Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm back

I've been abstinent from writing on my blog and scripts for a little more than a month. I wasn't doing too well. But now I feel all the energy coming back and ready for a whole bunch of writing sessions.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

First page of a first draft

Well this idea came from Deborah in one of her replies to her One Page contest contribution. She suggested somebody may post the first page of a first draft so everybody can see how much we suck. Anyway I thought "why not?" and did it. I wrote this in a few minutes, with some input with a friend of mine. No rewrites, no corrections, just what I wrote from first line on.

Here it is:



I know, I know. I'm crazy. The premise is all in the first page and everybody can steal it. Go on, steal it. I've written this page just before in a few minutes. Just some ideas I punched out and written in the first page. Have fun!

Friday, September 29, 2006

One Page...

So, I'm just reading the blogs and as usual I check out Unk's blog. He refers to Red Right Hand's One Page challenge. I'm in it!

Just no setup and no explanation. Just one page from one of your scripts.

Here it goes:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It Never Ends!

Yeah, yeah! I know there is a third progress bar already. No, I'm not writing three scripts at the same time. As you can see the other two are on hold. I got stuck with both of them and need some time off to get distance and some fresh ideas. Meanwhile I just prepare for another story. It's the story that was inspired by the "Goodbye My Lover" music video.

Does it look like I'm trying to escape from actually finishing my scripts? Yes, it looks like that. And honestly, it is true. It takes me forever to finish something. Anyway, I just keep going...

I haven't posted and updated much the last few weeks. I will do by the end of the month.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Goodbye My Lover

This post is inspired by a May 06 post from The Breaths We Take. It inspired me to finish a script. A script I thought would make very much trouble in the next few months. It only took me two days to solve the entire plot. She added this video to her posting. Enjoy!

Carlito's Way

This is the end sequence with credits of Brian De Palma's masterpiece. I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it. Great voice over.




EDIT: Since the above video was taken off from Youtube, I post two videos here below. The first one is the ending scene and the second one is the beautiful end credits.



Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Big Finish

This post is inspired by Terry Rossio's column at Wordplayer.com .

I wanted to give some additional notes on my personal experience to it. I agree with Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot that the ending is by far the most difficult part to come up with when you want to satisfy your audience.

I've been struggling for numerous times with an ending that makes the entire story/plot worthwile and satisfying. I never had a problem to come up with a great ending for my short scripts. They came up fast enough (usually after two or three weeks within the initial start of the script). But then for a feature length script it gets harder somehow. I guess it's the complexity you invest in a 100 page script. There are far too many characters and far too many emotions and motivations to oversee to keep track of.

With my latest two scripts (Shadows in the Sun / Friday, Last Night) I've come to a point where everything is clear except for the ending. They may be good enough for a mediocre script but ultimately not satisfying enough. Somehow you have to have a feeling it is satisfying for you as a writer as it is as a reader. I always felt things are missing.

In Shadows in the Sun I don't know the motivation of my antagonist. There is one but it is not enough. It seems too superficial.

The problem I face is basically what I believe most writers face: You have the first act perfectly executed. The second well done. The third act is coming but now you know everything has to come up to point where it all makes sense without the audience to anticipate it like a "same old story" thing.

For one part it lies in your writing. For another part it lies within your ability to step back and see what the audience will see.

It's a process you need to go through. Over and over.

Let's take an example from The Usual Suspects. If the writers wouldn't have put enough thought into their script it normally would've become a "cheater plot". It didn't. Tho in my opinion to a part it is. But it's so well executed you don't even realize what really is happening until you see "Kobayashi Porcelain" on the ground and how Chazz Palmiteri looks with the greatest surprise in his face on it. It's pure cinema. Great writing, great cinematography, great score, great acting, everything is perfect.

But you can't count on everything but only your writing. It's like a lightning strucks you one night and you realize you got it. Write it down.

I'm a firm believer of fast endings. Don't go for it too long. Don't set up things. Just go for it. Whenever you have the chance, end the script. You can always add a paragraph or two into your second act or even your first. But when it comes to the solution. When it comes to the end. Make it as quick and as compressed as possible. Like a poem. The audience will understand. And they will be in awe.

My point is actually this: Study poem. It's the art of screenwriting! Involve as much information as possible in your script as you can in only a few pages. Character motivation, storyline, emotions that arise from a few facial expression or better visual action.

Try to write a poem about your script story. Or even better write a poem about your third act. You know you probably got only roughly 20-30 pages for your third act. Write a poem and you will know if it works.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

additional notes!

No matter if you write about a submarine or outer space experience. You may have no experience with it. Just research it. At the times of internet and ulimited access to information, you can do anything. Research. You are part of it. No need to experience it first hand. My first short story that went beyond 30 pages was about WWII. I had no real idea about the wars in the desert of Africa. But I wrote it. I was 15 years old. I still wrote it. I did it because I had something to tell. No need to be very clear about any infos or construction of a "Spitfire" or a "Messerschmitt". You just need to stell a compelling story! Stoy that grabs an audience! Even if it's just you!

The thing with writing is...

When you write, you don't really do write. You tell a story. Most of us have to stop with the notion of "I am writing". You actually compose instead of writing, you tell. Whatever technique you use. Three-act tecnique or a freelance style, it doesn't matter. The story you write must touch you. One way or another. You are part of the audience. You are the audience.

No one gives a shit about a script that has no heart and soul. It must be part of you. What you experienced, part what you would like to experience, who you are, who they are... everything you know. Don't be afraid. It's a screenplay. Your real-life encounters are not interesting as long as they are not in your script. It's up to you! Who ever could've thought that talking about what a quarter pounder of cheese is been called in netherlands, is a funny and interesting topic? That's real life! At least Tarantino reality!

It doesn't mean you should write the neverending story of "a writer comes to LA and doesn't know how to handle it". That's crap. Take the nuances of your life. Everyday life and pick up the interesteing parts. What do you think Larry David does? He makes comedy out of our lifes! And we pay for it!

What I am saying is: Basically just try to do what you know. Write every single crap you know. Dismiss it after you wrote it. But write it. Don't get stuck by little bullshit on page 7 or 11l. Just finish your script. It's much more important to have a first draft then having 10 pages of nothing.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

just wanna share this

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

You have to do it

Just for notice. If you want to make to Hollywood! Get the numbers right! Everyone is writing a script! Do you think you can write the next blockbuster? No, you can't! I say so not because I am a cynic. It's because the competition. Everyone has a script. You write a shit, chances are somebody else has already written it. Heck, chances are that person registered it at WGAw. Just write the best you can. Write for years. Write for your life. I mean it.

Hollywood pays more then a half a billion for story rights every single year. They want the next Titanic or Lord of the Rings orJerry Maguire. Things are not easy for the people who decide to put one or two hundred millions into your production.

Just do it. Nike says so. So should you. Make it. I'll prove it to you!

Glamour is about to come

I have 18 pages of my new horror script. It's doing quite well tho I haven't worked on it for the last 4 days. My computer was at my friends place where he fixed it. I was worried about my harddrive for a while. My scripts were on it. I haven't made a backup in a while (bad habit).

So I got my computer and my files back yesterday. I printed out my pages for some rework and feel like to write another 20 pages in the next 2 days. I am full of energy.

I'm still drinking a lot. It feels good. I have more confidence in this story then in my previous spec script "Shadows in the Sun".

I've written the first half of my first act. It sounds fun to me. It's a horror/comedy/drama. It's a bit a mixup of some strange scary funny dramatic movie.

When I finished this and "Shadows" I will show it to people around town and everywhere. Since I live in Switzerland this is a bit of a different story. I will first of all send it to some people for some professonial advice and after their comments and my corrections and thoughts I will send this script first of all to Arthur Cohn. Many of you might know his name from his many times academy award winning movies. He lives in Basel (Switzerland) and I think my writing has enough quality to have him recognize my talent.

By the end of the year '06 I think I will make my breakthrough. I want it. It's not like I am a first time writer. I've been writing the last eight years of my life. I think and I believe I have the game. Just for example I've been writing on my revenge story the last 6 years. It has developed into a great epic scale short. I am very critical of my work.

I will tell you when I got my scripts out to producers. Will be a quite interesting experience!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

You are too late!

So, I'm watching the world cup and drinking a lot of beers and get stressed (Switzerland and England both lost). Sometimes I write on my screenplay and stumble across a few "minor" problems like the antagonist having NO MOTIVATION. It's killing me. But that is of course not enough as you can read below.

I browse the IMDB and out of nowhere find something that makes me mad! As I stated in my first post my storie's title is Shadows in the Sun. I like that title. I made it up by myself. It fits the storie's mood and there is even a monologue with that line. So, I see on the front page of IMDB that there is a movie called The Shadow Dancer (2005). I just click on it and read more about the movie and find this out: aka Shadows in the Sun. I first can't believe it.

Why? Why do movies have to have more then one title in the same language!? It doesn't make sense to me! Is "The Shadow Dancer" not enough? How about "Shadow Dancer in the Sun"! I just made one title out of two and it sounds even better now! More dramatic! Stick to one title!

Do I have to change my title? I don't think so. But still, it makes you feel like you just don't have that unique cool title anymore. Not that it was so original. It just felt so right for my story. Still does.

P.S. Only a few days until my exams. I really need to study French and Math now or else...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Late

It's been a while since my last post. It's WorldCup time in Germany. I watch a lot of games, drink a lot of beer and shut down my brain.

Ok, I admit. I got stuck. I haven't even written that much. Out of nowhere, as usual, problems with storyline, character motivation and just about everything imaginable arise. Just to stop me. To make me mad, insane.

But I have the football matches on TV. It saves me. For now until July 9th.

Cheers!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Woha!

I've been strolling around countless screenwriter's blogs last couple weeks and I have to say I got so many information I can't even grasp the amount of what I learned thus far.

It all started about eight years ago when I bought my very first book on the subject of screenwriting called Opening the Doors to Hollywood: How to Sell Your Idea, Story, Screenplay, Manuscript by Carlos de Abreu and Howard Jay Smith. From then on I read more then a dozen different screenwriting books and thanks to internet I read a lot of produced and unproduced screenplays. I sometimes pick them up to read thru and remind myself of structure, plot and other tips.

So, last month I went to Max Adam's forum, after reading her book The Screenwriter's Survival Guide, to see what other writer's do in their spare time. Someone posted a link to the hilarious blog of Josh Friedman. I got hooked immediatly. It's funny and insightful. From there on I started to read Alligators in a Helicopter to Artful Writer and many many more blogs.

Now in the middle of my current script I'm more confident, more enthusiastic and more excited to go on. I'm more confident because some issues about script format and style are solved for me. I no more wonder if certain formatting styles are outdated or if I missed something important. I'm more enthusiastic because of the new tips and tools I found and make good use of them. I'm more excited because I know the endproduct will be at least 100% better then it would've been without all these infos.

It probably sounds like the books and scripts didn't serve me too well. It's not true. If I hadn't read them and wasn't writing for years I would have probably not gained as much from the blogs as I do now. I started with a great solid groundwork. Build your fundament and you will advance step by step much easier.

Well, basically, I just wanted to express my joy of being able to write AND improve constantly and have a feeling to know that I'm not alone in this world trying to write a damn great story.

To all of you out there. Thank you!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Beginning...

Well, finally I decided to start a blog like everyone else does. Just about one or two weeks ago I realized blogs are addictive. So instead of reading them all day, I figured, I could write some myself too.

I'm a lazy guy. And I write scripts. And make movies. Just no money.

Currently I'm working on a feature length script called "Shadows in the Sun". Was sitting around and thinking about this story for months and couldn't advance beyond page fifteen. Just yesterday I cracked the story. I pushed the right buttons. I was happy.

I wrote down everything relevant about the story that I just cracked. And started to write. I wrote two pages and stopped. I was too happy to write. I had an open bottle of wine that needed to be finished. I went on to read some more blogs until it was time to go to bed.

Yes, I am happy now. Page count right now is 19. Will get to page 26 tonight. Will finish first draft very soon.