10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself if You’re an Aspiring Screenwriter

So, you’ve watched a super awesome movie that inspired you to become a screenwriter, huh? You poor, poor fool.

Well, now that you’re a part of this bande à part, you might need a little help getting grounded. Luckily, screenwriter, script doctor, and consultant Mark Sanderson, also known as Scriptcat, has compiled 10 questions that he believes all aspiring screenwriters should ask themselves. Here are a few from the list:
Do you have an artist’s mentality?

You have to be absolutely cuckoo bananas to aspire to be this line of work, because chances are you’re going to fall flat on your face. Does that sound harsh? Well, it is, damn it! It’s hard to succeed as a screenwriter, which is why having the mentality of an artist is so crucial to your mental and emotional health. You’re facing so much negativity — rejection, criticism, complete and utter failure — so you’re going to need the strength to withstand it all. Not to mention the fact that you’re more likely to see a flying typewriter than a decent paycheck. Steel yourself and keep writing. Success only comes to those who do.

Hollywood is full of good ideas and the winning formula is: good idea + execution of good idea = amazing viable screenplay.

Do you overwrite?

Okay, maybe your reader doesn’t need to know that your protagonist is left-handed, loves the smell of wet asphalt, and owns a table that is made of really nice mahogany that he bought for sale at the Really Nice Mahogany Table Store. Why? Producers and executives don’t really care. It’s a good idea to keep these kinds of details, as well as actions, to a minimum. That doesn’t mean you have to make your script boring and stale, just get to the point.
Have you accepted this fact: Screenwriting is all about execution and rewriting?

What’s that saying — screenwriters don’t ever finish a screenplay, they just give up. That’s because stories go through so many stages, changes, and iterations during the writing process that they’re never really done. They’re — alive. This might come as unpleasant news for those who just finished their first draft and thought, “Yes! I’m finally done! My dream is complete!” No — you’re not, and it’s not. There has never been a perfect first draft. Ever. EVER! Not only should you expect to rewrite your original draft a handful of times before it ever gets seen by another pair of eyeballs, you should also expect to rewrite if it gets optioned and goes into production. We might as well just start calling screenwriting “rewriting” since that’s what it really is.

Nasa Shows off new Red 4k Footage

NASA Shows Off Gorgeous 4K Space Footage Shot with the RED DRAGON Camera
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NASA 6K RED EPIC DRAGON in Space – 4K Footage
Back in October, we found out RED’s EPIC DRAGON was going to space.

The 6K digital cinema camera has been in space for a number of months now, and NASA has begun uploading some of this 4K footage to their YouTube channel (in 4K, of course). Here is just the first taste of some of the fantastic images that astronauts on the International Space Station will be capturing for months and years to come:

The camera reached the International Space Station back in January:

The fifth SpaceX cargo resupply mission delivered this camera to the orbiting laboratory in January 2015. The camera’s ability to record at a high resolution as well as up to 300 frames per second made it the ideal recording device to capture dynamic events like vehicle operations near the station, such as docking and undocking. The higher resolution images and higher frame rate videos can reveal more information when used on science investigations, giving researchers a valuable new tool aboard the space station.

And here’s the newest clip that was just uploaded:

More from NASA about the clip and their goals:

In the video [above], astronaut Terry Virts extracts a floating ball of water, into which he inserts an effervescent tablet to watch it dissolve and release gasses in mid-air. Rodney Grubbs, program manager for NASA’s Imagery Experts Program at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, says the footage itself is dynamic for its subject matter, and the detailed, high-resolution makes it especially riveting.

“This is a huge leap in camera technology for spaceflight,” Grubbs said. “These cameras have large sensors capable of very high resolution imaging at high frame rates. It is like having a high speed 35MM motion picture film camera, but it is compact, can use lenses we already have up there, and it is digital. No film to return to Earth.”

The RED camera is the same model used to record theatrical releases such as The Hobbit trilogy and television programs. Ultra-HD televisions capable of receiving and displaying 4K transmissions are now sold in stores.

While the 4K resolutions are optimal for showing on movie screens, NASA video editors are working on space station footage for public viewing on YouTube. You will be able to watch high-resolution footage from inside and outside the orbiting laboratory right on your computer screen. You will need a screen capable of displaying 4K resolution for the full effect, but the imagery still trumps that of standard cameras. RED videos and pictures are shot at a higher fidelity and then down-converted, meaning much more information is captured in the images, which results in higher-quality playback, even if you don’t have a 4K screen.

These are not the first 4K digital cinema cameras to make it to space, as Canon has sent up at least one C500, though I imagine the all-internal RAW recording and the high frame rates of the DRAGON are slightly better suited for NASA’s purposes. Since NASA has been using Nikon DSLRs on the ISS for some time, they’ve already got compatible lenses for the camera. It would not be surprising if RED is already working with NASA to try to get their new 8K camera up on the ISS at some point, which uses a full-frame (Vista Vision) 35mm sensor to deliver the same image quality as the 6K camera, but with higher resolution.

This Early Footage from Blackmagic’s 4.6K URSA Looks Pretty Stellar

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 12.26.02 AMBlackmagic URSA 4.6K Footage
In April, Blackmagic announced a host of exciting new cameras (as seems to be their ongoing April tradition).

Most excitingly, the company showcased a new 4.6K sensor with impressive dynamic range that will soon make its home in both the URSA and URSA Mini cinema cameras. In case you’re wondering how exactly that sensor performs, here’s some early footage, shot in 4:1 RAW with the original URSA:

To my eye, this is some of the nicest footage to come from Blackmagic’s cameras to date. This is a great sign because, coming from an early pre-release version of the upgraded URSA, the capabilities of the production versions of these cameras will likely be even better. With this footage, I’m struck by the clean, naturalistic colors and skin tones, the super smooth highlight rolloff (plus the lack of blown highlights when shooting daytime interiors against a window), and the fact that there aren’t any issues whatsoever when shooting directly into the sun. I’m inclined to say that Blackmagic is really starting to get the hang of this whole camera manufacturing thing, which is exciting news for independent filmmakers everywhere.

You can pre-order all of the 4.6K versions of both the URSA and the URSA Mini through B&H, and they’re expected to begin shipping later in the summer, or early fall.

GoPro announces its smallest, lightest action-camera yet, the HERO4 Session

GoPro announces its smallest, lightest action-camera yet, the HERO4 Session
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It’s not the size of the camera strapped to the ship…
GoPro HERO4 Session unveiled

UPDATED: Battery life information and other specs have been included, as well as a brand new HERO4 Session showreel – details below.

If you’ve always wanted to buy a GoPro camera but were put off by the advanced, pro-level functionality found in GoPro’s HERO4 Black, you’re in luck – GoPro has announced its most user-friendly camera ever: the HERO4 Session.

Operating the HERO4 Session is easier than it is on any of GoPro’s other cameras, with a single button used to perform the majority of its functions – A short press of the shutter button turns the camera on, starting video capture automatically, a longer press powers the camera on and switches it to Time Lapse photo capture mode, and you only have to press the button once more to save your recording or photo and turn it off again.

Just like with previous models, you can further refine your controls and settings by using the GoPro App or Smart Remote.
GoPro or go home
HERO4 Session Snowboarding

The HERO4 Session is 50% smaller and 40% lighter (74g) than GoPro’s HERO4 Black and Silver, at roughly a cubic inch in size, and has a Micro SD card slot, an non-removable battery (2 hours on a full charge), built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and a Micro USB port, so you can keep it going indefinitely.

Its reduced size and weight means that the HERO4 Session can be placed in areas that were previously impossible, such as on the bottom of a skateboard.

It’s also waterproof right out of the box to a depth of 10 metres, without the need for an additional case or dive housing, though it does come with standard and low-profile mount brackets, as well as a new Ball Joint Buckle mount.

HERO4 Session is also compatible with all existing GoPro mounts and accessories.
Technically (GO)Proficient
HERO4 Session Swimming

The HERO4 Session retains GoPro’s signature high-quality image capture capabilities, recording 1080p video at 60fps, 720p at 100fps and 1440p at 30fps (those after 4K video will have to opt for HERO4 Black), along with eight megapixel photos in its Single, Burst and Time Lapse modes.

The new model also features auto image rotation, placing your video capture the right way up, regardless of how you attach it to any given surface (it should be noted however, that the image will not rotate once it has commenced recording), and a new dual microphone system which automatically switches its sound recording between two microphones in order to minimise wind noise.

The GoPro HERO4 Session hits the street on July 12 for AUD$579.95 (US$399, £329), which is the same price as GoPro’s HERO4 Silver – check out the new HERO4 Session showreel below:

Dog snaps photos with heartbeat-triggered Nikon camera

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Grizzler the dog may not be Ansel Adams, but he captured some charming photos with a chest-mounted Nikon that takes a picture whenever he’s excited.
Grizzler wants to be the Robert Frank of the dog world.

Watch out, cat photographers, you have some competition from the canine world. A black-and-white dog named Grizzler is capturing arty images using a new system from Nikon Asia. Heartography consists of a heartbeat monitor, a camera and a special housing that includes a shutter trigger activated when the dog’s heart rate rises.

The proof-of-concept system seems to mainly be a publicity stunt for the Nikon Coolpix L31. The camera and 3D-printed case together are bulky, making the package an unlikely candidate for commercial production. It does give us a set of amusing images showing off all the things that get a dog excited, like people, upset cats and other dogs.
Grizzler the dog’s photographic masterpieces…

Grizzler won’t likely be hailed as a genius photographer. The camera is mounted on his chest, so all the images are taken at about a person’s knee level. There are a few surprises in the photo collection. Grizzler seems to be a fan of wild mushrooms, probably because he’s excited about the prospect of eating them. He has a couple photos of a van filled with canola oil and Heinz Beans, so he’s a bit of a foodie.

Grizzler does have a special touch with animal portraits. His work really captures the angst of a cat faced with a primal enemy and the curiosity of other dogs when meeting another of their kind. These are images human photographers can’t easily capture.

This publicity move wouldn’t be complete without a cutesy name. Nikon has dubbed the picture-taking pup a “pho-dog-rapher.”