Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Workshop Notes (Part One)

Okay, so, yesterday didn't happen. Apologies for that.

Side note: CTV doesn't have The Bridge on it's website. Been trying to catch the pilot of that for a couple days now with no luck.

(Apparently my PVR decided to rebel and not tape it... Grrr)

C'mon CTV... what the hell?

Anyways, tonight's the night where we get into making 'Compelling Characters'... I'm looking forward to it.

Here's what I scribbled down from Night One:

What Happens? Image Vs. Event (don't rely on image)

Why are you telling the story?
- Come from an event or a character w/ stories built up around them

Try out ideas on random people; Pitch, etc.

Verbal pitch: No more than 3 mins - more, start to annoy people.
- Know your pitch - 1/2/4 sentences
- Once you get interest: Listen!
- Keep answers short -- less than 1 min answers
- Make them want more

Write a One-Pager: 1 Paragraph each: Beginning, Middle, End. Prose only.

Treatment (Film):
-- Prose telling of story
-- 25 pages, double spaced
-- No technical details (Directing cues, shots, etc)
-- Looks like a short story
-- No complicated words/ideas --> Keep it very easy to read
-- They want to read it in 30 mins or less. Definitely less.
-- No Dialogue

Questions a distributor will ask you (that you should know answers to):
-- Why are you telling me this story?
--- What is the story good for?
--- Why is this story the one to tell?
--- What makes it special/better than the others?
-- Who is this story for?
-- What is the best feature of this story?

Themes - Know why you're telling the story
- Best Market: under 20 (big market)

Ginger Snaps - Made for teen women
-- Metaphor/Theme: Growing up is like becoming a werewolf

1st/2nd/3rd Drafts
- 1st Draft - Events
- 2nd Draft - Characters
- 3rd Draft - Re-order Events/Establish theme (?)

All serious screenplays should have some comedy

It's about a balance of elements
- Look at dinner scene w/ Ginger and family
- This is a bread and butter dramatic scene
- Still has biting, excellent comedy
- You are never writing 'just drama' (not anymore)

First 1/4 of your screenplay you better be introducing a likeable main character.

What makes a good story?
- Distillation
- Allow audience to get intimate w/ characters


Anyways, this is far from everything that was covered -- there are large swaths of time where I completely forgot to write things down.

Like I said earlier, Mr. Chubb is an excellent speaker who makes the time fly by.

Most of this wasn't really new to me, but there's some great perspective in here.

Tonight's going to be a big decider for me -- I'm hoping I really get some cool insights on character creation.

Namely on building engaging story arcs that aren't just 'horrible thing happens/react/horrible thing happens/react' ad nauseum.

Personally, I also want to learn how to construct and deconstruct really good character scenes -- kind of like the Doctor Who episode 'Midnight' where they're trapped in the shuttle.

Brilliant, brilliant episode.

Found a clip of it on Youtube. Watch and enjoy.

Oh, and it gets better.

Way better.

All while never leaving that one room.

Anyways, yeah... maybe I'll bring that up tonight.


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