Reader question: How may I approach a favorite screenwriter (since I’ve got their personal email)?

Tread carefully, my friend. Tread carefully.

Question from Josh:

I’ve recently been able to get a hold of the personal email address of one of my favorite screenwriters. I have no intention of trying to sell him an idea or get him to read my script — I just want to buy the guy a beer or a cup of coffee and chat. How would you suggest I approach this?

It helps if you can attach a bottle of virtual scotch to your email, preferably this:

Lagavulin 12 yo 56.4% 2008 by la maison du whisky, art the bottle inside out.

Short of redefining the laws of physics by pulling that off, here is more reasonable advice:

  • Write something short. This is not the time to post an autobiography. Rather offer your name, explain why you’re emailing, tell them you’re a fan, state your request, say thanks, fade out, the end.
  • Write something non-threatening. I would imagine that for most stalkers, screenwriters don’t rate high enough to make it on their list of potential victims, but at least in the world of cinema, try telling screenwriters David Kahane and Joe Gillis they’re safe (20 bonus points for anyone who gets both of those references). I think the phrase you’ll want to insert is, “I just wanted to see if I could possibly ask you a few questions about the craft.” That way the writer knows you have put a limit on your own expectations. By the way, suggesting coffee or a beer in an introductory email could be taken as, if not threatening, at least too assertive. I’d hold off on that level of potential connection until you’ve swapped several emails.
  • Write something laudatory. Here’s what you have going for you: Unlike actors and directors, who gets heaps of press coverage and attention, screenwriters — by and large — live rather anonymous, and some would say, disrespected lives. So if you say something like “I wanted to let you know how much I admire your work,” that’s probably a “you had me at hello” moment right there.

BUT BIG NOTE!!!

If you do have a writer’s personal email address, that could be disquieting to them. Like seriously so. You will almost assuredly have to explain how you got that information. This could be problematic depending upon who you got the email from, so be aware you could be messing with other peoples’ friendships.

But on the whole, most screenwriters I know are interesting and interested people; that is they know a lot and are innately curious. Plus writing is a lonely gig. And bottom line, we’re always looking for an excuse — any excuse — not to work. So write something short, non-threatening, and laudatory, and see how that plays out.

GITS readers, have any of you reached out to industry professionals you didn’t know to ask a few questions? How did you approach contacting them? Any further / better advice for Josh?

Comment Archive


Reader question: How may I approach a favorite screenwriter (since I’ve got their personal email)? was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

What Are Horror Master John Carpenter’s Favorite Films?

Though director John Carpenter might enjoy making horror flicks, his cinematic diet surprisingly doesn’t have as much blood and guts.

John Carpenter has spent his career scaring the bejeezus out of movie-goers, and since it’s almost Halloween, it seems right to talk about the films that inspired him to make films that helped contribute to one of the most beloved horror subgenres in cinema. In the video below, Fandor has put together a list of the director’s favorite films, but interestingly enough, you’re not going to see a whole lot of blood, butcher’s knives, or Captain Kirk death masks in the films that shaped Carpenter as a filmmaker. However, that doesn’t mean the films on his list aren’t dark and twisted, as you’ll soon see.

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No Film School

Superhero Bits: Batman is The Murder Machine, The Flash is the Favorite in Justice League & More

Justice League

How did Star-Lord‘s helmet sell for at auction? What is Batman doing as an evil version of Cyborg called The Murder Machine? Did Sam Wilson get a poor send-off as Captain America in Marvel Legacy? What are The Wasp and Ghost up to in a new set video from Ant-Man and The Wasp? Which member of the Justice League is the collective favorite according to DC’s Geoff Johns? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

Ezra Miller reminds everyone how he got cast as Barry Allen, aka The Flash, in the upcoming Justice League.

Star-Lord‘s helmet from Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy fetched $ 160,000 at an auction by Prop Store.

Digital artist Timetravel6000v2 created a stylish DC TV poster in the style of the Justice League movie poster.

Ron Perlman has made peace with the existence of the Hellboy reboot, but he wouldn’t talk about it on Reddit.

Groot and Star-Lord end up on a snowy sleigh ride chase in a new animated short from Marvel and Funko.

Brie Larson says playing Captain Marvel will lose her things in life that she loves, but think it will be worth it.

Justice League

DC Comics unveiled a new batch of covers featuring artwork inspired by the upcoming Justice League movie.

Disney struck a new partnership with National CineMedia to provide sneak peeks of Marvel movies in theaters.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits>>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the next page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Batman is The Murder Machine, The Flash is the Favorite in Justice League & More appeared first on /Film.


/Film

Watch: A List Stephen King’s Favorite Horror Films

What kinds of scary movies does the King of Horror watch?

Stephen King is a maniac. He has not only written hundreds of published works, making him one of the most prolific writers of all time, but he has managed to scare the bejesus out of his readers for well over 40 years with his dark and twisted contemporary horror/sci-fi/fantasy works. But he’s not only renowned in the literary world. He has made an indelible mark in the film industry with 64 of his novels and short stories being adapted into some of the most iconic horror films in history, including Carrie and The Shining. (Fun fact: The Shawshank Redemption was adapted from his 1982 novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.)

It makes you wonder what kinds of scary movies catches the attention of such a well-respected and aptly nicknamed author like the King of Horror. Well, Fandor has put together a list of a bunch of his favorite spooky flicks in the video below:

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No Film School

Director Barry Jenkins’ 14 Favorite Films from the Criterion Collection

What kinds of films pique the interest of Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins?

Have you ever dreamed of entering the Criterion closet and perusing their massive collection of historically and culturally important films? If you’re a cinephile, you probably have, but if you’re a celebrated filmmaker, like director Barry Jenkins, you actually get to do it. Back in November, while promoting what would become the future Oscar-winning film Moonlight, Jenkins visited Criterion and was invited to thumb through their library, and he not only got to live every cinephile’s dream, but he also had the exact response every cinephile would have once being enveloped in all of that cinematic goodness:

“This is a bit overwhelming. There’s too much good shit in here.”

Here are Jenkins’ top Criterion picks:

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No Film School

A Vibrant Year – My Favorite Films from the 2017 Cannes Film Festival

2017 Cannes Film Festival

What are the best films out of this year’s Cannes Film Festival? Which ones should you be taking an interest in? What films should be a priority for you to see? After 12 days at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, after 30 screenings, it’s time to present my 2017 list of my Top 5 Favorite Films. This was my 8th time back to this festival, and I love being there in the middle of all, committing fully to seeing as many films as I can. These five below are the ones that I adore, that connected with me emotionally or intellectually, and I hope everyone plans to check them out when they arrive in their neighborhood. They are worth the wait. There were many great films this year, and this is my final recap of the fest (with my list of all the films at the end). ›››

Continue reading A Vibrant Year – My Favorite Films from the 2017 Cannes Film Festival


FirstShowing.net

‘Bill Nye: Science Guy’ Filmmakers Pushed Everyone’s Favorite Science Guy into Extreme Situations

David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg pushed Bill Nye the Science Guy to extremes in this record-breaking documentary.

I first sat down with David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg during my first year covering SXSW for No Film School. They were premiering their first feature, The Immortalists, a doc profiling a group of eccentric and obscure scientists searching for the cure to aging. There was no bidding war over the film. No splashy Variety headlines for it. But it was a thought-provoking, well-told story.

I was thrilled to see them again at SXSW 2017 premiering their second film, Bill Nye: Science Guy (playing San Francisco International Film Festival this week). Their second film is bigger in every way: it’s a hero journey about scientist-cum-celebrity Bill Nye, it had the most successful Kickstarter campaign for a documentary to date, and it screened to sold-out crowds in huge SXSW venues.

“Boil your film down to one sentence, and every scene that you shoot, every scene that you edit, the whole macro story has to go back to that one sentence.”

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No Film School

Sam Mendes in Talks to Direct ‘My Favorite Thing is Monsters’

My Favorite Thing is Monsters adaptation

After spending a few years of exploring James Bond’s personal demons, director Sam Mendes is considering adding another comic book adaptation to his filmography with My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. The director, who previously adapted Road to Perdition for the big screen, is in talks to turn Emil Ferris‘ acclaimed graphic novel into a movie for Sony. The story involves “B-movie horror and pulp monster iconography.”

Below, learn more about the potential My Favorite Thing Is Monsters adaptation.

Deadline writes that Sony won the project in a bidding war last week. Now, Mendes is in early talks to possibly direct and develop My Favorite Thing is Monsters through his production company, Neal Street. Ferris’ story is set in the 1960s Chicago and follows a 10-year-old, Karen Reyes, who’s trying to figure out who murdered her upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a Holocaust survivor.

Based on the graphic novel’s synopsis, there’s far more to the story than a murder mystery:

Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters is Ferris’ debut graphic novel. Previously, she worked as an illustrator and toy sculptor. The author was raised on creature features, which she cites as a source of inspiration. You can find some of her beautiful work at her website.

Here’s a page from the author’s graphic novel (published in February):

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters

The last time Mendes took on a graphic novel adaptation, we got the wonderful Road to Perdition. Mendes has considered other comic book properties over the years, namely Preacher, which he thought someone could one day make work as television series (and he was right, of course). As for superhero movies, they don’t interest Mendes, as if that wasn’t obvious based on most of his work.

Following the long and exhaustive Spectre shoot, it’s not surprising to see the filmmaker taking on a movie smaller in scale. The only other film project he’s attached himself to since his last Bond pic is Disney’s live-action James and the Giant Peach.

The post Sam Mendes in Talks to Direct ‘My Favorite Thing is Monsters’ appeared first on /Film.


/Film

Sony Nabs Rights to Graphic Novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters

Sony Nabs Rights to Graphic Novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters

Sony has obtained the rights to the graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters

Sony Pictures has won the rights to the graphic novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters, according to Deadline. There were reportedly a number of studios making offers for the critically-acclaimed property. My Favorite Thing is Monsters is the debut graphic novel from Emil Ferris, an illustrator and toy sculptor. Ferris has an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. The story is set in Chicago during the late ’60s and is about a 10-year-old girl who loves monsters and tries to solve the case of a neighbor who was murdered.

Here is the official description: “Set against the tumultuous political backdrop of late ’60s Chicago, My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is the fictional graphic diary of 10-year-old Karen Reyes, filled with B-movie horror and pulp monster magazines iconography. Karen Reyes tries to solve the murder of her enigmatic upstairs neighbor, Anka Silverberg, a holocaust survivor, while the interconnected stories of those around her unfold. When Karen’s investigation takes us back to Anka’s life in Nazi Germany, the reader discovers how the personal, the political, the past, and the present converge.” 

The graphic novel was published by Fantagraphics Press, and was released in February of 2017. Part 2 of the series was released in October.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters isn’t told with sequential panels but through Karen’s sketchbook. Amnesia Entertainment’s Bradley Gallo and Michael Helfant will produce at Sony’s Columbia Pictures. Palak Patel is overseeing. According to NPR, Ferris was a 40-year-old single mom who had contracted West Nile virus and became paralyzed from the waist down. After also losing the use of her hand, she taught herself to draw again. The graphic novel took six years to create.

Have you read My Favorite Thing is Monsters? What do you think of the story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.

The post Sony Nabs Rights to Graphic Novel My Favorite Thing is Monsters appeared first on ComingSoon.net.

ComingSoon.net

Our new favorite baseball player pays awesome homage to the other Matt Foley

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We just found our favorite minor league baseball player. Never mind that we’ve never even seen him field a grounder or swing a bat. 

But first, we must set the stage. 

If the name “Matt Foley” rings a bell, that’s because of arguably the greatest Saturday Night Live sketch of all time. 

Surely, you recall this bit, in which Chris Farley (RIP) plays a “motivational speaker” named Matt Foley who lives in a van down by the river. (In case you don’t remember, highlights from the bit are embedded atop this post and you can watch the full thing on NBC’s website.) Read more…

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