EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SCREENWRITING CONTESTS* BUT WEREN’T AFRAID TO ASK


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: My short film 8 Conversations in 15 Minutes 58 Seconds will premiere at STUFF, the South Texas Underground Film Festival on January 27th, 2019 http://www.stuftx.org/
Check out my Script Consultation Services at http://ow.ly/HPxKE. I offer several types of service. Testimonials can be found at the blog entry.
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out the second edition of my screenwriting book, More Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader published on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1XP9Y
Finally, I have published two collections of short stories, The Starving Artists and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS91CKJ and The Five Corporations and the One True Church and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY5Z3CF

 

 

For my next blog entry, I will address an issue that appears every once in a while on Facebook screenwriting pages. This entry is especially prompted by two posts: one wanting to know all about contests and one wanting to know how much credence to give to coverage or feedback from a screenplay competition. I will do my best to address the former and will definitely share my opinion on the latter.
In addition, on Facebook I gave people the opportunity to ask questions for me to cover here and I will do my best. I am also open to further questions.
I should start out with a caveat. I am an unsuccessful screenwriter. I was paid to write a screenplay that never got made and I revised another that was shot and never made into or out of post production, so from a purely technical point of view, I suppose I am a professional screenwriter, though I don’t really consider myself so. However, in my favor, since moving to LA in 2002, I have made much of my living doing script coverage and reading for several competitions. So I do have some background when it comes to the topic. Continue reading

EXPOSITION: CAN’T WRITE WITH IT, CAN’T WRITE WITHOUT IT or YADDA, YADDA, YADDA…THE END


For questions: hcasner@aol.com

First, a word from our sponsors: My short film 8 Conversations in 15 Minutes 58 Seconds will premiere at STUFF, the South Texas Underground Film Festival on January 27th, 2019 http://www.stuftx.org/

Check out my Script Consultation Services at http://ow.ly/HPxKE. I offer several types of service. Testimonials can be found at the blog entry.

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out the second edition of my screenwriting book, More Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader published on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1XP9Y

Finally, I have published two collections of short stories, The Starving Artists and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS91CKJ and The Five Corporations and the One True Church and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY5Z3CF

 

     Exposition seems to bring out the worst in screenwriters. I don’t mean how they use it when putting fingers to keyboard, but how they talk about it. The way some of them go on…and on…and on about it, one would think using exposition is worse than child molesting and will damn you to hellfire for all eternity…or longer.

But have no fear. In the real world, exposition is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, exposition can be your friend. You will not only invariably use it in your screenplays, you will quite possibly use it multiple times…and not once grow hair on the palms of your hands.

In fact, exposition is just about unavoidable. It’s just a fact of the writing life. Continue reading

The 2018 Howies


 

 

 

 

For questions: hcasner@aol.com

First, a word from our sponsors: My short film 8 Conversations in 15 Minutes 58 Seconds will premiere at STUFF, the South Texas Underground Film Festival on January 27th, 2019 http://www.stuftx.org/

Check out my Script Consultation Services at http://ow.ly/HPxKE. I offer several types of service. Testimonials can be found at the blog entry.

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out the second edition of my screenwriting book, More Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader published on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1XP9Y

Finally, I have published two collections of short stories, The Starving Artists and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS91CKJ and The Five Corporations and the One True Church and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY5Z3CF

This was not the best of times for movies, but possibly not the worst. Even AFI this year, one of my last resort sources for my end of year list, only provided one addition: the hysterical dark comedy, Pig. After a rather lackluster first half, wondering if there was going to be any films to join The Death of Stalin and First Reformed on my top ten, I finally started seeing hope on the horizon and slowly, but don’t call me Shirley, managed to cobble together a worthy set of cinema. Enjoy.

 

BEST FILM – Top Ten
The Death of Stalin
The remainder in alphabetical order
22 July
Burning
Favourite, The
First Reformed
Guilty, The
Mary Poppins Returns
Pig
Shoplifters
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse Continue reading

SUBTEXT: THAT PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE FRIEND YOU HATE, BUT CAN’T DROP or WE’RE GOING TO NEED A BIGGER BOAT


For questions: hcasner@aol.com

First, a word from our sponsors: My short film 8 Conversations in 15 Minutes 58 Seconds will premiere at STUFF, the South Texas Underground Film Festival on January 27th, 2019 http://www.stuftx.org/

Check out my Script Consultation Services at http://ow.ly/HPxKE. I offer several types of service. Testimonials can be found at the blog entry.

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out the second edition of my screenwriting book, More Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader published on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1XP9Y

Finally, I have published two collections of short stories, The Starving Artists and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FS91CKJ and The Five Corporations and the One True Church and other stories, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KY5Z3CF

    This is the second in a series of articles on various screenwriting topics. Further entries will include exposition, voice overs and passive central characters. The previous entry was on diversity in film.

On facebook and a myriad of other places, people put forth various requisites or must haves, do’s and do nots, they claim are needed to write, if not a great screenplay, at least a perfectly serviceable one.

One of the most popular ones is subtext. Now, I prefer writers not worry about things like this, at least at first. I’m on the side of the angels who say, concentrate on writing a good story that is successful on its own terms and if it has subtext, good, if not, good. I mean why tamper when you’ve got a good thing going?

I prefer elements like subtext to grow organically out of the writing, not be foisted upon it. Still, if you are receiving constant feedback that your dialog is too on point, or that the reader feels as if they are being told how to feel, rather than being allowed to feel, you may need subtext, taken four times a day on an empty stomach.

One problem with subtext is that everyone seems to know what it is, but have difficulty coming up with a clear, concise and satisfactory definition that everyone agrees with. It’s like art: no one can define it, but they all know it when they see it. Continue reading