Saturday, November 10, 2007

Next Meeting: Monday Nov. 19, 2007

Hello, Everybody

With Remembrance Day in mind and the December holiday season in mind, Barclay Manor has kindly greenlighted the following dates for West End Screenwriters Club Meetings

Monday Nov. 19, 2007___7:30pm-9:30pm
Monday Dec. 10, 2007___7:30pm-9:30pm
Monday Dec. 17, 2007___7:30pm-9:30pm

On the Monday Nov. 19 meeting, we'll discuss, "A Blinding Darkness" by Bruce Harms, attached.

West End Screenwriters Club
Date: Monday November 19, 2007
Script: "A Blinding Darkness" by Bruce Harms
Time: 7:30 pm- 9:30pm
Location: Barclay Manor, 1447 Barclay Street: 2nd Floor in the Conference Room
Contact: Adam Fulford, , 604-306-4823

Once in a while, we'll devote meetings to such things as practicing pitches, writing loglines, treatments, synopsis, screenplay from the actors perspective, putting together a series bible, industry trade events and networking strategies, and utilizing the latest strategies in internet marketing to promote screenplays/film projects etc.

All the Best,
Adam Fulford

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Next WESC Meeting: Mon., Oct. 29, 2007

For the meeting next Monday, we'll discuss, "Sea 2 Sky PI," a television pilot script by Sandford Tuey and Wayne Newman

West End Screenwriters Club
Date: Monday October 29, 2007
Script: "Sea 2 Sky PI" by Sandford Tuey and Wayne Newman
Time: 7:30 pm- 9:30pm
Location: Barclay Manor, 1447 Barclay Street: 2nd Floor in the Conference Room
Contact: Adam Fulford,
Click HERE to contact me

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Screenwriting Links


Creating Characters That Jump Off the Page ( Creating characters that live to an audience; Ways to make your characters believable...)
Building Characters Through Adversity (Here are some examples of how adversity and conflict are created...)

Creating Memorable Characters ( to come up with compelling characters that interest the reader and fit the story...)
Impressive Failure (Victory in defeat. The impressive failure. It's what being a hero is all about...)

Name-Dropping (A name is like a tightly-wound DNA molecule, capable of conveying information about characterization, tone, stoy...)
Player Character Questionnaire (Hobbies and Habits; Fears and Dreams; Past History; Home; Personal Details; Physical Details...)

Developing Round Characters (Round character is one who is multifaceted. They contain multiple traits and varied responses to...)
The Audience is Listening (Relationship Between Audience and Protagonist. Relationship Between Audience and Story...)

First Appearances (When it comes to introducing characters in a scene for the first time, my beginning screenwriting students...)
Conflict in Genre: Not Just the Bad Guy
How Do Screenwriters Construct Three-Dimensional Characters (How does a writer know if the characters feel real...)
Character Growth: Change, Maturing (The character must change, and should do so gradually from scene one to the ending scene...)

Beginning Screenwriting: The Villain (The villain, or antagonist, is the catalyst to all conflict needed in your screenplay...)
Beginning Screenwriting: The Inner Villain (Exploring and drawing out the inner villain is a very difficult and exhausting process...)


Writing Dazzling Dialogue (Dialogue in a story is NOT about two people talking to each other. Nor is it written speech...)
How To Write Successful Dialogue (Writing dialogue is just as simple as writing the way people talk, right? Actually, no...)
How To Make Dialogue Work Harder (Below are some suggestions of ways you can use dialogue to give your fiction more impact...)
12 Exercises For Improving Dialogue (There are many dialogue pitfalls, but most of them can be solved through patience, editing...)
Dialogue Workshop (There are many dialogue pitfalls, but most of them can be solved through patience, editing...)
Subtext: What Characters Don't Tell Us (Subtext is the unspoken thoughts and motives of your characters - what they think and believe)
Writing Out Loud: How a reading can benefit your screenplay (Arranging a reading will bring out the very worst in your script...)
Dialogue 2.0 by Daniel Knauf (the dialogue is no more than a vessel. The actor loads that vessel with a priceless, ephemeral and...)
The Mystery of Subtext (You ask a screenwriting teacher about subtext and you'll get a vague answer that will leave you confused...)


Genres (Expressionism; Surrealism; Neorealism; Abstract Expresionism; Neo-Expressionism; Nouvelle Vague; Improvisation...)
Genre FAQ (Formats, genre, structure…How long do you think the typical learning curve is for an aspiring screenwriter?...)
Movie Genres (Choosing the right blend of genres is vital to the success of your story and ultimately your screenplay...)

How to Write for Animation (As the name implies, this column is about writing; specifically, animation writing...)
Why Police Stories? (The audience of a police story can engage emotionally in the story through a variety of characters and issues...)
Anatomy of an Action Adventure (Action adventure movies have long been a staple for movie-goers. They meet a need for thrills...)
Writing Action/Adventure: Character Development (Along with great characters should be great dialog, good story structure and...)
TV Writer FAQ (For several months, my writing and my meetings went nowhere, but, fortunately, I was too young to despair...)
Romantic Comedy Writing Secrets (We go into a romantic comedy already knowing that our leads are going to meet, lose and...)
Writing For Television (A television series is almost never the product of one writer locked in a room, banging out pages...)
Can Anyone Write a Teen Movie (The older the writer, the more difficulty they have writing true to life young characters...)
Lessons for Writers: Military Movies (The next series of articles are on the writer and the war movie...)
Angels, Aliens and Altered States (The supernatural and the unexplained are all the rage now, from channeling spirit guides for ...)


Anatomy Of An Irresistible Query Letter (The query letter is a marketing tool that can get your script read and you recognized in...)
How To Get Your Script Slammed Shut, Or, What Price Obscurity? (Getting their script slammed shut isn’t, for most writers, its own en)
Breaking the Ice ( know writers who say they've gone their whole careers without once writing a query letter to anyone....)
23 Steps to a Feature Film Sale (Screenwriters need to get into the game, if for no other reason that they can afford to quit their jobs...)
Death To Readers (And as a reader, you quickly recognize some key patterns. Like all scripts with fancy covers are bad...)
To be (represented) or not to be (represented)...that is the question (producers and directors kept telling me that I 'needed' an agent...)
You, the Expert (agents are all searching for the next highly-trained, yet unknown, screenwriter... not for any of the highly-known...)
A Foot In the Door (As a screenwriter, your choice of film premise is your calling card. Not your witty dialog, not clever descriptions...)
The Wind-up and the Pitch (We learned our 'board' pitching style from how they do it at Disney feature animation...)
Writing a Story Synopsis (A one-page story synopsis that accurately reflects the issues at stake in a story is valuable when...)
Proper Treatment (Often the treatment becomes a way to present your best ideas in the poorest possible forum...)
Hard Bargain (This is the column your agent doesn't want you to read...)
Your First Contract (No matter how helpful industry professionals try to be, in books and interviews and seminars and such...)
Overcoming the Fear of Writing a Synopsis (Describe Your Story in 25 Words or Less...)
Risk vs. Reward (There are, in fact, two ways a writer can actually earn a paycheck in this town...)
Dump Trucks and Screenplays (the scripts would slide down into the mailroom were an army of workers would begin the triage...)
The Anatomy of a Logline (What we have above is essentially the spine of the story -- the sentence the entire movie hangs on...)
Breaking Down The Hollywood Wall… With Power Tools (When I approached my first agent, I was bubbling over with the knowledge...)
The Hollywood Hustle (You have much less control [in film] because when you write a movie you're an employee...)
Script Foibles That Might Cause a Negative First Impression of Your Script (Twelve foibles that might cause a reader to think less...)
Getting to Hollywood Via the Indies (By definition, "indies" are companies that raise their own capital in order to produce...)
A Few Thought on Treatments (The best treatments are those that eschew dry "this happens then that happens"...)
Getting Representation (Persistence is BY FAR your best friend. It is absolutely irreplaceable...)
Trailerized Scripts - the Latest Marketing Tool (The process of creating and using a "Trailerized Script" for marketing came to me...)
Is That Hollywood Calling ("What kind of scripts is Hollywood buying these days? Do I have to move to LA to be a successful writer?...)
Sell Your Screenplays (Where should you submit your screenplay? To a studio like Disney, Columbia, or 20th Century Fox?...)
It's the Pitch, Stupid!: An Interview With Robert Kosberg (writer or producer meets with studio executives and in the shortest amount...)
The Dreaded Art of Pitching (Pitching (ie: a verbal sales presentation of your project) has become yet another needed skill for writers...)

Two Fiction Writers Who Started Cults

It recently occurred to me that two well-known shysters, fantasy writer Carlos Castaneda and pulp-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, were, in many respects, remarkably similar to each other.

They both were pathological liars who weren't even honest about where they were born. They both constantly fabricated fictional accounts of their lives, passing them off as real, and fooled many many gullible people. They both created cults and ideologies around their fiction.

One reviewer's summary of a woman's experiences with con-artist and fantasy writer Carlos Castaneda after she became one of his lovers sounds similar to the harrowing experiences of any number of cult-survivors:

"Wallace came to accept this, falling deeply in love with Castaneda. Eventually, she also fell under the spell of this brilliant, domineering man, becoming a member of his devoted following. Sorcerer's Apprentice examines Wallace's life within the group and her dependence on its leader, with his dangerous combination of charisma and cruelty."

Here is an excerpt from an account of L. Ron Hubbard's own son's horrific experiences with his father, a pulp fiction writer and founder of snake-oil cult Scientology:

"Other factors also caused Ron Jr. to think about breaking away from the cult that was dominating his life. His father's autocratic and arbitrary control of Scientology often led to violence, and the young Hubbard began to be disturbed by his own participation."

Friday, December 29, 2006

About Collaboration

Most of my past collaborative writing efforts have been horrible experiences.

When actor Beau Daniels, an older bloke who, with a military and law enforcement/Secret Service background, has a much more regimented past than mine, first suggested we collaborate on a screenplay for an idea he came up with, I was very wary. His story was about a wheelchair-bound inventor who becomes imprisoned in an ultra-hi-tech smart-house that is so smart, it becomes jealous of his new girlfriend.

I liked the idea, but still vividly recalled the nastiness of my previous collaboration attempts with people similar to me. (Needless to say, when I publicly express any political/ideological opinions, I'm only representing myself, not my prodco or anybody else, not even my scripts that, since I want to be honest to the characters, may actually express points of view very different from my own).

Surprisingly, our collaboration efforts have turned out very well, and we have formed a prodco to take them to the next level. Our very different philosophical stances have enhanced our scripts, keeping things in balance.

The Big Fish

I came upon this film accidentally, and am mystified as to why I hadn't heard of it before. A charming movie with interesting narrative arrangements, full of flashbacks, it centers around the engaging quest of a son to really know father, who tells tall tales more often than not. And a big fish is an important character in the story -- how cool is that.

Bad News Bears (1976)

I recently re-watched, "The Bad News Bears," written by Bill Lancaster, starring Walter Matthau. It is an astonishing film, brilliantly crafted. I have no interest in seeing the remake. It's like going to a museum to see a copy of the Mona Lisa -- why would I do that?

Though there are many characters in the Bad News Bears story, they are all unique and memorable, each having a distinct voice, and the plot is clear with great propulsion. For a screenwriter, this is quite a feat -- the late Bill Lancaster (actor Burt Lancasters's son) was a great talent. Kudos to the director and editor as well. Walter Matthau was terrific as the drunken coach, bribed into coaching a team of misfit kids.I like the honestly in which kids are portrayed in this movie. They swear. Some are bigots. Some have bad attitudes. They aren't cute to other kids; they're scary. One of the kids smoked! Nowadays, political correctness, while certainly positive for society in many ways, prevents an honest portrayal of how people, especially kids, really are, compromising artistic integrity. Adults are also frightening to kids, having power over them that they don't have with other adults. No wonder so many weak sadistic people are attracted to the teaching profession or kids' coaching.

The story develops in a natural unforced way with great honesty and realism, remaining true to its characters, with many layers of meaning. Like film classics, "The Hustler" (starring Paul Newman) and "Rocky I" (starring Sylvester Stallone), it is a sports film focused on its characters and the game on one level, yet on another level is a metaphor for life itself. This film was a huge surprise hit in 1976.

It is both a sports movie and a kids film (though PG due to using the language kids actually speak), yet is much more, with much to offer a wider audience. The Bad News Bears is a wonderful movie (and the fact that I'm not particularly into baseball doesn't weaken my appreciation of it).