Friday, November 03, 2006

INNER AND OUTER DIALOGUE
I'm not saying i'm a great authority, I've written 2 full length scripts, and in my opinion both of them wouldn't be made. But they were based on good ideas. Concepts that I absolutely loved. Maybe a little too much.

Everyone wants to write a screenplay or at least have a crack at it. And to be fair its not hard. Anyone can write a screenplay, sitting at a computer and typing really isn't that difficult. But writing well is. And to have a truly well written screenplay you'll go through draft after draft rewriting out inconsistences, logic holes and flaws. Which will take a lot of time. A lot of this can be avoid however if you take the time to really develop your story and characters before words even hit
the page.

I'm not a big Robert Mckee fan, I found "Story" really wasn't the be all and end of saviours in terms of screenwriting. Its a necessary read. But if you really have a problem you can usually write your way out of it by just taking a page or two of blank paper and freehand writing out all the problems you have. And free associating the problem on paper with your original notes. Most of the time this will work. Especially in terms of plot. However its all to easy to just go "This is garbage" and stop writing.

Sometimes love can blind you. When you start writing sometimes you can love a concept so much that you become violently resistant to any kind of change. If it contradicts your grand vision you'll say "Thats not what this is" as if you've written the bible and either simply ignore it and keep writing in defiance or you'll just leave your script unfinished.

Don't do either. Get a piece of paper and write out what you think is wrong and look at your original notes.

Writing is change. Too many writers who start out get too precious with their ideas when it comes to constructive criticism. They don't wanna change it. They think there idea is great. And chances are it is. But in writing if someone notices something, you have to be willing to go straight back to your desk and work through the problem rather than so precious with your ideas. Studios will give you notes to change things, and things will never be your exact vision. So if you wanna be a success in screenwriting you have to be willing to change. And be aware of conventions. You can't change the suspense value of a knife over a gun for instance.

The same thing kind of goes for when you've written your first draft and you suddenly realise its not much like your original concept. This can be down to a whole variety of reasons. But don't throw a tantrum and storm off or go off with another idea. And don't keep writing (unless its really good) just read through it and put some words on paper at why it isn't working. List your problems and write out your concept again. (Syd Field has some really good exercises for this)

There's no such thing as writers block, thats just your head telling you somethings missing. But in screenwriting simply free associating some words on paper will get you out of so many holes. And my current script is all the better for it by me just sitting at the table and writing out whats wrong.

If you don't know the problem, you can't fix it. This will help you find the problem. Works for me.

IN MY DVD PLAYER TONIGHT: Crimson Tide
WHERE I AM IN MY SCRIPT: Coming up with a prologue

Thursday, November 02, 2006

SPARTANS! TONIGHT, WE DINE IN HELL!

Every year there are a few movies that you wait for like its christmas. That you pray to god you'll see before that truck runs over your head. 2005 for me was Batman Begins. 2006 Superman Returns and Miami Vice (I love me some Michael Mann). 2007 for me is the year of the 300. Zack Snyder's new epic. Now I'd like to say i'm not a big comic geek (despite my choices up there), I do own a few mainly Batman, and a couple by Frank Miller and Alan Moore but I don't have rows of the stuff. Mainly I buy them whhen I hear theres a movie coming out and I get curious about the source matieral. Don't get me wrong i'm a huge fan of Batman, so I guess that raises my geekery level but nothing else really flicks my switch.

300 however looks like it could blow my fuse.

As soon as I saw the trailer I ran out and bought a copy of the graphic novel. I may have taken a few steps via my couch, fridge and office, but then I got straight there. In short, its great. Like a picture out of history, blood, guts and gore. A true story of honor and sacrifice. If it comes anything close to the book then it will do amazingly. I'm really looking forward to it I mean this is a comic book that historians recommend. Snyder seems to have taken frames right out of the comic book and Gerard Butler seem's to be awesome casting. He's a Russell Crowe type Brit who really should have hit the big time by now. And 300 seems to be his and Snyder's real chance of success. Sod the fact that its a comic book movie, This pleasure ain't guilty.

The only other thing that's barely peaked my interest is the new Aronofsky flick but even now i'm having doubts. From the words of critics. I'll still see it. Requiem made me cry like a baby in an onion farm. But it looks like it will be a little tricksy.

There has been a bit of an explosion of comic movies recently. Some warrant the attention, others, i'm not sure need to be brought to the screen. Superman, yes, Batman, Hell yes. Spider-man, yes. These are true cinematic figures. But characters like Iron Man and Thor i'm not sure about. Hell yes they could be great movies but over-saturation from the Marvel Universe will lessen their appeal. I'm not saying anyone believes what they see through the cinema screen. But if there are fifty superheros about from the marvel universe why isn't the world a better place? Why haven't they done more? With fifty super hero's running about in the same cinematic universe things should look different. But they aren't. Marvel has taken brilliant note of this in the comics, (I took a peak online okay...not a geek! Then again I do love Battlestar Galatica) they may have to do this again in the films of cut back on bringing every character in there portfolio to the screen. In cinema there has to be a reason for bringing a story to the screen. Marvel may be running out of these just as there running out of space in their wallets.

Ok after that I'm clearly in denial. I clearly am a geek. Do we get a pension fund?

WHERE I AM IN MY SCRIPT: "How fast can you shoot a bow? Really? What if I tried to pull the string
with my leg?"
WHATS IN MY DVD PLAYER: Still Scrubs (I'll stop tonight I promise)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

BOND WITH ME...

The world needs another Bond film like I need a rash on my ass. But strangely I'm looking forward to this one even if its still a few weeks away. First Daniel Craig is an awesome actor, anyone whose even seen Munich or that episode of the awesome British TV show "Sharpe" he was in, can tell you that. And second "God" Paul Haggis was involved in the script. Now to what extent he was involved I really don't know. I heard it was just a dialogue pass, which is still good since he really knows how to make his characters talk although i'm sure he would have had a hand in pointing out any potential plot no-no's as well as an afterthought. And thirdly. (Yes I know I f""""d it up gramatically but there is a third) that the movies are finally going back to the roots of the character.
Explaining why Bond is who he is.

Rather than pitting against every maniacal loser with cat and a death ray, The franchise has a more convincing plot having Bond gamble to prevent terrorism. Party Poker should use that as a slogan.

Bond, Chicks, killing and gambling thats what makes us Brits love him and thats what Casino Royale is all about. It's the first Bond novel, where Bond truly earned his stripes. It's a beginning, but also a means to an end.

Every magazine, paper and hatstand is throwing around the headline, "Bond Begins" like a T-shirt slogan, but is it in a franchise in need of a revamp? In financial terms no, despite the fact that Die Another Day stank worse than a Fish Market in a giants armpit, it still raked in a decent bank. So why the change now? Maybe the producers saw the success of a revamp such as Batman Begins and thought "ooh I want me some of that" or maybe they just realised the problem they had been chuckin around for twenty plus movies. They had made a character who couldn't die.

You see we all love Bond to the point of a meeting in a swanky hotel for a quickie. Regardless of gender or sexuality everyone loves Bond. Maybe a little too much. But the simple problem in the movies is that no matter what Enemy he faced he'd usually win. He'd come out without a scratch on him and a girl in tow, in terms of suspension of disbelief it was too much. One of the reasons why the Bourne franchise has become so successful is that the audience is fully invested in his character, Jason Bourne doesn't have much charm or much in the way of conversational skills, but he does know how to beat the shit out of a guy in three shakes of his wrist and make a bomb out of a magazine.

Plus he gets hurt BAD. Just like anyone of us would, he limps after a thirty foot fall, he cries when he loses the love of his life and he honest to god seems to regret all the killing he's done. Bond does none of this he seems to have little to no moral restrictions or attachments any more, and was becoming less and less human. We all loved him for killing and shagging across continents in the name of queen and country but it honestly wasn't believable any more. And with the cold war over we really wondered why we need this brand of Bond anymore. Or at least one that read like a hundred million dollar sitcom.

So finally were finding out who he is and what really screwed him up. I won't say what, (but anyone whose read the books should know) but I really hope they continue this character arch and finish it after three or four movies rather than dragging he franchise through twenty more meaningless ones.

Quite frankly the purse strings need not to be the factor, and shelf-life and character really need to be considered. Three or four movies tops. That's the way the Bourne franchise is shaping up, and from the way David S. Goyer was talking thats probably going to be the same with the current Batman arch. After that, then I hate to say it, but they should just let Bond die.

He needs a chance to evolve to live with pain and suffering and its something we all really want to see and then he should just walk of into the sunset on some beach in Jamaica being marginally but not completely content. Despite what purists will say The franchise has potential again. There losing the simple paint by number act structure which is usually only different in set-up and there finally focusing on the character.

Well Bloody Done Barbara, Martin, Paul, Neal and Robert its about time. I for one desperately want to see Bond thrive but at the same time live with some really pain, emotion and plausible human reason behind his crusades, which would then allow him to rest all the more peacefully.

IN MY DVD PLAYER TONIGHT: Still Scrubs season 4 (Havin a beer tonight at Rowing)
WHERE I AM IN MY SCRIPT: Heavy research into 13th century warfare

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

HALO AND GOODBYE...OK NOT REALLY GOODBYE JUST HALO...

So another wannabe decides to bore the shizit out the world with his rantings about a world he's so desperate to get into. Quite frankly yes. The names Bridge, Bridgey or even if i'm feeling funky, the Bridgemeister, no matter how gay it might sound. As I say I'm a wannabe screenwriter. Whose currently working hard as a journalist during the week and toil on his scripts every other day and night. The only reason I wanna write this blog is to kinda get my thoughts out there on films really, my pet passion and to kinda give me something to vent on while i'm toiling away on my current script and on screenwriting in general.

First up, I just read the news that Halo the movie couldn't get made. And I was astonished. Quite frankly theres more layers to that story than a fat kids sandwich. Are you telling me that a videogame that outgrossed Spider-man couldn't get studio backing? The logic in there to me isn't quite clear, its more likely that there worried about its untested director, Neil Blonkamp (whose short films are f''''in cool), which is a shame as he has real potential, or that they just wanna see how well the game Halo 3 will do to test the waters for an audience. In short this film WILL get made, i'm willing to bet money on it and with the team they have behind it, it will rock. The studios are just playing it careful for now. Thats my thoughts at least. And I won't bet much money with me as I have very little but what I have is yours to lose.

IN MY DVD PLAYER TONIGHT: Scrubs season 4 (I don't have gay jungle fever!!! LMAO)
WHERE I'M UP TO IN MY SCRIPT: Developing Background Chars.