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One Word Awesome

One Word Awesome

A fun one for the new year.  Movie dialog is usually long.  We glorify great Shakespearean monologues (“To be or not to be”), and Paddy Chayefsky-inspired diatribes (“I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”)….

Making Characters Happy

Making Characters Happy

Okay, this is heady stuff.  Basically, Martin Seligman’s involved in Positive Psychology, which for him means not simply treating the miserable (or the sexually dysfunctional as Freud did), but to enhance and promote meaningful happiness for everyone. What does this…

Preston Sturges Rules

Preston Sturges Rules

If you haven’t seen The Lady Eve, then you haven’t seen Henry Fonda as a total rube, Barbara Stanwyck at her comic best, and some of the cleverest writing in Hollywood.  And yeah there’s Biblical elements of Adam and Eve,…

Does Your Movie Have Enough Mystery?

Does Your Movie Have Enough Mystery?

This post is a great companion piece to my Use of Reveals post, but with the added bonus of watching JJ Abrams talk about his Mystery Box: Not only does he talk about great scenes, and production tricks (always protect…

Are You A Man For All Seasons?

Are You A Man For All Seasons?

A Man for All Seasons?  Wait, that’s an OLD movie. It’s about some white male in the 1500s who refused to accept the king as head of the church of England or something. Why not discuss The Dark Knight Rises,…

Common Story Problems

Common Story Problems

The following is an excerpt from my Pre-Script Pro-Strategy Screenwriting Seminar (AKA Pre-Pro), now available at Udemy.  The whole thing is over 5 hours long, covering everything from developing a premise to the 12 sequence structure, character development and elevating…

The Use of Reveals

The Use of Reveals

You’re crafting a story, trying to figure out what will take it to “the next level,” and assuming you have great characters, an engaging plot, a resonating theme, and wide audience appeal, you may dig deep into the toolbox and…

The Hunger Pains of Hunger Games

The Hunger Pains of Hunger Games

Remember when Hollywood sold us movies about teens getting a day off, chasing girls and getting drunk? Today Hollywood is selling teens getting in the arena, hunting others and getting famous. What happened? The Hunger Games is set in a…