Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

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  • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

    Originally posted by Jon Jay View Post
    This is a bit of a tangent, but what the hell. My personal view is that shorts should be short. I know there's an argument (one I've had on these forums) that 'award-winning' shorts are often longer than 10 minutes, with Oscar/Bafta-winning shorts sometimes getting near the 30 minute mark. But I'd argue those are almost divorced from the reality of the film industry, and if I were a producer I'd be deeply suspicious of a filmmaker who turns in a 28-minute short. Because I'll bet they'll be the ones fighting for a 4-hour director's cut of their first feature.

    I know as artists (ahem..) we shouldn't think of our work in narrow commercial terms, but think of this - adverts tell stories in 30 seconds. Sometimes those stories are little more than 'Buy this cheese and your life will be awesome' - but sometimes they can be genuinely touching, funny, thought-provoking. Ditto music videos - and they don't get to use dialogue, have to deal in imagery only.

    But most of all, whilst writing I always try and remember what it's like to be an audience member - and that goes for shorts too. And we all know that feeling of watching a short, checking the time-bar at the foot of the screen and thinking Jesus, only half way through? Or crawling to the end of some short at a film festival and realising there's another five of these f*ckers before you can hit the bar.

    It's tough - I'm editing a short I made over summer, based on a 3-page script. It's already 7 minutes and I haven't even done the last couple of scenes. But I'll keep cutting until it's as short as possible. Then I'll cut some more, just to see if the film can cope without it. Because 99% of the time the film will be better for it.
    All good views, and we want views, somebody has to play boss, HOWEVER, else they'd be anarchy, and so eventually Dpat and I have to decide to draw a line somewhere.

    Always wanted this to be as democratic as poss, but have seen that go wrong in past...

    And, even if 8 pages remains the limit, peeps could begin to submit 3 or 5 pagers, and COULD HAVE THIS TIME, it wouldn't count against them, methinks, it is an option. Everybody chases the eight pages and I went slightly over, and should be put in chains for it, but was up against some tricky time restraints - just wanted to enter esp as I'm co-admin, however crap my stories were.
    Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

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    • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

      And like Cato falling on his sword, I've finally voted.

      It's done, it was becoming silly.
      Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

      Comment


      • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

        Originally posted by The Road Warrior View Post
        yes, all good points Mr Earth, you know, I'd actually prefer 1 entry, 8 pages, and written within the deadline, if it's not an earlier work, so you begin at the start of OCT, and you hand it in anytime up to and including Halloween.

        This kind of forces you into thinking up something quickly and if like mine, it's an early draft, or if you have more time, you polish like crazy, but it's often going to risk falling apart, or won't necessarily be your best work.
        I agree with all that, but I'm cool with being wide open as well. It's just, for me personally, I feel the exercise is much more helpful to developing my skills if I pretend I've been given an assignment with certain parameters. I like the idea of writing it in the 30 days and keeping it to less than 8 pages and, for me, I like it to be a complete story.

        With all that, I respect how others might get something else out of the whole thing and/or might be somewhere else on the timeline of their writing career.
        On Twitter @DeadManSkipping

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        • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

          Originally posted by The Road Warrior View Post
          And like Cato falling on his sword, I've finally voted.

          It's done, it was becoming silly.
          Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
          I agree with all that, but I'm cool with being wide open as well. It's just, for me personally, I feel the exercise is much more helpful to developing my skills if I pretend I've been given an assignment with certain parameters. I like the idea of writing it in the 30 days and keeping it to less than 8 pages and, for me, I like it to be a complete story.

          With all that, I respect how others might get something else out of the whole thing and/or might be somewhere else on the timeline of their writing career.
          Along these lines of exercises, I think it would be fun to do a "First act" competition. Someone comes up with a theme or subject, then everyone has a set time to deliver a compelling first act in 3-5 pages.
          As for this year, I loved the structure. I think it is a very helpful exercise.
          Now if we could get some agents reviewing the entries...
          SL35
          Potent dreamer. Newb disclaimer.

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          • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

            Originally posted by Mr. Earth View Post
            I think the powers that be stumbled upon (no, they're actually freaking geniuses) with the page limits set at 8. If you've got a decent, complex story, it's definitely going to force you to make some hard choices on what to keep and what to jettison and that's great practice and a valuable skill to learn. But 8 pages is plenty to have a solid beginning, middle and end.
            I have to agree. 8 is a perfect length and it's a good exercise in knowing what to keep and what to excise... and trying to make things as tight as possible.

            Even if the rules change later to extend page count, I'm sticking with 8... anything over is kinda laborious to read.
            INT. DR. GONZO'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

            A glass of BOURBON in one hand and a COMPUTER MOUSE in the other,
            Dr. Gonzo contemplates getting off the message board and back to his script.

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            • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

              Originally posted by Dr. Gonzo View Post
              I have to agree. 8 is a perfect length and it's a good exercise in knowing what to keep and what to excise... and trying to make things as tight as possible.

              Even if the rules change later to extend page count, I'm sticking with 8... anything over is kinda laborious to read.
              As you know Gonzo, we kind of slip into chatter like this each year, but my suspicion is that it will remain unchanged.

              As Earth eloquently puts it, firm and tight rules work very well.
              Last edited by The Road Warrior; 11-06-2013, 11:23 AM. Reason: typo
              Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

              Comment


              • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

                Originally posted by Silverlynx35 View Post
                Along these lines of exercises, I think it would be fun to do a "First act" competition. Someone comes up with a theme or subject, then everyone has a set time to deliver a compelling first act in 3-5 pages.
                As for this year, I loved the structure. I think it is a very helpful exercise.
                Now if we could get some agents reviewing the entries...
                We've tried out variations on a FIXED PAGE COUNT and GENRE before, by for example - suggesting a LOCATION and ...A FEW CHARACTERS but leaving the rest up to you guys.

                And members here are always welcome to throw up a competition on the fly of course...

                As you know one just ran down in here - to produce a FIRST DRAFT as it were, it was wrapping up... just as Halloween BFTD launched...

                February is a miserable, I mean a joyful time in the UK and so to distract - we islanders at least - from all of that joy and miserable bad weather and dark, dark, dark... we may good and gentle folks, throw up a VALENTINE'S DAY exercise.

                This particular and TITANIC EXERCISE will be ancient history by then.

                So... err, Valentine's is... Romcom territory, or for those who are of a less romantic comstitution, disposition, nature, it may even slip into a 'bitter-sweet' compet. The entries not so much Harry Met Sally, but more... When Bob Dumped Mary.

                It happened last time.


                I feel these exercises can only improve... we'll stuggle to get entries in, and we'll vote, weep, fight, scratch, taunt, wink, moan, extrapolate, interpolate, interstate! And yet... after we've put to bed the fretting and grumbling and disagreements and occasional scraps, the writing will get done... or let the heavens fall!
                Last edited by The Road Warrior; 11-06-2013, 11:23 AM. Reason: unbolding Captain
                Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

                Comment


                • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

                  .


                  .


                  Are all of the votes in yet?



                  .
                  Forthcoming: The Annual, "I JUST GOT DUMPED" Valentine's Short Screenplay Writing Competition. Keep an eye on Writing Exercises.

                  Comment


                  • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

                    Originally posted by The Road Warrior View Post
                    Are all of the votes in yet?
                    Not yet!

                    Last day for voting.

                    Results will probably be posted tomorrow morning UK time.
                    Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

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                    • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

                      I like the 8 page limit.

                      8 minutes makes for a nice Bikini movie - long enough to cover the subject, short enough to keep it interesting.

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                      • Re: Halloween's "Back From The Dead" Writ Exer.

                        The expected last-moment flurry of voting has happened -- I've pretty much got the results ready to go, it's 8.30am (-ish) here, I'll give it another hour or so allowing for late late last-moment votes to catch up with me, then I'll post a results thread.

                        Added: results have been posted, see here.

                        I'll leave this thread open if anyone wants to continue discussing page limits and whatnot, but comments on the entries should be directed to the results thread, please!
                        Last edited by dpaterso; 11-08-2013, 01:09 AM.
                        Check out the entries in the Logline Throwdown thread in Writing Exercises forum

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