Academy Awards: 2019 Writers Roundtable

It’s that time of year - enjoy The Hollywood Reporter’s 2019 Writers Roundtable with Oscar-nominated screenwriters John Krasinski (A Quiet Place), Peter Farrelly (Green Book), Tamara Jenkins (Private Life), Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade), Eric Roth (A Star Is Born), and Paul Schrader (First Reformed).

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.

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.