As we love to do, congratulations go out to this year’s nominees in outstanding screenwriting for the 82nd annual Academy Awards — the Oscars to you and me. Never mind that the writers were last on the Academy’s list…
So you wanna write movies. I hear you. You’re new to the game; you’ve seen every film there ever was, including this one; and you’ve vowed not to rest until your better mousetrap is up on the silver screen. Fantastic and congratulations — you’ve just pledged yourself to some good, long hours spent with pad and paper, breaking down your favorite films.
What’s this, you ask? You can recite dialogue from His Girl Friday, Airplane, AND Solaris and still that’s not enough? Don’t try to weasel out of this. As your momma always said (or the momma in one of those dripping Southern dramas always says), “you gotta finish what you started, honey.” You want to write movies, watching and reading isn’t enough. You have to break them down.
Since in 2004, film execs all over town have offered their picks of the best screenplays that came across their desks “that were written in, or are somehow uniquely associated with, 2009 and will not be released in theaters during this calendar year.” It’s called The Black List and it is a kind of honor, we believe, to be included in this roster of faves. It means the work has been appreciated by those in the know and is a hot property yet it may not fit the year’s production slate, budget constraints, or whatever. For each screenwriter, frustrating as the list may be, that’s still gotta feel great.
Kudos are in order for our good friends screenwriter Nissar Modi and writer/director Pall Grimsson whose screenplay “Z FOR ZACHARIAH” is much-loved here in the land of golden dreams and silver screens. Whether (and when) we’ll see “Z” in theatres is up the the one exec out there who will fund it and add it to his or her development slate. If you want to read it, keep watch on some of our favorite script sites (listed in the sidebar) but these closely held gems might be tough to find…until they’re produced, that is. Good thing you never know who gets their hands on what around here.
“Z FOR ZACHARIAH“ Logline: “A sixteen-year-old girl named Ann Burden survives a nuclear war in a small American town.” Agent: Creative Artists Agency – Jay Baker, Josh Krauss Manager: Energy Entertainment – Angelina Chen, Brooklyn Weaver Zik Zak Filmworks producing.
One of our most beloved Story Spot readers sent in a question about query letters that many of you–whatever form your work takes–may find helpful (let us know if you do!) Mote writes:
A friend of mine is thinking about approaching some specialty production companies with a script he’s working on — when it’s finished. I told him, if it were me, I’d include a logline and tell them a little bit about myself, my background, and my writing experience — as well as talk about the script itself. He’s doing some research on production companies, but it would basically be a “cold call” situation. He wants to send query letters to these companies to see if they have any interest in reading his script before sending them an actual copy of it. Do you have any examples of a query letter or do you know of any on the web?
Ah, the query. Ken’s advice to his friend is sound*. For those of you new to the query letter, here’s the deal. A query letter is one standard, industry-accepted method to introduce yourself and your project to a potential development or production partner. Queries are one part of your overall pitch package for your project.
Top Dog Films, Inc. is currently looking for feature film scripts for a slate that we are putting together. This is a low budget independent film project. If you or your clients have a script that fits the following criteria please go to www.topdogfilms.com, and follow the submission process. If you have submitted to us already please do not submit the same script again.
SCRIPT CRITERIA: 1. Low Budget script of $1 million dollars or less. 2. Must have minimal characters (less than 10 in total) 3. Minimal Locations (less than 10 in total). 4. Scripts should be story & character driven 5. No special make-up, stunts, or effects 6. Genres: Comedy, Drama, Psychological Thriller Below are examples of films in the genres that we are looking for that have both strong characters and story lines. This should give you an idea of the type of films that we enjoy. We do NOT want scripts that copy the below films. Simply use this as a guide to our taste while also meeting our criteria requirements.
DRAMA: “Steel Magnolias”, “Kramer vs. Kramer”, “Boys Don’t Cry”, “One Flew over Cuckoo’s Nest”, “The Visitor”, “Frozen River”, “12 Angry Men”
COMEDY: “The Goodbye Girl”, “The Forty Year Old Virgin”, “Best in Show”, “The Odd Couple”
Once we have read your script we will contact you if we are interested. Given the volume of material that we receive it is impossible for us to respond to calls/emails regarding the status of your script. Thank you so very much! Apply to: Maria
Ad created on 11-Nov-09. Expires: 01-Dec-09.
Please note that THE STORY SPOT simply passes these tidbits of info on to you as they are found. We do not endorse any particular product or service nor have we verified any of the information or people connected to it. Use your own best judgment and please do not respond to us about positions posted. Thank you all and good writing.