Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Dragons are the nuclear weapons of fantasy games"--IGN

I'm not much of a gamer. I mean I used to be pretty 1337 with my CS 1.5/1.6 skillz back in the day, but these days video games don't get me all that excited...EXCEPT

The Elder Scrolls series. 

Morrowind (ESIII) was the first game that revolutionized bringing the player into a new world so expansive and captivating that it could keep them there for embarrassingly long amounts of time. The Elder Scrolls created as dense and interesting of a world as any book I've read or movie I've seen.
It was like watching Harry Potter doing coke off of Hermoine's ass.

As IGN.COM said:
"Many might associate Bethesda Game Studios with the irradiated wastes of Fallout, but slightly older video game fans know the company established itself on swords-and-sorcery fantasy. Without the success of The Elder Scrolls role-playing series, there likely would be no Fallout 3 as we know it today,"

I mean it literally consumed every kid on my block. Even Will Rippetoe who destroys games like it's his birthday still jerks it to the Scrolls.

ANYWAYS, after 5 years of lonngggg waiting, wondering if a fifth installment of the best RPG series of all time would ever come, the news was released. and today, a trailer came out.

With good reason, this is the second post in a row that ends in:


Oh and this looks really funny. God bless Hollywood's coming to their senses and realizing the superiority of the R-rated comedies:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don't Judge me

I don't care what anyone says, but I'm fucking pumped for Sucker Punch.

Zeppelins blowing up, hot girls with samurai swords, Nazis with gas masks, crazy twenty foot robots with Gatling guns, and A FUCKING DRAGON?!?! 

I'm sold. 

In fact I think the only way I'd ever have faith in this is if Zack Snyder was the visionary. Good thing. 

Did I mention there's a dragon?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What's wrong with Hollywood?

If you're one of those people that says Top Gun is your favorite movie, you probably shouldn't read this (unless you want your intelligence slightly insulted)...Oh and you probably shouldn't tell me either 'cuz I'll laugh in your fucking face.
Not that it isn't pretty entertaining.

Wonderful article from an editor of Entertainment Weekly:

Check it Out

Looks like more slow years for the Spec script market.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The sad thing is I would totally watch this

Michael Bay's "The Dark Knight"

New Section!

Seeing as how usually have a few beers on my Friday nights, and seeing as how I usually end up spending my come down dabbling in Emo nonsense and posting angsty lyrics on my facebook, I figured I'd expand on the trend and dedicate a section every Friday night to one wet-teen-dream twi-hard reminds-me of-lonely high-school-nights video for the rest of you to drown in.

This week's, and the section's, virgin debut, is none other than:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What a coincidence

So literally the day after I did a read of "A Long Kiss Goodnight" and found a couple of old interviews with Shane Black, he suddenly reappears from his 5 year hiatus from the world of action direct fucking Iron Man 3.
The only question is: will he write it too?...because if he does, I'll be first in line.
Iron Man 2 felt flat, drowned of all the originality that made the first stand out from the rest of the bazillion super-hero/comic adaptations that come out every year. No way that'll happen with the original king of action in control....Now if only Jason Statham could somehow find a star role in it. But now I'm just dreaming.

Fuck yeah

I think the film will look something like this

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

some people never change

"I'll never grow out of what I'm doing. I'll just grow out of where I do it."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Awesome Interview from Shane Black

If you don't know Shane Black, he was pretty much the Don of action movie writing in the late 80's and early 90's. Not just one, but two of his spec scripts sold as the highest priced buys EVER at the time of their sale (suggested script read: The Long Kiss Goodnight). Recently I stumbled upon this interview. Great for anyone interested in some of the things that go into a well-written action script:

The Guardian interviews Shane Black

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Get off my plane

Some of the worst advice that screenwriting professors give, and yes, even from those prestigious UCLA teachers who haven't had a produced credit in two decades, are the strict calls to leave only the bare minimum of what is necessary in your descriptions. If it can't be seen nor heard, they say, throw it out.
Now before I get a bunch of backfire, let me clarify. Yes, they emphasize this for a reason, since one of the most common mistakes for people entering the field are to go on overly drawn-out and unnecessary stage descriptions. (See:
While their basic principle is understandable and for the most part true, the tenacity by which they preach the message does not reflect the growing trend in scripts over the past ten years towards a more novelistic form of description; Still succinct, not overwhelming the white space, but certainly not bare.
Rich writing can especially be seen in spec scripts, where being able to grab the "reader's eye" and bring them into the world of the story is as important as anything. Take this excerpt from "Air Force One":

"Papers containing NUCLEAR WAR STRATEGIES and MISSILE LAUNCH CODES slide into the hungry Shredding machine. Perkins manages a slight smile before he keels over dead, his duty fulfilled. The shredded remains of the nuclear football rain over his head like tickertape at a hero's parade."

He could have instead just written:

"Papers containing NUCLEAR WAR STRATEGIES and MISSILE LAUNCH CODES slide into the shredding machine. Perkins manages a slight smile before he keels over dead. The shredded remains rain over his head".

The writer, Andrew Marlowe, certainly didn't NEED to include all of the aside in his description...BUT IT'S FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. Better than most descriptions in novels. It evokes a clear and profound vision that you can instantly imagine on screen and enforces the heroic undertones of the script. And this is the type of writing that many screenwriting professors tell you to avoid! While on one hand, they are making sure you avoid excessive prose, I have NEVER EVER read a produced script that didn't have the same image-enhancing prose in their descriptions.
Reason #823 why reading produced scripts is more beneficial than relying on "teach you how to sell a million-dollar screenplay" lectures.

When to push the limits is a knowledge that becomes innate to professional writers. If you are wondering how to recognize that fine line between "unnecessary, throw this in the trash" description and "wow that was illuminating", the only way is to read scripts. Read read read.

Oh and as promised, the greatest punch-line of all time:

The Greatest Duo of all time

Seems the Winter-quarter Blues has somehow infiltrated the mood of this blog. To bring some laughter back to my (and your) life, here's a little tribute to Jay and Silent Bob, the greatest duo of all time...

who have the greatest rant of all time:

and the greatest song of all time:

and the greatest beat-down of all time:

and the greatest parody of all time:

and the second greatest rant of all time:

The only competition to Jay and Silent Bob's greatest duo of all time title may come from:

What now

The only thing left to do is prove them wrong

Never have I ever

Never have I ever experienced such a shockingly fast transition from absolute ecstasy to complete and utter despair.
Writing theory always talks about, in the realm of romantic comedy, making sure the protagonist has some outer desire that goes along with his inner desires, that both become simultaneously conflicted, in order to create the maximum amount of drama. 
If my night has told me anything, it's that this is completely and utterly true. And it feels a lot worse when the "dramatic conflict" is you, not some fictional character. 
Living out my character's worst nightmares. Let's just say my exterior goal didn't go as planned.
So here's some emo shit from the greatest show of all time. Escapism is great. 

The way I see it, there's only two choices. You're either a hero, or you wanna die. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

What about The Rock?

This is too funny.

The new terror threat level...starring nicholas cage

God bless America and our puritan, nonsensical priorities

So the MTV-adapted "Skins" series has been getting a lot of heat lately for it's blatant and inconsequential (and pretty epic) portrayal of teen sex and drug use. The controversy is understandable, but the way in which organizations such as the PTC (Parents television council) have gone about attacking the series is just another bit in a long string of PTC incidents that illustrates American's fucked up priorities. Their violent and aggressive tactics ironically undermine what they should stand for. Organizations like the PTC are a joke, an entity that grinds my gears worse than the most frustrating literary villains (Think Mrs. Umbridge).
It's really just a bunch of older Americans who are more concerned about their children experiencing sex before a proper, heterosexual, drug-free, Christian marriage than being gunned down in a school massacre.
Here's an idea: How about you step off your "organization" banter of delusional self-importance and see a Shrink, you perfect samples of Freudian mishaps.

Good article to read. Or just watch the South Park movie to get the same moral, while possibly dying of laughter.

PTC Worries About Sex on MTV's 'Skins,' But Avoids Guns on TV |

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sight and Sound

After looking through the commentary and feedback I’ve received from some trusted readers on a first draft I recently finished, I realized one of the weak scenes I will have to attack from a fresh angle is a montage I had created in the middle of the script. The sequence is a pseudo-parody of the cliché training montage in most “athlete overcomes obstacles” type films. But on the eve of breaking my script out for a re-write, I found myself doing a lot of thinking about the purpose of the montage, or what many like to call “the Musical Sequence”.
It’s the type of thing that, if done right, makes you truly appreciate the power of the moving picture. The more I thought about effective musical sequences, I started to realize that its success has a whole lot more to do with the director/DP/editors/musical team as the writer. A great montage triggers emotion in its own unique way. It’s something that simply cannot be achieved or realized on the page. It combines the power of the edit, sight, and sound, and ideally ends up with a perfect match of music and pictures to evoke emotions otherwise not possible in any other story medium. Of course an understanding of the characters, their inner and outer desires and struggles, and the story are essential to reach the full effect that the musical moment can have, which is largely the writer’s responsibility. That’s probably why these moments work so much stronger on television dramas than film. But even independent of the narrative and character understanding, its power can still be felt.
Nothing takes advantage of the musical moment like a movie trailer. Although it’s not bound by moment or time or story, it still illustrates the power of editing sight and sound. Trailers have become hyper-condensed masteries of this art. Even the most dispassionate films can make you feel something in their previews. For instance, the second Matrix was pretty much a letdown, but that trailer, WOW. Pay special attention to the last 45 seconds, when the on-screen dialogue ends and the music and voiceover kicks in.

The point is, I realized, yes, I will need make some changes to the particular scene, or redo it entirely, in order to add a little more flavor and originality for a stronger comedic response, BUT the true emotional evocation of the musical sequence depends on (1) what has come before the scene in terms of character and story development, and (2) on the shot, the edit, and the selected music. The laughter or heartbreak or anger or whatever emotion aimed at will only be realized as a success or failure after it can be seen.
The very best example I can think of is the following montage. Imagine reading this musical moment on the page. It would seem rather trite, and in a way, yes, it is cliché, but the decisions in how it was shot, the decision of what music to use, where to make the cuts, and the background knowledge of the inner and outer conflicts of the characters, all in all lead to a powerful musical sequence. Still can’t watch it without getting chills. Hallelujah.