Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Stab things! For free!

I missed out on King of Sword's last free-instrument-of-death deal, but apparently the promo is very legit and the prizes are all nicely pointy. It's also fairly simple: just create a blog post about the promo (such as the one you're reading right now), shoot them an email and voila: you'll be shanking Highlanders and suspicious-looking hobos in no time flat.

Here's the fine print stuff: KingofSwords.com offers unique handmade swords, video game swords, anime swords, and movie replicas, as well as other fantasy related collectibles. So if you've ever wanted to pretend to save Aeris from Sephiroth so the two of you can get married on a mountaintop somewhere, these guys can help. With the first part, anyway. Also, please use your free dagger on yourself.

Anyway, clicking on any of the above links takes you to their main page. From there, just click on the third promo banner for the full details. Happy stabbing!

Friday, January 5, 2007

Since people are asking...

...How to Write Screenplays Badly is kind of dead.

Much like my penis, our book proposal was deemed "too niche" by all the important people in New York, forcing us to divert our questionable talents toward more dependable sources of fame and power, such as murdering hobos on YouTube.

As you can obviously see, the site itself is still around, mainly because, hey, it's free. It might die a protracted and painful death thanks to neglect--again, the penis analogy comes to mind--or I might try a few ideas I've been kicking around, such as a serialized comedy novel, a few short stories, or all the hot, hot hobo-shanking you can stomach.

In any case, thanks for stopping by, folks. I wuv all of you.


...except for the people who don't sign up for the HOT FUZZ Street Team. It's Pegg and Wright, for chrissakes.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Hi, 8 Us

You've probably noticed that the site has been pretty dead for the last few weeks. Unfortunately, that's not going to change anytime soon. Dan and I are both swamped with personal and professional obligations, and the stuff that pays the bills has to come first. And to be honest, there's a bit of burnout as well. There's only so long you can run with the same joke--over 250 pages of material and counting so far--before you start to repeat yourself.

I have no idea when the site will be up and kicking again, but if you don't want to bother checking back in, feel free to drop me an email with the subject line "NOTIFY ME," and I'll let y'all know when things are chugging along again.

Thanks, guys.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Don't pretend you're not surprised...

What? You thought we do this because we like you? Hell no. We're doing this because we're soulless money-grabbing bastards.

With that in mind...CLICK THE BEAR. BUY MERCHANDISE. MAKE US RICH.

We know a bandwagon when we see one. C'mon. Let's bodysurf this tiny ripple of internet infamy and see how far it takes us. At the very least, let's see if anyone is brave enough to actually wear a t-shirt with the word "RAPEBEAR" in large black letters.

Soon we'll join Chuck Norris, All Your Base Are Belong To Us and that fat kid with the lightsaber in internet hell. But just imagine the small frisson of importance you'll feel when you jump on AIM with your sweaty, stubby fingers and tell Zuckuss2143 that you were here for the start of it all
.

On Writing for Television

We've wasted a hefty chunk of time talking about breaking into the movie business while ignoring its retarded younger sister, the television industry. Here's an interesting bit of trivia: did you know that many television shows have their very own writers? Of course you didn't!

Want to become one of those writers? First you'll need a good spec script (short for spectacular scriptment) to prove you have what it takes. If you're not capable of writing one, steal something off the internet.

Step two: get your spec script in the right hands. This part is pretty self-explanatory, so we'll move right along to...

Step three: cash that sweet, sweet first paycheck. Congratulations, you'll never have to work again! (Which is good, because after they discover that your script was cut-and-pasted from a Final Fantasy slashfic site, you won't.)

Sound easy? Trust me, it is. Every staffing season I invariably find myself attached to six or seven shows without even trying. And although the shows will all fire or sue me eventually, that's still six or seven paychecks rolling in simultaneously. And that, my friends, is what being a true artist is all about.

So...an asskicky spec script. How do you write one?

1. Right for the Wright Show

Some screenwriting "experts" will advise you not to write spec scripts for the shows you want to join. It should be pointed out, however, that many of these same experts are the people who told me to stop putting man-eating octopi in all my scripts, which kind of throws their entire screenwriting expertise into question.

Listen, David Chase is sick and tired of getting spec scripts for thematically-similar shows like The Shield and The West Wing. I'm sure he'd be delighted to open up his mailbox to find a fresh and shiny Sopranos script waiting for him. Especially if he found a $20 bill tucked between the pages. You know how those Italians love their money.

2. COVER YOUR BASES

Let's say you're interested in writing for two different shows. The amateur screenwriter will toil away for hours--sometimes even days--until he emerges with two polished and professional spec scripts.

What a goddamned sucker. If you're a pro, you write ONE script. Period.

Here's how you do it:

EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD - DAY

VERONICA MARS kneels next to the corpse. The dead guy's brains are leaking all over the endzone.

VERONICA
I don't know much about sports, but does this qualify as a late hit?

THE BLACK GUY looks at her with adoration in his eyes.

THE BLACK GUY
Man, you're witty. And pretty. So witty and pretty, and your flaxen hair, oh, how it glows.
(He pokes the dead guy with his black finger.)
Poor old Jock McRunner. Who do you think killed him?

VERONICA
Isn't it obvious?
(Her eyes rise to the heavens.)
It was Captain William Adama of the Battlestar Galactica.

THE BLACK GUY
Dag, yo! I'll go get our spaceship.


3. SHAKE THINGS UP

Showrunners spend every waking moment of their pathetic little lives slaving away to continuity and logic. Or, as I like to call them, Enemy Number One and Enemy Number Two. Do you think they want to waste their free time reading realistic, meticulously-researched scripts? Of course not!

Spec scripts are an excellent opportunity for you to flex your imagination (or Google someone else's imagination, which is often more rewarding). So have fun with your script, and feel free to ignore previously-established continuity if it suits your bastard whims.

Here's a good example from a Two and a Half Men spec I sent around last year. You'll note that it probably retains the general spirit of the show (I say 'probably' because I never got around to watching the damn thing) while jettisoning all that other stuff I couldn't be bothered to research.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

CHARLIE'S forehead is slick with cokesweat. He forces the barrel of his .357 further down ALAN'S throat.

CHARLIE
Say my name! Say it!

ALAN
(weeping)
Ch-ch-charlie!

CHARLIE
Fuck you, white boy! I'm the Angel of Death!
(He pulls back the hammer.)
Say my name!

ALAN
You're...oh God, you're the Angel of D-death!

Charlie's eyes burn with a terrible fire.

CHARLIE
Amen.



4. TIE UP THE LOOSE ENDS

If you want a surefire way to impress a showrunner, use your spec script to answer all the show's big questions.

It's no secret that series like The X-Files survived for years simply by flinging fresh mysteries at the screen faster than a monkey in a shit factory. After all, a series doesn't have to answer any of its central questions until its very last season, by which point the showrunners will have already retired to some tropical paradise filled with coconut-flavored drinks and Cambodian boywhores.

Here's where you come in. If you can solve all of the show's big mysteries in the space of a few dozen pages, you'll be an automatic hero. At the very least, think of the hush money they'll have to pay you! This is why I always advocate making your spec script the show's very last episode. (The Latin term for this particular episode is finale, with fin meaning "the end" and ale meaning "the stuff you drink after something ends.")

Below is an example that elegantly and awesomely illustrates this strategy:

INT. CAVE - DAY

SAWYER is washing his bare chest in front of a mirror that came from somewhere.

KATE, HURLEY and JACK enter the cave.

SAWYER
Hey there, Freckles. Hey there, Jumbo. Hey there, Rex Morgan, M.D.

HURLEY
Dude, I figured out what the numbers mean!

JACK
They're the launch code for a nuclear warhead!

KATE
I'm a dramatically worthless plot device!

Sawyer rubs his gleaming chest thoughtfully.

SAWYER
Hmm.

LOCKE, SAYID and MR. EKO enter the cave.

SAWYER
Hey there, Stepfather. Hey there, Bollywood. Hey there, Cocoa Moses.

MR. EKO
My friends, I have bested the Monster in mortal kombat and it is no more.

HURLEY
Dude, you killed the Monster? What was it?

Mr. Eko nods sagely.

MR. EKO
Bees.

LOCKE

(staring hard at the camera)
It all makes perfect sense! PERFECT. SENSE.

SAYID
If anyone needs me, I will be standing just off-camera, grimly doing nothing.

WALT enters the cave. He is EIGHT FEET TALL.

SAWYER
Hey there, New Pubes.

WALT
(dunking a basketball)
I must have created the bees with my psychic brain, just like the polar bears and the Others and everything else that is still a mystery!

JACK
This reminds me of a time I was forced to make a painful personal decision.

(His eyes grow misty and faraway.)

LOCKE
But what does it all MEAN?

The Losties fall silent. Pondering the mysteries of the universe.

INT. NEBRASKA FARMHOUSE - CONTINUOUS

SLOW JOEY is eight years old and totally autistic. He is arranging his toys on the living room floor. Humming a bit. Having a good old time. Yes, life is pretty great for Slow Joey.

SLOW JOEY
Uh-oh, fifteen minutes to Wapner!

He wanders out of the room. We focus on the toys he left behind. We see Plastic Jack. Plastic Sawyer. Plastic everybody. Holy shit, they're the Lost characters! The mystery is solved!

TITLE CARD: THE END (?)