Wednesday, September 29, 2010

You Tube Subscribers - Part 1 – Who cares?

youtube_logo As a screenwriter, you’re probably saying., “You Tube Subscribers, who cares?”  But if you should ever want to produce one of your scripts and show it on the web then this post might help you.

And you still might be saying, “Subscribers, who cares?”   And that’s fine, some people really don’t care how many subscribers they have nor how many views they get.  But if you’re looking for repeat business and a guaranteed minimum views then you will definitely be looking for subscribers.

Views are the main currency on You Tube.  Think of the number of views you have on a clip as your salary.   You can have lots of co-workers (those are your Friends), it’s easy to find co-workers on You Tube – most anyone will friend you.  But you only get a limited number of customers (and that is your Subscribers). Subscribers are delivered your content and a percentage of them will watch it.  Subscribers = Views.

My channel, Computer Girl TV, is nearing 800 subscribers and I have definitely noticed an increase in the number of automatic views I get when I upload content.   If you do by chance visit my channel, then please subscribe.

For some people it seems easy to get Subscribers.  There are channels with over one million.  These channels have a few things in common. The first is they have lots of content.  So… 

Rule #1 have lots of content. 

These channels are constantly updating their content, at least weekly.  That is one reason why a number of web blogs are so popular.

Rule #2 update your content at least weekly.

ComputerGirlAvatarbigIt doesn’t look like  having a known brand is a rule which is lucky because that’s not possible for most of us. Instead I’ll go for…

Rule #3 personalize your channel.

Make it about your brand, even if your brand isn’t a known one.

And the last rule, before we even start getting subscribers, is do some SEO (Search engine optimization) on the content you upload.  If people can’t find you, you aren’t going to get walk-in customers.

Rule #4 do proper SEO on your content. 

Next up – Part 2 – N00bz rulez.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oil Spill Movies

Gulf-Coast-Photo-Gallery-17 Being that there has been so much news of late about oil spills, due to the big BP one in the gulf which has itself strangely disappeared from the news.    I started to think it might be a good time to write a script about an oil spill.  I began to wonder how many movies there were about oil spills and to my surprise I couldn't think of one...well maybe one.  I vaguely remembered a TV movie about the Exxon Valdez from eons ago. 

I did a keyword search on IMDB and came up with 21 matches, of the 21 most were doccos.  Two were  video games, one  called Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and the other called James Pond: Underwater Agent.  There were two TV episodes, one from Johnny Bravo: Endless Bummer/Jailbird Johnny/Bravo 13 and  Rescue 8 (1958 TV series): The Chasm

On the movie side of things there was a French movie called  Le diable probablement whose synopsis didn't say a word about oil and ended with the word suicide.  Charming. There was  Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster  which was that TV movie I vaguely remembered.  There was a DTV The 7 Adventures of Sinbad. Next...

The big features were Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home and On Deadly Ground, the first being an improbable story about a killer whale's friendship with a young boy (but if you ask me Willy's just waiting for his morsel to ripen).  And the second is Steven Seagal's most highly acclaimed work - 'nuff said.

And wait, I also found mention that there was a prophetic oil spill in the film Knowing.

Who would have known?

I was certain there were more. Phantoms, from the Dean Koontz novel of the same name, but that creature is only an oil-like substance, not a spill.  Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster?  I think the smog monster is just sludge and while sludge can be oil I don’t think that was the intention of the movie – nor is there an oil spill in it.

So there is a dearth of oil spill movies that aren't doccos.  It would seem to me that SyFy channel who just released Sharktopus could have a field day with the subject.  Or maybe I shouldn’t be giving them any ideas. 

So, forget SyFy, maybe we should all write a script about oil spills.  The news about them might be dying right now but there's always the next one.

What?  You didn't think there was going to be an next one?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Nightmare on Elm Street

I noticed while surfing that the remake of this film was getting lots of attention.  I’m still wondering why, I guess it was just released on DVD.  However, I did find out an interesting tid-bit while investigating this.

But before I go into that I would like to say that I loved the initial trilogy of Nightmare films.  Before they got too full of their own franchise.

They were cutting-edge (see what I did there) horror for their time and they introduced us to a number of actors we would see much later.  Johnny Depp (before he was nicknamed Stinky) and  Patricia Arquette.

I recently watched the first one again and it holds up – even after all these years.  That is film-making.

I haven’t seen the remake but it looks good.

I can already tell from the trailer that there are plot holes.  The original didn’t dwell on this as much as the new movie promises but if Freddy Krueger went after little kids while he was alive, why is he going after late teens now?  Wouldn’t it make much more sense if the people having the nightmares were younger?

Plus this film seems to take itself far too seriously.  That’s usually a recipe for disaster in just about any horror film.  They’ve thrown out all of Freddy’s one-liners when they replaced Robert Englund with Jackie Earle Haley

The reviews for this film seem pretty much to agree.  This is the same type of remake as Halloween was.  The same sort of thing as Batman Begins where we find out a bit more about what makes our hero or villain tick.  Where the film-maker tries to make them more human or less.   

The reviews also suggest that the effects, however primitive, worked better in the first film.

The interesting tid-bit I found out was the Wes Craven was not pleased about them remaking the film because he wasn’t consulted about it.  I would be a bit ticked off too.

If you’ve seen this film, let me know what you thought. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Social Network

A subject we all have come to know and love, Facebook.  It’s founder Mark Zuckerberg the protagonist in the film.   Here’s the official trailer.

It’s out but I haven’t seen it yet.  Though from the reviews it sounds a bit odd.  It is often compared to classics like Macbeth or The Great Gatsby.  Most agree it is not a flattering portrait of Zuckerberg.   Even he wants to distance himself from it.

Because I haven’t seen it I won’t go into a review here but will instead link you to a couple I’ve found. This one is from the Geeks of Doom  and here is one from Screen Rant

Being that it was directed by David Fincher, who was also responsible for Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, and Curious Case of Benjamin Button – it’s likely this will be an excellent movie. 

My biggest question is, after I see this film will I feel differently about using Facebook?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Trailer

Ok well, it isn’t exactly about screenwriting but HP was a very successful franchise.  I, for one, will be happy to see it finish up.  And from the trailer it looks like it will go out with a bang.

The interesting thing is they are going to show this movie in two parts, according to the trailer.  I’m pretty certain that has been tried before, but I can’t remember the movie name and I’m pretty sure it was a failure.  Hopefully, this will be a bit better. 

The other is that it will be in 3D, big surprise (that was sarcastic) but It probably was not shot for it.

This is my least favourite of the books however, it has a fun though predictable ending.  I suspect the movie will do well.     

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The horror of having your short screenplay filmed

It’s been a while, but I’ve been busy. I know we all say that at one time or another but it’s true…I’ve been busy.

However, I wanted to share with you a short post about having one of my screenplays filmed by someone else. I’ve been through this situation before but I’m a fringe author so it doesn’t happen too often.

The Honeymoon is Over Anyway, this film was made from a short script I wrote called The Honeymoon is Over. I wrote the script for a web series script call because my log line was chosen. However, the log line was supposed to be for a finished script. So when they asked me for the script I only had a few hours to produce one. I wrote this in 6 hours.

The web series never seemed to get off the ground as so many of them don’t. Very soon after I finally gave up on the series, the director of this film asked if he could produce it.

After all the agreements were signed it took nearly forever for the film to be completed. Or at least it was very late compared to the schedule given me. So late that I actually gave up trying to find out if it was finished.

Then one day while going through my email I came across my last email to the director and decided to ask him one last time before I made the script available again. To my surprise he replied that it was done and gave me a link which I could use to view it.

He did a good job with the film, I couldn’t really complain. He changed my script a bit without asking but nothing I couldn’t handle. But then the credits flashed by. I was all ready and excited to see my name in white at the end -- but it never happened. There was no writing credit for me in the film.

At first I was furious, I posted a few angry posts in forums. I figured it was likely that I wouldn’t get him to add the credit and the film would have to be forcibly removed from the web. But if I approached it with all the anger I was feeling, then he would respond with anger and it would definitely end with the film being removed.

So, I calmed down and wrote him a gentlemanly email asking if he would correct the oversight. Which he did, surprisingly quick and he apologised profusely for forgetting to put the credits in. There’s a valuable lesson in there somewhere but I’m not sure exactly where.

So without further ado, here is the film. Give Anniversary (yes he changed the title) a watch and let me know what you think.