Director Luc Besson talks LUCY and the Protagonist

August 28th, 2014

in Articles

The 67° edition of the Locarno International Film Festival opened with Lucy in the outdoor Grande Piazza on August 6 before a standing room crowd.  At the Festival, Luc Besson described Lucy as a thriller with action.  In my book Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays! I write about how to develop characters in this genre.

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Early Oscar 2015 Prediction & other Screenwriting News!

August 27th, 2014

in News

This year, the Original screenplay category is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in a long time. The category differs from Adapted screenplay as the story of the film has to be completely original and cannot be based on any source material. Recent winners in this category include "Her," "Django Unchained," "Midnight in Paris" and "The King's Speech."

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THINK "HALLEWOOD"

August 18th, 2014

in Articles

The greatest challenge for any writer is finding a concept that will spark interest within the Hollywood community. New writers have the unenviable task to find engaging concepts because it’s the only way to capture the interest of busy buyers and/or sellers. While established scribes could (though not recommended) write about their lazy summer on a Northern Ohio earthworm farm, new writers must find a concept that screams, “This is a movie.”

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A Conversation with A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES Writer/Director Scott Frank

July 27th, 2014

in Interviews

Scott Frank’s latest film – A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES – is his second as a director and I am sure it won’t be his last. At least it better not be. The movie is based on the Lawrence Block novel – one in a series of books about former cop and recovering alcoholic Matt Scudder who works as a private eye. The story centers on a grisly murder.  Scudder is approached by a drug kingpin who hires him to find out who kidnapped and killed his pretty wife. It’s the kind of dark, film noir thriller that Scott loves. He’s really living in the wrong time damn period. The man should have been writing (and making) noir movies back in the 1940s and fifties; though he might say the 1960s or seventies would do.

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David Cronenberg, Subplots, and Plot Twists

July 25th, 2014

in Articles

On a recent trip to Amsterdam to the EYE (national museum of film)  I visited the major exhibition of director David Cronenberg’s work. One section, featuring clips and information about his film, A History of Violence, reminded me of this powerful work that I also referenced in my book, Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays! – specifically in the chapters in which I discuss subplots and plot twists.

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An Interview with Producer Kevin Hill of THE INSIDE PITCH

July 8th, 2014

in Interviews

THE INSIDE PITCH is an entertaining and educational live half-hour (give or take 15 minutes!) show that features screenwriters pitching their story ideas to Hollywood executive, filmmaker and educator Christopher Lockhart. It’s a fun, fast and unpredictable 30 minutes! During the show screenwriters call in an pitch their loglines of their screenplays so Lockhart can critique them but also teach from them. The show is funny, informative, and educational. All aspiring screenwriters should tune into the show.

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Interview with Screenwriter and Executive Producer Jeffrey Lieber

June 30th, 2014

in Interviews

Jeffrey Lieber is a screenwriter (TUCK EVERLASTING, TANGLED) and executive best known as a co-creator of the hit TV series LOST. He also served as executive producer of Miami Medical. Lieber spent the last three years as an executive producer on USA’s Necessary Roughness.  Currently he is executive producer of NCIS New Orleans where he is helping creator/executive producer Gary Glasberg in running the series. On the Twittersphere he is known for his “Showrunner Rules” about the TV industry. 

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Preserving the Past, Building a Future

Thoughts on SU's Re-Launch

April 12th, 2014

in Op/Ed

As you've probably noticed, Screenwriter's Utopia has had a minor facelift recently. Okay, a bit more than minor. The old system was creaky, prone to breakage, and needed to be replaced. Read on for what's happening with the state of Screenwriter's Utopia as of right now.

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Seven Lessons from Bob Nelson's NEBRASKA Screenplay

March 16th, 2014

in Script Reviews

The Oscar nominated movie NEBRASKA, with an award winning screenplay by Bob Nelson, is in my opinion one of the better scripts recently produced for screenwriters to learn a little something about the craft. Why? It’s the epitome of efficient and dramatic storytelling. The script is pithy, direct, yet it has depth and emotion (theme) that is so subtle in its presentation. 

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