sponsored adventures in writing

I’ll be taking part in this year’s Clarion West Write-a-thon, which is a fund-raising event that shadows the six-week residential workshop (June 22 – Aug 1).

The Clarion West Writers Workshop is a non-profit educational organisation whose ethos is about giving emerging writers the space, teachers, and tools with which to improve their craft and evolve into damn fine writers of speculative fiction. It’s an expensive endeavour, and Clarion West not only offsets each student’s costs, it also offers scholarships to many of the students. I was the recipient of the Gordon R. Dickson Scholarship in 2006 and it was a tremendous aid. Carving out six weeks of your life to this process is costly in many ways, and I’ve always been humbled and grateful for the Clarion West community spirit.

Please consider sponsoring me in my six week goal: to write a complete feature film screenplay. This is a story that’s been on my mind for many years. It’s a summer action flick that features spies, go-go boots, car chases, double-crosses, humour and a kick-ass heroine. In my mind it also has a rocking soundtrack.

The French filmmaker John-Luc Godard once said: “All you need for a movie is a gun and a girl.” In my opinion “All you need for a movie is a girl with attitude.” She’ll find a way out even if there’s no gun to hand.

I’ll post regular updates on my progress, so watch this blog for the starting point on June 22nd. I’m beginning my research already, although I hope to finish up a couple of other pieces I’m currently working on before I immerse myself in the world of well-tailored espionage. All donations to Clarion West will be put to good use, and it will also serve as a fantastic incentive for me to write and finish my script.

Since I’m on the subject of screenwriting, I thought I’d mention that celtx, the free open-source all-in-one media pre-production software, has just hit Version 1.0, and is now available to download for a variety of platforms.

I haven’t had much time to play around with this version of celtx but it looks amazing. Not only can you write screenplays on it, but you can also write for all types of media, such as documentary, theatre, machinima, comics, advertising, gaming, music video, radio, podcasts, videocasts, and however else you choose to tell your story. You can also use it to write storyboard scenes and sequences, develop characters, breakdown & tag elements, schedule production, and prepare detailed and informative production reports for cast and crew.

If you’re unfamiliar with the product check out this 7-minute video by Mike Jones, Head of Technological Arts at International Film School Sydney, who explores some of the product’s new features.

I’m seriously considering writing my new screenplay using celtx 1.0.