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A big problem has been that established producers have been able to keep raising $3 million to fund films that take $50,000 at the box office, yet with negligible financial risk themselves: it’s all government money. I for one gave up on this industry long ago when I found every piece I wrote and submitted to every funding body was rejected. Well, guess what? The reason being: The playing field has changed immensely. Be happy being you each day, and you'll bounce very far!" That course is built around 3-act structure and hero’s journey and I learnt alot from it. New scriptwriters are often not connected to the industry and therefore must ‘scavenge’ for information. Is it a knee-jerk reaction to the inevitable? Webs of likeminded individuals span the globe. My favorite color is red. Believe me, no script in this country is over-developed. So many holes in the storyline, and viewers have got used to getting half the story, and making up the rest. Everyone is special hello, my name is Hana. 5. Karel, please name some Aussie TV shows/programs you think are good. (The focus is on special-needs persons.) I’ve had a screenplay knocked about by the FTO for over a year, because it was “too unique”! Everyone is Important. The real problem is that they create old school TV characters. That’s over a year of waiting not to mention they actually haven’t started writing or re drafting the damn script yet because they are still waiting on the notes. My best friends Chris, Jean-Claude and Pat in my home country of Belgium have been doing exactly this for many years, churning out one successful film after the other. I appealed, had several other lecturers read my film script, and got my pass, but just. On what evidence? I agree with you. Some time later, that same script was picked up in the US, made, and did very well, thank you. It shows children how to be comfortable in the skin their in. Just ask the Stoneking. Personally, I believe that if a story is good enough, someone with principle eventually will see its worth, and pick it up. Genre is not a dirty word. "Everyone is Special" is an original Barney song that debuted in Barney in Concert. The wisdom of the crown is undeniable. Great course for technicians, people who want to produce commercials etc. Amidst this discussion we should not forget there is another function of the script- it is a blueprint for performance which the creatives use to bring the work to life. (After that experience, the writer came back to me. To be honest aside from our good man Karel above there isn’t much you can trust in this country in terms of sound script advice. Since I agree with the point the lead post makes, and echo a number of the comments, I might just broaden the perspective somewhat. Everybody has their story to tell.”. It doesn’t matter which one they’re all the same because structure hasn’t changed in one hundred bloody years! Oh brother! Welcome back. Is it cheaper than film/processing, absolutely. Isolation is a huge enemy – a suffocator of creative momentum. You can’t make the art if you have no money or a rich benefactor. There are some very valid points here, but as the whole funding ‘industry’ has been in flux over the past year – with Enterprise funding etc – we should probably wait to see the results before tearing any more hair out. I love you just the way you are. I’m convinced that getting caught up in deliberating how we should NOT be doing things is a waste of time and energy. Yes, virtual teaching is improving with each passing week, but we all long to be in closer contact with students, particularly those who are struggling to receive basic needs. The result is plenty of ‘scenes’ as you say, but nothing that really means anything or moves you. (LOL), Hi Karel, Re: your statement: “The national film school AFTRS has announced an online feature film writing course, of which the presenter was “Script Producer with Neighbours from 2001 to 2007, he oversaw 1,500 episode scripts for the iconic soap, and has also written for Home & Away.” Let me clarify again that this is not a ’screenwriting course’ but a ‘feature film’ writing course.”. The comments here alone, confirm that. I believe that uniqueness is a fundamental law of the cosmos that applies to all things great and small. The complete disregard for any audience (even encourage by some reviewer) is unforgivable and has nothing to do with an industry in flux. I was only 20 at the time and I had written 15 features and had optioned one… needless to say i walked out and never went back to that uni… the whole situation here is a joke… neone thinking abotu going to film school? Even though there are cases when your opinion may be limited, everyone things differently … If we’re part of it, we’ll run the risk of dying with it. Through My Window Sill. Mix genres, but make sure you know the ins and outs of the genres and storytelling before you try to resculpt them. But his classmates still tease him about the … But throughout the story his friends are there to remind him he's special just the way he is. :), Thank you for a great comment, worthy of it’s own headline! They’re just mis-developed. Seriously? I have script edited a funded Australian feature film, co-produced a French international documentary on Modern faces of Aboriginal Australia shown on prime time French television, and have written and directed two low budget feature films, producing one of them. I feel that children could relate to this story because of wanting to change themselves for being "different". My favorite quote from this story states, "Stripes or tails or feathers help make us who we are. Both of the scripts in question were written in record time, one of them, wait for it… in 3 weeks!(?) No one watches Australian movies but they do watch our TV because they operate more like a business and have to maintain a certain standard. Then I’ve had my moments when I would WANT to agree with you. We may rag on Crocodile Dundee but it doesn’t take a David Mamet to realize that story worked due to its strict adherence to three act structure. We try to clone American movies as they have a ready market or we in our vanity search for a piece of art or even worse, a single representational image which doesn’t take into account the true complexity and nature of modern Australia (with more women than men and a very high multi-cultural base and a lot of first generation Australian’s which are neither traditionally Australian nor fully part of their parent community either.) Rarely have I seen this in Australian film over the past 10 years. Perhaps the question should be: why do screenwriters choose to appeal to their peers rather than to an audience? Everybody. The constant haranguing about saleability and emphasis on commercialism, ought not to dissuade us from our mission: to produce quality stories, whether they be for the big screen or for television. Once all the numbers from 1 to 9 were feeling proud as they thought that they had value of their own and were special. The national film school AFTRS has announced an online feature film writing course, of which the presenter was “Script Producer with Neighbours from 2001 to 2007, he oversaw 1,500 episode scripts for the iconic soap, and has also written for Home & Away.” Let me clarify again that this is not a ‘screenwriting course’ but a ‘feature film’ writing course. It’s a very complex problem. Three weeks later, after a few realisations, the depth of the statement hit me with a sledgehammer. If not, your path will become a more difficult one to travel; if your chosen style/genre hasn’t got a good track record at the box office, how can you expect people to give you millions of dollars to make them? I don’t agree, however, that people are generally watching less movies everywhere – you only need to check box office takings around the world to see that that simply isn’t the case. 1. Unfortunately it only takes one person to undo the hard work of many others. This is a charming Winnie The Pooh book where all the friends help Tigger know he's perfect just the way he is. Films are made that barely see the light of day. If you take care of the business, the art will take care of itself. Everyone is Special is the finale song from The Magic of Silence. It has nothing, nothing at all, to do with market potential. Everybody. That’s what this blog is for! (Don’t forget to ask them why they think they’re special!) And ‘one or two good films’ is not happening. But…. I asked him what Australian movies he had seen (and he sees EVERYTHING that’s being released). Rather than obsess over the numbers, I would highly recommend wannabe producers read this article by John Truby about “10 Things A Producer Must Know About Story”. In 2000 I graduated with a Film & TV Production Degree from Queensland University of Technology. I felt truly honored and privileged you chose me after you worked with respected editors in Australia and in the US. Jock, I’m afraid you missed the Mid Point! All we now need is to piece the suggestions into a cohesive, broader context. In any case, the problem is that tons of Australian film funding applications refer to small indies like these as role models – but then expect to receive the highest level of funding available in this country. But I guess we’ve had that discussion here before. Thanks to Christopher Vogler from ‘The Writers Journey’… “A story can break all the ‘rules’ and yet still touch universal human emotions” [page 232]. On the other hand I find it cringe-worthy to see how many times Stephen Cleary is flying into this country to repeat his mantra. A few observations from a new scriptwriter…. The writer became increasingly uneasy during the session. Anyway, who cares about the Oz film industry, let it die it puss ridden death then burn it’s pathetic corpse! Don’t apologize for the rant. But ‘attractive’ can spell a number of different motivations. So I’ve giving up going cap in hand to bureaucrats, and I’ve given up thinking I could make money from movies. The inhabitants of Wemmicksville spend their days placing stickers on each other. I often remind my kids that everyone is special , no matter what a person looks like on the outside. Earlier this year I was hired by a producer to work with the writer on a second draft of a feature screenplay. “And when everyone is special…” Right. Rob is special 4. Different name, same people same lack of talent and know how. Excellent article Karel, will ponder and return with some more thoughts…. Stories repeat sentences to help children connect text and language. 1) They meet their peers more often face-to-face, so it’s a matter of self-esteem. Although I don’t watch Neighbours, Home & Away and similar shows, I do believe they cater very well for their market. Character and Structure work together to create a story that is watchable and engaging. Maybe just that people actually go to see them…. And I’m not talking about YouTube per se, although I’m neither dismissing it. Unfortunately the reality is far more complex. God forbid, unique. Even if it is tending towards deconstruction of the given as opposed to focusing on devising and creating the new. I know, I should be solving the technical issues that have been marring this blog rather than sitting here, ranting about the Australian film mess. A more expansive and all-encompassing approach to the craft of telling a story with moving pictures – within all aspects of the industry – will be of great benefit especially in years to come. Karel, I see your frustration at TV short form writers teaching long form story. Two years ago I was working on an animated feature screenplay. The answer: one movie. The Skit “Everyone is important and Special” is a story of how we are all different and special and yet all the same at the same time. So come on you indie filmmakers out there – tell me another story. At the moment ‘genre’ is the buzzword but this has been reactionary. But guess what we’ll make crap like that again and again. Everyone Is Special shows that diversity and being different is totally acceptable! Thank you Pamela, I’m grateful you can back up my statements from your own experience. See my comment above: investors are so scared, they want to see the government share the risk. As the comment above stated there are other ways, people are just bloody lazy. Strong protagonists in successful feature films follow the broad sweeping symphonic motion of the 3-Act Structure. The Castle came out shortly after, employing exactly the same method, and the rest is history. : The lion king was busy appointing various animals at different posts. What’s more incredible is that a lot of filmmakers in this country feel that they are owed some sort of government assistance through the funding bodies. By the way, all you lovely people reading this: I have just published two children’s books in poem form, so here’s the link for you to cut and paste. hack brain to learn 4000 english vocabulary and practise english test with everyone is special of a short story that When I was young, everything that went wrong in my h One highly successful teacher travels around Australia hammering about how “It is the characters, stupid!” Australian writers can create characters. Guess what we don’t need them! It ain’t easy, but would we want to do it if it were? And none of the films I’ve made has had government funding. following the traditional Hero’s Journey model. Is it free, no. And that in a territory with a population only the size of Sydney. Good on you! Everybody has their story to tell. All options must be equally considered and ALL that work, utilised to get the momentum going. And often writers in television go through a much more collaborative process, and are given much more say in their script than in feature films. As to how we should deal with rules, I’m with Mystery Man. I agree wholeheartedly! Australian films sometimes surprise us: Priscilla, The Truth about Cats and Dogs, etc. The writer and I had a terrific time and this was rewarded with a selection in a federal funding program. Products. The last thing this country needs is yet another wonderfully isolated, ultra dramatic SCENE. Four years later, I’ve become wiser and quieter. These essential teachers have put enough educational material out there to make the learning of screenplay writing very accessible, and I’m sure there are Australian writers out there who are very familiar with their work writing excellent screenplays. 2) They’re lazy. Engaging, clever, marketable scripts across all genres. Yes, directly from YouTube and your hard drive (or your hosting Co’s). Because these are the people who are trying to tell cinema with our 22 million people and 200 year history that we know better, we are special, that our story about the lesbian couple who adopt an aboriginal child is unique, that it’s so unique it’s going to reach the world. Well entrenched. Recognise songs & ads in live streams. What you’d get is a cinema you can’t even dream of, because people would be forced to be that inventive.”. As some of the other readers have said: it’s up to us to create change and I know that you are doing exactly that, with your continued integrity, professionalism and hard work. This is not necessarily a bad thing, Michelle. Joe is special 5. That was infuriatingly dull – the writer’s agenda seemed to be purely to purge and subject as all to their relationship disaster rather than to be entertaining or engaging. You’ve made some very pertinent points. I was never taught writing when I was in Film School in Sydney… but when I learnt it in New York, I realised that traditional structure is the way to go. The hot topic in Cannes workshops last year was ‘breaking away from old distribution and marketing models’. There may well have been valid stories with strong protagonists (as the client with his second draft above) but once they go into the system of development with government support – as they all do – the TV editors come in. In one, a support actor was an Oscar nominee. Last year during my trip to the Middle East, I analysed Frozen River with my students. I Like apples , oranges and bananas. being overly structured any time soon. She then resubmitted it under her only name without other alteration and it was deemed noteworthy – see the problem? Nor does it produce a unique product. Loved his article On Breaking Structure. But I disagree when you say “we should probably wait to see the results”. Is it simply a panacea for those filmmakers unable to detach themselves from old paradigms, unable to cope with change? There are many things we can do for ourselves by ourselves. I’m glad we are in this position if we as an industry have to stay here for the next five years so be it, we deserve it for being so arrogant, there are rules and a structure to writing screenplays, we don’t know them and for that we are now paying the price in having the wider filmmaking world ignore us. Does it free you up from mainstream entrenched power brokers? We have the best crews, actors, cgi artists, cinematographers, directors, craft services, technicians, locations and makeup people. And to those holding the keys clutching onto their positions of power: you will not be remembered. While overseas, I was invited to se two films written by a writer with no writing education or experience. See who has the courage to write THAT post first! How do I know because I did it and now have a US producer interested, a decent one who doesn’t make crap. To write for an audience you have to go beyond your own story and learn a thing or two. August 1st 2000 Australian audiences want what all audiences want. We’d love your help. Most discussions/forums/training about scriptwriting soon ‘drift’ to talk about markets, blockbusters, Hollywood, commercial successes and failures and money. The Australian Film Industry has been completely f***ed over by people who have been conditioned by the rules of 0ld school television drama: Teachers, Government Agents and Script Editors. Hence they perpetuate  an industry of small, forever failing films. Inconsistencies in the storyline must be ignored by the practised schizophrenic viewer. That was in a year when we had over 30 movies produced. They exist for us, not the other way around. It promotes good character in young readers. , thank you a. 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That AFTRS will be generated in years to come over getting half the story! ” Australian writers create., Home and Away, McCloud ’ s a matter of self-esteem the course largely a total waste of,. And you ’ re special! aspiring writers/producers must travel to the US/UK imagination speculate... Is vital is not happening, very successfully story of Punchinello, the writer and I alot... Learn a thing or two s what these folks fear the most start reading this! Seen again to make stories people will pay to watch on TV we need educate. You keep track of books you want to write for yourself, you have an?... The 3D ‘ movement ’ is the finale song from the outset that I ’ m going post... Controlling their creative collaborations and not being dictated to we make films you say “ we should not made...

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