SCROLL ON DOWN FOR MORE NEWS, INFO, RECOMMENDATIONS, INSIDER TIPS, PHOTOS & THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY
SPECIAL EARLY-BIRD CONTEST OFFER!
THE “FAST-FORWARD WITH MOONDANCE” EARLY-BIRD CONTEST!
Can’t wait until the Moondance 2013 call-for-entries in December?
NOW, through November 30, 2012, Moondance is offering you the opportunity to get your submission in right now for this special Early-bird competition! Here’s the deal: Submit your screenplays, short stories, TV pilots, films, music & etc. (see all competition categories) for the lowest discounted entry fee of the year, only $25, during October & November 2012. Postmark deadline November 30, only for the “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” contest. Regular entry fees start December 1, 2012.
ALL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE AN OFFICIAL ENTRY INTO THE 2013 MOONDANCE COMPETITION!
Here’s what you can win:
- All “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will receive an official certificate of your project’s award status!
- All “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will be listed on the December 2012 blog & website!
- All “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists can get 2 free 2013 Moondance film festival movie tickets (a $30 value)!
*EARLY-BIRD Application not available via withoutabox.com
To our American Moondancers: Be sure to vote on Tuesday, November 6th!
Moondance enthusiastically supports & endorses
A SPECIAL NOTE TO 2012 MOONDANCE WINNERS* WHO COULD NOT ATTEND THE AWARDS CEREMONY:
If you would like to have your award star & official winner certificate mailed to you, please go to www.acteva.com/go/miff to pay the postage. $10 for US addresses & $20 for foreign addresses. Remember to also EMAIL email@example.com your mailing address & the title of your winning 2012 project. This offer expires December 1, 2012. *Award stars & certificates are sent to 2012 winners only, not finalists & semi-finalists.
If your submitted project was chosen as a Moondance 2012 Winner, Finalist or Semi-finalist, please feel free to download the Moondance laurel graphic to use in your publicity.
MOONDANCE POSTER FOR 2012 IN NEW YORK CITY!
This is a full-sized, full-color Moondance 2012 poster, co-designed by Joe Gilpin, Jr. and Elizabeth English. The cost is $25 each, plus US or foreign postage. Please go to www.acteva.com/go/miff to place your order.
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.” ~ JOHN F. KENNEDY
“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.” ~ SAMUEL JOHNSON
“If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” ~ OPRAH WINFREY
FOR FILMMAKERS, WRITERS AND EVERYONE:
THE CENTER FOR NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION:
An International Organization
Non-violent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of non-violence, the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart. NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution. The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe. Find out more about how NVC is changing the world and how you can get involved. https://www.cnvc.org/
SUGGESTED READING: “THE HEART OF SOCIAL CHANGE”
Moondance promotes, encourages, educates and rewards non-violent conflict resolution in the arts and film. Our much-coveted Columbine Awards are given to the filmmakers and/or writers who best depict alternatives to violence as a method of dealing with conflicts, whether personal, local, national or international, and/or show why violence as a solution to conflict is ultimately counter-productive and inhumane. We believe that films, scripts and music can contribute to a healthier society and that these works should encourage the active involvement of writers, filmmakers and audiences to connect and act collectively to address social challenges.
Thanks to Brian MacEvilly, Moondance 2012 feature screenplay winner, for the timely reference to this organization.
GREENLIGHT MY MOVIE!
Have a short film, web series, book, pilot script or screenplay? Maybe you just have a movie pitch or an idea for a TV show. If you’re looking for representation or a buyer for your project, submit and/or pitch your material directly to Hollywood production companies, studios, agencies and management companies via Greenlightmymovie – for a guaranteed response! TWO FREE SUBMISSIONS IN NOVEMBER (with purchase).
Thanks to www.MovieBytes.com, for this timely info!
INSIDER TIPS FROM SIR RICHARD BRANSON:
Here are five top tips I’ve picked up over the years:
1. Listen more than you talk: To be a good leader you have to be a great listener. Brilliant ideas can spring from the most unlikely places, so you should always keep your ears open for some shrewd advice. Get out there, listen to people, draw people out and learn from them.
2. Keep it simple: You have to do something radically different to stand out in business. But nobody ever said different has to be complex. Maintain a focus upon innovation, but don’t try to reinvent the wheel. A simple change for the better is far more effective than five complicated changes for the worse.
3. Take pride in your work: Remember your staff are your biggest brand advocates, and focusing on helping them take pride will shine through in how they treat your customers.
4. Have fun, success will follow: If you aren’t having fun, you are doing it wrong. If you are having a good time, there is a far greater chance a positive, innovative atmosphere will be nurtured and your business will flourish.
5. Rip it up and start again: If you are an entrepreneur and your first venture isn’t a success, welcome to the club! Don’t allow yourself to get disheartened by a setback or two, instead, dust yourself off and work out what went wrong. Then you can find the positives, analyse where you can improve, rip it up and start again.
(Excerpted from a LinkedIn.com post)
INSIDER TIPS FOR SCREENWRITERS:
HOW TO GET AN AGENT
What Agents Want (and Don’t Want) to See
By Elizabeth English
First, look them up online, then call, email or write to literary agents who are listed as being willing to look at and consider unsolicited screenplays. Do not send a script unless you are invited to do so!
How to find listed agents:
- The Hollywood Creative Directory’s Agent/Management directory
- Writers Digest
- Writers Guild of America (East & West)
Guidelines for getting an agent:
- Write killer titles, loglines and one-sheet synopses for the all the scripts you want to submit to agents.
- Have more than one completed screenplay for consideration.
- Write up a one-sheet document with titles and loglines of all your completed screenplays. You will be asked to send these before sending in a screenplay.
- Presentation of script: be sure to have a plain cardstock cover, front and back; a title page with all your contact info; three-hole punch white paper; two solid-brass brads in only the top and bottom holes.
- “Attachments”, in the form of actors, director, producer, and most importantly: money, to your project, will always help get almost any agent interested. Mention this, if applicable, in your cover letter. Many production companies will expect the writer to secure production funds!
- Have more than one screenplay completed. At least three of your best screenplays need to be ready to go, when and if requested.
- In your Internet searches, and/or initial phone call or e-mail, try to find out what genre of story that agent is looking for, at the moment. Agents generally know exactly what the buyers want to see, and will usually only request those genres. But needs change all the time, and at a moment’s notice, so let them know what you have, even if they’re not looking for that at the time of your contact.
- Story: This is the first thing agents look at, when considering whether to read your script or not. Unique story, well-told.
- Writing ability and style. Everything depends on this.
- Dialog: your ability to write good, memorable and believable dialog is paramount.
11. Format and structure: in submitting your work to an agent, you should be sure the script is in proper format and structure. There are many books and online articles on these vital subjects, and screenwriting programs, such as Final Draft, to make sure your script is in proper format.
12.Budget: yes, a screenwriter needs to know about this. Many buyers are looking for specific subjects with very specific production budgets, and may have an actor or director in mind for the project. Currently, a low-budget feature film will be around $20 million, for example. If your script requires action scenes and/or CGI graphics, double or triple that figure.
13.If you know The Biz at all, make the agent aware of this, so he or she will know you are a professional.
14.Let the prospective agent know you are open to re-writes and edits of your scripts. You will always be asked to do re-writes, sometimes “on spec”, so prepare yourself mentally and be agreeable to it.
15. Be willing and able to pitch your screenplay to production companies and studios, with the agent, in person. If you live far from L.A., let the agent know you can arrange to go there for pitching appointments.
16.Be friendly and easy-going, yet professional and self-confident, without being egotistical. Hollywood, even though it’s a “snake-pit” at times, is run on connections and contacts. If they don’t like you, and don’t feel they can work with you, you don’t have a chance there.
17. Be honest! Never, ever hype yourself or your script unless the information is absolutely provable. If you’ve won a contest with your script, let them know. And if you’ve been submitting your scripts around to everybody for years, and they ask, tell the truth. Production companies, agents and studios keep lists of what has been submitted, and you don’t want to embarrass your new agent!
How to get “discovered”:
- InkTip.com is a very good website to post your scripts on, to be seen by many agents, producers, and development company executives.
- If you live in or near Los Angeles, attend important parties and other events where Hollywood types will be, and network with the right people.
- Enter film festival & writing competitions, and win!
What should an Agent do for you?
- Send out your loglines and one sheet synopses, and scripts to Development Executives at production companies and studios, with whom he or she has a good working relationship.
- Give suggestions on potential edits and re-writes that may be needed to sell the script
- Set up pitch sessions for you at production companies and studios
- Get the best deal he or she can for you, at or above schedule of WGA minimums.
- Encourage and inspire you to create new material and projects.
What agents DO NOT want to see:
- A script sent to them “cold”, with no phone call, e-mail or letter first
- A script that is too long (over 140 pages), or too short (under 90 pages)
- A script that is bound incorrectly (no brads, no cover, no title page)
- A script that is not formatted correctly & has grammatical and/or punctuation and spelling errors
- A cover letter that is more than one page long
- A poor title, logline & synopsis
- A script that is mostly descriptions of people and locations, like a novel
- A script with unrealistic or stilted/boring dialog
- A film script that is episodic, like for a TV show
- Scenes and/or dialog that are too long
- A script with more than 100 scenes (each scene costs money to produce)
- A script with a prospective production budget over that what is requested
- A script that is not in the genre or budget requested
- An impatient writer who calls or e-mails sooner than 2 weeks after the agent received the script
- A writer who is unwilling to consider re-writes and edits
- A script that has any typos, misspellings or poor syntax
- A script without conflict in the plot and story-line
- A script without interesting, memorable characters
- A script with a boring or a derivative, been-there-done-that storyline.
RELEVANT ARTICLES FROM THE MOONDANCE E-ZINE:
- First Impressions: Titles & Loglines: http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com/Article-16-Titles.html
- Pitching in Hollywood: http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com/Article-15-Pitching.html
- Making of a Hollywood Film: http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com/Article-13-Hwood.html
- Two Brads or Three?: www.moondancefilmfestival.com/Article-07-Brads.html
- Characters in Screenplays: http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com/Article-06-Character.html
- Conflict in Scripts: http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com/Article-05-Dreams.html
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Sculpture by Charlotte Zink, www.ZinkMetalArt.com