TVWriter™ Welcomes Inktip!

Don'tcha love the colors of this logo? We love the colors!

Don’tcha love the colors of this logo? We love the colors!

Speaking of the Spec Scriptacular as we just were, TVWriter™ is proud to announce that Inktip, which we consider THE site for producers and reps to find and see your work, has partnered up with us to co-sponsor both the Spec Scriptacular and the People’s Pilot competitions.

Starting with the current Spec Scriptacular, the first place winner of each category of our two flagship contests will receive a six-month listing on the InkTip site, a terrific meeting place for writers and pros. Over 200 films have been made from scripts and writers found on InkTip, and no telling how many more deals may have been struck that gave new writers a start.

LB and InkTip’s Jerrol and Norma LaBaron have known each other for almost two decades, and, LB says:

“I think it’s great that we’ve finally found a way to work together to help writers get the career boosts they deserve. I’m looking forward to the day when an Emmy winning showrunner holds out that statuette and thanks not only his or her agent, partner, mother, father, network head, cast, staff, crew, God and country but the three of us as well!”

Um, we think that’s a little tongue in cheek, but, hey, it’s the Brode, so who knows?

More about InkTip is HERE.

Oh, and what the hell, more about the Spec Scriptacular is HERE.

The TVWriter™ Spec Scriptacular Early Bird Special Ends in 10 Days

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

Yes, it’s true. There are only 10 days left to get the Early Bird Discount price of $35 for your entry in this year’s SPEC SCRIPTACULAR.

The regular price is 50 bucks, so this is, you know, 30% off.

How It Works

  1. The Early Bird Special Discount is good for all entries up until the very last minute the offer ends – 11:59 am Pacific Time, September 1, 2014.
  2. Once you’ve paid you have the option of uploading your entry immediately or holding onto/finishing/revising it and uploading at any time up to the very last minute of the contest - 11:59 am Pacific Time, December 1, 2014.
  3. There’s no muss, no fuss, not even a special code to remember. Anybody entering the SPEC SCRIPTACULAR up to the aforementioned time when the offer ends is automatically charged the discount price.

This sounds like  pretty good deal to us, so:

Sign up for your 2014 SPEC SCRIPTACULAR Early Bird Entry HERE

A few words about the SPEC SCRIPTACULAR:

This contest, which began 14 years ago, is for spec scripts of 3 types:

  • Currently or recently aired sitcoms
  • Currently or recently aired action or dramatic shows
  • Original screenplays of any length that can be broadcast as TV movies or original specials

The SS awards $6000 worth of prizes, and every entry receives free feedback on where it ranks in terms of both professional standards and this year’s competition.

As an Entrant, Semi-Finalist, Finalists, or of course Winner you’ll be in the august company of previously unknown writers who over just the past couple of years have been on the staffs of CHICAGO PD, CHICAGO FIRE, PERSON OF INTEREST, THE WALKING DEAD, RIZZOLI AND ISLES, GREY’S ANATOMY, ROME, NTSF:SD:SUV, KILLER WOMEN, ANIMAL PRACTICE, and THE LEFTOVERS.

How cool is that?

More about THE SPEC SCRIPTACULAR is HERE.

More about the prizes is HERE.

And, in case you missed it, the page to go to enter is HERE.

We Really Do Make Our Own Luck

Looking for fame and fortune in Hollywood or its various annexes in, say NYC, or Sheboygan? Well, good news, fellow creatives. Turns out that even if showbiz success is all luck, we’re still in control. Cuz, as this article points out being lucking is “an easy skill to learn.”

Yeppers, it had us at the word “easy” too. (Is that so wrong?)

by Richard Wiseman

A decade ago, I set out to investigate luck. I wanted to examine the impact on people’s lives of chance opportunities, lucky breaks and being in the right place at the right time. After many experiments, I believe that I now understand why some people are luckier than others and that it is possible to become luckier.

To launch my study, I placed advertisements in national newspapers and magazines, asking for people who felt consistently lucky or unlucky to contact me. Over the years, 400 extraordinary men and women volunteered for my research from all walks of life: the youngest is an 18-year-old student, the oldest an 84-year-old retired accountant.

Jessica, a 42-year-old forensic scientist, is typical of the lucky group. As she explained: “I have my dream job, two wonderful children and a great guy whom I love very much. It’s amazing; when I look back at my life, I realise I have been lucky in just about every area.”

In contrast, Carolyn, a 34-year-old care assistant, is typical of the unlucky group. She is accident-prone. In one week, she twisted her ankle in a pothole, injured her back in another fall and reversed her car into a tree during a driving lesson. She was also unlucky in love and felt she was always in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Over the years, I interviewed these volunteers, asked them to complete diaries, questionnaires and intelligence tests, and invited them to participate in experiments. The findings have revealed that although unlucky people have almost no insight into the real causes of their good and bad luck, their thoughts and behaviour are responsible for much of their fortune.

Take the case of chance opportunities. Lucky people consistently encounter such opportunities, whereas unlucky people do not. I carried out a simple experiment to discover whether this was due to differences in their ability to spot such opportunities.

I gave both lucky and unlucky people a newspaper, and asked them to look through it and tell me how many photographs were inside. On average, the unlucky people took about two minutes to count the photographs, whereas the lucky people took just seconds. Why? Because the second page of the newspaper contained the message: “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” This message took up half of the page and was written in type that was more than 2in high. It was staring everyone straight in the face, but the unlucky people tended to miss it and the lucky people tended to spot it.

For fun, I placed a second large message halfway through the newspaper: “Stop counting. Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win £250.” Again, the unlucky people missed the opportunity because they were still too busy looking for photographs.

Personality tests revealed that unlucky people are generally much more tense than lucky people, and research has shown that anxiety disrupts people’s ability to notice the unexpected. In one experiment, people were asked to watch a moving dot in the centre of a computer screen. Without warning, large dots would occasionally be flashed at the edges of the screen. Nearly all participants noticed these large dots.

The experiment was then repeated with a second group of people, who were offered a large financial reward for accurately watching the centre dot, creating more anxiety. They became focused on the centre dot and more than a third of them missed the large dots when they appeared on the screen. The harder they looked, the less they saw.

And so it is with luck – unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else.

Read it all

TV Writing Deals: Would You Watch a Series About a “Poor Farmer” with a “Life-changing secret?”

Jeeze, I thought the 1 percent would be better looking than this!

Jeeze, I thought the 1 percent would be better looking than this!

by munchman

Nah, neither would I. But Starz is hoping that writers Gonzalez Iñárritu, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Nicolás Giacobone and Armando Bo, who last collaborated on BIRDMAN, which munchman predicts will be the second coolest feature film of the season (behind GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, of course) will make this thing they’re calling THE ONE PERCENT pay off.

According to Deadline, THE ONE PERCENT is about “a downtrodden farmer [struggling] to hold onto his family and his farm, when a bizarre twist of fate [reveals] a life-changing secret that will either save them or ruin them.” (Yeah, I had to edit this quote cuz otherwise the sucker made like absolutely no sense.) 

Since there are no pix or videos from THE ONE PERCENT to show ya, how about the BIRDMAN trailer. I mean, what the hell?

YouTube Preview Image

Peggy Bechko: The Symbiotic Relationship Between Writers & Readers

Hmm, dude here looks like Gene Roddenberry. Could it be...?

Hmm, dude here looks like Gene Roddenberry. Could it be…?

by Peggy Bechko

Writers and readers have a symbiotic relationship. Each needs the other.

So why, really, do people read? Personally I think most people read to escape, to experience things they might not (or plainly could not) experience in everyday life.  They can explore new worlds if science fiction or fantasy, they can feel the adrenaline rush of a car chase, or a race from an exploding volcano or maybe experience a jungle trek astride an elephant in India without actually going there.  Fiction offers the opportunity to live another life while remaining safe on the couch.

And that’s just for starters. Readers can also experience the wide range of human emotion and deeply moving experience from the safety of a comfortable chair. Or they can relive an event in their lives via the book in their hands. They can do all this while skipping the boring parts, and they have they opportunity to learn from all this without actually suffering through those experiences first hand.

Think about the emotions you, as a reader, may have experienced. For example, amusement, anger, anxiety, awe, confusion, contentment, curiosity, disgust, grief, adrenalin rush – shall I go on? I could. On and on and on. Those few I mentioned are merely a taste of what a reader can absorb through your written words. Expand your mind and consider the many more emotions such as jealousy, joy, frustration – and bring them to life in your writing. They lend a nuanced richness to any story and hold your reader’s eyes to your page while their palms may sweat or their heart race a bit faster.

Think about how you can entice your reader. Curiosity is in us all. If you use that to your advantage you have a grip on your reader. If he or she is curious about what’s going to happen next then you have them hooked to the next scene, the next paragraph and perhaps even to your next book or script.

And what does the reader give the writer in return? Praise, respect, payment for the writer’s labors, perhaps fame and fulfillment. As a writer, you, too, are a reader, probably a voracious one. Pause and think about a book you’ve read recently, or pick it up again and skim it. What does it stir in you? Emotions? Memories? Desires? Whatever it is, presuming it’s a book you enjoyed, it no doubt delivered an experience you enjoyed.

So, doesn’t that tell you that you, as a writer need to set goals for what you want to stir in your reader? If you want your readers to cry you have to build up to it, prepare them, make the story choices necessary to bring them to that point. There are, of course, the unintended reactions you might stir. Like causing laughter when you’re aiming at solemn. And that might just be okay. The aim is to take the reader along for the ride, to surprise him, present him with a perspective he might not have entertained before. Veering off your intended course could bring more depth, more richness. It will be up to you to decide if that’s the case.

It’s truly a dance between writer and reader. So much to share. What was the latest book you read and how did it move you?

Web Series: DENIZEN: DESCENT

thismustbethedenizen

Not the Swamp Thing, but could be his bro.

We just found a pretty cool web series that combines stock action footage with original material to create a genuine action show. Well, we think it’s stock footage. Maybe the choppers and diving sequences are actually new?

They could be, cuz, well, here’s the deal:

DENIZEN: DESCENT is based on the feature film DENIZEN and is presented as a Web Series Director’s cut by Writer-Producer-Director-Editor J.A. Steel. The film and series tell the story of a team of cool peeps - Dallas (Jody Mullins), Deacon (J.A. Steel), and Dex (Ben Bayless) –  who must stop a mysterious creature from attacking a small town.

The heroes have to deal with one Acme Ton O’Problems, including a rival ruthless military unit, but the major problem for the audience is, sadly, that much of the action is underwater, which historically = boring.

Still, as DENIZEN: DESCENT progresses it develops into a kind of PREDATOR MEETS DELIVERANCE thing, and if you love southern accents and mutants, well, we give this one a “Recommend.”

Check out DENIZEN: DESCENT