Online Cabin Fumigation Evacuation

May 24, 2012

A lot of people who’ve already signed up for Camp Nanowrimo have been waiting as patiently as they could for their camp cabin assignments to show up on the website, and find out if they’ve been matched with the campers who they requested, or campers in their age range and genre, or if they were very brave and clicked the ‘Surprise me’ option, to find out about cabin-mates that they knew nothing at all about.

Sometime yesterday evening, a few cabin assignments started to show up – or so I believe. I actually wasn’t checking. But then, Heather Dudley posted a new Sticky thread in the Campfire Circle forum on the Nanowrimo website, calling attention to the following news:

There are bugs in the cabins! Everybody out! Dan the Man is performing mandatory fumigation on the cabins… So grab your sleeping bag, save anything you don’t want to lose from your cabin message board, and we’re sleeping under the stars tonight! 

Over the course of the day, the website has let me into a cabin, booted me out, and let me back in again – with the same other five campers – four campers that I had requested, and a buddy of one of the four. From the thread of discussion following Heather’s announcement, there’s been all kinds of excitement, joking around, frustration, disappointment, and curiosity from excited wannabe camp writers. At this point, things seem somewhat stable for many of us, but I’m going to keep a can of bug-spray next to my sleeping bag just in case. 😉

Anybody else out there looking forward to Camp Nanowrimo? Have you checked on your cabin assignments at all today?

O is for Other Genres and Script Formats

April 17, 2012

The Script Frenzy A-Z challenge so far…

Script Frenzy is an event that welcomes outsiders and outliers. So, along with all of the discussion forums dedicated to particular genres and script formats, there are gathering places for those who don’t quite fit in with the established categories. If your script project defies categorization, you might well be at home here.

In the ‘Other Genres’ forum, there’s currently discussion about surreal mind trip movies, autobiography films, a tragicomedy, and a fandom crossover episode. There’s a short discussion about steampunk, a question about the possibility of writing porn scripts, and even somebody planning a series of political cartoons.

Over in ‘Other Scripts’, I noticed that somebody is apparently scripting a documentary, as well as plans underway for a long-form soap opera, and video games. And there’s Markus, who was kind enough to answer my question about his series of comedy sketches.

“My script is coming along nicely right now,” Markus wrote. “It is difficult being funny in small doses, but having written movie scripts, I know that a longer script is difficult as well. It depends a lot on the sketch, but a fake commercial isn’t difficult, because really, there’s only one joke. But with a more in-depth sketch, it requires multiple jokes to keep the sketch flowing. Even harder than that is effectively establishing the characters, having a beginning, middle, and end, as well as a flowing plot in such a short time.”

Good luck, Markus, and all the other Script Frenzy outsiders!

Three Weeks to Script Frenzy!

March 11, 2011

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about what I want to do for Script Frenzy for a little while now, and here’s what I’ve got so far:

My Logline: A naive salvage pilot and engineer from Earth get lost in a distant part of the galaxy on their way home, and involved with a charming Alien Mafia Lady who has the star charts that can get them back home.

I actually worked backwards to this, thinking that I wanted to write something science fiction and going through some of the story genres, before settling on a Golden Fleece, and wondering what would make a compelling ‘Road trip through Space’ kind of movie.

Let’s give it the Blake Snyder chapter 1 logline tests:

* An ironic hook? Well, yeah. The irony doesn’t have anything to do with the science-fiction aspects, just that my poor working schlub heroes are getting in bed with the crime lord, as it were.
* Compelling mental picture? It works that way for me. I’ll try to get some more feedback on it from other people over at the Script Frenzy forums.
* Audience and cost? I think it gives a pretty good notion of the cost to start with – it’ll be a bit on the high-side, because science fiction space effects don’t come cheap, but will be closer to the range of a typical crime thriller than a really big sci-fi action-adventure blockbuster. And you’ve got science fiction nuts in the audience, and crime thriller types, and anybody who really appreciates fish-out-of-water comedies.
* A Killer Title? Okay, I admit I’m coming up blank on this one so far… how to sum up all of that, especially the irony, in a title??

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Blog the Cat, Chapter 2 – Story Genres

January 22, 2011

Blog the Cat post index.

So, in Chapter 2 of Save the cat, “Give me the same thing… only different!” Blake Snyder talks about how to dance with cliche – you have to be in the vicinity of a cliche, because otherwise your script is probably so out there that most viewers won’t be able to relate to it at all, but not too close. He ties this back into the scenario of pitching your movie – that not only do you have to be able to explain what your movie idea is, but also what it’s most like – and that you have to be very familiar with other movies in your genre, so as to know what the specific cliches are and put your own spin on your story.

He then starts going into detail about his own working list of ten genres or categories, which aren’t organized along traditional lines, because a term like ‘Romantic Comedy’ or ‘Hard Science Fiction’ doesn’t explain anything about the storyline, which is a good point. To run down the story genres quickly, we have:

Monster in the house: Dangerous ‘monster’, (who could be a person,) and people trapped inside an enclosed ‘house’ with it. Lots of running and hiding, usually at least one of the people is morally responsible for the monster being there, and they die while others manage to escape at the end.

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