Screenwriting 101: What Every Budding Film Writer Needs to Know

Film writing, creative writing’s least loved offspring.

It gets so little respect from the other mediums. Well, just look at the movies—you may say—just look at how many bad ones are made each year! Yet, to judge film writing overall based on a few bad seeds is not fair to the great stories that we have had on the silver screen over the ages. It’s like comparing all literary classics to the work of a few pulp romance or sci-fi novelists.

Film is very different from other story mediums. The limitations are extreme, and many times you will hear people dismiss the medium, not realizing the art needed to work within the strict borders film dictates. Yes, writing for film successfully is an art no matter what your friends who read 1000-page length novels and wear all black say; just as important as a perfectly structured and meaningful poem.

Here are some points I have always felt crucial in beginning an understanding about writing for film. Continue reading

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Star Wars: One Fan’s Remembrances

Today, Stars Wars (or as some like to say A New Hope), turns 35… which means officially I am old.

To celebrate this cultural milestone (and personal success for seeing this day. Woohoo! Survival!), I thought I would share excerpts and links from two editorials I wrote about Star Wars over the last few months. 

The first one was my reaction to the blu-ray release of the series. To say, I was a little annoyed that the original trilogy without Lucas’ changes is not included is put it mildly (Han shoots first!). Still I decided to share my own personal memories around each of the films. It is called “Goodbye to a Galaxy Far, Far Away.” It can be found on GreenSpotBlue.com here. Here is the beginning:

Soon the Complete Star Wars Saga will be hitting on blu-ray, and for a member of Generation X, it can’t help but make me stop and take pause over this creation and its influence. For my generation, this is our Beatles, this is our man on the moon, this is our disco. We wear the t-shirts, we recite the lines at random times:  Continue reading

Goodbye to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

A new film article is up at Green Spot Blue.  This one is from a one-time avid Star Wars fan saying goodbye (and why he is saying it). Also, I share some of my memories and opinions about each of the films (and you get to see a picture of me as Chewie!). Consider it a wake for a childhood obsession and all the humor that comes with that idea. So raise a glass and enjoy the beginning of the article:

Soon the Complete Star Wars Saga will be hitting on blu-ray, and for a member of Generation X, it can’t help but make me stop and take pause over this creation and its influence. For my generation, this is our Beatles, this is our man on the moon, this is our disco. We wear the t-shirts, we recite the lines at random times:

Like Beggar’s canyon back home.

That’s no moon, it’s a space station.

Heck, I have even met someone once who had turned his Mini-Cooper into an X-Wing! But beyond the extremes like that, it has shaped for many of us how we look at the world, and how we see our place in it… for good or bad.

The Original Trilogy

My first ever memory is seeing Star Wars in the theater.

I was 3, and my parents took me to see it in our local theater. The theater was packed and people cheered and clapped throughout it. I remember seeing Artoo on the screen and thinking that is cool. It had a profound impact on my entire life (and probably on my parents’ checkbook).

I remember begging my folks to take me to see The Empire Strikes Back and that Christmas I got an AT-AT and it was awesome.

Now my bad story, I remember convincing a kid in fourth grade, who I didn’t particularly like, that he should include me in his birthday gathering because they were all going to see Return of the Jedi that opening night. After the movie, I made some excuse and went home, my task completed. I know, I know, ouch.

I think I purchased every video release of these films, especially in the later years, looking to see what changes George Lucas had made this time. Yet, with the more changes he made the more I realized he wasn’t adding, but taking away. Now when I watch A New Hope (the corrected title for the original film), the pace is all wrong, he added too much extra, throwing off the rhythm of the original’s pace, like a drum solo that has lost its time. A shame. (I’m not even going to discuss the recent addition of Darth Vader shouting “Noooo!!!” to the Return of the Jedi! It would just be a waste of breath; when Lucas has made a change, he doesn’t go back no matter how bad the idea.)

You can read the rest of the article here.

May the force be with you… or what is left of it.