Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grim Night



Cool story about a recent spec sale: Writers Brandon Bestenheider and Allen Bey made this low budget teaser trailer to generate some heat for their script, Grim Night. Nice job by those guys, but don't think it hasn't been tried before. Take a look at these script trailers:







Very creative stuff. Last year, Hollywood Knights was lucky enough to catch the eye of Nikki Finke and got a write-up on deadline.com. Not sure if it resulted in a sale or representation, but who wouldn't kill for that kind of exposure? Perhaps loglines will become passé and we'll be expected to include a two-minute visual pitch with our query letters.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chronicle



"Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides." - IMDB summary

Chronicle, written by Max Landis, was on the 2010 Black List.

FUN FACT: Max is 26 and has already written 59 screenplays -- raise your hand if you feel like crap at this very instant. The kid's a machine.

Kind of looks like Misfits meets Cloverfield. While some might say the superhero/superpower genre is burnt out, there's always room for a fresh take. I've seen some of Landis' stuff on Fear Itself ("Something with Bite") and Masters of Horror ("Deer Woman"). Both were very well-written -- didn't love the ending of "Deer Woman" though...

BTW, he's also involved in a new Frankenstein film. Check out the interview below:





Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Raven Trailer



A serial killer using an author's work for inspiration is hardly a groundbreaking concept, but I'm intrigued by the Poe angle. A while back, there was an Edgar Allan Poe TV series that never came to fruition. John Cusack is a great choice for the lead. It looks pretty tame when you compare it to the upcoming Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and FDR vs. Werewolves projects -- and no, I'm not joking.

I'm not one to chase trends, but scripts about historical figures involved in crazy adventures sure seem to get a decent amount of attention these days. At the very least, they could make for a decent writing sample.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Pirate Commentaries: Fright Night


I might have tweeted this a while back, but it definitely deserves a mention here. Icons of Fright has a handful of unofficial DVD commentaries (mp3 format) available for download. I'm a huge Fright Night fan and commentary junkie so you can imagine my delight when I saw two tracks with cast and crew (William Ragsdale, Chris Sarandon, writer/director Tom Holland, etc). This is a trend that I'd love to see catch on. DVD extras aren't incredibly popular with the general public, but they can be invaluable tools for aspiring filmmakers.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Fades



Stop me if you've heard this one before: a teen outcast must fulfill his destiny by fighting the forces of evil and preventing the apocalypse. The Fades is a new fantasy/horror series co-produced by BBC America and BBC Three (scheduled for a January 2012 premiere on BBC America). What the show lacks in originality, it attempts to make up for with strong execution and appealing characters. The big problem with many genre shows is that they require lots of set up. Viewers are usually forced to sit through long and clunky bits of exposition before they can get to the cool stuff. The more fantastical, the more exposition required. Not only do you have to do the basics like establishing characters and their relationships, but the rules of the show also need to be explained -- all in the context of a compelling story. Piece of cake, right?


Fades' pilot tries to give us the cool stuff early on (with very little backstory), trying to hook us out the gate. Interesting approach. Did it work? Nope. Felt rushed and confusing. At first I couldn't figure who the good guys were, then I wasn't sure what they were trying to accomplish -- the second episode is a much better effort... because things were explained! We might not like it, but exposition is a necessary evil. A show like Lost is one of the rare exceptions to the rule.

Overall, the characters aren't anything we haven't seen before: the geeky best friend who's a pop culture savant, mean older sister, concerned but clueless mom, etc. The last few seasons of Supernatural have covered the subject matter extensively, so it lacks that completely fresh feel, but I'm probably going to stick around for the six episode run...

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