Looking for a Last Minute Gift?

With only one week before Christmas, we thought we'd remind you that our short film, Se Habla Español, is still available for sale at Tucson area Borders and Barnes and Noble bookstores as well as online. The DVD includes several special features, such as a making-of documentary, a retrospective piece on Tucson's cultures, and "Even a Gringa Can Make a Tamale."


Se Habla Español

Just another reminder that Se Habla Español is still available for sale at the Tucson Borders and Barnes and Noble bookstores, as well as online.

In other news, we are still continuing our fundraising efforts for our first feature, and we plan to start filming a fun short film called The Three O'Clock.


Se Habla Español

With Black Friday just a few hours away, it seems an appropriate time to mention that you can spare yourself a little shopping anxiety by purchasing a copy of Se Habla Español online. Copies should still be available at the Tucson locations of Borders and Barnes and Noble.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From all of us at CoyoteMoon Films, have a very happy Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.


ScriptDoctor testimonial

Dr. Moore (a screenwriter and psychologist, not a ScriptDoctor) writes:

...I love rewriting, but your suggestions, because they made such good dramatic sense, made the rewrite easier and help guide the rewrite in a direction that just... felt right. In general, I found your suggestions and insights extremely helpful .... If I did not follow your suggestions exactly, they made me think about how to do things differently, how to make certain things work better for the story I was attempting to tell....

ScriptDoctor thanks Dr. Moore for his comments.


Lyrical Lifestyle

From CoyoteMoon Films' own Megan Guthrie:

Lyrical Lifestyle recently interviewed country singer, Josh Thompson during the H20 tour in Phoenix, AZ!

Please watch the latest video at our website:

YouTube Page:

Thank you!


Gift Idea

With the major gift-giving holidays just around the corner, we at CoyoteMoon Films would like to remind you that the DVD of our short film, "Se Habla Español," is still available for sale through our website as well as at both Barnes & Noble and both Borders stores in Tucson.

Barnes and Noble:
5130 E. Broadway, Tucson, AZ 85711

Foothills Mall
7325 N. La Cholla Blvd. Ste 100, Tucson, AZ 85741

5870 E. Broadway Blvd. #448, Tucson, AZ 85711

4235 N. Oracle Rd., Tucson, AZ 85705

Remember that the DVD is loaded with special features, including a "Behind the Scenes" look at the production of the film, "Even a Gringa Can Make a Tamale" (including recipes), and "Tucson: Two Cultures," which features the work of some of Tucson's best photographers.


John August and Howard Allen's Response

John August recently wrote in his blog about Script Consultants and their value. CoyoteMoon Films' own Howard Allen is a script consultant at ScriptDoctor.com, and he had this to say in response:

I am a major fan of John August's work and Craig Mazin has kept busy as writer. Their recent blog about Script Consultants was brutal but too broad in its complaint. I can't speak for all script consultants, but only for ScriptDoctor. Our Contest Judges and Script Consultants have experience in not only writing screenplays but in getting them produced. Myself, I am a screenwriter and co-screenwriter with scripts out in the marketplace and scripts In Development at CoyoteMoon Films.

So, I am a working producer and director and writer, but I do not live in Los Angeles. I was rated No. 1 Cream Of The Crop in a recent national survey of script analysts and consultants, but I have to agree with many of the complaints about consultants in the blog. Too many see the end result of their work as published books and full workshops rather than really helping clients with scripts. Having worked as a professional actor and director before becoming a screenwriter, I think that my analysis and consultation comes from the inside out -- really looking at how a script is working and not working -- for the collaborators who follow the screenwriter.

Most important, the Diagnosis & Medication Analysis I give at ScriptDoctor is aimed at honoring where the writer is in their process and Encouraging the best rewrite of their script. A rewrite done by the writer, not a line-by-line template from ScriptDoctor forced on the screenplay. And that commitment is more important than the dollars. In our Contest Of Contest Winners, all scripts are reviewed by two writers, so entrants get input/advice from more than one person for their money.

John August says this using a sports analogy: "The top coaches have the ability to extract the best efforts from the athletes they train. They recognize weakness and focus attention. It’s conceivable that the same could hold true for screenwriting."

I agree a consultant can focus attention on the strengths and especially the weaknesses in a script. And it can include a couple What If suggestions for improvement. It can also be comprehensive feedback without costing exorbitant dollars.

Interestingly, some of the worst people to consult about your screenplay are very successful screenwriters with narrow vision about what works and what does not in a script.


All Hallow's Read

At CoyoteMoon Films, we tend to focus our attention on films. That said, we also like to read, and would like to do our small part to support to Neil Gaiman's idea of giving scary books to people in the days leading up to Halloween. About 3/4 down this page there a links to posts on various sources that list appropriate books for the occasion. And if you want to give a scary book to someone who prefers laughter with their chills, I'd like to suggest just about anything by Christopher Moore (e.g., "Bloodsucking Fiends").

ETA: There is now a FAQ for All Hallow's Read here.


Megan Guthrie

See CoyoteMoon Films' own amazing Megan Guthrie's newest venture. She's obviously on her way with Lyrical Lifestyle and CMF is lucky to have her too.


New media and publishing

J.A. Konrath wrote an article for the Huffington Post about how he and three other horror novelists (Blake Crouch, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson) wrote a book together and published through Amazon, bypassing the traditional print media, charging significantly less per copy ($2.99), and still receiving at least as much (or more) in royalties.

The book is Draculas, and its website is here, with a list of special features that is more impressive than some DVDs offer.

The trends in self-publishing in new media may not apply directly or immediately to film-making, if only because it costs much more to make a movie than to write a book, but some of the processes Konrath discusses may be important to the future of all media, and certainly should be of interest to new writers.


The Graves on SyFy

Our friend Brian Pulido's film, The Graves, will premiere on SyFy Sat. Oct. 2 at 9PM PT! (Check your local listings for the correct airtime in your area.)

Don't Take Our Word for It

ScriptDoctor provides some of the best screenplay advice around.

Your diagnosis arrived on Saturday. It was exactly what we were looking for! We were hoping you would point out areas that needed improvement - we knew we had hit a wall - and you did exactly that. We'd much rather hear constructive criticism than receive flowers and rainbows...

Thank you again,


Thanks for the diagnosis and medication! I like your style. Your suggestions are very helpful.
This is my first attempt at writing a screenplay and I'm still learning a lot of stuff. I really like and appreciate your positive comments along with the normal criticism. I've used two other script services on this so far and, after getting their evaluations, I felt kind of beat down. They tended to focus mostly on the bad stuff and very little, if at all, on the good stuff. I do understand that the purpose is to be critical. But I feel that, at least with me, it's important to inject some encouragement. So I thank you.

Thanks again!

Tommy Stoval

I found out about you through Creative Scriptwriting Magazine. I thought the evaluation was great. I always get mixed thoughts on the scene heading format. I'm really not sure what to do at this point. I liked your thoughts. I think it's hard to give feedback. I know that everyone is going to have something different to say, and that it would never stop. It's up to the writer to decide when it's great. It seemed like you believed in the same thing.

Tony Ortiz

Here's a little update...One of my Scripts is in Maverick Films Top 100 in
their screenplay contest. Although it is not the same one I sent to you [for] analysis, I pretty much followed your advice to create a top notch narrative! Thanks for your help...

Anthony Perticaro


Recommendation for Se Habla Español

We are planning to make more copies of CoyoteMoon Films' debut short Se Habla Español available for sale online and at several local (Tucson) stores; with the major holidays just around the corner, now is a good time to plan your gift lists, and we hope that you know a film lover (or a Tucson lover) who might appreciate Se Habla Español. Details for ordering copies of the film will me announced here when they are available.

Randall J. Garland, DDS, of Tucson had this to say about the film:

[My] wife Karen & I were really impressed with your film. We thought the images you captured were gorgeous (e.g., San Xavier). We thought the film nicely blended a light, sensitive approach to a controversial issue with the spirit of Christmas. We loved it. We truly were astounded at how skillfully made the film was. You had some great local humor in the film too (the immigrant ending up in Oro Valley). You’ve really got talent. We’re thinking about buying a number of copies for Christmas presents.

Event: Dead West

The Tucson Film & Music Festival is premiering Doug Myers' film "Dead West" on Saturday, October 9th at 7:30 pm at the Crossroads Festival. Buy tickets to the event early because it will likely sell out fairly quickly, and the filmmakers are hoping to change the venue to a larger theatre.

You can go on their site here to purchase tickets, and they may be available at the Hut.

Here's more information on the film itself:

Dead West - or The Rise of the Horror Genre and the Fall of the Western is the story of a western movie actor (Johnny Dust) still trying to make it big in a western film studio and theme park, when a 'new management team' takes over the park and turns the film studio into a fright-fest for the month of Halloween. Haunted by the image of his dead western movie hero, who appears to him on the little screen, Johnny unravels the real intent of management and its opening night 'spectacular', which takes place in the depths of the park's cave.


Mission San Xavier

Mission San Xavier del Bac was one of the locations for the CoyoteMoon Films short Se Habla Español. As ever, we are grateful to the Mission for allowing us to film in the chapel.

The Mission is in the midst of a massive restoration project which, due to the economy, is suffering funding issues. Anyone who would like to help the Mission complete its restoration can donate here.


Line in the Sand

CoyoteMoon Films intends to produce a feature, "Line in the Sand," as one of its next major projects. The subject matter is timely, and the synopsis follows:

Chris Hande, a Border Patrol agent, arrives at the scene of a car crash to save a half-coyote (he later names Dog) left on the road to die. But it strikes the memory of his wife and daughter, killed by a Coyote driving van full of illegals two years before.

A couple weeks later, in a dilapidated double-wide trailer in the desert, a hollow Chris awakens in a trashed bedroom next to a framed picture of his wife and daughter. The beaded face of a Gila Monster appears at the edge of the bed. The dangerous lizard crawls toward the semi-conscious Hande. As it draws closer, Chris appears to reach for a pistol on the nightstand only to place a tin plate with an egg on it in front of his “pet” Gila Monster.

At the same time, a world away, in the jungles of Columbia, Maria Orozco and her brother Salvatore plot their escape from her husband, Juan Carlos Jacar, The Jaguar. A drug lord with political connections from South America to the U.S., Juan Carlos’ two obsessions are power and Maria, a strikingly beautiful woman with a kind of S&M hold over the Jaguar. Jacar is equally comfortable brokering a deal for a new Caribbean resort or, as we see, flaying the skin from an underling who maybe stole a drug shipment.

Back in Arizona, Chris’s only link to humanity appears to be rescuing sick and injured animals while on patrol. He shares his shoddy surroundings with Dog, who sleeps in his truck, several abandoned mustangs, a Great Horned Owl and Tripod, a three legged javelina, who is the bane of Hande's neighbor, former Viet Nam Ranger and ATF agent Jesse Stilman, who pushes Chris to stay connected to life.

Maria and Salvatore escape from Columbia, but not before Jacar turns Salvatore into a junkie. Trying to avoid Jacar’s reach, they join the river of humanity in Mexico heading for work in El Norte. Hunted by the Jaguar and his men, they arrive at La Frontera.

Hande, an expert signs tracker, locates the illegals, whose Coyote has abandoned them in the desert heat. Chris rescues the group and quickly realizes the Orozoco’s are not typical immigrants looking for work. Chris does not trust Maria, and she thinks he’s just another crazy American.

Meanwhile, Jacar traces Maria to Tucson, because on both sides of the Line his businesses thrive in a surprising criminal economy involving self-appointed American Rangers on the U.S. side and Las Zetas mercenaries and drug runners on the Mexican side. Chris does have allies, including the whole Villaverde clan, friends on the Tohono O'odham reservation. Chris even speaks their language.


Creative Screenwriting

Every year, Creative Screenwriting surveys screenwriters for their opinions of screenplay analysts (the "Cream of the Crop" survey). This year, Howard Allen of ScriptDoctor.com and Coyote Moon Films took first place in the survey. Congratulations, Howard!

Scriptdoctor.com: a new Doctor is in

Rick Schwartz, an entertainment professional his entire working life and a member of MPEG (Motion Picture Editor's Guild), is a full-time Senior Story Analyst for DreamWorks Entertainment.

He has contributed to the development of scores of DW's features, among them "American Beauty," "The Terminal" and "A Beautiful Mind."

Previous to his stint at DreamWorks, Rick worked in the same capacity at Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment.

Rick has also worked as an executive at Hometown Films, based at Paramount Pictures. At Hometown, he oversaw the production of two first-run syndicated TV series, "War of the Worlds"" and "Friday the 13th - The Series," for which he wrote multiple episodes. Rick was also involved in the development of numerous feature films at Hometown.

Rick began his entertainment career as an agent trainee at the William Morris Agency and is a member of the Writer's Guild of America.


ScriptDoctor's Contest of Contest Winners

FOR RELEASE: April 30, 2010


CONTACT: Howard Allen, thedoc@ScriptDoctor.com


There are dozens of screenwriting competitions held annually across the country. But which screenplay from among the winners of all of these quality competitions is the best of the best?

All of us at ScriptDoctor.com are amazed at the response – over 50 entrants -- in this the fifth year of our Contest. To show our gratitude, we took the extra time and expense of getting two judge’s evaluations emailed off to every single entrant in the Contest.

Who is the best of the best? The Contest of Contest Winners ™ hopes to answer that question and shine the spotlight on these accomplished, award-winning screenplays. A good showing in this contest proves your script stands out among the toughest competition. What a priceless marketing tool for your screenplay!

Our top ten Finalists also receive free Final Draft software.

Also as promised, we are directly contacting more than 200 publications, agencies and production companies with the names and screenplays of our 10 Finalists.

Our access to major studios and production companies is aided by the fact that many of our judges are working professionals. This includes ScriptDoctor manager, Howard Allen, and Mary Christine Haughom, who has been in the film business for over 25 years, starting out in the biz as Executive Assistant to the President of Filmways Picture, Inc. (formerly AIP), evaluating all scripts that made it past the Story Department and screened many films for the company for possible pick-up and distribution. And she made the rounds at the Cannes Film Festival and the American Film Market. Over the years, Chris evaluated scripts for AFI, CAA and many production companies, and also wrote many script novelizations. For the past 16 years, Chris has been a Judge for the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowships, reading over 250 scripts in a 4-month period each year.

Our First Place Winner receives the cash prize, storyboard software from FrameForge 3D, a free set of Story Notes from ScriptDoctor.com (valued at $700), as well as all of the prizes given to the top ten Finalists.

We would like to thank our sponsors and the great response we got from all of the contest winners who entered. We remind everyone that some Entrants qualified by being Quarter-Finalists or Semi-Finalists in certain contests like the Nicholl Competition (see our web site for details).

And now our winner:

Shrouded in Darkness by James Walker

A man is hunted by the CIA and the Kenyan anti-terror police after he is wrongly accused of a terrorist attack in Nairobi.

Contact: jamesjmwalker@gmail.com

And our Finalist winners in alphabetical order:

The Ace of Aces by Geoffrey Breuder

The true story of Richard Bong, a rookie pilot who makes a brazen bet to beat the kill record of America’s top-scoring ace during WWII. But as the deadly competition spirals out of control, he is forced to confront the bitter realities of war and what it means to be a real hero.

Contact: gbreuder@yahoo.com

Blood is Never Lost: by James Walker

A father rises through the ranks of the Albanian mafia in London in a bid to find his trafficked daughter.

Contact: jamesjmwalker@gmail.com

Canaries by Craig Cambria

An experiment in terrestrial biosphere living goes awry as mysterious changes both inside and out threaten the inhabitants.

Contact: crcambria@comcast.net

Cooper's War by Timothy Jay Smith
In this coming of age story, a deserter from the war in Iraq is given a chance to prove his patriotism, redeem himself for other past failures, and return home.

Contact: timothysmith.paris@gmail.com

The Junior Detectives and the Cities of Gold by Irin Evers

A boy who's afraid of the dark joins forces with other misfit kids to find a hidden treasure on a Caribbean island, but they'll have to overcome their phobias to triumph.

Contact: neuroticboy@me.com

Kheng Kheng Crocodile by Donna Lisa

A boy's life changes forever when he adopts a playful pet crocodile in this comical, action-filled adventure.

Contact: DonnaLisa.scripts@gmail.com

Mad Dog Run by Beverly Smith-Dawson

A vacationing single Mom, her 2 children and their dog pick up a wounded Sheriff's Deputy investigating mass dog attacks in the area. Together they battle canines and rabid pet owners to discover the cause of these mysterious attacks. But will they survive to warn the world?

Contact: ladyblacksmith2001@yahoo.com

Picture Me And You by Robert Keith Watson

An honesty-challenged paparazzo secretly snaps a topless photo of a superstar model but struggles to stop its publication after he falls in love with her.

Contact: robertkeithwatson@sbcglobal.net

Rebirth by T.L. Lewis

Inspired by a provocative true story of a womanizing Renaissance artist who finds the love that changes his life only to risk it all in a fight against the corruption and cruelty of church and state.

Contact: tllewis@mac.com and www.tllewis.net

A Tale of Water by Jason Wallach
When a multi-racial paradise is torn apart by the past they never knew, two teenagers instigate a chain of events that frees the people from their historic prejudices.

Contact: jasonwallach@att.net


Recommended Blog

Aspiring screenwriters should take a look at Jane Espenson's blog, which features good advice on the details of writing. She's especially good at explaining why some jokes work and others don't.


Howard Allen recommends...

I strongly recommend the current comedy release, City Island, with Andy Garcia, Emily Mortimer, Julianna Margulies, Alan Arkin and a great cast in a very funny family story with a prison guard dad who secretly wants to be an actor like Marlon Brando. The comedy and surprises are downright Shakespearean and a CoyoteMoon Films kinda film. --Howard Allen


We are developing several projects at the moment, including a microbudget thriller that recalls the style of Hard Candy, which featured an outstanding performance from Ellen Page (pre-Juno). We are also developing a documentary project and a web series (The Adventures of Wally Becker in the 21st Century), and we are applying for a Producer Forum award from the Independent Film Project; we hope this will lead to the production of our feature film, Line in the Sand.


Scriptdoctor.com has a new Doctor

Chris Haughom (pronounced Ho-gum) has been in the film business for over 25 years. She estimates she’s read and evaluated more than 8,000 scripts in her career.
Chris started out in the biz as Executive Assistant to the President of Filmways Picture, Inc. (formerly AIP), evaluating all the scripts that made it past the Story Department for a final recommendation. She also screened many films for the company for possible pick-up and distribution and made the rounds at the Cannes Film Festival and the American Film Market. She then went on to work in foreign film distribution, reading scripts and screening films for pick up, as well as selling the companies’ films to international distributors (her most favorite job of all). During those years, she also worked for the co-founder and first president of the AFM, Bobby Meyers, head of his own foreign film distribution company.

Over the years, Chris evaluated scripts for AFI, CAA and many production companies, and also wrote many script novelizations. Chris is a writer herself and has had two scripts optioned, works as a freelance script consultant and has taught screenwriting workshops in Los Angeles. “I love nurturing other writers. We all need that.”


Indie film distribution

John August has a post on his blog about a small indie film called One Too Many Mornings that's being distributed by nontraditional means (see the writer/producer's blog here). In comments, Michael Mohan (the writer/producer) mentions Topspin, the technology platform they're using for online distribution.

In unrelated news, Independent Lens is showing the 2007 documentary Young @ Heart this week. Check your local PBS and PBS World listings if you want to see it.


CMF in the news

The January 2010 edition of Arizona Bilingual Magazine has a nice article about CoyoteMoon Films, our first short film (and DVD), Se Habla Español, and our director, Howard Allen. If you're in town and have a copy of Arizona Bilingual, look for us on page 26.


Recommended Viewing: Goodbye Solo

Goodbye Solo opens in Senegalese cab driver Solo's cab. His passenger, William has asked him to pick him up in a few weeks and take him to Blowing Rock and leave him there. Solo surmises that William plans to commit suicide and spends the better part of the rest of the film trying to get him to change his mind. It's a smart film that could easily have crept into melodrama, but writer and director Ramin Bahrani trusts the audience to react to the story without manipulation.

The film has received much critical acclaim, making several Top Ten of 2009 lists, as well as having been featured at the 2008 Venice Film Festival (where it won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize) and at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival. In December, the film's star, Souleymane Sy Savane, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award (Best Male Lead). And the LA Times included it in an article about what is right with indie films.

We at Coyote Moon Films congratulate Ramin Bahrani and his cast and crew on their beautiful film and hope for their continued success.


Hints for writers

MakingOf.com has posted a couple of articles that may be of interest to writers. One by Don Roos (credits include Marley & Me and Happy Endings) deals with the usefulness of a kitchen timer when writing screenplays, and another, by Rob Edwards (one of the writers of Disney's The Princess and the Frog), lists seven rules for writers working in animation.