J-Man’s Notes: Hey Public, What do you want?

Sometimes the question to ask people is “What do want?”

You ever ask yourself this question and sometimes find yourself running short on how to answer it or its variations?

It stems in many parts of our lives from career goals, relationships, housing, and so on.  It follows us everywhere and sometimes we don’t know how to answer it and if we do there’s another question that remains if we’re really satisfied with the outcome or not?

The same holds true for our taste in entertainment (esp.movies). you read about it daily regarding the latest releases every week then you see the postings on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and publications everywhere about the ratings.

Rarely do these films ever reach certify fresh or high marks among critics who write for these publications unless its a favorite actor, a product they like, or something they gain from telling you their perspective.

To make matters worse sometimes they’ll go into a narrative or ideologue that explains how they would’ve wanted a certain character to behave, or how it would’ve benefited them if a character made their change in early Act 1 rather than the break in two (Screenwriters know this).  Or how they would praise the character for being a strong female without understanding the direction of where the character was going in the first place (Confidence = good, Arrogance = bad).

Keep in mind however that all critics aren’t so bad as they are doing their job and sometimes they’re on point about where plot lines are weak and Characters development is a bit lacking. Unfortunately when it gets to their own narrative and how they would operate (esp. if the Ego is in charge) that tends to go against the whole point of the movie. There are plenty of reviewers that go into their agenda more than just discussing the movie and you get to see that sweet bias a lot.

It can get disingenuous, and destroy what might have been a clever film if not used properly.

So I tend to ask the public the hard question as I pursue film making, and that often is “What do you want?”

-pause-

I ask again “What do you want?”

Now considering all of the worldwide opinions out there I guarantee that I will never find the correct answer and even if I did, whatever I or anyone creates will never satisfy any or all of them. Even if someone was to get they wanted to the finest details, they wouldn’t appreciate it and find ways to move themselves out of the equation by writing how they would want that to go differently too.  So as I look at all of these movies that seem to be cookie cutter prints, riding on the strong woman feminist narrative, and are pre-sold to the point where they’re going to get audiences via every dirty trick in the book.

I’d say that those who even attempt to create “original IPs” will have a 10 yard fight on their hands, and in the end that’s what everyone claims to want.

Everybody wants “originality” but little did you realize we’re all steadily copying off anyone and everyone who has ever worked in the media industry.   Everyone is copying off of someone but they either put their own spin on it, or they’re just so blatant about it that no one really notices, and then there’s the complainers (story for another post).  Not saying that you shouldn’t strive for an original touch but much like perfection it can destroy more than establish.

If “Originality” was to show itself in any medium could you handle it?

Would you notice it?

Chances are you probably wouldn’t…Not unless you had something against the person who made it or unless you took the time to create films yourself to realize how difficult the process is.   Now while I do agree that remakes are annoying from time to time, pre-sold markets aren’t helping much, and shared universes are starting to  put salt in the wound but you can see how we caused this right?

Because we won’t stop buying into it, sure we have all of these wants and desires but we either don’t pursue them or we see how the top creatives just rework and resell the pre-sold stuff to us.

For example, a classic movie like Friday the 13th is getting a remake, and upon seeing initial production pictures and news we (the purists) cry out in anguish yet we still buy our tickets for the midnight showing to see it.  The movies at these points don’t have to be good or bad, some of us do it because we want to see how bad it is but still they don’t have to try as hard because we’ll go see it all regardless.

Whether we want to do it for laughs or to make content discussing the movie in question and how it went wrong or right, in the end the movie execs won. Because they got our hard-earned cash and gave you the best slop they could cook up but remember although you ate that slop you still discuss your implacable and insatiable “wants.”

So if you’re a creator in any medium whatever the people want is a variable inconclusive concept. Just make a great story, and do the best you can to sell your content out there.

Because things are so over-saturated now,  the public can’t tell the difference anymore.

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Song Of The Night: 07/26/17 Wildcard Wednesday 

Hey J360 Legion

It’s Wednesday Night, the vibes are calling and it’s time to answer the message.

I hope all of you are out there pursuing your goals as you embrace the grind. I’m over here keeping things steady on the night shift tonight by putting together something special for you Cyclone Fans tomorrow and making sure our properties are coming to the new YouTube channel.

If you aren’t feeling at your best as fatigue can get the better of us then it’s time for you to feel anew by listening to amazing music.  You’re in for a treat because a good associate of ours has created a powerful track to build the excitement you need.

Tonight’s track is a new single called “Forever War” by Meteor.

The Universe is ever expansive and we get out of it by what we build inside of it.

Let the vibes from this track inspire you to do great things and if you love the sounds of Meteor, feel free to check out more of his music here.

It will always take a lot of your will in order to make things process and work in your favor, so don’t let fatigue get to you.

Rest up and start fresh tomorrow

The J-Man Show Ep.29 has landed! 

The J-Man Show Ep.29

Title: The Evils of Fandom

Synopsis:  The J-Man Show#29 has landed, and this time J takes the show on the road (literally) to discuss something vicious in our society. The evils of Fandom called “Fandumb” where no matter what creative thing you do, the evil version of your fanbase will hate you for it. J attempts to speak how this condition has come about into our lives, what can we do to stop it, and asks the critics the main question “if you can do better, why won’t you?”

Production Notes: Butts will be hurt in this episode, but you’ll be fine and J does love his fans.

National Screenwriting Day 2017!

Well it’s the first week of the new year and we still have an abundance of holidays to get through but I appreciate this one’s existence.   It deals with the creative industry and the most underrated aspect where you build the framework for everything that takes place in the movie, The Scripts!

A long time ago when I started J360 Productions, we were all about improving and working without using screenplays.  It was an interesting first year sure we’ve made some funny hits but we’ve also made a lot of misses in terms of punchlines, blocking, structure, and after awhile things got formalistic and lost.  Not too mention the craziest running times since the epic Ben-Hur but after awhile you learn to appreciate why scripts and the aspect of screenwriting is so essential. Ever since I was taught the foundations involved in screenwriting I loved it ever since.   It takes a bit of time to pen the right script but the point is no one said you couldn’t have fun in trying to carve the story you want to tell and there is no right or wrong way to do such a thing (especially when it’s an outline or a first draft).

Don’t be afraid of Format and Structure

The most problem anyone has with screenwriting tends to be format and structure for the final aspect of the screenplay.  You should look at it as a sandbox when you’re starting, outline your story as best you can if you’re about that aspect, look into writing the logline for what your story is entirely about as if you’re pitching it to an executive. Get yourself a stack of notecards, and pen the story’s main plot down and begin to expand by writing the same thing but adding more notecards on what your characters are up to in each scene.   Even if the first idea is outlandish and a bit ridiculous stop looking at the screenwriting as just work and make it into something fun because you are building worlds.   Even if no one understands it at first much like me preparing this blog right now, you need to just stay dedicated and focused upon your first screenplay and write it.

Format is important but right now you’re just carving out your ideas, and planning can actually save you time in the long run.  Especially as you get well thought out characters designed and places into your new story.   You’ll be well on your way in no time in creating Iconic characters for bloggers to talk about from years on in as you learn the process and then create your own style in making the magic.  Right now you’ll need the right mindset and that is

  1. All Ideas are welcomed
  2. No such things as Bad Ideas
  3. What can I do differently?
  4. Always ask “What If?”

Stay on track for the finish line.

You must always think with the end in mind, that you have a story here with a beginning, middle and an end. Too many new writers stop in the middle of the story and do not finish the production which is horrendous.   It can be either through distractions, hesitations, self-doubt, and probably other people who scoffed at the idea.   Never fall into the pit, pull yourself from it by always knowing you’ll have to rewrite anyways especially if some characters just don’t fit with the tone of your story.  Writing is Rewriting in this business and the business is built on results so if you can feel that urge to write in the beginning, your duty is to control it and always show up for work so you can finish the story.

Never think with the mind of a perfectionist

Perfection doesn’t have a place in screenwriting, that’s only when you pitch it to the producer, and that’s after you’ve done your revising and editing.  A lot of perfectionists I’ve seen as I worked with them through college and so on are mostly applying pressure to themselves and tend to suffer the wildest breakdowns.   Don’t torment yourself like this if your idea was perfect in your mind, that’s beautiful but in reality you will have to make compromises as it goes to being produced and it will never look the same way as it was in your mindset.   So you’ll just need an accurate representation and it can only be made once you put your concept to paper.   Plus a lot of perfectionists tend to make scripts that they never want anyone to read because it has to be “perfect.”

Big Mistake.

As a writer, You must remember that your script is to be read by someone and it could be anyone that’s working on the picture you’re penning.  Especially if they don’t like it, you just have to have that faith in yourself in that you’re doing your best and carry yourself well. If you have a producer or a director that is interested in your screenplay stop being shy and share them the essence of your work.   If they don’t like it or the script-reader doesn’t care for it, well hear them out on it, and if they’d like a few changes, see if you can go about doing them before they find a script doctor and the whole thing becomes a mess.  Be open to what others have to say but never stop writing or putting your skills to the test in creating your masterpieces because for every “no” there is a “Yes” out there.  The business is made of 99% rejection and really you’re strong enough to make the shot count, you don’t become the greatest by sheer luck, you become through daily training, and the willingness to show off your skills (Something Bloggers go though every day).

So throw the perfectionist thoughts out of the window, we’re all perfectly flawed creatures and if you want your movie or screenplay produced just focus on getting it done rather than being perfect.   Renown celebrity status comes later but you need to make sure you’re putting in the work for people to read otherwise it’s just “talk” but if you have your written manuscript in hand and are presentable to task.   You have action by your side and that’s a step in the right direction there.   There’s plenty of people out there who do more talking instead of taking action and they are called “phonies” so don’t be one of them.

Now for those of who that were always interested in writing and have been writing your ideas with no idea of how to get started or layout your screenplay.

Here’s a few websites to help you with that.

  1. The Script Lab
  2. ScreenCraft
  3. Stage 32 Happy Writers
  4. Bang2Write 
  5. BlueCat Screenplay 
  6. Dr.Sharpwrite

All of these are great sources for me but you’re going to need some software to write the screenplay right?

In terms of Software for those of you starting out, you can use Celtx or Amazon Storywriter. They even have notecard and character outlines built in on them so it can also help with you outline as you prepare your stories.   We’ll look into the industry standards: Final Draft 10 and Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 at another time.

Make time for your craft, and stop all distractions. 

When you do write, please stop using social media, put the phone on vibrate, and put aside time for you and your craft.  I know some of you use it for music but try to have a playlist that you can put on a CD or something so that it can get you away from the tweets and spend time in the world you’re trying to create.  This is technically the age of distraction and every one says we’re so easily distracted by things when you don’t have the focus to tone them out. So create a block of time (if possible) for your writing, this dedication is something that you must build and flex just like the creative muscles and believe if I can finish several screenplays using this technique so can all of you.   The social scene will just have to wait for a little while as you carve a masterpiece that filmmakers worldwide could be starving to film.

“I’m never home” and all traveling excuses.

If you are someone always on the go and can never stop for a minute but want to write something, buy yourself a pack of memo pads, along with a set of wired notecards to get your items outlined.   There is the Celtx app for mobile phones and I think Amazon Storywriter has one as well. Considering the other apps on your phone however build your tolerance and focus for your craft first.  You have stories to tell and fans awaiting them so Facebook and Twitter can wait.   It’s up to you whether you want to make your mark as a screenwriter and since I’d love to see the future grow as much as possible (especially in the artist field) I hope I can set you on the right track in creating some great material.  Have fun and take it easy in your adventure and here are some additional books that can help you in your process.

J’s Screenwriter Reading List

  1. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  2. The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
  3. The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottler

 

Song of the Day: 09/01/16 Thursday Thunder

Hey J360 Legion

Happy September, it’s time to for another Song of the Day.

We’ve finally made it to the last quarter of 2016, so it’s another chance to make some awesome goals and kick ass.  Today’s song is called Lone Digger, an awesome track from a group called Caravan Palace. Nothing like a little Electro Swing to get you motivated in thinking and creating. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this song so far but it’s helping me get things done today.

Check it out and if you love it, give Caravan Palace a like and subscribe for their awesome work.