PULL UP THE WELCOME MAT: A Bigger Splash and The Ones Below


First, a word from our sponsors: I have just launched the indiegogo campaign for my short film 14 Conversations in 10 Minutes. Check it out http://ow.ly/SblO3005HHu.  Below is a video sample of the short. Think about contributing (the lowest contribution is only $5.00). Please view and share anywhere and everywhere.

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?  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 3 Two movies have opened recently that have as its premise what happens when you welcome guests into one’s home. The basic moral of both is that, well, maybe it’s best not to.
In I Am Love, an earlier film directed by Luca Guadagnino, Tilda Swinton played the wife of a wealthy businessman who finds herself falling in love with the friend of her son. The movie had a small story and in many ways, very little happened plotwise. Still, every scene was filled with tension and suspense that at times was almost unbearable.
In A Bigger Splash, Guadagnino’s new film with Miss Swinton (not to be confused with the 1973 documentary about David Hockney), the plot seems to careen from scene to scene at high speed where a lot seems to happen, but ironically, with almost no sense of tension or suspense.
In the end, it’s a thriller desperately trying to find some thrills, but almost always coming up short. Continue reading

YOU WANT ME TO READ WHAAAAAAT? A Snob’s Guide to Alternative Sources for Structure in Plotting for Screenplay and TV Writing, Part III: Night Time Soaps


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

Also available for revising, script doctoring and ghost writing.

essay 10This is the third in a series of essays about alternative sources for structure and plotting for screenplays and television series (for earlier entry in the series, see the bottom of the essay).

By alternative, I mean sources other than the usual tomes written by the usual gurus, sources you might not immediately think about, that can be used as guides in trying to tell your story, sources that you might not have even considered of any use in this area.

The idea of writing these essays originated with the sudden rise of what is now being called a second golden age of television, as well as a paradigm shift in the way movies are made. There are now so many different ways of telling a story on television, while in movies there has been a swing away from the Hollywood/Studio type of filmmaking, that I believe thinking outside the box when it comes to finding ways to tell stories might be a wise move to make at this time.

However, before proceeding any further, I would also like to say one other thing. You may look at many of my lists and recoil at the hoity-toityness of them all and even accuse me of being a snob.

Well, what can I say? I am a snob and I’m proud of it.

But I seriously doubt it would hurt anyone’s ability to write if they let a little more snobbishness in. In fact, it might help. You never know, so give it a try.

Today I will focus on night time soaps. These are series which have continuing story lines (i.e., the stories are not fully wrapped up in one episode or even one season).   These are shows like Mad Men, Empire, Dynasty, Dallas, Downton Abbey, etc. They have several through lines, a ton of subplots and a myriad of characters (though there may be one main character that is the focal point of the story). Continue reading