Month: November 2012

Beauty and the Beast is Bullshit (B&B vs. Shallow Hal)

A 20 minute blog post. In order to up my blogging, I’m going to be dedicating 20 minutes to a subject, not worrying too much about prepping, research or editing, so don’t expect perfection. Beauty and the Beast is bullshit at its core. It also happens to be one of my favorite pre-Pixar Disney movies and I’ll save why for another column. But in the Disney title, which sticks to the original storyline, we see an exploration of theme that real beauty is what is inside of a person. The Beast has been cursed with a hideous appearance and...

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Screenwriting Contest Advice: ENTER EARLY!

I’ve been doing some work for a screenwriting contest. They’re using me to read the material in the advanced rounds and it’s a nice change of pace from consulting directly with writers on scripts. When consulting, I read a script, make notations while reading, write a set of notes up after, then spend about two hours discussing the script with the writer on the phone. Reading for a contest I read the script, write up a few quick paragraphs, fill out some boxes and bam, on to the next–I don’t need to retain anything for later, unlike a consulting project where a writer will say “I wanted to do X” and I’m on my toes, prepped to throw down a response like “but on page 47, you did Y”. Here’s some great advice for those of you looking to enter screenwriting contests: If possible, enter EARLY. The reason to enter early is because you’re up against an abstraction in the reader’s mind: is this script good enough to move forward? And because it’s a contest, the bar here is abstract. When reading a script or book for a producer, I’m asking myself “is there ANY chance this material will sell and if so, why?” It’s an easy call. Seriously. But with a contest, there’s a good chance even the winner won’t rise to the level of something a major...

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