OMG! Bruce Campbell will Star in EVIL DEAD TV Series

The Bruceman Himself

The Bruceman Himself

The only thing that could possibly be as exciting as Bruce Campbell’s announcement on Twitter that he’s going to star in the TV series he, Sam Raimi, and Ivan Raimi are developing would be the return of FIREFLY (with Alan Trudyk in the cast).

Maybe.

Here’s the tweet:

BCstarringinevildeadtweetCapture

Leesa Dean: Having a Hard Time Finishing a Script? This Might Be Why

Adventures of a Web Series Newbie – Chapter 69
by Leesa Dean

perfect1I am a perfectionist. You might not know it from my work, but it’s a trait that I and a lot of other writers/creatives share. Being a perfectionist can drive you crazy and can set up situations where you never ever finish anything. Which will also drive you crazy cause never finishing is like failing. Argh.

It is not atypical for me to write over 20 drafts of a script and continue to pick at it, even after I’ve submitted it or started production. Some people never finish. They’re like Sisyphus. Pushing that script up a hill and never getting there.

Luckily, when you’re writing for the web, because everything is short form and sorta disposable with insane deadlines and an unquenchable thirst for content, it forces you to just finish and not look back. Which, trust me, is the healthiest thing to do.

Even so, it’s easy to get stuck drafting and redrafting till you’re nowhere. Here are five things that have worked for me, helped me finish and move on more quickly:

1 -Don’t take yourself or your project too seriously – The more you feel obligated to do the Very.Best.Thing.You’ve.Ever.Written, the greater the chances are you’ll never finish and spend the rest of eternity tweaking. Bottom line, there’s less pressure and it frees you up a bit.

2- Have a TON of irons in the fire – I can’t stress this enough. When you put all your eggs in one basket it becomes the Most Important Project in History. Do you really want to be responsible for screwing that up? I don’t. Juggling a bunch of projects takes some of the pressure off each individual one and, because you’re so busy, you literally don’t have time to over-tweak. This year I’m working on Season 2 of the Lele Show, two brand new series, a short plus my weekly radio show which I write, record and produce. I literally don’t have time to agonize over every word.

3 – Set time limits – I do this all the time. Give myself, say, a week to finish a script. Even if I’m a little late, it forces me to see the endgame and finish quickly.

4 – Outline Outline Outline – I write everything down as an outline first. Yes, even for 2 -3 minute web pieces. Then slowly build the outline into a script. If you have an outline, you know the beginning middle and end of your script and it’s a lot easier to fill in spaces with juicy dialogue and not get caught up with specific lines.

5 – Make sure you write a minimum of five days a week – I try and write every day. In the summer, I take weekends off, unless I have a deadline. It might seem counter intuitive, but the more you write, the less invested you become in every single word and the more likely it is you’ll finish.

Hope these tips are helpful. See ya next week everybody.

Break Into TV Writing, The Time is Now

The following article is designed to lift your soul. (Unless it’s a parody; we really can’t tell.)

break-freeby Carl Slaughter

What kind of alternative universe is this where there are too many writing gigs and not enough writers?

“BROADCAST NETWORKS ARE OPEN TO PITCHES…BUT WHERE ARE THE AVAILABLE TV WRITERS? … A non-writing producer told me he has never gotten so many “not available” answers from TV lit agents when inquiring about writers.”

This quote from Deadline Hollywood is from a few years ago and the number of networks and shows has continued to explode.

Not only has the volume increased, the quality has increased.

David Fincher, director of such famous movies as The Social Network, and Fight Club, was lured by Netflix with a hundred million dollar budget and a thirteen episode commitment forHouse of Cards, the hit political drama starring Kevin Spacey.

Fincher’s comment on the drastically changing landscape of television drama: “AS TELEVISION BECOMES MORE AND MORE LIKE LITERATURE…” [Emphasis added.]

Mary McNamara, TV reviewer for the Los Angeles Times, describes the phenomenon even more vividly: “The film industry is having a tough time producing anything other than franchise fodder and Oscar bait, while HIGH PRODUCTION SCRIPTED TELEVISION IS BUSTING OUT ALL OVER. Actors will tell you they follow the stories, and IT’S PAST ARGUING THAT SOME OF THE BEST STORIES ARE BEING TOLD ON TELEVISION.  But actors and writers and directors, like most of population, also follow the love. And right now, audiences are in love with television. Truly, madly, deeply, and in ways difficult to sustain in film or the theater. EPISODIC TELEVISION IS REGULARLY DECONSTRUCTED IN A WAY ONCE RESERVED FOR SHAKESPEARE OR THE ROMANTIC POETS. Meanwhile, the people creating the shows we’re all mad for are similarly lionized.” [Emphasis added.]

“The Berlin Wall was a thing of chicken wire and Kleenex compared with the barrier that once stood between film and television in America.” – Mary McNamara, LA Times TV reviewer.

I have counted seventy Hollywood actors, most of them A-Listers, who have switched from films to television. The studios are reducing the number of movies. Meanwhile, 48 television networks are offering scripted episodic dramas series. The only people outside the industry who can keep track of the number of shows are journalists on the TV beat.

Read it all

Peggy Bechko: Into the Heart of Darkness

A_Kitten_for_Hitler

by Peggy Bechko

Our fiction writing, whether it be novels, short stories, screen scripts or whatever, needs good guys and bad guys. Either one can be very tricky, but for now let’s tackle the villain.

How easy is it to make your villain an unrepentant, painted-black totally negative figure with absolutely no redeeming features who no one can stand to be around? How easy is it to make it so that that ‘bad guy’ (or woman) makes very choice on the dark side, is so vile and depraved that he or she feels no remorse for what’s been done – ever – doesn’t car who gets hurt and manipulates and exploits every person, plant or animal that gets in the way?

Too easy.

Yep, at that point the writer has created a character who is so negative, so isolated, so unempathetic and terrible, so unbalanced that that character causes the reader (of book or script) to disconnect. Why? Because in real life the reader wouldn’t be able to grasp what anyone would see in this character. The reader can’t relate at all to that kind of villain’s goals or needs. And who the heck would care about his or her desires? No, this character has gone over the edge (egged on by the writer). This character can ruin your whole story.

What, you say? A serial murderer is a dark and tainted soul. Yep, that’s right, but if you’ll remember, most times that serial murder has a kitten, or he stops in the street to help an old lady across (presuming his target isn’t old ladies) or in his spare time he writes poetry or builds ships in bottles.

When you supply a dark character (no matter how unlikeable a character you’ve created) with a positive or redeeming attribute or two, something totally at odds with the ‘dark side’ of that character’s nature, you pen a more realistic and intriguing character.

Of course you don’t want your reader to applaud and cheer for the villain of your piece, but you do want to draw them into the story, get them to dig deep into their own psyches and understand, or make some attempt at it, what made him the dark soul that he is. When you create your darker characters don’t hesitate to reveal quirks, passions or sensitivities, maybe even amusing neuroses. Choose something, or maybe several somethings (but don’t go overboard) and let the reader into the mind of your characters. In the case of scripts you have to give visuals so the ‘reader’ is inclined to pass your script along but the tips here hold true.

Always look for balance. The ‘scales’ can tip back and forth, but if you, as the writer, don’t create a world and characters the readers can relate to in some fashion, then you lose them. And losing them isn’t good.

So, consider this post a reminder. Make your characters human. Even the dark and nasty ones. Most ‘bad guys have had family (they didn’t spring from an egg somewhere), possibly friends and pets; maybe the love of music or watercolors.

Give them a spark of light and all that darkness will be even more intense and intriguing.

Now go create a real villain, one who when he goes down you ask, “but who’s going to take care of the kitten?”