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What is the heart of a martial arts film? Is it the fighting? The art, the skill set? The stunts? The (at times) brutal violence? Yes, to a large extent the reasons we watch these films is because we are either a fan or a practitioner of the art and these movies come with their own set of rules and mythos that the genre demands. And we seek out.
Early films from American filmmakers revolved around almost comic book types of martial artists. And I don't mean that in a disparaging way - they were fun, albeit unbelievable. The main characters were more traditional in style and approach and rarely were these men the 'bad guy' - they most certainly were not street thugs who ended up in jail from beating a man to death like the central character in "Confessions of a Pit Fighter."
As the martial arts in movies evolved so did the storytelling. Inner journeys became more common. Regret, though, in the form of a wasted life and the toll a life of brutality can take weren't foremost in those journeys. Director, writer, producer, stunt coordinator and actor Art Camacho plays out that...
Some actors are defined by a film; some define it. "Ong Bak" would be nothing without Tony Jaa. He definitely defines it - and in turn, it defined him in 20013 as the next BIG THING in martial arts actors.
If you haven't seen Tony Jaa before prepare to be mindblown. He is a marvel, at times appearing to be beyond human. This 2003 film was his breakout film - it made him a superstar.
He is probably the most incredible martial arts actors, perhaps ever. His idol, Jackie Chan, is of course the standard by which all the rest of these lithe, leaping, kicking and punching amazeoids are measured, but Jaa has more raw power and tight skills and that gives him a slight edge on my scorecard.
"Ong Bak" proves that Jaa is superhuman - especially since the entire film was done without wires or CGI - it's all sweat, muscle and training. The martial discipline, of course, is Muay Thai with a liberal dose of gymnastics, and although Jaa has other martial arts training (including Aikido) it's Muay Thai that his fighting most closely manifests. In "Ong Bak"...
"Ip Man" is a movie loosely based on the life of Grandmaster Ip Man, whose Wing Chung style of martial arts strongly formed Bruce Lee’s style. Ip Man was Lee’s teacher although this first film of the trilogy doesn’t deal with Lee at all.
Loosely based is the watch phrase here. The filmmakers take a lot of liberties with the storyline for dramatic impact. You really can’t go into this story thinking that you’re going to see a true events film.
There’s also a heavily-mandated anti-Japanese theme since a good portion of the film takes place during the 2nd Sino-Japanese War when the Japanese army occupied China from 1937 to 1945.
If neither of these hesitations bother you then the film is truly a joy to watch.
Although Man is fully into adulthood, with a wife and young son when this movie opens he is much like a child in his attitude and lifestyle. He’s independently wealth so he doesn’t actually work or need students to maintain his somewhat Laissez Faire existence. As a recognized...
Stunning. Final impression.
I'll get to the movie that closed the 14th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival on Thursday night but first let me tell you what really impressed me: it was that my guests were knocked out by the ending festivities at the Regency Lido Theater.
Scott McMenamin (VicePresident of Sales) and Alejandro Seri (IMDB) (Educational Marketing Director) from Final Draft (yes, that Final Draft) came down from L.A. to enjoy the festivities that started with a D.J. saying "Hit It!" as the sun went down and was still going strong when I left around 1:00am.
Festival CEO Gregg Schwenk (who also teaches locally) and his staff and volunteers are to be congratulated on this year's festival in general which, as I've mentioned in a previous article, was smooth and impressive. But Gregg and his people also know how to throw a party as was evidenced by the mouth-dropping, stunned look by my guests as they arrived at Lido Village.
Scott, in his role as VP of Sales for Final Draft, has been to the film...
Can a one-liner become an entire movie? The short answer is, no. The audience only laughs once. That’s the biggest flaw in Zack Birnbaum’s directorial debut, “And Now A Word From Our Sponsor,” which was screened for only the second time before a live audience yesterday at the Newport Beach film festival.
The film has dramatic, heartfelt moments which are salvaged mainly by good acting on the park of Parker Posey who plays Karen Hillridge, a hospital charity administrator whose relationship with her daughter Megan (Allie MacDonald) is strained by the loss of the family’s patriarch two years prior.
The story opens with heavy weight advertising icon Adan Kundle collapsing in front of a bank of televisions in an electronics store. He awakens in a hospital, alert and functional, but he speaks only in advertising slogans. When Adan opens the tray covering his hospital breakfast and sees a dry piece of toast and a single, hard boiled egg he remarks, “How do you handle a hungry man?”
The film demands that the viewer assume Adan understands the world around him, indeed sees it more...
Newport Beach Film Festival, 2013
Alive and thriving. I'm sure that's the message the Newport Beach Film Festival would love to hear shouted from the rooftops of The O.C. After a few dicey years with administration woes, venue problems, and less-than-wonderful film offerings, I found the festival this year to be robust and packed with films that mean something both critically and commercially.
Having expanded to The Triangle, the renovated Triangle Square in Costa Mesa, the buzz there where I picked up my press pass was incredible. The festival initially went there out of desperation last year because The Islands Theater in Newport Beach was undergoing a renovation and they needed a venue with a multiplex and some food options that was at least close to Newport Beach. This year, The Islands is back but The Triangle is also in its glory after several new shops and food places have transformed it into a truly great entertainment destination.
I was only able to attend my first event this year on Sunday and I chose to go to one of my favorite theaters, The Regency Lido, which is a single-venue theater with an actual...
When Vivian Brechner (Toni Alexander), a female version of Donald Bren, decides to develop a Casino in the tiny town of Fountain Springs, she must bulldoze their bowling alley which is the, "Only thing we’ve got" scream the fifty-two residents of this California desert backwater.
Brechner's dispatches her son, Alexander, (Tyler Strateman) to do her dirty work, and the town’s mayor, Dawson Dinwitty (Gary Austin) springs into action with the city council, which consists of one man, also the town’s bowling instructor, George Pandick, (Andrew Dickler).
Both men must vote in favor of the new Casino, so Brechner tries to buy Dinwitty’s vote by wining, dining, and cajoling him from her office in Fashion Island and the Big Canyon golf course.
Meanwhile, Alexander gets drunk with the “twin” sons of Fountain Bowl’s owner, Herman Pritzoff (Eric Halsz) and agrees to a bowling contest with a prize of $250,000, enough money for the Pritzoff’s to buy the land and save their bowling alley.
This plot engine runs out...
How do say Occam’s Razor in French?
If you don’t know what that means in English, I’ll give you the simplest of definitions: It’s the simplest of solutions.
Occam’s Razor is a principle of parsimony and economy. It compels problem solvers to employ the easiest, most rational, reasonable solution.
The “problem” or premise of “Fly Me to the Moon” is this:
Isabelle, a beautiful, young, Parisian bride-to-be, played deftly by Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds), must somehow beat a family curse wherein first marriages end in disaster and the second is destined for eternal bliss.
Isabelle’s eleventh-hour solution to this “problem” is to marry a shill in Denmark and divorce him the same day, thus beating the curse and living happily ever after with her young, dentist fiancé, Pierre (Robert Plagnol).
When the shill is a no show, Isabelle latches onto a hapless travel writer, Jean-Yves played with great comic rhythm by Danny Boon (Welcome To The Sticks). Jean-Yves is en-route from Paris to Kenya via Copenhagen. That...
“The essence of how Pixar started was in let’s figure it out and try something different.” – Jerome Ranft, Pixar Animation Studios
In the summer of 2012, I was invited to Pixar Animation Studios for a meeting regarding my employment possibilities in their story department. As I walked through the front doors, I was greeted by their glass case filled with their numerous Academy Awards. The entire day I spent at Pixar was a dream come true since I am a big fan of their work and believe in the magic they bring to the screen. What this paper seeks to do is to summarize how Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, and John Lasseter revolutionized the entire animation industry with the creation of Pixar.
It is impossible to discuss the history of Pixar without talking about John Lasseter. Before Lasseter pioneered an entire art form, he was a teenager growing up in a middle class Los Angeles suburb called Whittier. While in high school, Lasseter discovered a book called The Art of Animation. It donned on him that people make cartoons for a living and that’s what he wanted to do. He applied to...
Blood. In amazing amounts and frequency.
That's one of the lasting impressions of this movie penned by Matthew Sand and J. Michael Straczynski, produced by Joel Silver, and the Wachowskis, and directed by James McTeigue.
Starring Korean pop star Rain, this story of a ninja turned against his adopted martial family (Ozunu clan) and actively working to stop his fellow ninjas from committing assassination for 100 pounds of gold (a holdover from ancient times) this movie starts in massive amounts of blood, decapitation and amputation, and ends in rivers of blood, decapitation and amputation with a lot of the same in-between.
Video game. That's your second thought and impression. With all the good and bad that engenders.
Ultra-violent and dark. In all ways including a lot of barely-seen fights that are too dark to appreciate properly, and hand-held cameras that jerk the action from one black shadow to another.
And then finally,...
No one would confuse "The Octagon" with say, "The Godfather." It is what it is. A "B-movie" from the 80's starring a martial-artist turned actor. It features decent action, some decent themes and a horrible voice over that supposedly conveys the main character's internal thoughts.
It's too easy to dismiss these films as being just expired, stinky cheese - relics of a film milieu that we have hopefully left behind us as we move into the brave new worlds of Uncanny Valley CGI and 3D over-the-top actioneers that look like giant, gorgeously executed video games.
Of course, there are those die-hard fans who see no disconnect in these films and rabidly declare them as revolutionary - which to some extent they were. At the time, there wasn't anything like "The Octagon" gracing American movie screens and big action was nascent at best in any form let alone martial arts.
I try not to go to either end of the spectrum. I do laugh inadvertently at the bad dialog, plot devices or action but I also realize that it was 30+ years ago and these movies are going to look creaky no matter what,...
I hadn't seen "Man On The Moon" (the biopic about performance comedian Andy Kaufman) and when it popped up on my Netflix streaming queue I wanted to give it a screening.
I had known about Andy Kaufman from his early days on "SNL" and "Taxi." To me, he had those two bright moments and the rest of his shtick left me varying degrees of uninvolved. I'm not alone. People tended to disagree about Kaufman's "genius" - some adored him, some were, uh...varying degrees of uninvolved.
And that can be a real problem in a film, especially when a good deal of the film is about his comedic stylings. Stylings that worked and didn't work. Yeah, we get to understand him a bit more through the story but honestly, there were sections that I really wanted to fast forward through. But I'm really glad I didn't.
Played by the rubber-faced comic (but also serious actor when given the right material) Jim Carrey interprets Kaufman with energy and sincerity. It's almost as if the real Kaufman had been given a second chance to say to the world: "This is what I was...
PARAMOUNT PICTURES ROCK CINEMACON!
LOOK OUT SUMMER – GREAT STORIES, GREAT PLOTS, GREAT MOVIES!
April 17, 2013 Las Vegas, NV. The annual movie industry smorgasbord of film, stars, studios, directors, producers, and popcorn makers, aka, CinemaCon, the most widely attended event of its kind in the world, is in high gear in Las Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, and movie studios have shared product reels, stars, and their films for the upcoming summer that have rocked the thousands of attendees, with universal acknowledgement that the bar has been raised and quality writing and directing was the order of the day.
Summer 2013 will be like no other before it.
Paramount Studios kicked off the event with stars Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson speaking to the audiences at the Caesar’s Palace Coliseum before screening their upcoming film, “Pain and Gain.” The film is directed by Michael Bey, of “Transformer” fame,...
If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” ~ Bruce Lee
In 1973, the year that "Enter The Dragon" was released, the war in Vietname was ending, gas was $0.40/gallon; Skylab, Watergate and the Twin Towers were all happening. Genetic engineering, the barcode and optical fiber were invented. Movie "The Exorcist," "Deliverance," "The Sting" and Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side of the Moon" were released. Notables Seth McFarlane, Oscar DeLa Hoya and David Chappelle were born...
...And Bruce Lee died six days before the release of his film that would change martial arts films forever,
It’s been 40 years since Bruce Lee almost single-handedly introduced martial arts movies to the United States. There was an awareness, of course, of both the genre and Lee since he played the character of Kato on the TV show “The...
“Not understanding money in the movie business is like an artist who doesn’t understand paint.” - Jack Nicholson1
I first became a fan of Roger Corman as a little boy watching monster movies on television. His low budget monster films captured my imagination and brought out a boyish wonder in me, inspiring me to one day become a genre filmmaker myself. As luck would have it, I was hired in May of 2011 to produce a Corman-like creature feature film titled The Prey. The experience in independent low budget genre filmmaking made me appreciate Roger Corman even more so. My appreciation of Corman as a low budget filmmaker and businessman inspired the writing of this paper, which hopes to summarize Corman’s illustrious career, his business strategy and his legacy on mainstream cinema.
Roger Corman studied engineering at Stanford University but quickly lost interest in engineering and developed a love for filmmaking. He only worked four days as an engineer after graduating before deciding to quit his job. He landed a job at 20th Century...
Submitted by GeorgeQ on Sun, 05/20/2012 - 5:23pm
Taking to the sea, the Resident Evil series finally returns to handhelds.
Taking place after Resident Evil 4 and before Resident Evil 5, Revelations puts players in the role of Jill Valentine. Who is trying to find the missing Chris Redfield on a ghost ship. There, she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy, and has to find the truth.
The game is broken up into episodic chapters. Each episode is introduced with a “Previously on” segment that reminds you of what‘s going on. The game also jumps to the past from time to time, to provide exposition on the new characters. This episodic nature makes it quite easy to play in short bursts, which is perfect for a handheld game.
Submitted by larry on Fri, 05/18/2012 - 2:02pm
We have speaking at the SCWA meeting this Saturday, Dara Marks, who is used by most studios and production companies as a story consultant and works with character transformation. She is well known in the industry, and perhaps some of your students or group would like to be there,.. She will be sharing on story, and also on the nature of her work with big and small films for studios and production. They can contact me, at firstname.lastname@example.org
, or 714 580 5072.
Submitted by GeorgeQ on Fri, 05/18/2012 - 12:47am
Raccoon City is lost, and it’s up to you, and three teammates to make sure no one finds out the truth.
ORC is a third-person shooter that focuses on cooperative play. Each member of Delta Team has their own unique abilities, and specialties (which are useful, when they actually work). ORC is a drastic change in the usual Resident Evil formula. For one, you can actually move and shoot, at the same time. Granted, that’s commonplace in gaming now, but considering this is a Resident Evil game; it’s a vast improvement. The game also let’s players take cover, but it’s automatic, finicky, and players can still be attacked if even a tiny portion of their body is exposed.
Submitted by GeorgeQ on Wed, 05/16/2012 - 11:06pm
It’s been almost 5 years since the last time gamers were able to step into the shoes of Jackie Estacado. The Darkness II takes place two years after the events of the first game (it‘s not necessary to have played the first game, but doing so does add a little more depth to the story), and Jackie has been able to control, and keep out the super-natural force that is the Darkness out of his body. But what fun would playing as a regular guy in control of his inner demons be? Good thing too, since within the first few minutes of the game, the Darkness comes back into Jackie’s life; and the fun begins.
The story in The Darkness II begins with a hit being placed on Jackie‘s life, and all hell breaking loose. On the verge of death, Jackie calls upon the powers of the Darkness. Jackie plays host to this supernatural entity, and a key plot-point is who is in control of who. As the Darkness vies for control over Jackie’s body. Jackie is haunted by hallucinations of his murdered girlfriend, and would do anything to save her soul.
Submitted by marse on Sun, 05/06/2012 - 10:50am
"All men are equal before fish." ~ Herbert Hoover
Imagine you're studying at the kitchen table in your L.A. home and there's a knock on the door. Your parents answer and they are told, "In 48 hours you need to gather your belongings and be moved." Everything you know, love, and feel safe with is being upended. You will be bussed to an internment camp where the summers are intolerably hot, the winters are brutally cold and the wind-driven dust never stops fouling your lungs and stinging your eyes. Because you are of Japanese heritage, even if you were born here and have never known any other country or way of life, you and your family are to be considered potential enemy combatants.
This then begins the documentary of the internment of Japanese Americas in a place called Manzanar shown all week at the Regency South Coast Village Theater
. But this is not an angry story told through the backward-glancing lens of history, this is a story told forward-looking, of hope, the human spirit and, yes, fishing.
Submitted by rudyjgarcia on Wed, 05/02/2012 - 10:55pm
Check out the happenings at the OCC Showcase at this year's Newport Beach Film Festival!
Submitted by marse on Wed, 05/02/2012 - 4:11pm
And the beat goes on...
The latest crop of film festival shorts from Orange Coast College were presented by OCC faculty advisor/photographer/musician Scott Broberg at the fabulous Regency Lido Theater. Sunday was a great day to view said shorts at the venue in Newport Beach for several reasons including the stunning theater itself firmly nestled in the history of the area.
And the students themselves were potentially making history. Who knows which of them will continue his or her film career and become the next - well, you fill in the blanks.
Submitted by rudyjgarcia on Wed, 05/02/2012 - 1:14am
Submitted by rudyjgarcia on Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:38pm
I'm still working on uploading pictures from the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival, but in the mean time check out some pictures from opening night! Tom Arnold and Jaime Lynn Sigler were some walking the red carpet for Jewtopia...
Submitted by Alexandru Mitroi on Mon, 04/30/2012 - 10:16am
After a great production Trigger, a short action film, has entered the post-production phase. The story revolves around a highly classified and lethal weapon that lands in the hands of a notorious criminal and the FBI agents assigned with recovering the weapon. If the production is any indication of the skill and acumen of the cast and crew, the post-production is not going to disappoint.
Submitted by marse on Fri, 04/27/2012 - 11:38am
April 26, 2012, L.A. Memorial Sports Arena.
Millions of words have been written about Bruce Springsteen. I doubt if I will bring anything new to the discussion of this amazing musician and poet but the transformative nature of his work impels and propels me to say something.
I will echo those who who have said that nothing (nothing!) compares to his live performances. As my friend Kevin said on the way to the concert at the Sports Arena in L.A. - "it's like a old-time revival." Yep.
Not one to be overly, physically expressive at concerts I was up and screaming in a matter of the first few minutes. Most stood immediately and never sat again for a nearly three hour show in which the master musician and his group of hand-picked sidemen wowed us through hits from the 1st album (back when vinyl ruled) to the newest material from his "Wrecking Ball" release. I nearly cried at how amazing the music and musicianship was and I truly, nearly lost it when a moving tribute to Bruce's friend and sideman Clarence Clemons, who passed away last year of a stroke, was triggered by the lyric in an old song "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" ("...and the big man joined the band.") Clemon's son played in the horn section and did all of Clemons' solos which was amazing in and of itself - although he still isn't The Big Man, but potential looms large.
Submitted by marse on Thu, 04/26/2012 - 10:06am
LET THERE BE LIGHT! ACTION! CAMERA!
Day 3 at CinemaCon was perhaps the wildest yet, and one with promise for not only excitement on the screen, but two revolutionary technology breakthroughs that will change the way we watch film in theatres forever.
Light, Light, Light
The future of films is so bright you gonna have to wear shades! At a technology display so intense every viewer had to sign a waver, a new method of lighting the screen was displayed that was so bright it left viewers gasping at the marvel of the light, a light so intense a film will be so clear, so crisp, so beautiful.
Submitted by larry on Wed, 04/25/2012 - 8:58am
DISNEY ALIVE AND WELL, AND DEPP, BRUCKHEIMER, BURTON PROVE IT
The Walt Disney company showed everyone that it I alive and well, with a slate of great films, great stars, and great directors and producers working on some amazing work for the coming year. And Uncle Walt would be proud of the variety and style of all that is happening at Disney.
On Tuesday, every seat and then some at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace was taken as Disney, and their partners at Marvel, Dreamworks, and Pixar and the Disney banner, dazzled the audience with the stars and directors and producers for the upcoming slate.
Submitted by larry on Tue, 04/24/2012 - 9:22am
CinemaCon (whose motto is "The world goes to the movies, the movie world goes to Cinemacon") is the world's largest movie industry convention, and has been ongoing in Las Vegas for many years. It is run by NATO, which is the North American Theatre Owners, so the attendance is in the thousands and from everywhere in the world. The distribution side of the movie business, which includes studio heads and producers, directors and stars, screenwriters and filmmakers, all come to Las Vegas every year and mingle with the Exhibitors who show films in towns across America and the world in their theatres.
Submitted by Alexandru Mitroi on Sat, 04/21/2012 - 7:21pm
The Pudgilist, a series that follows the events at a Mixed Martial Arts training gym, the owners and the fighters, that work hard towards personal and professional success, has gone into post-production.
It is a privilege to work with Victor Phan and everyone else involved in this project. One can sense right away that they are professionals of the highes caliber, with the ability to call on many people and necessary resources to make things happen, and happen the right way.
Submitted by marse on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 9:56am
Robert Rollins Pictures (link) is announcing the production of Robert Rollins’ anthology feature film Dream Country.
Currently in active pre-production with a locked script, location scouting and actor auditions being held in L.A., shooting the Dream Country interstitials brings to a close a long term goal. Rollins said "I've been working on this for the past several years. Finally going into production last week made me realize just how long I've been waiting to make this a reality. We've opened the production offices and we're knee deep in the craziness of getting everything ready to roll cameras." Rollins declined to elaborate on a specific date for principal photography but said it was going to be "Fallish 2012." The company is awaiting approval of permits before it commits to a hard date.
UPDATE: Permits have been approved. The date is set in October 2012 according to Rollins.
Dream Country was born out of Robert’s love for Rod Serling’s classic television show The Twilight Zone. Dream Country follows The Twilight Zone pattern by creating a framing device of using foot bridges that transport the viewer or journeyman from awake to asleep, from conscious to unconsciousness, from reality to fantasy, from past to present.
Cross a bridge to enter a dream....
The mysterious and enigmatic Elias introduces the featurettes while standing on a bridge much the same way Rod Serling had done in The Twilight Zone.
Submitted by marse on Thu, 04/12/2012 - 8:51pm
We are not endorsing this film festival - just passing on info we received from them - always be cautious with your intellectual property. Mark
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA – Phenom Film Fest announces the launch of their First Annual International Film Festival and the open call for film entries, for the 2012 season.
The Phenom Film Fest (PFF) was created to offer exposure and advance public interest in independent films without distribution, that might never be seen by the general public and to showcase the local region of Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana as a major film center for its' filmmaking resources and talent. We strive to support the spirit of independent filmmaking on a local, national and international level in all genres of film to include Drama, Comedy, Documentaries, Animated, Horror, Sci-fi, Fantasy, GLBT, Action/Adventure and their related subgenres.
The festival will be held in the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana area from Sept. 6 - 9, at various venues around town. PFF will be joining the Bossier Arts Council sponsored Digital Arts Festival and Career Fair in creating an incredible multimedia and interactive experience for filmmakers and fans.
Submitted by cinematicrex on Tue, 04/10/2012 - 2:00pm
For those of you who do not know who Roger Corman is and are vivid fans of monster movies, action sci-fi and all around pop-corn entertainment, I have three words: Shame on you! He has been the producer that has launched a million careers and continues to do so at the ripe age of 86!
This documentary is way more interesting that I thought it would be and although it barely reached the theaters (like many of Corman’s productions these days) I got it through my Netflix cue. This movie also hits home for me right now because I’m involved in my first production as a writer/producer and the story still rings true today on all the crazy things you have to do to get a movie done.
Any kind of movie.
Roger Corman like many producers started out as an actor and of course wasn’t that good but somehow he was fun, charming and a great talker and he managed to get people to do crazy stuff, so he got some money together got a movie crew and did his first monster movie. He sold it to a small outfit that rented movies to drive-in chains and the rest is history. Being crafty and not spending anything extra was one of Corman’s chief assets.
Submitted by marse on Mon, 04/09/2012 - 9:51am
This post is a bit more personal than usual because it involves people that have helped shape this organization and perservered when others have lost interest.
There's no doubt that the best part of starting the OC Screenwriters is when members meet, pull together their resources, and create something wonderful. This has happened several times already and the latest iteration of this concept of networking is the group behind "The Prey."
They've made me a part of this insanely ambitious project and it's truly a thrill to be again working with Rudy Garcia, Eric Hensman, his brother Matt (and super-neice Scarlett,) Itai Levin, and soon-to-be mega-producer Victor Phan.
Submitted by BriMichelleX on Sat, 04/07/2012 - 4:13am
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Submitted by marse on Thu, 04/05/2012 - 11:17am
Even though I wasn't bowled over by "Lilyhammer" there are reasons to give it high marks:
- - It's funky and weird and different enough that you don't see the same pre-fabbed faces and content that you'd normally see in network TV.
- - It stars one of the most unlikely "pretty faces" in the biz - the eternally-scowling Steven Van Zandt.
- - It's a true breakthrough show. Its original episodes are available all at once, as people who stream a lot of content on Netflix are likely to watch. I myself do entire TV seasons in a few days sometimes (especially when, as in the case of "Southland" those seasons are only six episodes long.)
- - I've never seen an "American" series set entirely in another country.
- - The show reminds me (a bit) of a not-as-well-written "Northern Exposure."
Submitted by marse on Sat, 03/31/2012 - 11:19am
Billy Wilder's Tips For Writers
It was 10 years ago (March 27, 2002) that the world lost Billy Wilder. Some of his wisdom from Cameron Crowe's book, Conversations With Wilder start with his Tips for Writers.
- The audience is fickle.
- Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
- Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
- Know where you’re going.
- The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
- If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
- A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
- In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
- The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
- The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then -- that’s it. Don’t hang around.
Editors note: I really shouldn't have to list Wilder's film because any student of film should know them but here's a few just in case:
Some Like it Hot
Seven Year Itch
Submitted by larry on Fri, 03/30/2012 - 12:24pm
SANTA ANITA PARK AND HOLLYWOOD, A LONGTIME LOVE AFFAIR
And they were off!
On Christmas Day, 1934, Santa Anita Park Racetrack opened its gates and it was love at first sight between Santa Anita and Hollywood.
Hollywood royalty was not only in attendance, but one of Hollywood’s most prolific movie producers, Hal Roach, who started producing film in 1915, and lived till the age of 101 as a working producer, who brought comedy to America with Harold Lloyd, Our Gang, Laurel and Hardy, Will Rogers, and so many more, was the money man behind the park.
Submitted by marse on Tue, 03/27/2012 - 10:37am
Pity The Poor Writer
I've written under all circumstances for over twenty years - scripts, short stories, novels, industrial videos, blogs, articles, etc. Modestly speaking, I'm pretty good at it. I know that because people pay me for that particular skill set.
Yep, lots to learn (emphasis on 'lots'") but let me make this point at the top - I study storytelling for a living. That's what I do. So, I should know a little more about it than your nephew, girlfriend, stranger off the street, right? Oh you agree? Then why are you changing my story, characters, themes and plot based on their opinions? In fact, why are we having this conversation at all?
You think I'm being a dilettante writer? Fair enough. Let's talk about that.
Chill, Dude. It's just Your Flipping Career
Let's get the big points out of the way. First, I do get that these are gray areas and that I am over-simplifying for the sake of making my point - it's called...writing - where have you been?