Wolverine a.k.a. “Logan” has been the most popular superhero in the X-Men universe for decades, which is why the first major feature film in Fox’s X-Men franchise, X-MEN (2000), chose to foreground him as the central protagonist of the narrative, and he’s been featured in several more films, including two solo adventures, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (2009) and THE WOLVERINE (2013) (with a third on the way) and this summer’s upcoming epic, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The films have mined the core elements of his original character construction from the comic books, which focus on three key aspects of his personality and history. Read more
We’ve seen a fantastic wave of female protagonists on television in recent years, and many of them carry a badge. The viewing public can’t seem to get enough of cop shows, so you can’t go wrong in writing your next pilot in this genre. And why not build your crime procedural around a tough woman with (or, more interestingly, without) a gun? Read more
I’m almost done reading The Hunger Games trilogy of books on my trusty Kindle and I’m seeing the movie in a few hours (as it unleashes a Quarter Quell on the box-office in its opening weekend), so until I can offer an analysis of the screenplay or movie, I thought I’d share one of my first impressions of the story when I read the book. Read more
I came across this TED talk by writer/director Andrew Stanton, whose credits include Toy Story 1-3, Finding Nemo, Wall-E and the upcoming John Carter. He’s got some really interesting things to say about the emotional connection between screenwriter (storyteller) and audience (listener), touching on WHY we love a great story, what we expect and how the storyteller should meet these expectations. Read more
Dexter season six premieres on Sunday, October 2 on Showtime. Once again, we will get the opportunity to watch some strong dramatic writing at work. Dexter has always been a good example of the use of a dynamic character and the technique of dramatic inevitability. Both devices contribute to dramatic character and plot arcs over the course of a season. Read more
Dan’s 2-Minute Screenwriting School strikes again, this time with a short interview with actor Elijah Wood (the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Ice Storm, Green Street Hooligans, Sin City, and the American version of the single-camera sitcom “Wilfred”).
I’m equally attracted to just simply a great script and not necessarily great character.
In an article titled “The Inside Story,” published in Psychology Today back in March, super producer Peter Guber talks about the psychological, emotional and transformative powers of storytelling and how they apply to the movies — WHY we love movies and what gets us engaged.
Stories… are state-of-the-heart technology – they connect us to others. They provide emotional transportation, moving people to take action on your cause because they can very quickly come to psychologically identify with the characters in a narrative or share an experience…
I couldn’t help but find many points in the article where Guber affirms the very same tenets that I put forth in Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT Screenplay. The quotation above, specifically the wonderful phrase “state of the heart,” immediately made me think of a line from my Introduction (excerpt here): Read more
You want to avoid any material that only exists to establish, to set up, to explain, and to transition into another scene. Avoid the static “Talking Heads” scenes and the characters telling us directly about themselves.
Most of all… SHOW CHARACTER THROUGH ACTION! Read more