First Trailer for Ensemble Drama ‘Person to Person’ with Michael Cera

Person to Person Trailer

«Terrible things happen every day in this city.» Magnolia Pictures has debuted the first official trailer for an ensemble indie drama titled Person to Person, which first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. The film follows different characters «from person to person» in New York City, handing off the narrative to each one as it continues on. The full cast of quirky characters includes Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson, Tavi Gevinson, Isiah Whitlock, Michaela Watkins, Olivia Lucciardi, Ben Rosenfield, Buddy Durress, Bene Coopersmith, George Sample III, and Philip Baker Hall. This looks like a nice slice of life in New York City, showing the mix of people and all the interesting things going on. Enjoy. ›››

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First Trailer for Twisty Indie Horror ‘Midnighters’ from Julius Ramsay

Midnighters Trailer

«Look around, this isn’t what we planned.» A full-length trailer has debuted for a horror thriller premiering at the Los Angeles Film Festival this month, titled Midnighters, from director Julius Ramsay. Ramsay is making his feature directorial debut after working as an editor on TV shows like «Battlestar Galactica» and «Flashforward». The film is set around New Year’s Eve following a couple that accidentally kills someone on their way home. But there’s a twist when they realize this might have been a setup, while other mysterious things start to happen. Starring Alex Essoe, Perla Haney-Jardine & Ward Horton. It’s described as a «taught noir thriller in the vein of Blood Simple, Shallow Grave, and Blue Ruin.» Looks like it could be good. ›››

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Must Watch: First Trailer for ‘Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press’

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press Trailer

«He’s doing this because he wants to bring Gawker down.» Netflix has premiered the official trailer for the documentary Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Brian Knappenberger, of the docs We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists and The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz. Knappenberger is one of my favorite doc filmmakers, as he understands the internet better than most people, and always sheds a light on the truth no matter how hard it is to find. Nobody Speak dives deep into the case of Hulk Hogan (aka Terry Bollea) vs Gawker. Unfortunately, Gawker lost the trial and they had to shut down because of this defeat. The film looks at how the idea of a free press is fading away, and the most powerful people with the most money are taking control over everything. This premiered at Sundance and it’s a riveting, frightening, remarkable doc that you should take time to watch. ›››

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Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios Releases First Sci-Fi Short, Rakka

Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studios Releases First Sci-Fi Short, Rakka

Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios releases first sci-fi short, Rakka

Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s (District 9, Elysium, Chappie) Oats Studios has released its first short film, titled Rakka and featuring Sigourney Weaver! You can watch Rakka in the player below.

Oats Studios is bringing experimental short films YouTube and Steam. Blomkamp previously took to Twitter to answer some questions about the project, confirming that Volume 1 of the series will have three shorts running about twenty minutes each.

“The goal is to see ‘if’ the audience likes them and ‘if’ they would be willing to pay for volume 2,” the director said. “They are too short to charge now.”

RELATED: Full Trailer for Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios

In an interview with The Verge, he further elaborated on why the films will be released on the video game platform of Steam, revealing that all of the assets for the films will arrive allowing fans to remix the shorts how they see fit.

“So after thinking about it for a while, I came up with the idea. I needed a place that I could sell short films, and it felt like iTunes or any of the obvious outlets were massively lacking in any other avenues besides the films themselves. In other words: they don’t give users the ability to look at all of the behind the scenes artwork in any real way. The more I thought about that, the more it became, ‘What if the users had access to all of the 3D files that we used for the visual effects?’ If we just gave that away with any one-time purchase and you could render stuff yourself? Or what if we just give away all of the raw footage of one of the pieces, and anyone in the audience could they recut the the entire thing themselves? Stems from all of the music, or voiceovers from the actors; I just wanted to open it up and let people remix it.

“After realizing that iTunes and stuff wasn’t the right avenue for that, I started thinking about a game platform like Steam. I felt like Valve is a really awesome company and I’ve always had a massive level of respect for Valve. So we started moving in the direction of putting stuff on Steam, and that’s the road that we went down for two years.”

Blomkamp has also recently said he plans to make a follow-up to District 9, though not on the Oats Studios platform.

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First Teaser Trailer for Ryan Coogler’s ‘Black Panther’ Movie for Marvel

Black Panther Trailer

«What do you know about Wakanda?» Disney has premiered the first teaser trailer for Marvel’s Black Panther movie, directed by the talented Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed). The story picks up with King T’Challa, once again played by Chadwick Boseman, returning back to his African nation of Wakanda after the events of Captain America: Civil War. There he encounters new enemies that want to challenge his seat on the throne, and destroy Wakanda. The outstanding ensemble cast Coogler has assembled includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Andy Serkis, Florence Kasumba, John Kani, Winston Duke, and Sterling K. Brown. This is just a short teaser, but it looks fantastic so far. I’m so excited for this! Dive in. ›››

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Knock out that first draft!

Go from FADE IN to FADE OUT in my upcoming online writing workshop.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one rule about a first draft and it’s this: “Get the damn thing done!”

Easy to say. Hard to do.

That’s why I created the Pages I: Writing the First Draft workshop, a structured online environment — 10 weeks, 10 lectures, 10 writing assignments — to empower a writer to get from FADE IN to FADE OUT.

The Writing the First Draft workshop consists of:

  • Weekly due dates to compel you to knock out script pages
  • Lectures to help steer you through the writing process
  • Feedback and support from a community of fellow writers
  • Weekly analysis of pages from a pro screenwriter and educator (me!)
  • Teleconferences to drill down in your story and the craft of screenwriting

I have found the approach we use in the workshop, breaking down each weekly assignment to 10 pages or so makes the writing much more manageable. That in combination with several other factors make the success rate in my writing workshops — writers actually completing their scripts — quite high.

Some testimonials from writers who have participated in the workshop:

“Having read almost every screenwriting book out there, none can hold a penny to Scott’s approach of story driven by character, which can not only have you confident in your writing abilities, but can also solve the worst case of writers block (as it did for me).” — Aarthi Jayaraman

“A great experience. I didn’t just get a 99 page first draft out of it, I got all the notes, comments and ideas to start my second draft.” — Michael Waters

“I would highly recommend the Pages I course. I was hesitant to spend the money, but Scott Myers is a fantastic instructor: knowledgeable, encouraging, genuine, funny, and generous. The class set up and size is optimal. And although, personally, I was unsure how much I would get from the peer feedback — I found that incredibly rewarding as well.” — Stacey Fernengel

Consider enrolling in the upcoming Pages I workshop. Instructor: Yours truly. It begins next Monday, June 19.

Go here to learn more.

Let me end with some writer quotes about first drafts:

“First drafts are for learning what your story is about.”
 — Bernard Malamud

“The first draft is nothing more than a starting point, so be wrong as fast as you can.”
 — Andrew Stanton

“Then comes the great leap which is the first draft, I call it ‘the muscle draft,’ where you just muscle it out. You don’t worry about what you’re missing, you just get through it, get to the end.”
 — Darren Aronofsky

“Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. That first draft is just spaghetti on the wall.”
 — Dennis Lehane

“The first draft, the first structure is really important… Do it fast, don’t get stuck.”
 — Oliver Stone

“No matter what you write, good or bad, it’s an improvement to a blank page.”
 — Chris Sparling

“Sometimes you’re swinging your way through a first draft like a blind miner with a pick-axe. That’s OK. Get it done, nothing else matters.”
–Justin Marks

Writing a first draft is like tunneling your way through the darkness to the light.

If you can write 1 1/2 pages per day, you can end up with draft of your original feature length screenplay and make this summer a productive one!

What if you’ve started a draft, but never completed it? Or have a draft, but feel like you should start from scratch? This workshop is constructed to help those writers as well.

This is the only time I will be offering the Pages I: Writing the First Draft workshop in 2017, so I encourage you to enroll now.

This summer, I have space for a few private script workshops, one-on-one writing courses with me as your mentor. If you are interested, email me.

Don’t forget Prep: From Concept to Outline, the popular online story prep workshop I created in 2010 and have led over 30 sessions with outstanding results for the writers who have participated in it. Two sessions this summer: One starting today, the second July 17. For information, go here.

I look forward to the opportunity to work with and support you in knocking out that first draft!

Knock out that first draft! 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

First Full Trailer for Alien Invasion Thriller ‘Revolt’ Featuring Lee Pace

Revolt Trailer

«Must have some weakness, something we can use against them.» A full-length trailer has been unveiled for an indie sci-fi project titled Revolt, from director Joe Miale making his feature debut. The film stars Lee Pace as a US soldier in Africa attempting to fight back against a brutal alien invasion. This kind of seems a bit like a mash-up between District 9 and Transformers, with robot-like alien creatures taking over. Also with Bérénice Marlohe (who was also in the sci-fi Kill Switch, as well as Skyfall and Song to Song), plus Amy Louise Wilson, Alan Santini, and Tom Fairfoot. This has some solid VFX work and it seems like it could be a fun under-the-radar sci-fi film, I just hope it’s better than it looks. This trailer is worth a watch. ›››

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First Trailer for Matt Heineman’s Syria Documentary ‘City of Ghosts’

City of Ghosts Trailer

«Our words are stronger than their weapons.» Amazon Studios has revealed the first official trailer for the documentary City of Ghosts, the follow-up to Cartel Land made by filmmaker Matthew Heineman. This doc takes a closer look at the Syrian war as told from the inside, following a group of anonymous journalists working to report on what’s really happening. Heineman is known for getting incredible footage and diving deep into the subject of his docs, and that’s definitely the case here. It’s describe as a «powerful cinematic experience that is sure to shake audiences to their core.» This premiered at Sundance this year, where I saw it, and it’s good but nowhere near as good as Cartel Land. This would also make a good double feature with the doc Last Men in Aleppo, as both films are important looks at the war in Syria. Watch the footage below. ›››

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