Archive for June, 2012

I think it’s fitting that writing this 1,300th post for Screenwriting from Iowa…and Other Unlikely Places started in New York City (Hotel Belleclaire–where Mark Twain was once a guest) and ended home in Cedar Falls, Iowa—but that today is my birthday.  The goal for this blog when I began in January 2008 was to simply pull [...]

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In the last 48 hours I’ve taken one long bath in New York City. Not a literal bath because my hotel room doesn’t have a bath tub. (In fact, the “upgraded” room is about the size of a bathroom in other places in the United States.) But like most of my trips over the years [...]

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Today I was shooting a video project in New York City and on a brief lunch break I took this photo of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, on the Upper West Side near Central Park. The inscription on the building reads:  DO JUSTLY, LOVE MERCY, AND WALK HUMBLY WITH THY GOD (From the book of Micah, and [...]

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“In On Moral Fiction, John C. Gardner states, ‘True art clarifies life, establishes models of human action, casts nets toward the future, carefully judges our right and wrong directions, celebrates, and mourns. It does not rant. It does not sneer or giggle in the face of death, it invents prayers and weapons. It designs visions [...]

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Back in January of 2011 I wrote a post called How to Get Started Working in Production about how Josh McCabe started working for me while in college and was heading out to Los Angeles to work as an assistant editor. Josh returned to Iowa last week to visit his family and stopped by the office [...]

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Regrets, I’ve had a few But then again, two few to mention My Way/Performed by Frank Sinatra Earlier this week I did one day of camerawork for a Canadian TV documentary titled Regret being produced by Newfoundland’s Christopher Richardson. We shot Kevin Hansen speaking to a class at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, [...]

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As Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coat’s list 22 #storybasics I’ve picked up in my time at Pixar blazed through the internet this month, I wanted to try and find a fresh angle to do a post on it and add to the conversation. So I thought I’d pick a three from her list and tie then into posts [...]

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“When you adapt a book, you’re not making another book—you’re making a movie, which operates grammatically very, very differently. The better the book is, the more you have to change it. A good book succeeds with literary effects, but you need cinema so you have to just treat it as raw material. Anyone who expects [...]

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“I’m not interested in characters who aren’t broken. I’m not interested in happy people. It just doesn’t draw me as a writer. Theater people say you are either a comedian or a tragedian, and I’m a tragedian. And the vexing, dark characters, the ones where I don’t understand their pain or their anguish, they are [...]

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“Remember that the word star spelled backwards is rats.” Joe Eszterhas I’m sure Joe Eszterhas was sitting home in Chagrin Fall, Ohio last Friday when he came across my blog post Screenwriting Rock Star, and then he thought to himself, Really? (Okay, he probably didn’t, but if he had of read it that’s what he would [...]

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