My writing system

Hello fellow screenwriters!

One of you recently asked me what software I use for screenwriting. I believe my answer was, and I quote:

“Uhh… No I don’t use Final Draft… I sort of use a few different things together… it’s kind of complicated… I can’t really recommend it”

This apologetic admission caused me to take a look at the byzantine process I’d set up and try to actually understand it. This is what it looks like:

Screenwriting cloud setup

So the reason for this is that I am a bad writer. I don’t do it diligently or oftenly or frequently or responsibly or any other -ly that indicates a professional writer writing in a professional manner. To counteract this I try to remove all mental obstacles to writing, so that I have no excuse not to put it down when it pops into my head. The screenplay must be always accesible to me and omnipresent. We have the technology.

The Technology

Fountain

http://fountain.io/
This is not a program, but a markup language, which sounds complicated, but it really is not. It’s just a way to type in plain text so that multiple programs can interpret it into correct screenplay formatting.

Scrivener

http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
This is an amazing composition program, full of features the depths of which I can’t even understand, but it has a screenwriting mode and can sync, in Fountain format, with DropBox.

ia Writer

http://www.iawriter.com/iphone/
This is a simple word processor that also reads Fountain, and can sync with DropBox

DropBox

http://db.tt/pwY6Lpe
This is the key to uniting the various programs on different machines, it makes the screenplay accessible everywhere, on any device you can install it on.

The way I’ve set up and synced these programs means that no matter where I am, I have no excuse not to work on the screenplay.  If I’m on the bus, or at a bar, or not altogether sure of my location, it doesn’t matter. I can pull out my phone and work on it. And when I find my way back to a computer, it’ll be updated and waiting for me to keep working on it.

This works for me and I swear I’ve tried to make it clear.  If it’s not, feel free to ask questions.

“Love and War” movie website

We’ve got an official website up. Check back soon for updated news and info on future screenings.
Love and War movie site

Premiere at SIFF

SIFF logo

“Love and War” will premiere at Seattle International Film Festival.

Now enjoy some tasty boilerplate:
Now in its 36th year, the Seattle International Film Festival plays host to a stellar array of films from around
the world. SIFF screens an eclectic selection of the best new international features,
documentaries, and US independent films and is the largest and most highly attended
film festival in the United States with an audience of more than 140,000 attending in
2009. The 25-day Festival presents more than 400 films from over 60 countries. Programming
also includes industry seminars and panels, awards, tributes, retrospectives,
and educational outreach programs. With extensive local, national, and international
media coverage, the Festival is one of this country’s most accessible and highly publicized
film events.

“Love and War” stills – days 1 and 2

Here are some stills pulled from the footage from days 1 and 2 of shooting.

“Love and War” a new short film

Pre-production has begun for my next short film “Love and War”. The war part is WWI, and the love takes place in the roaring, jazzy 1920s. Or are they happening at the same time? There’s going to be lots of cool juxtaposition in this one because, essentially, aren’t love and war the same?

If you’ll permit me to share a bit of personal info, I’ll explain my inspiration in writing this story. Early this year I turned 30, and being suddenly an old man, I began to reflect on my misspent youth. It seems most of my twenties were spent in long-term relationships. And when I found myself in my late twenties, burned yet again, I wondered how it could possible. Shouldn’t I have figured it all out by then? This is what made me think of World War One. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars. Don’t relationships work the same way? This time, it’s for real. The love to end all loves. If you’re lucky, eventually it’ll be true, but damn if it isn’t a lot of war until that happens.

It seems true wisdom is knowing that you’ll never know.

Anyway, that’s what the story of this movie is about. It’s a pretty ambitious project, requiring some funding. To that end, I’ve launched a page on kickstarter.com. “Crowdfunding” seems to be more and more a viable option for indie film these days. Have a look at the page and please consider supporting the project. You can contribute as little as $1 and there are lots of rewards available, including Executive Producer credit, and a cameo appearance in the film. If you do back the project at a producer level, the credit will go into IMDb.com. Then you can have fun linking yourself to Kevin Bacon.

Here’s a design book we whipped up to give you an idea of what it’ll look like.

Color timing and film transfer at Modern Digital

“Tex” Production Diary – Day 3

day3

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Day 3 was intense. We had a bout 20 cast and crew running around. Jess did his best to manage the chaos, but we had one pretty big logistical messup (sorry, Sue!). Apart from that and a special effects malfunction, I think it went quite well. We got through the fight between Tex and Dixie and killed a few of the other vampires.

More tomorrow.