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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Holiday Gifts for Screenwriters (Part III - Greats, Genres, and Odds & Ends)

For this last gifting post, I'm just going to list links, and only comment on a few. These are pretty self explanatory!

Greats/Pro Stuff

Adventures in the Screen Trade Goldman: 4 Screenplays Lumet: Making Movies

That Lumet book is one of the best books I've ever read about filmmaking. He's one of my favorite directors, even though I am much more of a comedy guy, and he primarily does dramas.

Big Fish Adaptation

We all know and love John August's blog, but Big Fish is also an awesome screenplay. Perhaps his best, certainly one of the few to allow Tim Burton to express his vision while also delivering a strong story, and a moving tale that successfully adapts a difficult to adapt book into a film.

Two of my favorite screenplays by the Coen Brothers. Lebowski really grows on you (and if you've only seen it once, I beg you to watch it at least two more times). Lebowski's character is an empty glass, a special kind of everyman stuck in an extraordinary situation. And the film is eminently quotable. Hudsucker is a visually beautiful film and features some juicy parts for powerhouse actors (Newman, Robbins, and Leigh) to sink their teeth into. You know, for kids!

For Genre Writers

Writing the Romantic Comedy When Harry Met Sally

Romantic comedy, Romance, and the book on writing RomComs, from fellow blogger Billy Mernit.

Writing the Comedy Film

Some great comedies, and a book on applying mythic structure to comedy screenplays.

How to Write for Animation

Compare the book and film of Shrek, and learn to write for animation.


Great adaptation, primo biopic, and auto-bio of one of the king sellers of the spec screenplay.

Two great horror films, and one of the most unique and chilling Best Picture winners of all time.

Buffy Season One

A fabulously moody modern western and a super popular TV series.

Odds & Ends

How about some "stocking stuffers?" (And don't the other holidays have a parallel phrase we can use?)
Most screenwriters (except those who get their scripts professionally copied and fastened) can use some more brads (brass fasteners). And no, I still have no idea the origin of that name.
Moleskine notebooks are compact, good quality, and have a literary tradition behind them. Plus they have a cool inside pocket!

Writer ShotglassesSome people think that alcohol is a great gift for any writer. And hell, who am I to disagree! I love a good scotch as much as the next writer! But that can get a bit expensive, so maybe you want to deliver years of future drinking pleasure. These are Great Writers Shot Glasses, with quotes that are wry on a glass for your rye. ;-)Film & TV Contracts

Not really a stocking stuffer, but this book didn't really fit anywhere else. Still, I'm a big fan, and have used it on more than one occasion. Not all these contracts relate to writers, but a number of them do!

Last but not least, I know you're wondering what you can give me, right? Cool. For starters, I'd probably be happy to get anything from any of these entries, and if I already have it, I can always exchange it for something else.

But if you'd prefer to get me something specific, I have set up an Amazon Wish List. I'll definitely add more things there as days go by, but I figured what the hell. Why not set it up?

Of course, money is nice too. It is always the right size, and that particular shade of green matches everything! Feel free to give me money as a gift as well -- I promise not to complain about it! Here's a PayPal link:

And if anyone feels like buying me a car (or even a Vespa scooter), I'll be happy to give you my address!

(I am kidding of course. At least a bit. I don't expect presents from any of y'all!)

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Blogger Warren said...

Writers Shot Glasses. My life is now complete.

I swear that I was actually preparing my "Gifts for Screenwriters" post, and now there's no way I can top these three posts. So you've saved me hours of blogging time, and I can just post a link to your site. Thanks!

3:59 AM  
Blogger Fun Joel said...

And it was, literally, hours! I hope you all enjoy the suggestions! :-)

4:18 AM  
Blogger John David Roberts said...

The only thing the list lacks is where to look for a devoted Patron with plenty of bank. Consider, the Seychelles [http://www.aspureasitgets.com/en/intro.htm].

Thanks Fun!

6:37 PM  
Blogger Fun Joel said...

John -- looks really nice. But I didn't see anything on there about art patronages. Did I miss it? ;-)

Of course, if YOU want to become MY patron, just click that link up there!

6:59 PM  
Blogger John Donald Carlucci said...

You missed one of the most important things to buy for the spec monkey - ramen noodles


12:32 AM  
Anonymous chris soth said...

Hey Joel,

Thanks for including our humble site/ebook in such terrific company -- don't want to turn this into an ad, but I'll give a nice discount to any who contact me through your site...

thanks "A Million",


8:35 AM  
Blogger Shawna said...

See, this is what I get for commenting on part 1 and not reading all 3. Of COURSE you mention brads!!

12:18 AM  
Blogger Fun Joel said...

Heh heh. No worries, Shawna!

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Hugo Fuchs said...

Brad means a thin pointy projection, like an arrow or a blade of grass. Yup, just another piece of minutiae.

8:15 PM  

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