Standard Story Company

Short Film Entries Closed

Short one this week!

First off, here’s a quick reminder that today is the final day to pre-order The Instant Short Film Blueprint and get $30 off!

In this 2-hour crash course, I will show you exactly how to write compelling short films that you can make instantly without waiting around for big budgets, locations, and teams!

Pre-orders close at 11:59pm tonight PDT. 


(By the way, thanks to everyone who pre-ordered already – the Blueprint is officially happening! 🚀🤠)


I’ll get it filmed and edited ASAP, and everyone who pre-orders will have access to all the lessons before the end of June. I can’t wait to see what you all create with it!

Regular enrollment will open in late summer.

Short Film Critiques on YouTube

To everyone who took advantage of last week’s invitation to possibly get your short film critiqued on the SSC channel…

Holy hell guys, you sent me a LOT of short films! RIP my inbox 😂

Big thanks to everyone who submitted their work. 

I’m closing the entries for now.

When I’m ready for more submissions, I’ll reach out here on Friday Film Notes once again… but this time I’ll create a Google Form for film submissions to keep things organized. You live and you learn…

Expect the first of these critique videos on the YT channel sometime next month. I filmed a pilot test the other day and I think this new format provides a ton of value. Might bring on some guests too, who knows!

This is also getting me excited to try doing more interactive projects with you all, like running a short film or short screenplay contest.

As Friday Film Notes subscribers, you’ll be the first to know.

Favorites this week:

📰 News: Scarlett Johannson’s statement on OpenAI stealing her voice.

Who would have thought Her was only a few years away from literal reality. Also, the recklessness these AI companies are exhibiting is… troubling.

🍿 Movies: The Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Finally got through all the modern Apes movies. The whole reboot trilogy (Rise, Dawn, & War) is so underrated. Rare to see big sci-fi films made for an adult audience and so effectively emotional.

This new one (Kingdom) was the weakest of the 4, but still a blast. I missed the Caesar character, but really like what they did with his legacy/mythology. Also, it’s strange to see a human woman struggling to survive in this post-apocolyptic planet dominated by apes… while in full makeup 🤣 Meanwhile William H. Macy’s character, who has been living in relative luxury, looks (appropriately) like hell. Choices were made in that makeup department…

📚 Books: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

I’m half-way through this second novel of the Mistborn series. The first book (The Final Empire) had almost everything you’d want in a fantasy story, and was my favorite read in a long time. This second one is struggling to match the first, but it’s still a page-turner.

I also read the second Dune book recently (Messiah), and noticed a lot of similarities. In both series, the first book told a self-contained, epic hero’s journey. Then the second book mainly dealt with cleaning up the mess left behind by that first book, and shows us all the unintended consequences. In other words, the 2nd books were way more serious & less fun. I’m hoping the third book in both series get back to that fun and sense of adventure.

Btw, I discovered Brandon Sanderson and his novels when I found out he had the highest funded Kickstarter campaign of all time. And despite all the high-tech products that fundraise on Kickstarter… the biggest campaign ever was for books. That’s the power of storytelling folks!

💬 Quote: Scorsese once told me, “The things you do poorly are as much a part of your style as the things you do well…” Which was totally true, and oddly reassuring. – David Fincher

Let’s make some movies.


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