Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The early years

Inspired by Lena Dunham's funny Instagram post of a story she wrote as a kid, I went through my writing from 2nd and 3rd grade to see if there were any early clues that I might become a screenwriter. Instead, I found some other hilarious things, including an obsession with multi-bedroom mansions and an early penchant for brunch:

"My favorite lunch, which is brunch lunch..." (Some things never change!)

When people ask me if I'm a Buffalo Bills fan, I give a complicated answer about childhood disappointment. This should explain it:

In college, I was a radio DJ/newscaster. This one contains some early hints of my broadcasting career (and a weird-ass 8 year-old personality):

Apparently, I spoke out against the conspiracy theory that Betsy Ross may not have made our flag (go ladies!):

A year earlier, my mom gave birth to my younger brother and I had to move into a room with my older sister. Apparently, I did not take this very well, and became obsessed with rich people and mansions:

"Everybody gets their own room!" (Ah, utopia.)

I guess I wanted "nine sisters and zero brothers" (sorry, Jim):

Duh, all pirates live in mansions with dungeons. Perhaps this next one hints at screenwriting: "give me all your money or I'll shoot you" sounds like a great high-stakes premise, no?

At Thanksgiving, I was more thankful for "clothes" and "books" than for "life and health" (which is basically still true):

By third grade, I realized I wanted a mansion AND servants:

And finally, third-grade me also resisted notes. Notice how my teacher corrected some mistakes and I crossed them out with a red pencil:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tuesday links!

GOING THE DISTANCE writer Geoff LaTulippe has relaunched his website/blog. His post How Do I Read? How Do I Write????? is a must-read guide to what to look for when studying professionals scripts - and I'm sure he'll be posting plenty more professional insights in the future. He's also giving away a bunch of stuff for Xmas...check it out!

The Bitter Script Reader posted a great guest blog post from Eric Heisserer about the studio film development process from a writer's perspective (Eric is the writer behind the 2010 reboot of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, as well as FINAL DESTINATION 5 and the 2011 prequel THE THING.) The journey from first draft to film is both complicated and frustrating - and this is a great "insider" look.

Now that it's Awards season, you can find a lot of award-hopeful professional screenplays online. Scott over at Go Into the Story has linked to a bunch of them, from ANNA KARENINA to LINCOLN to MOONRISE KINGDOM. Read read read!

Variety has announced its 10 Screenwriters to Watch for 2012. Read their stories and be inspired!

This one's old - but via Twitter, I've just now been alerted to Film Crit Hulk's 2011 blog post, The Myth of 3 Act Structure. Although film execs and producers largely refer to features as having three acts, you might find it helpful to study follow Shakespeare's 5-Act structure, since Act 2 in a feature covers so much ground.