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Local film scene

I’m new to the Northwest, but there seems to be a vibrant local film scene. The Northwest Film and Video festival is currently ongoing at the NW Film Center. I attended a couple events this weekend in Portland, and there’s that definite upstart energy you’d hope to find in that sort of venue. I’ll definitely Read Full

10 Nov 2008
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Tension, context and subtext in dialog

A friend once told me that every conversation that takes place in a screenplay should be an argument. It’s advice he heard from a writing teacher, and I think it’s basically sound. I’d replace the concept of an argument with the more general notion of tension. It doesn’t have to be direct confrontation, but there Read Full

07 Nov 2008
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Change

[scrippet] INT. CLASSROOM Mr. SMITH walks into the room and lays his briefcase on the desk. He sighs. SMITH Okay class. Today we’re going to talk about the Reagan Revolution. The students yawn. He writes the words on the board. SMITH Have any of you ever heard of this? The students look around. They’re bored. Read Full

04 Nov 2008
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Writing for the budget

When you first start writing scripts, one of the great liberating experiences is the ability to start a scene with something like this: [scrippet] EXT. PARIS STREET – AFTERNOON Smith steps to the curb and hails a cab… [/scrippet] And then, you can follow up with the next scene, with a quantum leap: [scrippet] EXT. Read Full

04 Nov 2008
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Valley Film Festival

One of my scripts took “best screenplay” honors at the SF Valley International Film Festival last night. It was a nice cap to my first trip to LA. Writing isn’t exactly lonely work, as much as it is isolating. Even when you’re working in the coffee shops with other presumptuous writers (where I am right Read Full

27 Oct 2008
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Food in film

I’m in the fog that creeps in after I finish a script, when you wonder what to do next. Of course rewriting is a good idea, but then it also makes sense to get a little distance. I guess I could clean the garage and change the oil before starting the second draft. But instead Read Full

19 Oct 2008
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Spec season

Regular as fireflies on the Fourth, October is the time of year that Nicholl inquiries begin to roll in. I’ve had the good fortune of placing spec scripts high in that contest two years in a row. Once they release the list of quarterfinalists and above, production companies and a few agencies will reach out Read Full

11 Oct 2008
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Procrastination

This video is kind of freaky. Like someone’s been watching me. Read Full

08 Oct 2008
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Top screenplay contests

A couple years ago when I finished my first script, I had no idea what to do next. Unlike fiction, you can’t just send queries to agents and expect any kind of response, even rejections. Screenwriting contests and script competitions are one avenue to get industry attention. These are the best options based on my Read Full

07 Sep 2008
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Do you read your stuff out loud?

I don’t know how many times over the years that I’ve recommended to writer friends and fiction writing students to read their work out loud. Not only will you catch every typo and grammar glitch, but you’ll be able to hear the ring and rattle of the words in your head. Now that a tiny Read Full

19 Jul 2008
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David Baker by teslathemes