Archive for June, 2012
Do writers keep telling the same story until they get it right? In the past week, I’ve watched Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love and Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom (pilot episode available for free streaming on HBO.com), and I met author Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections, Freedom, Farther Away). Throw in the trailers for Judd Apatow’s new film, This is 40, billed as the “unofficial sequel to Knocked Up,” and Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer, his sixth (?) film set in Brooklyn, in which he even reprises his role of Mookie from Do The Right Thing in 1989, and you’ve got some really interesting case studies for this theory.
In all of the examples above, I see so many common themes, characters and situations in these artists’ work that it’s difficult to deny that they may be just chipping away at the same block of stone, one iterationat a time. Maybe that’s okay, and they just get better at it, or maybe it’s a sign of creative stagnation? I think it depends on the subject and the work, but it’s definitely a topic worth discussing.
However, I’ve also just watched an advance screener of the first five episodes of season three of Louie (the TV series on the FX network that returns tonight at 10:30 pm in the U.S.) and it throws a wrench into this theory. Louis C.K. just may be the exception to the rule. Well, almost. read more
Originally published on May 7, 2012
The Dark Knight Rises has yet to open, and since I’ve been analyzing Christopher Nolan’s films for a larger project, especially the first two chapters in his Batman trilogy, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I can’t help but speculate about The Dark Knight Rises beat sheet.
I’ve seen a lot of predictions and theories online as to the story, but not any that attempted to break down the entire film or incorporated Nolan’s signature style of complex story structure, using templates like The Dark Knight and Inception. Below, you can download my Full Story Map for The Dark Knight Rises, before I’ve seen the movie.
I’m using a five-act structure which most closely resembles The Dark Knight, as that seems the obvious parallel, plus there’s so much content advanced in the trailers that a four-acter (my normal Story Maps structure) just won’t cut it. read more
Episode #2 of the STORY MAPS SCREENWRITING PODCAST is here: Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT:
the Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast #2:
The Dark Knight:
Author Rex Pickett. Photo: rexpickett.com
I met Rex Pickett, the author of the novel Sideways that inspired the beloved film, at a showing of Sideways: the Play, which is currently playing at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.
We spoke over a glass of Pinot (yes, the wine comes with your ticket, which is already surprisingly affordable for live theater), and he was very gracious with his time, even though he was no doubt answering the same questions about the movie that he’s fielded dozens of times. Most of all, he came across as an uncensored, uncompromising artist with no fear of burning any bridges — he shoots from the hip because he has to — that’s just his personality and he doesn’t compromise.
I knew I had to get him on my blog. read more
Small, Beautifully Moving Parts, written and directed by Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson and starring Anna Margaret Hollyman, is fast on its way to becoming an indie film success story. The film began as a low-budget web series shot in New York City that was optioned by the Sundance Channel, and, a few years later, the creative team decided to expand it into a feature. Now, the completed film has received glowing praise from many top publications, including Roger Ebert, who writes about the film: “Effortlessly engaging … this is a small film and knows exactly how to be a small film. Like many New Yorker short stories, its purpose is to strike a particular note and allow it to reverberate.” read more
My friend, former NYU Film classmate and award-winning filmmaker Paul Hough is looking for audio finishing funds for his smart Horror/Sci-Fi feature THE HUMAN RACE before it premieres at the FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL in Montreal in July (Tarantino’s North American premiere of Inglorious Basterds was at this genre festival; it’s a huge platform for an indie horror film and an honor to be accepted).
See footage from the film and a testimonial by its star, one-legged actor EDDIE McGEE, at the link below. The film features a number of disabled actors, so in that sense it’s breaking down some barriers. But above all, it’s just a bad-ass horror movie with a really cool concept that is sure to find a cult audience. read more
The inaugural episode of the STORY MAPS SCREENWRITING PODCAST is here!
the Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast #1:
As per usual, we’ve been diligently watching each episode of the current season of Mad Men and loving every minute of it. In my household, one must respect the golden rule…
In Weiner we trust. read more