» Posts Tagged ‘screenplay’

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Film Independent Screenwriters LabAre you a screenwriter living in Los Angeles? Do you have a finished screenplay that could use feedback from professional screenwriters to get it into top shape? Then you should consider applying to the Film Independent Screenwriting Lab. Fellows in this 5-week program meet twice a week in September and October to get feedback on their scripts from a Lab Mentor, outside advisors and other Fellows. So, if you meet the criteria above, make sure to get your application into Film Independent by May 5, 2014. Check out more details about the fellowship and online application process below. More »

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BAFTAHeroes are fallible. Even superheroes must have their faults and weaknesses, and the screenwriters behind some of the most memorable portrayals of comic book heroes and real life heroes in recent years are certainly far from perfect. Yet, two long-time screenwriters, David S. Goyer and Susannah Grant, have both battled failures as writers to give us memorable scripts with complex heroes, whether pulled from comic books or ripped from the headlines. Thanks to the BAFTA Screenwriter Lecture series, both Goyer and Grant share their experiences as screenwriters with the rest of us so we can learn how to overcome our own obstacles to create memorable film heroes. More »

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Richard Kelly Austin Film Festival Donnie Darko Script to Screen 3
For me, Donnie Darko is one of those films that needs to be found. Its Sundance premiere didn’t exactly set off fireworks and its subsequent theatrical release in the U.S. in the fall of 2001 was quiet. Thanks to DVD (and a healthy theatrical debut in the UK), though, many people did eventually find this debut feature film from writer/director Richard Kelly, turning it into a cult classic. But even after watching the film, you feel like you are still discovering exactly what Donnie Darko is. So, you turn to the Director’s Cut to find more. For me, I did find more — more questions and even more intriguing themes. Thankfully, all these years later, I had the good fortune to spend almost two hours in conversation with Kelly, watching clips from both the original and director’s cut of Donnie Darko, in front of a live audience during a Script-to-Screen panel at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. Here are just a few of the lessons we learned from Kelly about his experiences with his enigmatic first feature. More »

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WriterDuet Outliner 1Note cards and cork boards may be the most ubiquitous outlining tools among screenwriters. Together, they’re simple, they’re visual, they’re movable. In short, they work. Now, what if you collaborate with another screenwriter in another time zone? Or even just on the other side of town? How’s that note card covered cork board working for your collaboration? Maybe you like to work on your own in the coffee shop down the street. I bet everybody loves it when you drag your cork board through the door. Now, thanks to WriterDuet, the online collaborative screenwriting app, we have an intuitive outlining tool that you can share in real-time with your writing partner — or use solo, if that’s how you write. And WriterDuet is still free. More »

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Veronica Mars movie Rob Thomas OnStory Austin Film FestivalExactly one year and a day since launching the Kickstarter campaign that raised $2 million in twelve hours and ultimately raised over $5.7 million in 30 days, the Veronica Mars movie hits the big screen day-and-date with its VOD digital distribution. While Veronica Mars changed who uses Kickstarter to fund films and introduced many new people to the crowdfunding platform, series creator and film writer/director Rob Thomas explains that this movie simply would not have happened without the crowdfunding support of its ardent fans. Now with the film’s release, OnStory TV from Austin Film Festival provides an in-depth interview with Thomas to learn how he, Kristen Bell, and their collaborators solved the mystery of how to make the Veronica Mars movie. More »

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theOffice 6-month FellowshipAs screenwriters, we all have to find places to write. Some are lucky enough to have an office in their own homes. Many of us find ourselves at the local coffee shop, enjoying the caffeine, avoiding the free wi-fi and ignoring (or absorbing) the chatter. We’ve all picked up a sixth sense for identifying an available power outlet in the most unlikely locations. If you are a new writer living in LA and you are looking for a quiet place designed specifically for writers to write, then you should apply for a free 6-month fellowship from theOffice. Oh, and the application fee? That’s free, too. Learn more about theOffice and get details about the 6-month fellowship below. More »

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Weekend Read iPhone script reader app Quote-UnquoteHave you ever tried to read a screenplay on your iPhone? It’s awful. You struggle with pinch and zoom in a vain attempt to read the stupid thing. The iPhone just isn’t meant to read screenplays. Or is it? Thanks to Weekend Read, a new iPhone app from Quote-Unquote Apps, screenplays now actually look good on your iPhone. In fact, the next time you’re stuck in line or riding the subway to work, you may actually want to read a screenplay on your iPhone with Weekend Read. And it’s free. More »

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15th Story Beat More Lessons Learned from CENTS Kickstarter
If my research of Kickstarter campaigns for film and video taught me anything, I learned the final days of most successful campaigns are wild rides. The Kickstarter for my upcoming feature film CENTS was no exception. Near the end of our Kickstarter, I shared lessons learned from the 15 story beats of our campaign, but since our campaign wasn’t finished, the 15th story beat had yet to be written. Now that our Kickstarter is done, allow me to take you behind the scenes of our final week to share more lessons learned from the exciting conclusion of our crowdfunding campaign. More »

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Black List TNT TBS Partnership New WritersI was a little busy last week, so we’re a bit behind on this announcement. In case you missed it, on Feb. 3, Time Warner announced a partnership with The Black List to find new writers for TNT and TBS in an effort to increase diversity. Considering The Black List already has a diversity initiative partnership with Warner Bros. for new feature film screenwriters, this announcement is a natural progression in the relationship between The Black List and Time Warner. The agreement should also draw attention to The Black List’s recent expansion into hosting original television pilots. Got a spec pilot script? Find out how you can opt into this new opportunity on The Black List. More »

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Sammy calculus in stall

For over three weeks, I have been fully immersed in one of the best adventures of my filmmaking career: the Kickstarter campaign for my first feature film, CENTS. Running this Kickstarter has been a full-time job with so many unexpected twists and turns, you wonder who exactly is writing this script. One of the best parts about running a Kickstarter campaign is reconnecting with old friends and finding out that they will not only back your project, but they will pick you up with their words of encouragement. I have really enjoyed answering all of their questions about the film and the Kickstarter in particular. So I wanted to take this moment to share with you, the NFS audience, what I have learned so far from the 15 story beats of my CENTS Kickstarter. More »

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Frozen screenplay Jennifer Lee ScriptNotes v2As a father with two young kids, I see almost every single animated movie that hits theatres. Thankfully, I skipped out on The Smurfs 2. So when I saw Frozen with my kids on Saturday afternoon of opening weekend in a packed theatre, I was thoroughly in awe. Somehow, Disney had managed to publicize a movie for months and never reveal it was a musical. It’s a really good musical, too, taking story risks not typically seen in Disney animated films. Now as screenwriters, we get an excellent opportunity to hear writer and co-director Jennifer Lee break down the entire creative process and screenplay of Frozen on the latest episode of ScriptNotes. More »

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I'll See You in My Dreams Kickstarter Brett HaleyFinding an American film with a female protagonist in her 70s is a rarity these days. Now, discovering an American film with a female protagonist in her 70s in a relationship with a much younger man — that’s essentially unheard of. Yet, as I run my Kickstarter campaign, that’s exactly what I discovered in one of my neighbors, I’ll See You In My Dreams. After watching the pitch video and backing the project, I reached out to co-writer and director Brett Haley to learn more about his inspiration for the story, how attached actors Blythe Danner and Martin Starr have affected the script, and what he learned about his story after interviewing people in their golden years for his Kickstarter pitch video. More »

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American Hustle ScreenplayHere at NFS, we have posted links to several award-contending screenplays for free, legal download for your consideration. We’ve even highlighted half a dozen 2014 Oscar-nominated screenplays that are available for you to download and read. Now that awards season is rapidly approaching the final big show, we expect a few more Oscar-nominated screenplays to appear online from the studios. As proof, you can now download and read the screenplay to American Hustle, thanks to Sony Pictures. More »

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Norman Kickstarter still 1

When you launch a Kickstarter campaign and track its position on Kickstarter’s Discover page, you quickly realize you have Kickstarter neighbors. These are campaigns that launched around the same time as yours or happen to share the same popularity rating. Of course, I love checking out Kickstarter campaigns for films, and soon my Kickstarter neighbor Norman captivated me. After backing the project to help writer/director Joel Guelzo get funding to finish the film’s VFX, I realized his DIY feature project would resonate with the NFS audience. So, I asked Joel a few questions. Check out our interview below to hear Joel tell us the background of his sci-fi labor of love, Norman. More »

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Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Oscar nominated screenplaysThe nominations for the 2014 Oscars came out earlier today. Over the past several months, we have been sharing screenplays that you can download legally for free for your consideration. After today’s announcement, you can now download and read 6 of the Oscar-nominated screenplays for this year’s awards (and we wouldn’t be surprised to find more contenders making their screenplays available online in the coming weeks, so stay tuned). For now, check out the list below of screenplays up for Oscar gold, now available for your consideration. We’ve also got the full list of Academy nods below. More »

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The Black List 2014 Writers CalendarThe beginning of each year seems to be a good time for screenwriters to get motivated for the year ahead. You may have 8 somewhat unusual screenwriting resolutions. You may have 6 things you’re doing to write the best screenplay ever this year. Or maybe just 1 thing. Whatever it is, staying motivated is one of the keys to screenwriting. To give you actual goals and deadlines, The Black List has unveiled its 2014 Writer’s Calendar for screenwriters — a living document available online in HTML as well as for your Google Calendar and iCal. More »

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CENTS - Kickstarter image v2 KS logo black
Last January, I posted 6 things I was going to do to write my best screenplay ever in 2013. I even reviewed my progress midway through the year. Did I achieve my goal? I guess that’s subjective. Am I satisfied? Never. So, this year, I am doing only 1 thing to write my best screenplay ever: I’m going to make my first feature film. Here’s why making my first feature film will help me write my best screenplay ever. More »

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Final Draft 9 Now AvailableSeveral screenwriting software alternatives have arrived on the market in recent years to challenge Final Draft as the industry standard – or simply to improve upon its shortcomings. Despite its position as the top-selling screenwriting software, Final Draft seems to be playing catch up in certain areas. Now that Final Draft Writer for iPad has been available for quite some time, Final Draft 9 for Mac and Windows has arrived with a new look and new features. Many of these new features are welcome additions to Final Draft, but some new features will look familiar to screenwriters who have sought out alternatives to accomplish certain screenwriting tasks. With this new release, you can now save over 30% off the list price on Final Draft 9 at The Writers Store until Jan. 31. More »

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A Conversation with Jeff Nichols AFF part two
Today, we present the second part of the two-part conversation I had with writer/director Jeff Nichols (MudTake Shelter, Shotgun Stories) in front of a live audience at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part One of the conversation in which Nichols discussed the origin of his characters, the thematic elements of his films, and lessons learned from directing that impact his writing. In the second part of the conversation, Nichols elaborates on how he chooses his characters’ names, the importance of settings and characters’ professions, his relationship with actor Michael Shannon, and the pacing of his films. More »

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A Conversation with Jeff Nichols AFF
Back in October, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with writer/director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take ShelterShotgun Stories) in front of a live audience at the 20th Austin Film Festival & Conference. During our hour-long conversation, Nichols generously shared many details of his writing and directing processes, including the origins of his characters, the progression of his career as a storyteller, the importance of a story’s setting and a character’s profession, and the deliberate pacing of his films, plus much more. Thanks to the Austin Film Festival, we present this conversation with Jeff Nichols in two parts, the first of four AFF panel discussions we will be sharing over the coming weeks. More »