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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.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

2007 Holiday Gifts for Screenwriters!

Yep, it's that time of year again, folks. Time to start shopping for gifts for the writers in your life. Whether your screenwriter friend, relative or significant other celebrates Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Solstice or any other holiday, you might want to consider these as potential presents for him or her.

But first...
At the risk of defeating the whole purpose of this blog post, I still want to make note briefly of a new movie that's coming out. A guy I went to grad school with many years back has a brand new documentary out that aims to counteract the growing commercialization of the holiday season, and in fact of America in general. I haven't seen it yet, but it looks hilarious and thought provoking, and I recommend you check it out. Produced by Morgan Spurlock (of Super Size Me fame), and directed by my friend Rob VanAlkemade, What Would Jesus Buy? looks like just the film for the season!

That being said, if you aren't going to be completely avoiding the "Shopocalypse" (to cop a term from WWJB?), allow me to make a few suggestions!

Firstly, let me link to my previous posts. Nearly all of the links from those pages still work, and my opinions of those products have not changed. They are all excellent choices for the gifts you can give to your writing cohorts!

The Original Catalog was broken into 3 main sections:
Part 1 featured my Top 10 most essential things for screenwriters. (Let me just give you this updated link for The Hero With a Thousand Faces. And here is an updated link for the Hollywood Creative Directory - Representation book.)

Part 2 featured 13 options to help writers develop story structure, general writing skills and character development.

Part 3 focused on some of the greats in the screenwriting world, as well as a number of solid "stocking stuffer" type gifts.

Then, last year, I added some more links in the 2006 Gift Catalog. Again, I still stand by these suggestions for screenwriter gifts, so check those out as well!

So now on to the new additions for this year.

Firstly, let me reiterate that I am once again offering my holiday special sale on screenplay services. 10% off my regular affordable prices! Give the gift of professional feedback and advice. For others, or just treat yourself. Please note that these can also be purchased in advance and used later, so if you or your gift recipient isn't ready for notes now, but you want to take advantage of the discounted prices, no problem at all. Just contact me, and we'll go from there!

What else? I looked over the films from this past year, and in all honesty, I realized that I was a bit disappointed, in retrospect. Not that many great ones, though who knows where the big holiday movies will take us? However, I did find two that are worth reviewing from a screenwriting perspective.

Waitress was a remarkable film. It is one of the few dramedies I've seen that truly works on both dramatic and comedic levels, without shortchanging either. And there was a true bittersweet realism in the film. It was unflinching, but even handed, and it also had true heart and soul to it. Nearly everyone I know who saw it loved it. I highly recommend watching it and examining its excellent screenplay.

A few weeks ago, I saw a preview screening of Beowulf in 3-D, before it was released. I meant to post about it, but the time passed. But what I will say is that I was quite impressed with the screenplay in particular. It has been a while since I've read the book, but I remember it to be a sprawling tale that is somewhat haphazard. But the screenplay here did a wonderful job of finding a cohesive and compelling story. A developing screenwriter seeking to view this in greater detail, could compare the book to the script.

Here's another silly/fun stocking stuffer type novelty gift. Glow in the Dark Flesh-Eating Zombie action figures! Ah yes, fun for the whole family.

How about gifts for writers on strike, or those who support them (which should be all of us)? Well, let me again link first to Writers Strike Swag. But let me also suggest this pedometer as a way for them to track how much exercise they're getting walking the picket lines! Or something with which to soothe their aching feet when they get home.

Last year I noted the disappearance of the Famous Writer Shot Glasses. I still can't find them, but what about that other enduring stereotype for writers -- coffee? This is the coffee maker that I use all the time, and I love it. Seriously. You can put in whole beans and water at night, program it for the morning, and have freshly ground, delicious coffee brewed to order for when you wake up! An excellent gift for the coffee lovers out there.

Lastly, two portable electronic devices that should be of tremendous use to most screenwriters out there. This handheld digital voice recorder holds up to 130 hours, and is great for taking notes on the run, repeating overheard snippets of dialogue, and talking through story ideas out loud. And no screenwriter I know would complain about receiving this portable DVD player. A great way to watch Waitress or any other favorite DVD.

That being said, Happy Holidays to all (in advance). I hope this has given you some good new ideas, and please consider doing your shopping through this site. I'll get a tiny percentage of the money you spend, and it will cost you the same amount. I'll take that as your gift to me! Thanks.

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Blogger oneslackmartian said...

Ahh, I always love your holiday gift post. Outstanding.

My Top 5:

1) The Writer’s Journey – screenwriters not only have to have this, they have to DIGEST it. Inside and out.

2) Hollywood Creative Directory

3) Soth’s e-book – you must understand the 8 sequences. Again, digest this. Then knowingly break the rules and make us all look like amateurs. I mean, more amateurish . . . I begrudgingly admit.

4) Moleskin. Why do I love it so? It was Hemingway’s choice.

5) FJ’s screenplay services. I’ve not actually used, yet, but if they come close to your notes that you publish on your blog, then it’s a real steal!

Further Suggestions:
1) Karl Iglesias’s Writing for Emotional Impact. OMG. Learn to write slug lines, get this book, AND THAT’S ALL YOU NEED. End a story.

2) Audio CD of Bill Moyers PBS interview with Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth. Great for the car, but you’ll catch yourself driving 10 miles an hour sometimes because you’re so absorbed in the interview.

3) Creative Zen mp3 player. Has a voice recorder. Perfect. Plus it's called "Creative Zen"!! Can that be any cooler?

5:41 AM  
Blogger Balpreet said...

thanx for good ideas
if you have time do visit http://www.jimjamzoo.com

2:10 PM  

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