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Interstellar: 5 Christopher Nolan Trademark Techniques

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Christopher Nolan is the most daring film director working in the major studio system today, and each film he directs becomes an event. With Interstellar, he’s created (along with his co-writer, brother Jonathan Nolan) an epic that combines classic Hollywood storytelling with bold narrative choices, all displayed with cutting-edge theatrical presentation. Interstellar is certainly his BIGGEST film yet, not just in cinematic scope but in the size of the narrative stakes and thematic resonance, and makes me wonder how the hell he’s going to top it with his next movie! Read more

David S. Goyer BAFTA screenwriting lecture

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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 craft and the corporate media landscape, changing the superhero movie genre, constructing the “Ten Commandments” of Batman and Superman, writing for games and juggling multiple scripts at once. Here’s the full lecture and interview… Read more

Memento Podcast now streaming

Christopher Nolan’s film noir masterpiece Memento gets the Story Maps treatment when screenwriter Christine Conradt joins us for this two-hour dissection of one of the most complex thrillers of all time. Just when we think we have it figured out, another piece of evidence pops up to complicate the case of Leonard Shelby. Read more

Arrested Development, Netflix and Nolan walk into a bar named VOD for some binge-viewing and we all win

Arrested Development Season Four debuted over the weekend on Netflix, and, although we won’t see any kind of traditional ratings from Netflix, I can safely observe that it’s been a huge trending topic online and in traditional media. I was never a big fan of the show, but I watched the first three new episodes to see what all the fuss was about, and my opinion didn’t change. I admire the effort, but I just don’t find it very funny. The choppy structure and the omni-present narration become grating after a few minutes and I find myself itching to watch a complete scene. “Let a scene play out!” and “Shut up, Opie Cunningham!” may have been heard in my living room as I tried to keep up with what felt like a non-stop highlights reel. Maybe it’s just not my style of comedy; I happen to love Happy Endings, a sitcom that has now been canceled because I was apparently the only one who bothered watching it. Comedy is subjective, we know this. So I was planning to toss AD in the “Don’t Watch” bin with The Big Bang Theory.

But then I heard from a number of sources that the season really finds its groove around episode five or episode seven, depending on the source. In other words, the intricate story and character beats start to come together, pay off and the arc of the season is revealed — but you have to hang in there to really get it. In fact, the creators may have designed it this way intentionally, knowing that the Netflix platform allows for unlimited repeat viewings. Read more

Script Magazine reviews Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan

ScriptMag.com has given a thumbs up to Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan! You can read the full review by Brad Johnson here.

Here are some pulls from the review:

Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan functions quite eloquently as an intricately detailed and compelling look into one of today’s most successful working directors. Each [story map] works to bolster Calvisi and Rich’s original analysis of Nolan’s filmography and functions as much as an analysis of Nolan the filmmaker as it does an analysis of story structure within his films. -Brad Johnson, Script Magazine Read more

Christopher Nolan book is now available!

The new Story Maps book is here! Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan is the most detailed analysis of this brilliant director’s storytelling techniques ever written, and is sold exclusively in PDF format here…

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Contest: Win a free Christopher Nolan Webinar spot!

For the next 24 hours, I’m giving away five free spots in my webinar Story Mapping the Films of Christopher Nolan, hosted by The Writers Store, on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 at 1:00 PM Pacific time. Read more

WEBINAR 09/19/12: Story Mapping the Films of Christopher Nolan (The Writers Store)

Calling all screenwriters, story analysts, fans of The Dark Knight, Inception, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, Memento, Insomnia and The Prestige:

I invite you to attend my upcoming Webinar hosted by The Writers Store: Story Mapping the Films of Christopher Nolan!

SIGN UP NOW

This Webinar includes a FREE CRITIQUE, a Q&A session and an exclusive Inception Story Map (you’ll notice that I’ve never uploaded a map of Inception in my various blog posts about the film, which many call Nolan’s masterpiece.) Read more

Is Inception better than The Dark Knight Rises? (Inception Podcast)

Which film can be called Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece? His Dark Knight trilogy is truly an amazing accomplishment, with The Dark Knight shining tall as the greatest of Nolan’s Batman films, in my humble opinion, but one must consider that Inception was all Nolan. His concept, his script, his direction. It’s a complicated movie and a complicated screenplay structure, so Rob Rich and I took time out to discuss it in the latest episode of our Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast.

Listen to the Inception Podcast:

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Back to the masterpiece question. Let’s compare Inception to Nolan’s other films. Read more

The Dark Knight Rises Beat Sheet and Podcast (FREE Story Map Download)

The trilogy is complete! How close did I get with my predictions?! (Not too shabby, if I may say so myself.)

We’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises twice in the theaters and we have lots to discuss about the film, the story, themes, logic issues and Bane’s voice. Read along with the free The Dark Knight Rises Beat Sheet download as you listen.

Listen to
the Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast #3:
The Dark Knight Rises
:

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Download the FREE
The Dark Knight Rises
Story Map

Read more

Story Maps Podcast #2: The Dark Knight (Free Story Map download)

Episode #2 of the STORY MAPS SCREENWRITING PODCAST is here: Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT:

Listen to
the Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast #2:
The Dark Knight
:

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Download the FREE
The Dark Knight Story Map
screenplay analysis by Daniel Calvisi

Read more

Story Maps Podcast #1: Batman Begins (Free Story Map download)

The inaugural episode of the STORY MAPS SCREENWRITING PODCAST is here!

Listen to
the Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast #1:
Batman Begins
:

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Download the FREE
Batman Begins
Story Map

Read more

The Dark Knight Rises Pre-Cog Story Map or “How I would write the Dark Knight Rises screenplay”

The Dark Knight Rises Script

In anticipation of The Dark Knight Rises opening in theaters on July 20, I’ve been analyzing Christopher Nolan’s films, especially the first two chapters in his Batman trilogy, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I’ve found myself buried so deep into Nolan’s complex story structures that it’s been impossible for me to watch the trailers and not start mapping the story in my head. It’s been keeping me up at night. Even before this latest one, The Dark Knight Rises – Official Trailer #3 [HD], I started to write a Full Story Map for The Dark Knight Rises, sight unseen, based solely on the limited clips and information available on the web.

There’s a lot of speculation online as to the story, but no one has attempted to break down the entire film.

Until now. Read more