I have four consult slots open in December/January (two in December and two in January) and am making those available at the end of year special consult rate of $499. Please reserve your spot now. Special end of year consult time slots and rates are available on a first come basis. Once consult time slots are reserved and my schedule is full, the end of year special consult rate will no longer be available:
January classes begin January 7, 2020.
Class seating is limited. A writing sample is required.
Register early to reserve your seat: :::REGISTER:::
The Full 2019 Course Roster is available :::HERE:::
I hope to see you in January.
Talking heads is a term that, as I was told in the film school trenches, relates back to the early days of television when news was delivered by a solitary news announcer sitting behind a desk reading news reports to the camera off a sheet of paper.
A solitary individual sitting unmoving on screen talking delivering facts is not very cinematic or visually exciting and if you turn on a news program today, you’ll see all sorts of clips to more exciting footage and visuals playing out to make the news show more entertaining and engaging for viewers. News shows fight for viewers just like every other form of programming out there.
Fast forward to today and “talking heads” in film scripts.
When a writer hires me to review material, it’s important to note, the writer is not paying for the read. I can read a script in an hour. Two hours if the script is too long.
(Too long means 150 pages. Um. Everybody hates you, 150 script pages people. Stop doing that.)
The point is, I’m not getting paid by the hour for the read. I’m getting paid for expertise responding to and analyzing the material. This is an important distinction.
If you just want to pay someone by the hour for the read, well, what’s minimum wage these days? About $12 per hour? Give the script to your mom and write her a check for $24. Done!
At the AEB one year anniversary bash I was a guest speaker at (thank you for inviting me AEB I had a great time) there was a question and answer session after the talk and one question stands out to me.
A woman said she got advice to write a lot of scripts. To have a trunk of scripts. Like, three romantic comedies if she was interested in writing romantic comedies and three scripts for drama if she was interested in writing drama and three –
I’m pretty sure that was headed for three scripts in any genre she ever had an interest in writing at all and I stopped her and said —
You need ONE script.
One of the most injurious words in reviews is “but.”
The characters are wonderful, but –
The story is gripping, but –
The visuals are cinematic, but –
See, here is what the word “but” does in any sentence: It negates any positive statement coming before it. For example:
The original screenwriter’s uniform blog post appears to be lost in the interwebs somewhere (how does this happen?) but it keeps coming up in conversation. (Also, according to fashion experts, white sneakers are back! Whoah. Did not see that coming.)
One thing to keep mind plotting a story is that there is a difference between a primary story goal and tasks protagonists undertake to achieve the primary story goal. For example, looking at the film The Blues Brothers, (1980 starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, written by Dan Aykroyd and John Landis, directed by John Landis), the protagonist goal is to save the orphanage the two leads Jake and Elwood grew up in.
Primary Goal: Save the orphanage.
Major Dramatic Question: Can Jake and Elwood save the orphanage?
To save the orphanage —