Thursday, March 27, 2008

So... it might be a bust, but I'll still honor my part.

So, three days and counting before the March 31st deadline for "Script that classic" times out. And the fact is, submissions have been... well... LOW.

And that's cool. It was an experiment, it started a debate, and that's what I was gunning for. And perhaps I could have promoted it more - but then, I had a few weeks of human stuff hit, and that's life.

For the record, submissions are still open. Also for the record, Stephen Worth wrote a very eloquent defense as to why he didn't want to judge this, and I respect it. To be fair, his time would have been very minimal. So will mine.

However, there are still three days or so left to submit a version to me, anonymously and there still is a cash reward that will be paid out. And I will do this again. Next time, tho, I might shrink the contest down to a section, rather than a whole script. Lesson learned. :)

I return to Jury duty and will announce a winner mid-April.


Stephen Worth said...

Actually, I have the time and I'm happy to judge; but we were going to discuss what sorts of written materials and formats would actually help prepare an artist to board a cartoon, instead of hinder him. We still haven't gotten together to discuss that. The people submitting entries should be made aware of the judging criteria. That's how we avoid having me look at the entries and say, "none of the above".

See ya

Stephen Worth said...

If you want, I'll write a few paragraphs explaining what I would be looking for and you can post it. You might want to extend the deadline a bit to allow people to revise their entries if they want though.


Anonymous said...

How can one submit to you anonynously if it's via email?

Steve said...

Nice! Okay, you're on.

Sorry if I read you wrong. My big point was, you CAN'T pick "none of the above."

But if you're willing to pick the best, and point out what's right about it, I'm willing to stretch the deadline, get more submissions and tweak it a little bit.

One of the benefits of it being my cash, I suppose. :)

Posting specifics tomorrow!

- Steve

P.S. It's not anonymous to me, but anonymous to the judge (judges). I'll scrub the names and pass 'em along.

Stephen Worth said...

I'll write a description of what artists look for to do their boards early next week and you can post it.

See ya

Anonymous said...

Mr. Worth,

After spending much of a work week on my script, then finally turning it in, I've just seen your comments here and discovered your decision to get back in on the judging -- on the condition that you essentially give us new rules as to what our scripts should look like and include, based on what you perceive that artists want.
I'll admit that I'm unhappy with having to redo my work after thinking myself finished. I'm also concerned that you might have some requests that seem extreme under the present circumstances, like perhaps not wanting us to use regulation screenplay/teleplay script format at all. Had we contest entrants known about any such "big" conditions before starting work, it might have been easy to comply. But now, after thinking myself done...

Frankly, Mr. Worth, I'd like to postulate that one reason for your basic, traditional antipathy, and John K's antipathy, to the written script system, is that given your past experiences with Bagdasarian, Nick, and other corporate producers in the 1980s and early 1990s, neither of you had the opportunity to see any traditional written scripts that were imaginative, funny, or otherwise capable of genuinely inspiring an artist. Considering the kind of cartoons Bagdasarian's and Nick's monkey execs wanted to make, that's not surprising.
I thought this contest would be a great opportunity for all of us entrants to show you what imaginatively-written scripts in the traditional format could look like. Unfortunately, if we all have to learn a new scripting format just to satisfy you now, you'll never get a chance to see such scripts.
Perhaps I'm most concerned that you'll ask for some kind of "minimalist" scripts that leave a lot of details and creative decisions unspoken, the idea being to give the storyboard artists maximum creative leeway ("some funny stuff happens here... you come up with it, artists"). You know something? I AGREE that it would be nice to produce new cartoons that way! And I think that's the John K goal. But if for the purposes of this contest, I'm going to create a script that -- upon being given to an uninitiated group of storyboard artists and animators -- might actually lead to something that looks like the "Falling Hare" we know, how many details could I possibly get away with leaving out?
It's sort of the question of whether we're supposed to deliver a recipe for the original "Falling Hare," or a recipe for a new "Falling Hare." I thought we were supposed to do A, and now I'm afraid that you might want B.

At the very least, after I've revised my "finished" script to match your soon-to-be-expressed preferences, I'll ask Mr. Marmel to give it to you together with my original, "traditional format" version. I bet other entrants will want to have Mr. Marmel do the same thing.

I firmly believe that the problems you, and Spumco as a whole, have traditionally had with the written script format has less to do with the format itself... and more to do with lame examples of that format, and/or rigid execs forcing board artists to follow those lame examples without being allowed to change and improve them. (Never have I had less sympathy for ignorant bosses.)
Me, I'm all for a system in which writers on a given series should be allowed to write OR draw their story submissions... or even a combination of both. It's neither storytelling format that I object to, or consider inherently less creative; my objection is just to the strictness of your average suit.
Honestly, isn't that where a lot of the Spumco objection really lies, too?

Grumblingly awaiting your new rules over here.

Steve said...

Hey hey...

No grumbling to Stephen on this one. He's the one that reached back after I jumped to a bit of a conclusion.

If he's willing to play this contest out, then there's no reason to start any ill-will here.

Anonymous said...

Oops, I think I should have stuck a smiley :-) by the comment about grumbling. I'm hardly mad at Mr. Worth; just expressing thoughts and feelings I wanted him to consider, while admittedly being a bit glum at the prospect of having to do more work (like anyone wouldn't be?).

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