Beginning screenwriting

  • Sunday, June 8, 2014

My eyes are set on the prize. I just activated some software, Final Draft 9, and everything went well.

Support, updates and special offers are available if you register, so here I go. Click. Many companies have made it so hard to use their product if you do not go strictly by the rules.

Yes, I’ll sign up for the newsletter. Since I lived in Mullins, South Carolina and bought an IBM running MS-DOS as the operating system, I’ve always tried to teach myself and by writing a technology column you can find on my Flickr account. I scanned them and uploaded them as clips.

Midnight approaches and my favorite television show is coming on. Years ago, I would be glued to the TV screen flickering in our living room. “Shock Theatre” it was called, and all your friends would watch it on Saturday nights, talking about it the next day at church.

This weird character, Dr. Paul Bearer, would pop out of a coffin at the start of the show and serve as emcee to introduce an old flick.

Don’t tell anyone, but I’m writing a screenplay or script with horror as my topic.

My first book was published by The History Press of Charleston, “Haunted Watauga County.” Bill Oberst, Jr. is visiting Highlands, North Carolina in July to perform his one-man show “Grizzard” soon after he vacations in New Orleans, and I’m going to write a story on him so maybe he will read a voice-over for this crazy project I’ve pitched to Channel 8 in High Point, WGHP. It is a redux of their old 70s show “Shock Theater.” Maybe I’ll call it “Blood Drive-in” or something.

One of the recent projects he has been involved in was one with Jim Carrey which Republicans did not like too much. It was about gun control.

You’ve probably seen one of Bill’s dramatic presentations or his film work like “Wesley,” shot in Winston-Salem, about the founder of the Methodist Church. My version of “Ghost Stories” will have a narrator and be about 30-minutes in length for 10 episodes with a “Twilight Zone” feel. Since it will probably have a low-budget feel, it has one live show and one episode in black and white.

There are two types of screenwriting software worth a toot, Final Draft 9 and Celtx.

Never put your phone number in an online form unless you want it to be sold to millions of idiots.

Marc Madnick, co-founder and CEO of Final Draft Inc., “moved to Los Angeles in 1986 to follow his dream of being a screenwriter,” the company reports. Tall columns of firenadoes are burning a hole in my skull as I outline my first episode before my addled brain forgets it all, wiping the chalkboard with a damp cloth.

Final Draft 9 is the latest version, and it has file commands like New, Open, Save and Print. It has a spelling dictionary and a thesaurus. Installation was a breeze. The clipboard is easy too with the commands of Cut, Copy and Paste. There is Undo and Redo and script elements with New Scene, Title Page and Element dropdown menu. Styles are bold, italic and underline with text underscored.

Windows can be unsplit panels, split vertically and split horizontally.

The Navigator includes scenes, Script Notes and Characters.

You can use new files from a template. That’s me. There is a Windows version and a Mac one.

My recent reading includes “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck. I’m listening to the latest by Kronos Quartet, “A Thousand Thoughts.” The San Francisco-based group produces some laid-back background music.

Tim Bullard, 58, has a book published by The History Press of Charleston, “Haunted Watauga County.” He is married with a son, Conor. They live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He also has a column in the North Myrtle Beach Times and has won a South Carolina Press Association feature writing award and a North Carolina Press Association writing award. His website is www.timbullard.com.

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