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Tag Archives | writers

Entertainment Bits: “Fast & Furious 6,” Rick Springfield sells a novel, and NBC’s relief concert for tornado victims

Box office bonanza “Fast & Furious 6 ” burned rubber all over the competition Memorial Day weekend. Not a whole lot of new moves in this sequel, but moviegoers did not care. They love this franchise. “Fast &  Furious 6”  took in $120 million for its debut in the U.S. The top six films helped generate more than $300 million at the domestic box office, beating the previous record for a Memorial Day weekend. No surprise, “Fast & Furious 7” is in the works. More here... Read More →

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Cleveland Browns clipart

Entertainment Bits: Disney star gets book deal, hip hop artist hooks movie role, and NBCUniversal plan is a go

Teen TV star scores book offer Disney Channel star, Bella Thorne, is now an actress, singer, dancer, and author. The 15-year-old has a new deal to write a YA, young adult, book series called, “Autumn Falls,” according to Galleycat. Not familiar with Thorne? Well, she’s co-stars in the sitcom, “Shake It Up,” and reportedly has 2.9 million followers on Twitter! Sean Combs joins football movie cast Hip hop artist, music mogul, entrepreneur, and actor, Sean “P.Diddy” Combs has been added to the ensemble cast... Read More →

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Award Season graphic

Award Season: Oscar maker layoffs, Writers Guild and Grammy nominations

Oscar maker to axe  a lot of workers It’s not going to be a ho, ho, jolly holiday season for some employees of the company that makes Oscar. The Wrap is reporting today that R.S. Owens, a Chicago-based company, will be laying off almost 100 workers by December 17. That’s more than a third of the staff. R.S. Owens is the supplier of awards for the Emmys, MTV Video Music Awards, and “American Idol” as well. More details here. Writers Guild nominations... Read More →

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M. Catherine Berg photo courtesy author

A Writer’s View: From TV police drama “Hunter” to mystery author

My first paid writing job fell into my lap when working for a TV syndication company.  My boss needed to hire someone to watch seven seasons (23 shows a season) worth of “Hunter,” the police drama starring Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer, and compose a one page, double spaced synopsis of each show to be faxed (our office didn’t have a computer yet) directly to TV Guide.   Since I happened to be the only one around the office (and probably the only one that would undertake such a chore)... Read More →

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girl daydreaming clip art

Does daydreaming make you smarter?

You might think daydreaming is a waste of time, but according to some new research it can be one of the best ways to pump up your brain power. On The New Yorker website, in an article “The Virtues of Daydreaming,” Jonah Lehrer argues mind-wandering allows those creative and problem solving juices to flow freely. And that’s a good thing. Read about it here.

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Book cover for Ricki Lake's new book "Never say never"

Ricki Lake’s new book hits store shelves

Actress and TV talk show host, Ricki Lake, has had plenty of life drama. In her new memoir, “Never say never: Finding a life that fits,” Lake shares the lessons learned from a painful childhood, weight issues, divorce, and the struggle to find a comfort level in her own skin. “Never say never” hit stores last week. Lake is out and about promoting her new book with TV appearances as well as stops in stores. Tonight at 7 p.m., she’ll be at the Barnes & Noble... Read More →

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A screenplay

Script sales and deals: Action screenplays sell for big money

“White House Down” — Huge payday for hot screenwriter James Vanderbilt. In fact, the $3 million dollar script deal is being called the biggest so far this year. The  action spec script is described as a cross between “Die Hard” and “Air Force One.” Apparently there was some heated bidding for the script with Sony Pictures finally closing a deal this week.  Vanderbilt was the scribe on the reboot of “Amazing Spider-Man” and “Total Recall.” Also, he got the gig to pen the remake of “RoboCop.”... Read More →

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Fifty Shades of Grey book cover

Major Hollywood book to film rights deal for “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Who says romance doesn’t sell in Hollywood? “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a bestselling erotic romance novel trilogy, with BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) elements, reportedly has sold to Universal Pictures and Focus Features. The X-rated book series was inspired by the hugely popular “Twilight” book saga and is written by British author E. L. James. The romance is about a female college student and a young intriguing billionaire who has some dark sexual desires. The  other two novels in the series are... Read More →

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stack of screenplays

Script sales and deals

  “The Signal” — Deadline has an exclusive report on a big money deal for hot scribe, Brad Ingelsby. Just a few years ago, Ingelsby was working for his father’s Pennsylvania insurance business, then he got his Hollywood break as a screenwriter. This deal is said to be in the high six-figures and is for a pitch, which revolves around a family weekend getaway with a sci-fi twist. The AFI grad is repped by WME and Energy Entertainment. More on Ingelsby’s story and new... Read More →

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Media City G Connection: Jobs and career opportunities

Ten scribes for the first Fox Writers Intensive program have been announced. The names of the lucky writers appear on Deadline.com. The program is “… designed to introduce experienced writers with unique voices, backgrounds, life and professional experiences that reflect the diverse perspectives of the audiences we create to a wide range of Fox staff writers, showrunners, directors, screenwriters and creative executives,” according to the Fox Network. These are not newbies, but writers with plenty of connections as well as relevant experience on their resumes. Oh, employment... Read More →

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A screenplay

Script sales and deals

“Little White Corvette”  — Action/comedy screenplay by Michael Diliberti reportedly sold in a deal worth a cool million bucks to GK Films. It’s about money-strapped siblings who set out to peddle a load of cocaine discovered in the trunk of their late father’s white corvette. Diliberti wrote the story with David Branson Smith. Script is on the Black List 2011, a collection of unproduced screenplays favored by Hollywood executives. Emma Stone is attached to star and will executive produce along with Diliberti. Both Stone... Read More →

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Writers Guild of America, West logo

Writers Guild announces nominees for 2012 screen awards

The Writers Guild of America has put out the rest of its list of nominees for 2012 awards. Yesterday, the WGA West and East, revealed the nominations for outstanding achievement in writing for the big screen during 2011. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY 50/50, Written by Will Reiser; Summit Entertainment Bridesmaids, Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig; Universal Pictures Midnight in Paris, Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics Win Win, Screenplay by Tom McCarthy; Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni; Fox Searchlight... Read More →

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A screenplay

Script sales and deals

“Jadoo”  by writer/director, Amit Gupta, has a deal and is now on the really fast track.  That’s a great start to the new year for one filmmaker.  Done Deal Pro reports Gupta is repped by Abram Nalibotsky over at Gersh. Based on Gupta’s family experience, the story revolves around  two feuding twin brother chefs who set up rival restaurants across from each other, leaving it up to a daughter, 20 years later, to try to bring them back together to cook her wedding feast. AIR productions greenlighted the comedy... Read More →

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Writers Guild of America, West logo

2012 Writers Guild awards nominees

Some of the 2012 Writers Guild of America, West & East, Awards nominees are out today. On the list, nominations for outstanding achievement in television, news, radio, promotional writing, and graphic animation during the 2011 season. TELEVISION NOMINEES DRAMA SERIES Boardwalk Empire, Written by Bathsheba Doran, Dave Flebotte, Howard Korder, Steve Kornacki, Itamar Moses, Margaret Nagle, Terence Winter; HBO Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC Game of Thrones, Written by David Benioff, Bryan Cogman,... Read More →

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A screenplay

Script deals and sales

Evan Spiliotopoulos to rewrite “Asteroids” for Universal Pictures— This busy screenwriter picks up another big assignment. Universal has hired Spiliotopoulos to rework “Asteroids” based on the 1970’s Atari video game. Original script by Matt Lopez. Spiliotopoulos is repped by UTA. More here on Variety. Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair’ hired to write “The Girl Who Conned the Ivy League” — Shafer and Vicknair are two hot screenwriters on the fast track. This project is based on a Rolling Stone magazine article about the true story of a woman who... Read More →

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Author Sue Ann Jaffarian reacts with a smile to while chatting with writers after a workshop at the Buena Vista libarary in Burbank September 17, 2011

A Look back: A writer’s workshop on how to get an agent

Multi-talented author and Media City Groove guest blogger, Sue Ann Jaffarian, conducted a very informative writer’s workshop called, “Turning Agent Woes Into Agent Wows,” at the Buena Vista library here in Burbank last month. Forty-to-fifty writers showed up for the September 17 workshop. Many spent most of the time scribbling notes as Sue Ann covered the agent search from manuscript preparation to how to write the kind of e-mail query that will catch an agent’s attention. Also, Sue Ann shared some tips on where to find agents on the Internet and what to ask... Read More →

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Photo courtesy Guest Blogger Sue Ann Jaffarian

How to snag an agent to shop your literary project

For a lot of writers getting an agent is harder than the writing.  Media City Groove Guest Blogger, Sue Ann Jaffarian, has leaped that hurdle to become a best-selling author of three mystery series.  Jaffarian, a paralegal for a Los Angeles firm, started off in self-publishing, and along her writer’s journey picked up a thing or two about making that agent hook-up. Jaffarian is going to share some of her tips in a writer’s workshop called, “Turning Agent Woes Into Agent Wows,” this Saturday, September 17, 2 p.m. at the Buena Vista... Read More →

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Photo: Cover fof new short story, "Where's Your Daddy?" by Sue Ann Jaffarian

A Writer’s View: Short stories a hot writer’s market

Since I was a kid, I have loved short stories.  Amongst my favorites were “The Ransom of Red Chief” and “The Gift of the Magi,” both by O. Henry, “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, and “The Telltale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe. They packed fun, poignancy and terror in just a few short pages, providing word for word a powerful punch. Short fiction has always been with us, but in the past few years it has been enjoying a resurgence in popularity.  When print magazines and online e-zines, always a... Read More →

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"The Help" movie poster

“The Help” gets promoted to top spot at box office

“The Help” got a boost to number one at the domestic box office with a weekend estimate of $20 million. The comedy-drama is about a young southern white woman and her relationship with the black “help” during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer star. “The Help” is based on the 2009 bestselling novel of the same title by Kathryn Stockett. The film’s budget, $25 million. In two weeks, it has made around $71 million and is getting some Oscar buzz as... Read More →

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Photo courtesy author Cheryl Holt

A Writer’s View: “New York Times bestselling author dishes on the dramatic changes in the publishing industry”

New York Times bestselling author dishes on the dramatic changes in  the publishing industry I always considered myself to be the walking, talking success story of American publishing.  I’m a lawyer, and at age 40, I had two babies back to back.  Suddenly, I was a stay-at-home mom and trying to figure out how to replace the income I relinquished due to this life change. I decided to start writing novels.  I didn’t know anything about writing books or about the publishing industry.  I simply forged ahead, armed with a steely... Read More →

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Rebecca Forster's latest novel, "Beyond Malice," is a digital release only.

A Writer’s View: Am I An Author Idiot?

Am I An Author Idiot?  Working with a freelance editor I face each new project with a combination of angst and self pity, positive I will never write a decent book again much less publish one. After 23 published novels, one indie and two scripts (one in development) you’d think I’d be over all that. I’m not. Enter, my freelance editor Jenny Jensen*. I work with her because she is in my corner and because I sell more often when I do. Still, I have to wonder, why can’t I edit myself?... Read More →

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Photo: Cover of "Bound by Blood" by Amanda Ashley due to hit book stores in October 2011

A Writer’s View: Why are we so in love with vampires?

Guest blogger today is Amanda Ashley/Madeline Baker. A California author in love with writing historical romance, time travel, fantasy romance, vampire romance and whatever strikes her fancy. She has written over 70 books since selling her first novel,”Reckless Heart”, after getting 31 rejections. Her books have appeared on various bestseller lists, including The New York Times and USA Today. Why are we so in love with vampires? I think the answer is obvious! Think Damon and Stefan Salvatore from “The Vampires Diaries”. I am totally mesmerized by Damon, who has the most beautiful,... Read More →

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