Script Frenzy
May 15, 2007 8:51 AM   Subscribe

You may know that November is NaNoWriMo, but did you know that this June is the first annual Script Frenzy?
posted by brundlefly (20 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Neat idea, but:

1. 20,000 words?! I've written numerous screenplays and rarely do they have that many words. I just did a word-count on my most recent one, which is 97 pages: 16,051 words.

2. They picked a terrible month for it. Most unproduced screenwriters I know are exhausted by June 1st having written like mad from Jan - May in order to meet Nicholl's May 1st deadline and Austin's May 15th/June 1st deadline.
posted by dobbs at 9:15 AM on May 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

Not to mention that I think these crank-it-out events are probably more bad than good. I attempted NaNoWriMo one year and it fucked up my writing process so badly that I didn't get straightened out for a good six months. And the steaming pile of shit that i wrote wasn't really worth the damage.
posted by COBRA! at 9:43 AM on May 15, 2007

This is even worse than the BiMonSciFiCon.
posted by papakwanz at 9:52 AM on May 15, 2007

I attempted NaNoWriMo one year and it fucked up my writing process...

I think NaNoWriMo is more geared towards people whose "writing process" is to imagine what it would be like to be an author but never do anything about it.
posted by DU at 9:59 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Exactly, DU. I tried it a few times with mixed success (and mixed "success"—I did finish, one year), but then I'd never really undertaken a serious writing project before. I learned (a) that I'm not a magically talented novelist who just needed an excuse, and (b) some things about writing and me and me writing that I didn't know.

So I'm a better writer for having done it. But I wasn't a good writer before, and I don't know that I'm that good of a writer after, so I'm probably in the target demo.
posted by cortex at 10:03 AM on May 15, 2007

lol script kiddies
posted by grobstein at 10:20 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

I go through these periods where I don't think anyone is a good writer, where the whole thing seems like a colossal joke, and I wonder why I can't just be an electrician or something. I am in one of these periods right now. I think that I need to execute ideas the moment I get them, or else they knock around in my head too long and become "damaged".

That's my plan right now - I have several concepts, and I'm going to pick the least abhorrent one and start working on it as soon as I can devote some time to it, and THEN have it ready for spring contests, because contest deadlines always pressurize me and deform my work.
posted by Mister_A at 10:24 AM on May 15, 2007

Finally, a chance to craft my masterpiece: Dinosaur Sex Robots from the Near Future.
posted by ColdChef at 10:24 AM on May 15, 2007

ColdChef writes "Finally, a chance to craft my masterpiece: Dinosaur Sex Robots from the Near Future."

*glares at ColdChef, rips paper from typewriter and crumples it up*
posted by brundlefly at 10:37 AM on May 15, 2007

Interesting. Too bad I started my screenplay *this* month and my director friend wants it *next* month if I can deliver it that quickly...
posted by vhsiv at 10:42 AM on May 15, 2007

It's worth it for the "Plot Machine" generator thingy on the front page, which should be a signal to us all how seriously this should be taken...

"In a world ruled by earthworms
a disgruntled Yeti
hijacks a bus full of Tae Bo instructors"

"In a haunted space station orbiting Pluto
a Midwestern scrapbooking club
unknowingly arrives at a nudist colony"

"Deep in the sewers of Paris
a bike messenger with a death wish
becomes possessed by Beethoven"

"In a world where sleep must be paid for
a tone-deaf opera singer
enters a love triangle with Siamese twins"

"After receiving bionic implants
an Avon lady with violent mood swings
releases Keith Richards into the water supply"
posted by wendell at 11:26 AM on May 15, 2007

That Keith Richards one is quite sublime, Wendell.
posted by Mister_A at 11:34 AM on May 15, 2007

I can't remember the whole thing, but the first thing the Plot Machine gave me ended with "...and joins Bill Clinton's reggae band."
posted by brundlefly at 11:38 AM on May 15, 2007

More plots:
After seven failed marriages
a hooker with a heart of gold
attempts to win the Tour de France

After a crash landing in the desert
a group of wily sportscasters
received the 11th commandment

In a world where marriage is illegal
a hairstylist with a missing finger
discovers a shocking use for spray cheese

After getting voted off American Idol
a talking lobster
rushes an elite southern sorority
posted by gsteff at 12:08 PM on May 15, 2007

I think that plot generator is what they use to write 'scripts' for Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
posted by ninjew at 12:16 PM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

I thought it was what they use on "Lost".
posted by wendell at 12:27 PM on May 15, 2007

ColdChef: Finally, a chance to craft my masterpiece: Dinosaur Sex Robots from the Near Future.

Welcome to MeFi, Mr. Eng!
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:29 PM on May 15, 2007

NaNoWriMo teaches nothing about writing per se but is (at least) a chance for people to collide head-on with their delusions of ability and seriousness. Plus it gets the kids together to talk about writing. Better than talking about their fucking Wii scores.

Still, the attitude toward creativity that it breeds is worrisome. (I've written a lot about it at my blog but am too embarrassed to self-link.) Unfortunately the constraints on producible screenplays are such that Script Frenzy is even less likely to produce useful work than NaNo. Every literate person knows what a novel looks like; some fraction of those people can at least tell what a good novel is. Average Joe has no idea what constitutes a good screenplay - not least because it's a different matter from what constitutes a good film.

NaNoWriMo is like fanfic: it resembles serious creative writing in form, and occasionally produces readable work - but only by accident. The atmosphere and process are counterproductive and make the participants less serious, not moreso.

Script Frenzy will likely be that minus the advantage of familiarity. Oh well.

If there were a national Storytelling Month, devoted just to outlining and oral storytelling, that'd be something. Standing clear of the formal pretensions might help. But no dice.
posted by waxbanks at 7:55 PM on May 15, 2007

Still, dobbs - just as NaNoWriMo isn't about 'unpublished novelists' so much as non-preprofessional writers (i.e. hobbyists and narcissists) wondering whether they can plunk down 50,000 words in a line, Script Frenzy is just about going through the motions of screenwriting without any notion of professional advancement. If you're writing for Nicholls or the ABC/Disney fellowship and so forth, Script Frenzy is meaningless.

But you know that, of course; presumably you just wanted to flog that you know more than those idiots. Consider it flogged.
posted by waxbanks at 7:58 PM on May 15, 2007

Wow, a lot of dicks around here. Here here for superiority! Here here for the uber mensch! Down with the wannabes!
posted by my homunculus is drowning at 3:55 AM on May 18, 2007

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