RJFS Writer's group!


#1

Welcome to the RJFS writer’s group!

We are a rag-tag team dutifully dedicated to improving our craft as screenwriters together and saving the world one story at a time…like the Justice League

Whether you’re an experienced writer, just starting out, or somewhere in between, you belong WRITE here, workshopping your scripts with weekly critique from an audience of word-junkies like you.

How do you join?

Very simple - we post script pages EVERY FRIDAY, so give us a head’s up on this thread, be ready with pages by the following Friday, and join the conversation.

Expectations

Know the format - guidelines for screenplays are very simple and very specific…Hollywood types will throw your script in the bin if it isn’t formatted correctly, and it’s something you can learn very quickly, so do yourself the favor ASAP

Write 10-20 pages weekly - it’s amazing how much you can get done if you just sit down and WRITE. Two script pages a day, five days a week. It will blow you away how fast you’ll start to crank these out.

Give weekly feedback to at least one person. We’re not here for pats on the back - we’re here to write good scripts, so, even if your review is 100% positive (or negative), tell them WHY. Just ‘good’ or ‘bad’ aren’t enough to be constructive.

These aren’t hard-and-fast rules…but a writer’s group consists of writing your own work and discussing the work of others…if you’re not writing or discussing, why be in the group?

How to submit

ON FRIDAYS Send your script pages in a PDF to magicallyjessicaeve@gmail.com

Scripts are kind of a pain to post on RJFS forums right now, so I’ll take up the responsibility of collecting everyone’s pages and sending them back out to everyone else.

if you can’t submit for any reason, post or email to let us know - that way we won’t be waiting on you

Annnnnnnnnd, that’s it! So get those ideas flowing, put something on paper, and watch it grow into a beautiful baby screenplay.


German Angst (script)
Have a Movie Idea... Good? Bad?
Introduce Yourself!
How to Create Pace
Some Feedback on a short script I've written
Introduce Yourself!
Turning a plot into a script into a film
#2

I don’t that I can say I have it in me for 30 pages a week a but I would be down to join to hone my craft as writer.


#3

The reason I pulled 30 out of a hat is that a good screenplay is ~105 pages: 30 per week x 4 weeks is 120 per month - a little bit over the requisite for some built in leniency. The idea is to try and hit the goal-mark of one full feature per month - signed, stamped, and ready to run.

However, if that’s a little too aggressive a pace, we can crank it down a notch (I started myself at 50 per week - not recommended). 4 pages per writing day at 5 days a week is 20 with completion after six weeks. I think that’s doable. If not, 10 a week should be OK (but now we’re looking at three months before generating a full script)


#4

Well the reason I say I cant crank that much out is because right now I’m still kind of at the shorts level. (Though I’d love to work on some of my bigger projects) Ultimately I would be down to join the group, if you would have me, mainly cause I think if write a short once a week I’ll get in the habit of producing them more regularly.


#5

Cool - as long as you’re hitting the main objective (producing pages and critiquing other peoples’), I see no reason you can’t write a bunch of short scripts as opposed to one long script.

Let’s see if we can generate a little more interest - once we know who all wants to be involved (it might just be the two of us at first), we’ll set a day for everyone to send out their scripts, post critique here on the forums, and then start the clock over for the next week.

…and our portfolios will magically grow


#6

I think this is a great idea, and I bet the rest of the RJFS crew agrees! @Lauren @cherish @JoeyScoma


#7

Sounds awesome. I can’t remember if this was actually a thing (maybe I misheard or it was never a thing) but I seem to remember there being a disclaimer that the RJFS crew couldn’t critique scripts and stuff like for legal reasons but as long as the idea passes with them I’m cool. (There are also a few free forum soft ware if we have to take it elsewhere.


#8

RocketJump as a company can’t use your scripts/ideas for legal reasons or take your suggestions for scripts so this is ok I believe!


#9

I’m a little late, but I’d be interested in this. I just started my school holidays (so I have lots of free time) and I’m still quite a beginner at screenwriting (although I do have some experience writing short stories). I would love to learn from everybody, even if I’m just sort of watching and learning.


#10

Correctomundo. Kev on point.


#11

You’re not late at all! Right on time in fact.

The main bit of homework to do before all of this gets going is just to learn the screenplay format…it’s not hard, and I really don’t want to spend precious critique time worrying about someone’s margins. I’ll link the RJ formatting video which explains most of what you need to know, and here’s a screenplay for reference - good old Paul Blart 2! is it a good movie? Hell no! Is it a lean little 105 page screenplay properly formatted and looking professional? Hell yeah! https://wikileaks.org/sony/docs/03_03/Mktrsch/Market%20Research/Scripts/Paul%20Blart%20Mall%20Cop%202.pdf

For an additional kick getting the writer juice flowing, whatever your favorite movie is, there’s a fair chance the screenplay is floating out there on the web for you to see, so it’s a great exercise to scoop it up and look at what the vision was on paper. Another great exercise is to find a script for something you HAVEN’T seen, read it first, watch the movie, and compare the vision in your mind with the final product.

As far as I’m concerned, everything centers on people making pages happen…if you’re in the mood to make pages, you’re exactly what the group needs.


#12

Well I’d like to join but I’m probably too short on time to write a lot.


#13

Alrighty - what I think I’ll do from here is edit the thread title and my OP - transforming this thread into the new official home of the RJFS weekly writer’s group.

So far, we are: @JDstorms, @Heyhatti, @Spica, and your local dead girl

On FRIDAY we start the 1 week clock: Try to have at least ten pages (20 if you’re a boss) by FRIDAY DEC. 16 (Star Wars day - so write your pages and don’t miss it!)

After that, let’s try to keep the expectation alive: deliver no fewer than 10 pages every Friday unless there are circumstances (Xmas comes to mind for the near future).

In the meantime, now is an excellent moment for outlines, loglines, and general brain storming to start - post it here if you feel like sharing, keep us in suspense if you like to brew in private.

The logline for the script I’m working on is:
“A young paladin kills a criminal whose spirit returns to haunt her; the two then embark on a journey to grant the spirit peace in life beyond life.”


#14

Sounds great! Sorry I’m a little over the Friday start date, but I have all week and should be able to pull together at least 10 pages by the deadline.


#15

I have a few things to figure out but im hoping that I can meet the goal.


#16

@MartehW you’re not late at all! Next Friday is our first batch - I wanted to give everyone ample notice to get us all on the same page.

We’ve got such a diverse group here - it’s going to be great to see what all of you come up with!


#17

I got my little prompt from reddit/r/WritingPrompts:

You just died in a wacky accident on your birthday, of all days. To your surprise, Death has organized a party for you, and even gone to the trouble of getting you a gift.

I’ve made it a very short film, finished at five pages, so I guess I’ll do another short five-page script by next Friday, then post them both!


#18

Now that we’re officially up-and-running, it seemed like a good moment to offer up some inspiration. This is a pile of amazing scripts from across movie history - there are lots of examples of genius and failure hiding in these pages as well as crazy film trivia you never thought you’d have access to. Full disclosure, I have NOT read all of these, and I certainly don’t expect any of you to. What this represents is a very good starting place for anyone who wants to look at the evolving art of screenwriting.

Casablanca
http://www.vincasa.com/casabla.pdf

This script is probably cited on the first page of ‘screenwriting for dummies’ - simply everyone has read it. Funny thing - considering that the script in its full form has never existed (read the cover page for details) - but Casablanca is probably the movie that will forever define that ultra glamorized ‘Golden Age’ melodrama of the 1930s and 40s, and it’s hard to call yourself a screenwriter if you haven’t flipped through it.

All About Eve
http://screenplayexplorer.com/wp-content/scripts/All-About-Eve.pdf

So massive was the impact of this movie in its day that my middle name is ‘Eve’. This is a quiet story that packs an incredible punch, and if you ever find yourself wondering how to create conflict without alien invasions, Nazis, or knife wielding maniacs, just pick this one up. It effortlessly takes a playwriting style and translates it to the silver screen.

Psycho
http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/Psycho.txt

I’ll have to confess some bias including this one - it’s the first screenplay I read (seventh grade I think?) and the movie that made me want to pick up a camera. Nonetheless, Hitchcock’s original slasher is as sexy and as thrilling as ever, and it is a masterclass on doing a lot of terror with only a little violence.

Annie Hall

Woody Allen is a brilliant writer, and this is his most brilliant script……it’s almost a pity that he showed us all of his tricks way back in 1977, because I think he’s always been trying to get back to this one. Nonetheless, it’s a genuine masterpiece, and your life will be richer for its inclusion.

Halloween 4

For the 80s, I decided to include this little gem: Written in just 16 days, this script is a fast dirty draft for a fast dirty movie, and it’s definitely the odd one out in this distinguished company. But - for all its flaws - Halloween 4 is a perfect example of the type of writing that pays a lot of bills but wins very few awards. Also, 80s slashers are kind of my thing….so the 80s one had to be a slasher (sorry)

Reservoir Dogs
https://web.uniroma1.it/seai/sites/default/files/dialoghi%208%20SCENA%201-SU%20YOUTUBE%20RESERVOIR%20DOGS%20TIPPING%20SCENE.pdf

There can be no doubt that - if we can pick only one 90s script - it must be Tarantino. Even if you hate his films, you will love his scripts. There is not another writer from any era has as much fun writing as Tarantino…you can feel the stupid, weird, boyish love dripping out of every word. These pages read themselves. No matter how many times you’ve seen this movie - you’ve not seen it until you’ve finished the screenplay.

The Matrix
http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/the_matrix.pdf

The script for the 2000s was actually written (and released) in the 90s, so it’s a bit of a cheat, but absolutely every sci fi movie that came out between 2000 and 2007 was trying to be The Matrix (including its own sequels!). This is the biggest lightning-in-a-bottle political sci fi flick since Blade Runner, and - in my opinion - it’s never been surpassed.

Breaking Bad
http://www.pages.drexel.edu/~ina22/splaylib/Screenplay-Breaking_Bad-Pilot.PDF

A little more cheating, I realize, but screenwriting in the 2010s has been largely defined by TV series binge-watching, and I cannot think of two bigger series’ for this decade than Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones, and I’ve provided both pilot scripts.

Game of Thrones

There you have it, lads and ladies - a gigantic pile of reading to go with your gigantic pile of writing. And…like I said, I haven’t read them all yet, so - if you’ll excuse me……….


#19

Posting to give the thread a little bump and remind everybody to write, write, write - even if you haven’t started, five pages a day is considered a normal rate for a professional screenwriter, so there’s still time!

I read All About Eve and rented it immediately for a re-watch. Those character descriptions are masterful, and they get away with A LOT considering film censorship and cultural paranoia are in full blossom, and the society at large viewed movies as something to help them forget the world war (a mere 5 years earlier). In an era that preferred to tell masculine stories, this one is feminine…and not cleaning the kitchen and raising the children…it’s about feminine ambition, feminine anger, feminine betrayal. The script is a bit long and a bit dated, but there’s no doubt that it’s a real treasure. Double recommend.

On a different note, I’d like to know what everyone listens to while they write. Mine is an adventure story, so it’s hard to do better than the musical genius of the Italian Wild West - Ennio Morricone


#20

Oh yes, Ennio Morricone is never not great to listen to :smiley:

Orchestral film scores in general can be huge help to any kind of creative thinking, I listen to them every time for every work project, it tingles my brain in the right way :smiley:

An adventure story inspired by Morricone, it’s already sounds highly interesting to me :slight_smile: