At the risk of stealing Carl Sagan’s most famous riff, I have combed the “BILLIONS AND BILLIONS” of Internet cosmococcic screenwriting sites for another batch of Screenwriting and Filmmaking resources. More will follow, but these are pretty good. I hope they help you, Good Reader. There’s a ton of great, free stuff out there, if you have the patience to make your way through the Wild Wild West of BS screenwriting crapola.
Let’s take a look…
- REDDIT THREADS
You could spend weeks on just the General Movie site looking over the new Men In Black test scene, or reviews on The Martian or rumors on Kingsmen, The Secret Service sequel is going to shoot. There’s better stuff though, for instance, in the Screenwriting Reddit Link, where almost 40,000 screenwriters can be found contributing on subjects like How to write screenplays using an Android device, what goes into a Series Bible or Nicholl Fellowship Award Winner interviews. The last one I’d recommend is to get educated, for free, by Max Landis. Thanks to my student Brian C. for turning me on to Max’s excellent Twitter feed. You know you’re doing something right when you’re following 63 people and 51,000+ are following you. I stumbled onto a Max Landis Reddit Thread which is also ridiculously valuable. Check it out here.
- RUDE AWAKENINGS & CINEMATIC TABLE FLIPS
I always remember Ebert talking about the cliche of every action sequence set on city streets, how inevitably some car would plow through a vegetable market. Many thanks to Roman Holiday for providing these excellent video montages of two other classic cliches, the waking up scene after a bad dream, and the Christ-like turning of tables anarchy scene. Next time you’re considering writing in one of these two scenes, remember these. For the Rude Awakenings video post:
“Fun fact: While searching for clips I discovered there was a joke in the 2008 Oscars ceremony where they mentioned that due to the writer’s strike they had to resort to using increasingly specific montages to pad the time out. One of these was entitled “Bad Dreams: An Oscar Salute”. It featured 7 movies. By comparison I was able to scrounge up 89 films.”
- THE MAKING OF UNCLE JOHN
I’m going to have to dedicate a full post to Indiewire, which is easily a Top 5 filmmaking website. They keep pumping out amazing –and free– articles like this one that give us specifics in how a successful project like Uncle John happens. Uncle John was nominated for the 2015 SWSX Grand Jury Award and had a sold out run locally at the Midwest Independent Film Festival held at the Siskel Center. The trailer is here. Best of all is the article on how they pulled it off. Here’s a piece of it:
“…we tried very hard to keep from becoming precious about the whole project. Not that its easy — trying to get a micro-budget film together is all-encompassing because it requires your non-stop attention and a willingness to ask for endless favors. However, keeping that framed inside the fact that the rest of the world is also doing its own thing was incredibly helpful. Without proper money, way more no’s than “yes’s” came in. But, by keeping things reasonable and honest, the “yes’s” we got were for the right reasons.”
Good Reader, study the folks who make it happen, it might be all the film school you need. Thanks to Indiewire for bringing it to us.
- LINKS AND MORE LINKS
Many thanks to the Aspiring TV Writer and Screenwriter Blog for this quick screenwriting links list. Down and dirty, they spans the Wide World of Sports concerning the screenwriting biz. This site has a lot more to offer including tons of free stuff on Writing advice, Career Advice, Agents and Manager listings and plenty on industry job searches. The blog is on my short list for industry news.
Another links site that I was previously unaware of is Screenwriting Spark. Hit this link and you’ll find about 50 links on OUTLINING. If you ever wondered how to get started on your screenplay, please check this page out. I’ll include just one link here, a YouTube video by UCLA Screenwriting professor Richard Walter.
- LEAVING LOS ANGELES
Long elephant years ago I had a fling with Los Angeles. Repped by William Morris, I took meetings, pitched for assignments, had an option deal, project close to packaged, ready to go. A grand illusion. not much actually ended up happening, except that years passed, and the big budget Indie never happened. In the end I split town without much pain. To be honest, I was never at home there. Little more than a tourist.
Scott Timberg is not a tourist. He wrote an amazing article he wrote for Los Angeles magazine about living in L.A., and the considerations of leaving. You should take it in, Good Reader, before you decide to head out there. The eternal debate of the necessity of living in L.A. and what that means on a daily basis is on display here in epic proportion. Here’s a piece of it: