Archive for April 7th, 2011

April 7, 2011

Rom Coms: Convincing the Audience Your Lovers Belong Together

This recent article from Billy Mernit begins with a rom com truism: “The primary challenge lies not in creating obstacles to keep the couple apart, but in convincing the audience that these two people truly do belong together.” Billy continues:

The current box office hit that you’re not supposed to like – because it’s an Adam Sandler movie – is nobody’s idea of a great romantic comedy.  In fact, due to its derivative pedigree (based on a movie based on a play based on a French play, no less), the project sounds more like the “xerox of a xerox of a copy of a movie” decried by this sobering screed that’s lately been giving Hollywood screenwriters insomnia.

So sue me, but I found parts of it to be LOL funny, despite the usual trademark Sandler homophobia, racism and misogyny, and in terms of What America’s In the Mood For right now, I totally get why it’s doing well.  It’s a tan-bodied, creamy, candy-colored bright shiny object of a movie that’s just sharp enough, at moments, to transcend its retro stupidity and revel in entertaining Guilty Pleasure silliness.  It’s also the best thing Jennifer Aniston’s done in… well, it’s nice to see her in something watchable. 

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April 7, 2011

Jane Espenson on Writing for Joss Whedon

This is an old article, but a worthwhile read, especially if you’re a diehard Whedon fan. Jane talks about the writing process in a Joss writer’s room:

Okay, first there is the idea. This is usually something that Joss brings in, and it always begins with the main character – in my case, almost always with Buffy. We spend a lot of time discussing her emotional state, and how we want her to change over the course of the season. Frequently this in itself will suggest a story area – we will find a story in which we explore her mental state metaphorically. The episode “Same Time, Same Place,” was centered around Willow… we wanted to explore her emotional distance from the other characters. This turned into a story in which no one could see or touch Willow and vice versa. The episode “Conversations with Dead People” dealt in part with Buffy’s ambivalent feelings about her calling. She explored the feelings during a mock therapy session with a vampire she was destined to kill. Notice that the episode ideas *begin* with “what is she going through” and never with “what would be a cool Slaying challenge?”.

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April 7, 2011

Quote of the Day: James Michener

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter. 

April 7, 2011

Stay Away from Amazon Studios

The Artful Writer recently posted about Amazon Studios, an opportunity that seems too good to be true. Because it is. Check out what the post had to say:

Recently, Amazon launched “Amazon Studios,” a strange mashup of contest/development/crowd-sourcing designed to help filmmakers “break in” by getting noticed, winning money and even having their movies released by Warner Brothers.

It’s a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad deal.

Well, let me amend that.

It’s a GREAT deal if your script stinks and your movie shouldn’t get made. Under those circumstances, someone’s reading your crap, maybe even helping you with your crap, and perhaps as a result of human fallibility, you might even get some money for your crap.

But if your script is GOOD? If you’re actually talented? If you have real potential as a writer, director or filmmaker?

Bad, bad, bad, bad deal.

How is it bad? Let us count the ways.

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