PROLOGUE TO GLORY: Southside With You and Sully


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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-1Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.
                                                            Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
When Pauline Kael reviewed Abel Gance’s Napoleon, she talked, somewhat negatively, of Gance’s approach to the future emperor. She said something to the affect that when Napoleon is an adult, Gance treats him as a man of destiny; when the subject is young and in school, he’s presented as a child of destiny.
This isn’t an unusual way to approach biopics of famous people; treating them as archetypes, rather than human beings like anyone else one might meet on the street, an approach closer to what George Bernard Shaw tried to do in such works as Caeser and Cleopatra and St. Joan.
But even Shaw’s plays seem more like the Fast and Furious franchise when compared to Southside With You, the chronicling of an early and ordinary day in the life of two people who later became two of the most powerful people in the world. Continue reading

A BRIDGE NOT FAR ENOUGH: Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Oscar Season and Bridge of Spies


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
bosIt is now autumn in America. This means that leaves are changing their colors and becoming richer and deeper in tone; that we are transitioning in time between the salad days of yore and winter’s cold meat of the future until we again reach spring when life sprouts once more anew; and that the youth of yesteryear is giving way to middle aged thoughtfulness.
Yes, it’s a metaphor for the state of movies in the U.S. We have now departed the blockbuster summer where the most desirable demographic took center stage, to the more melancholic and self-contemplative movies that appeal more to the mature in us.
Now, there is one thing that should first be stated here, shouted from the rooftop in clarion clarity. This does not mean that the movies will be getting any better. No matter what people will claim, subject matter and weightiness is in no way a guarantee of quality.
In fact, I predict that you won’t be finding many American Hollywood films that will surpass Spies and The Martian.
But change is still upon us.
One of the reasons for this, though not the only reason, is that another name for the season we are now entering is called Oscar. It is the period when studios and major independents are releasing their prestige pictures in order to get as many nominations as they can, because if they don’t get nominations, then they can’t justify making movies about important subjects since they rarely make as much money as The Avengers or Captain America. Continue reading