Post Workflows and Fire Eyes

For my senior project, I produced a short film called Foreclosed. For the past three days, I have been doing non-stop post work.  I had an editor… but one thing about film school is, eventually you end up doing everything yourself. It just happens that way.

This is what the past few days have looked like:

Final Cut Pro — Sonic Fire Pro — Final Cut Pro — LiveType — Final Cut Pro — Pro Tools 8 HD — Final Cut Pro — Sonic Fire Pro

Tomorrow it will consist of:

Sonic Fire Pro — Final Cut Pro — LiveType — Final Cut Pro — Color — Final Cut Pro — DVD Studio Pro

Hopefully, I will be about to wrap this project up by then.  Oh, wait. Then I have to send a time-coded version out to the person doing music. When I get the music back, I think I’m going to have to go back into ProTools and Final Cut… and then get a copy to send out to festivals. Fml.

Basically, post-production is a giant pain in the ass — literally.   I have been sitting in a chair looking at a computer screen for 12 hours a day since Monday. Right now my brain feels like it’s running out of my ears. My eyes feel like they are on fire. My throat is scratchy. I just feel like shit. Not to add I have real finals next week.  Tests I can’t study for because my film is due.  My director made a good point the other day when he said his falling GPA has a direct correlation to how many films he makes.  …or something like that.  Basically, we are film majors… we make movies and get shitty grades… It’s how it works.

But hey, at the end of the day I have a finished film.  All the shit I went through to get it is worth it.

To sum it up.

  • Post is a pain in the ass.
  • Film school is run very inefficiently.
  • The work might be hard and make you want to stab your eyes out, but in the end, you get a finished product with your name on it… hopefully.

sounds like scratch’n

Hollywood Vpype Pitch Contest Extended

The Hollywood Vpype Pitch Contest on Face book has extended its deadline.

***Please note – due to a sudden high demand and the updated version of Vpype Live Broadcaster…and the fact that you might just be worrying about your taxes – we’ve pushed the deadline to Midnight Sunday April 18th Pacific Standard Time!*** GOOD LUCK!

You have a few more days to get those pitches in! Good Luck!

Just Read: BURIED

BURIED

by Chris Sparling

Paul is a U.S. contractor working in Iraq. After an attack by a group of Iraqis he wakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it’s a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap.

This entire story takes place in a coffin. From start to finish with no flashbacks or anything. With that said, this script is awesome!

The Good.

  • Being only 79 pages this script is short and fast paced.
  • This script is exciting and entertaining! Once I started reading I was sucked in and didn’t stop turning pages until the end.
  • There is one part in the script where I almost had to stop reading. It made me squirm and I loved every minute of it.
  • The ending was awesome!
  • This movie is really unique and proves that locations do not matter if you can tell a good story.

The Bad.

  • Paul is running out of oxygen in the coffin. Then he lights a candle. Fire burns O2. This bothered me.
  • The script was great, but I’m not sure if an audience is going to be able to watch a dark coffin for an hour and a half.

The Verdict.

READ IT!

This script is amazing, short, exciting, unique, entertaining, and the movie will star Ryan Reynolds.  One thing I learned from this script is that story is really the only thing that matters.  This whole script takes place in a coffin. One actor.  One location.  If anything, this script is a perfect exercise on relying on story alone. Why don’t you try and write an engaging script with one location.  You think you can do it?

Script Link

(UPDATE: Apparently the script over at script shadow was taken down. Sorry folks.)

Breaking Bad

This isn’t really a post. It’s more like a threat.

Watch the TV show Breaking Bad or I will kill you.

You will thank me.

Just Read: The F-Word

THE F-WORD

Written by: Elan Mastai
Based on the Play “Thoothpaste and Cigars” by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi.
Draft Dated: November 28, 2007.

So last night I went to my pile of unread scripts and picked out The F-Word.  This movie is basically an R-rated semi-romantic comedy. Wallace and Chantry meet and fall in love. Chantry has a boyfriend, so Wallace is stuck in shitty friend-zone. Chantry has to figure out if she wants to stay with her boyfriend or go with Wallace. Wallace has to figure out a way to show Chantry how he feels about her, without possibly ruining their friendship forever.

Romantic Comedies aren’t usually my thing. The reason I read this script was because I knew it was a comedy, and it was called The F-Word. I love the F-Word. I think it’s one of the best words. Little did I know, this F-word was FRIEND. I will not review the entire script, because why would you read it if I told you what happens? Instead I will list what I liked and did not like about it.

The Good.

  • First off you will notice that the script is written well and reads easy. You can really visualize what is taking place. The characters are dynamic and actually take on personalities of their own…which is what they’re supposed to do.
  • Some parts of this script are actually funny! I found myself literally laughing out loud while reading!
  • You really feel for the characters, each in their own personal predicament. Half way through the script I actually found myself wanting to know what happens at the end. The story and characters drove me forward.

The Bad.

  • The first thing I really didn’t like about this script were these weird animated “dream” sequences that happen. For some reason it really took me out of the story. I actually found myself subconsciously speed reading through these parts.
  • There is one scene in the script were Wallace is really determined to do something. A bunch of bad things start happening to him all at once. Mustard is shot on his shirt — he keeps going — a rain cloud forms above his head and rains on him – he keeps going….etc. It’s really dumb. This whole movie has well written witty comedic dialogue, so why screw it up with really cheesy comedy? I don’t know. It doesn’t work for me.

The Verdict.

READ IT.

It’s a script worth reading.  I would suggest it to anyone who likes comedy (Who doesn’t?). The characters are great, the story’s compelling, and it’s funny.

Facebook Vpype Hollywood Pitch Contest

I know this is really short notice, but I just found out about it as well.

Pursue your dreams of pitching your screenplay to major Hollywood producers right now — for FREE! Head over to the Hollywood Vpype Pitch Contest website for more information. Act fast the deadline is April 15, 2010! Here’s the facebook link.

Prizes include Final Draft Version 8 Screenwriting Software and Save The Cat Screenwriting Structure Software. The grand prize includes a free consultation with a Save The Cat professional script consultant and the opportunity to submit one’s screenplay for consideration by our judges!

The Screenwriter’s Board – What is it? | Writer Tips

Screenwriter's Board

[Post Updated August 7, 2018] (I need to write a new artcile updating my current boarding process… bother me enough and I will.)

I got five whole pages done this weekend on my screenplay. I think I am going to write an article soon on finding the time to write. Hopefully, I will learn some things.

Today I am going to talk to you about The Screenwriter’s Board — and how it is fantastic.

WHAT IS A SCREENWRITER’S BOARD?

In developing my script, I decided to set up a screenwriter’s board for the first time.  I have always wanted to do this, and it’s a lot of fun. Screenwriter’s boards come in all shapes and sizes but perform the same function. They are tangible forms of your story and how it is structured. Some boards are small and use post-it notes, some are bigger and use index cards. Some boards are on a wall; others are on a flat surface. I enjoy using colored index cards and a cork board. For now, I will assume you know what index cards are as they relate to screenwriting. I may write an article on index cards later.

WHAT YOU NEED

First, go out and buy your board!  Figure out what size and type you want. I got a cork board for $15 at Walmart. Once you have your board, divide it into four sections using tape or a marker. Top row is act one, 2nd row is the first half of act 2 ending at the midpoint, 3rd row is 2nd half of act 2 ending at the act 3 break, and the last row is act 3. From here you just take your index cards and put them up on the board. You should end with around 9-11 cards per row. Each card represents a scene, or sequence of scenes, such as CAR CHASE.  I use colored index cards. In the picture above I have BLUE cards as the main story, RED cards as action, PURPLE cards as B-story, and GREEN cards as C-story. This helps me visually see the flow of the story and improve on my pacing. You can use whatever colors you want, or no colors at all.

WHY THE BOARD IS HELPFUL FOR STRUCTURE

I find the board extremely helpful. Look at the end of act 3 in the picture. There is a big hole in my story, and I know this because it is right in front of my face. The board lets you know where your story is light or heavy. Another great thing about the board is how you can switch index cards around at will.  Changing the sequence of scenes has never been so easy! If you want, you can take all the cards down and bring them with you. Shuffling them around and improving on them during class, church, or the bar. The board is also a great way to procrastinate before actually writing. I have procrastination down to an art form. In the end, the board means nothing… but I think it greatly helps the writing process.

The Ten-Page Twist | Writer Tips

ten-page twist

My current project is a post-apocalyptic adventure/zombie road movie. I just finished breaking the story and have started writing.

I’m on page 10. I believe something important is supposed to happen on page 10. I believe it’s called the ten-page twist. Do I have a ten-page twist? I do.  But at the moment it doesn’t quite hit page 10. Am I supposed to write the whole screenplay first, and then come back and rewrite to hit my marks? I’m not sure at the moment. Although, I do believe something important should happen to grab your readers attention on page 10.

A fact of life: People do not have a high attention span.  If you cannot hook your audience into the story in 10 pages, my screenwriting teacher says you’re fucked. I believe him.

Another fact: The ten-page twist does not have to be a twist necessarily.

It has to be something that catches the readers attention and makes them say, “I want to know what happens!.” This is especially true if your screenplay to magically falls into the hands of a producer/script reader. These people read so many damn scripts a week; they’re just looking for a reason not to read your script. DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM! When they get to page 10, they’ll know if they want to continue reading. Give them something that makes them want to turn to page 11.

That’s where I am at, and that is what I’m trying to do.

[UPDATE: The theory behind the ten-page twist still holds. You do want to hook the reader in the first ten pages and keep them reading. But I’ve come to learn over the many years since I wrote this article, that these hard and fast rules don’t matter. You can write anything you want, any way you want. You don’t need to land anything specific on page ten. As long as there is something that keeps the reader reading, you’re good.]

The First of Many

As if I didn’t have enough distractions in my life already, I have finally decided to follow the crowd and start a blog. Yay for me!

Why don’t I take this time to tell you a little bit about myself…

I am currently a film major set to graduate in December. After spending a small fortune on school, I will finally receive a worthless piece of paper that reads B.S. Film Production.  …Finally.  It’s really weird to think about not being in school.  I have been going to school every fucking year of my life since kindergarten.

I have recently decided that I would absolutely love to be a professional screenwriter. Everything about it seems attractive to me. The ability to set my own hours, and work when and where I please. The chance of selling big and paying off my student loans. Taking a simple idea and developing it into a monster of plot, conflict, character, and emotion. And in the end, being able to hold in my hands 120 pages of ideas that came out of my head. Something I created. Something I can be completely proud of no matter how much it sucks ass. An assortment of thoughts and ideas that somehow, over the course of many months, has come alive. A Frankenstein, written in 12pt Courier, with two brads holding it in place.

This blog will turn into a story of my life.  Finishing college, hopefully getting a job in the industry, writing screenplays and trying to sell them.

Between updates on my life and screenplays, I will write rants and random tidbits about life.  I will also occasionally review a script I have recently read. I aim to journal my life in pursuit of my goals. Hopefully, I will inspire others to pursue their goals, and maybe they will find some useful information through my journeys. Perhaps we can go on this adventure together.

So sit back and enjoy the ride. (Can’t believe I just said that.)