News From The Web - March 2019

Plan Your Journey - You Can't Make the Trip if You Don't Know How to Get There

Find the latest news and information on screenwriting, spec sales, box office results and the industry in general without having to hunt and peck across the internet. Here you will find the news you can use to further your journey each month. Discover the movers and the shakers in Hollywood, learn new tricks of the trade from fellow screenwiters and explore the craft of creating screenplays companies want to produce.

 

Articles and interviews will be archived at the end of each month so you can always rediscover that interesting bit of news when you need it. Archive list is at the bottom of this page.

February 2019 Script Sales

Results provided by Script Pipeline

Weekend Box Office April 19 - 21, 2019​

Results provided by Box Office Mojo

The Biggest Screenwriting Competitions of 2019

The Script Lab

 

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably wondering, “how many submissions does a script competition receive?” We surveyed Hollywood’s top screenplay contests to get a sense of their size and we ranked them by the number of submissions received annually. It’s important to note that bigger isn’t always better. If you’re considering entering a top screenwriting competition, be sure to research the success stories coming out of each competition, as well as decide on the right fit for your particular project, in terms of genre, tone and track record of each contest’s past winners.

The Under-$50 Million Movie Is Endangered. Three Distributors are Fighting to Save It.

Anne Thompson

IndieWire

 

As studios double down on franchises, sequels, comic books, and events that pull audiences into bigger-better-brighter cinemas, movies that cost less than $50 million look like an endangered species. Studios already find it tough to justify risky, original dramas — like F. Gary Gray’s “Straight Outta Compton,” which cost $28 million and grossed $206 million worldwide. Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Donna Langley nurtured that movie, and fought to make it. But not every movie has such a passionate champion.

The ‘Blair Witch’ Extended Universe: How a Tiny Indie Film Became a Horror Sensation—and Invented Modern Movie Marketing
Alyssa Bereznak

TheRinger.com

 

void the twigs. That’s what David Hochman told himself on January 24, 1999, after a midnight showing of a little indie film called The Blair Witch Project. It was a typically chilly night in Park City, Utah, where Hochman was covering the Sundance Film Festival for Entertainment Weekly, and the movie he’d just watched was unlike anything he’d ever seen before.

Here’s What We Found Out About Ageism In Hollywood

CreativeScreenwriting.com

 

Ageism. It’s a thing!  But what does it really mean? Is it simply a matter of screenwriters reaching an expiry date on their fortieth birthday, or is there more to it than that? Creative Screenwriting Magazine spoke with veteran agent Lloyd Robinson from Suite A Talent Agency to share his views on this sensitive topic.

INTERVIEW WITH WESCREENPLAY CO-FOUNDER MARK STASENKO

Tom Dever

WeScreenplay Blog
 

WeScreenplay was created to scratch my own itch. I had just quit my corporate job after paying off some student loans and moved to Los Angeles. Like most writers who quit their jobs and move to LA, I wasn’t exactly loaded. I tried one or two coverage services and saw the incredible importance and value of unbiased feedback, but it was pretty expensive. I had some friends who were assistants and readers in Los Angeles, so I took the cover page off my script and offered to pay one of them to do a coverage report on the script, saying it was just a friend’s script so the feedback would be honest. They tore the script apart.

4 Examples of Good Visual Writing in a Movie Script

Lauren McGrail

LightsFilmSchool.com

 

I’ve been reading scripts professionally for the better part of ten years. Over the decade, only ten, maybe twenty scripts still stand out in my mind. Why? What set those scripts apart? Answer: Evocative, engaging, eloquent visual writing. Sure, dialogue is great – but it must be grounded. Dialogue must exist in a world so real that it has its own beating heart, capturing the reader. And you create that world with powerful visual writing.

10 Best Filmmaking Books to Read in 2019

SC Lanmon

Studio Binder
 

Whether you’re new to filmmaking, or you’ve studied it for years, you may find that your cinematic knowledge has plateaued. So, now you seek some great filmmaking books to push your skills to the next level.

 

We’ve provided the best list of filmmaking books so that you can write, direct, film, finance, and complete your video projects – no matter what.

“Don’t Write Scripts, Write Movies” Says Manager Scott Carr

Creative Screenwriting

 

I find many aspiring screenwriters aren’t as ready on the page as they think they are. I encourage all screenwriters to read professional scripts and write constantly until their craft is deemed up to standard by industry professionals. Mastering screenwriting is about the humility to acknowledge that a writer is always a student of the profession, constantly able to learn and grow through practice and feedback.

The Death of Hollywood’s Middle Class

Nicole Laporte

Fast Company
 

“People talk about this Golden Age of TV—there are so many shows, so many opportunities,” Jack Allison says. “But there are only so many shows staffing at any given time. And there are so many people going up for those jobs, because the jobs are shorter and there’s an influx of people who want to do this.”

Negotiate Your Screenplay Option Agreement Like A Pro Screenwriter

J Gideon Sarantinos

Scriptfirm

 

So you’re a screenwriter lucky enough to have a producer interested in your screenplay? The said producer doesn’t have the cash to purchase your film script outright, so instead they option it while searching for finance.

Optioning is essentially renting your screenplay or other literary property for a pre-determined period of time at the exclusivity of other production entities. There are three main areas you should focus on during your screenwriting option agreement negotiations.

Creating Suspense & Dread: The Leopard Man

William C. Martel

Sex in a Submarine
 

I’m a longtime horror fan, and even though I can appreciate some gorefest like MARTYRS, the films I really love are the spooky ones like the original THE HAUNTING and those great Val Lewton low budget horror flicks for RKO. The ones that used suspense and dread. The ones that were evocative and creepy and used the darkness within our imaginations to fill in the gore. 

2018 Spec Script Deals Analysis: Genres

Scott Myers

Go Into The Story
 

By my count, Hollywood studios, production companies, and financiers acquired 40 spec scripts in 2018. During this week, I’ll be breaking down those numbers. Today we look at deals by genre. Some scripts are categorized as cross genres or sub-genres, so those are noted where relevant under their primary genre category.

Hampton Fancher: ‘99% Of Scripts Are Intolerable.’ Here’s Why

Lucy V Hay

Bang2Write.com

 

I had the pleasure of chatting with Hampton Fancher recently. He’s the screenwriter of the iconic sci fi movie Blade Runner (1982) and its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, which was one of my fave movies of 2017. I am one lucky blogger! Hampton is quite the raconteur, so our conversation was everything I hoped it would be. I had so much fun; I think he started interviewing ME at one point!

Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

Dave McNary and Cynthia Littleton

Variety
 

More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers.

The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood.

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© 2015 by William Gilmore.