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 Writing for TV and movies

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frazzle

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PostSubject: Writing for TV and movies   Wed Apr 04, 2007 7:23 pm

Trying to lure Green Eyez in on this one.

I just got (software) Final Draft. I haven't used ti enough to make great use of any hidden features, but it sure does make formatting easier.
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:29 pm

HA! You did!!!!!!!!

I just put FD on my computer because...

My friend has encouraged me to try out for the Nicholl Fellowship. It's through the Oscars and each year they get bigger and bigger.

My friend has made it to the finals and from what I understand, even if you just make it to the finals, the agents start calling you.

My script is a romantic comedy and I've got a very good friend mentoring me and giving me very good tips. I'll tell you, sometimes it's your friends who really help you bring everything into focus. Plus, I'm scared of her and she calls me daily to find out how much I've written, sometimes twice a day.

It's gotta be postmarked by 5/1, so wish me luck!
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:18 pm

YAY!!! Good luck on getting the script finished and the Nicholl Fellowship.

My dear friend Mark Lowenthal got one for the script he wrote for the movie I did with him that won the Berlin Film Festival Glass Bear Award, Where the Elephant Sits.

He did not ultimately get a distributor, but I think that was mostly because he wanted to do everything himself.

The Nicoll Fellowship is a fabulous thing.
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austin

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:41 pm

I believe there are a couple of posts missing from here from this afternoon.

I had congratulated you both on writing scripts. Can't even imagine being able to do something like that.

Then I mentioned that I've been writing song lyrics on and off the past year and a half, although I'm not really very confident about them, blah, blah, blah.

Then firecracker had a cute post. But it's not here.
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:50 pm

Austin, are you talking about the posts in TV SHows?
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austin

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:07 pm

I'm so embarrassed. Yes, you're right.

Not sure if we need a lyrics thread unless other people are really interested. Some are more like poems. I wrote a poem about Athan once and SENT IT TO HIM. I was insane. Said he really liked it. But then, what's he gonna say?
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:07 pm

I am trying to get my hands on as many episodes of actual scripts for Grey's Anatomy, Ugly Betty, House, and Desperate Housewives as I can.

They are really hard to find. There are places that have transcipts, but not scripts.

Ebay mostly has autographed copies of pilots.

Some places that have scripts (usually mixed in with transcripts) are:

http://www.twiztv.com

http://www.simplyscripts.com/tv.html

http://www.script-o-rama.com/tv/tvscript.shtml

If anybody knows of other places, lemme know, 'k?
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austin

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 12, 2007 5:48 pm

What is the difference between a transcript and an actual script? My guess is that the transcript doesn't have the stage directions (if that's what you call them)?
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:13 pm

austin wrote:
What is the difference between a transcript and an actual script? My guess is that the transcript doesn't have the stage directions (if that's what you call them)?

Yeah. A transcript is usually someone who just watches the movie and types up everything that happens.
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firecracker

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:29 pm

The writers of Ugly Betty talk about the show and characters during tonight's "clips" show. You may be interested in that.
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:59 pm

I won't be able to catch Ugly Betty live, but tomorrow, hopefully, they will have it online.

A script is written by the writers....as GE said, a transcript is done by a watcher (for free, usually). Often a good transcriber will give lots of detail about what is going on visually, as well as the dialogue. But it is very different from the script as written.
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austin

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:28 am

Doesn't give much info at all, but thought someone might find it interesting.
An ad on austin craigslist:



"Looking for Screen Writer
Reply to: gigs-319706474@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-04-27, 2:02AM CDT


Texas Indie Film maker/ Writer looking for Screen Writing Partner.
please contact me if you want to talk."
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austin

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Wed May 09, 2007 2:20 pm

Just got this in an email, thought a couple of you might be interested.

I'll just post the first paragraph and then the link.


Report: White males still dominate writing ranks
By Carl DiOrio

May 9, 2007
With the exception of female TV writers, women and minority scribes have made little progress of late in attaining fair employment and earnings in Hollywood, according to a report commissioned by the WGA West.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i77c5a9f8c684e013b66d42b22005f6ca
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Wed May 09, 2007 3:32 pm

It's always been a "man's world" in every job that is considered "male". I think modeling is one of the only professions where the women are paid more than the men. It's so sad. They've done other studies recently that still show women earn less than men for doing the same job or even a step or two up. The argument used to be that women would leave to take care of her children, but that almost never happens anymore with the need of two-income families.

Just to give you an update, I was worried because my script still showed as unreceived. I emailed and he said there were TWO THOUSAND scripts sitting in the hallway waiting to be logged in. Oy. Send your good vibes, people. I'm gonna need them!
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austin

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Wed May 09, 2007 3:56 pm

Oh wow. Two thousand scripts. How many will be accepted? Sending good vibes!
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Wed May 09, 2007 5:10 pm

When I told my friend who had entered the competition before (and got in the finals) about the 2000 scripts, she said she thought it was a slow year since it's usually like 6,000. So, yeah. It's rough and why I won't find out anything until October. I think with the first cut they take it to 500 scripts and then work down from there.
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firecracker

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Wed May 09, 2007 5:28 pm

Oh my goodness Shocked That is a lot!! Sending every possible good vibe your way! I'll throw in some crossed fingers and toes!!
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Wed May 09, 2007 10:31 pm

Thanks FC. Yeah, I think the 2,000 were the last-minute people like me. I would assume they've been reading scripts that people have sent in early so they're not reading all 6,000 at once. I can't imagine being a reader for one of these contests. To narrow it down. Also, one minute you may be reading a tragedy then a comedy then a horror movie. I wonder what kind of shift they have to make in their thinking after they read one script and have to start on another.

It's so difficult for me to wait, but I know I have to.

I appreciate the good vibes.
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austin

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu May 10, 2007 5:28 am

Green Eyez, are you allowed to do anything else with the script while you wait? Or is it like their property now until they decide if they want it?
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Thu May 10, 2007 6:04 pm

Austin, it's still my property and I'm allowed to do whatever I want with it, but it something should happen, say I was paid for it, then I would have to remove it from the competition. You can't have ever sold a script or something, especially the one you have entered.
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Fri May 11, 2007 4:46 am

Yeah, GE, but you can get two more written by the time the contest winners are announced....

{{{{ohhhhh, I am sneaky}}}}
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Fri May 11, 2007 12:40 pm

frazzle wrote:
Yeah, GE, but you can get two more written by the time the contest winners are announced....

{{{{ohhhhh, I am sneaky}}}}

As usual, Frazz, you are absolutely right. I'm on a roll! As a matter of fact I've been telling people that our script will hopefully get my mind off off the one entered in the contest.

Oh, and you are quite sneaky, but I like that about you.
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:26 pm

Frazz, I think my AOL is screwing up royally. I know you are the best at answering emails, so I'm pretty sure the problem is with my lovely email service.

I'm taking this here because it's appropriate for the topic and maybe it's better if you answer in public, since people might be interested in what you have to say.

I am in the process of re-writing my script. The lady who did the analysis says I have to SHOW the humiliating things I had my character merely talk about in the script.

I would have thought there would be tons of video on Stella Adler so I could get a feel for her. What she looked/sounded like. She's like THE acting coach who taught anybody who's anybody. Alas, I can find no video. Oddly enough, I can't even find that many pictures. Was this woman a recluse?

Anyway, I just need enough to set up the scene:

What does an acting class look like?

What did she look like at the time? Was she deceptively grandmother-looking or did you know she was going to nail you to the wall when you looked at her?

How does the class begin? Does the teacher start out talking to the students and then pick people out to do scenes?

What's a typical (now) acting class scene?

I have some quotes from her, so I've got a feel for her that way, but I need something visual. I would really appreciate it.

I'm sorry. You're my go-to actress and your descriptions are excellent. I couldn't have written my best scene without you. You're awesome.
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frazzle

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:06 pm

Huh. Nope, I have no e-mails from GE!

OK, I need to put the questions here, and I will intersperse answers:

GE: I am in the process of re-writing my script. The lady who did the analysis says I have to SHOW the humiliating things I had my character merely talk about in the script.

GE:I would have thought there would be tons of video on Stella Adler so I could get a feel for her. What she looked/sounded like. She's like THE acting coach who taught anybody who's anybody. Alas, I can find no video. Oddly enough, I can't even find that many pictures. Was this woman a recluse?

Fraz: I thought there was a a video or DVD available at Samuel French of her teaching, but I am not finding it referenced online. But somewhere there are tapes of her as one of PS's American Masters:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/adler_s.html
Stella was very grand and theatrical. I can imitate her voice and her disdain if you need that.

I know I have seen many pics over the years, so I will go on a search and see what I can come up with. (The Group Theater is a place to start googling.)

GE: Anyway, I just need enough to set up the scene: What does an acting class look like?

Fraz: It usually takes place in a small theater, and the teacher either sits on the stage at the side (Stella and Uta Hagen, who also has a teaching DVD) or in the audience front and center or to the side at the front.

GE: What did she look like at the time? Was she deceptively grandmother-looking or did you know she was going to nail you to the wall when you looked at her?

Fraz: She was obviously ferocious and fabulous. Deep theatrical voice, coy little girl flirting, grand gestures, but absolutely brilliant thoughts, brilliantly expressed. Everybody was terrified of her. And fascinated.

GE: How does the class begin? Does the teacher start out talking to the students and then pick people out to do scenes?

Fraz: It depends on if it is a beginner or a pro class. Your girl would be in the pro class, which is scene study. Two people either get assigned a scene, which they have to find the script for, or pick a scene themselves, rehearse it, and sign up on a list held by the assistant or class monitor for when they are doing their "first work". On that night, the actors bring huge amounts of props, costumes and set pieces, using everything from garbage bags to steamer trunks on wheels. They do the scene, and the teacher stops them right way if it sucks, or lets them go on a bit and then stops them and asks question like, "what is your objective?" --there are many typical questions, and a great variety of how teachers want the questions answered. Your girl would be frantic to answer in the right language if she could figure out what that was. The teacher might have the actor do an exercise right then and their to get them more into character (this is traditionally where actresses wind up sobbing hysterically). THe boys just go dead. Stella's particular bent was to make you, you piddling little thing, learn to go for SIZE of experience (not size of performance) and to do it using your imagination. Strasberg (her cohort and nemesis) wanted people to use memories from their own lives. Stella: WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR PITZICACCA LITTLE LIFE!!! THIS WOMAN IS A QUEEN, A LEADER, FACING EXECUTION!!!!!

GE: What's a typical (now) acting class scene?

Fraz: Most teachers want you to do characters more or less age-appropriate. But the scenes vary (in a theater acting class) from Shakespeare to Chekhov, to Ibsen, to Odetts, to Maury Shisgal, to Caryl Churchill...anything that is considered good. Current "film acting" classes use scenes from movies and modern "relationship" plays, like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Twilight of the Golds, various David Mamet plays...

GE: I have some quotes from her, so I've got a feel for her that way, but I need something visual. I would really appreciate it.:


Fraz: That's it for now. I will see if I can find some pics.

*** Update: a page of pics
http://www.stellaadler-la.com/aboutstellaphotos.html
THe pics are not enlarging correctly for me, but at least eh thmbnails are there.

Also, Google "Stella Adler" and then click "images"

Here is a little one:


*** More update:
http://www.vh1.com/movies/movie/49303/plot.jhtml

And go to Amazon and read the pages that are available online.

And on this one, too.

And, quotes from a number of acting teacheers:
http://www.jbactors.com/actingphilosophy/actingquotations.html

Your girl being humiliated but by someone who is doing the humiliating from the most ferociously noble intentions (doesn't mean they aren't abusive...but their motivation is rarely sadistic..the motivation has to do with not being able to stand how spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally UNAMBITIOUS the students (and the world) are, is what will make your scenes truly great.

The teachers who humiliate just because somebody humiliated them go out of business, fast. They are not famous acting teachers.

Damn. Now I am all riled up and have no interest in going to bed so I can get up and go to work.

I really need to bore myself to sleep.
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Green Eyez

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PostSubject: Re: Writing for TV and movies   Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:15 am

Frazz, as usual, your description is so visceral. I am THERE in class with you. I'm now going to have trouble just limiting it to one scene. I want my whole script to be this now.

I did find the PBS thing and could not get the video to work. If you could, I'd be interested how.

Thank you so much for being you and I'm sorry I riled you all up.
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