Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Two and a half scripts, and a small rant

People have started sending me screenplays again ('tis the season?) for a plethora of reasons, from a beta read, to 'would you be interested in shooting this'?

I'm down for shooting just about anything right now, the entertainment industry is a scary place to be in its current incarnation.

Today, I read through two complete scripts, one of which I could picture myself flying out to Texas for. The other... I guess I've read worse - I did read for BlueCat one year.

The one I'm going through right now is from a dear friend - 150 pages down from nearly 300! (For those of you not 'in the know', a horror or comedy is generally 88-92 pages, drama roughly 110-120.)

Figure each page is about a minute of screen time when in proper format (this isn't absolute, but a safe ballpark for guesstimating the length of the final movie - which is why screenplays are so fussy in terms of format.)

That can be one of the big issues when going from prose to screenplay mode, especially for those fond of intertwining plots, world building, and lush description. The page count is VERY strict, and the rules for screenwriting are very different. We can talk about them if anyone has a distinct interest.


On a completely unrelated note, the news has me really, really, annoyed. Is everyone in media convinced that listeners are mouthbreathers incapable of forming a coherent thought?

Issue one - the news wants to tell me that unemployment is down, and the world is coming up sunshine and roses. By way of admitting that claims are down.

Duh. How many people do you know who's unemployment insurance has run out? And fewer new claims are being filed - great, we're losing jobs at a slightly lesser rate, because those huge companies that went under are already gone.

This does not mean things are looking up economically. In my small city, shelters are turning away families for the first time, simply because there's no more room. If you don't have kids, you're completely out of luck.

The pennysaver (which never has the most amazing jobs anyway) was four pages this week. A quarter page was job openings - the lion's share of which were those 'make money at home' scams that appear every week.

Issue two: Spending is up slightly, so hurrah! Things must be better!

Uh - what?

I admit, we went to the mall to see a movie earlier in the month, because we just had to get out. The parking lot was busier than it had been at Christmas (when it was near empty).

We puzzled about this for about thirty seconds, until realizing that the Significant Other, like many other people, had just received his tax return. (Hence, we blew $20 on a movie.) Though the number of people who seemed to have gone a bit mad with not spending, seemed to be breezing through their entire return, judging from the number of bags frantically held in shaking hands.

Has the measure of so many people's worth really degenerated into whether they can buy new crap?

Anyway - yes, there's been a slight upturn in spending, at least until that small windfall is gone. Also not indicative of economic growth.

News, stop lying to your listeners, and you might get them back.

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