Sunday, September 29, 2013

Contest Alert!

I'm a little late with this one but The Weinstein Company has a FREE movie pitch contest:

As the grand prize of their awesome new "Master Storyteller" contest, the people behind huge recent films like "Django Unchained", "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and "Silver Linings Playbook" are offering one talented winner the opportunity to have their pitch or film treatment read by one of the company's Development Executives. Not buried at the bottom of a stack of unsolicited scripts or skimmed by an intern, but genuinely and carefully read by one of the few people capable of actually transforming your idea into a major feature-film. And by the time your pitch is crowned the winner, The Weinstein Company will be paying very close attention, as your idea will have been one of five finalists chosen by a sponsored judge on the merits of its creative vision, its originality, and the viability of the idea as the germ of a movie that could actually be made. While the contest naturally doesn't guarantee that The Weinstein Company will develop the winning pitch, this is nevertheless an incredibly rare opportunity to get your foot in a door that seems to be closing more and more every year.

Eligible submissions must be written treatments between 200 and 1,000 words in length, describing the premise and plot of your proposed film. The pitches have to be completely original ideas that have never been publicly published or submitted to any prior contests.

The deadline is 10-03-13 (yikes!), 11:59am (EST). One entry per household. The submission length certainly doesn't require a lot of heavy lifting, but the terms of service look a bit intimidating so proceed with caution. I entered just two contests this year, so I *might* give it a shot. My only real challenge is figuring out which idea to pitch...

Check them out on facebook for details.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thoughts on Sleepy Hollow

I wasn’t blown away, but the premiere was pretty solid. The tone and execution is very different from Orci and Kurtzman’s previous work on Fringe. Sleepy Hollow is a fun B-movie premise squeezed into a TV show. Having someone like Len Wiseman direct the pilot also helped create a cinematic atmosphere.

Pilots tend to have a lot of exposition, but this was bursting at the seams! While I love the idea of connecting the Headless Horseman to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, there was too much info to digest. All that stuff about demons, dueling covens, conspiracy theories -- the story desperately needed time to breathe. It made me long for the days of two hour pilots or limited commercial interruptions. Unfortunately, most TV series can no longer afford that luxury. I do think a few deaths would have had a bigger impact if they occurred in future episodes. John Cho and Clancy Brown needed more to do...

The two leads, Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, seem likable enough and had good chemistry. Ichabod Crane isn’t quite the fish-out-of-water I was expecting. He seems to be adjusting rather well for a guy dropped smack into 21st century. We’ll probably see him struggle as the season progresses. I suspect Abby will discover that she has a connection to one of the covens.

Finally, I was surprised how well Sleepy Hollow fared in the ratings. The highest FOX debut in 6 years -- 10 million viewers. My quick unscientific survey of the internets indicated most folks seemed to like what they saw. We’ll see if they come back next week...

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Wall

Worst. Summer. Ever. The above image represents my creative flow over the last few months. My muse has been sealed up behind that brick wall like poor Fortunato in The Cask of Amontillado. Now I didn’t just wake up one morning with this dreaded affliction, it was more of a creeping shadow that gradually overtook me. I usually have bursts of productivity, followed by the occasional dry spell, but the bursts became less frequent and the dry spell grew into a vast, endless desert. It all started with  missing some self-imposed and contest deadlines, until I found myself staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen...

So here I am, sitting with an unfinished script, doing my darndest to finish it, but I don’t want to paint a completely dire picture. It’s not like I’m stuck on page ten or something like that. I just wish it was done already. My last post about Joss Whedon’s writing advice has been pretty timely. I haven’t been sitting around and twiddling my thumbs. Scribbling notes/scenes for future scripts and watching a lot of (mostly bad) movies. I have a glut of stuff to blog about so there’s that. Eventually I’ll get over that hump, I would just prefer it to be sooner than later.


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