Thursday, January 31, 2013

Final Draft Pro 8 and script writing

Today I finally used Final Draft to write a script!! 

So far, I'm loving the program. It was so easy to take the short story I was working with and format it into a truly professional looking script. I can see why this program has been the industry standard for script writing for so long. I'm actually itching to start working with it some more. 

I guess I'm kind of a nut that way. Most people would be super excited about the artistic creation of a story from their mind into reality. I, however, am excited about using the program and formatting things correctly. In a way, learning the tools to do things properly can really only assist you once you get to the the process of actual creation. And I really do enjoy the actual craft of making things, so I guess it's not that weird.

Anyway, enough rambling. I figured I would share a few of the tutorials I found helpful while taking my first crack at Final Draft Pro 8.

The following tutorial was a great one for just opening up the program and getting started. It shows you how to set up the header and create a character and how the program will assist you in formatting everything along the way.

From the various sets I have worked on so far and by listening to AD's (Assistant Directors) vent about how poorly formatted scripts are one of the constant irritations in their lives I've learned a fair amount about what a good script looks like. I figured I would share a couple beginners mistakes to try to avoid.

  1. Keep the action simple and descriptions to a minimum. 
    1. Script are not novels. They are all the facts a production needs to make the story come to life. If a character walks into a splendidly ornate room you simply say that, with out going into further details about the flocked wallpaper and immaculate wood parquet floor. 
  2. Keep everything in the present tense.
    1. everything in film happens in real time, even if it showing a past event- we film and think of it in the present. It's a simple thing, but tense changes is one of the key indicators of a new script writer.

Here's an example of a scene in Narrative form:

Mary walked down the darkened street, the mist chilled her cheek as she hurried down the lamplit street. She pulled her wool coat tighter, and glanced around nervously, thinking of the tales of murder she'd been hearing in the news. She grumbles to herself feeling foolish for working so late.

And here's the same scene done in scripted format:


MARY walks down the misty lamplit street. She pulls her coat tighter and glances around nervously.

And here I am wandering the streets in the middle of the 
night with some psycho killer on the lose. Good thinking Mary. Those reports were totally worth it.

Once you have the script all typed up there are a few formalities to add before they make it into production. The following tutorial will show you how to add those final touches using final draft.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Finding the work

The best way to get work is by being recommended to a job, rocking at it and then staying in touch with the folks you worked with. And then the networking continues into your life and makes the world go round.

If that's not working out so well, dust off that resume, add some new things to your website and start hunting.

I focus more on finding work in less traditional areas such as none NYC New England. I just really enjoy Indie features right now and that's what I'm looking to do more of.  So, keeping in that in mind, here are a few of the places I look to find New England based film/tv/design work.
This is a wonderful source for work, and because you have to pay a fee in order to apply it weeds out some of the less committed competition.
Another good site to find work. One that you do have to pay before applying though. It posts everything from full time, to low budget and no budget commission based work. One thing I have noticed about this site is that there is a pretty quick turn-over of postings. Which means lots of positions getting filled pretty quick.
This site has an overwhelming amount of job postings on it. Once again, need a membership to apply for the jobs you find there.
This site is another pay to play site, but it's formatted in a more constructive social-networking way. As a member you can post yourself out there to be hired as well as look at the call boards for jobs in either your department or your area.
This site has a decent collection of work. Most postings are looking for actors, but there are quite a few looking for crew. The nice thing about this site? You do NOT have to pay a fee to apply for the job. 
Occasionally, if I'm not finding something interesting on the other sites, or I'm looking for something local, I will turn to Craigslist. It can hide some real gems in there. The voodoo set I created a while back was a job I found on Craigslist and quite a few productions I have worked for have . Since It's free there's a lot of foot traffic so there's a quicker response. However, because it's a free serivce you should always be weary and investigate the lead before entrusting the other side of the email with too much personal information.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Slow motion research

Things that look cool in slow motion.

My favorite so far. Fireworks in Paint!

Also from the Slow mo guys.

things that don't explode but make more sense if I were to actually try them:

Early american churches

Another good place for American History and research: the American Library of Congress.

First Baptist Church in America in RI

St. James Church, built in South Carolina's oldest Anglican parish outside of Charleston, is thought to have been constructed between 1711 and 1719 --

Nieuw Amsterdam on the island of Manhattan
Etching, c. 1690. Facsimile
Geography & Map Division, Library of Congress (47)
A View of Fort George with the City of New York
Engraving by I. Carwithan, c. 1730
Geography & Map Division, Library of Congress (48)
church built 1774
A South East view of Christ's Church 

Engraving in Columbian Magazine, November 1787- December 1787 Philadelphia: 1787
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (52)
church built 1775
Exterior of South Quay Baptist Church, Copyprint
Virginia Baptist Historical Society (53-54)
church built 1774-1775
Interior of Mt. Shiloh Baptist Church , Copyprint
Virginia Baptist Historical Society (53-54)
church built 1774-1775
A S.W. view of the Baptist Meeting House, Providence, R.I.

Engraving by S. Hill for Massachusetts Magazine
or Monthly Museum of Knowledge and Rational Entertainment
, August 1789
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (55)

more colonial america

One of the things I love about my job is that I never stop learning. Every new project I work on there are new questions to answer. Today, I continue my journey deeper into the specifics of early American life. I'm hunting for furniture and clothing again and specifically some more information about what priests would have worn.

Today I'm taking advantage of all the hard work my costume design professor from the University of Connecticut, Laura Crow, has been organizing for years. The best digital collection of clothing through the centuries. This site: will guide you to all sorts of sites that not only have the historical costumes and details you need but are also sources you can trust. The internet is a murky place, it's always nice to find somewhere that is a little clearer.

The following images were taken from

Charles Willson Peale
John Beale Bordley, 1770
Edward Savage
The Washington Family, 1789-1796
The following images are from:

Oil Lamp
Made in Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Tinned sheet iron
4 5/8 x 7 7/8 x 3 3/4 inches (11.7 x 20 x 9.5 cm)

Made in Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Tin over sheet iron13 1/2 × 28 × 28 inches (34.3 × 71.1 × 71.1 cm)

Wardrobe (Schrank)
Probably made in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Walnut, yellow poplar, oak, white pine, light and dark wood inlay decoration; brass, iron6 feet 10 inches x 66 1/2 x 25 inches (208.3 x 168.9 x 63.5 cm)

Wainscot Armchair
Made in Pennsylvania, southeastern Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Walnut 42 7/8 x 22 1/2 x 21 3/8 inches (108.9 x 57.2 x 54.3 cm) Seat: 17 1/2 x 22 x 17 3/8 inches (44.5 x 55.9 x 44.1 cm)
made 1720-50 
Gateleg Table
Made in Massachusetts, eastern Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Walnut, ash, pine; brass 1725-35 27 3/4 x 12 x 30 1/4 inches (70.5 x 30.5 x 76.8 cm) Width (open): 38 3/4 inches (98.4 cm)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

plus sized clothing

Love this website's style!
The following clothing was found on

love this dress.

woodcut research

rench depiction of an English funeral.

colonial american wardrobe research

All of the following research was found on

"Children in a Classroom." Sepia aquatint with stipple. Drawn by T. Stohard, engraved by C. Knight, England, ca.1790. 
mob cap
three piece suit
"cravat" the necktie
images of priests from other sources

colonial bedroom research

First off, colonial american bedrooms
Allen House in Alamance County, N.C., showing the kind of furniture and household items that would have been present when the house was occupied in the late 1700s. 
Allen House in Alamance County, N.C.

Allen House in Alamance County, N.C.
Allen House in Alamance County, N.C.
Allen House in Alamance County, N.C.

The bed room in a primitive colonial style reproduction home, built with materials reclaimed from structures built in the late 1700's. The room contains many antiques from the late 18th century.

Image ID: 108426482