I want to write and tell stories.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sherry oh Sherry am I to be a Viktim to?

Warren at The Screenwriting Life has been having some fun, and did not invite us to do the same :)

I quietly put in my best effort logline and low and behold, they want more of this literary gold.

Title of Work: The Venus Trap

Synopsis: A young women ensnars her older gargantuan lover in her wiley,
unsuspecting, forcibly recaltricant, web of lies, deceits and more dammning
lies, before swalling up his life, family and possessions, before moving
onto the next viktim.

NYP-Bio: aspiring Australian screnwriter still working the old 40hors to pay
the bils.

From this obviously brilliant logline, they want more, see below, copy and pasted from the lovely Sherry's email. She can obviously spot brilliance.

Also, I must disagree with Warren on one point. I think my logline is much worse than his :)


Thank you for your query to the Screenplay Literary Agency. Based on your
query form information we would like to see your work and learn a little bit
more about your goals and your work.

1) Would you please send us an electronic copy
of your screenplay for further evaluation?

Please email your manuscript to
manuscript@thescreenplayagency.com .
(We accept Final Draft, Movie Magic, Screenwiter, and pdf, doc, and

2) Would you please answer these 2 questions
in the body of the SAME email? (Just copy and paste
the questions).

A. How long have you been writing, and
what are your goals as a writer?

B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go',
or do you think it needs some polishing.

You may send either 30 or so pages, or the entire screenplay, whichever you
are more comfortable sending to us. Your screenplay is completely safe
within our company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we
don't end up working together, we delete all files.

Please DO NOT include any questions with your submission. If you have a
question, please send it to question@TheScreenplayAgency.com where the
proper people may address your question. Most of the questions you may have
are answered on the website and at the bottom of this email. Please see the
FAQs below.

Our preference for receiving your screenplay is via email.
If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you can mail it to us, but
please only send it once, either by email or snail mail (we prefer email).
Our mailing address is: The Screenplay Agency, 275 Madison Ave., 4th Floor,
New York, New York 10016. If you decide to mail your screenplay please be
sure to INCLUDE your email address (very clearly) so we may reply and
process your screenplay. Mailed screenplays may take up to 30 days to
reply/process. Emailed manuscripts are processed much more quickly.
We also just recently found a free service that will move large files. Take
a look at www.yousendit.com. We've used it successfully in the past. Just
use my email address.

We believe we are very different than other agencies.
We believe that we are unique in that we are willing to develop an author
and their talent. We like the metaphor of a business incubator as a
description of how we will take time to bring an author's work to the proper
quality level, even if it takes months to do so. We take pride in the fact
that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days.

Also, you may understand how a Literary Agency works, but many authors
don't, so please excuse me while I take a minute and let you know how the
process works. As your Literary Agent, our mission is to assist you in
finding a buyer for your work and to coach you along the way in various
options available to you. We don't edit your work, our mission is to sell
for you. As for compensation, get paid on success only, meaning we only get
paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 10% of what you receive if
we are successful.

We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only. Along
the way, we may suggest that you improve the quality of your work and or how
it is presented. Once your work is deemed 'presentable', then we'll start
shopping it to buyers. We never promise a sale, but we can tell you that we
have a model that works.

We look forward to receiving your materials.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - V.P. Acquisitions

Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Do you return screenplays?
A) Sorry for the inconvenience however, WE DO NOT RETURN SCREENPLAYS due to
the volume of submissions we receive. Please do not send us anything that
you can't replace easily.

Q) Would you prefer me to email or mail my manuscript?

Q) How should I attach my manuscript?
send it to us as an attachment, otherwise it hangs up the mail system. If
you can't create an attachment, please get a friend to help you do so.

Q) Is my screenplay safe with you?
A) Your materials are safe within our company. If you are uncomfortable
sending your entire manuscript, please only send 3-5 chapters. If we do not
end up working together we will destroy and delete any copies of your work
that we have.

Q) How long does this review take?
A) About 7-10 days. We're faster than most other agencies.

Q) Why is there no phone number? I want to talk to someone...
A) Quite frankly, we are deluged with submissions. It is our policy to
provide a contact number later in the process, assuming we would like to
proceed with you.

Q) Where are you located?
A) We maintain executive suites in Los Angeles and New York and we have
various relationship partners in Los Angeles where we meet with clients and
buyers. Other than that, we travel often and have the good fortune to live
in Florida and California depending on the time of year. Sometimes we think
that we live in airports.

Q) Tell me about your company.
A) We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a large agency. We
have about 15 people total and as of 2nd quarter, 2005 we have over 60
active conversations ongoing with buyers and 3 option agreements in
negotiations. We market to the larger and medium sized publishers and
producers. None of the options have made it to production yet, because
we're on the newer side, but it should be a good year for our authors this

Q) How do I know you are for real?
A) All we ask is that you judge us on the professionalism of our
interactions together. We will never ask you for money, so that's one way to
judge for yourself. Our commitment to you is that we believe that we should
get paid only if we sell your work. Your commitment to us is that you will
do what it takes to make sure your manuscript is the best it can be and that
it meets or exceeds industry quality standards.

Q) What are you looking for during your evaluation?
A) We mainly look for COMMERCIAL VIABILITY in the work coupled with good
solid writing skills. "Is it something that will sell?" is of paramount
importance to us. (We ARE NOT scrutinizing every word, spelling, and grammar
usage. There's plenty of time later for that.) We believe that great writers
are made, not born at least 99% of the time. But if a work doesn't have
commercial potential, then we want to let you know as quickly as possible.
Being willing to grow talent, we believe in the old adage, "luck is when
opportunity meets preparation and hard work".

Q) What if you find errors or problems with my screenplay? Should I spend
time revising now, or later?
A) We receive very few 'ready-to-go' screenplays. We believe we are unique
in that we are willing to work with our authors along the way. Most that we
receive need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers.
Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot. Over the years, we've
learned that it is worth our time and effort to do what it takes to develop
new talent. We've learned that incubating new talent makes good business

Q) My screenplay isn't finished....
A) As long as there is enough finished to determine your skills as a writer
we are willing to look at your work. As mentioned previously, we take a
long term view and we are willing to develop talent.

Q) Is this an automated email? Is there a real person out there?
A) Yes, and yes, and yes... We personally review each query form to
determine whether the story idea/synopsis sounds interesting. This tells us
which screenplays we would like to receive.

Then, yes, we do use form letter emails to provide these FAQs. Can you
imagine typing this time and time again? We pride ourselves on using
technology to be as efficient as possible. This allows us to work with
authors from anywhere in the world. By automating certain elements of our
communications we can spend more thoughtful time on your questions that are
specific to you and your situation.

Best regards,
Sherry Fine - VP of Acquisitions
We Grow Talent

PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM BLOCKERS. We do not click on whitelist links

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I am disappointed in the US

I mean the guy has now admitted on TV that he lied.....and I have not heard one word about Class Action suit against, him, Oprah, Random House.... :)

I mean .........CMON!! Where are all the whimpy lawyers in the US??? Asleep at the wheel?

Where's Erin Brokervich when you want her, chasing down some community that is having their health affected......she should be concentrating on the real issues!

PS, can I claim 2% of the gross for the idea? :)

PPS forget fun rant if class action has been talked about and started, thus my faith in the US legal system will have been restored. But, can I still get my 2%?

Saturday, January 28, 2006

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!! cough cough!!

Been crook, feeling like crap, and flat out unfortunately.

Hope you are all well.

Paul Guyot the inkslinger....link on right, has decided to stop blogging, something along the lines he felt it was sort of spotlighting himself. I have the flu, so forgive any wrong interpretation.

It will be a pity, he was entertaining and interesting to read.

As a newbie, it was good to read what seasoned people have to say.

I always think that if I ever get to meet people like Paul, Lee Goldberg, Phil Morton, etc. and if I acted excited to meet them, they would probably say, stop being stupid, why waste time with us when you could be writing, but make sure you buy a drink before you leave to get back to writing.

They seem more concerned with writers getting it right, rather than all the crap associated with Hollywood, movies, TV shows, etc. which is always a good grounding.

Paul, if you ever want to step back into the spotlight, please feel free.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Tarantino the Twister

We know he has a twisted mind and that's what we love about him, but he has done something without even releasing it.

He has put into film what most males my age feel like when dancing, we may not look like it, but that is how we feel. Some guys have rhythm, more power to you. Most of us don't.

If you want to actually see what we feel(I checked with a few mates on this, so it could just be mid thirties, white Australian guys, but I think it might be more dna level), get the special edition of pulp fiction, and in the specials find where they are shooting the famous dancing scene with Uma Thurman and John Travolta. Travolta, see, he has rhythm, he can dance without looking like he is having a seizure. Drew Carey is another who has rhythm, even though he is not exactly Baywatch material.

In this scene look at Tarantino dancing in the background along with them, encouraging them on.

THAT is what we feel like.

Again, we might not actually look it, but we feel that uncordinated, gangly, and out of rhythm.

So, if you want a look in the male psyche, have a little looksy at that one.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Best Comment on Golden Globes

My wife inspired this post.

Funniest/Best Comment you heard on the Golden Globe.

I nominate my wife for this one she dropped as the camera's focused on Kiera Knightly on the red carpet.

"She needs to eat a pea"

Let's have 'em!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

ASS's here now! :)

Just came across this guy, another Aussie, doing f*&^%$g well.



Check out the movie Kick, it came out a year before Billy Elliot...damn close!

Interview with him:


You can download the audio of the interview as well.

Why have I not heard of this guy before??????????????? It's not like I don't read bucketloads of stuff.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

King Kong

Is this going to be the first movie ever released on DVD with a Directors Special Condensed Cut?

Just thinking out loud....

Lloyd Thaxton Who?

Okay, I can be forgiven for not knowing who he is, not growing up in America...ya gotta give me that one, but I found his blog from a comment of his, on Ken Levine's popular blog.

I know nothing about Lloyd Thaxton apart from what I have quickly learned from his blog, but, in saying that, from what I have read on his blog, he actually seems like a grounded, genuinely nice person, which may be a rarity in some circles in Hollywood nowadays.

He has some funny and interesting stories from his time in TV, which form a very nice read.

So, go here if you want to find out more about what a Lloyd Thaxton is. :)


Hopefully a helpful Tip

This might be a tip you have not heard before, ( not sure, don't hate me if it is well known :) ), that could help some of you budget challenged TV Spec Monkey Wranglers out there.

I was looking for West Wing scripts...(who doesn't want to read quality writing) Looking, looking,… mostly transcripts rather than scripts out there, however, found several seasons worth on Amazon…and it struck me…..yes, they normally include an excerpt for you to read.

So, if you are wondering how to format for a particular TV show, what they bold, characters in bold in action or not, sounds capitalized or not, flashback sequences, voiceovers??? Have a quick look on Amazon, you might find what you need there, without breaking the bank, then when you can afford it, you can buy the scripts to keep! :) This is of course if the script format is not already in your software. :)

Example : West Wing

Hope it helps!

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Hitcher

The Hitcher is my favourite horror/thriller type movie, and I have only watched it twice. Once back in the eighties, and again a few years ago. As with a lot of them, once you take the suspense away, it is not nearly as enjoyable, which is always unfortunate.

A few weeks ago, might be longer, the script appeared on Drews Scriptorama, the actual link below.


What amazed me from this script, was how little dialogue there is in it, yet, it conveys so much.

When the pro's talk about film being a visual medium and to always try and show more, talk less, I reckon this is a great example of how to do it. Give it a read and see what you reckon.

If you have never seen the movie and want to be disturbed, make sure you rent this one, you'll never eat a bowl of chips again :).


EDIT: In a bizarre twist, I was just reading Clarkblog for the first time in months, and his latest post is on the screenwriter for the Hitcher, Eric Red.....sad story.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Favourite Line

Scott the Reader who we all know, asked us to put up a favorite line we have written.

Well, here are three I like from the latest script I am working on.

Just think of me as your own personal Mr Joey Fuckin Tribiani.

I think it depends whether you’re orthodox, regular or lite?

Well, I mean it will be quick and painless....sort of like pulling off a band-aid quickly...but you wont be alive afterwards.

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I've been Memed, oh the Irony of it All

Well okay, there is no irony, but I had to think damnit!

Ahem, ahem, cough, cough....

Is this thing on? Tap tap…

Memememememememmememmmememememe, okay I’m ready to sing this meme.

Ras at Procastinatey tagged me, she got me….(insert big fake, poorly acted dying scene)

ONE (1) earliest film-related memory:

Watching Bambi, and the scene where mummy deerest is no more. I remembered that scene while watching Narnia at the movies on holidays recently. There were plenty of kids there, and whilst the Lion is being sacrificed I am thinking…..cooool, deep psychological scars galore here!

TWO (2) favorite lines from movies:

Not very exciting or enlightening I'm afraid.

”Houston, we have a problem.”
I love the movie.
Because I love behind the scenes stuff, and getting to have even a glimpse at NASA and it's workings, like that movie gave, was fantastic. Going to get the latest DVD with extras on it very soon I think.

”Go ahead, make my day.”
You know who.
Why? Not because it is part of an action movie, but rather because I would love to write a line that is recognized internationally, and becomes part of the culture.

THREE (3) jobs you'd do if you could not work in the "biz":

Hotel General Manager
Front Office Manager
IT Salesperson / Hitman (relatively interchangeable.)

FOUR (4) jobs you actually have held outside the industry:

Company Director

These last three are from a long time ago!
Kitchenhand at Big Rooster (even dressed in the Chicken suit one year, at Xmas, oh yeah, that’s nice where you might be, where there is snow, but at a beachside town hitting 38 Celsius, not so much )

Weather Reader

Operator on old style plug and cord phone exchange, this was in 1986. Very funky and retro, and yes, you could listen in on calls!

THREE (3) book authors I like:

Stephen King

Bill Bryson – funny guy, if you like Ken Levine’s travelogues, read this guys book, Bill Bryson: Down Under for the funniest journey around Oz)

Pamela Anderson – I haven’t read her book, but I just thinks she brings so much to the literary world(she might get the nod for underrated screenwriter as well)

TWO (2) movies you'd like to remake or properties you'd like to adapt:

Novel: Hungry as the Sea: Wilbur Smith – could be some great scenes in this one, just a tweak to make it more modern, cut down the age difference between characters….and I think it would make a great movie.

I have never been a huge follower of fantasy type books, but I think David Eddings the Mallorean (spelling?) and Belgarion series of books, would make a great TV series, long running, long character arcs, etc. if I could not do that, then remake Omega Man….love that end of the world, only man left alive type scenario's.

ONE (1) screenwriter you think is underrated:

All the ones that get movies made (that or Pamela Anderson),, sorry, we all know they are underrated, so picking one is not fair.

Well you could pick George Lucas, I mean was I the only one that recognised that George wrote Jar Jar Binks as a self-expository character, that reflected his desire to just be a normal quirky person?????

THREE (3) people I'm tagging to answer this meme next:

Steve at do cats eat bats?

Richard at Scriptweaver cause I think he is going to want to remake Deep Throat, and call it Fun with Dick and Jane 2. Let's see!

Writergurl at Writergurl

Thanks Ras, I'll get you back! :)

Hope you enjoyed!

Friday, January 06, 2006


For you young guys, this could be handy to avoid all those trips to the fridge AND allow you to lean back in your chair whilst typing the greatest screenplay of all time.

For us older guys, we can just have a tube coming out of our shirt.

We then have an excuse.



Tuesday, January 03, 2006

$100m showtime

$100m showtime
From: The Daily Telegraph

The Matrix

A GROUP of actors, directors, producers and bankers is trying to set up a major Australian film studio that churns out big budget, internationally successful movies.

But it will require a lot of money, with the group assembled by investment company Mullis Capital Independent hoping to pull together up to $100 million worth of films in the next few years.

The names behind the project include American producer Barrie Osborne of The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings fame, Australian actor Hugo Weaving, director Fred Schepisi and Richard Keddie, the Melbourne-based producer of Little Fish. Simon McKeon, executive chairman of Macquarie Bank's Melbourne office, is also involved.

Mullis hopes to draw on this pool of expertise after winning the right to establish a Film Licensed Investment Company (FLIC) by the Federal Government, which gives tax incentives for film financing.

The FLIC will receive a 100 per cent upfront tax deduction on up to $10 million raised in each of 2005/06 and 2006/07.

But the Mullis FLIC hopes to raise up to five times that amount. Mr McKeon said the FLIC hoped to come up with five to six films over the next few years, each with a budget of about $10-20 million.

"It's not just a one-film project. There's very much a focus on creating a business here which goes on and on," he said.

"A studio in the US is all about sustainability. We have never really done that in this country before."

Australian movies do not have a good record when it comes to returns, with most struggling to make an impact at the box office in competition with the deluge of Hollywood blockbusters.
Mr McKeon blamed this on the tendency for Australian films to be funded by government grants, which have been used to foster new or emerging filmmakers. So experienced directors such as Peter Weir and actors like Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman head overseas.

"We can't put our head in the sand and say this has been a fantastic industry," Mr McKeon said.
"We have a history here in Australia, particularly with these FLIC companies, of the low end of filmmaking.

"There has also been a strong history of encouraging first-time filmmakers.
"[The Mullis FLIC's] vision is about creating something that's long term, sustainable and very high quality - the term in the film world is 'high end'.

"Very good scripts, telling for the most part Australian stories - stories that lend themselves to international audiences.

"As much as anything, to provide hopefully enticing opportunities for all that creativity that we have ended up exporting, particularly to the US."
Interesting article, and one that would be very welcome. With Mac Bank behind them, it could get going. For overseas visitors, that is not a bank run by Ronald McDonald, that would be our Reserve Bank - think your Fed.
This point:
Australian movies do not have a good record when it comes to returns, with most struggling to make an impact at the box office in competition with the deluge of Hollywood blockbusters. Mr McKeon blamed this on the tendency for Australian films to be funded by government grants, which have been used to foster new or emerging filmmakers. So experienced directors such as Peter Weir and actors like Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman head overseas.
is one I don't tend to agree with. They just don't seem to make movies that people outside (or sometimes inside of) Australia want to watch. It is fair enough having an Australian flavour in a film, IF it enhances it, if it is done for parochilism, then to me it is just an exercise in national self love. Maybe that's it? Perhaps it has already caused a form of blindness........there you go, your parents where right! :)
Good to be home, MIL and I ended up saying virtually nothing to each other for the last few days. Stayed at their house, as the kids were enjoying their company and am not going to deny them that, so sucked it up and just wrote :) Good fun!
My brother in law is interested in screenwriting, has read a few books, etc, so we had some good discussions. His interest was started without him knowing I was writing as well. Wonder what the future will hold there.
Nice guy, will see if he takes it any further than a passing interest, which by the way it is far more than that for me.. Paul Guyot over at Inkslinger has a very good verbal kick in the butt for us spec monkeys.
Anyone that may have come by here from Assistant Atlas (who surprisingly, and most graciously linked me, who'd have thought he would read me, makes me laugh) thinking that the virginscreenwriter might actually be a pro, who knows what the hell he is doing, and just used that title as a joke, and is looking for advice.....sorry to disappoint you, I know shit.
Hey, I am making progress, I have that FADE IN: thing happening...got it down pat, I have read some pro's lscripts and they have used FADE IN ON:, but that is just too out there for me at the moment.
I know that you no longer start the screenplay with
READY, SET, GO!!!!!!!!!! (you only use one exclamation mark, yes, us silly newbies, mind you, it could work in a script about the Olympic Track Sprint Team, so just keep this one in mind).
Best I can do, is try and make you laugh, if I accomplish that, then I am happy.
I don't normally make New Year Resolutions.....I try to steer away from any sort of resolution whatsoever, however, in the spirit of the New Year, and the fact that nearly all NY Resolutions are broken, here are mine:
1. I will not sleep with Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba, or Eva Mendes.
2. I will not finish any screenplays this year.
3. I am going to enjoy my current job.
Anymore than three, and you really have to chart the suckers :)
Happy New Year to everyone, I hope it goes well for you all.

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