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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Introduce Yourselves

Reply to this message and introduce yourself to the group! Have you tried writing a screenplay before? What do you like about it? If you haven't tried screenwriting before, let us know why you're interested. What are some of your favorite movies and screenwriters?
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MasterWolfStar
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎02-20-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

I am a 44 year old male that has enjoyed reading and watching movies for many many years. Almost since I can remember I have been writing movies in my head, but it seems to stop there. I watch a movie or read a book and the next thing I know I am taking the charaters and putting them in different situations and watching it unfold in my mind. I have lots of ideas upstairs but for some reason as they start down the staircase to my hands they wander off and never seen to find their way to paper. I am really hoping this group can show me how to find them and get them back on the staircase of creation.
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lynn
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎11-23-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

I am very excited about this class. I returned to school and just completed a degree in English on the Creative Writing track but havent been able to jumpstart my writing since I graduated. I took a graduate scriptwriting class and fell in love with the genre. I feel that, for me, screenwriting is liberating in a way that other genres are not and also found that plot (not usually my strong suit)was so much easier for me in this medium. I have completed two full-length scripts that my professor said I should enter in a contest, but I was thinking about turning one of the scripts into a novel. With this book club maybe I'll be able to polish the script and continue in that medium. I like to write character-driven dramas with social undertones that have strong leading roles for women. Don't get me started on the dearth of intelligent roles for actresses over 40--that's a whole other topic.

My favorite movies are ones that make you think and are not purely for entertainment, although I watch those too. A few movies I liked this year were Stranger Than Fiction, The Departed, The Queen and Little Miss Sunshine. My complete list of movies I love is too long to post here.

I look forward to the discussion and reading others' work.
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

yay! a new club!!


I'm Rick, call me crAZ, call me Rick, just don't call me late for dinner!
I've written all sorts of stuff, including short stories, novels, scripts and screenplays. I like writing in general, and all the various forums and formats one can delve into are merely extensions of the passion I have for the work. Screenplay scripting is just another outlet for me.

As far as favorite movies and screenwriters... hmmm..
any movies involving George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Oliver Stone would be on the list; contemporary classics I suppose work better for me than the Grand Old Classics from back in the day. Hard to pick screenwriters out of the mix, because of the way so much gets mucked about from page to screen. There again though, projects that captured the eye and attention of the folks named above would tend to be on the list, so too the folks who wrote them.

I don't know what I intend on getting out of these clubs and exercises, just honing my skills, I suppose.
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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TrayseaWrites
Posts: 23
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Daniel and everyone else!!

My name is Traysea...I took the university course eons ago when you taught it. Remember I had the screenplay about Dr. G. Houl?? :-)

I have a new story now and I'm looking forward to this club!
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Brendan_M_Burns
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Brendan M. Burns, writer for many years, strictly for pleasure with a few minor exceptions. Managed to parlay an undergraduate English degree with a writing emphasis into a career in editing and publication design. I've run my own company for a little more than a year after working for "The Man" for nearly 15.

I've written two stage plays, only one of which was any good, and it was never produced, nor likely ever will be, as it would require the casting of 18 to 20 men, most of whom would be required to shave their heads.

I've only dipped my finger in the screenwriting waters. I have at least two screenplays (definitely not stage plays) burning holes inside me. My main stumbling block is that I lack the motivation (or ability?) to filter the ideas in my head onto the screen, and ultimately onto paper. I can do it with a play, or a story, or a poem, but I haven't been able to do it with a screenplay. (Or is that just a tired excuse?)

My only claim to fame is my wife and our eight children. Yes, just like in the old days, but without the huge homestead where the children could run around all day. Please don't ask how we do it. Having a large family is utterly impossible, like climbing Mt. Everest or sending a man to the Moon. You don't think about it -- you just do it.
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lynn
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎11-23-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Brendan,
I was wondering about the ways you think writing stage plays and screenplays differ. I've written 2 full-length scripts but never a play, although I've always wanted to.
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Brendan_M_Burns
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Stage Plays vs. Screenplays

Lynn wrote: "I was wondering about the ways you think writing stage plays and screenplays differ. I've written 2 full-length scripts but never a play, although I've always wanted to."

Lynn,

As I've completed two stage plays but no scripts, you and I would seem to compliment one another quite nicely.

Stage plays, I think, are primarily verbal, while screenplays are primarily visual. Case in point -- a stage play I am currently working on takes place on an island eight miles off the coast of Washington state. Of course, given that it will ultimately be produced on a nearly bare stage, the only way the audience would know where it is situated is if the characters tell them.

If it were a screenplay, my opening shot would be a swooping panorama (past the Space Needle, or would that be too obvious?), out over the rocky shore, across the waves, and finally homing in on my island. You can do that in a movie (screenplay), but in a stage play, it's all about dialogue. (Which is why George Lucas, the billionaire screenwriter and producer, would have been a penniless playwright, but that's another thread...)
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MasterWolfStar
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎02-20-2007
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Re: Stage Plays vs. Screenplays

Brendan_M_Burns wrote

(Which is why George Lucas, the billionaire screenwriter and producer, would have been a penniless playwright, but that's another thread...)

-------------------------------

You got that right Brendan. Somehow I just can't see the opening scene of Star Wars being done on stage. Even telling the audience wouldn't be good enough for that one.
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Stage Plays vs. Screenplays

just wait...

a few years after the Ultimate Definitive Super-Delux Director's Supreme Master Vision Cut of the Star Wars saga 13-DVD boxset, when sales drop-off again, Lucas will probably look to the stage for the final ultimate revival of his cash cow..

that's right:

STAR WARS: THE MUSICAL! LIVE ON BROADWAY!

with songs, destined to become timeless classics:

hear Luke sing I'M HERE TO RESCUE YOU

hear Leia's desperate plea in her rendition of WALKING CARPET

and the climactic a capella swan-song by the entire cast (including Jim Henson's Muppets on Ice) on a revolving blue- and green-screen stage:
THE FORCE IS THE FORCE, OF COURSE


yes, STAR WARS: THE MUSICAL! LIVE ON BROADWAY!!

(probably due to hit the stage sooner than we think!)
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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Brendan_M_Burns
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Stage Plays vs. Screenplays

You may be right, but I'm heartened by the fact that they tried this with Lord of the Rings (in Canada, I think?), and the stage show was a spectacular flop.

It's a lot easier, I think, to translate a Broadway show into a decent movie (the list is practically endless) than vice versa. Part of that, I think, is precisely that, no matter how elaborate the sets, a stage show requires some degree of imagination and visualization, whereas a movie, by design, force-feeds its imagery, which then gets stuck in the collective consciousness.

You can stage "Wizard of Oz" successfully, but you're never going to top the iconic sequences from the movie.
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lynn
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎11-23-2006
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Re: Stage Plays vs. Screenplays

That makes perfect sense now that you put it like that. The screenplays I wrote--and read in my scriptwriting classes--have a lot of description. But I'm thinking maybe that's not enough. I've been thinking about turning mine into a novel to go deeper into description and characterization, but if you attempt a script, they are so much fun to write. A much more visual medium IMHO than a novel or short story. Maybe I wouldn't do so well with a stage play. My dialogue is my weakest link and I'm constantly working on it.

I can picture your opening, so I think that would make a great first shot and would immediately orient the viewer.

Absolutely! The Star Wars films are definitely not known for their dialogue :smileyhappy:
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JeriT
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi!

My name is Jeri. I've been writing for a couple of years, working on a fantasy trilogy. I've always been fascinated with scriptwriting, though, and would love to learn more about the nuts and bolts.

My favorite scriptwriters are people like Joe Michael Straczynski, Michael Taylor, Katherine Fugate, Shonda Rhimes, Jeri Taylor, Rob Tapert and Michael Piller. I'm sure I'm forgetting a host of them.

Looking forward to the course!

Jeri
NEM
Contributor
NEM
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎03-01-2007
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

I'm 48 (female) and have over the past year been starting to chronicle my most remarkable father-in-law. He was General Patton's personal forward observer for the Third Army from it's start up in Normandy thru VE day. He Also served as Patton's liaison to the French Underground, even attached briefly to DeGaulle's Paris startup staff. If that wasn't enough, after the war he was an electrical, mechanical and chemical engineer involved in lots of great projects (everything from NASA - chimp launch thru moon landing, GPS and spy satellites; magnetic card keys; TV remote controls; microwave oven; plasma screens, etc., etc., etc.). He even dabbled in politics a bit. Think Audie Murphy crossed with Thomas Edison.

I am NOT an English major (computer science BS), but I know a good story when see/hear it. I am trying to improve my skills, so his story can be told to the world. I've been trying to get his material into a book form, but I really think it would make a GREAT movie(s). I've not done this sort of forum before, so consider me a rookie on several levels.

As far as movies I enjoy - I would say lots of genres, but those that tell a story. I've always enjoyed old B&W movies -- WWII movies (even as a kid), Katherine Hepburn (prime and her later ones, John Wayne movies (cowboy, war and especially 'The Quiet Man'), Disney movies (especially older animation that sought to entertain both kids and adults - and did). 'It's a wonderful Life' is high on my favorites list. I also like Spielberg, Howard and Lucas movies that someone else mentioned.

I haven't picked up the recommended book yet, but will try to in the next couple of days.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

[ Edited ]
Ah, now there are some curious types around who want to know a lot about me. And there are people around who dislike me and why on earth should I say anything about me at all to anybody. Who gives the beep. And if somebody happens to like me would that be because they know where I live and for how many years I was browsing this earth so far? What my mother did for living and what kind of beer my father liked. And if I say that would they willingly accept it as truth? How come, I wonder.

I could tell you I am a 35 yo mummy from Philly with a five year old son and my husband is a software developer and we have a beautiful house and a new yellow convertible and a kitty called Panky. And I always wanted to write and dreamed about moving to Hollywood, starstruck and I am now so happy to be here to learn it all in one month and finally get a solid chance to make it big in life. That would do.

I could say I am a retired lawyer from Boston who is now bored to death by doing nothing and finally wants to attempt something outrageous. I'd have two grown sons and a three grand children who are really grand. I'd have a big water tank with fish in my garden and I 'd be interested in history. My wife I wouldn't mention during the first couple of weeks just in case some net chick shows up but then in one post I 'd say accidentaly something about the year when I got married and the secret would be out, aw shucks. The chick stops mailing of course. That scenario would probably get me of the hook, too.

I could be a college case .....no further comments.

I could be a bossy cold bitch, frustrated and imposing my ideas on anybody around. Rather stupid and angry and pretty over the edge but thinking I know best. Living in a condo that my mother bought for me and hating my little sister for no reason at all. Voracious reader is always good, my father commited suicide by the way, when I was eight and I am temping in a bank and momentary actually out of all the fretful biz and so eventually, everybody perks up, cuz here she comes and grasps the best chance of her life so far, a free course that she can dive into headlong and dazzle the world. Nah, I don't enjoy that version.

I could be all of these combined an none of them at all. And I really wonder why people like to tell stories about their lives and assume that tells anybody who they are. What a game. I suspect that I was dealt some pretty rotten cards in heaven when I had to pick my fate. You just wouldn't like to hear it albeit many told me to write a book about my life. I tell you the reality has outdone the fiction. You just wouldn't like to know how. I promise. You'd get bored out of your wits.

I ordered the text book, its delayed two weeks already and I am not sure I'll stick around cuz I do not like finishing things off. And what joy would you then have by knowing who I was. I can't tell you.....know thyself that is enough, no need to know me. And how am I to count the words now anyhow? I have not that kind of software that does it for me. 26 lines by twenty words is 520, so I'm over the limit, better add some more. Too much. Yes, people tell me I am too much and I am so sorry there's too little of themselves around.

BTW I think the character is starting to take shape.

Message Edited by ziki on 03-02-200706:45 PM

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

are you done with the fiction section?
ziki
dinner's over will you come?
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

hi lynn, nice to see U here.

ziki
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actress over 40



lynn wrote:
Don't get me started on the dearth of intelligent roles for actresses over 40--that's a whole other topic.



Tell me more, why do you think it is like that?
ziki
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Re: Introduce Yourselves



Brendan_M_Burns wrote: My main stumbling block is that I lack the motivation (or ability?) to filter the ideas in my head onto the screen, and ultimately onto paper. I can do it with a play, or a story, or a poem, but I haven't been able to do it with a screenplay. (Or is that just a tired excuse?).




yes, 'tis, we'll be watching you.
ziki
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

[ Edited ]

Brendan_M_Burns wrote: Having a large family is utterly impossible, like climbing Mt. Everest or sending a man to the Moon. You don't think about it -- you just do it.




:-)

and derive some pleasure from it, too, I guess.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 03-03-200704:14 AM

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