• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
  • offline last seen 24 minutes ago

Aquaman


The campiest of happers.

More Blog Posts151

  • 11 weeks
    Regarding Less-Than-Positive Interpretations of Pride

    Let's get a quick disclaimer out of the way before we really get going: I don't like foalcon. By "foalcon" here, I refer specifically to M-rated stories that depict characters who are very clearly meant to be minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct with other minors and/or adults. Not a fan of it! I find it gross on a personal level, I think it's morally reprehensible that a site of this

    Read More

    37 comments · 1,192 views
  • 21 weeks
    The Life That Was Given to Us (Or: The Unbearable Betrayal of Sincerity)

    Got a comment on my last blog a little bit ago that went something like this:

    "Why not get a life instead of taking Internet horse drama so seriously?"

    I'd like to talk about this comment a bit. Not the lazy insult itself, but rather the perspective it represents, and how I both sympathize with and can no longer accept that point of view.

    Read More

    33 comments · 1,058 views
  • 21 weeks
    Not Being Vague Anymore

    (4/21/21 10:15 AM EST: Slightly edited so as to play slightly nicer with others.)

    (4/21/21 IDK when: more edits from site mods; there used to be screenshots of the original post and a particular comment that prompted mine.)

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    151 comments · 3,080 views
  • 39 weeks
    Look What I Did Instead of Anything of Substance Today!

    Posh did this, and then Present Perfect and Jake the Army Guy did it too, so now I'm giving in to completely imagined peer pressure to

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    9 comments · 418 views
  • 57 weeks
    *noises of a horse vagueposting*

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    27 comments · 745 views
May
25th
2019

Scriptfest Portmortem (Or: How to Pretend You're Qualified to Talk About Something You've Done Literally Once and Which Will Presumably Define Your Whole Future Career Path) · 6:20pm May 25th, 2019

I don't know what you've heard, but seriously, guys, screenwriting is SO easy. Seriously, it's just dialogue and stage directions. Anybody criticizing popular shows on the Internet could do it.

(I'm kidding. Dear God, I'm kidding. All the talking heads on Twitter and Reddit are IDIOTS.)



So, a brief primer for those of you following along at home: instead of their usual Scribblefest contest looking for a fic to be published in the con book, this year Everfree Northwest ran a Scriptfest contest instead. The premise: to write a show-quality screenplay for a theoretical episode starring the characters voiced by the guests of honor at the 2019 convention, those being the Student Six, Starlight Glimmer, Spike, Tirek, and Cozy Glow. The prize: a live performance of the script by said vocal talents at the convention, plus notes on the original draft from story editor and executive producer for MLP:FiM, Nicole Dubuc (also an EFNW GoH).

Being someone who's planning on moving to Los Angeles in 2020 to pursue a professional screenwriting career, this seemed a perfect opportunity to, y'know... actually write a script. For the first time. In nine days, since that was how long I had between when I heard about the contest and the submission deadline. So I hammered out a solid concept, dug up a screenplay template for my ancient version of Microsoft Word, churned through a first draft that was about 10 pages too long, and submitted a more polished final draft at 3 AM while drunk the day before the contest ended.

Professional-grade working habits, obviously.

I should make this clear before we go much further: I am, in NO WAY, qualified to talk about screenwriting. I'm not exaggerating when I say that my Scriptfest entry was quite literally the first ATTEMPT I've ever made at a script, let alone the first one I've completed. But I guess I have a knack for it, because I ended winning the contest and getting to have a truly wild convention experience because of it. My best guess? Screenwriting is 70% the same as prose writing, and the other 30% is all structural stuff that I tend to be a fast learner with. Suppose it bodes well for the "run off to Hollywood to be poor and alone" strategy actually working out to some degree.

Anyway, like I said, I don't know nothing about anything to do with the actual art form other than what I just mentioned, but I definitely had a blast with this experience and I figure some of you guys might be interested in hearing about it. Also, I'm still slowly piecing together how to actually celebrate successes rather than just quietly internalize them, and this is definitely a big success. So... hopefully this is a good middle ground.

  • I really can't be eternally and publicly grateful enough for the incredible opportunity to get script notes and advice from someone who has literally won a lifetime achievement award for animation writing. Nicole is a professional in every sense of the word, and the chance to have someone as skilled and experienced as her run roughshod over my first attempt at screenwriting was honestly my sole motivator for entering this contest. Just to name one pertinent example of how helpful she was: she complimented me on getting the original draft pretty close to 205 lines, the standard for a 22-minute animated TV episode. The kicker, of course, is that the script's appropriate length was total guesswork for me, because no one anywhere I could find online had any specific, practical advice about a hard line limit for screenplays, and believe me, I looked. The information I had to work with said an appropriate range in terms of length was "22-45 pages." SUPER HELPFUL, INTERNET, CHEERS FOR THAT NUGGET OF WISDOM. The point is, Nicole's awesome, and she's got good odds of getting a mention in the Oscar speech I'll plan out and never have a chance to give.
  • Collaborating with other people to edit a screenplay is... odd. Not bad or miserable by any means, and the final product performed at the convention was definitely a hit with the crowd, but I feel like I accidentally got a really good sense of what working in a staff room in the industry would be like. You never really have total ownership over an idea in a situation like that: there's always someone with a different interpretation of how a scene could play out or a narrative could be structured, and sometimes you don't agree with someone else's version and have to either nudge things back on track or just move forward and take the small L. It was very foreign for someone like me who rarely even has an editor for their stories, let alone external directives to change stuff, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn't bug me as much as I was afraid it might. Ultimately, you're working with passionate people who make to make something that works, and there's always a middle ground to find between different views of what "working" entails.
  • I know all too well how much I've fantasized about "making it" and being publicly known for being a good writer or whatever, but my god was I not prepared for being even mildly horsefamous. I've had the occasional fellow FIMFic user recognize me at cons and it's always fun to chat with those folks, but this was the first time I ever had people with no relation to fic whatsoever look at my badge and have their faces light up with recognition. Honestly, I defaulted into business-y networking mode for most of it--just kept offering firm handshakes and saying thanks without giving myself a chance to really process what was happening. I basically had to be dragged backstage to hear how much the VAs loved the script, and the whole time all I could think was, "They really want to talk to me?" I guess this was the first time I did something ostensibly "professional" as a writer, and it felt deeply weird being addressed as someone in that kind of role, so that was where all the kind of out-of-character awkwardness stemmed from. Hopefully, if all goes well with my future plans, I'll get used to having external confirmation that I actually know what I'm doing.
  • A quick shoutout to Scott/Thornwing for surprising me with a copy of Final Draft (the quintessential professional screenwriting program that is seriously not cheap) at the Scriptfest panel, as well as to Xepher for running a fantastic writing track and Vivid_Syntax for being my scriptwriting spirit guide throughout the con. Sorry for being such a goober about the fact that I was supposed to sit up front and be recognized at the panel. My dumb ass really would've just parked in the back if you hadn't forced me to go up and be proud of myself.
  • And heck, I guess I'll mention the Iron Author competition too since I just published my entry a little bit ago: I don't know how universal this sentiment was, but I honestly loved the more open-ended prompt. Plus it gave me a quite literally perfect excuse to finally write some super-melancholy grown-up DiamondBloom shipping, which has been a deep dark not-that-secret weakness of mine for like [it's not important don't put me on blast like this] years. While I didn't manage to pull off possibly the hardest flex in EFNW's history and win both the Scriptfest and Iron Author, I did finish in a tie for second with Georg and got to share a podium with him and PJABrony, both of whom wrote really stellar pieces that I'm glad I could meet the standard set by.

Overall, and frankly more so than I was expecting, EFNW 2019 was the second best convention I've ever been to, and the only reason it's not number one is because nothing could even top my first BronyCon in 2013 when every part of this deal was foreign and new. This is the first con in a while that felt anywhere close to as fresh and exciting from start to finish as that first one, and more than just telling people I was going to do it or promising myself I won't chicken out at the last minute, this con--and the Scriptfest in particular--was the first time I really, truly felt like going to LA and chasing the dream that my mental health ripped me off-course from at the end of college might actually work out in real life.

It's gonna be terrifying and it'll probably suck a lot at times, but if nothing else, at least this experience confirmed for me that taking the risk is something I have to do for no one else's sake but my own. I don't know if I'll ever "make it," but I deserve to go find out.

(P.S. - A few people have asked me whether I'm going to publish the Scriptfest screenplay here or anywhere else publicly. I'm frankly hesitant to do that in the immediate future since it may still have legs as a legitimate spec script if I decide I'd like to pursue animation writing further, but I'd be happy to PM a PDF to anyone who'd like to read it themselves, and if the timing and finances work out I may be able to include it in an anthology of my completed stories for the Bookstore in August. I'll make an announcement about that if it percolates into something real.)

Comments ( 20 )

It really was a fantastic script. Was definitely the highlight of all the panels I attended.

5064253 Second the motion here. It was awesome. We have got to get you one of the Horse Famous tags for Bronycon. And an American Express commercial.

"Hi. You don't know me, but..."

Hot damn :rainbowderp: Congratulations!

a live performance of the script by said vocal talents at the convention

I don't suppose there's a video of that?

5064276
There explicitly isn't, unfortunately. For legal reasons, nobody was allowed to record it given how reminiscent of an actual episode it was supposed to be.

Hap

5064277
That is damn sad, but exactly what I expected.

It truly was an amazing script, and an amazing performance of it. I have no doubts we'll all see you in the credits of some cartoon in the next few years (though we won't recognize your name!)

Congratulations! And good luck. :)

This above all is why I'm sad I missed attending EFNW this year. Congratulations, and don't forget all us little people when you're a Hollywood big shot :scootangel:.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

run off to Hollywood to be poor and alone

don't die lol D:

5064277
Legal Reasons is worst pony :flutterrage:

Dude, major major MAJOR congratulations! I’m seriously disappointed I didn’t get attend that panel and will definitely be PMing you about getting a copy of the script.

planning on moving to Los Angeles in 2020 to pursue a professional screenwriting career

You better hang out with me and the rest of the SoCal Bronies from time to time <3

...I keep forgetting most people at EFNW are also on this place.

Speaking as someone who's worked with high-profile clients and corps to write print-published creative thingies for years, your first two paragraphs filled me with happiness and solidarity. Finally, someone who gets it. :rainbowlaugh:

Your script, on the other hand, filled me with equal parts hero-worship and petty jealousy. That was show-grade, and personally touching, and I mean both as highest compliment. I know you had a fair amount of pro help (that's always how it goes provided you're in the right work environment), but you did really well, and you should be proud of yourself if you're somehow not.

Also, seconding that Nicole is incredible--I've been a fan of her writing career for 15 years now, but she's just so fun and approachable in addition to being professional as all get out and I did not see that coming.

Wishing you good luck breaking in--from what I've already seen, you have a true shot. All the best. :heart:

(Also, I wouldn't mind taking a look at that PDF if/when you get a moment, as someone who's giving real thought to braving LA for the same purpose as you.)

I was at the VA panel where they performed your script. It was one of the best experiences I had at EFNW. It was incredibly witty, funny, and endearing.

I loved your portrayal of Gallus, Cozy Glow and Starlight. You truly knocked it out of the park with that script. I walked away desperately wanting it to be animated.

And the panel you were on later that afternoon explaining your writing process was also excellent.

---

I do find the world of script writing for TV shows to be kind of crazy. With fanfiction, we've spent so long considering and contemplating these characters. But in Hollywood, you only get a short time to familiarize yourself with the story and characters and then just... write.

Good luck, Aquaman. You got this :twilightsmile:

That's wonderful! Congratulations! Please PM me the PDF of your script. I would love to read it!

You're right that any reasonably intelligent person can learn the form and structure of script writing. It's the strong story-telling chops you already have that are so hard to develop!

If you're set on going to Hollywoo to work, there's a podcast that might be very helpful to you: The Children of Tendu. It isn't about script writing, it's about all the rest of the business surrounding writing for television, and incredibly informative. It's done by two talented and successful writers, not amateurs or wanna-bes. No longer being updated, (being a show-runner takes a lot of time) but the body of the episodes contain priceless information.

Best of luck!

Congratulations. I enjoyed your Iron Author entry and you did a great job with the reading. Could you please send me your scriptfest entry.

Congratulations, that sounds like an incredible experience.

I really liked your Iron Author story; I think it was my personal favorite in the competition, but it ultimately got slightly edged out by the winner overall (which was also a very good story).

I have to admit I've always liked the idea of grown up Apple Bloom and Diamond Tiara having a sort of destructive but also healing relationship as teenagers/adults.

I do hope the whole "Going to Hollywood" thing works out for you!

And I would absolutely love to get a PDF copy of the script so I could read it and look at what a real script is like.

You did a great job. :raritystarry:

It was fun, lol, and you know my thoughts in other avenues so I wont replay them here for the PUBLIC to see :witchylaughter:

Congrats! That’s supremely awesome!

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