So a Monologue is a Challenge. Especially if you haven't written them before.

I have, and might have a go, if it fits the theme.



Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 1:29pm; Reply: 29
@RayW

He Can Drool Away. It makes no difference to me whatsoever.
Posted by: Dreamscale, September 27th, 2011, 1:33pm; Reply: 30
It's not just me, Simon, everyone who has read this thread is drooling in anticipation.

I'd even like to ask for a little monologue from you just to hold me over until the October OWC rolls around.

What say you?
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 1:47pm; Reply: 31
When I was here a couple of years ago (under a different username) I stupidly got involved in an argument that I realised that I could not win.

You can't win with trolls - they live for arguments, for causing them and keeping them going.

It feeds their sour twisted little souls. Makes them feel important. Gives meaning to empty little lives filled with failure and envy of others more talented than they.

So I learnt then not to respond to any attempts to start/continue an argument...
Posted by: Dreamscale, September 27th, 2011, 1:50pm; Reply: 32
You learned a very valuable lesson, Simon.  We should all head that advice.

Keep in mind though, that you started this "argument".  Hopefully you can admit to that truth.
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 1:51pm; Reply: 33
And...

I really do think a Monologue OWC would be a nice idea. I assume one has never been tried before?

I noticed that there is a Monologues category in the unproduced scripts section of SS, so obviously enough have been submitted for it to registered.

I know that it won't be very likely that for this OWC, but maybe a future one?
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 1:54pm; Reply: 34

Quoted from SLM
I know it's Halloween, but what about NOT having a horror theme?


We did this a few years back.  The theme was 'carving a pumpkin.'  Don got a lot of nasty e-mail over it.



Quoted from SLM
Rom Com - Man falls for zombie girl


It's been done.   ;D



Quoted from SLM
Shakespearean - Hamlet comes back as a zombie


Isn't MacBeth a ghost story?


Phil
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 1:56pm; Reply: 35
Writing just to be writing is a waste of time for both the writer and all those who will be reviewing it to leave comment.

How about we write something someone will want to fund production of.
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 2:06pm; Reply: 36
Phil

Hamlet has a Ghost (Dad)

MacBeth has a Ghost and witches (the ghost may be psychological though)

And don't get me started on The Tempest

My point was that if the OWC was about a "Cockney Flower Seller whose life suddenly changes when she meets a professor" (Pygmalion/My Fair Lady) someone would write about a Cockney Flower Seller who dies and is brought back as a zombie by the professor (who falls in love with her).

Some people just like to stick to what they know (and may be very good at) but it strikes me that a "Challenge" should challenge you. Make you think, make mistakes, do something "outside the box", something different.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth, for what it's worth...
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 2:14pm; Reply: 37

Quoted from RayW
Writing just to be writing is a waste of time for both the writer and all those who will be reviewing it to leave comment.

How about we write something someone will want to fund production of.


I disagree, Ray.  Write what you want to write.  If it's good enough, someone will produce it.  If you write with the intent that someone will buy it, you're on the road to disappointment.


Phil

Posted by: Grandma Bear, September 27th, 2011, 2:15pm; Reply: 38

Quoted from RayW
Writing just to be writing is a waste of time for both the writer and all those who will be reviewing it to leave comment.

How about we write something someone will want to fund production of.


I disagree with you there Ray. Writing every day regardless of the intent with the material is part of what a real writer does. If you don't have a feature you're working on at the moment or even a short. Writing something is better than nothing.

On the second part, this last OWC was intended to be something that filmmakers with smaller budgets could produce. If you are talking about more "serious" well funded shorts, I don't think there's a big chance those filmmakers are looking here. Although you never know. Seriously Wounded was a crap script that some people sunk pretty good money into.
Posted by: leitskev, September 27th, 2011, 2:18pm; Reply: 39
I am all for letting the writer choose the budget level he aspires to. No budget or ultra low may be more likely to be produced, but some writers might prefer to have a production of a more serious kind, with some budget. And if he takes it too far, it's his loss or choice. Unless there is an actual producer involved anyway. IMO
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 2:51pm; Reply: 40
Writing is something to need to do. Are born to do. Are driven to do. You don't have an option. You might talk of giving up, but you never do. All the failures, all the frustrations, the rejections, the near misses, but you keep going, day after day, the hope, even though it might flicker like a dim flame in the dark, never goes out.

Orwell said writing was like having a serious illness...

But we keep writing.
Posted by: leitskev, September 27th, 2011, 2:55pm; Reply: 41
Definitely some ill people here, SLM!
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 2:55pm; Reply: 42
If someone pops in saying, "I'll consider producing the winner... but it has to be low budget," then we should restrict ourselves in this aspect.  I try writing low budget for shorts because I know that no one is going to come in here and say, "I have $475,000 to spend on a ten page short!"


Phil
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 3:14pm; Reply: 43

Quoted from dogglebe
If someone pops in saying, "I'll consider producing the winner... but it has to be low budget," then we should restrict ourselves in this aspect.  I try writing low budget for shorts because I know that no one is going to come in here and say, "I have $475,000 to spend on a ten page short!"


Phil

Bingo.

There's no (practical) money in producing a short.
Even if it wins film festivals, big film festivals, it's just fun money down the toilet.

So, given that, should we then be encouraged to write pie-in-the-sky budget shorts?
Jet planes, giant Samurai robots, fembots with lazers from their jubblies battling midgets in Las Vegas showgirl costumes armed with venomous hamsters?

Sure.
Just write something.
It's good for you.

And I guarantee you no one will ever contact you to produce your short.
And you will have lost that opportunity to build a professional contact.
And professional contacts are what this biz lives on.

Four idiots with a camera will go farther than a pontificating genius.

I'm writing for the four idiots with a camera.
Posted by: leitskev, September 27th, 2011, 3:14pm; Reply: 44
I agree 100% Phil. Without that, it should be up to the writer. If a writer creates a story that has an army of Transformers and an atomic wasteland, good luck to him. But ultra low budget also limits creativity, and these shorts can have a value outside of just being produced, I think. As writing samples, for example. Or as inspiration for a feature.
Posted by: Grandma Bear, September 27th, 2011, 3:21pm; Reply: 45

Quoted from RayW

There's no (practical) money in producing a short.
Even if it wins film festivals, big film festivals, it's just fun money down the toilet.

I'm on your butt today Ray!!  ;)

Your comment is wrong. Take for example Drew Daywalt of Fewdio and Daywalt Fear Factory. He wrote and directed tons of short horror films. Most of them 5 minutes or less. Now he is a director for a series at MTV.

IMHO, people underestimate the power of short films. They are also becoming more and more popular with viewers.
Posted by: dogglebe (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 3:29pm; Reply: 46

Quoted from RayW
There's no (practical) money in producing a short.
Even if it wins film festivals, big film festivals, it's just fun money down the toilet.


Shorts are a business card; they are a foot in the door.  If you're stupid enough to think you'll make a living off them, then you're probably too stupid to turn on your computer.

If a director is looking for a writer and it's between a guy with four shorts produced and a guy with 6,000 unproduced scripts, he'll probably lean towards the produced guy.  After all, other people invested money in his work...


Phil

Posted by: leitskev, September 27th, 2011, 3:38pm; Reply: 47
I forget the name, Ray, but I posted a link to a short a month or so ago. It was the director's only work, and based on it he was hired to do a huge horror movie that's now in theaters(I forget).

So Phil is absolutely correct.

Another example, I think, is the director for District 9. He had a short that was very similar to that.

Granted, a lot of these are written by the director, which is really the way to go if you can. And some of these things do have a budget.
Posted by: Scar Tissue Films, September 27th, 2011, 3:49pm; Reply: 48

Quoted from RayW

Bingo.

There's no (practical) money in producing a short.
Even if it wins film festivals, big film festivals, it's just fun money down the toilet.

So, given that, should we then be encouraged to write pie-in-the-sky budget shorts?
Jet planes, giant Samurai robots, fembots with lazers from their jubblies battling midgets in Las Vegas showgirl costumes armed with venomous hamsters?

Sure.
Just write something.
It's good for you.

And I guarantee you no one will ever contact you to produce your short.
And you will have lost that opportunity to build a professional contact.
And professional contacts are what this biz lives on.

Four idiots with a camera will go farther than a pontificating genius.

I'm writing for the four idiots with a camera.


Theoretically you can make a lot of money from a short. In the hundreds of thousands if you win many of the cash prize festivals.

In Europe (other than the UK) they are even shown on mainstream TV.

With Maya, Cinema 4d, After Effects now all available the line between low budgetand big budget is also somewhat blurred. There's been lots of recent shorts that have acted as proof of concept for features: Mama, The Raven, Saw, Attack of the Killer Robots, the Silent City, Alive in Joburg (District 9)...the list is ever increasing.
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 3:51pm; Reply: 49
As the OWC is not mandatory, you don't have to do it, so don't.

It's as simple as that.

If you don't like shorts, don't write them.

Again, it's up to you.

And if other people prefer shorts, or want to enter the OWC, then that's up to them.
Posted by: SLM (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 4:08pm; Reply: 50
Some writer/directors of shorts who have recently hit the bigtime:

Fede Alvarez. His $300 short got him a 30 million dollar Hollywood deal.

Gary Shore.  Shore now has now a deal with Universal to remake Phasma Ex Machina. Included in his deal was the chance to make a feature film out of his short, Cup Of Tears.

Patrick Jean. His Pixels short got so much press that Adam Sandler's production company has decided to develop it into feature film.
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 4:12pm; Reply: 51

Quoted from Grandma Bear
I'm on your butt today Ray!!  ;)

Your comment is wrong. Take for example Drew Daywalt of Fewdio and Daywalt Fear Factory...

You keep good company, so you can stay on my butt anytime you want. ;)
You can't cite a few rare instances and call that a practical norm any more than you can point to Blair Witch, Open Water and Paranormal Activity and call those practical norms.
Those are monster odds beaters.

Without argument, the overwhelming majority of shorts produced go nowhere and do nothing.
A screenplay that has zero chance of being produced has even lower odds of going anywhere.

Encourage writing that has a snowball's chance in August Miami of going anywhere.
Don't encourage people to write funNgames.



Quoted from dogglebe
If a director is looking for a writer and it's between a guy with four shorts produced and a guy with 6,000 unproduced scripts, he'll probably lean towards the produced guy.  After all, other people invested money in his work...

I'm pretty sure you're arguing my case here.

Write something that has a chance of being produced.
Not pie-in-the-sky silliness.



Quoted from leitskev
Another example, I think, is the director for District 9. He had a short that was very similar to that.

Rick beat me to it.
Alive in Joburg was Neill Blomkamp's calling card to Peter Jackson when the Halo project fell apart.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le3y0QlLjJE

And then there was that Panic Attack short that's supposed to be leading to something.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dadPWhEhVk

And again, those are the exceptions to the rule, just like the rare virgin writer spec script that gets bought off the street out of nowhere for $1.something million.
Those are the exception.
Not the practical norm.

Write something that has a chance at being produced.


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Theoretically you can make a lot of money from a short. In the hundreds of thousands if you win many of the cash prize festivals.

In Europe (other than the UK) they are even shown on mainstream TV.

With Maya, Cinema 4d, After Effects now all available the line between low budgetand big budget is also somewhat blurred. There's been lots of recent shorts that have acted as proof of concept for features: Mama, The Raven, Saw, Attack of the Killer Robots, the Silent City, Alive in Joburg (District 9)...the list is ever increasing.

Theoretically, yes.

I love the concept of proof of concept.
Tech is leveling the playing field.
It's synthesizing the gap between guys with cameras, audio and lights and the nerds with hours of time for non-in camera effects that writers ought to be concerning themselves with.

I know you know what can and can't be practically done in After Effects and 3D modeling.
Surely you'd want a writer that understood where the cost-effective time boundary lies between in camera and what'll need to be done in post, right?

Write something with a chance of being produced.



Did you guys note columns AC & AD in the indie film distribution analysis?
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsBznn8D13zOdHh6cHJBMW5aQkZSMzZYR2V3VUxQVUE&hl=en_US
Those writer directors exclude all of your/our efforts.
Those are guys & gals with cameras and resources to write their own material, find a producer, shoot it, edit it and get it distributed.
We're not writing for all those writer/directors.
Babz isn't pinging us for screenplays for writer/directors.
We serve, she serves, those very few non-writer/directors in that rather small sample of indie filmmakers.

Write for those people with cameras and the resources to put something together but bereft the ability to craft their own stories.
Posted by: leitskev, September 27th, 2011, 4:51pm; Reply: 52
Ray, my point was merely that I think it's better left to the writer to determine what he thinks will be more likely to get produced. Personally, I don't see how having a high school produce one's script furthers the interest of the writer in any way. But I could be wrong. Leave it up to the writer.
Posted by: Scar Tissue Films, September 27th, 2011, 4:51pm; Reply: 53
Citing the odds in terms of films is somewhat self-defeating.

The people that make it aren't picked out of a hat in some Holywood tombola, they get in because they make projects and pitch projects that are marketable.

The millions of shorts that are made and disappear don't have the legs to do anything else.

And that situation suggests writing to get produced per se isn't necessarily going to get you anywhere.

What you want is to write something that has the legs to go all the way IF produced.

You've essentially got two ways in:

1. European/Independent way: Social Realism (predominantly)...extremely realistic and powerful portrayals of real life...win the major awards get funding from the European distributors/funds etc.

2. Hollywood calling card...generally characterised by Hollywood level Production value and recourse to VFX. Proof of concept stories that if Produced well could attract the attention of major investors.

Then you need an energetic and applied marketing strategy (which is where a film's life really begins, and is usually the thing most films are lacking as they have no money left after the film costs).

It would seem that the studioes expect new Directors to be able to handle heavy VFX..which is unsurprising as many Hollywood pics utilise that kind of filmmaking...if you can effectively use VFX in a low budget environment on a one cam shoot, then you can handle shooting plates for a feature with 30 Red Epics and with a team of hundreds of artists.

A filmmaker who has serious intentions to get to that level of funding is going to have to bite the bullet and get to that level of filmmaking at some point.

If you write something with a brilliant premise, something that has the legs to really make people stand up and take notice, it's on the Production team to organise themselves well enough to make it. If it needs a team of 100 VFX artists to make it...then so be it. It just starts with getting one top notch VFX Director on board, who will know 5 other people etc etc.

It's an extremely competitive industry and you have to go in balls out, or not at all in the end....
Posted by: leitskev, September 27th, 2011, 5:22pm; Reply: 54
Production costs we see on IMDB are not necessarily the true cost, either. VFX people, camera crews, and even recognizable name actors are often just trying to be a part of the right film. They're looking to open more doors too. So a director with the right connections can get a lot done on a limited budget sometimes.

I agree with Rick's points, especially that this is not a lottery, though it might feel like it. You need luck, but good ideas and talent rise to the top as well. Hard to know if you have the ideas or the talent, but you don't know unless you work at it.
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 5:31pm; Reply: 55

Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
It's an extremely competitive industry and you have to go in balls out, or not at all in the end....

Perhaps this should be the a central theme to this OWC.

Screw conservative.

Go balls out - with legs.

What are some of the most "out there", hail Mary passes, gopherbroke horror stories out there?

Posted by: Dreamscale, September 27th, 2011, 5:44pm; Reply: 56
I'll reveal that in a couple weeks, Ray.  You just wait...
Posted by: mcornetto (Guest), September 27th, 2011, 5:44pm; Reply: 57

Quoted from Dreamscale

Limiting it to non human characters is also very lame...and far from cheap to produce.


Zombies are not human and very cheap to produce.  Not to mention any number of movie monsters.  And if you're looking to do something different then check out this use of a non-human character in an inexpensive to produce and powerful film.


Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 5:51pm; Reply: 58

Quoted from Dreamscale
I'll reveal that in a couple weeks, Ray.  You just wait...

OMG. You're not talking about a "balls out - with legs" reveal, are you?

MY EYES!
MY EYES!
AYYYYYEEEE!!!!


Posted by: DarrenJamesSeeley, September 27th, 2011, 5:57pm; Reply: 59

Quoted from RayW

Perhaps this should be the a central theme to this OWC.

Screw conservative.

Go balls out - with legs.

What are some of the most "out there", hail Mary passes, gopherbroke horror stories out there?



I thought I did that last year.

;D
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 6:10pm; Reply: 60

Quoted from DarrenJamesSeeley
I thought I did that last year.

;D

http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-10OWC/m-1287190950/
By golly, I believe you did!

Let's serve up a nice heap-O-dat from everyone!
Posted by: Scar Tissue Films, September 27th, 2011, 6:18pm; Reply: 61

Quoted from RayW

Perhaps this should be the a central theme to this OWC.

Screw conservative.

Go balls out - with legs.

What are some of the most "out there", hail Mary passes, gopherbroke horror stories out there?





I think the obvious "balls out" horrors are the liks of Martyrs (pure nihilsm), Saw, Hostel (which was a disappointing film for me in writing terms, but a gold premise) and on a slightly different note...Human Centipede.

Something else to consider is that it's sometimes a visual hook, or a character that helps.

I mentioned a film called Mama, it was the ghost they made that really caused a stir...it's very fast and scary. Anyone could have written the actual story, it's as simple as they come. If you can somehow create some novel visual it can really help to raise it up.
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 6:26pm; Reply: 62
FWIW, here are some trailers for some pretty decent horror films at one particular festival.
http://killerfilmfest.com/films.html
Posted by: Grandma Bear, September 27th, 2011, 9:19pm; Reply: 63

Quoted from RayW

Perhaps this should be the a central theme to this OWC.

Screw conservative.

Go balls out -

sort of like this commercial?  ;D

http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/go/news/article/1093480/glamour-model-ballsy-ad-male-cancer-awareness/
Posted by: RayW, September 27th, 2011, 9:48pm; Reply: 64

Quoted from Grandma Bear
sort of like this commercial?  ;D

H3ll yeah!
Only with monsters and blood and screaming and panic in the streets!

Posted by: Don, September 28th, 2011, 10:09pm; Reply: 65
Wow,

Some really great ideas, if not for the October OWC, but for future OWCs.  

I pretty much have the theme and genre pretty well baked, but some of the suggestions have given me food for thought and I've already made some tweaks to the challenge.

With regard to the monologue discussion.  Doubtful it will happen for this October OWC, but something to think about for a future OWC.  Sean's Alone was quite nearly what this October's OWC was turning to, but a bird flew by and I got distracted.

Don

Posted by: TheUsualSuspect, October 7th, 2011, 12:16am; Reply: 66
I'm excited about this one, hope to do better than my last entry.
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