Web Series: ‘SIBS’ Goes Hollywood

by Dawn McElligott

What kind of a show would you and your sibling make?

Last month, real-life siblings, Kimberly and Bryan Scamman answered that question for themselves with a short film entitled, SUPER SECRET CANADIAN SPY MOVIE.

The movie is a version of the first season finale episodes of their web series, SIBS. The brother and sister duo screened the film at a promotional event at the Three Clubs in Hollywood on August 27th.

In addition to free admission, the audience was treated to photo ops with the stars, gratuitous grub, a comedy act, and then, finally, the screening of SUPER SECRET CANADIAN SPY MOVIE itself.

The Three Clubs is a fun, retro lounge on Vine Street where one could easily imagine the original, Frank Sinatra-led, rat pack hanging out.  Danny Jolles from CW’s Emmy Award-winning series CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, warmed up the audience with some laughs. Well, more than some. Enough for Kimberly to gush, “Danny was a great fit for our content, and we were blessed to have him!”

Kimberly and Bryan pack a punch of pure silliness into their series as only two siblings can. For one thing, their biological bond created greater artistic freedom. For another, they’ve both studied martial arts, lending a physical, bordering-on-cartoonish slant to the action.

The real-life sibs are from a southern California family that moved around often before returning to Los Angeles. Kimberly was born in San Pedro, and her brother was born about two years later in Seattle. Upon return to Los Angeles, Kimberly attended the American Academy for Dramatic Arts in Hollywood.

The academy bestowed its prestigious Charles Jehlinger Award on Kimberly, who’s most recent work has been with the Noise and Vision Production Company and 2 Kings Productions.  Bryan developed his acting acumen by working on such films as HELL HOLE: DARK HARVEST (2016).

The co-creators of SIBS grew up with a love for physical comedy. “We both really loved Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, and David Spade,” said Kimberly.

The old school influence is most evident at one point in the film where brother and sister enter a bedroom closet to find a secret passageway. This farcical scene combines the wonder of THE LION, the WITCH and the WARDROBE with the zaniness of THE MONKEES. And why not? Kimberly told me point blank, that she has  watching re-runs of such classic TV shows as I LOVE LUCY,GET SMART, and, yes, THE MONKEES has been a lifelong and not-so-secret passion.

Kimberly also gives plenty of credit to Wham Social (@whamsocial) for the-fun filled promotional screening at The Three Clubs and for promoting SIBS in cyberspace as well.

Check out the SIBS trailer:

Lovers of campy comedy can see new episodes of SIBS on Sunday evenings at 8 pm Pacific Time on YouTube

And don’t forget the show’s presence on Facebook

And those interested in knowing more about Wham Social can find it HERE

Can’t forget the credits, yeah?

Created by and Starring: Kimberly Niccole and Bryan Scamman Produced by: Broster Productions Editing and SFX by: Matt Ryan SPECIAL THANKS! Sponsors: Deeva Boutique bit.ly/DeevaBoutique Stephanie Rojas Dominique Rodriguez and Take It From Me Show ( bit.ly/TakeitFromMe )


Dawn McElligott is a an award-winning writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles by way of Philadelphia and other points East. You can learn more about her HERE

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Opens Today!

tv_writer_peoples_pilot_smby Larry Brody

TVWriter™ and I are proud to announce that PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017, one of the oldest and most highly regarded writing competitions on the interweb is now open!

The PEOPLE’S PILOT first appeared way back in the summer of 2000, as a semi-annual competition intended to help both new writers and the TV Industry itself. Over the years it has evolved into an annual contest and its categories have changed to match its extended purpose. Yes, we’re all about helping new writers get the acknowledgement they deserve, but we’ve expanded beyond broadcast television. Since last year, the PEOPLE’S PILOT has been doing all it can to improve all electronic entertainment media.

The future of entertainment and those who create it is open and varied. Whether the series you are creating is intended for broadcast TV, cable and satellite TV, home entertainment/video game consoles, Big Media interweb outlets like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, or indie web channels and venues like YouTube, Vimeo, Funny or Die, or the show’s own website, it is eligible for the PEOPLE’S PILOT.

CATEGORIES

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 is divided into 2 prize-giving categories plus a Special Bonus Category with its own unique award – a paying development deal starting with an option. To be more specific, the categories are:

  • Scripted Comedy Series – intended for any electronic platform (including broadcast and premium cable series, internet series, cell phone series et al) of any length of any length required for telling your story
  • Scripted Drama & Action Series – intended for any electronic platform (including broadcast and premium cable series, internet series, cell phone series et al) of any length required for telling your story
  • Special Bonus Category – Thanks to Manner Movie Limited, a longtime PEOPLE’S PILOT co-sponsor, and Global Saga Media Entertainment, both of Hong Kong, all entries in this year’s competition automatically will be considered for the Special International Production Award, which will be given to the entry or entries that the judges deem especially suitable for the global television market.

Episode length, script length, number of episodes constituting the series – all that is entirely up to the creator. Genre too is entirely up to the entrant. In other words, you can write whatever you want, any way you want, featuring human actors, animated actors, animal actors, puppets, you name it, for any audience you want as long as your script is in the English language and standard teleplay/screenplay format (so our judges can read it).

PRIZES

Prizes and bonuses for each of the two regular categories, worth over $20,000, are:

FIRST PRIZE:

SECOND PRIZE:

THIRD PRIZE:

BONUS PRIZE:

  • All entries will be considered for the Special International Production Award, a script development deal with Global Saga Media Entertainment beginning with a $500 option for a qualifying script or scripts. And when we say all entries we mean that even an entry that doesn’t finish in the Top 3 – or isn’t a Finalist or even a Semi-Finalist – will be eligible.

ENTRY BONUSES

FREE FEEDBACK 

After the Winners are announced, all entrants will receive an e-mail containing the actual score given by the judges, an explanation of what its point value means, and the judges’ general reaction to the entry. ($125 value)

FREE STORYTELLING PATTERNS E-BOOK

All entrants will receive a PDF file of Larry Brody’s Storytelling Patterns in Genre Films booklet, a guide to outlining screenplays and teleplays by using established story patterns and essential scenes that is available literally nowhere else on or off the web. (priceless)

ENTRY FEES

PEOPLE’S PILOT EARLY BIRD ENTRY $35

  • June 1 – August 1

PEOPLE’S PILOT SINGLE ENTRY $50

  • August 2 – November 1

PEOPLE’S PILOT DUO DISCOUNT ENTRY $85

  • August 2 – November 1

CLOSING DATE

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 closes at midnight November 1, 2017. You can enter and upload your entries any time until closing. As in past years, we urge you to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount even if your entry or entries won’t be ready until after the discount period ends. Once you have paid, you can upload your submissions at any time until the contest closes.

More PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 info is HERE

The Enter Page is HERE

Email me personally with any questions HERE

LYMI LB

LYMI
LB

 

 

Dawn McElligott: RIVERDALE ‘REVISITED’ is RIVETING

by Dawn McElligott

In an age of rebooting vintage television, the development team for the new series RIVERDALE re-imagined a whole lot about Archie’s Comics for the CW network. Far from innocent adolescent hijinks, RIVERDALE has often been termed as ‘Archie Comics’ Meets Twin Peaks.’ What could have been a blasphemous mischaracterization of the milk shake slurping teenagers appears more as an updated twist on the beloved comic book characters.

The show’s development team includes Archie Comics’ Chief Creative Officer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who created the show and now serves as the Showrunner. Additionally, series hit-maker, Greg Berlanti, guides the show as executive producer along with Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater.

As of March 7, 2017 the series was renewed for a second season either in spite of or in light of weekly ratings hovering around 0.4, or slightly more than one million fans, the night it airs. During the week, its numbers improve to 0.8 considering delayed digital viewers bringing the audience to two million.

Various sources state that Warner Bros. TV has made a big development deal with Archie Comics, supplying another reason to stick with its sprouting new project. Surprisingly many viewers and critics have commented that Archie’s character is the least interesting in the show. He is a young man torn between school, a music career and helping his financially struggling father, Fred Andrews. Even an affair with young, hot Music Teacher, Miss Grundy, leaves him lackluster. Some have suggested that Archie Andrews is the cog in the wheel, holding together the town’s more fascinating folks.

The most engrossing character may well be its narrator, Jughead Jones. Jughead is a moody writer for the newspaper at Riverdale High School through the first 12 episodes. His father, FP Jones, is a train wreck of a man, heading up the Southside Serpents gang. Jughead’s moodiness clearly comes from his predictably disappointing family moments.

Jughead’s noteworthiness is due in part to choices made in the show’s development but may also spring from the actor, Cole Sprouse. In a February 2nd edition of Vulture.com, the actor described his interaction with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. ‘When I walked in I asked Roberto if I could read it [the narration} like Rod Serling, he was like ‘Uh, yeah, of course!’ I got a good idea of where we stood then. But when we shot the pilot, I really knew where we stood, in terms of the film noir elements and the darker tone. That’s when I knew this was a show I was really excited to do. Because I had just come off a Disney background.’

Twenty-four year-old Cole Sprouse had played Cody Martin in Disney’s two wildly successful series THE SUITE LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY and THE SUITE LIFE ON DECK. Transitioning into an adult entertainer for the young man has been noticeably different from his female Disney counterparts, Britney Spears and Miley Ray Cyrus. Whereas Britney and Miley turned up their sexuality to divorce themselves from the wholesome Disney image, Sprouse agreed to play a character that is sometimes called ‘asexual.’ In the series Jughead dates Betty Cooper, but keeps a wary distance from her, realizing her unrequited love for Archie.

Sexuality is approached quite differently in RIVERDALE. The first episode starts with a redheaded teenage boy, Jason Blossom, driving with a redheaded teenage girl to the river. They appear to be lovers about to go canoeing. We learn later that they are Jason and his sister, Cheryl, (the cruelest girl in town) staging his death and disappearance. Incest and later, eugenics, appear as some of the more disturbing currents to muddy the waters of Riverdale.

When Jason’s dead body appears in the river, we start dredging Riverdale, the town with too many redheads, for answers. The parents in this sad place have about as many lurid secrets as their children. Putting together the parents’ promiscuity and the surplus of redheads, it’s not too surprising when hints are dropped that Archie might be at least a half-brother of Cheryl Blossom. His appearance in a football jersey at a game reminds Cheryl so much of her dead brother, it causes the mean girl to cry.

In the penultimate episode of the first season, Jason’s jacket is found. It yields no clues until Betty decides to search the pocket linings. Instead of putting the jacket on herself, she asks Archie to put it on for the search. Archie is literally wearing the mantle of dearly departed Jason, when a flash drive is found in its pocket linings, containing the video of his own father shooting him to death. Weird!

Women are painted with a fresh brush. Whereas, Veronica Lodge could have been another mean girl, she’s instead looking to make amends for her father’s illegal dealings. She’s still a clotheshorse and has enough sophistication to counter Cheryl Blossom, often beating her at her own game, much to Ms. Blossom’s chagrin.

Betty Cooper is a breath of fresh air. She’s the good little girl who seems to acquiesce at every turn, but by Episode 11 she warns her concern-trolling mother, ‘Alice Cooper,’ ‘Do not push me tonight, Mom, because I will push back.’ Betty wants to right the world’s wrongs, including the alienation of Jughead from his father.

Cheryl Blossom, whose forbearers made a fortune on maple syrup, is the only truly mean girl on the show but her cattiness is explained as a defense mechanism contrived for dealing with a family, no one would want, despite the material wealth. The audience pities Cheryl, FP Jones and especially, Jughead.

Every week this season, surprised viewers have been treated to revilement, pity, prose, exquisitely crafted zingers and plenty of tension, making the show as much of a guilty pleasure as the most tempting malted at Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe. My glass is raised in the hope that next season brings us even more of the same.


Dawn McElligott is a an award-winning writer and filmmaker in Los Angeles by way of Philadelphia and other points East. You can learn more about her HERE

New, Improved 2017 PEOPLE’S PILOT Opens in 2 1/2 Weeks

tv_writer_peoples_pilot_smby Larry Brody

Get ready, gang, because we’re coming soon!

The 2017 PEOPLE’S PILOT contest, TVWriter™’s 26th running of what may well be the longest running TV pilot competition on the interwebs, as of this writing is a mere 17 days away.

As usual, we’ve done some tweaking based on things we learned from last year’s contest.

I’m not going into specifics now because the PEOPLE’S PILOT means so much to me that it’s very likely the tweaking will continue right up to the new opening date, June 1, 2017. 

The closing date remains the same as last year, November 1…but in 2017 as opposed to, you know, 2016.

You can get a not-so-secret preview of where we heading on the PP landing page, conveniently located RIGHT HERE. Please accept my cordial invite to check everything out…and also to write to me personally, HERE, to let me know what you think.

Or, to put it in a more mobile-friendly sort of way:

More PEOPLE’S PILOT info is HERE

Email me with your thoughts on the contest HERE

Hope you like where we’re going. The PEOPLE’S PILOT and everything we’re keeping and changing in regard to it is all about our hopes for your successful career!

LYMI LB

LYMI
LB

 

 

Dennis O’Neil: Priorities

Talia

by Dennis O’Neil

Hey, ja hear? Two Supergirl episodes were on the other night! ‘Course, I’ve seen ‘em all, but it was a pleasure to see ‘em again. You too?

And hey. Looks like the Cardinals won’t make the playoffs this year. Darn shame, if you ask me. But there’s always next year. One’a these years, the birds’ll go the distance.

Huh? You said something about water?

Netflix has a new sitcom streaming. Maybe that’s why you mentioned “water,” ‘cause water streams just like sitcoms. Well, not exactly, but you know what I mean. Anyway, we’ll give the new sitcom a watch right after dinner. Well, maybe not right after dinner ‘cause Supergirl’ll be on from eight to ten and we won’t be missing a single second of that. It’s important to know what Netflix is up to, though not as important asSupergirl. That Melissa Benoit – is she an actress or what! But I don’t have to tell you that it’s important to know what Netflix is up to. Ja hear that they’re releasing a Luke Cage movie, to go with Daredevil and Jessica Jones? We’ll be turning off the phone that day! It’s important to know what Netflix is up to. Did I already say that?

Rain? Is that what you said? Like what kings do? That kind of rain?

And ja hear about Brad and Angie? Apparently they’re talking divorce. Wow, I’d sure hate to see that. A darn national tragedy, that’s what that would be. Seems like Brad got caught kissing Marion Cotillard – she was Talia in the last Batman flick, you remember. No, no, not the tall woman, the shorter one. The tall one was Anne Hathaway – how could you forget that? She was Catwoman. No, not Halle Berry Catwoman or Michelle Feiffer Catwoman, or those other ones…We’re talking the lovely Anne Hathaway, darn it.

“Run for office,” did you say? Like, an office is on wheels and it’s going downhill and you have to catch it?

Oh, politics. Yeah, politics can sure be fun. I can’t wait to see what those wacky ducks’ll do next. One said the other was a “poopy head,” or something like that. I heard it from my uncle and he I think he was eating something while we were talking, and, you know, he was hard to understand. It was a doughnut, maybe. Anyway, those politics’ll come up with something funny every time – you can take that straight to the bank, my friend.

There you go again, yakking about floods. So there were some floods in some of those states we don’t know about and in Louisiana they’re saying it’s the worst disaster since Hurricane Sandy? Houses lost. Dead people. Stuff like that’s too bad. But they’ll get over it.

Ja hear that Ben Affleck is the next Batman?


Dennis O’Neil is one of the top writer-editors in comics, having guided the careers of just about every superhero the world has ever heard of. He’s also a damn fine writer of TV. LB still remembers that time he and Denny collaborated, without ever knowing they were doing so. Or knowing each other either. Ah, the magic of TV! This post was first published in Denny’s column at ComicMix.

The Week at TVWriter™ – June 13, 2016

In case you’ve missed what’s happening at TVWriter™, the most popular blog posts during the week ending yesterday were:

Peggy Bechko’s World: So Finish It Already! 4 Tips for Finishing Your Story

Kelly Jo Brick: The Write Path with Mark Goffman

Confessions of a Contest Script Reader

Web Series: NICOLIFE

Diana Vacc Sees Outlander Episode 8 “The Fox’s Lair”

And our most visited permanent resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT

The Logline

The Teleplay

The Pitch Meeting

Major thanks to everyone for making this such a great week. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed. re-read what you loved, and, most importantly, come back for more soon!

Peggy Bechko’s World: So Finish It Already! 4 Tips for Finishing Your Story

runner-crosses-finish-line

by Peggy Bechko

Writers can be a very strange lot. Mostly we love writing, but we hate writing. Really, we do. It can be called a love/hate relationship but really it’s more of a hate/hate one.

Now I’m not talking about story. Story is great. It’s the damn writing.

Seriously, how many times have writers sat down in front of a blank page or screen, brimming with a new, fantastic idea, aching to get it out, and then sitting there, staring at the blank page and swearing softly to themselves? The driving urge to write is there, but the whole thing is more than a little daunting. Who doesn’t hate starting new projects, beginning from scratch?

Been there.

So what’s a writer to do when procrastination becomes something like a religion?

I won’t tell you what YOU, as a writer should do, but I can tell you what I do, and there are a couple of approaches.

1. Set a deadline to get that first draft out. And mean it. Yeah, yeah, as a writer, unless under contract, there really aren’t any deadlines and you can escape if you desire, but if you put the cuffs on yourself and really hold to a deadline it’s amazing what can be accomplished. Use Valentine’s day, your birthday, Labor Day, the last day of the month, the first day of the month, it doesn’t matter. Just set a time frame that’s snug but not unrealistic.

Okay, so I’m obsessive, but the reality is, with the web, smart phones, loud neighbors, whatever, very little gets done without setting goals and parameters. Once a goal is set it’s pretty easy to determine how many pages or words must be completed in a day to reach that goal – and how doubling up has to happen to adhere to that goal if a day is missed.

2. Think about contests. TV Writer offers The People’s Pilot. There’s the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting and some others for novels and short stories. It might not be that you even enter the contest (some are expensive, some not bad – some worth it, etc.), but the deadline date is a great motivator to get the script or novel finished and polished since plainly any writer worth his/her salt (or weight in gold or whatever – cue the clichés) would never submit a first draft of anything to a contest.

True, right? So with polished novel/script in hand the writer is ready to sally forth.

3. Conference coming up – one close enough or which the writer can attend? Almost all conferences, novel, genre or screenwriting have producers or editors in attendance to whom the writer can pitch. Again, attending could be a great idea, but even if the writer can’t it’s a motivator to create a drop dead date to complete novel, script and those nasty little things like synopsis, logline, series bible, one-page leave behinds.

Even better when the writer can actually attend the conference. And, the experience leads to examining the story created in depth which in turn exposes glitches and holes. That one page summary exposes a whole lot more than many who don’t write could expect.

4. Got any writer friends? Reader friends then? If not local how about on Twitter or maybe Facebook? Those are places where writers can connect and spur each other on to greatness. Seriously, hooking up with others sharing the same goals can be a great help. They may not be the world’s best critics when it comes down to it, they are, after all, friends. But you can ask them to ask or tweet you about your word count or how many pages you’ve done.

Heck, just getting online briefly (I do mean briefly), using the #scriptchat tag to check in on what others are writing, how far along they are is an inspiration to pick up the torch and hurry on. There are even people over at Facebook at Scriptmag Writers’ Community who’ll offer to nag you into getting that script done. If there’s a parallel one for novelists I haven’t found it yet, but I’m willing to bet there is.

You’re a writer, but you’re not alone…unless you want to be. If you can’t motivate yourself to get that work done then connect with someone in the same place who’ll race you to the finish line.


Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page