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Archive for April, 2010

Dear TV and Movie Vampires Apr 30

Wipe Your Face!Dear TV and Movie Vampires:

As mesmerized as I am by your moonlit adventures, I continue to be confused by several aspects of your behavior. Most notably:

Why do you have so much blood on your face?!

I get it. You love blood. It’s colorful, iron-licious, life-sustaining and all that… but then why does so little of it end up in your damn mouth?

When I eat french fries and gravy, it’s something of a supernatural experience for me — so I can relate. But when I finish my plate and there’s even a weency bit of gravy left — I’ll sop it up with bread. If there’s no bread, I’ll sop it up with more gravy. Bottom line — if there’s any gravy left, it’s because someone’s hidden it from me.

If blood is at least as powerful a tonic to you and your kind, then there must be some other reason why so little of it ends up in your mouth.

False Advertising?

False  Advertising?
Since when do you
ever lick your lips?

Perhaps you are not really vampires. Maybe you are actors that hate the taste of corn syrup and food coloring, and are content to let it run down your face.

Or perhaps your director wants to make sure the viewers know what’s happening in the scene where you bite your victim’s neck with sharp fangs (because we’d all all be really confused if we only heard drinking noises and saw red teeth and lips afterwards).

Whatever the reason — having that blood, that you were so desperately craving moments ago, run down your face instead of into your gullet, breaks the fictive spell (the thrall if you will) of the viewer. It undermines all of the brilliant writing, tension, acting and plot twists that you’ve worked so hard to achieve up to that point.

TV and Movie Vampires — you need to sharpen your act… or possibly your teeth. Maybe that would improve your blood drinking skills.

Sincerely,

Bloody Baffled


Want me to personally read your script and let you know if it’s ready to go out? Please take a look at my professional script services.

Quick Screenwriting Tip: Redundant Parentheticals Apr 28

Quick Screenwriting Tip

If a parenthetical provides obvious information, it should be removed.

Example of UNNECESSARY parenthetical usage — (angrily):

JAKE

(angrily)

I’m going to kill ALL of you!

We know Jake is angry because of what he says and how he says it. The parenthetical is redundant and slows down the read.

Have you eliminated all of the unnecessary parentheticals in your script?


Want me to personally read your script and let you know if it’s ready to go out? Please take a look at my professional script services.

Quick Screenwriting Tip: Proof for homonym errors Apr 26

Quick Screenwriting TipWhen proofing the final draft of your script, don’t forget to do a homonym pass.

While we’re blazing through our first draft, it’s easy to inadvertently mix up words or contractions that sound the same in our heads. We need to weed-out any of these remaining grammar traps at the end of the writing process.

Examples:

  • there, their, they’re
  • your, you’re, yore
  • to, too, two
  • its, it’s
  • dam, damn
  • should have/should’ve, should of
  • could have/could’ve, could of

A simple automated spell check isn’t going to catch these errors.

It’s always worthwhile to have someone else (with a solid command of grammar and spelling) read your script for such mistakes before you send it out. Often times when we read our own work, we see what we intended to write, as opposed to what’s actually on the page.

The Raven Apr 24

This sci-fi action short, by Peruvian Director Ricardo De Montreuil, was created for only $5,000 and shot in one weekend in L.A. It was originally conceived as part of a trilogy, but now, according to The Latino Review, the director is fielding calls from studios interested in turning it into a feature film — and the short’s only been on the web for a few days.

What’s stopping you from creating your own amazing short, and writing yourself into Hollywood?

Vimeo Link


Want me to personally read your script and let you know if it’s ready to go out? Please take a look at my professional script services.

Category: Low-Budget, Shorts  | 3 Comments
Q & A with Michele Wallerstein Apr 23

Do you have a question that you’d like to have answered by a longtime Hollywood literary agent next Friday? Send it in!

questions@scriptwrecked.com


Question: (Anonymous)

Why is my contest-winning script about an interesting but relatively obscure figure involved in the French Revolution not considered a “Hollywood spec screenplay”?

Answer: (Michele Wallerstein)

The people who judge contests are not usually in the business of making films in Hollywood. The judges are often friends of the people who are putting on the contest or semi-pros. The movers and shakers in Hollywood don’t have the time and they certainly don’t have the interest in reading the scripts of unknown writers. Sorry to say but script contests have nothing to do with selling screenplays.

An “obscure figure” of no historical importance seems unlikely to excite a buyer. It is even more difficult to sell a period piece set in the French Revolution. There is no innate interest in these things in general so the screenplay must be very, very good and very, very compelling insofar as the hero and story are concerned.


Michele Wallerstein is a Screenplay & Novel & Career Consultant and author of MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career.

Web site: www.novelconsultant.com

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