- Screenwriter J D Shapiro apologises for Battlefield Earth.
(Fedora-tip: WGGB Blog.)
- This. Is. SHATNER!
(Fedora-tip: Alex Epstein.)
- Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire scribe and producer, David Mills died suddenly last week. I didn’t know – I should’ve, really, but I didn’t know – that he was the one who penned the Homicide “Bop Gun” ep (the one with Robin Williams and a teenage Jake Gyllenhaal). This forty-plus minutes of free-to-air television truly opened my eyes to just how much more you could put into a police procedural.
His and David Simon‘s latest television series Treme opens in a few days. I can’t wait to introduce The Goddess to teevee a la Simon et al.
- This is spot-on:
It seems to be cool at the moment to bag Avatar – something akin to the derision that accompanies Titanic, perhaps? – but I enjoyed it. Not only was I familiar with the original scriptment from way back but it transported me to a different reality for a couple of hours. That takes real story-telling and filmmaking, regardless of the tools and bells and whistles at the filmmakers’ disposal.
(Fedora-tip: Alex Epstein.)
- Some other backlash: on the BBC Writersroom blog, Dominic Mitchell lays into writers holding forth about writing at the Guardian website:
Get lucky. Stay lucky. – Ian Rankin
Stop reading fiction – it’s all lies anyway, and it doesn’t have anything to tell you that you don’t know already (assuming, that is, you’ve read a great deal of fiction in the past; if you haven’t you have no business whatsoever being a writer of fiction). – Will Self
When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else. – Zadie Smith
Yeah, some of them are a bit pointy-headed and a lot of them prescriptive but everyone’s different – particularly writers – and writers
should remembercan always cherrypick advice at their leisure.
(Fedora-tip: WGGB Blog.)
- Heartened by an October 2005 revised draft of Terminator: Salvation, I watched the finished film recently.
I should have taken the hint:
CHRISTIAN grabs a HELICOPTER, which results in a CRASH that somehow leaves him unscathed. A CRIPPLED TERMINATOR chases him, but it is killed by BULLETS. Plain old, regular BULLETS. The kind that couldn’t kill TERMINATORS in the other movies.
I rilly rilly enjoyed the Star Trek reboot recently so: Go forth and prosper.
Been saving these up, oh yes I have.
- The last swords-and-sandals epic I saw was Gladiator. Since then, Troy, Alexander, Rome and 300 have come and gone with nary a flicker of interest on my part. But The Incomparable‘s review of Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi‘s Spartacus has sparked a guilty, pulpy, what-the-heck kind of interest:
…Spartacus won’t win any awards for the originality of its premise. Hunktacular warrior dude loves his superhot wife, but is reluctantly called away to battle for the good of his people. Hunktacular warrior dude is betrayed by sleaze-weasel Roman general and branded a deserter. Hunktacular warrior dude escapes and is reunited with his superhot wife just in time for them to be captured (notably, while in the altogether) by sleaze-weasel Roman general. Sleaze-weasel Roman general sells hunktacular warrior dude into the employ of agreeably amoral gladiator owner. Hunktacular warrior dude must wage a muscly, well-oiled, tiny-pantsed struggle up the ranks of the gladiator circuit to find his beloved wife and gain his whoa that guy just took a giant axe to the face!
- The always excellent xkcd webcomic has this heads-up for those writers out there putting the final touches on their denouement:
- And go here – now – for the rest of this brilliant bat-take on Memento:
This issue is small but punchy.
- James Henry has written a most agreeable post about how “the actual writing thing [is] a bit tedious, but the feeling of having written is a very special and glowy feeling indeed”.
- Spotted in an Auckland “community entertainment magazine”:
Wanted somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before. Ph 021 xxx yyyy
(Fedora-tip: Metro magazine.)
- And speaking of time-travel, how’s this alternate universe where the Beatles didn’t break up in 1970, and John Lennon isn’t killed in 1980.
(Fedora-tip: Kung Fu Monkey.)
- Phill Barron has an excellent parable about being a writer for hire. (And if you’re reading this in… wherever Mr Barron lives in the UK, he has a car for sale.)
- Why aren’t there more interviews like this, hm?
- I just have to share this:
(Fedora tip: Jill Golick.)
- And having shed a tear or few over the season three finale of Mad Men, these articles from Vanity Fair and American Cinematographer make tremendously fascinating reading.
(Fedora-tips: The Goddess and Gareth James, respectively.)
Some rather thin screenwriting-related links this month.
(Fedora-tip: Alex Epstein.)
- I’m a Joss Whedon fan from his Buffy days (Dollhouse has yet to reach these shores) but this Cracked list of 5 Reasons It Sucks Being a Joss Whedon Fan is both funny and spot on, with my fave being:
… There is only one real lesson in Whedonland, and it’s that loving cool people is dangerous because someone’s probably gonna shove a flaming rock into their skull.
Yep: that’s how I got hooked in Season 2.
(Fedora-tip: Lucy Vee.)
- And Roger Ebert‘s post about performance artist Chris Burden has really gotten under my skin.
… Hey, this is my 250th post. Woo-hoo me.
This month, on Point & Click:
- Local producer Matthew Horrocks has some cogent articles on the state of New Zild film at his Reservoir Films. Go – go read them now.
- The Incomparable Christopher Rywalt reviews Sex Decoy: Love Stings, a reality show about… about…. I can’t. But here’s an extract:
… when a ridiculously gorgeous woman — or even a skanky stripper — comes on to you out of nowhere, your choices explaining what’s going on are a) you’ve inexplicably, suddenly, and surprisingly become vastly more attractive to the opposite sex or b) she’s an alien/vampire/killer robot who’s going to eat you before you come.
- Screenwriter Josh Olson (A History of Violence) explains why he will not read your fucking script. ‘S nothing personal. And totally understandable.
Kinda flat out.
- PostmodernBarney has an adorable array of uncomfortable plot summaries.
- There’s an interesting article over the ditch about the journey of multihyphenate Serhat Caradee who, despite having a developed script and a few short films, found he had to shoot ‘pilot scenes’ to attract funding. (Fedora-tip: Lynden Barber.)
- If, like me, you found Battlestar Galactica‘s final moments wanting, to quote the late King of Pop, you are not alone. (Fedora-tip: Alex Epstein.)
- The National Post has a cautionary tale about the four acts of a television series’ life. (Fedora-tip: Ben Boychuk.)
- After a looong period of radio silence (hey, he was busy), Josh Friedman has lately thrown up two posts in as many months.
- An excellent New York Times article explores the seduction and corruption of Graham Greene by the silver screen. (Try here if that NY Times link doesn’t work.)
- And English playwright David Edgar has a brill’ extract from his book, How Plays Work, in The Guardian. (Fedora-tip: WGGB Blog.)
Okay this isn’t post-dated.
I’ve got fifteen minutes spare.
How quickly can I cut and paste and make sense?
- How about ten best film endings? (Fedora-tip: Infinite Monkeys by way of The Incomparable.)
- I’ve been a fan of Dylan Horrocks since Hicksville (a phase of forcing myself to try some homegrown comics fare). He’s got a blog. With serials and stories, too! Recommended for civilians and comic aficionados alike.
- PhD student Gareth James is very generously sharing some of the fruits of his research into the history of HBO original programming, 1997-2007 at Gareth On…. (Fedora-tip: Lynden Barber.)
Time’s up already. Must be a slow linker.