Blog Notice to Horror Socials

Blog Notice to Horror Socials

Troll Notice

Troll Notice

Friday, December 13, 2013

Horror Unity, A Dream?

I always find it amusing when I’m talking to acquaintances and the subject of horror unity comes up. Most of the time what I get is “There never has been horror unity and never will be because the community is full of egotistical assholes who only care about themselves and their own agendas.” It is then that I correct them on this. The truth is that there was a time when the horror community had horror unity, or at least the closest thing to it.  We had it back in 1994 when I was writing my Camp Crystal Lake novels. This was a time when the nearest thing to social networking was chat room and email. Distributed films were strictly done on film and the average cost of an independent film was around $100,000. During those days filmmakers had respect for each other because making independent films was a work of love created by artist who gave their all. There wasn’t the sabotaging of productions and the bullshit dick measuring contests that we have these days. Also, we didn’t have the ego case “stars” that go from film festival to film festivals getting drunk, mugging, and acting like their shit don’t stink. We had serious, honorable, and humble filmmakers like Lloyd Kaufman, Charles Band, Wes Craven, George Romero, John Carpenter, and Tobe Hooper to name just a few. In those days you weren’t a legend or an icon, you were a filmmaker. It was hard enough to get your stuff out that you didn’t have time to get a big head. These filmmakers didn’t run around proclaiming that they are “Fucking fabulous” and that you need to worship them. These filmmakers were devoted to making films, not promoting themselves and starting ***********Army sites to stroke their egos. Also, during this time there wasn’t the bullshit politics and double standards we see now. In those days there weren’t any Horror Drux picketing theatres and telling people that anyone who watches a remake is not a true horror fan. Nor did we have Women in Horror Month screaming and whining that women get no respect in horror and how you must place their members on pedestals simply based on their sex. Also, publications like Fangoria were sources of news instead of being popularity contests. I remember when Fangoria put out a full story on a man named Frank Henelotter on a next to nothing budgeted film her was doing titled Basket Case. The sad thing is if Frank Henelotter sent a press release on Basket Case today Chris Alexander would say, “Who the fuck is this asshole?” and toss it with the trash. He would rather promote Jen and Sylvia Soska or Brandon Slagle, because they drink with him at conventions. Anyone else, fuck them.

So, in fact it is advances in technology and the internet that has, instead of improving and allowing for better films and better opportunities for our community, turned the horror community into a spoiled bunch of ego cases with the mental maturity of grade schoolers.

Horror unity in some measure is still doable, but it will take a change in the attitude of the horror community. People will need to put away their egos and start to honestly care for horror rather than their own agendas. Honestly, I’m starting to see this happen with filmmakers like Johnny Johnson and my co-host Derek Young. These are filmmakers who are not in filmmaking to make the big deals or to be worshiped, they are in it for their passion to create stories and characters that say something and do honor to the grand tradition of making horror films. The truth is it is time for the horror community to grow up and become a family again, not the bunch of dysfunctional gangs it has degenerated into. It is time for horror unity and the horror social can scream and cry foul as much as they want, but their time is coming to an end.

And here is some music to go with it....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Screenwriting: What is Wrong with these Kids Today?

Honestly, it is royally painful for me to see what crap in independent horror ends up getting distribution and what doesn’t. Mostly what I see is the filmmakers seem to act like the script is an afterthought. So many times I’ve ended up wasting my time watching stories full of stereotype characters, cookie cutter plots, and just plain boring and uninspired storylines. Even the supposedly SUPERIOR horror socials tend to push their own egos over substance, emotion strength, and backstory.

Since 1983 when I worked on Star Trek II and III with Harve Bennett and also wrote the Camp Crystal Lake novels I’ve have had a slew of budding writers and screenwriters come to me for advice and to learn the craft, and I do say CRAFT, of writing both books and screenplays. This craft is nothing to take lightly and is something that takes work to develop. It is through ignorance and a lack of understanding that bad books and films with weak plots and characters are put out on the market and cause the fans to waste money and time on lack luster stories, with lack luster characters, that tank.

Below is a list that every aspiring screenwriter needs to burn into their brains.

This list comes from experience of what doesn’t work. If certain people would get this stuff into their shallow ego case brains, I’d have nothing to say against them other than they are jokes when it comes to being human beings….LOL.

But check this out:

This list comes from Joe Berkowitz, a professional script reader. I know this myself and beat it into the minds of any budding script writer who comes to me for help.

1.The story begins too late in the script

2.The scenes are void of meaningful conflict

3.The script has a by-the-numbers execution

4.The story is too thin

5.The villains are cartoonish, evil-for-the-sake-of-evil

6.The character logic is muddy

7.The female part is underwritten

8.The narrative falls into a repetitive pattern

9.The conflict is inconsequential, flash-in-the-pan

10.The protagonist is a standard issue hero

11.The script favors style over substance

12.The ending is completely anti-climactic

13.The characters are all stereotypes

14.The script suffers from arbitrary complexity

15.The script goes off the rails in the third act

16.The script’s questions are left unanswered

17.The story is a string of unrelated vignettes

18.The plot unravels through convenience/contrivance

19.The script is tonally confused

20The protagonist is not as strong as need be

21.The premise is a transparent excuse for action

22.The character backstories are irrelevant/useless

23.Supernatural element is too undefined

24.The plot is dragged down by disruptive lulls

25.The ending is a case of deus ex machina

26.The characters are indistinguishable from each other

27.The story is one big shrug

28.The dialogue is cheesy, pulpy, action movie cliches

29.The script is a potboiler

30.The drama/conflict is told but not shown

31.The great setting isn’t utilized

32.The emotional element is exaggerated

33.The dialogue is stilted and unnecessarily verbose

34.The emotional element is neglected

35.The script is a writer ego trip

36.The script makes a reference, but not a joke

37.The message overshadows the story

You see, if Jen and Sylvia Soska understood this American Mary would not have tanked at the end or been a convoluted mess. But that is my over three decades of experience and as a writer and screenwriter talking….