A 6 part series on the beloved 1999 science fiction comedy movie.
Screenplay by David Howard and Robert Gordon, story by David Howard.
IMDb plot summary: The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.
Links to the GITS week-long discussion and analysis:
Years ago, I came up with this mantra: Watch movies. Read scripts. Write pages. A link to my reflections on that here.
Cannot emphasize enough the importance of reading movie scripts.
For all of the other screenplays and commentary in the GITS Script Reading & Analysis series, go here.
For my 7-part series on How to Read a Screenplay, go here.
For links to over 100 free and legal script downloads, go here.
Go Into The Story Script Reading & Analysis: “Galaxy Quest” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
…or just write the best possible story?
From Twitter @NickySilv asks:
“should budget be considered when you’re an unrepped writer workin on a spec? Or just best poss story?”
The easy thing is simply to say “Write the best story possible.” But screenplays are not just stories. They are movies. And movies cost money to produce. A studio’s production budget is pretty much a zero sum game, they only have so many dollars to go around, so it’s possible you could write a great story, but price yourself out of a deal because what you’ve written is too expensive.
In general, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to wear a producer’s hat along with your screenwriter’s hat, at least be aware of some elements that drive up the cost of a script. To wit:
- Crowd scenes
- Multiple locations
- Large cast
- Water shoots
- Snow shoots
- Night shoots
- Period piece
- CGI effects
- Page count
If you are writing a mainstream, big budget movie, it is what it is, and so you’re probably less concerned with budget. But if you are writing a small indie film, perhaps something you want to direct or act in yourself, you absolutely have to be concerned with budgetary issues. Also you may come up with a contained thriller script like this one:
A down-on-her-luck woman stuck in her apartment must fend off waves of Yakuza assassins sent by her ex, who is a dangerous mob boss.
That recently sold as a spec and as I understand it, the entire movie will be shot in the woman’s apartment. One location. That right there saves a boatload of production dollars. Even major studios will take a bite at a low-budget script like that hoping to strike gold like Paramount did with Paranormal Activity.
So in general, the conventional wisdom still holds true: “Focus on writing the best story possible.” But don’t forget to don that producer’s hat from time to time and at least be cognizant of some pricey script elements. Depending on the project, where you are in your career, and what your goals are, you could benefit from taking into account budgetary concerns.
This is the last in the current round of GITS reader questions. I believe this has been the most questions at any given time (upward to 20). I keep thinking folks will run out of questions to ask, but evidently not.
I will open up another round in a month or so. In the meantime, if you have something you want my two cents on or you think might be a subject the GITS community would benefit from, please feel free to email me with your inquiry. And as always, you can check out the archives: GITS Reader Questions. I believe there over 200 Q&As in there at this point. That’s a lot of content. Worth checking out.
[Originally posted May 24, 2011]
Reader Question: Should I take budget into account with a spec script… was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
After months of letting Oculus Rift users connect with friends and family in virtual reality, Facebook is opening up the party to the rest of your social network by introducing Live video. The feature will let all Facebook users see what others are seeing in virtual reality, even without a headset.
When Facebook Spaces debuted earlier this year, the only way to let someone without a Rift headset could view your VR avatar was through a one-to-one Messenger video call.
But the new Live component of Spaces will function just like regular Facebook Live video, giving Rift users the ability to broadcast from virtual reality straight to their regular Facebook page. Read more…
With director Park Chan-wook wooing audiences around the world with his sumptuous, imaginative reworking of Sarah Waters’s novel Fingersmith, in his erotic thriller The Handmaiden, you’d be forgiven for thinking books by women get snapped up to be made into film all the time. Yet frustratingly, female writers are still routinely dismissed as being ‘too domestic’, when in truth the clarity of their storytelling and their nuanced examination of human relationships scream ‘ready-made for cinema’. There are entire bookstores of novels by women that haven’t (as yet!) been adapted. So here at Raindance we aim to rectify that situation, with our pick of the hidden gems – the Top 5 Hottest Novels By Women we believe deserve a book-to-film deal:
5 Hottest Novels by Women Ripe for Making into Film
THE GUSTAV SONATA by Rose Tremain (Vintage)
A familiar World War 2/Holocaust backdrop but in an unusual, visually enticing Swiss setting, Tremain spins the tale of the unlikely friendship lasting into middle age between a well-heeled Swiss boy and an anxious Jewish piano prodigy. The film industry could use a fresh angle on the impact of war on relationships, and this novel, structured in three movements (echoing the sonata of the title) might just provide it, especially if accompanied by a soaring score to reflect the agony of lives half lived.
INVISIBLE THREADS by Lucy Beresford (Quartet)
Part missing person thriller, part exposé of India’s sex trade, Beresford’s shortlisted novel is also a love story. Searching Delhi for answers about her husband’s mysterious death, English doctor Sara falls for her low-caste driver Hemant but gets sucked into a world where prostitutes as young as seven writhe in pink polyester saris. As might be expected from the host of a radio sex show, Beresford’s novel has pungent things to say about sexual desire. It’s City of Joy meets Taken, with a plucky female heroine (we’re thinking Felicity Jones) – the perfect formula for film adaptation.
THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula K. Le Guin (Orbit)
With Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale newly adapted for British television, now is a good time to revisit other feminist works of alternative universes. Le Guin’s novel from the 1980s has stood the test of time in its explorations about gender and politics. It’s set on a planet called Winter where the weather is semi-arctic, and all people are all sexes rolled into one. Plus, if you believe the world needs a more feminist Lord of the Rings, Le Guin’s imaginative world gives masses of scope for a big-budget film within the fantasy genre.
STATE OF WONDER by Ann Patchett (Bloomsbury)
Patchett’s shortlisted novel lays bare the powerful rivalries within academia, as scientist Marina journeys deep into the Amazon rain forest to search for her colleague (and secret lover) Dr. Swenson who might have found a miracle cure based on tree bark. Think The Emerald Forest meets Medicine Man, but with two terrific female leads, as Marina clashes with a former medical mentor. It’s a story we reckon contains plenty of scope for a meaty on-screen battle of ideas as well as cultures.
BLACK DIRT by Nell Leyshon (Picador)
Frank has come home to die, a morphine drip controlling his pain. As he drifts in and out of consciousness, Holy Grail myths and enchanting stories from his childhood compete with uglier memories and the immediate need to make arrangements for his disturbed son. We envisage a film adaptation which celebrates the rural idyll as much as it charts the end of a life, to make a thoughtful, atmospheric film along the lines of The Sea Inside by Alejandro Amenábar – reunited perhaps with Javier Bardem to play Frank.
The post 5 Hottest Novels by Women Ripe for Making into Film appeared first on Raindance.
By Dr Toni Shephard, Executive Director (UK), Animal Equality
Paul McCartney once famously said ‘If slaughterhouses had glass walls, we would all be vegetarians’… but of course they don’t, and most people remain unaware of the lives and deaths of animals raised for food. But now all that has changed with Animal Equality – a leading international animal protection charity – transporting people inside factory farms and slaughterhouses via virtual reality technology.
In 2016 we launched our iAnimal virtual reality project with the film ’Through the eyes of a pig’. It took 18 months to produce and features footage from inside pig farms in the UK, Germany and Italy as well as a slaughterhouse in Spain. In all of these countries, and most of the western world, the majority of pigs killed for meat are intensively reared inside barren, filthy factory farm sheds with breeding sows confined to tiny farrowing crates for weeks at a time when they give birth—a sight that moved Downton Abbey actor, Peter Egan to tears as he narrated the film.
“I have never seen anything as shocking as this in my life. It’s devastating, and completely inhumane. Virtual reality enabled me to experience, close up, for just a few minutes, the horror of the short lives of factory farmed animals, to see what they see, to get a real sense of how they live. It has shocked me deeply, and it has strengthened my resolve to help them.” – Peter Egan, Downton Abbey Actor
The practices that take place inside factory farms and slaughterhouses are deliberately kept hidden from the public. Animal Equality believes people have the right to know what happens in modern farms and slaughterhouses so that consumers can make informed decisions about the food they buy. Now, through our cutting-edge iAnimal project, we can open up these secretive, sinister worlds and allow everyone to experience first hand how farmed animals live – and die.
Through the lenses of the virtual reality headset, viewers feel that they are inside the farm and slaughterhouse, trapped alongside all the other animals, and sharing their fate. You stand next to a mother pig while she gives birth for the sixth time to piglets who will soon be taken away from her. You experience the extreme confinement of the farrowing crates. You witness the daily suffering that takes place inside a pig farm. You are right there when they take their last breath.
Our second film, 42 Days, immerses viewers in the lives of the most abused animals on the planet – factory farmed chickens. From the crowding and suffering inside vast chicken sheds, to hanging on a conveyor as you approach the slaughterman’s knife, this powerful film puts viewers in the place of the chicken, allowing you to see life – and death – through their eyes. Amanda Abbington, star of Sherlock and Mr Selfridge, was so horrified when she narrated the film that she threw down a challenge – ‘You should watch this before you eat meat, because I don’t think you would eat it.’
Having personally filmed inside countless factory farms, I have always felt that if I could only take people there – into the farms – so they can see how animals are treated like mere machines, they would stop eating them. Virtual reality has now made this possible and we are bringing this experience to as many people as we can. It is changing, and saving, lives.
Over the past 14 months, we have toured the country with iAnimal, visiting university campuses and high streets where more than 30,000 people have dared to put on a VR headset and enter the world of farmed animals. iAnimal is also available to everyone on www.iAnimal.uk where you can watch the 360° film and take a virtual tour. Do you dare to watch it and see what the meat industry is hiding from you?
Join Toni for our Raindance VR Masterclass on Monday, May 22 to learn more about crafting VR experiences for social change and impact. Reserve your spot here
The post iAnimal: Virtual Immersion Into the Reality of Factory Farming appeared first on Raindance.
What happens when your film’s protagonist shuts everyone out—including you?
When the Tribeca Film Festival was founded 16 years ago, it was intended to help celebrate New York City and revitalize lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. As such, the festival always features some hometown tales—movies for New Yorkers and the people who love them. This year, Shadowman is one of those films. The documentary revels in the mystique of the gritty downtown early ‘80s art scene, the birthplace of now-legendary names Basquiat and Haring, and also of their contemporary Richard Hambleton, the «Shadowman» to whom the film’s title refers.
Filmmaker Oren Jacoby was born and raised in New York and lived in the Lower East Side when he was starting his film career. Describing the neighborhood during that period, Jacoby recalls, «You’d wander blocks and blocks and blocks and not see a soul,» but you would regularly see Hambleton’s expressive street paintings on the walls.
«You just have to keep going. You just have to be persistent. You have to let nothing get in the way.»
The monitor giant doubles down on wireless technology.
Teradek made their first announcement from NAB earlier this morning and it’s a doozy. The three new products they’ve revealed make it evident they’re trying to simplify the wireless monitoring workflow for your entire crew.
The Serv Platform
Will you be at NAB? Do you want to learn about 360° or VR video? Look no further than the Vimeo 360 zone.
We expect the theme of this year’s National Association of Broadcasters event in Vegas to be 360° video and VR. Vimeo has been taking an aggressive stance on the space, with its release of Vimeo 360 last month. On the floor in Vegas, Vimeo is trying to stay cutting edge by offering a slew of courses, panels and talks at their booth this year. If you’re at NAB this year and you have even a burgeoning interest in 360° video and OTT (Over the Top) content, this is the place to be.
Read the script for the acclaimed animated action adventure movie.
In 2015, we launched several initiatives at Go Into The Story. One of the best: A script read and analysis series. As a result, there are now 65 scripts GITS readers have analyzed. Moreover volunteers have written up scene-by-scene breakdowns, not only to serve as a foundation for our week-long discussions, but also to create an online resource for writers. To date, we have 55 scene-by-scene breakdowns. Thanks to Nikki Syreeta, we’ll be adding a new one next week.
Beginning Monday, April 24, we will spend a week digging into and analyzing the movie script Kubo and the Two Strings, screenplay by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler, story by Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes.
For those who may have missed this wonderful animated movie (current IMDb rating: 7.9), here is a great chance to check it out. You may download a copy of the script here. You may also watch the movie on Netflix.
Our daily schedule next week:
Monday: Scene-By-Scene Breakdown
Tuesday: Major Plot Points
Finally allow me to use the words of one of Hollywood’s hottest screenwriters to bludgeon you over the head with the value of reading scripts. From one of my most recent interviews, Jon Spaihts responds to my final question, What advice would you offer to aspiring screenwriters about learning the craft and breaking into Hollywood? Here’s his answer:
Read the script and then watch the movie. Watch the movie and then read the script. Watch the movie with the script in your lap. Study the parts. You have to see through the surfaces. Being a fan is insufficient. Break it down. That means slowing it down and looking at it through a series of different lenses.
Once you’ve begun to do that, you can see what the parts of a screenplay and the parts of a movie do.
First thing Jon said: Read scripts.
Here’s your chance to do just that by digging into Kubo and the Two Strings and analyzing the story all next week.
See you tomorrow!
The next Go Into The Story Read and Analysis Script: “Kubo and the Two Strings” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.