Tag Archives: scriptwriting

In which A SIX-GUN FOR THE DEVIL makes the Stage 32 Search for New Blood quarterfinals

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My supernatural Western A SIX-GUN FOR THE DEVIL has made the quarter-finals of the Stage 32 Happy Writers Search for New Blood Screenwriting Competition.

I’m quite pleased about that.

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Competition was fierce, as there were thousands of entries. Congratulations to the other quarter-finalists.  Here is the announcement of the full list.

https://www.stage32.com/blog/Stage-32-Happy-Writers-Search-For-New-Blood-Quarter-finalists-Announced?utm_medium=email&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=cake

 

In which A SIX-GUN FOR THE DEVIL is requested by Maximum Film & Management…

The screenplay for my supernatural Western feature A SIX-GUN FOR THE DEVIL has been requested by Maximum Films and Management in New York.

A SIX-GUN FOR THE DEVIL

I’m quite chuffed about that.

The request came after a Happy Writers pitch session on Stage 32.

Now it’s back to the fourth redraft of my ‘zombie movie without any zombies’….

Table Reads – Screenwriter seeks Advice and Protocol

Fountain pen on writer

I have two screenplays (horror and sci–fi) I want to take to market. Before I do so, however, I want to make sure they are the best they can be. Part of my plan is to use table reads – the perfect opportunity to discover some unspeakable dialogue or clunky exposition. I want to record the read on audio.

I’ve never done a table read. So, what I’m looking for are the protocols / best practice:

1) I can’t pay anyone, so what should I offer as basics (food, drink etc.)?

2) Other than the usual registering of the scripts, are there any legal issues? Should I ask everyone participating to sign a waiver saying they have no legal claim on the table read performance and recording, and/or a NDA? Any examples of relevant pro formas that do the job without being intimidating?

3) Scripts – distributed as hard copies or as electronic copies? Should I expect actors to print out their scripts or print them for them?

4) How should I cast for the roles? Invite people to contact me, send them a script sample, and listen to them over the phone? (For a table read it’s the voice that counts, not the physical appearance of the actor.) Or is there a better way? Skype? Something else? What would you prefer? Should I post a list of roles and ask actors to ‘pitch’ for one or the other?

5) I think I should start the read by asking everyone present to give their name, the name of the character they are playing, and a one-line description of the character, starting with the leads. Good idea?

6) Should scripts be marked up in any way? Or will actors do that themselves?

7) Should I ‘direct’ the read? Stop the proceedings and ask an actor to read in a certain way? Or let it flow?

8) Pre-read briefing for all actors around the table (for tone, style, etc.). Good idea?

9) Anything else I’ve missed?

And now it gets weird. Anyone ever done a VIRTUAL table-read, with everyone sitting at home?

The reason I ask is because I live in the middle of nowhere, in a country where few speak English.

I’m therefore wondering if the technology would allow me to do a virtual table read, with actors from around the world sitting in the comfort of their own homes. Anyone ever done anything like that?

Any thoughts you have will be greatly appreciated. geoffholder1@mac.com

In which the Author delivers his first movie script …

I’ve recently delivered the fourth and final draft of my first commissioned movie script. It’s a ten-minute animation

called DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, and deals with the titular character’s resistance to Hitler from within Germany.

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer was perhaps the world’s most unlikely dissident – a conservative and highly intellectual

theologian from a comfortable upper-middle-class German family. If the Nazis had not come to power Dietrich

would have spent his life as a respected but obscure university professor in Berlin. As it was he resisted Hitler for

an amazing twelve years, firstly by attempting to prevent the Nazification of the German Protestant church, and

eventually playing a minor part in Operation Valkyrie, the German plot to assassinate Hitler. He ended his life in a

concentration camp just weeks before the end of the war.

To tell the story I’ve used a mix of history and humour, with a James Bond joke, a Terry Gilliam reference and even Adolf Hitler going door-to-door with a collecting tin: “I wonder if you’d consider supporting the Nazi party? Our

policies are the extermination of the Jews and the Gypsies, the subjugation of the whole of Europe and the

enslavement of lesser races. No? Perhaps you’d take a leaflet?…”

Writing the script was a powerful experience, mining Dietrich’s amazing life for episodes that could be used

visually and to show the humanitarian principles he stood for. I’ll confess to in being tears sometimes, especially as I was writing the last pages.

The script was commissioned by The Lives of the Dissidents project – my deep thanks to Patrick Lavery there for

this opportunity. Pending funding, the film will go into production in 2015.

In which the Author is a quarter-finalist in the Stage 32 New Blood scriptwriting contest…

blood list

It’s called RIDERS ON THE STORM. It’s a sci-fi destruction thriller themed round an alien invasion and the er…

somewhat unusual resistance deployed by we Earthlings. And the feature-length screenplay is one of the quarter

finalists in the New Blood scriptwriting contest run by Stage 32 and the Blood List.

This high-profile Hollywood scriptwriting competition describes itself thus: “Our exclusive panel of industry judges

are looking for scripts in all areas of horror, thriller, and suspense…  All finalists will be listed in a special section of The Blood List and be exposed to top industry execs.”

I’m quite pleased about this.

The full list can be found here. I’m under ‘G’.

In which the Author proofreads a Swiss script…

typewriter-chapter-one_zpsa4ccbbb3.jpg~originalI’ve just finished proofreading and copy-editing another script written in English by a non-native speaker, this time a theatrical piece by a Swiss playwright. The original text was in French, and there is always a difficulty in

translating idiomatic dialogue from one language to another. If you translated ‘It’s raining cats and dogs’ word for word into French, for example, it would be absolutely meaningless to a Francophone. (The equivalent French idiom is ‘It’s raining spear-points’.) So there were some knotty issues with understanding what the author wanted to say originally, viewing the English translation, and then fine-tuning those phrases into acceptable vernacular English,

but a peek at the original French text helped work things out.

I should also say that, despite the author being a native Francophone, the proofread of the English script

uncovered fewer mistakes of spelling, grammar and punctuation than I see in the average script written by a native English speaker.  Go, as the Americans are wont to say, figure.

This job is the latest in a line of proofreading / copy-editing jobs I’ve been doing for European scriptwriters, with

recent examples stretching from France and Scandinavia to Hungary. Which is, of course, most excellent.