Thursday, October 25, 2007

Storyboards for the computer literate but artistically challenged

Stu Maschwitz, author of DV Rebel's Guide, turned me on to a free tool for creating storyboards, without sketching your brains out. It's called Sketchup, an architectural tool offered by Google. There is a pro version that has a lot of bells and whistles, but the free version (along with a downloadable library of models) is perfectly capable of generating detailed panels, and can even offer a sketch-like style to the images if you wish.

Give it a try.

P.S. I plan to review DV Rebel's Guide when I'm finished reading it. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Script Cops

What cha gonna do when they come for you? Drop your script and run like hell.

John August posted these links on his blog. Any aspiring screenwriter should get a kick out of these short films.

Script Cops, Ep1: Dom

Script Cops, Ep 2: McK

Script Cops, Ep 3: Traf

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Proud Finalist in the Red Inkworks Screenplay Competition

As I mentioned in a previous post, I entered a few contests to see how my first feature-length screenplay would fare against other aspiring screenwriters. Well, I'm happy to say that I was selected as a top-50 finalist (27th to be exact) in the Red Inkworks competition, the second contest I entered. Woohoo! :yay:


As a result, my script's title and logline1 will be posted on their Web site, and will also be e-mailed to various industry professionals, who may be interested in reading the script.


So, does this mean agents, managers, and producers will be beating down my door? That would be cool, but I have no illusions. I mean, I hope someone sees the listing and finds my story intriguing enough to contact me. But I doubt it'll be that easy. This is merely the first step in a long process. Albeit, an important step for my confidence.


One reason I entered this contest in particular, besides the fact that it's well reviewed on MovieBytes, is the feedback they provide. I found it very insightful, and was happy the suggestions were for minor changes only.


Folks, the notes alone were worth the entry fee. I highly recommend this contest for any new screenwriter who wants an objective opinion on his or her script--with the added benefit of possibly being exposed to "the industry".


1A logline is a brief description of a script, usually 1-3 sentences, that is often used as a calling card. Loglines are harder to write then they may seem, but can be invaluable in conveying the gist of the story.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Can Blender 3D Compete with the Big Boys?

Blender, the open-source 3D application, has come a long way. According to a 2007 comparison of 3D applications published on the TDT 3D (The Dream Team) Web site, Blender performed well against Maya, Softimage XSI, Cinema 4d, and Lightwave. And considering each of the others costs at least $500, Blender should be especially appealing to a low-budget filmmaker.

As the comparison chart shows, Blender scored Good or Very Good in animation, rendering, particles, and dynamics. In fact, it outscored Cinema 4D in character animation, and Lightwave and XSI in UV tools. It was also listed as the only package with built-in compositing; though, XSI's higher-end versions (the entry-level version was used for the comparison) do have compositing as well.

Blender does need work in some areas. It scored poorly in NURB and curves modeling, and low in 3D painting. Plus, it's still doesn't have an industry-standard interface. But the developers are constantly working on updates, and there is a tremendous 3rd party community adding plug-ins and scripts all the time.

Blender's growth can mean a lot for those who need to use CG for their movies but can't afford a $500+ price tag. Do you need matte paintings, pyrotechnics, space ships, dinosaurs? Try Blender. It's free!