Archive for January, 2012

“You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.”Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer In light of (the mostly silent) film The Artist moving forward during the Award Season, it’s a fitting time to look backward on the film industry. Imagine being thirty something and going to the movie theater in 1927 to see The Jazz Singer. Every movie [...]

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“Was not Jesus an extremist for love — ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.’ Was not Amos an extremist for justice — ‘Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’” Martin Luther King Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail (1963) I’ve never been [...]

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Since I wrote that first post on The Artist last Thursday, the movie has won seven awards including the Critics Choice Best Picture as well as the Best Motion Picture—Comedy or Musical at the Golden Globe Awards. “I think the most complex thing when you write a script is to make it simple. I hope [...]

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“Here is one of the most entertaining films in many a moon, a film that charms because of its story, its performances and because of the sly way it plays with being silent and black and white.” Roger Ebert’s review of The Artist  “One day, the world says to you, ‘You’re part of the past.’ [...]

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“I thought making a silent film would be a magnificent challenge and very rewarding if I could manage it.” Michel Hazanavicus Writer/director, The Artist  This year I’ve spent more time in Florida than I have in Iowa. Of course, the new year is only 12 days old, but nine of those days were spent working on a [...]

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“Trying to be that 1 in a trillion screenwriter who breaks through on a ‘nothing’ premise is a suicide mission. The number 1 reason a script doesn’t sell is because the concept is weak/non-existent… Be smart and choose a concept that has a chance of selling.”Carson ReevesScript Shadow: Your 2012 Screenwriting New Year’s Resolution 

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“How did I learn screenwriting? Endless hours at the typewriter, then the computer, which came along later. It was really a lot of applied time and effort and self-study. Which is the way most people learn.” Oscar-nominated screenwriter Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) The Best of Creative Screenwriting Interviews P.S. I think “endless hours” fits [...]

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“I’m trying to communicate with people the best way I can.” Dan Harmon According to a Wired Magazine article by Bran Raftery, writer Dan Harmon grew up in Wisconsin as a class clown and watching re-runs of Taxi. He got his start doing stand-up comedy in Milwaukee. When Oliver Stone optioned a screenplay Harmon wrote with Rob Schrab [...]

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“You always have to setup and you always have to payoff. But, you know what? It works great! And it works in great movies as well. I noticed some set-ups and payoff in Courage Under Fire were very subtle and sophisticated, but they still work on the same level of your basic action movie setup [...]

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The movies Hugo and The Artists are great examples of Post Tenebras Lux (read the Jan. 2 post After Darkness, Light). And while I’m at it, those films are also examples of cinematic epiphanies (read yesterday’s post Essential Epiphanies.) While in Orlando Monday and Tuesday I was able to catch both Hugo and The Artist and I [...]

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