Sunday, July 29, 2012

Put things in / take things out

For me, born in the early seventies, a computer is something you put things into. You keep and sort recipes and photos, write and play games. Things in the computer are made to look like things outside the computer and mimic human behavior.

My seven-year-old has grown up with computers. For him it is as natural item as anything else in life. And he takes thing out of the computer. No, not printouts, but games. He sees a game he likes and he builds it with real items. He runs with a toy car along a track built with blocks jumping over laser walls (color pens), skidding in oil patches (rubber bands) and avoiding bypassing enemies (whatever toy he can maneuver with his free hand).

For me, I think about if a game could be done on a computer; he, applies what he finds in a computer game in his play. Where my generation puts things into a computer, does his generation takes out?

Friday, July 27, 2012

The #wordsadayaugust list

Sofluid has a contest - or rather a challange - for those of you (including me) that has Twitter account.

Check it out.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rewriting is closing in

I haven’t started any rewriting of The Power of Bitterness yet (9th of August), but I have had some reflections on what to do when I begin.

The third act needs most work, probably, but that I will deal with later.

First of all, I have had some very interesting feedback from my two valuable readers. I now know more about what is unclear or strange for one thing. Those areas I need to look into. Some scenes are a little too long and my main character’s language is not proper.

Then I have considered the castle and the way I first describe it does not match how I see the interior in my mind. The image of it is not clear enough to work all the way through. For instance, I describe the castle as a group of buildings, but they never move between them. There are a lot of corridors that could be used as transports between different buildings and also be a good environment to show more story and/or character. As they are now, they are just corridors, and as I visualize them they are even in the wrong material, compared to the first description. It is hard for me to write things that work with the environment if not even my own mind has a clear vision of what it looks like.

And about the third act, well, I have a pile of reading on the subject to get some inspiration. I’m pretty confident that when I’ve sorted all the other dealings out and I’ve done my research on the third act, I’ll do some glorious writing there.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Paralyzed in Paradise - Behind the scenes

The director of Paralyzed in Paradise, Rebecca Basaure, has given me permission to use some of the photos taken during the filming. They are taken by Logan Coffey.

Rebecca Basaure in the middle, Kurtis J. Myers by the camera.
Kathy Geaslin Hahn to the left plays the wife.

Kurtis J. Myers rigs for a take inside the car.
Jeffery Staab sits to the left. He plays the main character.

Kurtis J. Myers and Rebecca Basaure by the camera.
Jeffery Staab to the left, plays the main character.

Rebecca Basaure has just finished her studies at University of Kansas and won both awards and a scholarship for her works.

"Paralyzed in Paradise" is a short script Robert A Vollrath and I wrote together and it is based on a real event in his life.

I'm so thrilled to see this short when it is finished.

All photos by Logan Coffey

Monday, July 16, 2012

Short movie: Tell Me You Love Me

This is a short film by Sharon Marie Wright who made Change for a Dollar (which by the way have had over two million views on YouTube).

It is not an uplifting film with hope, as "Change for a Dollar". This one is dark and black. The photo is just remarkable.

The story in this short is based on real events and in this video Sharon Marie Wright talks about the background of "Tell Me You Love Me".

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The third act miracle

Third act of a movie script

I know that the third act of my feature movie script "the Power of Bitterness" can be better. Not that I’ve read it since I finished the first draft, but I had the feeling when I wrote it. I just didn’t know how to do it better then.

So while I’m waiting for feedback and letting my script rest, I’m trying to learn more about third acts.

Okay where do we start? The second act ends with the main character leaving Dark Night of the Soul, changed and enlightened and walks into the third act.

Here shall now the B-story and the main story merge, to find the solution, but also create a new conflict. This should however not introduce any new characters or places, but unravel things with what you’ve already got.

There should be a seemingly impassible obstacle in the way for the main character to achieve the goal. As always, the main character should be the one on the initiative to find away through.

Then the main character must prove his or her worthy. He or she must solve the problem occurring in another way than we have seen in act one; in a better way, the way of the new, changed and enlightened main character. He or she must prove there has been a change.

As a finale there must be the scene the whole movie built up for. The grand solution, the answer to the question asked in act one; the place where we get both surprised and satisfied. This is the scene we have been waiting for for almost two hours of film. This is where all things pay off. Go back to the first act and look what you’ve made setups for, what questions you have asked. Solve them all here. This is the scene that makes the movie, where either the viewer goes home rather annoyed or pleased. Do you think this is a heavy weight for you to carry? I understand you completely.

Then at last there should be a glimpse into the future. The story began with a stable situation, a status quo. The story should end with a new one. This should be a relaxing moment, without conflicts. You may keep a final pay-off for this scene, but it is important that there are no new arising clouds in the sky. This scene should also be compared to, or in contrast to, the very first scene.

Some links:
Act 3 on YouTube
Movie outline

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Free moviescript structure template download

I have updated my mind map made in FreeMind with the basic structure of a movie script, which I personally use to get started. It is free to download and use for your own personal work. Do not sell it or use it in any other commercial situations, please.

Here is the link:

And here is a link to FreeMind, the splendid mind mapping program:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Proof read everything

Self portrait of Tracy Caldwell Dyson in the Cupola module of the International Space Station observing the Earth below during Expedition 24. Photo by Tracy Caldwell Dyson

So here we go again: proof read everything, before sending it to anybody but a proof reader.

I can’t believe I just made this mistake. Again.

Don’t ever think you will get feedback on your story, unless the readers can focus on it, instead of your linguistic errors.

I have just finished my first draft of a feature and needed feedback on it. I knew the language wasn’t bullet proof, but I had regularly checked what I had written and I thought it was just about as good as I could get it without somebody else reading it. Not only is it hard to proof read your own text, but I also get used to some phrasing that I miss the non-English way of using the words.

My jaw dropped as I got the feedback; a long list of grammatical errors and worst of all: spelling errors that Celtx spelling control should have picked up, because the words was simply misspelled into none-existing words.

Yes, I’m a little crossed at Celtx, but the point is I knew it had flaws, because those little red wavy lines come and went, and yet I trusted it; or trusted myself too much. I didn’t double check as I should have. He even asked me if I had the spellchecker on at all.

So ladies and gentlemen out there writing: do you want feedback on your story and your stunning choice of words and your fabulous dialog, do yourself the favor of spelling correctly, or all you will get is a list of the places where you didn’t.

It may be a first draft, and you may think – as I did – that that boring proof reading thing is something you do before sending it to producers and contests, and you are so happy you finished it and want feedback right away, but learn this lesson now from someone who just right now feels like a fool for ignoring this: always, always proofread everything.

Self portrait of Tracy Caldwell Dyson in the Cupola module of the International Space Station
observing the Earth below during Expedition 24.
Photo by Tracy Caldwell Dyson

Monday, July 9, 2012

First draft of The Power of Bitterness

I can't believe it! I've finished the first draft of The Power of Bitterness!

For some time it has felt like an endless job to get it done. But then I finally decided that I should write it to the end no matter how horrible it turned out.

I can't just sit around waiting until I write splendid writing. Or rather don't write because I'm afraid it will suck.

So I started to write. With a few short pauses to stretch my back. And now I'm done.

Done, done, done. YES!

109 pages.

One page from the goal. It's not that bad. It feels like I'm on target.

Now I'll let this script get some rest. I need to get it out of my mind, so I can face it will some form of objectivity later.

I have a few trusted readers who I will ask to read it while it is resting. I need to know if there are any major flaws or gaps or misunderstandings when I start rewrite it into what will likely become my contest version.

In the meantime, I'll consider what I want to write next. I haven't given it a second thought. I'm not one of those who gets new ideas all the time. But I think it would be a good idea for my portfolio to have something contemporary, placed in this world.

Photo by Magnus Nordlund
Used by his expressed permission only

Friday, July 6, 2012

Idea generator?

It’s not that I don’t write on a script. It’s not that I don’t want to update the blog more often. It’s not the lack of time that I don’t.

It’s just that I don’t know what to write.

I’ve had articles about different tools. I have not found any new tool since. Actually, I’ve backed away from one:, because I felt it cost more than I felt I got in return (not only their fault, it was not meant for movie script, so I put too few of my text through it).

I’ve talked about my process. It’s not that it changes that much from one week to another. My basic mind map for structure is popular, but I can’t put up a blog post every now and then just to promote it.

My current script is making progress, but either I feel like a dump because I don’t write as much I think I should, or in another way feel like a bad writer, which becomes a rather tiresome reading; or everything runs like clockwork which could make sweet read, but rarely becomes very long or analytic.

I have three short scripts in the pipe getting filmed this year, but I have not a single thing I can write about it right now. Before the actual filming is done, it’s not much for me to write more than the fact that it will take place. Then there are photos and maybe a story behind the scenes to tell. Then.

Frankly I don’t know what to write here right now. Can you please give me some ideas?

This is entry 931.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Who knows what lies and ahead

Sometimes I feel it takes too long to get rich and famous on writing screenplays.

Then I remind myself that I have one short script that is now in post production (Paralyzed in Paradise), and two in pre production (Asleep and When the Music Stops).

They might not make me rich and famous, but they are three future happenings with unknown destinies. Who knows what lies and ahead and what the future will bring?

And one should always be careful what you wish for. It might become true.