Posts Tagged ‘Writers on the Verge’

 

Writing Log Week 34 – 28. August, 2017

So the big disappointment this week is that I didn’t script any pages.

I had started writing my pilot last week but, when I went back to my beat sheet, I realized that it wasn’t quite as thorough as I hoped. That’s why I’m taking some time to bang out a full outline (12-20 pages for a 60 page script). Still, I did do more great research for the feature I hope to write in Pilar Alessandra’s class and the pilot I’ll write in Hollie Overton’s Script Anatomy class.

While I’m here, I should mention that I have it on good authority that both Writers on the Verge and the WB Writers Workshop have called applicants for interviews and… and I didn’t get a call this year.

Frankly, I’m not as glum about it as I thought I’d be. There’s still NHMC but maybe I need to think about expanding my resume in other, more creative ways. Maybe it’s time to write that comic book or make a fiction podcast. Something, anything, to help me stand out.

But I digress. This week I completed what must be my 10th viewing of Edge of Tomorrow. Goddamn, I love this movie. It want to call it a perfect sci-fi movie — yeah, I like it that much. I also watched The Invitation. A lot was made about this slow burn of a chamber piece. It’s… it’s not for me but everything it’s about is for me.

Lastly, I read the Black List script Free Guy. It’s like a live action LEGO movie, and to say any more would spoil the read.

(hint, hint)

I will say that the writing is funny, fasting moving and surprisingly emotional. If they can properly visualize the main conceit, this has the potential to be awesome.

That’s all for this week. Me, I’m gonna keep tearing though this outline. You, be excellent to each other.

Posted in Writing

Mid 2017 Check-In – 8. July, 2017

Goddamn, it’s crazy hot. Seriously, this is how I’m gonna spend the rest of the summer.

Regardless, it’s time for a mid-year check-in. I’d say that, despite the ups and downs (and very down downs) of this year, I’ve done an alright job of keeping up with my goals and the required creative output.

Features – At the start of the year I said I wanted to write a contained thriller. I started breaking that story, but then a news item and a friend’s suggestion sent me working on a second, much bigger contained thriller — the first feels like an indie film, the second more like a mid-to-big budget movie. I need to pick one and write it this fall.

Comic Books – I had a script for a flawed short and it died on the vine. That’s fine. Mediocre ideas should die. Now I just need to find another short comic idea.

Pilot – I’ve done some work on my pilot but not nearly enough. That changes today. It will have my total focus until the end of the summer, when I should have a draft.

Spec – I wrote and submitted my Blindspot spec to the Austin Film Festival, the WB Writers Workshop, and the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge program. In a couple of weeks I’ll submit to the NHMC fellowship.

Fiction Podcast – This wasn’t even on the radar at the start of the year but I just wrote a pilot episode and outlined the first season of a supernatural infused noir drama — and now I’m considering making this sucker (truly, I am a masochist).

I took a Script Anatomy class for my spec and it was great. I absolutely recommend them and I hope to take one more class this year. I am also looking at a couple of other classes (will let you know what I find).

Gotta renew my passport ASAP (otherwise, how will I ever find a Canadian honey?). Still need to do something to fill the music void. Still need to develop an exercise routine.

As if that weren’t enough, this year I also followed Scott Myers1, 2, 7, 14 advice. How am I doing in that respect? Well…

I’m supposed to read 1 script a week. By now I should have read 26 scripts. I’m behind, having only read 19: 8 feature scripts and 11 pilot scripts.

Feature Scripts
In The Deep (The Shallows)
The Wall
Hotel Artemis
Hummingbird
Blonde Ambition
Bubbles
James Cameron’s Titanic
Let the Evil Go West

Pilot Scripts
Life Sentence
Reverie
Searchers
Killing Eve
Doomsday
Snowpiercer
El Jefe
Controversy
Valor
Happy!
Salvation

I should be watching 2 movies a week, totaling 52 movies to date. Sadly, I’m only up to 39.

Movies
The Cabin in the Woods
The Shallows
Zootopia
John Wick
Prisoners
A Monster Calls
Postcards from the Edge
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Sleepwalk with Me
Man Up
Monsters
The Lego Batman Movie
Lion
John Wick: Chapter 2
Elle
Get Out
Manhattan
Patriot’s Day
Non-Stop
Logan
Ghost in the Shell (animated)
Kong: Skull Island
Colossal
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Phoenix Forgotten
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
Alien: Covenant
T2: Trainspotting
Baywatch
Gone Girl
Wonder Woman
Taken
Cars 3
Rough Night
Spectre
In Bruges
The Beguiled
Baby Driver
Men in Black

I should be writing 1 page per day, totaling 182 pages. I stand at 201 pages written to date, SO PUT THAT IN YOUR PIPE AND SMOKE IT!

I should have done 364 hours of research and I… I’m too tired to calculate that.

But see, I’m doing pretty well. Hooray for me!

Posted in Writing

Writing Log Week 20 – 22. May, 2017

Besides writing, I saw Alien: Covenant this week. Jesus, when did the humans in this series get so dumb?

The rest of the week I received notes, rewrote my Blindspot Spec, read my Script Anatomy classmates’ scripts (so good), worked on my applications for Writers on the Verge and the WB Writers Workshop.

No rest, right?

Posted in Writing

Writing Log Week 17 – 1. May, 2017

This week I focused on my Blindspot spec script. The finished script (60 pages) is due for my Script Anatomy class in 10 days. The final Austin deadline is in 15 days. WB Writers Workshop and NBC/Universal’s Writers on the Verge are both due in 31 days.

So I tore down my outline. I tore it “down to the studs” (stole that from Meg LeFauve) and then I built it back up. I put my butt in the writer’s seat, put my nose to the grind stone, and I did the work. It wasn’t pretty. Honestly, I probably looked like this…

But I did some honest work.

Now I just have to write 6-10 pages a day.

Sure.

No sweat.

FML.

Posted in Writing

Two Lists of Shows to Spec?! – 9. March, 2017

It’s beginning to look a lot like fellowship season. Time to pick a show to spec from the WB list of approved shows…

BUT WAIT — NBC/UNIVERSAL WRITERS ON THE VERGE PUBLISHED A LIST OF THEIR OWN?!

Below I’ve listed the approved shows and indicated if they’re on the Warner Bros list (#WB) and/or the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge list (#WotV).

Comedy
2 Broke Girls #WB #WotV
American Dad #WB #WotV
Angie Tribeca #WB #WotV
Atlanta #WotV
Archer #WB #WotV
Better Things #WB #WotV – The buzz around the writing circles suggest this will be a popular show to spec.

Blackish #WB #WotV
Bob’s Burgers #WB #WotV
BoJack Horseman #WotV
Broad City #WB #WotV
Brooklyn Nine-Nine #WB #WotV
Casual #WB #WotV
Catastrophe #WB #WotV
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend #WotV
Difficult People #WB #WotV
Episodes #WB #WotV
Faking It #WB #WotV
Family Guy #WB #WotV
Fresh Off The Boat #WB #WotV
Girls #WotV
Grace & Frankie #WotV
House Of Lies #WB #WotV
Insecure #WotV
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia #WB #WotV
Last Man On Earth #WB #WotV – If I were to spec a half-hour, it’d be this show.

Life In Pieces #WB #WotV
Master Of None #WB #WotV – My second choice if I were to spec a comedy.

Modern Family #WB #WotV
Mom #WB #WotV
Mozart In The Jungle #WB #WotV
New Girl #WB #WotV
Search Party #WotV
Silicon Valley #WB #WotV
South Park #WB #WotV
Superstore #WB #WotV
The Big Bang Theory #WB #WotV
The Carmichael Show #WB #WotV
The Goldbergs #WB #WotV
The Good Place #WotV
The Mick #WotV
The Middle #WB #WotV
The Mindy Project #WB #WotV
The Real O’Neal #WotV
Transparent #WB #WotV
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt #WB #WotV
Unreal #WB – So far this is the only show to split categories. Warners considers it a comedy…

Veep #WB #WotV
Workaholics #WB #WotV
You’re The Worst #WB #WotV

Drama
Agents Of SHIELD #WB #WotV
American Crime #WotV
American Horror Story #WotV
Animal Kingdom #WB #WotV
Arrow #WB #WotV
Ash Vs. Evil Dead #WB #WotV – All you hardcore horror folk, you’re out of excuses.

Bates Motel #WB #WotV
Better Call Saul #WB #WotV – I bet this will be the most popular show to spec.

Big Little Lies #WotV
Billions #WB #WotV
Black Mirror #WotV
Blindspot #WB #WotV – I’m taking this show to the dance.

Bloodline #WB #WotV
Blue Bloods #WB #WotV
Bones #WB #WotV
Bosch #WB #WotV
Castle #WB #WotV
Chicago Fire #WB #WotV
Chicago Medical #WB #WotV
Chicago PD #WB #WotV
Code Black #WB #WotV
Criminal Minds #WB #WotV
Daredevil #WB #WotV – My runner up show to spec.

Elementary #WB #WotV
Empire #WB #WotV
Fear The Walking Dead #WB #WotV
Game of Thrones #WotV
Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce #WotV
Gotham #WB #WotV
Greenleaf #WB #WotV – Allow me to admit that I’d never heard of this show until I saw it on the lists.

Grey’s Anatomy #WB #WotV
Halt And Catch Fire #WB #WotV
Happy Valley #WotV
Homeland #WB #WotV
House Of Cards #WB #WotV
How To Get Away With Murder #WB #WotV
Humans #WB #WotV
iZombie #WB #WotV
Jane The Virgin #WB #WotV
Jessica Jones #WB #WotV
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit #WB #WotV
Legends Of Tomorrow #WB #WotV
Lucifer #WB #WotV
Luke Cage #WotV
Madam Secretary #WB #WotV
Major Crimes #WB #WotV
Man in the High Castle #WotV
Mars #WotV
Masters Of Sex #WB #WotV
Mr. Robot #WB #WotV
Narcos #WB #WotV
NCIS: Los Angeles #WB #WotV
Once Upon A Time #WB #WotV
Orange Is The New Black #WB #WotV
Orphan Black #WB #WotV
Peaky Blinders #WB #WotV
Quantico #WB #WotV
Queen Sugar #WB #WotV
Ray Donovan #WB #WotV
Rosewood #WB #WotV
Scandal #WB #WotV
Scorpion #WB #WotV
Scream Queens #WB #WotV
Shades of Blue #WotV
Shameless #WotV
Sherlock #WB #WotV
Stranger Things #WB #WotV – Do we think everyone will spec this?

Suits #WB #WotV
Supergirl #WB #WotV
The 100 #WB #WotV
The Affair #WB #WotV
The Americans #WB #WotV
The Blacklist #WB #WotV
The Catch #WB #WotV
The Crown #WotV
The Exorcist #WotV
The Fall #WB #WotV
The Flash #WB #WotV
The Fosters #WotV
The Knick #WotV
The Leftovers #WB #WotV
The Night Of #WotV
The Night Shift #WB #WotV
The OA #WotV
The Originals #WB #WotV
The Path #WB #WotV
The Vampire Diaries #WB #WotV
The Walking Dead #WB #WotV
The Young Pope #WotV
This is Us #WotV
Timeless #WotV
Underground #WotV
Unreal #WotV – …but NBC thinks this is a drama. I guess if you’re one of those ride-the-fence “dramedy” writers, apply to both and let the studios put you in a box.

Wayward Pines #WB #WotV
Westworld #WotV

Holy, that’s a lot of shows. Kinda makes your head boil over with possibilities, right? Well, no time for that cause we all gotta get writing!

Posted in Writing

I’m Gonna Git Edumacated – 10. December, 2015

I’ve been an absolute demon when it comes to writing this year — more on that in a later post. Still, sometimes I feel like a total slack jawed yokel.

cletus

Why? I suffer from a near fatal case of “Impostor Syndrome“. This is why I’m always pushing myself. This is why I’m in four writing groups. And this is why I’m looking for a screenwriting class in 2016.

Here’s what I am considering:

UCLA Extension – I took two of their classes earlier this year. One was great. The other was okay. I might take another but I feel like I need to branch out, find something that will push me to the next level even faster.

Script Anatomy – I know two people that have taken their classes and both gave glowing reviews. To boot, one did the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge program and the other is currently in the WB Writers Workshop, so their recommendations have weight. I also dig that S.A. is almost exclusively geared towards those seeking a television career and those applying to the popular spring fellowships.

Writing Pad – I have one friend that’s currently taking their TV Comedy Pilot class and so far she finds it valuable. The classes offered cover both features and television, as well as other formats like publishing and memoir writing.

Corey Mandell – One guy in my writing group took one of Corey’s classes and he couldn’t stop raving. Corey seem to offer only a couple of classes, but maybe his strength lies in teaching the basics, laying a rock solid foundation, instead of diving into specific topics.

Pilar Alessandra – I’ve been listening to her podcast after meeting a writer that was devoted to her (I should note that this writer then went on to attend the WB Writers Workshop and is currently staffed on The 100). I think Pilar has a lot to offer feature writers but I know she’s new to teaching television. Then again, like I said, my acquaintance got into a popular writing program and got staffed, so Pilar must be pertinent when it television.

Jen Grisanti – I first heard of Jen at the Austin Film Festival where writers from Los Angeles, Seattle and Austin extolled her virtues. I’ve met a few people that have taken her teleseminars — she doesn’t really offer classes, per se — and they’ve had good things to say.

So, have you taken classes from any of the above? If so, did you love it? Hate it? Indifferent? Maybe you could offer me better advice if I told you what I’m looking to get out of a class.

One, I’m looking for a class, not another degree, or an ongoing sequence of learning, or a cult. At best, I might take two classes this year. It all depends on time and budget.

Two, I’m looking to concentrate on television. I’m looking to jump into television either by getting into a fellowship or by begging my friends for a job. Yes, I want to write features and develop comic book ideas but the tip of the spear is TV writing.

Three, I want an in-person class. I want people that will judge me for being tardy and guilt me about deadlines.

Four, I’m looking to write a new pilot or rewrite one of the two pilots I wrote this year… but I might take a class to nail a spec script — yes, I’m that serious about getting into one of big fellowships.

So, do you have a suggestion for me?

 

Posted in Writing

Austin, I’m Back Sooner Than Expected – 12. October, 2013

“You *HAVE* to go!”

So said my buddy Ted while waiting in line for GRAVITY.

Gravity movie poster

BTW, see it in 3D, ATMOS, and, fuck it, D-Box too.

He said, “the people you meet over that one weekend, it would take you six months to do the same here in Los Angeles.”

And he’s right.

Nikita

My NIKITA spec placed in the Second Round of the Austin Film Festival Teleplay Competition, got me to the semifinals of the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge program, and got me to the quarterfinals of the Final Draft Big Break Television Contest (where I’m still in play for the semis).  I have a little bit of heat, so it only makes sense that I take this ember and see if I can start a fire.

So I’m going back to Austin earlier than expected.

I’m still figuring out my schedule, lodging, etc., but if you have any great tips, let me know!  Also, drop me a line if you’re attending.