Thursday, July 15, 2010

This Ain’t no Slug o’ Who-Hit-John!

For the unfamiliar, a "reveal" in screenwriting parlance is the placement of key, revelatory information in a story. Most times, the last reveal is the most important revelation of all.


FADE IN:

It’s been nearly a year since this blog debuted. I have some things in the works that should be very interesting, including a possible celebrity interview and a guest post or two, so it is fitting that I make some improvements to “spruce” the site up.

Recently I got some feed-back concerning my format--not from anyone out there, but from my daughter, Erin--as to the choice of font and its poor readability with white on a black field. As screenwriter readers know, and you can see here, I use the standard script font of Courier 12 pt. Of course I use it to set a screenwriting style, so I don’t want to entirely abandon it.

After thinking about her comment, I’ve decided to switch to a sans serif font for the body of the posts, and use Courier only to set tone at the head of the post in a new feature, or for quoted script excerpts in the post itself, or at the end with the closing FADE OUT.

So--CUE the TRUMPET FANFARE--I hereby announce the debut of The Last Reveal’s OPENING SLUGS!!!

This will be a fun way to establish style and, when appropriate, tone. Each post, from now on, will open as usual with FADE IN:, and then it will be followed by an OPENING SLUG LINE and some appropriate screenplay narrative text from hypothetical screenplays (as I will demonstrate in my next post, immediately after this announcement). I will refer to this, hereafter as The Last Reveal’s OPENING SLUG.

These will be from nonexistent screenplays, as written by me and, I hope, contributors like you--email your contributions to Lee Matthias at LateralTao@gmail.com. They can run the gamut from humorous, to shocking, to straight drama, sometimes with points to make. Anything is fair game, as long as it stays within a minimum of two lines: the SLUG (EXT. HOUSE – DAY), and an opening action description or dialogue speech; two lines, or no more than one full page of formatted script. The only qualifiers are that it will have to strike me as entertaining or interesting, even thought-provoking, and it will be in reasonably--as deemed by me--good taste. It will be a kind of screenwriting equivalent of a magazine cartoon.

When I use a contributed OPENING SLUG, the contributor, by such contribution, will be assigning Lee Matthias and the publisher of “The Last Reveal” non-exclusive web-publication rights to use with credit to the contributor as Lee Matthias and/or the publisher of The Last Reveal so chooses, without other limitation. I will credit all contributors at the end of the post (unless requested not to, in which case I’ll use screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski’s famous pseudonym--disallowed by the WGA--“Eiben Scrood” unless he explicitly requests I use something else like “George (or) Georgette Spelvin” or “Alan Smithee”). I will also link to the contributor’s website (if one is available and appropriate). Non-English contributions will not be used unless I can also translate them.

NOTE – Visitor-linking to contributor websites is at the visitor’s risk. I do not endorse web-site links beyond initially testing them. I recommend users investigate and use their internet browser’s SmartScreen Filter (Internet Explorer), a browser add-on or extension such as Link Extend (Firefox & Chrome), WOT (Web of Trust - most browsers), or McAfee’s SiteAdvisor (Internet Explorer & Firefox), and to have good anti-malware/antivirus software up and running. In lieu of and/or in addition to those, I suggest users consider internet surfing with Google’s Chrome browser (with some or all of the extensions listed here) because it employs an insulating environment, a “sand-box,” that resists malicious website capabilities. When you close Chrome, the bad stuff that may have inadvertently been downloaded disappears with the browser instance, and the computer is never actually infected. Chrome was the only browser not to be hacked in the recent Pwn2Own competition. I take no responsibility for issues with links other than that I will try to verify them as good and safe before I add them. I will not re-check them other than to delete them if I discover they are problematic. I request users notify me via the email address listed above in such eventualities.

So, come back in a moment, or scroll up, for the debut of The Last Reveal’s Opening Slugs!

FADE OUT

Lee A. Matthias

Quote of the Post:

I hope you’re smart enough to know that [a slug of] ‘WHO-HIT-JOHN don’t go with guns.
---John Wayne in The Shootist, with our clarifier in brackets.

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