BAD TIMING: an essay on the passing of time in screenplays


First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
What time is it? It’s time. – Action
clock 1Has this ever happened to you? You’re watching a movie, a TV show, and suddenly a character mentions that “we’ve been dating for six weeks now” or “next week is out first anniversary” or “it seemed like only yesterday that I started this job and now I’m retiring”, and your reaction is, “but I did think it was only yesterday that you started that job, when did fifty years pass?”
Or maybe you’re watching a movie about a character and the story isn’t quite making sense and suddenly you figure out indirectly that the character is supposed to be in high school and your reaction is, “My god, he looks old enough to be my grandfather?”
Yeah, join the club.
In this essay I’m going to talk about two subjects that only have something to do with each other in a somewhat vague way, though they do at times overlap and have one thing in common: they both relate to time. So, though they are not exactly similar, I think it’s easiest to talk about them as if they had a closer connection than one might think. So… Continue reading

HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with Bryce Richardson, author of 2580


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Next up: an interview with Bryce Richardson, author of 2580
bryce richardsonBorn and raised in Houston, Bryce Richardson graduated from the University of North Texas. A few years later, Richardson moved to New York where he’s had a one-act play produced and made several shorts. His 16mm film 2580 played at the 2015 Slamdance film festival. Richardson is currently working on his first feature film.
  1. What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced, or your first project that was produced, or your first writing assignment?
Closing Shop was the first short film that I had written and directed.
  1. Can you tell us a bit about the journey as to how it came about?
Before this short, I had written a one-act play produced by the Metropolitan Playhouse in the East Village. But since cinema was what I cared about the most, I decided to take the confidence I gained from that experience and focus solely on making films. I made sure my first film, Closing Shop, would be finished no matter what obstacles I encountered along the way. I succeeded—and it turned out to be a total piece of shit. I will never let anyone see it Continue reading

Latest Script Coverage Testimonial from Keith Gillum, author of Sweet Warrior


My latest script coverage testimonial:

 

Howard was the fresh pair of eyes that my script needed. It’s clear that he has a passion for what he does, and a gift for it. Thanks to his notes and comments, I find myself re-energized, with a clear understanding of what needs to be done to take my story to the next level.

Keith Gillum, Sweet Warrior

For more information on my Script Consultation Services and even more testimonials: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

In addition, ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with Tracee Beebe author of Wild at Heart and My Silent Voice


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Next up: an interview with Tracee Beebe author of Wild at Heart and My Silent Voice
tracee oneTracee Beebe is a working screenwriter whose projects focus on damaged characters and their relationships with each other. She was named one of 2014’s “most recommended screenwriters” by ScreenwritingU and also works as a coverage reader for both screenwriting contests and literary managers. An optioned screenwriter, she has had screenplays finish among the top 20% of the prestigious Nicholl’sFellowship out of 7,000 entrants and as a quarter-finalist in the 2013 Scriptapolooza screenplay competition.
Tracee’s previous career as a horse trainer, and her work in animal rescue, has flavored much of her work and given her the tenacity to believe that anything is possible if you just work hard enough along with the humility to know that there is always more to learn.
Born in Hawaii, Tracee grew up on her family farm in Napa Valley, California where she now raises her son alongside a pack of rescued dogs and horses.
  1.             What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced?
​I wrote the “script” for my documentary, Wild at Heart, which is in Post production now. My Silent Voice is a work for hire script that is in production right now with Capestany Films.​

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HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with Mary Krell-Oishi, author of A Day at the Office, Going to the Top and Replanting


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Next up: an interview with Mary Krell-Oishi, author of A Day at the Office, Going to the Top and Replanting
mary krell oishaMary Krell-Oishi spent the first part of her life at Sunny Hills High School as theater teacher in Orange County, CA. Winning multiple teaching awards, including Fullerton Teacher of the Year and Orange County Theater Teacher of the Year, she retired from teaching in 2010 to embark on her new career as a screenwriter.
In that time she went on to win and place with many writing awards. Industry Insider, Page Awards, Blue Cat Screenplay, Austin Film Festival, Final Draft Big Break, Action on Film Festival, Table Read Sundance, and the Industry Insider contest for both Film and Television.
Her most recent achievement in screenwriting occurred in 2014. The screenplay, THE ART OF SILENCE, based on the true story of Marcel Marceau’s time as a teenager in the French Resistance during WWII, was named as a TOP FIFTY placer in the prestigious ACADEMY NICHOLL SCREENWRITING FELLOWSHIP. This is quite an accomplishment given that over 7,600 screenplays are entered in this highly respected screenwriting event.
Ms. Krell-Oishi is featured as one of the TOP FIFTY INDY SCREENWRITERS in a book that will be published summer 2015.
Three of her award winning shorts have been produced. A DAY AT THE OFFICE, GOING TO THE TOP and REPLANTING are placing in various festivals throughout the country.
  1. What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced?
a day at the office picThe first screenplay I wrote that was produced was A DAY AT THE OFFICE. My writers group and I came up with a logline that we would all tackle in our own voices, and our parameters were that it could not be more than four pages and one location, and we had two weeks to bring in the finished product. It was a fun little self-imposed assignment, and lo and behold, I had a screenplay. Again, just for fun, I entered it in a couple of contests and it won some awards, not the least of which was Best Comedy with Action on Film! Continue reading

HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with Stuart Creque, author of Autonomy and The Last Earth Girl Went to Space to Find God


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Next up: an interview with Stuart Creque, author of Autonomy and The Last Earth Girl Went to Space to Find God
creque
Stuart Creque has written nine feature screenplays and numerous short scripts. His screenplays have won various screenwriting competitions including The Indie Gathering, Gloria Film Festival, Bare Bones Independent Film Festival, and Cinema City International Film Festival. His short script AUTONOMY was produced by Silver Penny Productions as a result of his win at An Abbreviated Screenplay Contest.  His feature script The Last Earth Girl Went To Space To Find God is in post-production with Cellardoor Productions.
  1. What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced?
My first screenplay that was produced was Autonomy (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1482382/), a short.  My first feature screenplay that was produced is The Last Earth Girl Went To Space To Find God (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3403700/). Continue reading

HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with P.J. McIlvaine, author of the Showtime movie My Horrible Year!


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.

First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

 

Next up: an interview with P.J. McIlvaine, author of the Showtime movie My Horrible Year!

pjmPJ McIlvaine has been writing for a really long time; poems, short stories, grocery lists, you name it, she’s done it. She’s the screenwriter of the critically acclaimed, Emmy nominated, original Showtime family movie MY HORRIBLE YEAR! with Eric Stoltz, Mimi Rogers and Karen Allen. Her second produced movie, eh, the less said, the better. On a happier note, her horror short, BURIED ALIVE, was featured in an award winning anthology web series, IN FEAR OF. PJ is also a kid lit author/writer/journalist published in The New York Times, Newsday and others, and was a contributing editor/ journalist/ columnist for Screen Talk and MovieBytes. She’s convinced that in a past life she was one of the great bakers of Europe or the long lost child of Orson Welles.
  1. What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced?
MY HORRIBLE YEAR! for Showtime. A lovely experience in all ways, and the finished movie was a dream come true. I literally don’t have a bad thing to say about it except that I never received a dime in residuals. For months that movie played non-stop on all the Showtime channels. But once in a blue moon I get a check from the WGA for foreign residuals. Thank you, Germany. Continue reading

HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with writer/producer Ken Lemm of the award winning short film These Foolish Things


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Next up: an interview with writer/producer Ken Lemm of the award winning short film These Foolish Things
ken lemmGrowing up in an Air Force family, Ken Lemm travelled extensively in his youth and developed a love for reading and architecture, prompting him to pursue a career in landscape architecture. After creating a successful design business, Ken was able to pursue his first love, writing. Early in his writing career, placing in a prestigious screenwriting competition afforded confidence and encouragement. In just three years, Ken has completed twelve feature screenplays and had two feature films, three theatrical trailers, and two award-winning short films produced, as well as completing four writer-for-hire assignments. Most recently, Ken was named 2014-2015 Writer of the Year at the Action on Film International Film Festival and is included in the upcoming book “The Top 50 Indy Screenwriters in the World.” Ken’s focus in screenwriting is predominantly in the faith-based, family friendly genre.
  1. What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced?
My first produced screenplay was a dramatic short titled “These Foolish Things.”

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HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with Jane Rosemont, writer/director/producer of the award winning documentary short Pie Lady of Pie Town


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
 
Next up: an interview with Jane Rosemont, writer/director/producer of the award winning documentary short Pie Lady of Pie Town
 
jane rosemontJane Rosemont was born in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest of eight happy children. She was told she had three choices in life: to become a nun, a nurse, or a secretary. In typical fashion, she didn’t pay attention. In 1981 when she met an Olympus OM2 that gave her the focus she lacked. Rosemont’s photographic work has shown in galleries and museums throughout the U.S.A. and has appeared in numerous publications.
In 1996, she published Saving Faces, an award winning book of black and white portraits including a courageous self-portrait taken after her mastectomy. Shortly afterward, she discovered darkroom chemicals were adversely affecting her health. She turned to painting, collage and mixed media, but when digital photography began meeting the demands of serious photographers, Rosemont eagerly returned to her first love.  Her dedicated fine art photography website is www.janerosemontphoto.com Continue reading

HEY! WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE: an interview with Todd Niemi writer/producer Backgammon


This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
First, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Next up: an interview with Todd Niemi writer/producer of Backgammon
 
ToddNiemiTodd Niemi was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and, other than a few years spent on a farm in Ferrum, Virginia, was raised there. He developed an interest in screenwriting while in college, and though he made several attempts to write a screenplay after graduating, it wasn’t until he lost his technical writing job in 2009 that he completed one. That first script, The Captive, which was based on Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity narrative, was finished in the fall of 2009 and optioned several months later. Unfortunately, due to the poor state of the economy at the time, the producer was unable to raise enough money to fund the project, so the film was never shot.

 

  1. What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced?
Backgammon is my first produced screenplay. It’s based on the novella “Bloody Baudelaire” by Raymond Russell. Ray and I collaborated on the script. Backgammon had its world premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival on April 17.

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