New in Print: Wet Hot American Summer: The Annotated Screenplay

New in print from Harry N. Abrams is Wet Hot American Summer: The Annotated Screenplay, written by Michael Showalter and David Wain.

"At long last, this is the definitive Wet Hot American Summer book fans have been clamoring for! Screenwriters David Wain and Michael Showalter take pen to page and create a hilarious, behind-the-scenes annotated version of the original screenplay that launched a thousand Halloween costumes. They provide commentary on and insight into how and why they made the artistic decisions they did while writing and filming the movie that went on to become a true cult classic, as well as an ongoing Netflix series. The book will also feature reproduced ephemera from filming - photos, original (and scathing) reviews, AIM chat conversations, marked up script pages, and so much more. Written and curated by Wain and Showalter, this will be the must-have guide to all things Wet Hot."

Wet Hot American Summer, released in 2001, was directed by Wain, and stars Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Marguerite Moreau, Molly Shannon, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Elizabeth Banks, Bradley Cooper, and Michael Showalter.

Wet Hot American Summer: The Annotated Screenplay is available now in hardcover and Kindle editions.

NYC Midnight's Short Screenplay Challenge

Today, October 11th is the final deadline to enter NYC Midnight’s Short Screenplay Challenge.

“The Short Screenplay Challenge is a competition that challenges writers around the world to create short screenplays (5 pages max.) based on genre, location, and object assignments. Each writer will participate in at least 2 writing challenges and as many as 4 depending on how well they place in each challenge.  When the competition begins, writers are placed in groups where they will be judged against other writers within their same group.  Each group receives its own unique genre, location, and object assignments (see past examples here).  After 2 challenges, the top 5 writers that score the highest advance to the next challenge.  In Challenge #3, writers are placed in new groups and given a new genre, location, and object assignment.  The top 5 writers from each of the groups in Challenge #3 advance to the fourth and final challenge of the competition where they are given the final genre, location, and object assignment…”

The first challenge launches on Friday, October 12th with the subsequent challenges starting on November 30th, January 11th, and February 22nd.

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Nicole Taylor on Writing Wild Rose

“I thought, gosh, that’s so interesting. It’s such a conflict that’s got equal arguments on both sides and I thought gosh that’s a great basis for a drama. So that was about eight years ago and I’ve been sort of nodding away on it since.”

Here is The Wrap’s talk with Nicole Taylor, writer of Wild Rose, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Christopher McQuarrie on Writing and Directing Mission: Impossible - Fallout

For Variety’s Playback podcast, Kris Tapley went behind the scenes of Mission: Impossible - Fallout with writer-director Christopher McQuarrie.

“What I do with writing action is I write everything I want you to see in the order that I want you to see it. So my action sequence tend to be long in their description and incredibly boring to read. There’s nothing more boring than reading a car chase. But you write that out because you want to communicate to your crew. It’s not really meant for anybody else to read. It’s a very dry, technical document. The helicopter chase was another instance where the script form of the helicopter chase was an afterthought to figuring out what exactly is the helicopter chase.”

New In Print: Screenwriting Tribe: Workshop Handbook for Writing and Polishing Film and TV Spec Scripts

Daniel John Carey, founder of the Los Angeles-based Screenwriting Tribe, has put the best advice learned from the group's weekly workshops to paper, resulting in today's release of Screenwriting Tribe: Workshop Handbook for Writing and Polishing Film and TV Spec Scripts.

"For both beginners and working screenwriters, Screenwriting Tribe Workshop Handbook provides a vast quantity of information to help writers polish their screenplays to the professional level. While working in the headquarters of a film studio, John saw how easily screenplays are dismissed because of formatting errors, badly written description, rambling dialogue, and other common script problems. One day, the studio president said to him, “Why should I spend time reading a script if the writer hasn’t spent the time to polish it?” To help writers polish their scripts to be what is expected by managers, agents, studio readers, producers, directors, screenplay contests, and fellowship programs, John started the weekly workshop that he named Screenwriting Tribe. The membership quickly grew to include several hundred writers and actors. Over the years, John compiled information helpful for those writing screenplays. At first, he was writing a booklet for his workshop, but it turned into the nearly 300-page Screenwriting Tribe Workshop Handbook that is now available to all writers. In addition to running Screenwriting Tribe workshop, John helps writers, directors, and producers polish scripts to get them ready for sale and/or production."

Screenwriting Tribe: Workshop Handbook for Writing and Polishing Film and TV Spec Scripts is available in paperback now.

The Midpoint Collision

Lessons from the Screenplay looks at 'The Midpoint Collision,' using Stuart Beattie's script for Michael Mann's film Collateral to examine when the "protagonist’s facade is slowly stripped away as their inner self is forced to rise, and what happens when these two sides of the character collide at the midpoint of the story."

New In Print: Annihilation: The Screenplay

New in print today from Faber & Faber is Annihilation: The Screenplay, written by Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 DaysLater..., Ex Machina) and based on the book of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer.

"A group of soldiers enters an environmental disaster zone and only one comes back out alive, though he is grievously injured. In an attempt to save his life, his wife Lena, a biologist, volunteers for a second expedition into the zone to figure out what happened to him."

Annihilation was also directed by Garland, and stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Oscar Isaac.

Annihilation: The Screenplay is available now in paperback and Kindle editions.

New in Print: Isle of Dogs: The Screenplay

Coinciding with the limited release of the movie, Wes Anderson's screenplay for Isle of Dogs is now available in a paperback edition from Faber & Faber.

In Isle of Dogs, 12-year old Atari Kobayashi goes in search of his dog who has been exiled to Trash Island along with every other canine pet in Megasaki City by the order of his own father, Mayor Kobayashi. Atari is joined in his journey on the garbage dump island by a new group of friends, a pack of now wild but still noble former pet dogs.

In addition to the full screenplay, Isle of Dogs: The Screenplay also features twenty pages of drawings and an interview with with Anderson and his three co-writers, Jason Schwartzman, Roman Coppola and Kunichi Nomura, who all received 'Story by' credits.

In Theaters Today: Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ready Player One, Ernest Cline's best-selling love letter to the 1980's, hits screens today from a screenplay by Cline and Zak Penn.

"The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance). When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger."

Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders Was Released Thirty-five Years Ago Today

Based on S.E. Hinton's novel of the same name, The Outsiders was released in theaters thirty-five years ago today on March 25, 1983.

Hinton was just seventeen years old when she began writing the novel and nineteen when it was published by Viking Press during her freshman year of college. The film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, was written by Kathleen Rowell (Hear No Evil, Killing Mr. Griffin) as her first credited screenplay.

"Early 1960s. Tulsa, Oklahoma. The city is divided between teenagers who have grown up with wealth and privilege and the rough-edged "greasers" from the wrong side of the tracks. The greasers yearn for the life they see on the other side of town, but the rich kids want to keep them in their places. Then, one greaser dares cross the line to talk, and to dream of more, with a girl from across the tracks . . . an action that can only lead to conflict on a hot, steamy night."

According to Box Office Mojo, The Outsiders was the 28th highest grossing movie of 1983, earning $25,697,647 at the domestic box office.


All original content is copyright © 2010-2018 Michael Sajkowicz. All other content is owned by their respective rights holders and used respectfully and with appreciation in an editorial manner under fair use for the purposes of commentary, criticism and reporting.