Things you can do with a camera


Also, do you recognize the name Bragi Schut? No? Well, he’s the screenwriter who wrote SEASON OF THE WITCH, the new Nic Cage movie currently getting 5% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately for Mr. Schut, his name is on the movie, but much of what’s up there is someone else’s… stuff.

FYI: The spec script for SEASON OF THE WITCH won the 2003 Nicholl Fellowship, which is THE big wannabe screenwriter competition. The winner gets $30K to write a new script, plus a whole slew of Hollywood meetings. The problem is that once the script gets a lot of interest, it also gets a whole lot of people who want to change it, and those people aren’t going to defer to the original writer’s expertise. He’s just the dude that wrote it, after all.

Rumor is that this is pretty much what happened to DRAGONHEART. The writer teamed up with a director to put together a story idea. The writer wrote it. Producers loved it, some being reduced to tears when reading it.

Suddenly, it becomes this “big” project, much too big to be entrusted to the people who created it in the first place. The producer passes it off to a director who Doesn’t Get It, the whole thing is miscast, the dragon is introduced with a “Heeere’s Johnny!” bit of dialog, and they tried to make a pivotal scene “funny” by having starving villagers trip over a whole herd of pigs.

It’s one of the reasons I’m glad I write novels now. The people asking me to change this or that are good with story. From what I’ve heard, the whole third act of SEASON… is stuff the producers demanded.

Development kills.

There’s one more shooting day left for the Twenty Palaces book trailer. I’ll post pictures if I can.

Also, my son has gone back to his stop-motion animations. (Yay!)