The Best Advice Ever for New Filmmakers

Now this is what we call “breaking in!”

Speaking of animated web series (like the one in the article below), we came across this on one of TVWriter™’s favorite websites, Wordplayer.Com. A solid tip on getting your work produced the way you want it to be produced, from Terry Rossio:

On the Wordplay message boards, one of our contributors, Tom Scott, put it best.
“The truth is, there’s no ladder to climb,” Tom said. “There is no gate, nor are there gatekeepers. There are only those who are making movies and those who aren’t. The professional eyes browsing your work on Inktip are in the same boat you’re in. But my friend who taught himself animation, made a short, put it online and got a movie deal is in the same boat as Neill Blomkamp, Quentin Tarantino and James Cameron.”
“That’s the boat you want to be in,” Tom concluded. “And there’s plenty of room for anyone who ever wants to climb on board.”

Read it all at Wordplay

Doug Snauffer’s Short Takes: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

by Douglas Snauffer

Saw WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES last weekend — and loved it.

Although, as I sat there watching the movie for 2 hours and 20 minutes, I had to doubt its appeal to today’s younger crowd (ages 18-25).

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES is a writer’s delight in that it’s totally character-driven. Dialog matters in this film – a lot – while the action scenes this time around are extremely limited right up to and including the end.

In other words, it could be described as ‘slow-moving’ by young moviegoers more accustomed to the all-out CGI apocalypses so common in today’s tent pole extravaganzas. The kind of movie I love, but young moviegoers today simply love to avoid. The film’s current worldwide gross is around $100,000,000, with the U.S. gross just $56.5 million from 4,022 locations. In other words, as Variety says, WFTPOTA “is coming in on the low end of expectations….”

In addition to the fine script, Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson offer up wonderful performances. And the director is Matt Reeves, whom I consider one of the best young directors in the business, with credits that include 2014’s DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, the superb LET ME IN (2010) and CLOVERFIELD (2008).

I hope more moviegoers give this one a chance.


Doug Snauffer is TVWriter™ Contributing Editor.  His work has appeared in myriad publications and on SyFy Channel. He’s also the writer of several cult horror films and the books The Show Must Go On and Crime Television. Learn more about Doug HERE.

Cargo 3120 ‘Ties that Bind: Part 2’

EDITOR’S NOTE: What is Cargo 3120? We’ve written about this project many times over the past couple of years, but the best place to go to understand what Aaron Walker Sr. is up to is HERE.

And now that that’s settled:

by Aaron Walker Sr.

Whew! It’s been quite a while, but book 2 is finally done! It was a long and hard road that I outlined in our last two blogs. Check them out (read update 1 here and update 2 here).

As I mentioned in the posts above, I had a few setbacks along the road, including many changes that had to be made to get is where we are today. But now I am proud to announce:

Cargo 3120 Ties that Bind Part 2 will release this month on June 17th, 2017
(Pre-orders are available now on Amazon for only .99 cents!)

Part 3 will be released around December of 2017. And if all goes to plan, the fourth and final installment in the Ties that Bind storyline will release in early 2018. Initially the book will be available only on Amazon Kindle. Later, I hope to have the book released on smashwords, which distributes in many formats, including Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and others.

It was never my intent to have such a long delay between books, and we are hard at work behind the scenes to prevent that from happening again. In fact, I have plans to bring on a special guest this fall to help further develop the universe of Cargo 3120! So, stay tuned, the future of Cargo 3120 is indeed a bright one!

Haven’t finished or read book 1? You can now get the full eBook version on Amazon for free! You can also get it on smashwords, or read the full book on our website.

While I’m at it

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As I mentioned in update 2 on my blog, the reason we didn’t launch in May was because we were still finalizing the cover art. We felt this step was too important to rush, so I made the call to delay the launch until we got it right.

We’ve probably all heard the saying: “You can’t judge a book by its cover…”

And while this certainly should be the case, from my experience, people often do judge a book by its cover. This is especially true in the eBook realm, as people quickly scroll past titles, often stopping on titles with an eye-catching cover.

My first thought was to have something that was jam packed with imagery that I thought highlighted the best of book two. But after many discussions with our talented artist out of Los Angeles: Lee Wherry, we decided to go with a “less is more” approach. We wanted something that was clean and easy on the eyes.

What do you think? Did we succeed?

Yes, Kids, There Really are TV Writers in New York City

This is very, very cool:

The first Made in NY Writers Room Fellows

City Agencies, WGA East Announce Inaugural ‘Made In NY Writers Room’ Fellows

The inaugural Made in NY Writers Room fellowship class was announced today, marking a major milestone in an innovative program to develop diverse writing talent in New York City’s entertainment industry. The twelve fellows – whose scripts for television pilot episodes were selected from a competitive pool of nearly 500 entries – will each be paired with a mentor to develop a work plan to get their submitted pilot pitch-ready. As part of the six-month fellowship, they will also have the opportunity to attend a variety of professional development events and workshops.

The mentors include Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning writers Richard LaGravenese (The Divide), Brian Koppelman & David Levien (Billions), Anya Epstein (In Treatment), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Robert Carlock (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Michael Rauch (Royal Pains), Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky (Odd Mom Out), Matt Williams (Roseanne), Lee Daniels (Empire), Jonathan Tropper (Banshee), Norman Steinberg (Cosby) and Julie Klausner (Difficult People).

The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) shared the news at a launch event at The New School’s John L. Tishman Auditorium. The event also featured staged readings of the top-scoring comedy and drama scripts.

“Production is booming in New York and there are more opportunities for talented writers than ever,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Julie Menin. “What’s so great about the Made in NY Writers Room is that it provides writers from diverse backgrounds with access to these opportunities. It ensures that their stories are told and that the television shows we watch reflect the rich diversity of our city. We’re so proud of the talented writing fellows who were selected and thankful to the rock-star mentors who’ve graciously participated in this groundbreaking program.”

“The Guild’s partnership with the City will increase opportunities for diverse New Yorkers to build careers, enhancing their reach in the industry and, we hope, their exposure to people who make decisions about what shows get produced,” said Lowell Peterson, Executive Director of the Writers Guild of America, East. “We know that diverse writers in New York possess enormous talent, and this project will empower them to apply that talent and to create compelling television. “

“The entertainment industry is an essential part of New York City’s identity, and it’s important that it reflects the diverse voices and talents of all New Yorkers,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “As every New Yorker knows, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere, and this fellowship program is helping more people have a shot at their big break.”

The Made in NY Writers Room program officially opened for submissions in September of 2016, aimed at supporting writers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives in New York City, and amplifying their voices in the entertainment industry. The program also seeks to increase the number of teleVision Productions written in New York City, which has not kept pace with the record number of series now filmed in the five boroughs. The call for submissions attracted an impressive collection of scripts. Each applicant in the first round received notes from two WGAE members with television credits – an unmatched opportunity for early-career writers. There were 170 pilots that qualified for an additional round of feedback, before 30 finalists were selected.

The inaugural fellowship class for the Made In NY Writers Room includes 11 individuals and one writing team: Madalyn Baldanzi, Kaitlin Fontana, Olen Holm, Sarah Kraus, Ian Olympio-Nyanin, BRyan Parker, Sofia Quintero, Joyce Sherri, Maegan Smith, Natasha Vaynblat & Zack Phillips, Albert Wang and Joyce Wu….

Read it all at BroadwayWorld

Stream ‘Doctor Who’ Audio Dramas – Free!!!

If you’re a Doctor Who fan – of any Doctor and from any era of the show – you’ve probably heard of the various audio drama versions of the series put out by the company Big Finish, but you haven’t actually listened to any of them.

Now, thanks to Redditor electricmastro, who got it from dudles78 of Gallifrey Base you and I and everyone else who is interested can now stream the following Big Finish episodes legally via Spotify. (And also Google Play, but the links below are from Spotify).

Here’s the very helpful – oh, hell, to this TVWriter™ minion very exciting – post:

Dozens of stories have been put out for free, legal streaming on Spotify. Thanks to dudles78 on GallifreyBase for pointing this out:

Main Range:

  1. The Sirens of Time
  2. Phantasmagoria
  3. Whispers of Terror
  4. The Land of the Dead
  5. The Fearmonger
  6. The Marian Conspiracy
  7. The Genocide Machine
  8. Red Dawn
  9. The Spectre of Lanyon Moor
  10. Winter for the Adept
  11. The Apocalypse Element
  12. The Fires of Vulcan
  13. The Shadow of the Scourge
  14. The Holy Terror
  15. The Mutant Phase
  16. Storm Warning
  17. Sword of Orion
  18. The Stones of Venice
  19. Minuet in Hell
  20. Loups-Garoux
  21. Dust Breeding
  22. Bloodtide
  23. Project: Twilight
  24. The Eye of the Scorpion
  25. Colditz
  26. Primeval
  27. The One Doctor
  28. Invaders from Mars
  29. The Chimes of Midnight
  30. Seasons of Fear
  31. Embrace the Darkness
  32. The Time of the Daleks
  33. Neverland
  34. Spare Parts
  35. …ish
  36. The Rapture
  37. The Sandman
  38. The Church and the Crown
  39. Bang-Bang-a-Boom!
  40. Jubilee
  41. Nekromanteia
  42. The Dark Flame
  43. Doctor Who and the Pirates
  44. Creatures of Beauty
  45. Project: Lazarus
  46. Flip-Flop
  47. Omega
  48. Davros
  49. Master
  50. Zagreus

Special Releases:

UNIT: Dominion

The Davros Mission

Fourth Doctor Adventures:

 

  1. Innocence
  2. Purity
  3. Corruption
  4. Guilt

Cyberman:

1.1 Scorpius

1.2 Fear

1.3 Conversion

1.4 Telos

2.0 Cyberman 2

….

See the entire list on Reddit

Check out Big Finish