A recent episode of Scriptnotes featured special guests Leigh Whannell (Saw, Upgrade, Invisible Man) and astrophysicist/science consultant Dr. Erin Macdonald (Star Trek). They looked at cutting edge areas of science to see what the storytelling possibilities could be.
We’ve talked before about the excellent video lectures from screenwriter Michael Arndt. Well, it came to my attention that he now has a Youtube channel. The content there is much the same as was on his website, but some of his longer lectures are broken down into smaller chunks.
Also, there’s one I don’t remember seeing before, specifically about what he learned in writing Toy Story 3 with the Pixar staff. Arndt does a great job of explaining their process and how it can be applied to live action filmmaking too.
We get questions often about the best software to write with. Yes, Final Draft is the 800-pound-gorilla of screenwriting, but there are other alternatives. Making PDF files is what’s important! And some software (like Highland and WriterDuet) will import and export Final Draft’s FDX format as well.
My favorite free apps are TRELBY for PC users and HIGHLAND 2 for Mac users. See more options, with links to their sites, at https://www.rwwny.org/software/
Here’s a fascinating document that was used to help sell the series Stranger Things, originally titled Montauk. It contains images from other films (Jaws, E.T., FIrestarter) that evoke the 80s aesthetic and inspiration from the works of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King.
Stage 32 is a website and blog that offers a community for aspiring filmmakers. Each year they promote the “November Write Club.” The challenge is to pick a goal and dedicate yourself to seeing it through.
That first draft you need to finish? Get on it.
That adaptation you’ve been tinkering around with? Knock it out.
That reel that you’ve been wanting for yourself? Build it.
Give yourself a goal or a set of goals that are challenging, but attainable.
The second part of the “November Write Club” challenge is to lift up your fellow participants and make sure to congratulate them on their successes, encourage them when they face setbacks or challenges, and celebrate their dedication to the craft.
Share your process in the ocmments on the Stage 32 blog.