Wednesday, June 01, 2011


Yep, we stole the name of our letters column from "Cracked."

Michael Hedrick. writes: Hi Jim (and team), I just wanted to say thanks for all of your hard work on judging the Cyberspace Open competition again this year. I know it can't be easy reading through the 2000+ entries and providing individual input on each of them in the time frame you've set up. It's a great contest that keeps 'part time writers' like myself in mind.

Because I noticed some negative venting by other entrants on the blog, I wanted to counteroffer with some praise for the attentive feedback I've received, consistency of the contest rules and your ability to stay on target with the scheduled timelines -- within reason ;) It's has been very much appreciated. And trust me, I'm not being biased because I've made the final 3 :) I have entered the contest previously (not making it past the first round) but still looked forward to the rating/feedback, which is definitely worth the entry fee in itself.

I'm very excited to be viewing my scene online in the next few weeks and the unfolding results!

Jim C. replies: (sniffles) Thank you. Wow. Appreciation. (sniffle)

BC writes: Damn fine newsletter, Jim! Always great to read it. But it's sometimes frustrating. Historical drama is dead. Romantic comedy is dead. Western is dead. Mob is dead. Sports is dead. Dead is dead. What's left? Porn? And which one -- gay or straight?

Question: what advice can you give us about writing MOCKumentaries? Is it welcome "virgin territory" or "Christopher Guest's private domain -- so stay out"? I have scripts to "Bob Roberts" and am awaiting "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (great black comedy!) "Bob Roberts" breaks a lot of formatting rules plus loooong speeches -- totally in keeping with the genre and hey, he's Tim Robbins, so do as you please. Obviously, I'm writing a mockumentary which gives me some freedom, but will it be a dead end, like the mob film or the historical drama?

Jim C. replies: Thanks, great letter. Mockumentary is such a niche thing that it's not overexposed as a genre so as long as it's FUNNY and well-written, it could get you attention. Hell, Surf's Up was a mockumentary of sorts. Might be best done DIY however, since those types of movies tend to make small bank. Good luck!

Bill writes: Hi Jim, Received the Mark-up/Editing yesterday and finished making the corrections. I love this service as it is so helpful and I cut 5 pages off the script. (112 to 107). Also implemented some of the advice I received from the reader which was very helpful.

Jim C. replies: "Some"? ;) Nice going, Bill!

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