On rainy nights, I like to watch happy movies. Here's one of my favorites. What would your main character watch to cheer themselves up.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
In my latest project, my main character would definitely want to be Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. Why is this helpful information? Because, she's a nice Jewish girl from New York who makes her living as a chef.
Imagine a scene where, in the midst of a huge fight, she looks at her antagonist and says, "fiddle-dee-dee" in a deep Southern accent. This kind of surprising dialogue is what makes great scenes memorable. Knowing your main characters secret desires is essential for great writing.
I adore Christopher Lloyd and hope you enjoy this post.
Monday, August 23, 2010
A Facebook friend sent this to me and I thought about the main character in my new story and wondered how I could use this in a screenplay. What would make your character say this? Does the main character believe in God? I found the answers helpful and you may as well.
My friend asked me to send this comment to 10 people. Say it aloud, pass it on. According to him, there's a blessing attached - if you send it to 10 people, miracles attend. I thought that you would appreciate this as an unusual opportunity.
Let me know what happened.
This is an amazing article I came upon looking for baby names for a film project I'm working on. That babies as young as seven months can communicate via sign language is extroidinary to me. Perhaps words are not as important as we writers would like to make out!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
In the past few days the nation has been captivated by the story of the JetBlue flight attendant who publicly quit his job by cursing out a passenger, grabbing a couple of beers and sliding to safety. It's an entertaining story and something that would be perfect for a movie.
Then, just yesterday, I saw this collection of photographs on chive.com. It's supposedly the "I Quit" slide show produced by a young assistant to a stockbroker. It's fake but still, very cinematic in its execution. Can't you just see it running under the closing credits like the photos used in The Hangover?
As an exercise:
How would your character leave his job? Would he do something extreme like the JetBlue employee or try not to "FREAK OUT!" like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire? Or maybe he or she would just get rid of the company like the guys in Office Space? How do their coworkers react? What about their boss? What do they do after they leave?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
A number of my students have found success in their writing in the past few weeks, including Vito LaBruno, who had his script optioned soon after he pitched at The Great American PitchFest. That said, I want to encourage all of you to consider how you are going to get your script sold and produced.
My friend and colleague Steve Kaire, a successful writer/producer, wrote this article about The 5 Requirements of a Slam Dunk High Concept Script. Take a few minutes to review it and find out how close you are to taking your writing career to the next level.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
A friend posted this article on "negotiated infidelity" today and I thought it would make an interesting jumping-off point for a discussion of the use of relationships in story.
Perhaps it's because of the recent sex scandals or a more liberal attitude towards marriage but everyone seems to be discussing fidelity these days. In the past few weeks I've seen Cairo Time and The Kids Are All Right, two movies which explore the nature of marriage.
I always encourage my writers to try and tap into topics that are important to audiences and writing about fidelity (or at least including the topic in your story) is a terrific example of that.
As an exercise:
Is your hero in a romantic relationship? If so, how long have they been involved with this person? What are the rules of the relationship? Deeply committed? Open marriage? Now consider the same questions for your villain? Do they have different approaches to love, or the same?
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Good news from my student Vito LaBruno concerning his screenplay Don Alhabib. Says Vito:
"LA For Hire, (Wendy Kram) has optioned Don Alhabib. It's an exclusive option for her to shop the screenplay with an option to produce it. She's produced many TV movies and has recently exec produced the feature "Mad Money" with Diane Keaton, Latifah, and Katie Holmes."
Vito was kind enough to sit down and discuss what he did to go from idea to screenplay to option. If you're interested in learning more about his process, please register for my mailing address on this page and the video of our talk will be sent to you.