Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shorties 12-12

WINGING IT. Man, we love sharing awesome news. In November, Writers on the Storm IV runner-up Jeremy Shipp -- whom we had previously gotten signed at UTA, and who is now working on the ABC comedy Family Tools -- set up his original animation project Nightglider. Wind Dancer Films and Brown Bag Films are teaming to produce the flying squirrel comedy, with a projected release in 2015. It will be the first animated project for both companies. To say this talented young man is on a roll is the understatement of the year! Jeremy's WWII magic-themed action/adventure script Sleight of Hand caught UTA agent Emerson Davis' eye and got him into the bigs. Since then he's worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and ABC's mid-season replacement Family Tools. We can't wait to see what his new contemporary action/thriller spec does when it hits the market next year. Go, Jeremy!

Yeah, they have reason to smile.
SIGNED. Yahoooo! Last year's winners of Writers on the Storm, Glenn Sanders and Brooks Elms, have also signed with UTA. The insanely gifted writing duo kicked our butts with their hilarious period comedy Wright or Wrong, a deliciously daft revisionist take on the Wright Bros. making things even more absurdly cool, they've signed with none other than red-hot agent Charlie Ferraro, who has sold six, count 'em, six specs so far this year (only WME's Mike Esola has sold more with seven.) Now they're readying a new comedy spec and getting meetings with movers and shakers. Nice! You know, it's easy to get frustrated with Hollywood. But when guys like Elms and Sanders and Shipp can break in -- cool guys with real chops -- it buoys our spirits. Occasionally, the town really can reward hard work and merit. Bravo, gentlemen! We expect nothing short of serious badassery from you.

FIRST PUT THE MASK ON YOURSELF, THEN THE CAT. Our pals at Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! have a new event coming up this January. We're going to be there and so should you! It's called SAVE THE CAT!® MAKES A SALE -- PRACTICAL LESSONS FROM WORKING SCREENWRITERS, and it's going to be Saturday, January 26, 2013 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at the Burbank Marriott. In addition to covering a massive amount of material to quickly whip your scripts into shape (we're all STC! evangelists here at Coverage Ink,) they're bringing in four working screenwriters to discuss how they  use the STC! principles: Dean De Bois (How To Train Your Dragon 2), Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up), Caleb Wilson (Four Christmases) and Jon Davis (The Dukes of Hazzard.) These things always sell out, so reserve your slot today. And if you're wondering what the big deal is with Save the Cat!, pick up a copy at any bookseller and behold the wonders of Blake Snyder's simple, foolproof, studio-mandated method. If you do not think this is important, you are sadly mistaken. I have had more than one producer meeting where they insisted on a Save the Cat!-style beat sheet.

DON'T SHOOT THE MESSINGER. More good news: our pal (and CI client) Bob Messinger's script The C.O., about the early days of the war in Iraq, has taken Best Script honors in the ENDAS International Screenplay Competition. The annual competition, headquartered in Genova, Italy, draws thousands of entries from around the globe. According to Messinger, The C.O. is different than most war dramas not only because it realistically depicts the horrors of modern urban warfare, but also because it dares to challenge the world community's political, religious and moral motivations for waging war. “I’m more proud of this script than any other I’ve done,” says Messinger, who has written multiple drafts of the story, one of which was a semi-finalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope screenplay competition in 2006. Messinger plans to use his €1000 prize either to prepare a trailer for The C.O. or to prepare a trailer for a new project he hopes to film himself by raising money through Kickstarter. Way to go, Bob!

WRITERS ON THE STORM QUARTERFINALISTS SO FAR. As many of you know, folks who submit scripts to for analysis during the contest period are automatically entered into Writers on the Storm at no extra charge. These folks (but not those who enter via find out in advance whether or not their screenplays have made it to the quarterfinals -- scripts that score "consider with reservations" or better for script -- historically about the top 10% -- automatically advance to the quarterfinal round. But this year, just days before our regular deadline, we have only six quarterfinalists to date -- way less than 10% of the scripts submitted for coverage. What's going on? Are our readers being supreme hard-asses? (Yes.) Or have a lot of folks been holding out on submitting until their scripts are polished and shiny? (Yes.)  Hopefully those numbers will correct as we get closer to the final deadline.

In any event, here are our spectacular, odds-defying Writers on the Storm quarterfinalists so far!
  • The Theory of Everything by Tim McSmythurs
  •  My Asshole Neighbor by Andrew Currie + Robert Comiak
  • The Galaxy's Littlest Prince by Joe Borriello
  • On the Edge by Patrick Hunt
  • Wormweed by John and Jessica Walker
  • Russian Roulette by Karl Schiffman
Can you join this small but mighty group? We'll see... get your script in now at or

INDIE FEST: LIBERATED. We are pleased as punch to tell you that Coverage Ink's new short film/pilot Liberator won the Award of Excellence from Indie Fest. We're just beginning our festival run, so Liberator will be coming to a film festival or Comic-Con near you. Next up: join us Thursday 12/6 at 4:30 PM at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival. Or perhaps you would prefer Medellin, Colombia? Because we're screening there Dec. 8th at the Dark Mountain Film Festival. Sadly, we will not be in attendance for that one. Many more screenings to come, including a few big ones featuring key cast members such as Lou Ferrigno, Michael Dorn (Worf, son of Mogh) and Peta Wilson (La Femme Nikita) so please "like" us on Facebook and stay in the loop. If all goes well, we'll be bringing you a major Liberator announcement next month...

SPEC-TACULARITY. Usually this is the time of year when the spec market ramps down as we cruise into the holiday season and execs begin their long vacations to the Seychelles and Betty Ford. But there's life in the spec market yet, and three specs have been set up just last week. So far this year, 62 companies have been attached to specs that have sold (some with more than one project.) It's been a great year, and the market is still hungry. When the market sucks, it affects everything. People are less willing to read, writers' quotes take the hit which means agents and managers get grumpy... it's a vicious cycle of suckitude. So here's to a terrific 2012 -- and an even better 2013.

HOLY BAT-TASTROPHE! Warner Bros. has announced that an American legend, a true visionary, has signed on to direct the Batman reboot. Who could it be? Well, if you believe the snarky industry humor site The Studio Exec, none other than Mr. Soon-Yi himself.  Allen is reported to be considering "going back to what made the franchise great in the first place" and plans to announce casting of Adam West in the role of the caped crusader. In all semi-seriousness, this would be a pretty cool choice if it were real, which it is not. But the faux news stories on are well worth your time. Check it out!


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