Home 2018-02-27T12:34:12+00:00
18Apr, 17

Story Construction – Pixar’s 22 Writing Laws

Pixar logo We’re not the first to post Pixar’s 22 Writing Laws and we certainly won’t be the last, but bare in mind — it is always good to review story fundamentals to stay sharp. Jazz giant John Coltrane would practice scales EVERY DAY for hours, why? To keep his craft at the utmost sharpness. In the film & TV game, the competition is entirely too fierce for one not to strive for the very best each and every time. And the Pixar Brain Trust has an unbelievably impressive track record [...]

5Mar, 17

Hearing Your Draft Read Aloud

One of the things that weigh on screenwriters is the number of people who actually read your material. Unless it’s getting made, perhaps 30 people TOPS will read the work you’ve spent countless hours on. Such is the vagaries and frustrating aspects of the business. What is doubly irksome is a screenplay isn’t a work that is supposed to be “read”, it’s a document that is designed to be performed and to marshall resources and personnel so it can be filmed. […]

3Jan, 17

Color’s Power and Potential

What makes color have an impact in cinema? How it’s used. Why it’s used. What subtextual value the filmmaker assigns to a given color. What specific color palette is used. Filmmaker’s¬†Color Tools In cinema, color comes in two forms – light and production design (which includes costumes, hair, make-up, props, and set design); top-of-their game¬†filmmakers utilize both to fit the characters and the themes of their stories. There’s a fascinating and informative book called “If It’s Purple, Someone’s Going To Die” by Patti Bellantoni. She dissects how color is employed in [...]

19Dec, 16

29Nov, 16

Jenkins Influenced by Wong Kar Wai

The Criterion Collection has a new feature called UNDER THE INFLUENCE… which, as you can imagine if it is from Criterion, is a smart and compelling discussion of what films have influenced en vogue or stalwart film auteurs. Barry Jenkins, director of the knockout MOONLIGHT, discusses his thoughts and feelings on the two WKW films Criterion has the license for – CHUNGKING EXPRESS (this is now out of print) and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE. […]

29Nov, 16

When cinematographers strive for the “ugly”

On Roger Deakins’ Instagram, he recently posted a quote from the incomparable Conrad L. Hall: Connie used to say he wanted his films to look ugly, to capture something that we [cinematographers] shy away from [beautifully lit images] in making movies. Ugliness can have a certain beauty as well. There’s a strange dichotomy going on there.” What is Ugly Cinematography? What Hall was championing is eschewing the most flattering and revealing lighting set-ups; withholding visual information is just as important as withholding narrative information. And “ugly” cinematography by a Deakins or [...]


Guillermo del Toro’s THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE available on Blu-ray

Del Toro is an intriguing study of a director, and I’m more impressed by his work after listening to Robert Rodriguez interview him.

THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE is my second favorite movie of his. It’s worth seeing because it was his come back film after MIMIC nearly destroyed him and his Hollywood career.