Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today announced the re-enrollment deadline for the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for Dairy will be extended until June 22, 2018. The new and improved program protects participating dairy producers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below levels of protection selected by the applicant. USDA has already issued more than $89 million for margins triggered in February, March, and April, and USDA offices are continuing to process remaining payments daily.“Last week we re-opened enrollment to offer producers preoccupied with field work an additional opportunity to come into their local office to sign-up. We did get more than 500 new operations enrolled but want to continue to provide an opportunity for folks to participate before the next margin is announced,” said Secretary Perdue. “More than 21,000 American dairies have gone into our 2,200 FSA offices to sign-up for 2018 MPP coverage but I am certain we can do better with this extra week and a half.”The re-enrollment deadline was previously extended through June 8, 2018. The deadline is being extended a second time to ensure that dairy producers are given every opportunity to make a calculated decision and enroll in the program if they choose. This will be the last opportunity for producers to take advantage of key adjustments Congress made to provisions of the MPP program under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to strengthen its support of dairy producers. USDA encourages producers contemplating enrollment to use the online web resource at www.fsa.usda.gov/mpptool to calculate the best levels of coverage for their dairy operation.The next margin under MPP, for May 2018, will be published on June 28, 2018. Therefore, all coverage elections on form CCC-782 and the $100 administrative fee, unless exempt, must be submitted to the County FSA Office no later than June 22, 2018. No registers will be utilized, so producers are encouraged to have their enrollment for 2018 completed by COB June 22, 2018.All dairy operations must make new coverage elections for 2018 during the re-enrollment period, even if the operation was enrolled during the previous 2018 signup. Coverage elections made for 2018 will be retroactive to January 1, 2018. MPP payments will be sequestered at a rate of 6.6 percent.To learn more about the Margin Protection Program for dairy, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency county office at offices.usda.gov or visit us on the Web at www.fsa.usda.gov.
Screenwriting: Simplify to ClarifyMany stories actually contain way too much information or take too long to make their point. When was the last time you heard anyone complaining that a film was too short? Being able to ‘murder your darlings’ and cut out your favourite scenes, moments or shots is crucial to being able to tell a story well.As editors we’ve got to find ways to convey the same story beats but in as concise a way as possible. Can you eliminate one half of the dialogue and still have a great scene? Can you take a whole scene out because its not clear that scenes purpose. Could another scene already have made that point?Ira Glass has a great 4 part video series on storytelling that is well worth checking out. This nicely put together typography piece will give you a decent flavour of what’s in store:Step Back: Big Picture ScriptwritingFilm editor Walter Murch uses a system of cards mapping out the story structure, based on the screenplay (very much like screenwriters do when writing the script in the first place) to help him visualize what’s going on in the film.The above cards cards are from Cold Mountain, for which Walter was nominated for an Oscar:“Blue with a yellow background means Inman (Jude Law) is in a scene; plain blue means Inman is not in that scene. A lot of blue cards in a row means not much Inman – which makes me wonder ‘is that a good idea?’ A triangle indicates I feel it is a pivot scene. The size of card equals the approximate length of a scene.”Being able to step back and see the story as a whole is crucial to seeing what’s working well and what’s not adding to the overall experience. Sometimes a great scene is hurting the rest of film.Screening your film with people who don’t know anything about it is also a good way to a) see it with fresh eyes and b) discover if it actually makes sense. A huge part of successful storytelling and screenwriting is mapping out the emotional arc and narrative, while weaving those together. Sometimes withholding information from the audience or a character can dramatically alter those dynamics.Have screenwriting and scriptwriting tips to share?Let us know in the comments below! As an editor, the key to shaping the story hidden amid the footage is to understand the fundamentals of scriptwriting.The two tweets below got me inspired to put together a post on scriptwriting and storytelling for editors and creatives alike. If you’re like me and keen to beef up your story structure skills, these scriptwriting tips and videos should help you improve your craft. Jeff Ford, editor on The Avengers, mentions several things that he feels editors should learn – sound, acting and scriptwriting – in the course of this interview for Avid. It’s well worth watching.Follow Basic Scriptwriting FormulasThe basics sound pretty basic, but if you don’t follow these simple things your story will be all over the place and impossible for the audience to follow.You’ve got to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Set up, develop and pay off. If you’ve got problems with your pay off at the end of your story, go back and check that everything that precedes it is lining up to make that point. If you’re arranging an interview as the basis for your story structure and you’ve got a clip that conveys the information of a beginning piece but tonally feels like an ending, its definitely best to go with how it will feel…or leave it out all together.This talk on the Power of Storytelling given by professional storyteller Jay O’Callahan is one of my absolute favorites from any 99percent conference because for 17 and a half minutes you get to see a master craftsman at work: