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Posts Tagged ‘Scripts’

There are many Canadian films, actors, directors, and screenplay writers that have been very successful.   The Canadian actors that immediately come to mind for me are Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, Martin Short (from Hamilton) Kim Cattrall (born in England, grew up in Canada) William Shatner, Sarah Polley, Dan Aykroyd, Alan Rickman ….

Len Blum is a Canadian scriptwriter, whom I have had the honour of meeting.  He wrote such scripts as the Pink Panther. He graduated from McMaster University.  He was guarded, but nice.

The mega film studio in Toronto, Alliance Films, formerly Alliance Atlantis Films, was started by Robert Lantos.  He now runs a company called ThinkFilm.  Numerous films are produced by Alliance & ThinkFilm companies.  Just look at the back of your DVD or BlueRay film container.

During the course of trying to market my films in Canada, I have met some interesting actors, directors, producers, casting directors, and aspiring film industry individuals.  Mostly it has been positive, but even in Canada it is a hard industry to market oneself, and break into.  It is very exclusive.  Knowing someone helps, but is not a sure-fire solution.

In the States, my scripts were read by the original representatives of the writers of The Matrix.  I was told to come back to them with another script.  They did this twice, but ultimately it was a no go.  Unfortunately they would not tell me what they didn’t like about my scripts so I could alter them in some way.  I also asked them what they were looking for, but there was a calm silence that they emitted, much to my chagrin.  But alas, I have to give them this, they did read them & the did correspond with me & ask for additional scripts.  That is something, yes!?

For a glance at some of Canadian’s finest films.

One film I mentioned earlier on in my blog that I wanted to see was Cairo Time .  I still haven’t seen it, but would like to.  I have seen such films as Black Robe and Cake.  They were very memorable.

There are many films still being made in Canada, in particular in Vancouver and Toronto.  We even have films and television shows being made in Hamilton, Ontario.  Canada as everywhere else in the film industry took a big hit on 9/11.  I believe it has recovered to a large degree, but I imagine it still has a ways to go.

As I think of additional Canadian actors and films, etc., I will add them.  Please feel free to add some yourself.

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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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How does one break through the great barriers of the film industry to have a film produced?  Is it really who you know, and how much money and/or talent you have in your project already?  In other words, how do you break into their Catch 22; you must have someone who likes your screenplay but, few will read it unless you are represented … and no one will represent you unless you have a produced script.    Alas, what does one do?

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