December 12, 2013 |
I should declare I have never been a fan of motor racing. I don't watch Formula One, the intricacies of engine refinement and lap times leave me cold, I don't even drive fast. So how come "Rush" ended up being an unusually personal screenplay to me? The answer is that the two racers at the heart of the story, James Hunt and Niki Lauda, represent in some way two halves of me. I was born the son of immigrant Germans and was brought up in the UK, teased as "a Kraut. " Jump forward 20 years, and I married an Austrian and live in Vienna, where now I am known as "a Brit.
December 5, 2013 |
A nearly universal desire among writers is to make themselves conspicuous in their work. It's completely understandable. When a script that you've spent months - if not years - writing has your name on the title page, who wouldn't want the material inside to crackle with style; full of snappy rejoinders that audiences gleefully repeat as they exit the theater. Moments that scream: "I wrote that. " Having worked the whole of my professional life toward achieving such, it's kind of ironic that in adapting Solomon Northup's "Twelve Years a Slave" I would end up taking the exact opposite approach.
December 4, 2013
The Sundance Institute has announced the selected films for the U.S. and World Cinema dramatic and documentary competitions and the out-of-competition NEXT section of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. This year's festival will be held Jan. 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Following is a complete list of the films: U.S. Dramatic Competition Camp X-Ray / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Peter Sattler) -- A young woman is stationed as a guard in Guantanamo Bay, where she forms an unlikely friendship with one of the detainees.
November 21, 2013 |
We wrote "(500) Days of Summer" because we loved the romantic comedy - and feared for its survival. What used to be "The Graduate" and "Annie Hall" and "When Harry Met Sally" had become the home of the unrealistic, the unrelatable and the insincere. The genre was in free-fall, and "500" was our attempt to breathe a little life back in. When looking for a follow-up, we turned our attention to the other genre we loved and missed: the teen movie. The '80s of our youth were chock-full of smart, sensitive, sometimes funny, sometimes heartfelt, always identifiable films about young people.
November 18, 2013 |
Syd Field, described by many in the film community as the "guru of all screenwriters," has died at age 77. According to his website , Field died Sunday of hemolytic anemia at his Beverly Hills home, surrounded by his wife, family and friends. Field was the author of eight books, mostly notably "Screenplay: The Basics of Film Writing," considered the the industry's most authoritative guide to screenwriting. It is credited with helping establish the now traditional three-act structure for feature film scripts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2013 |
In the 1970s, Syd Field's job in Hollywood was reading scripts all day and picking out the gems that might make it to the screen. In one two-year period he figured he read 2,000 screenplays - and turned down 1,960 of them. The rejects were an "amorphous goo" of confusing plot lines and poorly developed characters that often caused him to close his office door at 2 or 3 in the afternoon and go to sleep. But eventually he figured out what distinguished the winners from the losers. The answer was crystallized in "Screenplay, The Foundations of Screenwriting," Field's 1979 bestseller that today remains the bible of scriptwriters.
October 18, 2013 |
Los Angeles film and TV writer Galen Tong is the feature film grand prize winner of the inaugural Beijing International Screenwriting Competition. Tong, a graduate of USC's School of Cinema-Television, was among nearly 1,000 U.S.-based writers who competed for the award, which includes $15,000 in prize money and the opportunity to have their script produced into a movie. Tong and four other feature film finalists were honored in May. Called "The Monkey King," Tong's script is a martial-arts adventure movie set in Beijing at the turn of the century.
September 25, 2013 |
Screenwriters who once viewed television as inferior to the big screen increasingly are giving the small screen more props. That's one of the key takeaways from a survey by the Writers Guild of America, East, which polled about 20% of its 4,000 members who write for film, television and new media. Although more than half of the respondents said they wrote feature films in the last five years, nearly 90% said they intend to seek guild-covered work in television in the next year. "In other words, screenwriters plan to explore opportunities in TV," the guild said in a statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2013
Paul Dietzel Coached LSU football team Paul Dietzel, 89, who led Louisiana State University to an undefeated season in 1958 and its first college football national championship, died Tuesday after a brief illness, the university announced. He was a resident of Baton Rouge, La. Dietzel coached LSU from 1955 until 1961. In his first three seasons, the Tigers were 3-5-2, 3-7 and 5-5. But among the players he recruited as freshmen in 1956 were Billy Cannon, who became a Heisman Trophy-winning running back.
September 12, 2013 |
Bestselling author J.K. Rowling is to get her first screenwriting credit working on a new series of films based on the world of the Harry Potter books. Warner Bros. announced the partnership Thursday. The first film, “ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ,” will be based on a textbook of that name from the fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the adventures of Newt Scamander, the texbook's author. In a statement, Rowling said she decided join the project, and so return to the wizard-world, because of her affection for the character Scamander. “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years,” Rowling said, “'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.