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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Look right at you!

Have you ever debated if you would want your actor to look straight at the lens or off to one side? You are not alone. I personally want my actors to bond with my audience. Here is a blog article from one of my instructors at De Anza. What do you think?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Screenwriting: What makes a good script?

Here is another good website that I stumbled upon: Here is a snippet.

Characters: The movies you loved most featured characters that swept you up, who captivated your emotions, got you involved. The audience viewing a movie not only wants to be interested in and care about the people they see on the screen, they want to be passionate about them, whether they like them or not. Great heroes and heroines inspire us; great villains make us want to jump into the screen!

Quest: There is always something at stake in a good movie. Not
just something someone wants, something that must be acquired, no matter what
the risk, as in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or something
highly desired by as many main characters as possible, like the small black
statue in The Maltese Falcon. Some times it can be an intangible thing, like the
freedom of a people in Lawrence of Arabia or Gandhi. All these things drive the
character's quest, even gives the hero superhuman strength. It can be something
personal (romance) or for the good of all (saving the world from aliens) but it
must be powerful and grow more desperate as the story unfolds

Conflict: There are always obstacles, which provide that catchword that actors love so much -- conflict. This is the heart of drama. Someone wants something and people and things keep getting in the way of them achieving the goal. At times, the obstacles can be common to
both the hero and villain, and the ultimate goal a laudable one for both
parties, as in Jingle All The Way. In that film, Arnold Schwarzenegger and
Sinbad battle to achieve the same goal--the acquisition of the last popular
action figure for sale that Christmas season. Both of them have promised their
son, and they must not fail. Conflict and obstacles can be physical or
emotional. But they have to be in your story or you don't really have a story

Wound: In most good stories, the protagonist will also have an inner obstacle, some
mental or even spiritual problem, that will be resolved by the time s/he reaches
the outward, physical goal of the story. Some people call this inner demon a
"ghost," while others call in a "wound."

Hook: You need a hook. That's a songwriting term that describes that thing that catches the public's attention. A popular Hollywood term is a "high concept." A better idea might be a simple "What if?" In Galaxy Quest, for example, the concept is "What if the washed-up actors from the crew of a cancelled but still popular sci-fi TV show are pressed into a real war in space
by aliens who think the TV show broadcasts they received were documentaries?" A
good enough "what if?" will set your script apart from the pack. It is why
people will leave the comfort of their homes and plunk down their hard-earned
bucks at the local cineplex.

This site has lots of information. Check it out: