The October 2015 edition of On Stage With RB was almost 3 hours jam-packed with incredible tips and advice!
Up first was Jeff Kitchen. Jeff Kitchen has been one of the top screenwriting teachers in the film industry for twenty years, and is a sought-after script consultant. He worked as a dramaturg and taught playwriting in New York theater, and is the author of Writing a Great Movie: Key Tools for Successful Screenwriting. Jeff has taught development executives from all the major Hollywood studios and they consistently say that he teaches the most advanced development tools in the film industry.
Jeff talks about sequence proposition plot pieces as it relates to an advanced screenwriter. He talks about how writers have a hard time getting down to the spine of the story and the importance of keeping out unnecessary elements. He talks about cause and effect and how you have to see the forest for the trees as it relates to your writing.
RB Then opened up the floor to an interactive Q&A and took questions from the Stage 32 community including:
- Crazy formatting question: After scene heading showing day or night, should the following couple scene headings that are continuous be labeled "continuous" or "moments later." When do we use which. A small item that drives me crazy! -
- Screenwriting Question: Is it preferred to only have one antagonist in a story, or is it acceptable to have two, for instance, an "illness" and a "human" antagonist? The pros seem to give mixed info on this topic. Thank you so much!!!
- Does this method of working backward from 'cause' to 'effect' also work on rewrites?
- When was the last time a small indie film that cost less than 200K with no big stars was picked up by a major studio and opened in 3,000 movie theaters?
- And, the so-called “art theaters” don’t count. SAG has a list! How does an indie producer convince a major theater chain to show their unheard of movie without a ton of prints, PR and paid ads?
- What's the first step to making my first short film?
- What is your advice on selling screenplays?
- Hey RB, I'm prepping for the big Happy Writers TV pitch this Saturday... any tips for knocking a written pitch out of the park?
- The importance of subtext is usually missed, any thoughts?
- Would you consider connecting the Stage 32 shorts to the Atlanta Film Festival? Atlanta has the Best tax incentives for film.
- RB continuously mentions that stage 32 members should be active and contribute. What would be the best way to contribute, without starting a discussion just for the sake of it.
- Hi RB. I'm a writer that has a couple of screenplays that are through a few edits and I'm getting close to the stage where I'd like to send them to be read and evaluated or commented on. What are good services for that, as I know there are a lot of them advertised but like anything out there, some are better than others. How do you evaluate how good they are?
- What do you do to stay focused and motivated?
- How much do you think moving to California can improve getting more work in this industry?
- What makes a movie more likely to do better during a summer or winter season?
- What trades do you recommend reading?
- Which social networking video website on which an actor or director can place demo reels do you feel is best from a professional perspective?
- Is there a way to get people to look at your content on your profile page?
- We are planning on starting to shoot a character driven drama, budget $2million, about this time next year and will start assembling crew and casting actors very soon. How would you best recommend using Stage 32 in this process? The script was a finalist in a couple major screen writing competitions.
- Will Stage 32 be at the Austin Film Festival?
- I got a request from a big agency that was not only excited but said they look forward to reading the wrong draft. My hope is that the spirit of the movie bursts through and the exec asks for the polished version before passing it up the food chain. Your thoughts?
- Would you recommend posting a script on your stage 32 profile? How do you promote yourself as a writer?
- The industry is INDEED shifting, By the week almost. So, what’s up with SAG ultra low budget agreement?
- What film festivals have you attended?
- Is it a good idea to write a sequel to a film or just write the first to get it out there?
- How's "Crutch" progressing?
- On exposition. My opening image originally. revealed the antagonist setting up the inciting incident. Introducing the Protagonists was later as he reveals conflict and goal through discovery . I've changed it all to a O.S. Soliloquy flashbacks and Captions. Any suggestions.
- Any advice for being in a room?
- What is your favorite memory over the last four years of running Stage 32?