Monday, March 03, 2014

Site Alert - The Screenwriting Spark

There's a relatively new online destination out there for screenwriters; The Screenwriting Spark is a convenient consolidation of screenwriting information and resources. Whether you're looking for articles, blog posts, tips, or book or software recommendations, the Screenwriting Spark has lists and recommendations for you. 

Be sure to check out Screenwriting Ignition, too, for regularly updated content that could help boost your screenwriting career. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Resource Alert - Job Search Tools

Everyone wants to work from home. Especially writers. I sure as hell do. That's the end goal, isn't it? Sell a script and spend your day working in your pajamas while everyone else drives, trains, or treks to the office. Enjoy your lunch in front of the tv. Maybe cast off those nagging pants when it gets too hot and work commando. Hey, you're your own boss. You can do what you want. 

Well, until the dream becomes a reality, we aspiring writers must earn our keep some other way. If you're like me, that means a 9 to 5 (hopefully one that truly ends at 5 and allows you the time you need to write each day). However, there's a rise in the number of sites designed to help freelancers secure remote and telecommute work, so I figured I would share a few with you here, which I've come across in my searches. Granted, there are always the job-hunt search sites, the Monsters and Indeeds and Craigs lists and Jobs Radars of the world, but these are tailored to contractors with specialties. Many of the sites require employers to pay directly through the site, and all users can be flagged and vetted, decreasing the chances that the ad you're clicking on will infect your computer - your LIVELIHOOD - with some evil virus. 

People always need writing and writers. Sign up (most of the following are free, and the sites add 10% to your fee, which they take, rather than extracting the fees from your income), create your profile, list your specialties, and see if you can cobble some work together. And i fyou have leads to other sites you've found helpful, please share them with us, and we'll update the below. Happy hunting.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

86th Annual Academy Award Nominations Announced!

Nominations for the 86th Annual Oscars (which will he held March 2, 2014) have been announced. Congratulations to all nominees. Below, the nominations for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay. You can see the nominees for all categories here.

Best Picture
"12 Years a Slave"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"
"Captain Phillips"
"American Hustle"
"Dallas Buyers Club"

Best Original Screenplay
"American Hustle" -- David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer
"Blue Jasmine" -- Woody Allen
"Her" -- Spike Jonze
"Nebraska" -- Bob Nelson
"Dallas Buyers Club" -- Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack

Best Adapted Screenplay
"12 Years a Slave" -- John Ridley
"Before Midnight" -- Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater
"The Wolf of Wall Street" -- Terence Winter
"Captain Phillips" -- Billy Ray
"Philomena" -- Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope

What are your thoughts? Who got snubbed? Is anyone getting undue praise? Share your opinions in the comments!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Resource Alert - The 2014 Writers Calendar

The Black List, Go Into The Story, and Black Board have collaborated to bring screenwriters a tool they are calling, The 2014 Writers Calendar. The calendar, which is also available as a Google calendar, lists festivals, competitions, deadlines, and award ceremonies, among other important dates screenwriters should track throughout the year.

Thanks to The Black List, Go Into the Story, and Black Board for the great resource!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

WGA Award Nominations Announced

Happy New Year, writers! To kick off 2014, here's a list of the WGA Award nominations for outstanding screenwriting in 2013. Perhaps you'll find some inspiration in the list. (Head over to Deadline Hollywood for a longer write-up and analysis.)


American Hustle, Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures
Blue Jasmine, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
Dallas Buyers Club, Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack; Focus Features
Her, Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.
Nebraska, Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures


August: Osage County, Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company
Before Midnight, Written by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Classics
Captain Phillips, Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures
Lone Survivor, Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures
The Wolf of Wall Street, Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures


Dirty Wars, Written by Jeremy Scahill & David Riker; Sundance Selects
Herblock – The Black & The White, Written by Sara Lukinson & Michael Stevens; The Stevens Company
No Place on Earth, Written by Janet Tobias & Paul Laikin; Magnolia Pictures
Stories We Tell, Written by Sarah Polley; Roadside Attractions
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks; Written by Alex Gibney; Focus Features

Which of these have you seen? What do you think is over-touted, and what is missing? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The 2013 Black List Revealed

Deadline Hollywood is live updating its announcement of the 2013 Black List selected screenplays. The Black List is a yearly list that recognizes the best unproduced screenplays of the past twelve months. Initially, the list was meant to showcase new work by emerging talent, and placement on the list often led to representation, sales, production deals, and the like. More recently, the List has experienced some controversy, since many well-known writers with projects that have already been set up feature heavily in the ranking. Technically, their featured screenplays are still unproduced, though when Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED made the list a couple years back, for example, many felt the nature of the list had been besmirched. Still, kudos to all who have made it on, especially those who are new to the industry.

Check out the 2013 Black List Screenplays here


You can now read the loglines and representation and production/financing info for all Black List screenplays on the Black List's official site 

Writing Opportunity Alert - Nickelodeon Writing Program

The annual Nickelodeon Writing Program application dates have been announced. The program is designed to usher in a new crop of talented writers each year, who are selected based off the strength of a spec television script they submit for a show currently on air. Selected writers are then offered a year's placement as a salaried writing staff member.

As always with any fellowship, competition, or submission, be sure to read the guidelines carefully before submitting. I've regretted forgetting to take, say, my name off a title page when instructions clearly indicated that I had to, and you never want something like that to be the difference between placement and a form rejection.

Good luck!