Just a quick catchup....

Just a quick catchup….

Television is changing and a lot has been said recently about both new viewing habits and the threat to traditional TV offered by internet streaming services. How we watch is being changed by “Binge viewing” and what and where we watch is being changed by streaming services. With major awards ceremonies now recognising shows that have never aired on regular television, I’m interested in how these changes will affect screenwriting. Television, in particular American television, is currently the holly grail for screenwriters so anything that’s having an impact on it is worth a look.

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As promised here is an extract of my co-written script that’s made it to the final of the PAGE awards… It’s the first three pages and hopefully makes you want to read more. I’d suggest using the voice of the trailer announcer guy in your head as you read it, that makes it fly by!

Resetpage 1 Read the rest of this entry »

No, this isn't the PAGE awards... I just liked it

No, this isn’t the PAGE awards… I just liked it

After a tense day of finger twiddling, pacing backwards and forwards and refreshing the competition website my journey in this year’s PAGE international screenwriting awards continues!!

I initially submitted two feature screenplays to the 2013 Competition: Augmented and Reset. Both made it to the semi-finals, which I was over the moon about, and now Reset has passed the bar to the next level. This means it’s one of the top 10 scripts in the thriller/horror category and is one of the 100 scripts left out of around 6000 entries. Woo! I have to thank my co-writer on this script Magnus Aspli who I know is as chuffed as I am. Read the rest of this entry »

Change Like all professions screenwriting can, on occasion, be monotonous, repetitive and infuriating, but there’s one thing at the heart of it that means its professionals should be hardened optimists. This is the idea that change can and does happen. It’s a powerful message and links ancient mythology to modern films and will be present for as long as we have and need stories. This cause for optimism is shared by all those that work in film, by its fans and everyone who loves a good story.

Change is buried in the core of story structure. Most of you will know that films follow a three act structure which start with a hero stuck in a status quo. Something is wrong and they may or may not know it, but we the audience are tuned in to see how the hero changes things. They can change themselves, they can change the world or they can change those around them, whatever they change the unsatisfactory status quo is broken. This is quite a basic principle and it’s one that brings hope and optimism to those watching. Seeing an individual over come adversity and great challenges to make their life better is inspiring, even if it’s fictional. This is a key part of the glamour of film and its commercial success as it pulls in the audience eager to see “how they’re going to get out of this one.” Read the rest of this entry »

There is a surprising lack of information available in books and on the internet about how to write a treatment so I thought I’d give some tips I’ve managed to gather over the past few months whilst battling to put one together myself.

What is a treatment?

A treatment is a prose document which is essentially written for a sale purpose. It will include a summary of your concept, characters and possible story line/s. While screenwriters are normally told to avoid prose this is the exception, so go for it!
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Just a quick update and some good news. Both of my feature film scripts, Augmented and Reset, entered into this years PAGE International screenwriting awards have made the semi finals.

Check out the full list of scripts still in the competition here:

http://pageawards.com/past-winners/2013-winners/2013-semi-finalists

Despicable me 2 cleaned up over the 4th of July weekend in America bringing in $82.5 million and eclipsing the poor performance of the Lone Ranger. In fact, Despicable me 2 has been prolific at the box office since its release, earning a domestic gross of $142 million and a further $151 million from foreign sales.

‘How did they do it?’ should be the question hot on every wannabe writer, director and producer’s lips and when you examine the decisions made with the film it’s not surprising it was such a box office jackpot. Read the rest of this entry »

Where better to start providing some film structure analysis than with Die Hard? It’s a genre defining film, but more importantly it was on TV the other night… This is the first time I’ve watched the movie armed with my screenwriting education and I have to say I was blown away.

I’d heard it was well structured, but watching it reveal this never before seen layer of complexity was quite something. It’s a wonderfully well-crafted film, even down to John McClane’s ever changing vest colour.

writersjourney

Found in a screenplay near you

A quick disclaimer: this is my interpretation based on the screenplay structure found in The Writer’s Journey. If you think I missed something or made a mistake, please let me know below! Other screenplay structures like Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat fit equally well.
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"I don't represent nobodys"

“I don’t represent nobodys”

For most new writers there’s an anxiety to get an agent based on the belief that once you have one it will be easier to get work. The bad news for writers is that agents want to represent people that will earn them a commission. As an untested and untried writer it is unlikely that they would risk time and effort on you unless you’re sitting on one amazing spec script. The good news is however that you don’t actually need an agent to get into the industry. If you keep calm you can create opportunities without an agent and these can lead you to one of your choice. I recently signed with an agency and here are a couple of tips on how you can do it. Read the rest of this entry »

And the Oscar goes to...

And the Oscar goes to…

It’s not uncommon to hear “TV is so much better than Film at the moment” when talking about what’s on offer on screen. This is a view that was alluded to by Kevin Spacey who, due to appear in his first TV role since 1988, said of TV “People have really long attention spans and they love complicated plots. TV series are giving the audience what they want.” With the awards season looming in LA and the media focused on the glitz and glamour of Film it’s questionable whether it deserves celebrating or whether we should start recognising TV as being better entertainment. Read the rest of this entry »

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