Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

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    gregbeal
    Member

  • gregbeal
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Given some comments on this thread, I just have to ask those claiming that two spaces after a period is absolutely correct, what about the following examples?

    ... or . . .

    INT. or INT

    EXT. LIVING ROOM DAY (imagine there are two or three spaces after ROOM or not)
    or
    EXT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
    or
    EXT. LIVING ROOM- DAY
    or
    EXT LIVING ROOM DAY
    or . . .

    30 or 32 or 34 character limit for dialogue.

    COURIER NEW or COURIER or FD COURIER . . .

    Exactly 60 character limit for description.

    51-57 lines per page but never more or less.

    I could go on for a long time with these sorts of examples, but if anyone is going to claim that these variations matter and might cause their company or agency or contest to reject a script, then they're living in a world where Jeff Lowell is an alien astronaut and probably responsible for the recent "death" of Dr. Who.

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  • habronic
    Regular

  • habronic
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by MrZero View Post
    Creative types naturally exaggerate the prevalence of this sort of thinking and therefore often go through life feeling that they're just one little petty infraction away from being banished to some Gulag by the iron fist of The Man.
    How'd that work out for Alexander Solzhenitsyn? He tried something as small and insignificant as single-spacing and look where it got him...

    Leave a comment:

  • odocoileus
    Member

  • odocoileus
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
    It's fun to pretend. Sometimes I put a can on my head and I'm an astronaut!

    Ready for liftoff!


    Headed to space!

    Houston, we have the munchies!

    Leave a comment:

  • JeffLowell
    Member

  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    It's fun to pretend. Sometimes I put a can on my head and I'm an astronaut!

    Leave a comment:


  • Vertigo51
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by ATB View Post
    So you're saying you might toss a great script because of single-spacing.

    Really?

    Please tell us how this adversely affects the read for you.
    Because its not properly formatted. While that is a point that is obviously under debate, I consider proper spacing/formatting to be no different, than say proper spelling: a few errors here and there can be overlooked.

    However, if the same problem happens consistently throughout the script, that makes it obvious that the writer failed to read the script multiple times, in order to correct said mistakes.

    If I recommend a script with 20 spelling or formatting errors to my partners, that makes ME look bad.

    When a job applicant sends out a resume in the real world, it's expected that said resume will be properly formatted with no spelling errors (and yes, I realize there are various ways to format a resume). If an applicant submits a resume riddled with spelling/formatting errors, that resume would most likely be tossed in the trash. Why should a writer submitting a script be treated any differently?

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  • ATB
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by Vertigo51 View Post
    Would I toss a great script in the trash because of it.? Probably not.
    So you're saying you might toss a great script because of single-spacing.

    Really?

    Please tell us how this adversely affects the read for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • Vertigo51
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by mrjonesprods View Post
    Aspirant, by expressing your misguided opinions, you're creating a false issue. For every script you show me with two spaces after a period, I can show you two with one. This conversation is like debating if people should bold a slug line or if you should use "we see." No one who matters cares. And in this case, if someone got eliminated from a contest for this idiotic reason, it is not a reputable contest or one worth winning anyway. I guarantee if you did one space on your next script your managers wouldn't even notice.

    So often around here you see people, yourself included, perpetuate falsehoods about this business and craft that are just wrong. This type of conjecture is just not helpful. If you don't have practical experience with a subject, you don't have to express an opinion. There are people on this site who do make a living at this.
    Not everyone in Hollywood is the same. Sure, some people may not be bothered by one space, but I consider it unprofessional and not properly formatted. Would I toss a great script in the trash because of it.? Probably not.

    That said, I would almost certainly think the writer in question was less than professional. I obviously don't speak for all professionals. However, neither should you. Just because you make a living at writing, doesn't mean your opinions are blanket rules that every writer in Hollywood should abide by.

    Leave a comment:


  • MrZero
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    There is a tendency among creative types to assume, not without some justification, that the rest of humanity is composed of people obsessed with "rules." Creative types naturally exaggerate the prevalence of this sort of thinking and therefore often go through life feeling that they're just one little petty infraction away from being banished to some Gulag by the iron fist of The Man. This is in part why you keep seeing all these frantic "how many spaces?" threads and the like. They're just trying to adapt.

    Leave a comment:

  • MJ Scribe
    Member

  • MJ Scribe
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
    ...It's nice to have rules. The truth is terrifying: you've got to tell a great story well...
    For me, this explains why writing a script is so daunting. Makes me
    wonder if it's not all in vain sometimes. It's what I take from this and
    the other Basics thread...

    FWIW,
    I tried to put in two spaces here, came out as one. Oh well, once again.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rhodi
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    It seems to me that much of the anxiety surrounding "rules" and "correctness" is an unfortunate symptom of the highly competitive nature of breaking into the business. Writers are terrified that when competing against a script of seemingly equal merit, the more "correct" one will be preferred.

    Fortunately, from what the pros here say, this is definitely not the case. A great story is a great story regardless of minor disparities in formatting or length.

    Leave a comment:

  • JeffLowell
    Member

  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    I have a long list of people I wish would.

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  • Aspirant
    Member

  • Aspirant
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Jeff: Believe it or not, I dislike arguing (part of the reason I quit being a lawyer), so I tried to find something in your post that I could agree with. This is it:

    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
    Until you've done this for money, you've never done this for money. Sorry to use a tautology to make a point, but I don't know how else to say it.
    You're right about this. And not just because it's a tautology; I actually get what you mean. I think it's important to "know what you don't know," and I can believe that getting paid to write changes one's perspective on a lot of these issues. I'm not sure how close I am to that -- sometimes it seems like it could be tomorrow, sometimes like it could be never -- but I hope I get a chance to see what it's like from the other side.

    In the meantime, although I have ventured opinions on certain subjects that I think I know something about, I've tried not to come across as if I think I'm the authority on anything. But if that's the impression I've given, I apologize.

    And, for the record, I don't think anyone should drink bleach.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoJo
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
    If hyperbole becomes a genre, you're going to be an A-list writer.

    Again with the "it's just my opinion..." It's my opinion that drinking bleach cures the common cold. Respect my opinion!

    And let's be honest, a lot of times, your opinion sounds a lot like more than that. You're the one who told someone that if they ever want to use their script for anything but entering into contests, they should cut it under 120, because that's the professional standard. I said that under 120 is a good goal, but that some scripts need more, and found a dozen or more black list scripts over 120 to back up my point. That's it. I don't think trying to keep it under 120 is "nonsense," but I don't think it's right to run around telling strangers that it's some hard and fast rule. It's not.
    That someone was me... I saw Aspirant's point - my first script was a 120-pager and I landed an agent with it. While I'm currently un-agented, I firmly believe the "world-building" I needed to do in my most recent script required more pages than the general norm.

    Aspirant assumed I'm a noob - I'm not.

    Leave a comment:

  • JeffLowell
    Member

  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    Originally posted by Aspirant View Post
    Jeff told me I'd posted the first one in the wrong thread. I didn't want to disregard his wisdom.
    For someone who faints when he feels he's not respected, your snark is a little amusing.

    Leave a comment:

  • JeffLowell
    Member

  • JeffLowell
    replied
    Re: Nicholl Fellowship 2012 open for submissions

    If hyperbole becomes a genre, you're going to be an A-list writer.

    Again with the "it's just my opinion..." It's my opinion that drinking bleach cures the common cold. Respect my opinion!

    And let's be honest, a lot of times, your opinion sounds a lot like more than that. You're the one who told someone that if they ever want to use their script for anything but entering into contests, they should cut it under 120, because that's the professional standard. I said that under 120 is a good goal, but that some scripts need more, and found a dozen or more black list scripts over 120 to back up my point. That's it. I don't think trying to keep it under 120 is "nonsense," but I don't think it's right to run around telling strangers that it's some hard and fast rule. It's not.

    The CONT'D issue? If my manager told me that he liked to see those, I'd put them in. Not because he's "right," but because it doesn't fucking matter, and if it makes him happy, it costs me nothing.

    Same thing with all these piddling little issues. A couple of years ago, I had an exec tell me he wanted me to have "FADE IN" at the beginning of my script before he gave it to his boss. (I sometimes don't use it.) Did I pull a dozen Oscar winning scripts that don't have it and say "a ha!"? No. I put it in.

    Just like writers have different styles that they like, so do execs and reps and directors and whoever. If they want it in a script, and they outrank you, put it in.

    Because it doesn't matter.

    I may not be a pro, but I've been at this for four years, I've got solid representation, and I've got a script going out which has already attracted a lot of attention. I'm not just starting out, and even though I lack your experience, I have a pretty good handle on it.
    You absolutely have a handle on some things that I don't: you know a hell of a lot more about getting a rep as a new writer than I do, because I haven't had to do that for a long time. I defer to your expertise on that. But until you've done this for money, you've never done this for money. Sorry to use a tautology to make a point, but I don't know how else to say it.

    I hope your script sells for a million dollars, you triple book assignments and never have a moment's rest. And then you come back here and share your experiences. Because I promise you, your "opinions" won't sound so rigid.

    You say I don't speak for all pros - you're right. But I've never met one successful writer who says their way is the only way. I know some who use "we see," and some who don't. Some who hand in scripts over 120, some who would sooner chew off their arm. But they never claim their preference is a standard.

    I think there are two reasons:

    1. They know better, because they've worked in the field enough to know that it's not true.

    2. They're more worried about the actual writing, instead of the minutia of bullshit rules.

    Honestly, when these issues come up with my friends, probably half of them say "I've never thought about that. Do people really worry about that?"

    Leave a comment:

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