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  • Writer's pictureLukas Kendall

How to Do This?

Last week I went on the reddit/screenwriting group and the Facebook/screenwriting group and invited writers to send their loglines and scripts for (gasp) public feedback. (Apparently I broke a rule on the reddit group about broadly soliciting scripts, and they deleted the post, but not until after some folks responded.)

I asked writers to use this Google form with a legal release so we’re all protected—and also told them that I’d reach out to them first, before we actually published or broadcast anything. Because the last thing I want to do is embarrass anybody.

We got 16 submissions—and many thanks to those writers for being so brave.

There was one pilot script with a pitch deck that seemed pretty far along—as in there had been a production company attached, and clearly a lot of thought put into it. I had a pleasant call with the writer about maybe being on a podcast, but after thinking about it, he declined.

So...I’m really thinking about how best to do this. I’d be doing it with my friend Charlie Vignola, who has a script consulting service called Script Genius, and with whom I recorded a bunch of “shoot the bull” YouTube videos about screenwriting in the past two years.

I want to make clear: I do not have a script consulting service. Charlie is good at what he does—he was an executive at Bruckheimer for some 20 years—but it’s not for me.

Frankly, I don’t like the pressure of taking money to try to give useful feedback. So many scripts are so in the “beginner” phase that there’s very little to work with—you’re basically teaching writing to a newbie, and I don’t want that responsibility.

Who am I, anyway? That’s me, above in the blue shirt, directing a short film in 2018. (The film came out pretty well and got a few million views online.) I’m

Back in 2019, I actually had a producer/financier to make the feature film version of this project, and we made several six-figure offers to talent, but nobody bit—then COVID hit, and I pulled back to rewrite the script.

What I learned is that the difference between an amateur script, and a sorta-professional script that has financing and is making offers to talent, and an actual professional script that becomes a movie is more than most people can possibly imagine.

What is the secret? What is the difference?

I remember for years wishing somebody would please just explain it.

And I have to admit, I did have a friend—a high-profile TV showrunner—who desperately did try to explain it to me. A lot. But I wasn’t able to grasp it.

But I sort of get it now. And I would love to explain it to you.

The problem is that explaining the difference between an amateur script and a professional script is hard to do in the abstract. You need a guinea pig—the script.

Here’s a tiny example. Just tonight I was browsing scripts on Coverfly and downloaded something random. I read a few pages and it seemed not bad—maybe I’ll read it later.

On the first page, there is a scene with the protagonist where one of the action lines is, “He is intoxicated.”

I stopped because—how do you show that?

That’s the only line about the guy being drunk at his job. Did he put down a liquor bottle? No. Is he slurring his words? No, but even if he did, how would we know he’s drunk as opposed to some other impairment? He is alone, so it’s not like somebody else could say, “Hey, buddy, go home, you’re shit-faced.”

If I was directing that, I’d immediately think, how do I even stage this?

Well, it would need to be rewritten. I’d probably start with the guy staggering in, drunk off his ass, and he tosses out his booze bottle, brushes his teeth, and meticulously tries to clean himself up—and then steps out into his extremely precision-oriented work.

This would be interesting because it would be a guy with a secret—and a guy trying to overcome his demons. And at the least, it would be clear that he is drunk.

Screenwriting is endlessly fascinating and there are so many lessons you learn to do it better.

But you know where those lessons are not taught? The Internet! It is full of contests and access programs and courses—and it’s all such scammy bullshit, I am disgusted.

So I would love to undercut all those yucky, scummy for-profit sites with free advice that helps people actually get better.

But there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to do it, for free, one by one. I need to do it in some kind of public blog or broadcast (podcast/YouTube show).

By all means, send me your suggestions.

If you want Charlie and I to evaluate your logline on a podcast, we can do it. We’ll probably have a lot to say and it will be rare that we’ll love it—but we can do it. Maybe we should start with that?

Seriously asking. Feel free to write in the comments below.

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8 Yorum

Jaspaul H
Jaspaul H
14 May

Maybe pick one script and mentor the writer? Maybe that could be a series on YT combined with other material?

Just a thought ! Could be way too much work as well.

Lukas Kendall
Lukas Kendall
14 May
Şu kişiye cevap veriliyor:

Interesting idea, thanks! Exploring everything right now.


13 May

I guess I don't quite understand. I think you're not giving yourself enough credit for the knowledge you've gained over the last 4-5 years. Have you decided against accepting scripts for feedback, and are now just asking for loglines?

Lukas Kendall
Lukas Kendall
14 May
Şu kişiye cevap veriliyor:

Thank you. I would LOVE to find an awesome screenplay. It is very hard, for everybody!

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