Archive for February, 2010

Stand by Me is a 1986 movie, adapted from Stephen King’s story The Body. The Body appeared as a novella in King’s collection Different Seasons. Different Seasons also contains the stories The Shawshank Redemption, and the Apt Pupil, both of which were made into movies.

Often described as a coming of age film, the story is of four boys who take a journey through the woodlands near their homes to find the body of a dead boy. The story is told by the main character Gordon Lachance, who is a budding writer.

Vern, one of the boys, hears his older brother talk of the missing boy, whose body is alleged to be in the woods. The boys decide to undertake the journey, to find the body of the boy. The journey takes two days, because of which the boys lie to their parents, telling them that they are staying at each others houses.

The boys experience many difficulties along the way, which reveal the past and present struggles of the characters. Chris Chambers, played by River Phoenix, is from a family of criminals and alcoholics. Chris is stereotyped because of his family. However he proves to be intelligent and has a desire to break his stereotype. Teddy Duchamp, played by Corey Feldman, has a physical deformity, after his mentally-unstable father held his ear to a stove. Teddy now has to wear a hearing aid. Vern Tessio, played by Jerry O’Connell, is overweight and timid. He is easily scared and often picked on. Gordon Lachance, played by Will Wheaton, is the narrator and thus the primary character of the story. Gordie is a quiet boy with a passion for books and story telling. He is rejected by his family after the death of his football star older brother. The end of the story reveals that Gordie has become a writer and we have just witnessed the story as he was writing it.

The film has a reoccurring theme of showdowns. These occur between two or more characters in the film. The first brief showdown is between Chris and Ace on the sidewalk when Ace threatens to burn Chris’s face while he has him in a headlock. Chris “gives” and Ace releases him. The next is when Teddy faces off against an on coming train at the beginning of the boys’ trek. He says he wants to make a dramatic “train dodge,” and just before it hits him, Chris grabs him and forces him out of harms way. The third showdown that happens is between Teddy, once again, and the junk yard man and his dog. They yell and call names, but when the junk yard man brings Teddy’s unstable father into the picture, Teddy breaks down and starts to cry. Another showdown occurs when Ace pulls up to some locals who seem to have a history of racing cars with him. They remain neck to neck for a short period before a truck appears in the other lane coming toward Ace. Ace and two of his buddies (who seem petrified) do not change lanes, but decide to stay on the wrong side of the road and face off with the on coming truck. The other car in the race looks scared for them. Before they crash, the truck swerves off of the road, spilling all of its supplies while Ace goes on to win the race. The final showdown is between the younger gang and Ace’s crowd at the body. The two groups trade harsh words before Ace pulls a knife on Chris, but is soon too skittish to use it after Gordie fires a shot in the air with Chris’s gun. He then points it at Ace, which chills him and scares him away, along with his group. These are only some of the major showdowns that occur in the film.

There are several minor changes to the movie script from the original Stephen King story. However, the story is faithful to King’s original. Stephen King told cast and crew after a private screening of the film that it was his favorite adaptation of any of his works up to that point.

Stephen King is said to have witnessed a child being killed by a train, whilst he was a child himself. It is easy to conclude that the story was influenced by King’s experience.

The title of the film comes from the Ben E King song of the same name. Stephen King’s original story is called The Body.

Darren Lambert is a keen fan of Stand By Me. Read more about Stand By Me on Darren’s website shawshankredemption.net.

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Improve your screenplay by using a profile to elevate a “so what” character.

The Writers Store

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Storyist 2


Product Description
Storyist is a powerful story development tool for novelists and screenwriters. Unlike generic word processors, Storyist helps you track your plot, characters, and settings, and keeps all of your writing organized and accessible so you can focus on telling your story…. More >>
Storyist 2

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How to Write a Movie Script – Screenwriting Tips to Get You Started

So you’d like to be a film writer, but where do you start? What tools and resources are important to learn to become a screenwriter? Is it necessary to spend a lot of money to begin? Is screenwriting very hard? These are all typical questions, which I will answer in this post.

Quick tips about how to write a film screenplay:

1) Read as many movie screenplays as you can. Educate yourself on the format and vocabulary of how scripts are constructed. For example, film scripts are always written in the present tense and often use minimal description to set scenes and produce ambiance. The rule of thumb is: never generate more detail than you absolutely need.

2) Make use of computer software to format your screenplays. To achieve success in Hollywood, you have to use proper screenplay formatting. Those who work in the industry are used to screenplays following an established format and layout. If yours does not, you are out of the ball game before it has even started. If you’ve got the money to spend ($100- 200), I suggest Movie Magic Screenwriter as the software of choice. In my opinion, it FAR SURPASSES the competition. If your budget is tight, there are also many low-cost software solutions (under $100), as well as free templates that plug into MS Word.

3) Learn to outline your stories. This can be done on the laptop or computer, or you can use the “traditional” approach to breaking down your screen story through the use of index (3×5) cards. Either approach will allow you to move your scenes about and discover the proper flow of your story. With this process, you might discover “miracles” that will take your movie story to the next level… or you may find that that “precious” scene you’ve been planning on is unnecessary!

4) Purchase some screenwriting guides to help you learn the technique of storytelling and just how to structure your story. William Goldman, screenwriter extraordinaire, is famous for declaring that screenplays are, “Structure, structure, structure.” Movies don’t have time to meander like novels. They need to be tightly constructed, with no flab. There are some great books on the market. Hit the local book shop to become acquainted with a few. One of my favorites on how to write a commercial script is Blake Snyder’s SAVE THE CAT!

Is screenwriting a difficult process? In some ways, yes. Once you learn the basics, you will be far ahead of the pack who never make the time to learn the correct elements of construction and formatting.

For lots more killer FREE tips on writing for film, check out Screenwriting Tips. Sign up to receive Free SCREENPLAYS that you can use to learn How to Write a Movie Script

A.L. Desalvo lives in Utah and tinkers with screenwriting. His web page is at http://screenwritingtips.com

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Freelance Screenwriter

How to Hire the Right One

The process for hiring a freelance screenwriter is really no different than hiring any other writer. Although the writing processes are vastly different, very similar precautions should be taken for both scenarios. However, there are a few additional things that you will want to consider when selecting someone to write your screenplay. For the most part, the task need not be any more difficult than hiring any other kind of writer, or any other service provider for that matter. Keeping this in mind will help you select the right person for the job. Even if you have never gone about hiring someone for writing a screenplay in the past, you can still easily find an ideal candidate.

As is the case when hiring anyone new, you will want to make sure that your freelance screenwriter is professional. Of course, if someone immediately comes across as irresponsible, you would never think to hire them. However, there are little red flags that are important to pay attention to that can typically indicate if someone is responsible and trustworthy. One of the most important things to consider is punctuality. Arriving to a meeting on time and answering e-mails and phone calls in a prompt manner is usually a good predictor of if you project will meet its deadline as well. Many people forgive and chalk off little things like being a few minutes late but, more often than not, you will see this come out in the person’s work as well.

You will also want to follow the same guidelines for hiring a freelance screenwriter as you would for any other writing project. You should ask to see a sample of their work and for a resume of past projects. When viewing the writing sample, you will want to pay attention to a few things. First, note any typographical and grammatical errors. This is unacceptable and will undoubtedly show up in your project in one way or another. Second, you will want to see if the author’s writing style appeals to you. After all, they are writing your story, so you want their style to suit your preferences.

However, there are also a few things that you will want to inquire about, specific to writing screenplays. You will want to find out how many screenplays they have written, as well as how many have been successfully sold. This will give you an idea of their level of specific screenwriting experience. By following these guidelines, you will quickly and easily find the right freelance screenwriter for your story.

John Halasz is a former writing teacher and currently a freelance writer for hire. To Hire John Halasz as a professional freelance writer you can call (716) 579-5984 or visit www.JohnHalasz.Com A wide arrange of fiction and non-fiction writing services are available at a very reasonable rate, which does not compromise quality.

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