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Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


So I've recently embarked on a challenge for myself, new territory if you will. I work for Frederator Studios, which makes the animated show "Adventure Time." While there is a huge market for professional live action web-content, there really is nothing regarding professional animated web content. We want to fix this. Youtube and Frederator are coming together to make an animated web series, professional quality, direct for the web. All they need is an idea.

That's where I come in. Me and my writing partner are pitching our series next week. Concept art, episodes, the works. But here's where it gets interesting: Each episode is only five minutes long. Nearly everything I know about screen-writing goes out the window with this time constraint. It's been a LOT of fun though.

Here's what I've picked up...

1. The eight point story structure is still important, but how you look at it is different. For instance... Instead of starting at one, start at 3. Or, start at 1, but make the ending really anti-climactic. Play off their expectations.

2. Each episode is five minutes, which means there isn't any time for bullshitting around. Anything that is in their is either hilarious, important, or dramatic. Usually all three. It's actually really good practice at making things count.

3. Despite all my initial frustration at these constraints, I've learned to love them. A lot of my little ideas that I toy with in my head that I can't do anything with? There's not enough there for a full half-hour episode, but for a 5 minute one? Absolutely.

All of these are of course applicable (and recommended) for features, but the five minute format seems to help reinforce these concepts.

I feel like this could be really good practice for any screenwriters who want to try something new. Got an interesting idea and want to expand it? Make it 5 minutes. It'll help.

Jew Macklemore fucked around with this message at Sep 5, 2011 around 05:54

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Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


York_M_Chan posted:

I went through the same thing, I had a 30 min animated show but our producer who was pitching the show had us write a 15 min version of the same story and a 5 min version. It was a great experiment in really editing plot and comedy.

It's also a big motivator as well.

I don't feel like getting off my rear end and writing a 15 minute episode, but 5 minutes? Well, poo poo, that's doable.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Besides the copyright issue, you're assuming everyone has seen The Breakfast Club. If someone hasn't seen it, the entire point could be lost.

Wordless things are usually better. Lady MacBeth compulsively washing her hands, for instance. It's clear that her guilt and paranoia is taking over as she does it more and more.

Try looking for more universal things, since many people might not have seen the Breakfast Club anyway.

But that's just me.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


NeuroticErotica posted:

I would move away from it.

A big problem is that screenwriters and filmmakers working now looked up to screenwriters and filmmakers in the 90s, those were the ones who brought in the "collage artist" aspect of making movies for the hyperliterate. It's hard to relate to and it's lazy.

I'm watching a lot of films from film schools and SO MANY of them are about other movies or what movies meant to them or pull heavily from other movies and all too often it's a substitution for any sort of real meaning. It's "This movie had a message, and now that movie's message is my message".

I'd advise you to stay away.

This bothers me too. When I first started filmmaking/writing, all my movies were refrences. They were all spoofs or parodies or just plain rip-offs. But I learnt what I was doing, and eventually I could do my own thing.

I can't get over the fact some people never grow out of that stage. They seem to think the more movies they reference/parody the better the film must be. It's 'meta.'

It's lazy and I hate it. Do your own thing. Everyone has influences, Kurosawa, Welles, PTA, Sorkin, they're all big influences, but you don't have to reference them every 5 minutes.

Not that you're doing that DivisionPost, I'm just saying in general.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Kevin Smith is a dick, unfortunately.

I've worked with 50 Cent however. He's the nicest guy you'll ever meet. Curtious, polite, always looking to do his best. Who would have thought?

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Can I inquire as to what the "crazy eights" are? In your title? Both you and Super Hate Ball have them, was wondering if they were screen-play related.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Sorry!

I have this hanging on my writing wall. Accept it as retribution?



Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


High resolution:



I am so, so, sorry for getting us this off-track. Hah.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Is anyone here a playwright?

I'm doing a drama club type deal, and I'm the most qualified writer by a long stretch, so they asked me to do some plays.

I have my screenwriting structure pretty down (I think), but have never written a play before.

Any key transitional concepts I should nail?

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


If I posted some 10 minute plays here, would you mind looking them over? You seem to be qualified! I really appreciate the help!

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


How long is it? Also, what draft is it?

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Magic Hate Ball posted:

MixMasterGriff, feel free to post those plays.

I'm doing re-writes, which I'm sure you know is writer's talk for: "Oh gently caress, this page is blank, how long have I been googling Wombats? gently caress, gently caress, gently caress."

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Mind if I ask what your 'schedule' is?

As I alluded to above, 99% of the time I say "I'm going to write," I end up not writing a thing.

After 3 or 4 drafts I can usually crank out some pretty solid writing, but I honestly don't write very much at all, not nearly as much as I'd like to.

My old strategy of downing a Red-Bull and just power writing doesn't work for me anymore either. I need to get my poo poo together.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Magic Hate Ball posted:

(though the internet makes that really hard because your brain can find any tiny reason to look something up "for the script" and then ten minutes later you're giggling at macros on imgur).

You know me all too well.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


I use Celtx and love it. I think I have an older copy of Final Draft or something, but found the interface confusing. Worth switching?

Also, a cheap netbook can be as low as 200$, if that. I'm saving up for a new Macbook Air though. So sexy.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


JMBosch posted:

This thread's been really helpful seeing how other writers "work."

FTFY.

Haven't had a chance to look it over, but 23 minutes is too long for the internet, and too short for a feature (obviously), so the only real chance you'd get to have anyone see the thing is through festivals, and if that doesn't work you're hosed.

I would imagine it working better as like, a 3 minute video, just have it real simple. It could easily go viral.

I'll take a look at it when I get a chance though!

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


I've generally found if it takes that long to explain it, it doesn't need to be in there. But that's just me.


EDIT: Holy gently caress, writing comedy plays is hard. All my favorite comedic plays are musicals, Avenue Q, The Producers, The Book of Mormon. Without the singing, I'm kind of lost.

Should I try doing that, or is that the equivalent of going full-retard?

Jew Macklemore fucked around with this message at Sep 18, 2011 around 21:51

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Ever watch a movie and go "Holy poo poo, this is genius. Why couldn't I have written this first?"

gently caress David Fincher's Zodiac. He has Fight Club and the Social Network! Can I just go back in time and have Zodiac? Pretty please! Just this once! I'm a writer/director! You don't even have to find another guy to direct the drat thing! Come on, man!

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


I almost want to start a screenplay about some kind of historical serial-killer, but I'm afraid if I do it right after watching Zodiac I'll be too heavily influenced.

Should I use this new-found inspiration to just go for it, or should I wait until I'm not so hot to trot?

Also, if someone asks me why I write screenplays, I say "Because I can use all the witty zingers I think up after the fact in real life, at the perfect time."

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


The tricky part is though, if you have too many zingers it becomes poo poo.

The best dialogue in my opinion is done by Aaron Sorkin. It's quick, but casual. It moves very quickly, but it's not overly superfluous.

If your dialogue sounds like it's from Ocean's 11, and the movie isn't Ocean's 11, you have a problem.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Brick!





EDIT: If I spent half as much time writing as I spent watching "Kitchen Disasters" with Gordon Ramsey, I'd definitely be in a business meeting with Sorkin right now.

Jew Macklemore fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2011 around 04:50

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


A film might work best, it's not a good idea to do a TV show or series unless you plan on continuing work for it if it gets picked up.

The animated series I'm pitching soon is basically the big thing on my plate, if it gets taken I'll be doing that full time. Big investment.

Just throwing that in there, make of it what you will!

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Do we have IRC? We need an IRC.

Because we need to waste more time not writing.

seriously though, I'd be in there a lot.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


The story structure is different (obviously), but the actual formatting should be the same as a regular screenplay.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Something Else posted:

just a writer masturbatorily pushing the textual limits in a form whose textual limits are totally irrelevant?

Something Else posted:

just a writer masturbatorily pushing the textual limits in a form whose textual limits are totally irrelevant?

Something Else posted:

just a writer masturbatorily pushing the textual limits in a form whose textual limits are totally irrelevant?

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Promoted to lead writer (and manager!) at my film gig last night, today got an email asking me to turn in a spec script for Frederator by Friday.

As a screenwriter, I just came in my pants a little.

Gonna be a good loving week.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Nothing that big yet. Channel Frederator is our online "thing," basically our online PR division and whatnot. On the Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, we post animation news, stories, and videos of our favorite toons.

We're launching a new show (simply called Channel Frederator) that fits with this type of thing. It's not a fictional narrative show, think kind of like The Daily Show meets Ray William Johnson if it wasn't terrible. And I think it's animated too.

I'm planning on working my way up to doing "real" shows, but for now this is a big breakthrough. Huzzah!

Also, Archer is my favorite show on Television. Good work.

My email is glmclain(at)gmail.com if you ever wanna shoot me an email. We can be friends and I can scam favors and gain leverage at studios-I MEAN GET ICE CREAM AND LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH I'VE SAID TOO MUCH

Jew Macklemore fucked around with this message at Nov 2, 2011 around 00:11

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Congratulations! I wish I had some kind of wise words or sentiments to give to you, but nothing comes to mind.

gently caress, I really ought to start writing soon, huh.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


"Yeah but mine is different though!" - Every undergrad ever.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Story Structure is legitimately my favorite thing in the entire world. It's baffling how many writers don't seem to understand it. It's so awesome.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


CoolZidane posted:

With some writers, I don't think it's so much that they don't understand structure as it is that they refuse to understand it because they think it'll make their screenplays "formulaic." Which is a crock of poo poo.

I just can't wrap my head around that. Like, at some point they realize that's wrong, right?

I dunno. One of my first lessons was learning story structure and I was like "but it's so formulaic!" Then I was told to write the plots of my favorite movies using the story structure I learned.

Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and many other films later, I got the point.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Channel 101 has my personal favorite, but whatever works for you.

Also, download the Acceptable TV tutorials from iTunes (for FREE! It's the first one) here.

Jack Black teaches you story structure while dressed as a wizard! How cool is that?

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


I have the same problem. It is seriously frustrating for me, I still haven't found a way to overcome it.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Doug TenNapel just called me a stinkyhole and a hippie. This ironically put me in the best mood.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


"Pot is an assault on life." I said it wasn't. To be fair, I'm a pinko commie

Another one of my favorites (paraphrasing from memory): "The only time a liberal wants to see a woman wear a dress is if the woman used to be a man" - Doug Tennapel

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Frank Miller posted:

pack of louts, thieves, and rapists

Why did I read that? I used to like that guy.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Pitching this Monday, wish me luck. Finalizing everything and making the concept art look purdy at the moment.

Operation Frederator-a-go-go is almost here!

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Although you've never reviewed any of my work, I would like to take the time to acknowledge the fact that Magic Hate Ball is seriously the best person ever.

Hats off to you, good sir.

Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


Seriously considering writing a remake of "Surf Nazis Must Die" for my first feature length screenplay. I casually know Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun), so if I could get him to do it, I feel like Lloyd wouldn't be too protective of the licence. Who knows.

Thoughts?

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Jew Macklemore
Sep 4, 2011

by The Finn


I've been writing shorts and studying screenwriting for a few years now, I'm just lazy and haven't written a feature.

Now, that said, everyone's first feature is terrible, so you're probably right.

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