FX’s new drama, Fargo, is created by Noah Hawley, inspired by the film written and directed by the Coen Brothers (also Executive Producers on the show). I sat in on a group interview with co-star Billy Bob Thornton, who plays the mysterious, charismatic and vicious drifter, Lorne Malvo, on the show. I did not get […]
Daniel P. Calvisi is a story analyst, screenwriter and the author of Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay, Story Maps: 12 Great Screenplays, Story Maps: TV DRAMA and Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan (with William Robert Rich). He is a former Story Analyst for major studios like Twentieth Century Fox and Miramax Films. He teaches webinars on writing for film and television with The Writers Store and speaks at writing conferences. He holds a degree in Film and Television from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He lives in Los Angeles. For more, visit ActFourScreenplays.com.
Entries by StoryMapsDan
This is the third time I’ve had the pleasure to interview Graham Yost, show runner, Executive Producer and Writer of Justified, the fantastic drama on the FX network that, in my opinion, gets way too little recognition from the industry and the media, despite having a huge fan base. You can watch my video interviews […]
[article first published in ScriptMag] One of my favorite lines from THE AVENGERS occurs when Black Widow tells Captain America not to mess with Thor and Loki, saying “they’re basically gods.” With no hesitation, Cap replies, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” Then he jumps out of […]
David Goyer, screenwriter of Blade, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, the hugely successful video game series Call of Duty: Black Ops and TV’s Davinci’s Demons, gave a fantastic lecture and interview for BAFTA. He talks about how he broke in, the increasing importance of television in terms of […]
Make way on the blogosphere for the next big movie star killing it on TV. Billy Bob Thornton will soon be seen in FX’s one-hour drama “Fargo,” which premieres in the U.S. on April 15, 2014, and trust me when I tell you that you will be talking about his character, Lorne Malvo, a drifter […]
My Oscar Screenplays webinar is back for 2014! My next webinar with the Writers Store, STORY MAPPING OSCAR-WINNING SCREENPLAYS, will go live on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific / 4:00 p.m. Eastern and you can now purchase tickets at the Early Bird Price of $69.99USD.
Below are the nominations for the 2014 Oscars, which rewards the films of 2013. Interesting batch this year. Some personal thoughts on the list: So glad Roger Deakins’ cinematography on Prisoners was nominated. Contemporary dramas and thrillers often get overlooked in this category, but his incredible lighting definitely stood out, even on the small […]
I first met Bobby Moynihan at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City in our “Improv 101” course. He was a bit younger than me, but it was clear that he had more experience with this improv stuff. He was definitely a standout. The class was a lot of fun and I would […]
Story Maps: 12 Great Screenplays (a.k.a. “Booster Pack #1”) is now available in its revised version AND it now includes a BONUS 13TH MAP OF THE BRILLIANT THRILLER “SEVEN!” The e-book breaks down 13 GREAT MOVIES, primarily from the past decade, into a detailed but easy-to-follow structural analysis known as the Story Map.
Dear writers and readers, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! I hope that this coming year will be your greatest, and I wish you unlimited creativity and inspiration as you pour your passion on to the proverbial page. Thank you for supporting me and Story Maps and congratulations on your […]
You’d be hard-pressed to find an actor with such an impressive television resume as Jimmy Smits. L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, The West Wing, Dexter and, now, for the past two seasons, FX’s hit drama Sons of Anarchy, created by showrunner Kurt Sutter. (I’m also still mourning the loss of Smits’ unfortunately canceled drama Cane […]
Dear writers, The Story Maps Master Class has always featured the exclusive benefit of giving writers feedback on their loglines from industry professionals like development executives, sold screenwriters and major agency professionals. My goal from the start has been to get my writers read, repped and sold, and I’ve always promised them that if they […]
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Here’s your last chance to win one of TWO FREE SEATS in this weekend’s “Story Map Your Feature Film” boot camp with Screenwriters University. This is a $199 value! Be one of the first two people to email me [dan at actfourscreenplays.com] the answers to the following trivia questions:
Dear writers, I’m teaching a weekend “Boot Camp” online workshop on November 15-17th, 2013, with Screenwriters University. This weekend seminar will give you a great crash-course in my Story Mapping method and a critique of your own story map plus a bonus webinar on mapping Oscar screenplays. The price is $199 and it includes an […]
As the tales of Don Draper, Walter White and Dexter Morgan come to an end and screenwriters everywhere struggle to create the next great TV protagonist, I have only one question. Where are all of the “beat sheets” and structure “paradigms” for television drama?
CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED — THANK YOU FOR ENTERING AND CONGRATS TO THE WINNERS! THE WEBINAR IS STILL AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FOR LIVE LISTENING AT 1:00 PM PST ON WEDNESDAY, SEPT 11, 2013 OR STREAMING LATER: HERE
Raylan has his dark side… But the guy is a hero. I thought, ‘Man, it would be fun to do a show which has a true-blue hero.’ Justified is based on the Elmore Leonard short story “Fire in the Hole” (read it here) which provides the story for the pilot episode, in which U.S. Deputy […]
Back to the Future (1985) One of the greatest spec screenplays of all time and a timeless piece of entertainment that plays with pop culture in brilliant ways, Back to the Future, written by Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis and directed by Zemeckis, is the topic of our latest Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast. Wes Alwan […]
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