Monday, March 19, 2007

Screenwriting News & Shout-Outs!

It's called A Tale of How. It's pretty. Yet exceedingly odd.


New Scripts:

Casino Royale
(Thought you might enjoy this, Mickey Lee.)

Black Snake Moan

Lost in Translation
(Sofia, honey, I adore you, but we’ve stopped writing “Cut To” in between each scene since, what, 1986?)


Around Scribosphere:

Transformers Script Review is still popular and we’ve recently received a couple of hilarious comments from one of the writers, John Rogers. Which I fear may have inspired his recent and damn insightful post on Arbitration Letters. Not against me. Against Transformers.

I thought my
Character Development Sheet series would be really cool and Unk coincidentally started his won Transformational Character Arc series here and here. It’s really great, actually. Bastard.

MaryAn Batchellor on
Scene Continuity
“(1) Sequence your scenes - This comes from Linda Seger but I don't know which book. She says to group your scenes in sequences toward the development of separate climactic moments in order to get a better connection between scenes. Kind of like clustering. Probably, many of us do this in our outlines anyway - we just don't call it "sequencing".

Danny Stack on
Pacing Your Script
“Sometimes, there is too much talk about structure. In open-discussions, private seminars and debates down the pub, it’s discussed like it holds the answers to struggling screenplays everywhere. There is no denying that structure is the essential concrete of a script’s story but there is another equally important consideration that is never given as much weight or consideration: Pace. Structure’s little sister.”

The latest in Carl Salminen’s
Script to Screen Series
“When the script came to me, it had three stories. Actually, it had an opening tale that never actually got fully resolved, so let's say it had 3.5 stories. The script was in rough shape but showed promise. The ideas were not bad but the technical presentation was where it needed work. The author opted to drop the project. But hey, we all have to put stuff on the scales, pick and choose what's important and balance our lives. So, someone had to step in.”

Also newsworthy - Emily Blake’s got a
Cute Ass
Her post is not only about kissing her ass and contains a picture of said ass, but the post is also about her concerns shooting a sex scene starring her writing partner. Blogging doesn’t get much more entertaining than that.

Heartbreaking news - Christina Ferguson is
Dating Someone


The Film Bloggers:

David Bordwell
on David Mamet’s new book, Bambi vs. Godzilla:
“…is as pungent and eccentric as you’d expect, but also deeply traditional in its storytelling advice. A movie’s characters must have goals, and over the course of three acts they achieve them, or definitively don’t. The Lady Eve is Mamet’s model of this construction. Furthermore, three questions structure every scene: Who wants what from whom? What happens if they don’t get it? Why now? In wide-ranging essays, Mamet pays tribute to the craftsmanship of below-the-line talent and celebrates movies as various as The Diary of Anne Frank and I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (whose protagonist is remarkable for “his personification of enigma”).”

On a side note,
David Bordwell’s site is worth visiting. I’m still trying to get through his sample chapter from his book, Film Art, as well as his page of essays on films. Ya know, I could get a lot of reading done if I didn’t have to sleep. In any case, I just finished reading his essay on Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much. Superb! He spoke of Hitchcock’s use of dual protags in the married couple and how Bob was first active and Jill was passive. But after Bob is captured by the gang, he occupies the passive role, and Jill goes to thwart the assassination. He wrote, “The presence of two protagonists here should remind us that a narrative's hero is less a single character than a functional role that can be filled by one or more characters. (Hitchcock seems fond of this pattern; in Psycho different characters at one point or another occupy the role of the inquiring protagonist.)”

Apparently, The Wizard of Oz has been digitally restored and is returning to the big screen. And so Kevin Maher at TimesOnline offers
an interesting analysis of the film:
“The psychologist Carl Jung said that we relate to stories because we identify with themes and characters,” Dr Bunch explains. “And that those characters are all pieces inside our own soul. So the Lion is the warrior, the Scarecrow is the sage, and the Tin Man is the lover. And Dorothy’s heroic quest is to gather these parts within herself, so it’s actually a journey of psychological integration.” The Wizard of Oz works because it tells the most complex, the most simple and the most universal story all at the same time. It’s about growing up and becoming whole. It’s about putting aside childish things (Kansas) and entering a world of danger and emotional responsibility (Oz). It is, says Salman Rushdie in his BFI The Wizard of Oz handbook, a film about “how the weakness of grown-ups forces children to take control of their own destinies, and so, ironically, grow up themselves”.

JJ Murphy posted an excerpt from his book, How Independent Screenplays Work. The chapter opens with THIS provocative quote: “There is no doubt that most of the dullness of our movies is concocted in advance in the so-called heads of the so-called scriptwriters. Not only the dullness: They also perpetuate the standard film constructions, dialogues, plots. They follow closely their textbooks of “good” screenwriting. Shoot all scriptwriters, and we may yet have a rebirth of American cinema.” – Jonas Mekas, Village Voice (November 25, 1959). Then the chapter went on to talk about how Gus Van Sant threw out the screenplay for Elephant and just improvised and shot it using an outline. I fail to see how that explains HOW INDEPENDENT SCREENPLAYS WORK. However, the Table of Contents looks interesting. Part One is all about Problematic Protagonists, such as the Ambivalent Protagonist, the Passive Protagonist, and the Shifting Protagonist. Sounds like your average TriggerStreet review. Screw it. I’m buying the book.


Other News:

StudioNow Launches New Online Video and Movie-Making Service

Production Company Secures Film Rights to the Autobiography of WCW Pro Wrestling Legend, Nitro


From MovieBytes:

ASA Announces Quarterfinalists

WBW Interview: Screenwriter Dave Kalstein

Hollywood Nexus Announces Contest Results

Scriptapalooza TV Interviews Pilot Winner

Scriptapalooza TV Interviews 1-Hour Contest Winner

Scriptapalooza TV Interviews Sitcom Winners

Scriptapalooza TV Interviews Reality Contest Winner Announces Contest Winners

PAGE Award Winners in the News

Revolution Media Announces Screenplay Contest Winners

Bare Bones Fest Announces 2007 Screenplay Finalists


From Slashfilm:

Rumor Killed: Jake Gyllenhaal is NOT Captain Marvel
(Whew! I was worried!)

New Line to Remake Escape From New York

Michael Bay and 2012: The War for Souls
(Apparently, Bay is eyeing sci-fi author Whitley Strieber’s forthcoming novel 2012: The War for Souls. How about the souls of good filmmakers?)

Danny Boyle talks Trainspotting Sequel, titled Porno

Night of the Living Dorks to Invade the US

Escape From New York Remake to Star Gerard Butler
(Apparently, CAA is shopping a remake of John Carpenter’s 1981 action classic Escape From New York with 300 star Gerard Butler attached to star.)


LA Times:

Screenwriter Scott Frank settles into the director's chair
"JUST wanting to be a screenwriter is like just wanting to be a co-pilot." Attributed to the late John Gregory Dunne, this maxim summarizes not only the ...

Turns out 2007's the year of the writer-director
“Like the stages of grief, there are four steps to accepting one's fate as a top screenwriter. 1. Excitement: You get your first movie made. 2. Validation: You get your movie made by a top director. 3. Frustration-cum-rage: You get a movie made badly and are cut out of the process. 4. Liberation: You opt to direct your own movie.”


From Variety:

Miramax, Buchman attempting 'Coup'
Writer in final talks to adapt 'Wonga'

Disney wins rights for 'Surrogates'
Mostow to direct robot tale

New Line picks 'Path'
Jones to write 'Black' script

Q&A with Tarantino...when he was Mr. Green
A 1991 interview with the 'Reservoir Dogs' helmer

How to create some pulp friction
Directors, Supporting Actor & Actress of the Year: Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez, Freddy Rodriguez & Rosario Dawson

LaBeouf says movies rock, reality sucks
ShoWest Male Star of Tomorrow: Shia LaBeouf

Inside Move: Writer opts for no options
Novelist has new idea for Hollywood

Modest films may fly above tentpoles
Soaring out of left field

'Easter' egg in the Park
Hollywood after Christian projects

Tarantino starts biker pic engine
Bishop rides again in 'Hell'

DreamWorks going 3-D in 2009
Studio to produce two versions of 'Aliens'


And now, The Making Of The Tale of How:


Emily Blake said...

Tee hee.

Yes, I am not above posting pictures of my own ass and talking about sex to get readers.

Thanks for the update on stuff. That's a hell of a lot of information.

Mystery Man said...

Yeah, I know it's a lot. I'm not sure I'm going to continue this. It gets a lot of hits, though.

You're welcome! I'm not above posting pics like that either. I may post my own ass one day.



Mickey Lee said...

Thanks, MM. I did enjoy adding that script to my 007 script collection!

Now if only Purvis & Wade could write! But I guess the Bond films really are a writer's medium, aren't they?

Mystery Man said...

Of course they are, man! Someday, they'll give you the job and you'll elevate the form...