Altering History 1000x400

By Luke Warrington

 

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

~Mark Twain

 

I often think about this quote from author and humorist, Mark Twain, whenever I hear someone remark disdainfully about a film, “That’s not how that would happen in real life,” or, “That’s not what being a doctor is really like.” And while they may be correct about the veracity of the representation of said occupation in film and television, they are incorrect in their inherent assumption that the fundamental purpose of what they’ve just seen was to be as accurate to life as possible (looking at you, YouTube channel that just posted yet another video titled “Real Life Lawyer Breaks Down 10 More Scenes From Law & Order”.)

On a fundamental level, the purpose of film and television, at least in Hollywood, is to entertain. The purpose of life, on the other hand, is. . . well, probably something best left for another article! In all seriousness, life is, at the risk of oversimplifying things, chaotic. Things seemingly happen at random every single second of every single day. Whether it’s running into an old schoolmate whom you have not seen in years or getting into a fender bender with the Duke of Boysenberry, things happen randomly to which you have no control. In fact, ironically enough, if often feels as if the more we try to plan, the more random and inexplicable things become.


Screenplay Strange Deviant

By Arik Cohen

You know that pop song that gets stuck in your head?  You know, the one you end up loving despite all your defenses against it?  It’s sort of a lazy song actually, perhaps it’s even bad, but boy is it catchy.  British pop singer Cher Lloyd has a few tracks that I admit I love, even though they are sort of horrible and have titles like “Swagger Jagger”.  I’ve heard people mention “Call Me Maybe” as a song they hate to love.  I would bet every person reading this has a pop song that you absolutely adore, have on a Spotify playlist, have synced onto your ipod, but wouldn't play in front of your significant other until at least ten years into the relationship.

Well, what happens when a script reader comes across the screenplay equivalent to this pop song?

It’s an interesting question.  As a judge in a screenplay competition, it’s my job to give every script a fair shot to impress, so what happens when I subjectively love the ever-loving crap out of a script that I objectively hate?  What happens when a script is sort of terrible, perhaps even lazy, but somehow I still like it?  It happens more than you think.


Secrets of Successful Screenwriters Commitment 1000x400

 

Secrets of Screenwriting #29 - Commitment

Screenwriting is not an easy game. You will be tested every step of the way. It is not a sprint but a marathon, and you must recognize the long game and be in it for the long haul. There are too many distractions, too many exits along the way, for those who get easily distracted to make a quick escape. These opportunities exist to tease and divert us all along away.

To succeed as a screenwriter, you must have a laser-like-focus on your goals and inner-strength to keep going until you exceed them.


Productive Feedback vs Negative Criticism 1000x400

By Arik Cohen

I have an actor friend (in Los Angeles? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!)  Let’s call him Fred.  Now Fred was in a small play in the area, though it was big enough to attract a review from an online LA theater site.  He read the review, and it was positive for the show, but not for him.  Poor Fred got a critical review.  It wasn’t angry, it wasn’t worded as “Fred sucks” or anything like that.  It was all legitimate criticism.  As expected, Fred didn’t take it well.  Fred is a man with a big, delicate ego (in Los Angeles? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!)  He dismissed the fair criticism entirely.  He passed it off as jealousy or envy.  “He’s probably just pissed he didn’t make it as an actor,” Fred claimed, “And he’s taking it out on us actors with the guts to go for what we want.”


Priscilla Davies' "The Power of Three" Takes Gold

Grand Prize Winner Priscilla Davies

HOLLYWOOD, CA.

Priscilla Davies’ Romantic-Comedy THE POWER OF THREE took top honors at the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition it was announced this week, scooping up the 1st place in the Comedy/ Romantic-Comedy Genre and the Grand Prize Award.  

A graduate of the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts acting program, Priscilla toiled as an elementary school teacher in New Jersey before chasing her dreams as an actress and moving to Los Angeles nearly ten years ago.

It was a daring move that proved prescient. Priscilla has worked on several TV series including HBO’s EUPHORIA and the Netflix show THE FIX, as well as national commercials for McDonalds, Uber and Volkswagon. She is currently recognized for her comedy improv work at Hollywood’s Second City and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. 

Selected from nearly 1,400 screenplays, THE POWER THREE is a timely tale of millennial dating in the 21st century. When Lexi can’t get the man of her dreams to commit to their relationship, her close friend introduces her to a dating technique called the Power of Three. Armed with a newfound confidence in her dating life, Lexi ventures out into the dating world to discover that love is not always in the shape that you want or are expecting, but will sometimes find you in less expected forms.


World Building Defining the Rules

By Armaan Uplekar

One of the most foundational elements of any story has to do with the nature of the world that your script takes place within. Whether your screenplay is set on a lunar space colony or on a 17th century pirate ship, it’s your job as a writer to establish the “rules” that make your story possible. On the outset, this might seem like a daunting task — the very term “world building” can sound enormous. And while, yes, world building can sometimes be a sizable undertaking, it will undoubtedly make you a stronger, more confident writer, and equally important, it will make your script feel more cohesive and accessible.


5 Characters Traits of An Awesome Action Hero 2

By Armaan Uplekar

Sarah Connor. Ethan Hunt. James Bond. There’s a deep bench of iconic characters that have helped define and exemplify action cinema for decades. Between preventing nuclear annihilation, rescuing hostages and restoring balance to the universe, these characters have proven themselves to be larger than life while also capturing the imaginations of generations of moviegoers.


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