ROGUE ONE, PASSENGERS ZERO: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Passengers


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
rev-1In film, Sci-Fi has often been divided into two categories: adult science fiction, stories that capture the mind and are more philosophical and questioning in nature; and pop culture Sci-Fi, stories that are more escapist and less challenging where the grey cells are concerned.
Perhaps no better year can define this dichotomy than 1977 when the original Star Wars was released the same year as Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
Critics often claim, or have a prejudice, that adult sci-fi is inherently superior or preferably to pop culture sci-fi. And I do have to admit, if truth be forceably told, I tend to prefer the former to the latter. But there is never a guarantee that one is going to be better than the other. In fact, in the end, the one that is better is simply the one that is better, and the reason why it is better is because, when all is said and done, it’s the, well… better one. Continue reading

OH MY GOD, THEY’RE CO-DEPENDENT: What’s More Important, Structure or Character, in Writing a Screenplay


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
blog1Over the last year or so, it has come to my attention that there is a central irony in how I cover and analyze screenplays.
When someone asks me what the most important aspect of a screenplay is, what I look for in recommending them for a second read in a contest or for further consideration for a production company, I always say: character, character, character.
For me, it rarely makes any difference as to how original a concept is, how clever or well plotted a story is, or how unique or intriguing the structure. If these other areas are not supported by rich and vibrant characters (or at the very least, a 7/8 on a scale of 10), it rarely matters what sort of folderol an author gets them caught up in. Continue reading

‘S WONDERFUL! ‘S MARVELOUS! ‘S OKAY: La La Land


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
rev-1La La Land, the new musical about aspiring Angelenos, opens on a wintry 84 degree day in stalled bumper to bumper traffic on an L.A. freeway.
So, of course, to pass the time, everyone begins to sing and dance. And it’s absolutely wonderful, a marvelous moment of agile bodies twisting and turning, on car roofs and cement barriers, as the camera glides around and amongst them, as if carried by a graceful wind.
The basic story revolves around aspiring actress Mia (spunky Emma Stone, if that’s not redundant) and aspiring jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling, perhaps the cinema’s best representative of metrosexuality), an artist so pure he refuses to join a music group because he wants to open his own club where he can play jazz the way he wants, not the way someone else wants him to.
They have trouble meeting cute, and once they do and romance blooms, they have trouble breaking up. Continue reading

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: Lion and Jackie


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
rev-4About a third of the way through Lion, the new film from director Garth David (he worked on the TV series Top of the Lake) and screenwriter Luke Davies (Candy), the central character, Saroo, has a Proustian moment when he sees a plate of jelebies, a lusciously bright red sweet popular in India. He suddenly has a memory of being a boy less than six years old, deeply desiring such a confection while out working with his older brother in a remote Indian city.
This has a profound effect on him, because as a child he got separated from his brother and ended up on a train that took him to New Delhi where he ended up in an orphanage, subsequently adopted by an Australian couple.
He hasn’t thought about his early life much at all. He doesn’t even really consider himself Indian. But the rush of memory has a profound existential effect on him and he becomes obsessed with finding his way back to his birth mother and family. Continue reading

THE WORKING CLASS GOES TO HEAVEN: I, Daniel Blake, Paterson and Neruda


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the original campaign.
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
rev-3Critics, at least those in the U.S., have at times complained about the dearth of movies that focus on the life of ordinary, often blue collar, workers. It’s not that it never happens. We’ve had our On the Waterfronts and Blue Collars.
But still, it feels that the lunchbox is more than a bit bare.
Great Britain has fared better, especially since the emergence of the angry young man stories and kitchen sink dramas in the 1950’s and ‘60’s.
British director Ken Loach has even made it his focus to create films about those on the lower rungs of society, especially their struggles to get by. He might even be called the cinematic poet of the working class. Continue reading