Category Archives: Screenwriting

So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Andric L. Queen-Booker, Class of 2012 – a wonderfully talented and smart young man – and he mentioned that he enjoyed the HBO series, Togetherness, and was a big fan of the Duplass brothers.  As am I.  And my wife.  This is a win-win as it means she enjoys watching a show I enjoying watching, and when you’re in your 4th decade together, and TV wasteland time is limited, that’s a HUGE deal.

When I asked Andric why he liked the brothers, and Togetherness, he said: “It’s real. Truthful.”

So it is.  HBO worth paying for.

Imagine my surprise when the LA Weekly (a paper like the New Times for all my AZ friends) published today – did a wonderful story on the Duplass brothers that is perfectly timed to share with you.

Read this.

I did, twice.  And their story has ME pumped to do more, my way, now.

Go out there and be the STORYTELLER (actor, producer, director, writer, executive, agent, human being) that you want to be!

How the Duplass Brothers Changed Hollywood by Refusing to Change at All

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016 AT 6:30 A.M.

by Gwynedd Stuart

It’s an irresistibly warm weekday in late January, and Jay and Mark Duplass are in their office at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood preparing to write the third season of their HBO series, Togetherness. I note the timing because it happens to be Sundance week, and they’re here rather than there (I note the weather because, goddamn, we’re lucky) — and it’s the rare year they don’t have a pony to show. Last year, Sean S. Baker’s iPhone-filmed, Hollywood-set dramedy Tangerine, which the Duplasses executive produced, was one of the festival’s most talked-about films. They also executive produced Melissa Rauch’s The Bronze, another 2015 Sundance selection.

And all of 11 years ago, their first full-length feature, the low-budget relationship drama–slash–road-trip comedy The Puffy Chair, was among the festival’s breakout hits, winning the Audience Choice Award and making their mutual inclusion in conversations about young filmmakers-to-watch almost instantaneous. They were among a handful of auteurs whose work was being lumped together to constitute what was called the “mumblecore” movement. Major record labels were fixating on all things indie rock, and major film studios were fixating on quiet, quirky dramas being made for $15,000 rather than $15 million.

After the 2005 fest, Mark and his now-wife, director-actress Katie Aselton, packed up and moved from New York to L.A.; Jay headed West that December. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s safe to say these were good decisions. Continue reading So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

Don’t Hit Send On Your Script Unless…

…you have ALL your i’s dotted and t’s crossed.  What’s that?  Of course you will!  No one in their right mind would submit work that wasn’t ready to be shown to a buyer, agent, producer, actor, executive, or a highly competitive screenplay contest – right?
You’d be surprised how often this happens AND it has happened to me when I have been in a hurry to meet a deadline after I procrastinated one day too many and it was deliver or die day for my screenplay.
So, in the hope you avoid my mistakes, I give you:

7 Things to Do Before You Submit Your Screenplay to Anyone

By Ken Miyamoto

October 27, 2015

Whether it’s submitting it to competitions, production companies, agents, managers, studios, or talent, screenwriters need to go through a checklist to prepare their scripts for submission.

This is the first time the powers that be will be seeing your script. This is the first and only impression that you can make with them. If the script is not up to their standards and doesn’t adhere to the various submission directives that there may be on their end, you’ve lost them before you ever had them.

So here’s a To Do list for all screenwriters (otherwise known as a “Make Sure” List), offering habits to get into before submitting scripts. And we’ll toss in some tricks of the trade as well.

  1. Make sure you have permission to submit your script.

This is primarily for submitting to agents, managers, production companies, studios, and talent. You cannot send unsolicited material to these powers that be. Hollywood is so afraid of being sued these days. Because of that, they simply won’t and can’t accept screenplays, television scripts, and treatments. Most of the big agencies won’t even accept query letters or emails that showcase loglines or a short synopsis. So make sure you have permission to send a script in the first place. All too often, you’ll be asked to fill out a release form, releasing them from any litigation regarding concepts that may be similar to yours that they eventually produce. Continue reading Don’t Hit Send On Your Script Unless…