Friday, August 16, 2013

How many scripts to write in a year? That is the question!

Excerpt from Marvin Acuna’s newsletter at

Great info so if you haven’t signed up already, I encourage you to do so and it doesn’t cost a thing!

QUESTION: How many screenplays should a writer who is not actively on assignments or making a film be generating over the course of one year, in your opinion?

MARVIN: When I was managing screenwriters, I told them that I wanted AT LEAST 3-4 new scripts a year.

Even if you’re writing part time, you should easily be able to crank out that number.

The bottom line is if you’re not writing new material, two things happen:

A) You’re not developing your craft, or shaping and clarifying your voice.
B) You’re not affording whomever you’re working with the opportunity to do anything for you.

If you’re not working with an agent or manager, you must still be able to talk about fresh material when you DO speak with Hollywood Professionals.

The screenwriter’s kiss of death is constantly trying to pitch the same, tired script, over and over again.

That last line is priceless information. PRICELESS I TELL YOU! Ensure you are not doing this and that you are coming up with new ideas every week even if you can't write them all. Flex your idea muscle. The more you use it the better ideas will come to you.

Short exercise.
Each day, spend a few minutes, maybe while at lunch or breakfast or even right before bed (well maybe not before bed because your brain will be too active and you will be dreaming some very weird dreams all night...unless you like that sort of thing...and sometimes we get ideas for great plots in dreams...just remember to write them down as soon as you wake up before you do anything else or you will forget that fabulous, original, creative idea. Believe, I know.

I digress...anyhoo, each day, write down at least 10 new movie ideas in your idea notebook. Don't judge, don't analyze, don't correct, especially don't criticize and don't show it to anyone - just get them down. If you keep doing this process you will eventually come up with a winner that you can later use as inspiration for a new project that will sell.

The more you practice this exercise the better you will be able to come up with creative ideas easily. Your brain is a muscle you know and engaging it activates your inner idea machine. Just be careful you don't get an extra big head! Not pretty I tell you, not pretty...hmmmm on second thought re. big hmmm (visions of "big heads" dancing in my head). [SNAP OUT OF IT - knocking myself back to reality - GOT TO STAY FOCUSED HERE!]

Hmmm where was I? Oh yeah your inner idea machine....
This also will help to deal with any writer's block when it creeps up.

Also, feel free to do this in any area of your life. A fun exercise to practice is thinking up ways to make $1 million dollars - legitimately! Try it and let me know how it goes. I think I will write a separate blog post just on activating the idea machine.

Write right and write on! N.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Indy Filmmakers reaching out


"The Girl at the End of the World" is the story of two lovers in a long distance relationship who are torn apart when a meteor hits the Earth and knocks out all technology in the world.

This is our second feature film, our first film All or Nothing was released to great acclaim and brilliant reviews earlier this year and was a really great learning experience for us. We're planning on using everything we learned from that shoot to make The Girl at The End of The World the very best it can be, our goal is to have it stand up against the very best independent films in the world.

Where the money will be used:

We are planning to shoot in California for a week and for 3-4 days in Ireland. We already own all of the equipment and software needed to make the movie but we need that little bit extra finance to pay for locations, food, transport, marketing, props, post production expenses and maybe if we can to pay our cast and crew a little bit for all of their hard work.

We plan to submit the film to major film festivals with the hope of playing at the biggest and best but we also have a back up plan which includes self distributing through iTunes and Netflix/Hulu.

We'll also be holding premieres in LA and Dublin and both cities will also be hosting kick ass wrap parties which you can gain access to by donating now or by watching or facebook page where we will be selling tickets directly (tickets will cost $25 for LA and €20 for Dublin.

How we'll deliver the movie:

The day after our last shot is filmed we will be in post production and we plan to be done editing the film and have it ready to watch in November for those in our early access club (donate £15 or more). We will then release the film in December the rest of our backers.

*All or Nothing was shot in December and released in February so we're confident that we can deliver the movie in that time.

Other ways to help us:

If you cannot donate at this time it would be really cool if you could help us spread the word and encourage others to make this cool project happen.

We could also use some accommodation in California in September for three people so if you have any way of helping with that then we would be very appreciative.

And finally if you would like to work on set, be an extra, have a speaking role, help make sandwiches or just help us shoot the movie in anyway then please get in touch.

For more information, go to