Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Around Blogosphere – 10/21/08

I have to also include a few more interesting news links:

Republicans in Biz Feel Stifled & Bullied
It's no secret that the entertainment industry is overwhelmingly liberal -- political donations this presidential cycle from the movie, TV and music industries recently were running about 86% Democrat versus 14% Republican. But being outnumbered is one thing, but being bullied by your liberal co-workers into keeping your opinions to yourself is quite another. Is that what's going on? Yes, say many of the industry's conservatives. That's why secret organizations with such names as "SpeakEasy" and "The Sunday Night Club" spring up every so often. They're not conservative per se, they just let it be known that attendees of their gatherings may freely discuss politics without being chastised for not toeing the liberal line.

Hollywood’s A-List Losing Star Power: Film Industry Forced to Change Business Model
Hollywood's problem is that once costly stars climb aboard a project, studios tend to ratchet up the scale with stunts and effects. They wind up trying to turn every movie into a tentpole. Sure, the studios have pots of money to play with. But just like the world economy, the film industry has burgeoned out of control. It's inflated and overblown. It needs to let some air out of the bubble and return to a more reasonable size and scale. For starters, Hollywood ought to throw everyone out of the $20 million club.

Unk on
The Hero vs. The Anti-Hero Protagonist
The anti-hero is definitely a more complex character to write… He or she doesn’t have to be likable. They have a lot more layers than meets the eye. I suspect that generally speaking, they are a lot more like the people we all know hence, we are faster to get on their character train for the ride. I know for me personally, they’re a hell of a lot more fun to write and while I’ll not tell you to write a movie with an anti-hero as your protagonist, I will tell you that in my humble opinion, using an anti-hero ups your chances of success just a bit more than the traditional hero.

Alex on
Writers Getting Typecast
I don't think writers get pigeonholed the way actors do. You could sell 5 comedy scripts and then come out with a drama. If it's a good drama, it will sell. A comedy actor may have trouble convincing people he can play drama. But a comedy writer can simply write a drama, and there's your proof that he's capable of it. The proof is in the writing. If you have a rep as a one flavor of writer, you might have a little trouble getting commissioned to write something out of your perceived drama, but all that means is you'll have to spec something in the other genre first.

Mike Le’s great
Terms of Endearment

Screenwriter's League asks
To Copyright or Register?
Clearly, a WGA registration is not enough to ensure full rights to a character. So what does a writer do? Is it possible in this day and age to actually own the full rights to characters you've created, especially if they're not originally presented in a comic book? As I understand it, a U.S. Copyright will provide more character protection than a script registration does, but is it enough? I love screenwriting and plan to pursue it as long as I can. Sometimes, though, these and other legal considerations are obvious reminders of how much of a business what we're embarking upon is. The love of writing is one thing (and hopefully the most important thing), but the business side is very much a presence, too.

Mark Achtenberg on
Wall Street
Wall Street is both flawed and terrific. It features some great performances, great dialogue and strong characters. The major flaws come from a fairly contrived and earnest ending. I personally dislike the Stuart Copeland electronic score. Like most synthesizer scores of the 80's, I find the soundtrack rather empty and insipid. Daryl Hannah is an exception to the performances as many of her dialogue scenes were very obviously overdubbed (adr) and sound forced.

Building a Better Bomb: The Alternatives to Suspense
Like Carrie, Halloween had its feet firmly planted in classic suspense, but it had more up its sleeve. While De Palma saved the best for last, John Carpenter was in a generous mood and perforated his narrative with “popcorn flyers” from beginning to end. He multiplied Hitchcock’s bomb under the table and changed it into a minefield, where every step you take can be your last. The trick payed off. Whereas Hitchcock mainly concentrated on the period leading up to the bang, Carpenter exploited the aftermath of the explosion. In the book John Carpenter: Prince of Darkness, he explained his method as such:

"I always thought that you could also have another effect on the audience if you blow the table up suddenly. If you do it suddenly, everything after that is changed a little bit. You won't trust the movie anymore, and you will have doubts about what you think it will do. So you have a different level of suspense."


Anonymous said...

Two weeks ago I was looking for "Stanley Kubrik's boxes" documentary and I found your blog. Very good I must say. Very good written and structured.

Anonymous said...

There's a fun little discussion going on at Kung Fu Monkey regarding the Hollywood Reporter article.

JUST ME said...

I really like the idea of blowing up a table for no reason.

Question: would it be as cool in real life?

AntoL-Nyo said...