Volatile Voices | Page 3 | 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

6String Mercenary 11 Jan 2017 1

A while ago I got into an online slap-fight with the CEO of The Black List, a service that hosts screenplays for a fee, provides a reader critique service, and is a proven resource for Film Industry Professionals to source content. In short I laid into him for taking money and providing critiques that didn’t have a check-list of basic stuff to help writers grow — his claim, over and over, was all art is Subjective and to use any kind of structure to evaluate an art piece didn’t have any justification. I can appreciate Subjectivity in art, especially as a guitarist, because it’s the nuances,...

J.E. Clarke 04 Jan 2017 1

Screenwriter pop-quiz – think quick: What’s the biggest cliché in film?

The Hooker with the Heart of Gold?  EG:  Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman, Jodi Foster’s Taxi Driver, Rebecca De Mornay’sRisky Business and so on…

Uh, good guess. But that’s material for a different article. Dig a little deeper, try for more.

The popular girl who learns “looks aren’t everything” and falls in love with the nerd?

You’re getting warmer. Keep guessing. The third try is usually the charm.

Stick with nerd, and springboard from there.

Straight into the deep end of the “teen film” pool – i.e.: the geek (whether male...

CJ Walley 28 Dec 2016 0

Can I ask you a strange question? What’s in your “to be” list? You have a to do list, right? A long list of tasks that you chop away at only for it to regrow like some mutated monster? And that list, it makes you do the things you need to do, right? But does it lead you toward being the person you want to be?

The concept of a “to be” list was something relayed to me by my girlfriend. It stems from authenticity. The more authentic we can be, to ourselves and others, the more fulfilled we should be. We are living up to the ideal that’s in our mind, not the ideal that’s projected by others. The...

Tony Cella 21 Dec 2016 3

A highly respected screenplay consultant draws most of his business from solicitations posted on film discussion forums.

“I'd be happy to look at your screenplay and provide you with studio level notes for a modest price,” he wrote.

The esteemed and established script doctor makes most of his money by telling aspiring film scribes on message boards about his services, most often unsolicited. The consultant's website, which looks like it was designed by a 3rd grader using Windows 98 for the first time, touts his vast network of contacts in the film industry. He also mentions the fact while...

6String Mercenary 14 Dec 2016 3

Knowing My Roots

One of my first memories of my Dad’s Dad, Grandpa H, is visiting the log cabin home on a mountainside in Oregon, middle of winter, a wood-burning stove in the corner, Grandma H in the kitchen and Him sitting in his comfy chair, watching TV, and hitting “Mute” on the remote for commercial breaks. She brings over a heavy medical blue, rubber ice pack; he holds it to his head. He breathes deep, eyes narrow. When the show comes back, he clicks the “Mute” again to bring back the volume. Considering he towered over me, something like 6’3” and 230 of natural Big-White- Boy, even as...

J.E. Clarke 07 Dec 2016 4

Once one’s been in the writing game for several years, one trick of the trade shines crystal clear:

Always start one’s articles with some pithy insight.  Just a few choice bon mots are all you need: cherry picked to ring profound.

At the end of the day, it’s a marketing case of “less is more”: a repurposing of insights originated by brilliant men and women who once blazed the path you now tread. An insight which – when wielded right – lights the way to knowledge, achievement… and much more.

In that tradition, I’ll begin this post with a hip-hop quote from two old school prophets known as Rob...

6String Mercenary 30 Nov 2016 3

It only took a small mention on the radio, but the story described sank a harpoon into my memory: "A Texas Woman racked up several thousand dollars of credit card debt, and rather than tell her husband, who was about to go buy a boat and find out, she shot and killed him…according to a jury she has been found guilty…"

Wait, wait, what?! That’s a pretty strange way of problem solving — I mean, yeah maybe that’s some Jerry Springer type relationship dynamics…but wow…wake up, thinking happy thoughts about buying a boat, then BAM like out of a Johnny Cash song.

As life tends to do, I had plenty...

CJ Walley 28 Nov 2016 6

We’ve all seen and heard it, within every screenwriting community, “You have to grow a thick skin to survive this industry!” “This industry is desperate for high quality scripts!” “It takes years to break into this industry?”

This industry.

What does your screenwriting dream look like? Is it red carpets and strobing flash bulbs outside the Dolby Theatre? Is it hustling through the studios of Burbank, script in one hand and coffee in the other as you pace your way onto set? Is it running into your heroes and talking the night away on Sunset strip? Is it shielding your eyes from the sun as you...

Tony Cella 23 Nov 2016 3

I've had producers ask me to fund short films I wrote.

I've had producers ask me to pay them to work with me on short films I wrote.

I've had producers tell me they don't have money for the script, but love it and want to produce it then send me an option contract that lasts “in perpetuity”, a.k.a. forever.

I've also had producers pay me for short films.

Early on in my film career, which didn't start until in earnest until I was in my mid-20's, I read that screenwriters were never paid for short scripts. The concept astounded me because I'd been paid sums for journalistic pieces and had short...

J.E. Clarke 16 Nov 2016 2

Okay Ladies, hunker down. It’s time to let this shit get real.

Warning – major factoid on its way. How long’s it been since “realistic portrayals of women” became the major “social issue” in film? 

Was it the early nineties; with the epic Feminist impact of Thelma and Louise? (BTW, if you’re Millennial and haven’t seen that flick – you owe yourself to stream it. Now.)

Because – as of 2016 – while some of the superficial annoyances have lessened… portrayals of women in film are still rarely real.

Alan Mehanna 08 Nov 2016 4

Over the past several days, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Banque du Liban (Bank of Lebanon) Accelerate Technology and Innovation Conference, a melting pot of tech savvy innovators, start-ups, and all around smart successful people come to meet chat and collaborate.

One of the speakers at the TechCon was none other than the co-founder of Apple himself, Steve "The Woz" Wozniak. In his talk, "The Woz" said the following, "If you're not embarrassed by your first product, you're not advancing and you're not learning".

This one statement stuck with me, and resonated deeply. Yes, you...

J.E. Clarke 07 Nov 2016 0

Here ye, here ye!

As an added benefit to Shootin' The Short’s recent partnership with Script Revolution, we’re officially on the lookout for some great STS Showcase reviewers… to be featured on both the STS Blog and the SR sites.

Here’s the Good, The Not-At-All-Bad, and the Very-Definitely-Not Ugly:

Who’s Needed: Reviewers – both new or veteran – who are enthused at the prospect of reading honestly good scripts, and putting together compelling reviews to help them get picked up and produced. (And coordinating with STS Editor in Chief J.E. Clarke to make sure that review is the absolute best...

Alan Mehanna 02 Nov 2016 2

I have been getting quite irritated lately with the way audiences have been complaining about recent films, and serialized content. Sure, I am guilty of criticizing, and sharing my opinion but I have always been the kind of audience member that seeks to enjoy what I am watching. I don't know whether I am just way too forgiving, or naive, but I sometimes feel like I rather enjoy content that others do not.

How about I give you an example?

Throughout this entire season of Game of Thrones - don't worry I shall spoil nothing - many watchers complained about this season being too slow, or too...

J.E. Clarke 01 Nov 2016 0

To all short script fans, post-Halloween fiends and peeps – now is the time for all good writers to come to the aid of their craft. (Anyone who doesn’t get that historical reference: for shame!)

That is, TODAY is the day that Script Revolution officially partners with Shootin’ the Shorts. The STS Blog will continue to exist and thrive – but now with a spectacular and growing site at its side.

Officially, all shorts uploaded on Script Revolution will have access to submitting to STS as well.

Check out the Script Revolution STS Feed here; https://www.scriptrevolution.com/shootin-the-shorts

J.E. Clarke 27 Oct 2016 3

As a screenwriter - who no doubt scours Inktips and Craigslist for gigs - what do you see the most requests for?  I mean, besides Limited Location Thriller films? Or Faith Based and Found Footage tales?

Inevitably, it’s Horror that wins the game of numbers. Not to mention money - sometimes. Which isn’t at all surprising: Horror’s a genre that’s historically raked in ticket sales.

And low budget Horror often scores huge success. Consider this, if you will (feel free to throw in your best Rod Serling imitation while you read out loud):

Deenur _ 26 Oct 2016 9

One of my favorite authors is Philip K Dick. He never received the accolades he should have been awarded in his lifetime, but his written work is finally getting some traction. Why? Film adaptions.

You have seen his work but probably didn’t know it. The people that know his name know Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” and some can even name the novel from which it came, “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” The novel is spectacular, the film equally so. But they are not the same story. While Dick clearly wanted to keep the mystery of Deckard’s humanity shrouded (was he a man chasing android...

Simon Mapp 05 Oct 2016 6

This is not an exhaustive list – the Literary Journals below accept dramatic works in various forms, but many will state that they look at work “in any style” or “hybrid” works, and may also look at scripts in these circumstances.

Some charge reading fees, some do not – some pay for submissions, some do not. I've not marked these as details can change.

Please remember that these are not websites that publish anything sent to them – they are Literary Journals, both print and web based, and are selective. Always read the guidelines – and back issues or extracts if you can, so see if they suit...

CJ Walley 04 Sep 2016 0

This excellent Disqus article was forwarded onto me yesterday. In the article, Script Revolution member Fairly Finfield goes out of their way to detail how to publish scripts to Disqus and lists a few other free listing options screenwriters should check out. This is what I love to see, screenwriters helping out other screenwriters. This leads me on to mention another similar article written by Anthony Cawood in part 3 of his series You've Finished The Damn Script - Now What? And in addition to all that, I'll throw in one of my own from a while back, a little piece I wrote for Stage 32...