Thursday, June 19, 2003


My friends at The Beltway have discovered a pirate in Orrin Hatch's closet. Seems that while the "just" Utah Senator is eager to destroy your computer for piracy, a Wired story reports that his website is using an ILLEGAL copy of software to build it!

Okay, Senator, open your window. Now, grab your computer and toss it out ... after all, the only way to avoid piracy may be to destroy a computer or two ...


According to OPEN SECRETS, entertainment/music lobbies have bribed ... er given him over $175,000 in the last 5 years.

That's nearly 220 PCs for you and me. Always follow the money.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

(If you use it to pirate music, of course)

Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee - and Music Industry lackey - Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said Tuesday he favors developing new technology to remotely destroy the computers of people who illegally download music from the Internet.

So let me get this straight, ORRIN, you think it's cool to destroy my $1500 PC if my nephew file swaps on my computer without my knowledge?

Hmmm. What would the founding father's think?

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003



When beginning a work on that summer film project, it’s usually best to start with the story. Writing scripts can be done is just about any word-processing program. This issue is format. There is a script format at the Microsoft Website. So if you have Word, this may be the way to go to at least get the proper format down.

Now some people would say why bother with proper format? Well, Hollywood has been making movies, and writing scripts for a century now and this format has evolved to the point of being the most efficient way to not only read the script, but to break it down into it’s components in order to actually prepare to make the movie. FORMAT FORMAT FORMAT is the key to this. So my advice is to do it the way it’s done formatwise and get the template.

Trouble is, the template (though adequate in the job that it does) still busies the writer with format work while the writer should be dealing with writing the story.

This is where a script writing program comes in. And there’s two that lead the pack for intuitively writing a script. FINAL DRAFT and MOVIE MAGIC SCREENWRITER 2000.

I like Final Draft, my writing partner likes Scriptwriter. Both have their advantages, and few – if any – disadvantages.

The big advantage to either of these is that they take the formatting effort out of writing. When you start typing INT. or EXT. they know that's a "slugline" or main scene heading. Hit enter and you're in narrative. Then when you "enter" after typing narrative, you're ready to type character. Then, when you type in the character and press "enter" again, you're in dialogue. They automatically wrap the line, paragraph and even page. They add CONTINUEDS. They go into "transition" mode when you hit "tab" so you can write the transition. And when you're done, you can even do a report on characters, their lines, etc. With Scriptwriter 2000, you can even import the script into Moviemaker Scheduling/Budgeting and break it down nearly automatically.

A freeware word processor that I just found is called ROUGHDRAFT and seems to be written with a writer in mind. It has features specifically designed for writers of novels, short stories, articles, poetry, plays and screenplays. It will import files in Word 6.0, Word 97 and HTML formats. Did I mention that it’s a FREEBIE?

Script writing programs are definitely worth their price if you plan to do any serious scriptwriting.

Next week: Part II: PRE-PRODUCTION - Tools for planning your film.