Well, it took a bit of tinkering, but we’ve got a system now! I will be posting within these Screenwriting News articles episodes of Dana Brunetti’s TriggerStreet TV, which covers industry news, trends, and topics. Dana, as many of you know, is the founder of TriggerStreet and producer of four films coming out this year, including 21 with Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, and Jim Sturgess.
We’ve been having a lot of fun here. We had Miriam’s big article on the Shower Scenes of Brian De Palma, a scene analysis from There Will Be Blood, and a big blog talk with the Unknown Screenwriter about 2007 and the screenwriting community (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4).
Thanks again, Unk. So great to talk to you.
Panther - 1995 unspecified draft script by Melvin Van Peebles.
Below - November 6, 2000 blue revised script by Darren Aronofsky & Lucas Sussman with revisions by David Twohy.
Cliffhanger - March 30, 1992 First Draft, 2nd Revision script by Michael France, revision by Terry Hayes
Our hearts are with you, Roger, and those involved in this sad tragedy. Here’s an eye-witness’s account. Terribly, terribly sad.
On the flipside, here’s an article about hope. An Iranian News website has an article about screenwriting: Aristotle's Seven Golden Rules Of Story Telling. It’s contributing author is Jan Janroy, who I think lives in New York, and who is also the writer & director of a film called David & Layla. Jan wrote, “‘The most essential thing for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar.’ Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway said he re-wrote the ending of his 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' thirty-eight times until he was content. Within its genre, are the characters and their stories credible? Is the ending believable? Is the ending satisfying?” She also has another article called Why Write? Ya know, this is a great example of what Unk and I were discussing in our Blog Talk. We live in an age where people should no longer have to pay to learn about screenwriting. Take the knowledge and the art into places that can’t afford Robert McKee seminars and help them create art for themselves to better their lives.
Congrats to my friend Dennis Cozzalio…
…whose blog, SERGIO LEONE AND THE INFIELD FLY RULE, has been nominated as “Best Entertainment Blog” for the 2008 Blogger's Choice Awards! Yeah, baby! In an e-mail, he wrote, “While I would NEVER advocate indiscriminate ballot stuffing, I will encourage to you to visit their website at www.bloggerschoiceawards.com and vote for SLIFR if you enjoy the blog and the work that I do there. When you visit the site, click on "Best Entertainment Blog," go down to the bottom of the page and click on the [number 2. That's where you'll find SLIFR as of Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. -MM]”
David Bordwell on Scene Transitions in Classical Cinema
Just sensational. A must read. “As a storytelling device, the hook affects both narrative design and stylistic patterning. Studying it helps us grasp some basic mechanics of classical storytelling. Just as important, these devices display tacit knowledge and decisions on the part of filmmakers, who adapt traditions to the needs at hand. And filmmakers’ tacit knowledge corresponds to that of audiences, the skills you and I exercise unawares. We can follow the corrugations of sound/ image organization because we know about the world outside cinema, we know how conventions reshape that world, and we’re alert for narrative and audiovisual organization. Analyzing how movies are put together helps us understand how we experience them.”
“Stuttering John” wrote a screenplay
“Most people know John Melendez from his voice, either as “Stuttering John” on Howard Stern’s show or the announcer for Jay Leno. Now Melendez is going to have his time in the sun: National Lampoon will distribute his film One, Two, Many, according to Variety. Melendez wrote, produced and stars in One, Two, Many, about a man on a quest to find the girl of his dreams. The movie is set to open in theatres on April 10, even when many of National Lampoon’s projects go straight to video these days.”
I loved what Ebert wrote about the Honeydripper characters
“John Sayles has made 19 films, and none of them are two-character studies. As the writer of his own work, he instinctively embraces the communities in which they take place. He's never met a man who was an island. Everyone connects, and when that includes black and white, rich and poor, young and old, there are lessons to be learned, and his generosity to his characters overflows into affection… As for the sheriff's role: As I suggested, lots of Alabama sheriffs were more racist than he is, which is not a character recommendation, but means that he isn't evil just to pass the time and would rather avoid trouble than work up a sweat. At that time, in that place, he was about the best you could hope for. Within a few more years, the Bull Connors would be run out of town, one man would have one vote, and the music of the African-American South would rule the world. That all had to start somewhere. It didn't start on Saturday night at the Honeydripper, but it didn't stop there, either.”
Loved what Manohla said about Cloverfield characters
“And, so, much like a character from a crummy movie, Rob hears from an estranged lover, Beth (Odette Yustman), who, after the attack, begs for help on her miraculously working cellphone. Against the odds and a crush of fleeing humanity, he tries to rescue her (unbelievably, ludicrously, the others tag along), which is meant to show what a good guy he is. But heroism without a fully realized hero proves as much a dead end as subjective camerawork that’s executed without a discernible subjectivity. Like too many big-studio productions, “Cloverfield” works as a showcase for impressively realistic-looking special effects, a realism that fails to extend to the scurrying humans whose fates are meant to invoke pity and fear but instead inspire yawns and contempt.”
Tim Claque, JJ Abrams, & Mystery
Tim shares a vid in which J.J. Abrams talks about how he looks at his own work - and why he works in the way that he does.
Emerson on the Juno backlash
I loved the reader-submitted question halfway into Jim’s article: “Q: I have been following the debate about the clever dialogue in "Juno" and there are two things I don't understand: (1) Why do people continue to expect every film they see to be a flawless reflection of reality when no film, not even a documentary, could ever accomplish such a feat? Isn’t one of the pleasures of going to the movies in seeing things we don’t usually see in the real world? (2) Why aren't more people refreshed that a film has gone against the grain by creating characters more intelligent than real people, as opposed to the Hollywood norm of creating characters who are considerably dumber and more shallow than real people?” Exactly. Let me just say that the backlash has more to do with Diablo Cody’s over-exposure in the media than it does any lack of talent, a good lesson for many of you guys out there.
Craig on Fringe Characters
“…but it got me thinking about the difference between movies with an inclusive point of view and movies with what one could call an exclusivist perspective. The distinction is tricky, of course: I'm not necessarily talking about a 'populist' sensibility like Spielberg's or James L. Brooks's as opposed to the more divisive appeal of a worldview like that of Kubrick or the Coens. What I mean is a sense that in a world of a particular film there is an acknowledgement, however tacit, that all the characters have lives beyond what we see in the frame. This, too, can be difficult to evaluate. Spielberg, of course, received a heaping of criticism for his depiction of Arabs in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and while a lot of it was probably accurate, I must confess that I still laugh when Indy shoots the swordsman in the marketplace. (My only defense, immaturity aside, is that I think I'm laughing at the undermining of audience expectations of a big action movie fight scene, not at who the character is or what he represents…)”
Mike Le’s “Two in the Pink, One in the…”
Emily Blake talks about Teaching Thursdays
“I got this email just now: ‘Gate 2 at Warner Bros. has come up with a stellar idea: "Teaching Thursdays," where writers of various genres would join us on Thursdays, making themselves available to discuss story, structure and everything in between to aspirings if the aspirings would be willing to come out and pick up a sign…’”
Laura Deerfield on the Death of Science Fiction
“How about something completely original? Take a look at Paprika, a great piece of anime. If you want interesting and unique ideas about the future, anime is a good place to look. Then there's Jathia’s Wager, a fascinating concept that seems to be a sort of choose your own adventure fr the digital age. I am sure there are also original ideas being made cheaply and shown online for free, as fans of SF tend to be drawn to new technologies.”
No Character Arc for the Joker
“Chris Nolan briefly chatted about his villains to the LA Times: ‘Harvey Dent is a tragic figure, and his story is the backbone of this film. The Joker, he sort of cuts through the film -- he's got no story arc, he's just a force of nature tearing through. Heath has given an amazing performance in the role, it's really extraordinary.’”
'Peter Pan' drawing inspired 'The Orphanage' screenwriter
“But screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez is the one who grew up in Asturias, on the northwestern Atlantic coast of Spain, the location that gives the movie its seaside setting and its gray foreboding. He is the one who imagined a tale of a mother, a former orphan, living in an old orphanage, trying to find her own child who has disappeared amid mysterious goings-on in the place. ‘The spark that ignited everything was a drawing on a 'Peter Pan' book that I read when I was a child,’ Sanchez says. ‘It's that image of a mother, waiting by the window, for her children to come back from Neverland. It's my favorite book, and the final chapter of that is probably the saddest thing I've ever read. So what I wanted to do was tell the story of 'Peter Pan' from the point of view of the mother. That would give us a chance to go into darkest corners that story has to offer.’”
Would you take screenwriting tips from a man with bad Glamour Shots?
"I came across a link today that left me speechless. The link was referencing a free online screenwriting class. I eagerly clicked on the link thinking how it would be a great resource for this site. This is what I saw…"
Bill Martell Interview
"There's two different ways you can find a story. One is through character. When I'm writing a script for myself usually what I'll do is start with a character and then I'll figure out what's the very worst thing that can happen to that person and then my story is that thing happening to them. The other way to do it is when I start with a concept. Usually if I'm going in to pitch to a producer they will want some sort of an interesting idea."
John Carpenter Returning to Theaters with L.A. Gothic
His next film, L.A. Gothic, is scheduled to start shooting in March, with a script by Jim Agnew and Sean Keller, who scribed the new Dario Argento movie, Giallo, mentioned yesterday. Here’s the log line via STYD: ‘Five interwoven stories of high-octane horror centering on a vengeful ex-priest’s efforts to protect his teenage daughter from the supernatural evils of L.A.’s dark side.’”
The League Is Disbanded
Due to the strike and a script in need of a rewrite, Warner Bros. has pulled the plug on its planned 2009 superhero flick Justice League.
Brittany Murphy -- Lowered Expectations
“TMZ caught up with the actress at the Sundance Film Festival, as she gushed about just celebrating her 10-month wedding anniversary to screenwriter Simon Monjack. In Hollywood, after 10 months one celebrates an enduring marriage.”
They've Always Loved Films with Chaos
Martin Scorsese and Harvey Keitel have signed on to produce Daphna Kastner's New York drama Chaos.
Mickey Wins Again
Patrick Goldstein grades each studio on their 2007, which is good news if you work at Disney. United Artists? Not so much…
Film Tax Credit Program a Boon to Film Productions
“Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today the film tax credit program is attracting film productions to communities across the commonwealth, including $8.2 million in investments outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. ‘Due to the film tax credit program, we have been able to attract productions even to some of the most rural areas of the commonwealth,’ Governor Rendell said. ‘When is the last time McKean County was the location of a $4 million film production? This is an incredible experience and economic opportunity for our communities.’”
For Sundance Invitees, Real Work Is Just Starting
“Glanz, a Greenwich Village resident who was born in Hartford, raised in Westport, and whose family still has a home in Litchfield County, says he has ‘been around the block.’ A previous feature screenplay was on the cusp of being produced before the deal fell apart. ‘I was naive and overly ambitious,’ he says, adding that he lightened up and scaled down his latest project to sell.”
Bone Season Horror Movie Screenplay Script Sale Not WGA - eBay
Now you can buy movie scripts on Ebay. For a cool 500k that is.
Keith Uhlich’s Top Movie Monsters
“Hence this collection of the top 11 such hellions that, in one way or another, continue to haunt this writer's dreams, though don't expect too many obvious choices (no King Kong or Godzilla on this roll call, and even such "well, of courses" as Frankenstein and Count Dracula are herein represented by movies slightly off the beaten path). Scary as the things are that tower over us, crashing through building and brush with sheer, unstoppable girth (several examples of these below), there are also the subdued monsters, those all-too-human creatures who co-exist within our self-same existential space, lulling us into complacency before they strike like venomous cobras. And speaking of venomous cobras...”
The Guardian Questions the Ethics of Collecting Scripts
"Of course, that still leaves the big question - why? Doesn't it ruin the film if you've read the script? Apparently not. 'The attraction is knowing something other people don't,' says Don Boose, webmaster at simplyscripts.com. 'Personally, I enjoy reading scripts as a kind of literature. In many cases, I will actually go out and see the film because the script intrigues me, or I want to see how it's translated on to the big screen. Stepmom was one of those...'"
Screenwriter Ugo Pirro dead at 87
Italian screenwriter Ugo Pirro, who earned an Oscar nom for penning Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, died in Rome at 87.
Shot at stardom
Newspaper interviews Scriptapalooza semifinalist.
Interview with “Fanboys” Screenwriter, Ernie Cline
“SB: As a writer, you have a huge following in, for lack of a better term, the geek community. Or do you prefer nerd? In any case, where did that start and how do you feel about living in that role?
EC: I’m equally comfortable with being called a geek or a nerd. I’m definitely a bit of both. And that comes across in pretty much everything I write. I can’t hide it.”
Forty-Seven Drafts Later
“By signing on the dotted line the day before the beginning of the current writers strike, a pair of novice screenwriters and an AFI Directing Program graduate are about to get their shot.”
On the Contest Circuit:
Gimme Credit Announces Cycle VI Super Short Winners
All Access Announces Quarterfinalists
Kairos Announces Contest Semifinalists
ASA Announces Nominees for 2007 Discover Award
BlueCat Announces Short Screenplay Lab Semfinalists
Slamdance Horror Announces Semifinalists
Praxis Announces Fall 2007 Winners
Filmmakers.com Announces Contest Winners
Screenwriter Showcase Announces Contest Winner
TWP Announces Contest Winners
MoviePoet.com Announces November Winners
Script Savvy Announces Contest Winner
International Gay Screenplay Contest - 10th Anniversary
The submission deadline for 2008 ONE IN TEN SCREENPLAY CONTEST is September 1, 2008. Entry forms are available online through the contest website: www.OneInTenScreenplayContest.com.
Deal or No Deal
The Directors Guild has agreed on a new, three-year contract with the AMPTP after only six days of negotiations, and now all sides are speculating on what this means for the ongoing WGA strike.
Don't Follow the Leader
The New York Times reports that several WGA members are confused and angered by their leaders' negotiating tactics.
The L.A. Times reports on the surprising move that four major studios made where they canceled dozens of writer contracts for the current TV season.
Joss Whedon on The WGA Strike
AMPTP AND DGA AGREE TO BEGIN FORMAL CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS; Apted Says "Within Shouting Distance"
NBC vs Dick Clark Prods Blame Game: Lawyers To Untangle Golden Globes Mess
Pride, prejudice should not get in the way of WGA deal
Studios Accord With Directors May Help Resolve Strike (Update3)
Bill Maher on the WGA Writers Strike
Drew Carey Shells Out For WGA Burgers
New Indy IV & Star Trek photos: