Video Interview: This One isn’t Just for ‘Beetlejuice’ Fans

This TVWriter™ minion has to proclaim the truth for all to hear:

I am a huge Beetlejuice fan and think y’all should be too!!!

That’s why we’re so delighted to have found the following recent interview with Beetlejuice producer and co-writer Larry Wilson. As we’ve said a time or two before, “Watch and learn, kids. Watch and learn!”

Yeppers, this time we really mean it.

As one of the YouTube commenters put it, “Larry [Wilson] is the friend every screenwriter wants to have.”

To which Larry Brody and TVWriter™ say, “Amen.”

InkTip.Com is More Than Just a Catchy Name

EDITOR’S NOTE: InkTip.Com and TVWriter™ have been associated for almost 20 years, but this is the first time the site has been reviewed here in over a decade. How’s the place holding up? Dawn McElligott tells us all about it:

by Dawn McElligott

From the “About” section at InkTip.Com:

InkTip was born in 2000 after witnessing the difficulties associates and friends in the industry have had in getting exposure for their works, let alone getting their scripts sold. The mission of InkTip.com is threefold:

  • Help the producer easily find a good script
  • Save time for the agent and manager in locating the right people for their clients’ scripts, or new clients
  • Greatly increase exposure for the screenwriter

InkTip seems more to this writer like Q-Tip, since it has a soft touch. Wary of scams but compelled to try a service that connects writers and producers, I registered two screenplays with InkTip at the end of February. As of this writing, the loglines for my works have been viewed 50 times by producers.

To register a script, the writer completes a questionnaire so that InkTip can categorize it for prospective producers. The survey asks about the genre, possible sub-genre, locations, etc. The writer must also be able to supply proof of prior registration with a creative works protection organization such as the Writers Guild of America, in order to list a script or a book on their website, https://www.inktip.com/.

After registering a script, I received an email from InkTip about loglines. The web service has a logline lab that gives practical guidance for a crucial ingredient in marketing: the logline. Writers can easily revise their loglines, synopses and scripts at no extra charge from InkTip.

After eight production companies read my loglines and went no further, I consulted the website’s loglines lab. Revising the logline caused me to re-think the essence of my work. The experience made me feel better prepared for an eventual sales pitch.

If I had a question, I was advised to email the company’s President, Jerrol LeBaron, at jerrol@inktip.com. Within 24 hours, either Jerrol or one of his employees would politely respond to my question. The website does publish a Writers’ Protocol, admonishing writers to first, wait three to six weeks before contacting production companies who’ve viewed their scripts and to do so only by snail-mail letters.

The company also advises writers to contact only those producers who have viewed their books, treatments or scripts. Contacting producers or production companies after a view limited to the logline and/or synopsis, is prohibited.

A non-refunded removal from the website is a published consequence of breaking these rules so writers are encouraged to play nice. As of this writing, at least one producer has assigned my script to a reader. InkTip notified me by email and the producer’s physical address was given.

The website states that viewing scripts is limited to members only and producers hoping to join are thoroughly scrutinized. Two of the criteria for membership as a producer are proof of funds and a perceived ability to make a film.

The website boasts that since its establishment in 2000, over 350 movies have been made through its services. The cost for listing a script is $60 for four months with discounts for multiple listings. The website also offers many other goodies, such as listings of networking events.

Receiving worldwide exposure from vetted producers makes InkTip.com a sound investment. Being treated politely and fairly will keep me coming back.


Dawn McElligott is a an award-winning writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles by way of Philadelphia and other points East. You can learn more about her HERE

TV Keeps On Growing…and Growing – Part 2

Just when you thought there was nothing left for TV to do, here’s another peek at Peak TV, non-fiction style (with one new drama thrown into the mix). Have a look into what Bravo believes America will want to see in the coming months:

Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of Bravo Network – and others

Bravo Expands Originals to 7 Nights With 10 New and 20 Returning Series
by Leslie Goldberg

Bravo is expanding its original programming to seven nights.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network, which recently entered the premium scripted space with anthology Dirty Johnhas handed out series orders to 10 more new shows to join a slate of 20 returning favorites.

Slated to join staples including Vanderpump Rules and the Real Housewives franchise are unscripted fare featuring original Queer Eye stars Thom Filicia and Carson Kressley as well as a spinoff of Married to Medicine. The slate comes as Bravo is fresh off a first quarter where it finished as the No. 5 ad-supported cable network among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic — its best primetime showing yet — and the top cable network among women 18-49 and 25-54.

“Our brand offers a unique environment for our viewers to escape with drama that is fun and funny, yet far from their normal reality,” said Jerry Leo, executive vp program strategy, lifestyle networks and production at Bravo. “By doubling down on noisy formats and big characters, expanding our lifestyle programming in the design and home space, and offering seven nights a week of originals, we’ll be able to serve our fans more of what they crave while also attracting new viewers with our wide scope of programming.”

The 10 new series join a slate that also includes Married to Medicine, Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Don’t Be Tardy, Flipping Out, Shahs of Sunset, Southern Charm (and its Savannah spinoff), Million Dollar Listing New York, theReal Housewives franchise (with series set in Atlanta; New York; Beverly Hills; Orange County, California; New Jersey; Potomac, Maryland and Dallas), Below Deck Mediterranean, Watch What Happens Live, Top Chef and scripted drama Imposters and anthology Dirty John, the latter starring Connie Britton and Eric Bana.

Here’s a look at the 10 new series coming to Bravo (premiere dates have not been determined):

 

Read it all at HollywoodReporter.Com

TV Keeps On Growing…and Growing – Part 1

Just when you thought there was nothing left for TV to do, here’s a peek at Peak TV, non-fiction style. Have a look into what CNN believes America will want to see in the coming months:

CNN head honcho Jeff Zucker

On Wednesday, CNN announced plans for six new original series next year, including shows about former President Richard Nixon and the Bush family.

One of the six is a four-part show, American Style, produced by Vox Media’s programming division, Vox Entertainment. The show “examines how America’s changing style through the decades has mirrored the political, social, and economic climate of the time, shaping our unique American identity,” and represents a high-profile offering for the digital media company’s linear programming ambitions.

Longtime CNN fixture Dr. Sanjay Gupta is slated for a six-part travel series called Chasing Life With Sanjay Gupta.

The other shows on tap include Tricky Dick, a four-part show on Nixon, and a new edition of the American Dynasties series that will focus on “the Bush family’s complex internal dynamics, fraternal rivalries, influential matriarchs and extreme competitive spirit.”

The network also announced plans for Once in a Great City: Detroit 1962-64 and an eight-part show called The Redemption Project that will bring together the victims and perpetrators of “life-altering” crimes.

CNN Original shows Parts Unknown, United Shades of America With W. Kamau Bell, This Is Life With Lisa Ling, The History of Comedy and Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies are also returning for additional seasons.

While CNN’s news programming and relentless coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency (and the scandals that have emerged from it) dominate the network’s airwaves, original entertainment programming is still a big part of the network’s strategy, the company has said….

Read it all at HollywoodReporter.Com

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 20

by Larry Brody

Over the past several weeks I’ve posted the scripts for Season 2 Episodes 1 through 6 of the FoxKids Network The Silver Surfer animated series I ran for those who wondered what all of us involved in the show back in 1998 intended to come if we hadn’t been cancelled.

Today it’s the turn of Season 2 Episode 7, Down to Earth: Part Two.  This one never got beyond “First Draft,” status because the possibility of the series returning was becoming dimmer. It’s dated May 4, 1998 and continues the the Surfer’s, um, “misunderstanding” with The Fantastic Four.

Let the battle continue!

PREVIOUS SEASON TWO EPISODES:

THE END OF ETERNITY: PART TWO

SOUL HUNTER: PART ONE

SOUL HUNTER: PART TWO

REBIRTH

THE HUNGER

DOWN TO EARTH: PART ONE


NOTE: If you’re new to TVWriter™ and/or to the original animated SS series, you have some backstory to catch up on. Fortunately, TVWriter™ just happens to have a section dedicated to The Silver Surfer. To reach it, CLICK HERE!

And now it’s time for:


THE SILVER SURFER

DOWN TO EARTH: PART TWO

(formerly HOME ALONE: PART TWO)

(#2147-20)

WRITTEN BY
LARRY BRODY

FIRST DRAFT
MAY 4, 1998

THE SILVER SURFER

“DOWN TO EARTH: PART TWO”

TEASER

FADE IN:

EXT. DEEP SPACE

As THE OUTLINE OF THE WATCHER RIPPLES INTO EXISTENCE against
the velvety background of space. He regards US gravely.

THE WATCHER
I am the Watcher, observer of all
events of import in the cosmos…

As he talks, the Watcher turns his head to look at something,
O.S. We ANGLE WITH his gaze.

THE WATCHER
(continuing)
Now must I take notice of what
transpires on a small planet in
what its inhabitants call the
Milky Way galaxy…

Now we FIND:

EXT. SPACE OVER THE PLANET EARTH – (BEGINNING RECAP)

As the SILVER SURFER and NOVA reach it. (NOTE: All SHOTS in
this sequence are all-new animation of events in #2147-19.)

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
When the Silver Surfer agreed to
accompany Nova, the former herald
of Galactus, to this world, known
as Earth…

The Surfer and Nova start downward, into the atmosphere.

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
(continuing)
He hoped to gain a respite from
the burden of responsibility he
felt for the universe he truly had
created…

EXT. EARTH – HIGH IN THE SKY – NIGHT

As the FANTASTIC FOUR wing to the attack, the HUMAN TORCH
flying alone, MR. FANTASTIC, THE THING, and THE INVISIBLE
WOMAN in the FANTASTICAR.

BRODY SILVER SURFER 2147-20 FIRST DRAFT 05/04/98
2.

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
Instead, however, he and Nova
found themselves under attack…

The battle begins!

THE WATCHER (O.S.)
(continuing)
By a group of cosmic-powered Earth
beings called the Fantastic
Four…!

READ THE ENTIRE SCRIPT HERE

Mistakes Too Many New Screenwriters Make

That’s right, genius, we’re talking to you. Listen up:

Thanks to Film Courage and Eric Edson!

FILM COURAGE

BUY THE BOOK
THE STORY SOLUTION: 23 Actions All Great Heroes Must Take

 MORE VIDEOS WITH ERIC EDSON

Peggy Bechko on Writing: To Backstory or Not to Backstory

by Peggy Bechko

Okay folks, this time around we’re going to talk about Backstory…or not, your choice. If you’re not

A nice, simple backstory to put things into perspective, yeah?

interested you can skip away, and I know you will.

But, for the interested, here’s the facts. First, we, as writers, love to get into the story, we love the detail in our heads and all the little things that make our characters tick and the story move. And, we’re often told as we learn writing that backstory is vital.

Well, sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not.

Basically here’s what backstory is: “As a literary device backstory is often employed to lend depth or believability to the main story. The usefulness of having a dramatic revelation was recognized by Aristotle, in Poetics.

Backstories are usually revealed, partially or in full, chronologically or otherwise, as the main narrative unfolds. However, a story creator may also create portions of a backstory or even an entire backstory that is solely for their own use.

Backstory may be revealed by various means, including flashbacks, dialogue, direct narration, summary, recollection, and exposition.”

Got all that? Okay so what does that mean, really? In plain speak backstory is that vital information that lends oomph to the main story.

So, how do we determine whether to include it or not. Seems like it should always be included, right? Wrong. Backstory information can be overwhelming to the point of smothering the main story if the writer isn’t adept.

Think about this. Whatever scene you’re writing, whether in novel or script – does that backstory tie directly into the action of the scene you’re creating? Backstory is everything that happened to the characters and world in your story before you brought the readers in to experience that world.

But, if your readers (or watchers) don’t need the information to go deeper into the tale and experience what is truly at stake, then it’s not needed. At least not in that scene.

There are basically two main ways to plug some backstory into your tale. It can be slipped in, little by little, revealed as the story moves on. It can also be simply explained outright leaving no doubt you’re plugging in some backstory to enlighten the movie goer or the novel reader.

These two main methods are very different and create very different effects in a story. As in a movie, if the watcher learns gradually about what’s happened to the characters before, it adds to a slow understanding of what underlies the characters motives for doing what he does.

If the backstory is laid out as so much information, telling the reader (if in a novel) what happened and how the character was effected by it or the world changed, it can jerk the reader out of his reader’s trance (the same in a movie).

Even so, both methods can, and have been used effectively. It’s up to us as writers to determine the best way of delivering backstory…and deciding if it’s appropriate and where.

And that brings us to another ‘qualifier’. Ask yourself, if the information is left out, will this particular scene be much less. Will it leave your reader or movie goer wondering just why the heck someone did or did not do something and why the world you’ve created is what it is?

Tricky.

True.

But considering backstory in your novel or script, and taking time to decide how to use it wisely will result in a gripping tale not to be forgotten. It’s one of those ‘underpinning thing’ that simply can’t be ignored.


Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.

Top TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – April 16, 2018

Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are:

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

LB: Untold Tales of the Animated SILVER SURFER TV Series Ep. 19 Teleplay

RIP Steven Bochco

Diana Vacc finally sees “Pitch Perfect 3”

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Logline

PEOPLE’S PILOT Writing Contest

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

The Outline/Story

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Bri Castellini: I Don’t Have Hobbies – @brisownworld

Who is this strangely masked, erm, being?

by Bri Castellini

In an attempt to make the laziest possible vlog, I asked Twitter for questions I could answer. 

One question I wanted to expand on was from my pal Amanda Taylor, who asked if I had any hobbies that I do strictly for fun, referencing the fact that for most people making movies/videos/writing weren’t a part of a larger scheme to get wildly famous and do them full time for lots of money. It legitimately took me a while to answer that question, because on the surface it really doesn’t seem like I have any “real” hobbies. I am, as you’ve likely discovered, very boring.

I couldn’t even consider watching TV shows a hobby, because even though I do it a lot and technically I’ll never be paid to do that, I’m always analyzing shows I watch for structure and themes and seeing what they’re doing that I could be doing better in my own work. To be honest, watching TV has gotten a little exhausting because I can’t turn that part of my brain off anymore. I’m always scanning for continuity issues, for where cuts take place and why they take place where they do, and if the writing or characters are problematic in any way. Becoming a filmmaker and a feminist have ruined my ability to casually enjoy watching things and there are times when I very much wish I was still ignorant.

I don’t consider “hanging out with friends” a hobby and besides, I rarely do it outside of work or networking anymore. Half the reason I’m always scheduling shoots is to see the people I love because otherwise we’re all too busy with OTHER shoots and projects and work. If I didn’t live with Quinn, I’d barely see him at all, and even now we often miss each other due to my work and creative schedule.

Crafting/crocheting could count, but I only really do that when it’s wintertime and Christmas and birthday season is upon me, because I have like ten years worth of yarn built up I can make hats and crocheted trinkets as gifts. That’s not for fun, but function, so crocheting is out as well.

That leaves the only real hobby I have left…

Video games.

It’s weird- though my brother and I played a lot of video games as kids, I never really considered myself a gamer. I considered myself a misanthrope. We used to play the podracer and Harry Potter PC games together, and then later Super Smash Bros on the Game Cube, and I had a Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advanced mostly for car trips, and for a while I had a flirtation with Runescape, but none of those things ever felt central to my relaxation or identity. They were just things I did to pass the time outside of reading and writing and playing sports and going to school.

Now, video games are truly the only time I’m not multitasking. Since I don’t have cable, I watch TV/movies on my laptop, which means I can leave the tab playing while I browse Twitter or Tumblr or check emails or send out press releases. Even while I’m crocheting and watching something I take breaks for email and social media, all of which are not for personal reasons but to keep up with my creative projects.

Playing video games doesn’t allow me to do that, because my hands are busy with the controller and my eyes and mind are busy with the screen, anticipating enemy movement or building a dope homestead on an island west of post-apocalyptic Boston. Depending on how familiar I am with the game, I might also be listening to a podcast, but usually it’s just me and the adventure.

I almost exclusively play open world games, because I’m easily frustrated by not being allowed to forge my own paths to my destination and having to follow a single storyline. I like being able to peel off from the plot to massacre some raiders or spend twelve hours building a mansion for myself and my twelve dogs. My favorite game of all time is Fallout 4, which Quinn got me for my birthday back in 2015, but close behind are Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed: Origins. I played all the way through Dishonored, another Bethesda game (the developer behind Fallout and Skyrim), but it’s not as open as the other games and being stuck in a single quest was really annoying. It was a shorter game which helped me complete it, but overall it’s not an experience I’m likely to repeat.

I like that I can’t multitask during games- it keeps me present and actually allows me to relax (even if the game itself is tense). Never thought I’d end up being someone who plays video games as much as I do, but I’m grateful for the role it plays in my life.

Now, Bethesda, for the love of GOD stop coming out with crappy VR versions of 7 year old games and just give us a new Elder Scrolls already.


Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Liaison at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch Bri’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE This post first appeared on her seriously cool blog.

Why Isn’t There A Word For That?

More of that crazy, zany word stuff that only scholars, geeks and – aw, you guessed – writers care about. That’s right, boys and girls (and scholars, geeks, and writers) we’re talking about words!

More about Arika, YouTube’s Patron Saint of Wordsmiths