Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Expired from the Expo


I planned to attend all four days of the screenwriting Expo this year, but only made two. I've been swamped building websites (Tuesday I spent 17 grueling hours in front of the computer), so I was only able to attend the weekend days. I hate having to trade off something I love for something I have to do to pay the bills, but that's how it works at this point.

Those two days were first rate. Of all the gurus I heard speak, I liked Bill Martell's classes the best. Bill drove a forklift before becoming a screenwriter, which gives him credentials beyond most anyone with a UCLA film education. Now he writes low budget action movies and the occasional horror piece. Bill confessed that his favorite genre is horror comedy, which is also mine, and one of his favorite movies is Piranha. Now we're talking. And he rides his bike to studio meetings.

Bill's first presentation was on guerrilla marketing your screenplay, where he shared a great technique for calling production companies to sell your wares. Don't. Get your friend to do it for you. Yeah, I'm all over that.

His second presentation was on horror. I disagreed with Bill that Hostel 2 is better than Hostel 1. I like Hostel 1 because it's the only movie I can think of that has no exposition. Also, it truly scared the shit out of me and made me laugh at the same time. Wait -- you mean it's not supposed to be funny?

One final thing I liked about Bill -- no discussion of what page your script should doing such and such. Okay, maybe he talks about that in another class or a book somewhere, but I don't recall hearing any of that on Saturday.

Would someone please come up with a technique for writing movies that doesn't involve counting pages?

I'm back to the grind now. I've been writing some strange cat stories just for the hell of it and figuring out what to do with all the notes and books I managed to amass at the Expo. I think I need a forklift.