Dreams on Spec
is a documentary about three aspiring screenwriters (spec monkeys as the scribosphere would have it) trying to break in, intercut with interviews with rich, successful pro monkeys, er, screenwriters. I haven't seen it, but maybe some of you will find it interesting. Site is here.
Lemme know what you think.
Labels: breaking in, your career
Reprinted from a previous post I made about the documentary
A documentary following three aspiring screenwriters through their painful journey of trying to get their shit bought, made, noticed…anything.
All three subjects had industry contacts of some sort. I would have liked to have seen at least one of the subjects living in a dumpster and knocking on doors of agents trying to get noticed, on the outside looking in so to speak.
It seemed like the subjects were concentrating on their one great script that would ascend them to their WGA cards. One of the first things I learned when I began researching screenwriting was always be working on your next script, always be writing. The two subjects that really put all their energies in their current scripts for months, even years were unsuccessful. We entered the story of the third subject at the point where he already had a director interested.
I liked the show. It was funny and sad. It didn’t pull any punches on how tough the industry can be. The interviews with successful screenwriters throughout the movie were great. The DVD has an extended interview extra that’s worth the price in and of itself.
I also thought it was a great doc.
The interviews with the established writers (Ephron, Brooks, Fisher, Ross, Karaszewski, Solomon, etc.) were great and the DVD has a little featurette with about 30 minutes of just these brilliant people talking about the industry. They tell funny and wise stories that you don't see in those other writer interviews that you can get at the Writers Store. These are fresh.
And I saw parts of myself in each of the three aspiring writers who were portrayed in the film. They're almost archetypes. They're people like us.
Overall, DREAMS ON SPEC didn't pull its punches as Jim said (that's what I love about good documentaries), but it was also funny.
There was a priceless scene where one of the aspiring screenwriters (who's written a slasher film) is talking with the film's director of photography about how the slasher would physically dispose of his victims' bodies once he's killed them.
The script called for two of the bodies to be hung on a hay-bail lift and the DP wanted to know how that would actually work -- like would one body balance the other on the lift or would they be tied up? What did the writer mean when he wrote that?
It sounds morbid as I describe it, but it was really funny! It's what happens when our ideas leave the page for the screen.
Anyway, for what it's worth, I'd recommend this film to any screenwriter.
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