The whole purpose here is to do an online critique session. A work is submitted, commented on by the group and then a professional writer/teacher does his or her critique of the material.
That's it - simple. A small investment of your time to learn a great deal without taking a class.
Harlan Ellison has had a career spanning decades in multiple writing disciplines with over 1,000 published works. Extraordinarily prolific. As a stunt, one morning he sat in the front window of his publishing company and solicited a random topic from the crowd passing by. He then began to type. By the end of the day, he had a finished novel.
Harper Lee, sat down at her typewriter and after two and a half years finished her first and only book; To Kill a Mockingbird. As far as anybody really knows, she never wrote a word before or since.
Stephen King in my opinion is the greatest American writer in the history of literature. While most great American writers only have one great masterpiece like To Kill a Mockingbird or The Scarlet Letter to secure their legacy, King has many he will be remembered for like Stand by Me, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and Hearts in Atlantis. Few writers are able to create a literary series that lives on like J.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, but King too has captured that success in his The Dark Tower series. I could go on forever talking about King’s accomplishments and the truly scary thing is I haven’t even mentioned the milestones that he has written in his main genre, which is horror fiction.
Frank Frazetta has died. An artist of immense talent, he came to prominence on the basis of illustrations done for the Robert E. Howard Conan the Barbarian novels and other scifi and fantasy work.
Frank Frazetta's artistry never failed to inspire me. He had a truly unique voice. His work spoke of worlds that existed on the edges of our universe. He perfectly captured the look and gritty feel of the stories contained in the books he illustrated and yet he said he never read those books. Rather he found his stunning style from somewhere within himself.
The Screenwriters Workshop will be screening the Edda nominated documentary Alfred Eliasson & Loftleidir Icelandic. Writer/director/member Sigurgeir Orri will join us to talk about the process of making the film and answer questions.
This event will take place at Orange Coast College. Arts Center Building off Parking Lot D. Room 216. You can buy a Visitor parking permit at the Arlington entrance or park in metered space.
Non-members do not need to RSVP for this event. More Information can be found here: http://www.meetup.com/SoCal-Screenwriters-Workshop/calendar/12997221/
"Winners never quit and quitters never win." Vince Lombardi, legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers during their initial ascension in the early days of the NFL is credited with that phrase. And Vince knew that from personal experience - he was 45 before he became a head coach and that season had only a 7-5 record. The next year, however, he led the Packers to the NFL championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles. They lost that year (1960) but he never lost another post-season game while coaching the Packers.
Winners never quit - I also know this from personal experience.
"Justified," is not the latest Justin Timberlake CD but rather a new drama on FX based on novels and a short story by Elmore Leonard. For those who don't know, Leonard is an American novelist and screenwriter who has been selling stories about hard-scrabble men and women since the 1950's. A lot of his early work was in Westerns but evolved to become more noirish-type material.
This series is a modern-day western that features Timothy Olyphant in the lead as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. He walks tall, talks soft, and "pulls" as fast as any gunslinger in the Old West.
The premise is simple: Catch some bad guys. The opening gambit is set in Miami where Marshall Givens has given a drug cartel "gunman " 24hrs to get out of "Dodge."
Blase - that's the way I felt about the Winter Olympics. Still grumpy from the end of football season, I wasn't caring much about the competitions happening north of us.
Then my attention was caught by the horrible tragedy of the luge competitor who lost his life on a training run and it all became a much more sobering reality. While I might have a terrifying paper cut or get hemorrhoids from sitting on my a** all day, there is little chance I'm going to die pursuing my dreams. He did.
At the opening of Held, we find a man held prisoner in a small room. He wakes up from being knocked out and discovers several sharp nails protruding through the wall. Each day, A cloaked captor slips photographs under the door showing a mysterious woman. This was a great film. It got me watching until the end and gripping the chair arms. A bit fearing at times but I kept seeking the end. All in all bravo editing,filming and Believable acting. ***** five stars! Bravo! Wanting to see more of the actor's work!
"The Hurt Locker" is a film about a bomb squad in Iraq during a time when IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were rampant. There isn't much to spoil in this film because there is no real story. The film basically follows a 3-member team toward the end of their rotation - they have about 30 days left and their leader gets himself "blowed up good." A new team leader, in the form of a "Wildman" (Jeremy Renner) comes in, proceeds to run rampant and no one cares except the team members be puts into jeopardy.
That's it. Really.
There's car bombs, suicide bombs, body bombs (OMFG!) and
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.
I'm a first time blogger here (that should serve as my warning). As a writer, I'm on the more self deprecating side of things. I know a lot of writers that are cocky and confident, but I just can't quite get there, but I'm beginning to accept the idea that someone else might be interested in what I have to say. I'd like to think that it's due to my wonderful prose and clever wit, but I'm sure it's more along the lines of a rubber-necker looking at a horrible crash. I'm hoping you can learn from this crash.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain
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 – IT’S FINISHED! NOW REWRITE IT.
My tail is between my legs. I did not finish my script entirely. BUT, because of the commitment I made, and sassy remarks many of you left on my Facebook page, I worked harder than usual, and got a LOT accomplished. Thanks to you, my script is now 92 pages, and is complete enough that I paid my $20 to register it with the WGA, and can now tell you the name: Tijuana Train. Ta-da! Three more small scenes and it will be totally done. And by done, I mean ready for a year of re-writes. I have friends who are in the process of writing their first script, and I am afraid to tell them that “finishing” it means you are really just starting. I don’t want to spoil their fun.
I've had so many inquiries through this website that I decided to post the information here on the front page.
I teach Screenwriting through Irvine Valley College's Continuing Education department. My Intermediate Screenwriting Class starts a new semester next Tuesday at IVC and my Intro class will have a new semester starting on January 15th.
I've been teaching for 15 years and been a professional screenwriter for 18+ years with 18 films produced.
IVC's continuing edu website is www.123getsmart.com
If you need more info, email me through www.marksevi.com
Every year, as it grows closer to the holidays, I always cast my mind back to the previous year when I was again unloading and installing the lights that I put up outside my apartment.