Volatile Voices | Page 2 | Script Revolution

Volatile Voices

The Script Revolution blog is all about articles that may help screenwriters and filmmakers develop their craft, maximise opportunities, and stay updated on the latest news about the site. This isn't a place where you'll find fear-mongering and browbeating, nor is it a conduit for rule delusions and service advertising. Guest posts are more than welcome and offer a way for members to generate a little more exposure for themselves. If you have a blog post you'd like to submit, then you can contact me by clicking here - CJ

CJ Walley 05 Dec 2017 2

Something strange happened to me this year. My screenwriting life took a shift in a new direction. A producer reached out to me about optioning one of my features and is now working hard to secure the financing needed to green-light the project. This is a strange new world to me and, being the the kind of person who lives in perpetual state of anxiety, one which is filled with inner conflict and paranoia. I should be happy, ecstatic even, and I was for a few weeks before resuming my normal state of melancholy - CJ

Shawn Davis 25 Oct 2017 1

For those of you who have been at this writing thing for a while, the name Pia Cook should mean something to you. Pia is one of the best examples of how to keep a razor-sharp focus when the chips are down. What do I mean by that? Stay in this business long enough and you will see the “real” side of screenplay writing. The hard side. The side that makes lesser writers walk away. 

J.E. Clarke 30 Aug 2017 0

Here’s a story about the famous artist Picasso – one you may have heard before: A stranger interrupted Picasso at his evening meal. Producing a napkin from his pocket, the man asked: “Could you sketch something for me? I’ll pay you for it.  Name your price.”  Picasso grabbed a charcoal pencil, and rapidly sketched a goat. It took only a few strokes, yet was unmistakably a Picasso. The man reached for the napkin, but Picasso pulled it back. “You owe me $100,000”. The man was outraged. “$100,000? Why? That took no more than 30 seconds to draw!” Picasso threw the drawing away. “You are wrong,”...

John Hunter 23 Aug 2017 0

“I’m an artist. I don’t concern myself with such mundane things as financial reality or production costs…" Well, good luck with that. Meanwhile back in the real world, other struggling writers are trying to cut costs to help get empty pocket projects on screens. The Holy Grail for nascent filmmakers is, of course, a single location, one person script and no FX which can be shot with a single iPhone in ambient light. Big Studio have decided to go another way. It is an important thing to know and understand the difference.

J.E. Clarke 19 Jul 2017 1

Once you’ve been in the scriptwriting biz for a while, a number of questions just… emerge.

In my particular experience, queries such as these: How do you manage to write so damned fast? What’s your method for bringing ideas to life? Followed by: What the fuck’s wrong with you? Can you connect me with your dealer? What the hell are you going to do with your life?

CJ Walley 14 Jun 2017 8

Before we get into this, I want you to sit down and be prepared for a bittersweet ending. You see, this isn’t one of those blog posts where I encourage every writer to keep fighting, this is a heartfelt and open case for why I may have to quit. I feel it’s about time we had a little conversation about how utterly life destroying the screenwriting dream can be.

John Hunter 07 Jun 2017 0

On the occasion of finishing the first pages of yet another unsolicited and highly speculative script, I ask myself, “Does the world really need one more sample of my writing? My voice must be known by now to everyone within a tri-county area...” 

In a brief and uncommon moment of clarity, the answer is a resounding, “NO.” As I glance at the Save The Pixels Federation pamphlet, images of baby seals being clubbed to death fill my head.

J.E. Clarke 24 May 2017 3

Okay Wunderkins, think quick: what’s the most annoying movie archetype?

The sort that - after hearing a character utter their first lines - you become painfully aware you’re trapped in a theater with a walking, talking cliché; one you’ve encountered countless times before.  A 2d cardboard cutout with zero surprises up their sleeve.  One glimpse, and you’ve got their every move sussed out.  So why are they (and the film’s producers) now wasting your precious time?

Shawn Davis 17 May 2017 14

As some of you know, I’ve been writing now for about 10 years. I have discovered several key things in those years and something new I just learned recently.

As a writer, I have the ability to create my own world. I’ve done just that in several of my works. I’ve had interest in those works and I’ve even had some options executed. Also as a writer, I can determine at what level I want to run at.

J.E. Clarke 10 May 2017 3

You nasty, filthy pervert. No, not in the Hentai way.

But remember the good old days when 2D Animation was a viable, awe-inspiring art form –just starting to trickle to the bleeding edge? 

I mean, way back in the 1970-80s: prehistoric times to Millennials, of course:

CJ Walley 22 Apr 2017 12

This week has been a turbulent one in screenwriting. You could easily have missed it. Entwined within the drama was a historical turning point in the screenwriting world and what looks like the beginning of a new fight between creatives and capitalists. We have entered a new age of artificial intelligence that’s going to affect us in ways we never imagined how.

Fiona Faith Ross 12 Apr 2017 5

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result1. This aphorism, or meme, as we call them now, applies to writers, and in particular to screenwriters. In my blog post exploring the theme of "Never give up", I made the case for battling on, since practice makes perfect and everybody knows that overnight success takes decades, especially for writers. However, my obsessive persistence tells me that - to steal a cliché so worn it's positively polished – you don't have to be mad to be a screenwriter, but it helps.

John Hunter 05 Apr 2017 1

The latest nugget of scriptwriting wisdom goes like this, “Write something new - Something never before seen.”

I have read (or heard?) there are really only about 5 or 6 basic stories.

Because I was hung over that day in class and unable to take proper notes, I’ll make something up: Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Monster Eats Boy, The Dog Ate My Homework and Murder Most Foul.

Stephen Barber 29 Mar 2017 0

What "trimming" an Airplane has taught me about, Screenwriting.  More than you can imagine, and, no, the action's were not similarly executed. However, both had a direct impact on my "attitude." Let me explain- 

Over ten years ago my serious run toward a Private Pilot's license was executed in full stride.  At a time in my life, (before marriage - before children) the responsibilities in my life were making certain I had money to pay for rent and food.

J.E. Clarke 22 Mar 2017 2

A long, long time ago, in a ‘burb quite far away...

Sat an impressionable young girl; who knows how old?  Thirteen perhaps. Maybe twelve.

A life-long tomboy, she was a voracious reader as well.  One whom her much older cousin (theoretically, let’s call him “Roger”) knew was into tall tales. For instance, Star Trek and Tom Baker/Peter Davidson’s Dr. Who.

One day, Roger handed the girl some magazines.  Their titles? Amazing Stories and Analog.

Within those pages, she found the literary equivalent of the Holy Grail – a treasure trove of hardcore speculative prose. 

You know (or SHOULD know) what...

Fiona Faith Ross 15 Mar 2017 2

I'm always suspicious of the advice to "Never give up", and on a bad day, I fear the exhortation is delivered with a vicious irony, the smile of encouragement hiding a secret desire to inflict further pain on the rambling deluded fool who thinks he's A Writer. If it's painfully obvious to everyone except your Mum that your screenplays aren't up to scratch, isn't it kinder to be dealt some incisive coverage from a battle-scarred pro to put you out of your misery? Excruciating sex scene, anyone? Ouch, add the writer to your "Do Not Date" list, and, warming to the theme of severe mental distress...

J.E. Clarke 08 Mar 2017 5

Ready to digest an immutable Fact of Life? Here’s one tasty treat: 

The world of screenwriting bursts with vibrant contradiction.  Downright Schizophrenic levels of it, no less.

Talk to anyone who’s dipped their toe in the murky waters of film.  They’ll scramble to tell you what lurks just below the surface… Sharks, of the Format Nazi kind.

Hand to heart. We’ll swear on our latest copy of Final Draft; it’s true. The screenwriting world is full of BS.  Excuse me, make that “rules.”

Don’t get me wrong (or quote this out of context).  Many such rules make sense.  For instance, streamlining...

Shawn Davis 01 Mar 2017 3

Out here is a pool. A deep, deep pool. As screenplay writers, we're all swimming in it. Current stats have our population at 15,000 or more. Schooling in this pool is various sized fish. Most of us, guppy’s also known as amateur writers. Here we are, swimming around doing a complete reversal of what it means to fish. Instead of an angler working to catch that one big fish among us in a school of thousands, we are the thousands, all of us small, trying to catch that one big angler.

We're all looking for something out of this. Me? I started writing because I tried everything to overcome an 8th-...

CJ Walley 27 Feb 2017 5

Which script should you write next? Would people want to read it? Is the idea bad? Do you have the skills needed? Are you really just wasting your time… and life?

Look, I don’t know a single aspiring screenwriter who doesn’t have those questions running through their mind all the time. Creative pursuits are, by their nature, a massive mind-fuck. It gets even tougher when you tie success with money, fame, and respect. You worry. You fret. You judge yourself. You let other people judge you. It’s hard not to default to one of three chains of thought; “I can do this.”, “don’t know if I’m any good...

John Hunter 22 Feb 2017 6

Before anyone might actually read the first page of your script, there are three hurdles your work must clear to pass and I'm talking about Title, Logline and Synopsis.

I have 27 scripts (shorts, features, pilots) posted here on Script Revolution — Thank you CJ for the opportunity to strut my stuff and/or show the world my deficiencies, whichever the case may be. Beyond the obviously benefit of a free public venue, there is more --

As you are aware, this site counts “views.” A “view” here defined as after reading the Title and Logline, someone is interested enough in your work to goes on to...

Désirée Nordlund 15 Feb 2017 0

A film begins with a script. A statement well established on a site like this. One can make a bad movie on a good script, but never a good movie on a bad script. Thus, a lot of time and effort are used to make the script perfect. Script work is cheap compared to what it will be later when it comes to equipment and people to be organized, transported and fed.

I have the privilege of getting one of my short scripts filmed right now, this February. As a writer, working alone is common, but regarding screenplays, you have to be prepared to have your story mulled, and it is not certain that the...

CJ Walley 08 Feb 2017 16

Look, this is going to be brutal, but it needs to be said. If you're looking for harsh truths about screenwriting then look no further. You better have thick skin before walking into this one and I'm talking alligator skin thick here. I'm about to hit you with ten doses of sorely needed self reflection and some in your face reality here. You ready? You sure? Why am I so much better than you? Yes you. I've not just got the balls to ask you that question but I've got a long list of reasons to throw at you too? Think you can get all the way to the bottom? Time to suck it up, buttercup - CJ

Deenur _ 01 Feb 2017 13

Last time we visited, we discussed some of the nuts and bolts of adaptions. At its simplest, an adaption is the use of some other source work (your own or someone else’s) to develop a short, or feature-length, script. We also found out that to adapt someone else’s work, the screenwriter must have permission from the original author, or a work that is now in public domain, or a team of very skilled lawyers. Read more here. Adaptions have been both amazing and terrible. This time we discuss what makes a successful, or horrific, adaption.

As I found out when trying to adapt my own work, adapting...

J.E. Clarke 25 Jan 2017 1

There’s a million questions in the screenwriting biz. Especially when you first arrive on the “scene.”

Browse any writing board, and questions tumble off the threads like crumbs; some as green as the Wizard’s palace in Oz. How do I properly format slugs? What’s a three-act structure mean? How do I get an agent? (That one’s fun; every time.)

But there’s more than Newbies to blame here. Seasoned “pros” have questions as well. Once one’s been around the block a few times, you realize screenwriting’s as intricate as other sciences and arts.  The farther down the Rabbit Hole you go, the more you...

Tony Cella 18 Jan 2017 0

According to a study published by UCLA's Linguistic department, more than 80 percent of conversations in Hollywood include “in the industry” at several points.

The great majority of communication, both written and spoken, in the city known for drawing aspiring bartenders and servers from each geographic region of America include the phrase at the beginning, the end or several times mangled in the middle, author of the paper Professor Julius

Barnhoffer said. “Statistically almost every conversation spoken in Los Angeles, more specifically cafes and networking functions in Hollywood, will...