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I've got this (great) idea for a screenplay; now what?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I suspect there are some dabblers on here.

What should one do beyond the "damn, I think that would make a great movie" sound in their head? Pretend to know what you are doing and just write. Take a class somewhere? Buy a book? Join a forum?

Or do what most people do and keep it stuffed in their head until the weight of the idea kills itself?
post #2 of 23
Do what James Franco does
post #3 of 23
suk a major studio head's head!
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringusingoodale View Post

I suspect there are some dabblers on here.

What should one do beyond the "damn, I think that would make a great movie" sound in their head? Pretend to know what you are doing and just write. Take a class somewhere? Buy a book? Join a forum?

Or do what most people do and keep it stuffed in their head until the weight of the idea kills itself?

Here's my advice for you:

Take this idea you have for a movie, and add a monkey to it.

All movies are better with monkeys.

Thank me later.
post #5 of 23
And make sure to stress to whoever you're selling your idea to that it must star Matt Damon and Steve Buscemi.
post #6 of 23
Also, your movie must contain a scene where something slices through a person like they're made of cream cheese, and then they stand there with a stunned expression on their face for a moment before slowly toppling apart.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Actually, I probably could include a monkey, though not in major role. I don't like gore and don't see a place in it for my story. I can so see Buscemi in a role. Not Matt though.

And I don't get the James Franco thing (I assume it is jab at him). See that's the thing: I have no clue about the Industry--this is also my strength.

And, though I don't know if it means anything, I am somewhat serious about the next step advice. There is a screenwriting program at UCLA but for like 4500 bucks. Someone told me about a class in Pasadena city college, but enrolling in community college course is a pain (registration, new students get to back of line for classes, scheduling etc)

Any trade magazines or books people can recommend? I am not saying : "oh hey, teach me to write art" but rather something more technical including the format, how to get an agent to read your stuff, what usually stands a chance sort of thing.

I know this can be an embarrassing topic for some (even I am doing this anonymously on a forum and will not tell anyone), so PM me if you prefer.
post #8 of 23
You should watch I Want Candy.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tagutcow View Post

Also, your movie must contain a scene where something slices through a person like they're made of cream cheese, and then they stand there with a stunned expression on their face for a moment before slowly toppling apart.

usually the best part of any movie. done very well in one of the underworld movies. also in 300.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bringusingoodale View Post

Actually, I probably could include a monkey, though not in major role. I don't like gore and don't see a place in it for my story. I can so see Buscemi in a role. Not Matt though.
And I don't get the James Franco thing (I assume it is jab at him). See that's the thing: I have no clue about the Industry--this is also my strength.
And, though I don't know if it means anything, I am somewhat serious about the next step advice. There is a screenwriting program at UCLA but for like 4500 bucks. Someone told me about a class in Pasadena city college, but enrolling in community college course is a pain (registration, new students get to back of line for classes, scheduling etc)
Any trade magazines or books people can recommend? I am not saying : "oh hey, teach me to write art" but rather something more technical including the format, how to get an agent to read your stuff, what usually stands a chance sort of thing.
I know this can be an embarrassing topic for some (even I am doing this anonymously on a forum and will not tell anyone), so PM me if you prefer.

You. Are. Insane.
post #11 of 23
1 "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Rhett Butler Clark Gable Gone with the Wind 1939
2 "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse." Don Vito Corleone Marlon Brando The Godfather 1972
3 "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."[2] Terry Malloy Marlon Brando On the Waterfront 1954
4 "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Dorothy Gale Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz 1939
5 "Here's looking at you, kid." Rick Blaine Humphrey Bogart Casablanca 1942
6 "Go ahead, make my day" Harry Callahan Clint Eastwood Sudden Impact 1983
7 "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."[3] Norma Desmond Gloria Swanson Sunset Boulevard 1950
8 "May the Force be with you." Han Solo Harrison Ford Star Wars 1977
9 "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." Margo Channing Bette Davis All About Eve 1950
10 "You talkin' to me?" Travis Bickle Robert De Niro Taxi Driver 1976
11 "What we've got here is failure to communicate."[4] Captain Strother Martin Cool Hand Luke 1967
12 "A Squirrel Monkey isnt anything like a cat!" Tapper Keegan Steve Buscemi New Sheriff In FunkyTown 2013
post #12 of 23
There is definitely an industry format that if not followed gets your script immediately trashed if not followed. I have a book about it somewhere and it gives you all the measurements of margins, font size, line space and etc. I am sure you can find all this info on the internet without blowing $4500. I am sure there is software but if you are savy in MS Word or other, you should be able to set up your document before you start typing.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blahman View Post


You. Are. Insane.

It's just that in my head Matt can't have a major role in my film (yes, I am now calling it a film). But I don't think casting is my decision. Besides, I think early 2000's when I think Damon. Wave of the future man.

Oh, and that UCLA program, while I am sure covers the basics of formatting, is meant to teach the tips of the trade in writing good stories as screenplays. But I don't have 4500 to blow on a course.

Yea, the technical guidelines don't worry me (yet). I think I am going to just outline for now.

Oh, and what does it mean that I only recognize by memory about 5 of those memorable film quotes?
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star View Post

There is definitely an industry format that if not followed gets your script immediately trashed if not followed. I have a book about it somewhere and it gives you all the measurements of margins, font size, line space and etc. I am sure you can find all this info on the internet without blowing $4500. I am sure there is software but if you are savy in MS Word or other, you should be able to set up your document before you start typing.

Yeah, writing a spec script isn't particularly difficult. You can find a few spec scripts for films you're familiar with on the internet, read them, and absorb the format and technique by osmosis. (Spec scripts basically contain just the dialogue and stage directions, which is all you'll need if you're shopping something around. Shooting scripts contain explicit instructions for direction and editing, and can prove well nigh unreadable for anyone wishing to get a gist of the plot. Stay away from those for now.)

You can pick up Final Draft for ~$150, and I assume that will format the script to Academy standards for you.
post #15 of 23
Almost every waiter and waitress in Los Angeles is writing a screen play. Unless you are an established writer or
know somebody in the industry, your chances of having your screen play read is practically non existent. Of course
if you don't try, you'll never know so if you have the time, talent and skill, give it your best shot. Good luck.
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