Follow Up

Scene challenge winners

Y’know, I think we learned something today: Derivatives were maybe not the best choice for the third-ever scene challenge. I deliberately picked something tough because in real life, screenwriters are often faced with challenging topics to explain. For example, last night I spoke with Ron Bass about the Einstein project he’s working on. Quick: Show […]

More on the torrents

There’s been a lot of feedback and reaction on this site and others about my c’est la vie attitude towards The Nines showing up on BitTorrent. Some felt I was tacitly endorsing piracy (no), while others wondered if I’d feel the same if I had financed the movie, rather than writing and directing it. So […]

Not a word

Last week, I wrote how much I admired the Pencils Down ad, in which TV’s top showrunners said they would be doing no writing on their shows during a strike. I said that I’d be delighted to sign a similar ad for feature screenwriters. I’m happy to say the WGA took me up on the […]

Heroes: Origins: Gone

The WGA strike kills a spin-off, and my episode with it.

Authorship in the digital age

A few weeks ago, my friend Howard Rodman was asked to give a talk at the 2007 Rencontres CinĂ©matographiques de Dijon, speaking on a panel entitled “Copyright and Droit d’Auteur in the Digital Age.” Being a reader of the blog, Howard asked if he might incorporate a few of the observations from my Challenge of […]

Defeat keeps on going

“My Glorious Defeat,” the article I wrote for Men’s Health, is now up at MSN.com1 (No, I don’t get residuals.) May 3, 2011 Update: is link no longer active, but can be accessed at Men’s Health. ↩

Trailer Competition: The Winners

We had 57 official entries. That’s a lot, and it’s about the most I could handle without my eyeballs exploding.1 I’m happy to report that many of the entries were quite good, and it was genuinely a pleasure to watch them. Most of them. I feel like I should pad this opening bit with a […]

Trailer competition judging in progress

Wow, that’s a lot of entries. I’ll be announcing the winners tomorrow morning. Erik Beeson, who so generously helped with the hosting and torrenting, sent along stats: total torrent file downloads for both torrents combined: 808 (includes search engine crawlers) dv torrent: 162 completed downloads mpeg4 torrent: 79 completed downloads 242 (the direct download) […]

T-Minus one day

The trailer competition is nearing its end, and entries are starting to stream in. Some are quite good. If I have one general observation, it’s that many of the trailers are trying to be respectful to the (supposed) tone of the movie. That’s fine, but it’s hard to distinguish yourself when aiming for the same […]

Trailer competition, teaser

Tomorrow, full details of the long-gestating trailer competition will be announced here (and at the lookforthenines site). You’ll have two versions of footage to choose from: DV and MPEG-4. The DV is big and beautiful. The MPEG-4 is small and nimble — and not as bad as you’d think. To get ready, Erik Beeson has […]

Google-Mapped, part two

Matt sent me an LA Times article this morning which confirms that Google has been busy adding Street View to Los Angeles. My earlier suspicion that I’d been van-captured has proven true. So far, my mug doesn’t show up in any of the shots, but that’s likely because they seem to have only commercial streets […]

Filmmaking, permitted

Update on New York City’s struggle with what to charge productions.

Location scouting vs. reality

Looking through my YouTube account, I realized that I’d actually posted (and blogged about) our location scouting footage more than a year ago, shortly after we’d wrapped shooting. I thought I’d go back and grab screencaps from the movie to show you what some of these places looked like as shot. (The following are in […]

An air duct speaks back

From the comment thread on the Air vents are for air post: I am an Air Conditioning Duct and I find this entire conversation incredibly ignorant and offensive. On the rare occasions that I do see my Community represented on screen, it is invariably unrealistic and below industry standard. All the Air Conditioning Ducts of […]

The Nines goes to Venice

A reader alluded to it in the comments of an earlier post, but today we can officially announce that The Nines was chosen to play the Venice Film Festival as part of Critics’ Week. (At least, I assume we can announce it. We were sworn to double-super secrecy, which is presumably now over, since it […]

Silent Evidence

A few weeks ago, while answering the Grey’s Anatomy question which generated so much talkback, I found myself searching for a specific term I knew had to exist: the human tendency to consider only the samples presented, ignoring other relevant items. It felt like a fallacy, but it didn’t quite match up to any of […]

Summer Sundance, part two

What exactly do you discuss at Sundance? They’re entering with completed scripts, which I assume are perfect to them at the beginning, so where to next? And if you participate in the Screenwriting Lab are you automatically given a Directors Lab spot, if that is what you so choose to do with your completed work? […]

Trailer competition update

Thanks to many readers, I think there’s a pretty clear game plan emerging for how to do The Nines Trailer Challenge. Several people have offered specific help, both advice and hosting. Bless you. Your email addresses have been duly noted for future follow-up. Here are the questions I asked, and the answers I got. 1. […]

I talk with my hands

Video links explaining how film and television writers should approach promoting themselves and their work through the media.

Fish food for thought

One benefit of leaving the comment threads open is that sometimes a long-dead post gets a surge of new activity. Over the past month, I’ve noticed a few new comments on a 2004 post featuring this photo… …which is, according to Snopes, probably real in the sense that it’s not Photoshopped — though it’s probably […]

Blood stains and clown pants

I had a hunch there would be a lot of entries to the second Scene Challenge, but by the hammer of Thor, I never expected 162. It’s taken hours to go through them, winnowing it down from a list of 25 to ten to the winner. There were so many solid entries that I found […]

Publicity 101

It would be nice if the general public had some sense that movies are actually written, and that the actors aren’t making up their dialogue.

All-new MySpace beta

I now fully regret my earlier ambivalence about MySpace. As it turns out, the site is only lame when you have 600 or 700 friends. Having crossed the magic threshold of 1,000 MySpace pals, I truly understand what all the fuss is about. The difference is MySpace Advanced, and you can only access it when […]

After the digg

I’ve seen a lot of articles about the Digg Effect and what a site can expect after having a bunch of new visitors arrive to check out an article, as happened with my recent post on Warcraft. The general prediction is that readership drops to normal levels pretty quickly, and that’s borne out by the […]

Blingons and despair

Measured by the number of entries, the first-ever John August Scene Challenge was a surprising success. In terms of quality, well, there was a disappointing sameness that I’m going to blame on the limited nature of the assignment. Many entries were just a slightly-better version of the existing scene. While a lot of rewriting is […]