The theme this week came to me all at once (with very little effort) it seems to be in the air… and that is how in the new state of media — social, online, e-books, and how publishers and filmmakers (open-minded ones that is) are forging new frontiers in storytelling by relying on media to prove their story worthy of being produced.
It started with a kickstarter project, by an independent artist wanting to bring one of his favorite author’s smaller works to life. If you don’t know about kickstarter, they are a crowd sourced funding site for projects of all types, maybe even one of yours.
This project came from one of Neil Gaiman’s short stories. Now, Neil is certainly not a person that needs help developing his fantastic writing into movies – however – this artist loved his short story THE PRICE, (that was published 13 years ago) so much — he decided to use online media to see if other people felt the same… The result of his little independent project took off and well, I’ll let you see for yourself…
(that is the youtube video, if you click the kickstarter link here it will take you to that site)
Along with this, here is a link to the collection of short stories that THE PRICE came from. Neil Gaiman is an author who has never been afraid of using social media to talk about his work and personal life — true to that form, the bulk of this book is available here for free, no e-book reader or download fee required. Another reason to love Neil, as if we needed one!
Next up is another story of how one simple, gracious bit of online mention by an established author, helped launch another. (granted the author being launched already had an agent and a book in the wings – but she would have most likely struggled) as she describes here in the article from Publisher’s Weekly.
Next is yet another look at how Hollywood needs new novelists almost as much as new screenwriters, as summed up by The Wrap.
Next is a screenwriter’s proof of concept ‘trailer’ so to speak. Authors make book trailers all the time, I’m thrilled to see a screenwriter do it, and successfully. (He has lined up meetings – and interest) I’m linking to the blog that describes his process, which at the end has the link to his proof of concept. What’s interesting here, is that new screenwriters have heard over and over that if you create ‘marketing’ material to support the pitch, it’s seen as amateurish. This has always rubbed me the wrong way for a number of reasons, the least of which is I’ve always loved to make movie posters and book jackets (and even album covers) about movies that didn’t exist — long before I started writing them. Much like the purpose of this site, to prove story concept in a short introduction, I couldn’t be more happy that anyone that can find their way to internet access can effectively put their ‘concept’ art up for the world to see (and buy into). This is why graphic novels are so frequently picked up by film studios, because they can see the movie, so peeshaw on you uptight rule makers that shout amateur.
And finally this last one is more about the business of getting your film noticed, but in this case, I happen to be writing a (confidential) documentary on how some filmmakers took emerging technology and framed a story around it, using the buzz of their innovation to create buzz for them as storytellers, much like this bit about a feature being shot entirely on a flip camera as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
The point of all this stuff in the airwaves (just this week alone) is that now is just as much an amazing time to be a storyteller as any, perhaps even more so. No matter what you write, picture books, novels or screenplays, we are all connected. In the new age of Me-dia, there is no excuse not to use it to your advantage. And just to prove it, here’s a link to some free (trial) software that will easily let you not only create a proof of concept piece, you could actually do an entire story. (I am in no way affiliated with these guys, I recommend downloading the free trial when you are ready to work then and there so you can prove your concept for free) I’m sure there’s other programs that won’t require photoshop, final cut, or iMovie but if you have them, then you really have no excuse. Do a search, this one came into my email today… it really is in the air!
I leave you with one last tidbit on this topic from this week’s Business of Show Institute newsletter:
Best Business Advice for Screenwriters
Frank Chindamo, President and Chief Creative Officer of Fun Little Movies (and the foremost authority on using new media in screenwriting) – on his best business advice for screenwriters:
“So I’m quoted in SAG magazine as saying, ‘Those short films that stars you is the headshot of the future.’ So if you are a writer, actor, you just got to mix stuff. You get out there; get a camera.
Basically, whether you’re a writer-producer, writer-director, writer-actor, you really want to get something made because your competition already has.”