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“The essence of how Pixar started was in let’s figure it out and try something different.” – Jerome Ranft, Pixar Animation Studios
“Not understanding money in the movie business is like an artist who doesn’t understand paint.” - Jack Nicholson1
I'm on my soapbox here because I'm getting screwed by yet another set of "friends" who have used my connections and abilities to create opportunities that exclude me. They owe me, and they are not even recognizing my role in their good fortune!
Boo-hoo-hoo. Cry me a river, as the song goes...
Hollywood sucks. Or maybe it doesn't. It's all about perspective and expectations - two concepts that normally kill our unrealistic desires to pursue anything let alone a film career, through self-inflicted wounds. I see it a lot with students and friends who batter themselves against the walls of business-as-usual in the land of LA-LA.
A PRIVILEGE TO WATCH
Pete Postlethwaite had perhaps the best face in the movie business. Whatever mood or emotion was needed to set the feel of a scene in a film, Pete provided it instantly, with just a quick and penetrating glare of that ever-ready, ever-rugged face that didn’t carry a movie, but sure provided the texture and grit that made a movie more than that, his presence made it a film.
I was complaining to a friend of mine at my martial arts dojo one time about this business. After listening to my whining for a few minutes he looked at me and said "No one forced you to become a screenwriter." A bit harsh perhaps but he was right. My life, my choices.
My mistake was trying to express my frustration to someone who doesn't understand and work in this business. Had I complained about taking countless breakfalls or sore wrists or two separated shoulders and many dislocated joints from years of doing martial arts, I'm sure I would have gotten a more sympathetic response and then, of course, his list of injuries.
The Orange County Screenwriters Association is a not-for-profit organization that does on-site events, online information and reviews, and seminars and classes on filmmaking and the graphic arts.
Board of Directors:
Treasurer, Founding Member
I’m going to commit a bit of heresy here and make the suggestion that if William Shakespeare was alive today he would have been a screenwriter. Not just any kind of screenwriter but a genre screenwriter - a really good "B" movie screenwriter but nonetheless, he'd be writing "Die Hard" and "Terminator" and "The Lookout" - those kinds of genre films.
Thursday night, MAOC and OC Screenwriters gathered four preeminent documentary filmmakers to discuss their craft.
The men and their subjects couldn't have been more different:
Imagine you’re only able to tell a story by singing it. But then someone tells you can't actually use any lyrics and you can chart your tale only by using the rise and fall of the chord progression to get people involved and engaged.
What am I talking about and how does it relate to scriptwriting? The genius of Lady Gaga, that’s what I’m talking about. But what does she have in common with John Sayles, Lawrence Kasdan, Phillip Kaufman or Christopher Nolan?
Static scenes. Ugh - the big “tell” that indicates to any producer that you are a rank amateur. What causes them? How do you fix them? A few simple techniques can make all the difference.
The preponderance of scenes that take place at a sit-down restaurant that I see in student scripts is amazing. The inexperienced writer rarely grasps that putting two people at a table and having them talk is probably the most static, unimaginative setting you can put on paper (unless you write it like the orgasm scene in “When Harry Met Sally”.)
How to make those scenes less static using several techniques is simple.
I really want to cuss up a storm, but I think swearing is largely unattractive, so F*@&! it is.
Today I received another rejection slip. Yes, one more to add to the ever-growing putrid compost heap that is my writing career. But do I let this get me down? Do I let this rejection trample on what is left of what little self-esteem I have left? Do I let this insult by some rat-faced scrote who wouldn’t know magnificent word prowess if it walked up and introduced itself get me down? You’re damn right I do! It sucks! Big time!
But then I am kidding?
Hello all. I thought I would post my thoughts about this organization. I am not sure if other members can look at my profile so I will do a very brief bio. I am a published writer as well as a professional story editor and creative consultant. I am a partner in crime with Victor Phan and Torture Chamber Productions. This past Saturday, because of circumstances involving furniture(don't ask), I found myself attending the OCSWA board meeting.
On December 5, 2009 The Orange County Screenwriters Association was proud to host a Q&A with Mr. Kevin Sorbo at the beautiful Regency South Coast Theater. As always, a special thanks to Larry Porricelli and Lyndon Golin at the Regency for making us feel at home.
I’ll admit I’m prejudiced. I really like Kevin Sorbo. I met him for the first time at a press conference for a film of mine he is slated to star in (link.) He was amazingly open and friendly to everyone there, including the press. You just like this man - he’s truly genuine. (READ MORE)
BLOG 3.5 – Bonus Blog about Bootlegging Bastards
During the past couple of weeks, I have had an unwanted crash course in bootlegging, DVDRips, file sharing, bit torrents and pirates. As a struggling filmmaker, it makes me want to VoMiT. <(If you don't get that joke, you especially need to keep reading.)
I didn’t really know what any of those terms meant. I thought the only bootleggers were those people selling crappy $5 DVD’s on the streets of New York, and certainly nobody would bother bootlegging Teenage Dirtbag. I wasn’t at all worried that my film wasn’t available for download the day it was released on DVD. Why wasn’t it available? Well, because there were sound issues holding it up with iTunes, and to be perfectly frank, my distributor is small and old-school, and didn’t worry about getting it up on Hulu or Cinema Now, or anywhere else. They didn’t quite grasp the magnitude of how important it is to make it available for download… IMMEDIATELY.
The Orange County Screenwriters Association, in association with Lennexe Productions, saw the culmination of a process started this past summer when we (OCSWA) ran a short script contest and Lennexe agreed to film the winner's script.
These are some stills from the set of "Harvey, the Monster Racist" yesterday. link to photos
We had a blast working on this and the finished product will be screened (hopefully) this coming Saturday (October 31st) at our Halloween event. The project was filmed at breakneck speed over 10+ hours - quite an accomplishment for the producer/director Eric Hensman.
There will be more information on the ocscreenwriters.com website soon.
A special thanks to Colin Tanji at Abracadabra Presentation Graphics for allowing us to use his excellent production facilities. We simply could not have done it without his gracious generosity (that's his butt on the ladder in one of the photos.) I think I got his best side. ;-)
Film Production in Orange County
October 20, 2009
For Immediate Release:
Sunday, October 25th, will mark the beginning of the end of a film production process started in May 2009 when Eric Hensman of Lennexe Productions (www.lennexe.com) approached the Orange County Screenwriters Association (OCSWA) (www.ocscreenwriters.com) after their inaugural event and said “You write it, we’ll film it.”
JOIN US ON OCTOBER 20th
Tickets on Sale!
YOUR STUDENT or TEACHER I.D.
GETS YOU A GREATLY REDUCED RATE
AT THE BOX OFFICE
at the Regency South Coast Theater
Tickets on sale online or at box office
the night of the screening!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 7:00pm
Q&A with writer/director Regina Crosby after film
All good filmmakers have some poetry in their souls no matter what genre they express themselves in. In the case of filmmaker John Woo, he finds the ballet of violence and force against force to be his haiku (yes, I know haiku is Japanese and Woo is Chinese but just go with it.)
In his soon-to-be-released "Red Cliff" Woo once again shows why he is a director who must express our humanity with blood and battle. But "Red Cliff" is so much more than a foxtrot of fists or a sonnet of swords. It's an all out, balls first, epic - with a heart. It's about big moments, small moments - the huge tapestry of life, and life on the edges of despair and death.
John Woo (screenplay) &
Khan Chan (screenplay) (as Chan Khan) &
Cheng Kuo (screenplay) (as Kuo Cheng) &
Heyu Sheng (screenplay) (as Sheng Heyu)
So Hollywood is in a major upheaval, says this article (link) from the LA Times. I don't think that's a surprise to anyone.
Our event yesterday (09.19.09) at the Regency South Coast Village Theater was fan-damn-tastic as a friend of mine is wont to say. People began arriving at 9:00am for the 10:00am start and it built from there. We didn't keep exact track but it seemed like we had a lot of new people there which speaks well (hopefully) of our marketing but more of our word of mouth friends who have begun to spread the word.
Upcoming September event.
Mega-Producer Steve Eccelsine will speak about the business and his 700+ produced films and television episodes. His book "So You Want To Be A Producer" is being used by a dozen film schools.
Results of the "Make It Reel Script to Screen" contest.
Networking before and after event.
Bend Over: A Screenwriter's Life
What? And give up show business? (punchline to various jokes)
I’ve seen this headline before: Death of the Story - true? Hyperbole? How about a bit of both.