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Archive for October, 2009

It is very important to protect your work as soon as it has been completed.  Here are a few steps you can do to protect your script:  Register your work with either the WGA West, WGA East (Writers Guild of America) the WGC (Writers Guild of Canada) or, with a Copyright Canada or US Copyright.   It’s unlikely a company will do this, but if possible, have a company sign a non-disclosure form (information on Google) before you submit your work to them.

An Intellectual Property (IP) lawyer could also be useful.  For the most part though they will tell you to get a Copyright.  If you can work out a deal where you send them your work so that it is “safe” with them, then kudos to you.

Another less sophisticated method is to send your work to yourself through the mail system.  Make sure it stays sealed.  It will have the date you sent the script to yourself, proof that your work has been written by you.  Please don’t count on this method as a tried and true one.  It is merely another method to use in addition to the others (Copyright, WGA, WGC, IP lawyer).  The more secure you can make your work, the better off you will be in the long run.

If you are lucky to have your script optioned or bought outright you will need an entertainment lawyer, and an agent to help with your agreement.

The 2010 Guide to Literary Agents  is one of the books you can use on “where and how to find the right agents to represent your work”.

Another book you might want to consider using is the 2002-2003 Writer’s Guide to Hollywood Producers Directors and Screenwriter’s Agents.  This book has “Hundreds of Insider Tips from Hollywood Veterans”.

Good luck and “May the Force be with you”!

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There are some film soundtracks that can be inspirational to your writing.

Ennio Morricone who did music for such films as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, A Fist Full of Dollars, and Once Upon a Time in the West.

Some of the best film musical soundtracks are Sound of Music, West Side Story, and Moulin Rouge.

Of course Composer John Williams has some of the finest film soundtracks; Schindler’s List, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Star Wars. An interesting website to get more information on John Williams is Mfiles.

Music of the Lord of the Rings, Beauty and the Beast, Master and Commander, and Paul Robeson are excellent.

Paul Robeson sang in the movie Showboat, and was a Shakespearean actor; he acted in Othello. He also was a political activist for Civil and Human Rights. My family had the honor of having him as the Godfather to my sister Paula. He used to sing her lullabies when she was a baby.

There is one website that lists what they feel are the top 100 film soundtracks. It is called filmsite.

(More music to be added ASAP)

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View film trailers of some superb films:

More trailers of films that I really like.

In the Name of the Father 

Rear Window  [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-B6rfV_wH4U]

There will be Blood 

Pride and Prejudice 

The Closet short  is an amazing short that shows one the power of a good story.  

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Here are a couple of questions to think about:

* Do directors, actors, and others make the script, or does the script make the actor, director, and others?

* What is your favorite film and why?   Who is the director?   Who is the screenwriter?

To find more scriptwriting blogs on WordPress.com go to Blogs about Scriptwriting.

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I have been an extra on a a few sets and have taken acting classes.  This has helped me to know how scripts are brought to life.   If you are going to do acting you will need two things, an agent, and “Headshots”.   One of the best photographers to go to is Richard Sibbald in Toronto.   I went to another photographer that was quite good, but I’m afraid I cannot recall their name. I am posting two of my pictures I used for acting over five years ago. Richard Sibbald did the black and white photo.

My acting days

My acting days

My acting days

My acting days

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If you are interested in looking up information about film companies there is IMDB Pro. You can find “showbiz contacts”, “Track films in production” plus regular IMDB, “View actor and movie ratings”.
There are also books you can buy: Hollywood Representation Directory, 36th Edition or Hollywood Creative Directory: September 2009. These will list the film company, what films they have done, and perhaps what films they have in production. They may also tell you what type of films they are interested in producing. This is a very helpful feature if your have a romance script and the company you are looking at likes romances.  
Please see my other posting How to Protect Your Script for more information.

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There are some awesome software programs to help you write scripts in a professionally formatted manner. Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 is the scriptwriting program I used. Since then there is an updated version of Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 for approximately $49.95 US. Another program is Dramatica Pro. The reason I bought Movie Magic Screenwriter 2000 was because it was compatible with another writing program that helps you format your entire script, stories, and plays. It is called Power Structure. It is amazing, and it is loads of fun. When I say Power Structure’s software is compatible with Movie Magic software, I mean you can transfer information from Power Structure to Movie Magic. That is why I purchased those programs.

[There is also]  ScriptThing. [With the] Complete integration with both ScriptThing™ & Movie Magic® Screenwriter™ allows you to take a script that you want to rewrite, and simply open it in Power Structure and have all your entire script in the program ready for analysis and rewriting. When you’re done with the restructuring / rewriting, simply click a button and it exports it back to a ScriptThing/Screenwriter Script with all your dialogue, character names and so forth still all formatted correctly for you!

I must tell you that I researched all the programs out there in the utmost way. Moreover, I sought out a highly reputable company who sells software for writing stories, scriptwriting, etc.; Write Brothers. I phoned them to enquire about their various softwares and the aforementioned ones were the ones they suggested to me. They were extremely helpful. I should add that I was a total novice at scriptwriting at this point and time.

A further list of screenwriting software can be found on Wikipedia.

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