Featured Screenplay: Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs

$ 32Finally, the third (and hopefully not last) part in this ongoing series. Today I want to talk about “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” and what went on behind the scenes.

If you visited the “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” section on www.whiteworms.com you are probably familiar with the basic story but let me recap.

After “Skyscraper” we wanted to write a big space adventure. We tried to come up with original ideas but the more we worked on our ideas and the more thy took shape, the more we realised that our minds were set in something else. During a long “meeting” at the bar during Comic-Con in 2012 we decided that instead of an original space opera, we were going to write a “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” movie.

Right from the beginning, the process was very different than what we were used to. Unlike “Skyscraper” we had underlying material and we had something to build on, admittedly flawed material but there was stuff to build on. There was/is a world, characters, rules and plot-points that just need(ed) to happen. Looking back, it’s quite interesting to realise that we probably had the same discussions that are happening right now at big studios when they decide to reboot an old property.

What has to be in the movie? What has to go? How do you make fans happy? How do you recruit new fans? It’s impossible to keep everyone happy. I joined a “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” message board and I floated some ideas, and to say that reactions were mixed is an understatement. Some people feel very protective of the thing they liked as a kid and are not able to talk about its shortcomings, and trust me “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” has a lot of those.

Our main job was to turn the pilot into a movie that makes sense and is not too different from the show to alienate fans. That’s a tall order from the get go. How do you turn 20 minutes into two hours? Well, we fleshed out the backstory of the worlds and decided to turn the Outriders into an old enemy that returns after many years. We put Fireballs dad into the prologue (you might need him in movie 2 or 3, who knows) and tried to give the characters more of a reason to join/be selected to become Star Sheriffs.

We added some big disasters and some nice action set-pieces, sky-beam finale1 included and made sure that the story had some urgency, the basic structure was that of a “chase-movie”, our characters have to get somewhere before the enemy, simple but effective.

The first version wasn’t bad but it’s wasn’t that good either. We were looking for the idea to tie everything together and we found it. We went bold and made some changes to the main character. We turned Saber Rider into an old guy. Needless to say, the message board wasn’t too happy about that but we stand by our decision. It made everything more personal for Saber Rider, he was there when it all started and he is now there to finish it, 25 years later, after 25 years of him being laughed at for his views but suddenly, as the Outrider return, the Cavalry Command needs him. It also makes sense that he assumes the role of the leader and it makes for a good surprise that he doesn’t know about Project RAMROD. I actually talked about this change in an earlier post.

But enough about the history of “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs”, you’re here to get a sample and here it is. It’s one of my favourite sequences. Orlindo came up with most of it and I translated and fleshed it out. It’s the in the first act, Vena2 escapes from the hospital and kidnaps April. A chase ensues. Enjoy.


Saber looks around and catches a glimpse of Vena pushing her bed along the hallway.


Stop her!

Vena turns around, smiles and keeps running -- still cuffed to the hovering bed.

Colt steps out of the room, smiling.


Wow, I’m not sure what’s more impressive. That she can still walk or that you let a gal with two broken legs slip.

Saber turns and looks really annoyed, he had it with this guy.


You were there too, so stop talking and get to the ground floor to cut her off.

But too late -- Colt is already running.

Saber pursues him.

Then Fireball -- paddling in the air -- using his hover bed as a boat -- floats out of the room.



But they’re gone. Fireball looks around and an OLD LADY in an electric wheelchair passes him. Fireball smiles at her.


Excuse me ma’am!

The old lady turns and smiles as well -- she looks quite smitten with him.


Are you my grandson?


Vena runs along the hallway, still pushing the bed she’s cuffed to.

She runs past a supply station and grabs a pair of scissors. She tries to open the cuffs but the scissors break in half.

A GUARD tries to stop her but Vena stabs him in the neck with the broken scissors. The guard SCREAMS and falls to the ground.

Vena stops, takes the guard’s gun and aims at the cuffs. Still -- no luck.

Vena starts running again and turns around a corner -- a dead end. The doors are too narrow to get the bed through.

Then -- Colt and Saber come around the corner. They have Vena cornered but she is not giving up.

Vena turns the bed around and runs towards Saber and Colt and FIRES at them.

Colt and Saber duck and FIRE back.

Vena starts running again, she picks up speed and presses some buttons on the bed’s hover controls.

The bed picks up height. Vena slides onto the bed and uses the momentum to float past Saber and Colt.

Vena FIRES at the large panoramic window ahead, turns and smiles at Colt and Saber.

Saber and Colt look astonished.


Vena CRASHES through the window. For a moment she’s floating in the air.

She presses the button again and reverses the hover engine -- the bed is now vertically attached to the building; Vena slides off the bed but the cuffs save her from falling.

The bed picks up speed. Racing down the wall.

Vena pulls herself back onto the bed.

Saber and Colt look out the broken window. They are speechless.

Vena waves at them with a smile. She presses another button and the bed slows down.


Cuffing her was a great idea.

Colt GROWLS. Saber turns on his heels and runs away to the elevator.

Colt presses some buttons on his wrist and we can hear an ENGINE ROARING and the Bronco Buster approaches the broken window. The cockpit opens and Colt jumps into the cockpit.

He looks back through the broken window. Saber is still waiting for the elevator.

Colt smiles at tips his head.


See you later!

The cockpit closes and the Bronco Buster dives.

Saber frowns and presses the elevator button again.


Vena doesn’t slow down. Below her a large glass ceiling.

She presses the buttons again -- but this time she’s not so lucky -- the strain is too much for the bed -- it breaks in half.

Vena keeps falling and with a BANG she CRASHES through the glass ceiling into:


SHATTERING GLASS. Vena lands on her feet, the cuffs dangling from her hands.

Vena wipes away the glass shards and looks around. She stares directly at April. She is sitting on a hovering gurney and is being examined by a DOCTOR. Jesse stands next to her.

Vena grins. Jesse gets in front of April to protect her. Vena grins even more.


I love it when a plan comes together?

Jesse pulls his gun.


What the...

April wants go get up but Jesse signals her to stay down.

Vena moves her hand towards her stomach, she’s bleeding.

The doctor looks at Vena and then at the emergency button.

Vena smiles and pulls out a big glass shard and throws the shard at the doctor.

April SCREAMS and jumps up.

The doctor collapses, Jesse turns towards him -- Vena kicks the gun out of Jesses hand, catches it mid air and roundhouse kicks Jesse across the room.


(smiling gleefully)

Best day ever.

Jesse lies unconscious on the ground.

Vena points her gun at April, takes a step towards her and smiles.


Do you fancy a little trip little dove ... or should I say little eagle?


Under the giant glass ceiling people are running around, doctors SHOUTING for nurses and gurneys.

The elevator door opens. A DOCTOR IN WHITE emerges with a hovering gurney with a body bag on it.

It’s Vena. She steadily walks across the hall towards the exit. Even through her disguise we can see her smiling.

The Bronco Buster lands in front of the entrance. Colt exits the Bronco, an ambulance approaches and lands next to him.

Nurses and doctors start running towards the ambulance.

Vena sees her chance and walks towards the ambulance.


Saber stands in the elevator. A muzak version of the “Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs” theme song is playing.


The nurses and doctors get close to ambulance. Vena, hiding in the CROWD, passes Colt.

Colt is looking around but he doesn’t pay attention to the people attending the ambulance.

Three people get pulled out of the ambulance. Vena waits and then shoves her gurney into the now empty ambulance. She climbs in and shuts the door.

Colt is still screening the crowd.

The ambulance’s front door opens and a dead body falls out. The body hits the ground. Colt turns towards the ambulance.

The engine ignites and the ambulance lifts off. Colt draws his gun and fires -- A HIT. Parts of the engine get blown away.

The ambulance sinks to the ground.



Stupid mutton-puncher, praise NEMESIS for ground propulsion.


Colt keeps firing. The ambulance pulls back and crashes into the Bronco.

Colt almost gets squashed and the ambulance races away towards the main gate.

On a terrace above the entrance hall Fireball has seen the scene unfold. He sits in a motorised wheelchair. The engine cover is missing and it looks like Fireball rewired the whole thing.


(shouting at Colt)

Now you know how that feels!

Colt looks up mumbles something and looks at the big dent in his Bronco, parts of the engine are broken.

Fireball takes a look at his wheelchair and sighs.


Here comes nothing!

He presses the controller forward and accelerates, the wheelchair sound like a race car -- Fireball built himself a “race chair”.

He drives (or slides) down the glass ceiling and tries to steer towards the side closer to the main gate.

He jumps off the glass roof and lands on the grass hill that leads down to the main gate.

In his face we can see equal parts excitement and terror.

The ambulance reaches the gate and CRASHES through, turns into the main road and -- a SCREAM.



He flies through the air and reaches the ambulance and manages to grab the door handle. The ambulance accelerates.

Fireball is dangling from the ambulance and his splinted leg is stuck in the wheelchair. His excitement turns into pain.

The speed is too much for the wheelchair and the wheelchair falls apart.

Fireball still has part of the wheelchairs arm rest in his hand. His splinted leg grinds along the pavement.

Fireball pulls himself further up, opens the door and climbs into the ambulance.


Fireball lays on top of a body bag. The bag starts to move.

He opens the zipper and finds a gorgeous blonde, April. She is cuffed and gagged.

Fireball starts removing the gag. April MUMBLES.

Fireball points at Vena who is busy steering the ambulance and signals April to be quiet.

He tries to remove the cuffs but as he looks up he sees that Vena is doing something on the steering wheel.


Fireball lips mouth the word SORRY.

He puts the gag back, April protests silently; he closes the body bag and rolls under the gurney.

Vena opens the slide door and walks towards the body bag, unzips it and removes the gag.


So, Miss Eagle, tell me, where is it?


I have no idea what you’re talking about.


I really thought we could solve this issue like reasonable people, woman to woman so to speak. I just need to know where you stored the RAMROD...

This word makes April shudder.


... device. Ahh, so you do know what I’m talking about.


I’ll never talk. I’ll rather die than talk.

Vena smiles.


They always say that.

Fireball is quietly looking for a weapon of some sorts.


I’m quite good at figuring out what motivates people.

Vena presses a button, the gurney sinks down and Fireball is caught between gurney and floor. He can’t move.

Vena looks at him and smiles.


Hi Raceboy! This is perfect, just when you need someone to prove a point.

Vena pulls a knife and shows it to April.


So Miss Eagle, please picture me cutting his throat very slowly. I know you would sacrifice yourself, but can you sacrifice someone else?


What are you waiting for, tell her everything.

The autopilot starts to BEEP. On the HUD: COLLISION ALERT.


I’m really sorry! Just give me a second to take care of this mess.

Vena returns to the steering wheel.


The ambulance races towards a road block, about a mile ahead, heavily guarded by armed POLICEMEN.


Vena accelerates -- then someone knocks on the window.

It is Saber, riding on Steed.

Vena lowers the window.


Stop the car now and let them go.

Vena smiles.


A welcoming committee, how nice of you.

She turns around and looks at Fireball and April.


Just as we thought you might get out of this alive.

Vena turns the wheel hard left.


The ambulance almost knocks Saber and Steed over and CRASHES through the beam barrier into oncoming traffic.

Breaks SCREECHING. Cars CRASHING into each other but the ambulance evades them almost effortlessly.

Saber keeps pursuing. He closes in on the ambulance -- but then -- hard left again -- the ambulance CRASHES through another beam barrier and flies off the motorway.

The ambulance CRASHES through a big billboard -- Fireball selling “Pearl White Toothpaste – The fastest way to pearl white teeth” and lands on an other motorway lane -- two cars break hard and two others CRASH into them.


Vena looks into the rear mirror. Behind her cars are piling up. Total car mayhem.

She smiles.


This is getting better and better.

She switches on the autopilot and gets back to April and Fireball.


So where were we? Oh yes....

She pulls his knife out and puts it at Fireballs throat.


... last chance before I cut him up, where...

She gets interrupted by a voice over the radio.


It’s useless Vena. You can’t escape.


I’m trying to work here, all I want is just a few minutes without being interrupted? Is that too much to ask?

She gets up and switches the radio to hands-free.


I’d love to chat with you about the two or three times you almost caught me but I’m hitting it off with this cute blonde.

(to April)

Do you want to say something?



We are fine Sir! Just get her!


You call this fine?

Vena kicks him and knocks him out.


Hey, I didn’t say it was your turn to talk.

The autopilot BEEPS again. The HUD reads: Energy levels low.


Looks like I have to hurry. Talk to you later Sheriff.

She switches the radio off and looks around in the ambulance. She takes a bottle off the shelf and fills a syringe and injects April.


What are you doing?


Let’s see if this makes you more cooperative?

Vena rips Aprils cloth off, puts sensor patches on her bare skin and switches the heart monitor on.

April looks dizzy.


This should do the trick. Where is the RAMROD weapon?


(with a weak voice)

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

The monitor shows some spikes.


Naughty girl. You shouldn’t tell lies. Is it on Yuma by any chance?

No spike on the device.


I guess not. What about Ganymede?


The ambulance is racing along the motorway.

Saber and Steed still in pursuit but he’s not alone. The Bronco Buster is approaching fast.


Hey old geezer, missed me?


Go away, or I’ll have you arrested for obstruction of justice.


Because you’re doing such a bang up job arresting people.

Then someone else joins the conversation.


Can’t you solve this after we get her?

Jesse, with a black eye and a swollen nose, is standing behind a road block and stares at the fast approaching ambulance.


Slow him down and we’ll take care of the rest.


That we can do.

The Bronco Buster FIRES a rocket at the ambulance -- a hit.

The back door gets blown to bits. Saber can see Vena interrogating April.


Vena stares at Saber who is just a few horses lengths behind. Saber has to evade debris from the door and loses ground.

For the first time in all this Vena looks nervous. Fireball slowly regains consciousness.

Then -- on the radio.


Surrender now and you will get a fair trial. Hurt her and I will personally make your life a living hell.

Vena starts smiling again.


(to April)

OK, last chance girl, is RAMROD on Alamo?

The drugs have kicked in fully. April MOANS, and the device spikes.

Vena looks pleased with herself.


Alamo it is. Thank you very much.

Right at this moment -- the Bronco Buster is directly behind the ambulance


(over loud speakers)

Hands up! It’s dead or alive so I don’t mind if I have to shoot you.

Vena turns toward Colt and starts laughing.


Be my guest cowboy.

Vena starts dancing around.


Am I moving too fast? C’mon, shoot already.

Colt fires but it’s not a rocket, it is a grappling hook. Vena looks disappointed.


That’s it?

Colt hits the breaks and the ambulance slows down. Vena stumbles.

Fireball, fully conscious again sees his chance, he pushes the gurney up and manages to move a few feet, enough to free himself.

He pulls himself up and tries to punch Vena but Vena doesn’t even blink when he hits her straight in the face.


Is that all you’ve got? I barely felt that. Want to try again?

Fireball punches her again -- no reaction.



Vena kicks Fireball right into the stomach and he falls out of the Ambulance and lands on the Bronco. He stares at Colt through the window.

Colt tries to look past Fireball but Fireball tries to evade him as well and they keep staring at each other.

The Bronco starts to trundle and with it the ambulance.

The Bronco CRASHES into the ambulance’s rear suspension, gets stuck and rips the suspension off. Fireball gets thrown back into the ambulance.

The ambulance starts to grind on the road.

Vena is back at the wheel. She hits the breaks and turns the wheel hard left.

The ambulance flips over -- flying over the road block -- and lands in the side. There -- a small fire at the bottom of the ambulance.

Jesse looks at the flipped over ambulance and starts running towards it.

He signals the other policemen to stay back.


Stay back! It’s going to blow!

Jesse climbs into the Ambulance. Fireball is picking up April.


Let me!

Fireball nods and hobbles away. Jesse takes her.


April? You all right?

April MOANS, she’s barely conscious.

Up front he sees Vena. Still sitting in the chair -- fixed with a piece of metal through her chest.

Vena, barely alive, turns around and smiles.


I’ll greet the other side from you.

She picks up a bottle of sterilizer with a “highly flammable” sign on it.

Jesse grins and carries April out of the ambulance.


Jesse and April exit the ambulance. Fireball is still crawling. Saber and Colt run towards them. Colt picks up Fireball.


Where’s your wheelchair?

Fireball smiles.

Saber keeps running towards the ambulance but Jesse signals to get down.


Get down! The ambulance...

The ambulance EXPLODES in a big ball of fire.

The blast blows everybody down.

Saber is the first one to get back up and stares at the burning ambulance.


So much for my only lead.


The ambulance is burning and the fire has reached a lifeless Vena, her face is already melting away and leaves behind a strange looking skeleton that gets consumed by the flames.


Saber, Jesse are staring at the burning ambulance.

Colts gets up and wipes away the dust.


There goes my reward.

TWO MEDICS are attending Fireball and April.

Saber turns towards fireball and starts interrogating him.


What did she say?


I don’t know, something about a secret project and then she started to call out planets.


What planets?


I don’t know. I was knocked out.

Hearing this, April regains consciousness.

Everybody turns towards her.


April, are you all right?

But April ignores the question, she looks at Saber.


Nice to see you again sir.


Likewise, but you can drop the sir Miss Eagle. Your father fired me today.

April looks surprised. Saber turns to Jesse.


Mr. Blue.

Jesse nods.


We have to go to Alamo!


What about the attacks.


You don’t understand. She knew about the RAMROD project! We have to go there, now!


RAMROD? It can’t be more important than the attacks.

April touches her pendant.


But it is.


More important than 4000 lives?



Saber nods. He seems to understand. For now.


And how shall we get there? I doubt they have a spare ship down at the cavalry command.


We could borrow one.

Everybody turns to Fireball.

Fireball smiles shyly, he’s not happy, not at all.



I’m not going anywhere until someone fixes my leg.

A bit long but, at least in my opinion, a really great sequence. I’d love to see it realised one day. I’m sure people would really like it. If you want to read more, head over to www.whiteworms.com and read the rest. You’re welcome.

  1. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
  2. Another one of these changes we made that not everyone is happy about.

Looks Like I did it again….

Seems like I forget to update the blog…again…but this time I have a good reason.

Actually I have more than one good reason, so let me give you an update.

1. My new flat is almost done and by almost i mean that I have absolutely no idea when it will be done. The only thing I know ist that building your own house/flat is one of the most bizarre things ever and that doesn’t include all the annoying things the contractors do.

2. Work is murder. I don’t know why but this year has been particularly stressful, especially the last couple of weeks. I’m really looking forwards to the end of the school year.

3. Saber Rider is coming along great. The last rewrite was a blast and I really think we cracked it. Sure, there are some minor kinks here and there but we have a fun movie that makes (for the most part) sense. In the end we started to change a few things and realized that we didn’t need to stick too close to the source and instead decided top deliver our version of Saber Rider. We don’t know how people will react but we strongly believe that we did the right thing. Certain things made no sense, or still make no sense in the series (ist just for kids, you know) and by bringing it to the big screen we just had to address some of these issues.

Yes, thats why I didn’t post and to be honest I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. Someday I’ll have to move and the next rewrite or the next project awaits and hopefully works is not going away either. But I keep you up to date.

Rewriting Saber Rider

We got some interesting feedback. Some good, some not so good but in general we got what we were expecting.

We ordered two paid reads on the blcklst (the Blacklist) and received two very different reviews (so different that even the blcklst) thinks something is off). Even though they are very different the review pointed the same things out, one of the readers just thought our story has more potential and liked our execution better than the other one.

We are aware that “Saber Rider” is a hard sell but we are certain that (if executed correctly, including a lot of rewrites) it has the potential to be awesome and very lucrative.

So, what do we do now? Well, I have no idea. I agree with some of the weaknesses discussed but I strongly disagree with some other points both readers made. So how do I choose what to do and what to ignore? Sure, there’s “kill your darlings” but that can’t be the only answer. It’s probably one of these “the truth is in the middle” scenarios.

There was one point both readers raised and even though we deliberately decided not to go that route in the beginning it’s probably time to accept that we have to adhere to some conventions of the genre and fulfill some of the expectations the audience (or the reader) has. So we decided to rework the Saber Rider character. We had an interesting (but controversial) idea and I will implement the changes in the next couple of weeks.

Iain Glen

Ian Glen as Saber Rider?

So, what is that idea? We decided to age Saber. I had the Idea while surfing the “interweb” and I came across a picture of Iain Glen, Jorah Mormont in Game of Thrones.
For some reason I started to see him as an older Saber. So why would an older Saber be a good idea? Well, we think that an older Saber adds some depth to the character, his backstory gets more interesting and we can introduce him as a veteran of the first war who still has some unresolved issues that haunt him. We envision him as someone who lost his way but gets an opportunity to either loose of completely or get back on the horse and become the man we know and love. Some fans might not like the idea of an older (we are talking mid 50ies) Saber Rider but we hope that once Colt starts cracking jokes about Sabers age (which happens about 2 seconds after they meet for the first time) they’ll accept out version of the character.

An older Saber also adds some depth to Fireball. Saber knew Fireballs father with could lead/leads to some tension but also allows for some interesting character developments. As for April and Jesse, well they met Saber at the Academy. He trained them which makes it more natural that she trusts him and Jesse has even more reasons not to like him. But one question remains, why didn’t Saber have the great career he deserved? I don’t want to spoil too much but he suffers from survivors guilt.

Now I have definitely said enough. I need to get back to writing now. Check back in a few weeks.

A tiny update

So it has been a few days and I promised so here I am with an update. There is nothing new to report. We are still waiting for feedback on our Saber Rider script and The second batch of Skyscraper query letters is going out soon. We haven’t had any good news on that so far. I was turned down by a few agencies (the we are not looking right now) but Orlindo didn’t get any response from the production companies. Maybe they are still reading but I doubt it.

I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about all this. On the hand hand I’m glad that we didn’t get a message telling us how bad our script is but it on the other hand it would be nice to get at least something. I know there are a lot of people trying to to what we do but I really believe that pur work is good enough to compete on a professional level. Maybe we really have to refocus on the short film and try to get attention.

One thing we’ll definitely do is enter the Blacklist again. We got some good feedback there and I think that Saber Rider will find an audience there. At some point we’ll have to contact WEP but I doubt that they are interested in in pursuing it right now (with us).

So that’s it for the moment. I have to get back to tweak a few lines of dialogue but let me share with you another contender on our list….

Let’s try this news thing

Here we go.

Seems like we have a winner…well not really but we’ll get there. “Saber Rider” is making the rounds and so far (the little) feedback we got has been quite good.There seems to be a small group of people who really like the idea of a “Saber Rider” screenplay and they are really impressed that somebody took time (and was stupid enough) to actually write it. Hopefully they’ll still think this after they read it.

We are still looking for more feedback so please head over to our “Saber Rider” page and read it. For the lazy ones I included a direct link to the screenplay.

In other news…no news. We still haven’t heard anything about “Skyscraper” but we hope that will change soon. We are confident that we have a good script there and we are certain that someone will notice.

If not…I guess we have to write another screenplay…maybe this one…

Juts kidding…maybe. 🙂

Sorry, I did it again…

Sorry, I did it again…I’ve neglected the blog but trust me, I was very busy.
As you all know, christmas time is not exactly the most productive time in the year but I managed to do some work. I completed the third draft of Saber Rider.
Orlindo gave me some great notes focusing on characters and dialogue and after a little back and forth we completed the new draft and we are quite happy with it. I know I should say stuff like that but it a great read. Somehow we just got the tone right, most of the jokes are funny and the pacing worked out great.

We are currently waiting for some feedback and the next step will probably be the online Blacklist. We know that a Saber Rider movie is a long shot even among long shots but we know we have a great writing sample and who knows what will come of it. if you want to read the current draft head over to whiteworms.com. We included a link in the project page. for Saber Rider.

You can even use the new subdomain: saberrider.whiteworms.com. You gotta love the internet. 🙂

So stay tuned and I hope 2014 started good for you.

I’m still trying

Ok, I’m still here and I’m really happy with myself. I’m still posting (more than a week after the relaunch) and apparently I have something to say as well. Ok, there’s the slight problem that I don’t have any readers but that’s a minor detail.

So, what is going on? Well, the new “Saber Rider” draft came along great. I managed to get some good changes in and I’m currently waiting on some feedback. I still need to check the typing and have a look at some of the dialogue but other than that, the draft is done.

After that I’ll focus on an idea for a new animated short and I hope to spend some time on the “Passion of the Geek”. The animated short is something we’ve been working on for quite some time and after a few setbacks we’re finally in a place where we think we have an idea we can work with. It’s strange how many good ideas just don’t work out the way you intend them to work out. You start with something you really like and you work on it as good as you can but somehow you just never get it to work.

So this is a short one. I’m binge watching West Wing but I want to leave you with something to get you into the right mood for the holidays.

How not to get an agent

Yes, we are trying to get an agent but so far no luck yet. Not exactly a big surprise but who knows, maybe we get lucky. Taking a cue from all the other screenwriting blogs, this seems to be quite a popular topic so I thought I’ll give to a go. 

So, what did we do?

Basically we’re working on two things. Orlindo is contacting various producers and production companies while I’m looking into agents. I bought a reference book for British writers with a whole bunch of addresses for agencies in it. I browsed through the lists and compiled a list for interesting agencies that fit our criteria (basically: we accept submissions). We decided to start with Britisch agencies. We think that the competition is a bit smaller and we hope that it is easier to get a foot in and frankly, we’d both be perfectly happy to work in Britain. 

But as I said, so far no luck. I contacted 8 agencies so far and received 2 answers so far. Obviously both of them negative. That leaves 6. We haven’t heard anything back from any of the producers or production companies yet. 

We know that an animation screenplay is a hard sell but we really believe in the story and we’re convinced that it is a good writing sample. Once “Saber Rider” is complete we’ll try the same routine with that screenplay and then again with the one after that. There0s just the tiny issue of coming up with another idea again but since we fancy ourselves writers, that should be the least of our problems and judging from the vastly improved timeframe we had with “Saber Rider”, chances are that we have a new screenplay ready to go in about a year.

Stay tuned. 🙂

Writing Saber Rider

I promised, I’m really trying this time.

I’m still in the process of rewriting the “Saber Rider” script and I thought I could share some insights into that project.

It startet in July 2012 in San Diego during the Comic Con. We sat at the bar in Hilton Bayfront after a long day of nerdgasm….what could possibly go wrong?

The answer is nothing. Sitting there, thinking about the great day we just had and discussing the sci-fi movie we decided to write. We wanted to write a cool sci-fi movie. Nothing too fancy, no big mythology, just a cool story and some cool space fights. We had some interesting ideas and we tried to figure at the story when we caught ourselves referencing the same old TV show over and over again. 

A few drinks later we were ready to admit what we both knew what really wanted to do. So we scraped our generic sci-fi idea and started work on Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs”. 

We loved that show when we were kids and even though we know that it is a long shoot we tried to write the best possible movie version we could think of. We decided to take the story of the pilot episode and expanded the story and filled the plot holes. We got rid of some of the dated stuff in the story and toned down the western elements a little bit (you know, Lone Ranger and so…). We looked at some of the classics of the sci-fi space adventure genre and we decided that a “chase movie” is probably the best structure for it. We knew we had to change a few things but this structure allowed us to incorporate what we really loved about the show in a way that doesn’t feel outdated.

The first draft turned out quite well and I’m currently in the process of rewriting it. There are a few things I need to clear up and I have to work on something I like to call “information flow” – when does which character know what and why? It’s really important that this makes sense in the movie and I think it enriches the the story and the characters when a writer pays attention to this. I don’t want to go too much into details (spoilers and so) but by limiting the flow of information we managed to achieve some great reveals in the story and changed some of the character dynamics in an interesting ways.

I hope to complete my rewrite until the end of december.

It’s alive!

It’s one of those posts again….so skip reading if your sick if m ”This time it will work mantra.”

It’s alive!

Still here?….Ok, here we go.

As you can see, I redesigned the blog again. I found a neat theme that I really liked and didn’t require too much fiddling. Some of you may notice that I used the same theme on the newly redesigned www.whiteworms.com, this is no coincidence. I think of this site as a companion site. Whiteworms is were I try to sell screenplays and gregorvogt.com is where I blog about writing them.

I just feel I need to write more and sometimes I just don’t want to write screenplays and this here seems like a nice little distraction. I rely hope that I can post one real entry every week and maybe one or two little ones in between.

I will primarily write about writing and movies or tv shows or other things that I like or find interesting. I won’t write reviews, there are better places for that but I might tell you what you need to read/watch/listen to/eat/… . Maybe I’ll include a “Greg Recommends” feature at some point but who knows, don’t count on it.

So, let’s start with some news.

In october we mainly worked  on the new homepage. I redesigned the site (the old one was from 2007) and we relaunched it as a place to showcase our screenplays. We really want to make the site the best Whiteworms homepage ever.

I  also put some hours into rewriting “Saber Rider” and “The Passion of the Geek”.   We had some generous people who read our first draft of “Saber Rider” and they gave us some good notes and feedback. We are currently trying to solve some minor potholes and address some of their concerns. “The Passion” is coming together nicely. The plot still works (even though it doesn’t make sense) and I’m surprised that some of my jokes are still funny.

You’re probably asking why I didn’t tweak “Skyscraper”. Well, we are currently in the process of sending the script to various production companies and producers around Europe. We know that it is a long shoot but you never know.

We are also working hard on a few ideas for animated short movies. We are not completely there yet but we hope that we can present one in the near future. We are toying around with a few ideas but we want to make sure that we settle on the right one. We don’t want to repeat our past mistakes.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for the next entry. I promise there will be one.