Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Noooo!

So I'm reading about SyFy's upfront presentation and I come across this:

In the Dark -- In the Dark follows a misfit group of third tier ghost hunters whose misguided efforts tend to highlight their incompetence rather than any paranormal activity.

There goes one of the sitcom ideas that I've been kicking around for the last few years. I had gotten pretty deep with an outline/treatment, but was still waffling with other show ideas. A workplace comedy with a fantastical element seemed interesting and different enough to stand out. Apparently, SyFy thought so as well.

This happens to me more often with ideas for television than features. I really can't complain too much, because the story wasn't coming together the way I would have liked — probably would've gone back to it at the eleventh hour though. On to sitcom idea B...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mark of an Angel (2008)



aka Angel of Mine aka L'empreinte de l'ange

Found some time to write a couple words about this deceptively effective thriller.

An unstable woman becomes obsessed with a little girl and comes to believe that she is, in fact, her long dead child.

Creepy, I know. Crazy stalker flicks are usually a dime a dozen. It’s almost impossible to get the full attention of the audience these days, because they’re so familiar with the (often clich├ęd) beats — this was my complaint a few weeks back about Alone With Her. Mark of an Angel manages to elevate the genre with a smart script, excellent direction and some incredibly nuanced performances.

I’m not going to spoil it, but this is one of those rare thrillers where you actually feel sympathy for the antagonist. A lot of the time, there’s too much emphasis on showing the audience, 'Look how crazy he/she is!!!' Clearly, the woman appears to be slowly unraveling, but it isn‘t handled in over-the-top fashion. Although a remake is probably inevitable, Act 3 would receive an extreme Hollywood makeover. If you’re looking for a more subtle take on this sub-genre, definitely check it out.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Strategery!

The Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting is now accepting submissions! I plan on entering two scripts: my tweaked entry from last year and a "new" script that I've been kicking around for several months. It's a supernatural thriller that still needs a quite a bit of work, but the May 2nd regular deadline should give me enough time to get things straight. And if that wasn't enough on my plate, I'm still working on the sitcom script for the FOX contest.

I was a lot more active querying and entering screenwriting contests last year, but all my sound and fury didn't amount to very much. As a result, I've decided to be less hare and more tortoise in 2011. Fewer contests, better targeted queries and stronger concepts.

While getting read requests from production companies can be a huge boost to the ego, it doesn't necessarily mean that you're on the right track. Send out enough queries and *someone* will eventually ask to read the script. I'm far more interested in catching the eye of a reputable agent or manager these days.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Dylan Dog Dead of Night



UPDATE: You can read my review here.

I think I posted a leaked international trailer last year. This looks much improved. Still has that 80s vibe going on though — like something you might have seen right next to Fright Night, The Lost Boys and Monster Squad at the corner video store. We've come a long way since then. Aside from a few notable exceptions like Shaun of the Dead, horror mixed with comedy is usually box office poison. The comic has a huge following in Italy, but I'm not sure Dylan Dog will pique the interest of American audiences.

The Fright Night remake comes out later this year and Monster Squad is currently in development. It'll be interesting to see if producers and writers were successful in taking 80s camp and updating it for 21st century audiences.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

#amwriting


It's been kinda quiet around here... busy working on my sitcom script for the pilot contest — aka banging my head against a wall. My approach is a little different from last time. Less set up and more jumping right into the story.

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