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ScreenwriterBones

Stories from a seasoned screenwriter. Take heart! Your creative source is infinite and un-ending. Sometimes Hollywood just rips up the roadmap back to it. The bottom line is that Hollywood is not at all as bad as it sounds. Additionally, it's worse than you can imagine. Remember to pack a sense of humor.

Name:

I am a screenwriter living in Southern California. I've written screenplays for most of the Hollywood studios over the past 20 years. One of the uncredited writers of FANTASTIC FOUR, I wrote FIRE DOWN BELOW starring Steven Seagal, and the TV Movie 12:01 PM starring Martin Landau and MANEATER with Gary Busey. I have directed short films. I have written on numerous Hollywood studio assignments, some for big shot actors, some for small shot nobodies.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Animation Features

Seems like every studio is getting into business on this and that is very exciting. I worked at Dreamworks last spring on a great project and loved it. Hired this summer on another animated feature at a different company and met at Universal just last month on a short list of those being considered on - you guessed it - an animated feature. Big business and really big fun for the writer as you win the day going in with the really exceptionally whacked out version of reality - the story you could never pitch to a studio with a straight face.

But that's because the old "Katzenberg" line comes in to play when you pitch an animated concept. You will definitely hear his edict whispered through the responses of any executive you meet "why are we doing this story animated?" Is the world special enough, are the characters impossible enough - could this all not exist in reality, etc. If it's just a great story about people with one fantastic element, why not shoot it live as an effects movie?

And they're right. It's a great question. Why the hell is this an animated film? What is so fantastic, impossible and visually stunning about it?

So to all of you out there pitching the animated film: You want the ice giant hanging out with floating jelly fish and all crossing a world where time goes backwards but they go forwards, etc.

Keep it emotionally grounded in reality, that's your anchor, the heroes love, suffer loss and fight back to love again. And the structure we all know and love has to play across the landscape of the impossible. Surround characters that are emotionally real with the truly impossible and you've got a winning combination.

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