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Old 02-01-2013, 09:40 AM   #1
Ucla_sb
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[Seeking screenplays] Whackadoo idea!

Hi, guys and gals! Iíve been a member of these boards for a few years now, but havenít made many posts here for a long time due to going back to school. I am in film school and now have access to all of this wonderful equipment to make movies with. Problem is I have no scripts! I started writing because I wanted to make movies and since starting school, my writing time has been consumed with writing for classes and when I sit down to write something for fun, nothing will come. Maybe itís just temporary burnout, I donít know. The point is I have a proposal to solve these problems. I have a stable full of actors that I have worked with on stage, I have a crew that has been on many short film shoots with me through the years, and again I finally have access to all this amazing equipment. Would you like to provide me with some scripts? I am mainly interested in micro/low budget horror fare, limited locations, etc. You know the type. Also a great story at its core would be wonderful.
The scripts would be used for school mostly but some will be shot just because they have to be. The writer will retain full credit on the script (unless changes are necessary and mutually agreed upon). In the event that some sort of money is made on the film made from the script the writer would receive due compensation in the form of profit sharing. The rights to the script will remain in the writers control until you are notified that it is being made, so you can continue to try to sell it if you wish. Once made, the writer will receive a copy of the film once completed and again, full credit will remain the writers.
I know that there would be more details to be worked out if you decide to participate and your script is chosen at some point. Any questions please post or PM or just let me know if you think I am a crackpot.
Thanks Guys!
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:31 AM   #2
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Certainly an intriguing idea, not a crazy one, but I'm wondering if it should be moved to a different subforum.

Do you have any more specific requirements regarding script length, number of characters, etc.? Would your micro-budgets mean a few thousand, a few hundred, change you find in the sofa cushions? How do you feel about filth and violence? Are you more interested in gory, shocking horror or atmospheric creepiness?
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:34 AM   #3
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No specific requirements as far as length goes. As far as micro budget, it basically depends on the script. I possibly have someone that could produce in the sub five to ten thousand range, but it has really got to be a great script for me to convince them it is a worthwhile investment. They have so far produced two stage plays for me to the tune of of about 3,000$ and have kind of let me have a big hand in helping design their yearly haunted house, and given me a go ahead on trying to put together a haunted house/play ala Delusion in Los Angeles. Putting on the haunted houses come to five thousand plus each year and for the last few i have been the "director" of the haunt. I say all this to illustrate there is a possibility of SOME money, not a lot, but some if that script comes along that NEEDS several thousand and has a very promising shot at festival play, distribution, etc.

But unless that script utterly blows everyone involved away, then we're kind of at the change you find in the couch cushion range. I am fortunate that all of my crew will chip in when necessary and one of the benefits of the small town we live in is access to lots of great locations and untapped talented people.

The content is always up for grabs. There are some lines i will not cross but it always depends on the story, if it is integral or something that hasn't been seen before or any other reason that it absolutely needs to be in the script/film then we hit those boundaries and figure out a way over/through/ or around them together. Again, if its something precious and we cant come to an agreement, no harm, no foul, no loss on either side.

I am all for both aspects of the genre, i love both and have made both in the past. the fewer the characters the better, psychological horror is a particular favorite of mine. I'm looking for shorts and features both, but to be honest i don't think were quite able to tackle a four hour epic at this point. Shorts are good because we really like the idea of anthology films and perhaps they are making some sort of comeback with the successes of V/H/S and the constant stream of them on DTV.

I don't think i included it in the OP but im looking for more of a partnership, creative people to team up and make things happen. I've spent so much time in the past on these boards trying to figure out how to get an agent, how to get my work out there beyond You Tube or what have you as i'm sure many others do. And as everybook you buy on this craft of ours says its a hell of a long shot for any of those things. Unless.... you have a body of work that stands on its own, unless you produce something that is amazing. I am trying to build that as a community. We can enter our screenplays that we and a hundred other people like, but the odds of winning are very slim for anyone because there are others out there just as good or better than we are. I am thinking of this endeavor as another outlet, that something may come out of, but with this your script isn't going into limbo. It is yours until it is chosen to be made. Hell, in the end if it is made and the movie isn't what we thought it would/should/ or could be, then we put it away and your script is still yours. It will cost you nothing, and you lose nothing.
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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I'd recommend asking a mod to move it here:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=25

If I wan't verging on intensive 'query mod with a novel I'd be interested but haven't got the time right now unfortunately.

I wrote a rom-com that verges on horror (an 'entity' wreaks havoc on the characters but it's kept light-hearted and would require no major effects) and could easily be done low budget but haven't got a workable horror screenplay completed yet. But I'd be interested at some point in the future with writing horror shorts.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:09 AM   #5
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How would you feel about ongoing fantasy films? Are you interested in fantasy films? I am actually starting on something right now, but I'll keep you in mind for when it's finished, if you're interested. I was thinking of making it a web series, but it might just be better to make a series of films since there's a lot of story to tell.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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@Wilde - will do on the Mod request, whenever you get it going buddy, im thinking this could be an ongoing thing.

@Gambit - I would most certainly take a look at it, but remember, mostly extremely low budget stuff. Not sure what sort of fantasy it is obviously, but i don't think a lord of the rings style epic is in our abilities at the moment. If you're interested PM me and i will send you an address to send the work to.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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This sounds like a wonderful idea. I Have a coupel of projects to finish off before I look at a pro bono script.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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Certainly interesting, and admirable in intent. I've got a couple of ideas that I'd thought of as feature films, but they could be encapsulated in low budget short films. (I've seen a few short films that felt like really well-edited, overly-informative trailers for feature-length movies.)

Also started on a radio play that could be a short film, possibly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucla_sb
I don't think i included it in the OP but im looking for more of a partnership, creative people to team up and make things happen....

...I am thinking of this endeavor as another outlet, that something may come out of, but with this your script isn't going into limbo. It is yours until it is chosen to be made. Hell, in the end if it is made and the movie isn't what we thought it would/should/ or could be, then we put it away and your script is still yours. It will cost you nothing, and you lose nothing.
I think I get what you're saying, but would like to see how it translates into a written contract.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:34 AM   #9
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Ok... i expected that and I have been wracking my brain to figure out how to write out a contract such as this. the previous experience i have is from another screenwriter who gave me permission to use a short story he wrote as a basis for a screenplay/short film. The film would remain as a not for profit type student deal and if anything further were to come of it, he would retain the rights to his work and i would essentially have to have his permission to go anywhere else with it. Festival submissions and such were on the table unless there started to be revenue generation. then we would have to speak again/renegotiate the deal. another author gave me the same deal and also requested a copy of the finished film. as far as my screen writing "work" the deal was essentially i write on spec and if used, we draw up contracts. As always the advice was to register anything with the WGA prior to sending it off or at least have some sort of proof of your idea, etc etc. All of these deals were made by essentially printing out the email conversations and one party signing and faxing it to the other party to sign and then fax back. This could be done via scanning and email as well.

But here's an interesting experiment if the above listed method, which would give you a hard copy of everything that was said and agreed to, does not meet ones comfort level; how would we like to see a contract of sorts drawn up? We can throw ideas around right here on what we would like to see in an initial contract/agreement.

Again, i am not looking to steal anyone's work or deny them their due credit and compensation if things get to that point. But i know that i have stuff that I don't have budget for that i would love to make. Its doing me no good sitting on my shelf and in my cloud server. I'm sure we all do. That's the stuff i'm looking for.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel Royal View Post
Certainly interesting, and admirable in intent. I've got a couple of ideas that I'd thought of as feature films, but they could be encapsulated in low budget short films. (I've seen a few short films that felt like really well-edited, overly-informative trailers for feature-length movies.)

Also started on a radio play that could be a short film, possibly.

I think I get what you're saying, but would like to see how it translates into a written contract.
See, I really like that thinking! Perhaps if the full screenplay is too much to handle, it could have a great trailer made for it!

I have just seen and experienced a phenomena since starting film school and previously with other friends interested in getting into film making/screenwriting. WE all want help, we all want people to love our work. But were too busy/protective of our material/afraid that someones going to stab us in the back over it to take advantage of things by working together.

Example, a friend who i met when i started out in a production class recently has been bugging the ever loving crap out of me to help him do a few different rewrites on his screenplay, to be his camera op/DP, to even act in his feature length horror film. I keep saying i would love to help, shoot me a copy of the script and details on what you need help rewriting, ill send some ideas, and we can work it out together. Or I can tell you my opinion or that i'm not interested or that its perfect as is. The point is, if you want this to happen, i need to see a script. I need the whole story of what you are doing in the film and what you are trying to accomplish through the film. The cat has still after 8 MONTHS of asking has never sent me the screenplay, yet continues to ask me to help him rewrite it. I cant help you rewrite based on your verbal description, i cant help you rewrite when the only info you will give me is you need a character to be gay instead of straight. I can't paint your house with blindfold on.

Another guy, really big into talking about how film makers should help each other out and not tear each other down, stole the guy acting as his DP on his thesis film's ENTIRE BUDGET to pay his own rent and buy marijuana. So his DP who was up next to shot his thesis film couldn't do so. The guy was paying actors, paying himself, but the guy did the DP work for free because he was a friend. He raised the money for his budget on his own, and it got stolen from him by his producer.

I know these are stories that make you not want to participate in something like this. But im telling them because this nonsense has to stop. I am not a big shot producer, i am a guy that just wants to make movies. I'm not interested in screwing people over because i don't want to be screwed over. Particularly not for free. That is why i'm saying the rights to the screenplay do not move from you until you are satisfied that there is integrity in the operation, that there is a pressing need to change the agreement/form a production company, come what ever may. I wont choose to do anything that i think is beyond my scope, so there will be a quality to the films made. If rewrites are necessary they will be discussed with the writer from the get go. If the writer thinks hes got a great concept, but hasn't executed it well on paper, perhaps we can work together to smooth it out. The possibilities are endless if we work together and aim to put out a good movie, instead of screw each other for self aggrandizement.

Sorry, rant over. Thanks for speaking up guys!
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ucla_sb View Post
Another guy, really big into talking about how film makers should help each other out and not tear each other down, stole the guy acting as his DP on his thesis film's ENTIRE BUDGET to pay his own rent and buy marijuana.
Well, at least it wasn't meth. So: silver lining!

Ucla_sb, I appreciate the sentiment you're expressing, 100%. I'm trustworthy, and I'm not doubting that you are as well. But these anecdotes just illustrate the need for written contracts in the business.

Well, I've got a couple ideas, and will see if I can work something up. In any case, best of luck.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #12
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Oh no, i agree and did not think you were doubting. Just something i was hearing about at the time in in class. I can think of 100 reasons why not to trust another writer or film maker and give as many examples. Im with you on the need for contracts in such situations, but people hear that word and get out their suits and monocles and want lawyers. I realize it can simply be an agreement that two parties make quite simply. But its stories like the ones i recounted above that make it necessary. I appreciate your consideration of participating.

Seems however that no ones got a script they wish to share however. lol
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:51 AM   #13
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Are you a fan of the Slasher sub-genre? I have something low-budget that might just work. About 30 pages (I'm sceptical that a feature can be completed on such a low budget to be honest)

Like the above posters have said contracts are totally necessary here. I am with you on theory that if people just banded together, shared the same interests and weren't so anal about their work something good could come of it. I'm not saying people should be cavalier either mind you.

What I have is already a complete short story, like I said 30 pages, however there is a possibility of a feature to come of it. I just haven't gotten around to going further yet, I've been inundated with ideas for another project. If you are interested in hearing something about the script let me know, maybe we can work something out.
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:16 AM   #14
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Definitely man! Should I PM you?
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:31 AM   #15
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Sure. Ask away. Whatever you'd like to know.
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Last edited by StevenHarvey1990; 02-10-2013 at 12:38 AM.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:57 AM   #16
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Hey, I don't know if you're still looking or not, but I've been working on a short screenplay lately, a reimagining of Wordsworth's "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey." If you are still looking, I'd be glad to send it to you.
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Old 04-09-2013, 11:29 AM   #17
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i stopped getting emailed when the thread updates!

tman267 - I'd love to take a look at it, ill PM with my email.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:22 PM   #18
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