Monday, January 04, 2010

Creating Moments

In my most recent script, Zombie, NJ, I tried to make a certain sequence really stand out. I tried to make it a moment to remember. I could have written it pretty easily, a quick scene that gets the characters from Point A to Point B.

But I wanted it to be memorable. Like one of those sequences that you'll remember as your favorite part, sequence or whatever. It's a scene in a crawlspace, the main characters (three 15 year olds) are hiding under the house as zombies rip apart the house above, searching for fresh meat. I tried as best I could to draw out the tension (the horror above them, their current dark & wet surroundings). On the page, I made it last about 2 pages, when it could have been easily half that. It's my favorite scene in the screenplay.

In the last year, we had some fine moments in theaters:

(500) Days Of Summer - You Make My Dreams sequence.

Up In The Air - The scene where they're firing the older employee via teleconference, and he's actually in the adjoining office.

The Hurt Locker - Many moments here, but one that sticks with me is the sniper scene - Bigelow really draws out the drama here. I think the scene was like 15 minutes long, ever wrending second was amazing.

Up - The opening montage.

There are certainly others, but you get my point. When I started writing I didn't pay as much attention to these things, was simply worried about dialogue, structure, story (things we obviously need to worry about!) but after the script reader/agent/assistant/Spielberg puts the script down, you want to give them another reason to pick up the phone.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Screenwriting 2009 - Fail

Why? Because I only finished 1 script. Zombie, NJ. Don't get me wrong, I like the script, but there are SO many other ideas/scripts already started that I want to get into my Final Draft folder. I did finish a decent re-write of another (Goombah, formerly called Family Values).

And the contests/festivals/lost causes that I entered went nowhere - do they ever?

I had about 5-6 script requests that I sent out. Nada. I'm still waiting to hear about one of those, but it's been 3 months, so I'd call that a wash.

I'm looking at new places to list scripts. I've had stuff on Inktip & Movies-bytes for years. Where else is there to list? I've come across a few sites here and there but I dunno.

I did try to start a new script for 2010. Yes, I still have the 20+ other ideas in my head & hard drive, but I thought a new year should bring a new script. Maybe it'll be the one.


Best TV of 2009 - Breaking Bad; Modern Family; Glee; 30 Rock; The Office; Mad Men; Lost, Dexter; The United States Of Tara; The Middle; Big Love; True Blood; Men Of A Certain Age; Fringe, It's Always Sunny In Philly

Best Songs of 2009 - Youth Group - Friedrichstrasse; East Hundred - Plus Minus; Passion Pit - Moth's Wings; Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition; Jason Lytle - Yours Truly, the Commander; Kings Of Leon - Notion; The Dears - Money Babies; Julian Plenti - Unwind; One Day International - Not Over You; Matt & Kim - Daylight (for me, Daylight is my song of the year).

Best Albums - Passion Pit - Manners; Matt & Kim - Grand; Youth Group - The Night Is Ours, East Hundred - Passenger

Best Movies of '09 - The Hurt Locker - Up In The Air - (500) Days Of Summer - Fantastic Mr. Fox - Up - I Love You, Man - Where The Wild Things Are - District 9 - Star Trek - The Hangover - Away We Go.