Tag Archives: writer

Happy Birthday: Neil Gaiman

neilgaiman.jpgNeil Gaiman

Born: November 10, 1960 in Portchester, England, UK

It’s not a bad thing for a writer not to feel at home. Writers – we’re much more comfortable at parties standing in the corner watching everybody else having a good time than we are mingling.

[his novel] The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novel of childhood and memory. It’s a story of magic, about the power of stories and how we face the darkness inside of us. It’s about fear, and love, and death and families. But, fundamentally, I hope, at its heart, it’s a novel about survival.

This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubt on their existence. Or lack thereof.

 

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Neil Simon is 89 years old today. His best quotes:

Read the best quotes of the iconic playwright and screenwriter Neil Simon. 

If you can go through life without experiencing pain you probably haven’t been born yet.

Talent is the gift plus the passion – a desire to succeed so intense that no force on earth can stop it.

Once you start compromising your thoughts, you’re a candidate for mediocrity.

I much prefer writing an original movie with the screen in mind to transferring a play to the screen.

I love living. I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they’ve come up with so far.
I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you’ll be a person worthy of your own respects.

Writing is an escape from a world that crowds me. I like being alone in a room. It’s almost a form of meditation- an investigation of my own life.

It’s always painful when you’re writing memoirs because you’ve got to go through the dark places, but it gives you a chance to find out the person you really are, not the person you thought you were.

Take care of him. And make him feel important. And if you can do that, you’ll have a happy and wonderful marriage. Like two out of every ten couples.

The first book was my first attempt at writing full-length prose.

Don’t listen to those who say, you taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today.

Writers feel like a middleman, standing with pen in hand over the page. A force greater than me stands above telling me what to write. That may sound romantic, but that’s how it feels.

When its 100 degrees in New York, it’s 72 in Los Angeles. When its 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it’s still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and only 72 in Los Angeles.

Never underestimate the stimulation of eccentricity.

If no one ever took risks, Michaelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor.

I don’t use computers… I’m someone who needs to see the page right away in my hand.

Once you’ve opened yourself up, it’s best to go all the way.

I got brown sandwiches and green sandwiches. Its either very new cheese or very old meat. – Oscar Madison, from The Odd Couple

Everyone thinks they can write a play; you just write down what happened to you. But the art of it is drawing from all the moments of your life.

You get attached to the way you write, and I’m attached to notebooks. That’s where I really write the plays. Just two or three pages at a time, then I transfer to the typewriter and rewrite while I type.

I don’t like writing for comedians. I like writing for actors. The best comedians are the best actors.

Gee, what a terrific party. Later on we’ll get some fluid and embalm each other.

He’s too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie.

All humor is based on hostility – that’s why World War Two was funny.

Rewriting is when writing really gets to be fun. . . . In baseball you only get three swings and you’re out. In rewriting, you get almost as many swings as you want and you know, sooner or later, you’ll hit the ball.

RIP Michael Cimino. Read his best quotes:

michaelcimino.jpgOscar winning director Michael Cimino died today at the age of 77. Here are his best quotes about life, Hollywood, and directing:

When asked by “People” magazine, Nov. 11, 1996 issue, how the disaster of Heaven’s Gate (1980) affected his life: “It was really a great trauma, as everyone knows. Since then, I’ve been unable to make any movie that I’ve wanted to make. I’ve been making the best of what is available.”

“They’ve been running Deer Hunter like crazy on Bravo. And here is the whole goddamned Congress singing ‘God Bless America’ on the steps of the US Capitol. I said, ‘Holy shit, this is the ending of the movie.'” (on The Deer Hunter (1978) in hindsight, post-9/11, London Independent on Sunday, July 2002)

I don’t make movies intellectually, I don’t make movies to make a point, I make movies to tell stories about people.

Films are home movies of your past.

If you don’t get it right, what’s the point?

[on Heaven’s Gate (1980)] It took me a long time before I was able to say, “I’m proud of that movie.” And I am proud of it. I could not have made it any better than I made it. No excuses, and no regrets.

Nobody lives without making mistakes. I never second-guess myself. You can’t look back. I don’t believe in defeat. Everybody has bumps, but as Count Basie said, “It’s not how you handle the hills, it’s how you handle the valleys.”

I think some people think that I’m totally nuts. Some think I’m a druggie. They say I had $50,000 in my budget for Heaven’s Gate (1980) allocated to cocaine. They say I’m an alcoholic. I’m not, despite rumors to the contrary. All the things people think I am, I’m not. That’s why I never answer them in the press, because they’re ridiculous. And some of them are pretty wild. They’ve said everything about me that they could: racist, Marxist, rightist, homophobic, sex-change – I don’t know what else they could come up with.

Vilmos [Zsigmond] and all those guys have built themselves up to be bigger than directors. It’s bullshit. Does anyone remember who shot Kubrick’s movies? Do you remember who shot David Lean’s movies? No one remembers who shot Dr. Strangelove or Barry Lyndon (1975).

I’m not revisiting the past, like Francis Ford Coppola, re-cutting Apocalypse Now (1979) 29 times. Why do you think Francis is re-cutting Apocalypse? He’s dried up. I’m going forward; he’s going backward.

If you look at Buddhists, sometimes they appear like they are getting younger. It’s not supernatural – they’re just evolving as better human beings. If you’re evolving, it’s going to show on your face. The premier example of the polar extreme, of someone devolving, is Marlon Brando, who is getting nuttier every day. Enlightenment shows on the face. Depravity shows on the face.

[on book publishing] When a guy is perceived as macho, female editors aren’t going to like it – because they all want to be men.

[on Oliver Stone] Oliver thinks he’s the greatest thing since chopped liver. He’s a great guy, a great writer; we have a great working relationship and I love him. But he’s a better writer than director. He’s incredibly, insanely jealous about the fact that I published a novel. He’s always wanted to be the next Hemingway; he didn’t want to be a director.

[on Steven Bach] This man has given me endless grief for his work of fiction, and it should be classified as fiction. He’s made money off my blood, my work, for 20 years. [2002]

This is a lonely country and people die of loneliness as surely as they die of cancer. But I also know that in every friendship there’s the potential for destructiveness as well as nourishment.

[responding to a journalist’s question about Heaven’s Gate (1980) in 1990] I take full responsibility, and all other questions are answered by the film itself.

NEW YORK CITY Stories from the Writing Festival

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

ACTORTV SPEC – 2 BROKE GIRLS
October 2013 Reading
Written by Greg Wayne

ACTORTV SPEC – NEW GIRL “Summer’s Over”
February 2014 Reading
Written by Micah Goldman & Griff Kohout

ACTOR TV PILOT – THE SHARE
December 2013 Reading
Written by Emily Chadwick Weiss

WINNING SCREENPLAYFEATURE SCRIPT – I’M GOING SOMEWHERE ELSE
November 2013 Reading
Written by Laura Morton

ACTORTV SPEC – MAD MEN “A Hold on Me”
July 2013 Reading
Written by Moneesa Credle

ACTORFEATURE SCRIPT READING – THE FIX FACTORY
October 2014 Reading
Written by Kyle Jenkins

ACTOR1ST SCENE SCRIPT – THE OTHER SIDE
March 2014 Reading
Written by Barb Markusa

ACTOR1ST SCENE SCRIPT – WHEN NIGHT TURNS TO DAY
March 2014 Reading
Written by Amy Guggenhein

STAGE PLAY: VEILS OF JUSTICE
February 2015 Reading
Written by Chris Payne

ACTORFeature Script – BESA
March 2015 Reading
Written by Michael Miceli

1st Scene SCRIPT – LEGRAND
February 2015 Reading
Written by Angelina Carkic

ACTORTV SPEC: GIRLS “Camping”
May 2015 Reading
Written by Yolanda R. Easiley

SCREENPLAYChapter 3 Novel: WINGS OF HOPE
August 2015 Reading
by Hillary Hoffman

SCREENPLAYChapter 1 Novel: APRIL SNOW
September 2015 Reading
by Lynn Stewart

ACTORFeature SCRIPT – BROWNIE AND FRAN
July 2015 Reading
Written by Arthur S Brown & Rory Leahy

ACTORSHORT SCRIPT – Symposium
October 2015 Reading
Written by Tom Grady


festival posterAFTER
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

2015
Drama/Family, 8min, United States


festival posterFAMILY ON BOARD
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

2015
15min, USA, Drama

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL-0CVDAfvxiqRTRHslZLXP2q0bQ0OMloH&v=KsSrsGjlym0

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Watch TV PILOT Reading of MAX COBRA by Brad Heisler

Watch MAX COBRA TV Pilot Reading:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Lorry Ayers
MAX COBRA – Jarrid Terrell
GENERAL/AGENT CONAN – Geoff Mays
PRESIDENT POWERS – David Occhipinti
DR. SANFORD – Christina Santos

Get to know writer Brad Heisler:

1. What is your TV PILOT about?

Well, plot-wise, the pilot of Max Cobra: Dark Future is about an ex-government assassin/war hero drafted by the president to stop rogue Soviet soldiers from destroying the planet in an alternate version of 1997.

But conceptually, the show is about recreating the magic of the old 80s action movies, when heroes were effortlessly cool, the dialogue was unforgettable and immediately quotable, the effects were campy and vivid, and most importantly, the action was fun. Action today takes itself too seriously and, honestly, they just don’t write one-liners like they used to. Max Cobra: Dark Future is about fixing that.

2. Why should this screenplay be made into a TV Show?

Retro is in. From sequels to the Terminator and Mad Max series, to upcoming remakes of Big Trouble in Little China and Road House, to affectionate parodies of the genre such as Moonbeam City, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and Kung Fury, people are eating up the 80s nostalgia. Due to the evolving cinematic nature of television, and the lack of substantial live action comedies that aren’t sitcoms, TV is the perfect medium to explore the incredibly wide and multi-faceted scope of a retro-futuristic post-apocalyptic chrome and neon 80s fueled dystopian version of 1997.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Eye-popping action.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Jurassic Park, without a doubt.

5. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

The first draft of the script was written by hand in a spiral notebook while I was on vacation in less than a week. Rewrites took a little bit longer.

6. How many stories have you written?

Two full length two-act plays, six one-act plays. A dozen short films, two completed feature length screenplays, and now one TV pilot. Countless short stories, novels, and screenplays that are all in various stages of progress. The plots have ranged from a murder mystery on the Titanic to a coming-of-age medical drama to an anachronistic pirate adventure about finding your place in the world, but the one common thread is that all of them have tried to make people laugh.

7. What motivated you to write this screenplay?

Love for the genre, passed on to me by my dad. Conan the Barbarian quotes were basically a second language for us. One of my favorite movies was always Escape from New York. Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken is the definition of badass. The entire idea for Max Cobra: Dark Future grew from the question, “What’s the most insane and awesome way anybody could ever lose their eye and need to wear an eyepatch?”

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Actually, I’ve never written a script that was easier to write. One of the beautiful things about action movies is they all end the exact same way, with a huge showdown between the hero and the big bad. Because I knew the end goal, I just wrote the most ridiculous things to get from point A to point B to point Final Battle, and tried to have as much fun as possible, embracing the clichés and tropes and cranking them up to 11 rather than fighting them.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

If I spent as much time on anything else as I do on fantasy football, I’d be unstoppable. I’ve just got back into comic books. I also caught the travel bug recently. I took a month off to solo travel Mexico in June (and wound up writing this script), and I’m currently planning my next globe-trotting adventure.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

The biggest draw for WILDsound is the chance to get your work read, and interpreted, and put out into the world in some form. I’m incredibly excited to see how these characters sound when they’re out of my head, and hopefully this will lead to some other opportunities for the story.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Let the work be bad at first. You have to write the story, even if the way you write it isn’t great at all. Once you have something to build off of, once the story’s skeleton is there, the hard part’s over. Rewriting is easier than writing, so struggle and push through the writing, and you’ll be in the clear.

    * * * * *

Deadline: TV PILOT/SPEC Script Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
TV Screenplay Testimonials from the WILDsound Festival

Today’s Instagram Photo of the Day: GIRL TV Show Spec Screenplay

Today’s Instagram Photo of the Day:

Deadline: SUBMIT TV PILOT/SPEC Script – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
TV Screenplay Testimonials from the WILDsound Festival

Watch the July 2015 TV Screenplay Winners. Submit your own TV Pilot/Spec by July 31st

Deadline July 31st: SUBMIT TV PILOT/SPEC Script – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

TV Screenplay Festival July 2015 Winners. Watch the winning readings performed by professional actors: One TV PILOT Winner. One TV SPEC from an existing show winner.

TV PILOT – RUST
July 2015 Reading
Written by Cody Carson

SYNOPSIS:

Rust is about a former detective with a series of drug and alcohol dependency issues being brought back into a murder case that he “solved” five years earlier. In the pilot, Paul Rust is forced to confront the demons of the case that still haunt him while trying to come to terms with the news his ex wife has recently got engaged to a guy with a dark secret of his own. On top of that, Rust’s strained relationship with his fourteen year old daughter is about to get a little worse, as Rust discovers that not only is she hanging around with a group of older boys, but she’s been swiping pills from his medication cabinet.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Rachel Rain Packota
PAUL RUST – Troy Patterson
SARAH – Maya Woloszyn
KATIE – Megan Leach
DICKENS – Rob Salerno
CADDIS – David Occhipinti

    * * * *

TV SPEC – ORPHAN BLACK
July 2015 Reading
Written by Jacqueline Bircher

SYNOPSIS:

Sarah hatches a reckless gambit to save Helena from the military’s clutches that exposes new, dangerous facets of the clone conspiracy. Cosima and Delphine bring a new clone into the fold in an attempt to cure Cosima’s illness. Felix digs deeper into Mrs. S’s past.

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Sean Ballantyne
SARAH/COSIMA/HELENA/RACHEL – Rachel Rain Packota
ART – Troy Patterson
DELPHINE/GRACE – Maya Woloszyn
ANGIE/MRS. S – Megan Leach
FELIX/MARK – Rob Salerno
THE COLONEL – David Occhipinti

    * * * * *

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
http://www.wildsound.ca/wildsound_festival_review.html

Deadline July 31st: FEATURE Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html