Archive for March, 2007

Screenwriters Co-Op

28th March 2007

Last week Variety published an article about the creation of a Writers Co-Op, a production venture to be housed at John Wells Prods.

Co-Op is designed to give gross participation to screenwriters, along with a voice in how their scripts are turned into films. It will be staked under a first-look deal by Warner Bros., where Wells is based.

Over the next four years, the Writers Co-Op will generate at least 18 scripts from writers who will risk their usually high upfront salaries for the reward of receiving first-dollar gross, the right to participate as producers and a guarantee they will not be rewritten without their consultation and approval. The scribes will also have a say in the decisionmaking process from development all the way to post-production.

The writers will forgo a great deal of their upfront fees on first drafts to ensure their films move through the sticky development process, and in exchange receive a full payment and production bonuses when the film is made.

19 writers have signed up: Ron Bass (Rain Man), Henry Bean (Internal Affairs), David Benioff (Troy), Scott Frank (Out of Sight), Robert Nelson Jacobs (Chocolat), Kazan (Reversal of Fortune), Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise), Richard LaGravanese (The Fisher King), Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams), Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost), Stephen Schiff (The Deep End of the Ocean), Schulman (Dead Poets Society), Ed Solomon (Men in Black), Dana Stevens (For Love of the Game), Robin Swicord (Memoirs of a Geisha), Michael Tolkin (The Player), Rafael Yglesias (Fearless), and the writing team of Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (City Slickers).

It will be fascinating to monitor how this venture proceeds.

April Sit In

28th March 2007 is having its monthly Sit In on Monday April 2nd, in Training Room 3, Filmbase, Curved Street, Temple Bar, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

The Sit In’s are’s monthly meetings. It’s an informal place to meet with other filmmakers, to help get collaboration going, show and discuss our work and generally keep up the energy bubbling away around this site.

All filmmakers are welcome – whether a member of or not – so do come along.

The April meeting will comprise of an announcement of the winner of the February Script of the Month, screenings of members’ work, discussion of projects that individuals are working on, a film swap, followed by drinks in the local.

YouTube Video Awards

27th March 2007

It’s a sign of the times when YouTube creates its own Video Awards, which are voted upon by the public. The winners in the various categories of the 2006 awards have been announced.

I expect this will become a bigger event in years to come, with a live online ceremony and celebrities behaving badly.

Verity Bargate Award

27th March 2007

The Soho Theatre in London has announced it’s seeking entries for its Verity Bargate Award for a new play written by an emerging writer. Only one play can be submitted and it should be not less than 70 minutes in length. The deadline for applications is July 6.

The 2007 winner will receive £5,000 and a residency at Soho Theatre. “The prize money is in respect of an exclusive option for Soho Theatre to produce the winning play according to the Company’s standard license agreement.”

Novel hopes

26th March 2007

According to The Guardian Irish screenwriter Derek Landy (Dead Bodies, Boy Eats Girl) has penned a young adult novel, entitled Skulduggery Pleasant, which hits the bookshops in Ireland and the UK on April 2.

Landy’s publishing advance – said merely to be “in seven figures” – is one of the highest paid to an author of children’s fiction and covers three books, aimed at children between eight and 13.

“It’s horror with gothic sensibilities, fast talking characters and martial arts – all the things that are fun in life,” he said.

The backdrop for the stories is Landy’s native north County Dublin; he lives in Lusk just inland from the coast.