28 February, 2007

Kia Cee'd writing exercise

I was on the phone and the sound was down on my TV when my attention was drawn to the arresting images in the Kia Cee’d car commercial. My friend realised I wasn’t listening and then we got into an argument about me not always being there for her but that’s by the by.



The thing about that ad was that it raised questions and when I next saw the ad with the sound turned up, those questions were actually looped throughout: how, where, when, why.



Writing visually is not my strongest area so I was impressed that a few wordless seconds could suggest so much story. And that’s the basis for this three-part writing exercise.

Click for bigger image
(Click picture for larger image)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part 1

  • Who are the people involved?
  • Where are they?
  • When is this taking place - at what point in their lives?
  • How have they ended up here?

You can see how story can come from character and it might be a good way to kick-start some original story ideas.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Part 2

Try and write a similarly short wordless scene which will similarly intrigue viewers to find out more from any of the following key words:

  • Bank
  • Shredding
  • Worry
  • Ducks
  • Retirement
  • Glad
  • Burning
  • Dentist
  • Ripped
  • Wave

As well as practice our visual storytelling, perhaps something may kick-start some story ideas.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Part 3

I haven't managed to found out for sure but I believe the scenes are connected to a larger story. Can you contruct an outline of a film based on the images in that ad?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The tagline for the ad is “The Power to Surprise” and I feel that’s what our scripts need to succeed - not only for our images and imagination to intrigue - but the power to surprise people who have read hundreds of scripts and seen hundreds of films.

Oh, and if anyone from Kia is reading this, I’d like my free one royal blue with white go faster stripes. Cheers.

Links:

Making Your Screenplay Visual

Writing Style That Sells -- Show, Don't Tell

27 February, 2007

Funny Bits

Ever thought your comic genius deserved a wider stage? 4Talent Networks Scotland is trawling the country in search of the best independent comedy created for film, TV and new media, to be showcased as part of the 2007 Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

A hotpot of comic brilliance, featuring the funniest footage from 4Talent users from across Scotland and the UK will be screened at a special interactive event at Glasgow Film Theatre in March.

Your entry can be film, TV, animation, new media... we can accept any length up to 30 minutes, in any format suitable for the big screen. All work must be original and rights must be cleared for public screening.

To get your work seen on screen, send us your funniest bits by 5pm on Monday 5th March to:

Funny Bits
4Talent Networks Scotland
Channel 4
227 West George Street
Glasgow
G2 2ND

Funny Bits will take place at Glasgow Film Theatre on Wednesday 14th March, 6.45-8.15pm. This event is free but tickets can be reserved from the GFT box office.

Go on - make us laugh.

For further information, email Rebecca Thompson on rthompson @ channel4.co.uk and visit:

www.channel4.com/4talentscotland

www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com

and www.gft.org.uk

Hollywood Top Ten Commandments

Cincom:

"How do the combination of creative artistry and the brutal necessities of business successfully come together to complete a Hollywood project?"

Blake Snyder, Screenwriter/Author, interview

Scribble King:

"He's sold many screenplays to Hollywood and is the writer of one of the most important and popular books on screenwriting: Save the Cat."

26 February, 2007

Iris Yamashita,"Tales of Iwo Jima", interviews

EW.com

"Iris Yamashita tells us how she went from an unknown to writing the screenplay for Clint Eastwood's ''Letters From Iwo Jima'' -- and an Oscar nom -- as her first big Hollywood gig."

The Patriot News:

"When Iris Yamashita learned that she had been chosen by Paul Haggis and Clint Eastwood to write the screenplay for a companion film for "Flags of Our Fathers," she thought it would simply be an addition to the DVD package for the 2006 World War II film."

Creatve Screenwriting

Podcast (mp3)

American Screenwriters Association: It's "Little Miss Sunshine"

Business Wire:

"Michael Arndt has been selected by the American Screenwriters Association (ASA) to receive ASAs prestigious Discover Screenwriting Award"

Cesars: C'est "Indigènes" et "Lady Chatterley"

Variety:

""Lady Chatterley" drew top honours at the 32nd Cesar Awards on Saturday night. Pascale Ferran's take on the steamy D.H. Lawrence novel took best film, actress for Marina Hands and nods for script adaptation, cinematography and costume design."

Oscars: It's "Little Miss Sunshine" & "The Departed"

Oscars.com:

Michael Arndt, Little Miss Sunshine:

"Thank you very much. You'll have to forgive me, my voice is really shot. A writer is only as good as the people that he works with, so I have to share this will Bill Weinstein and Tom Strickler who read this script when no one else wanted to read it. My producers, Albert, Ron, Marc, David, Peter and Jeb, who made this movie when no one else wanted to make it. With Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin, who collectively saved my life. And especially with Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris the true authors of this movie, who took words on a page and turned them into a work of art. And finally, when I was a kid, my family drove 600 miles in a VW bus with a broken clutch. So, it ended up being the funnest things we did together, so to my brothers, Chan, Dave and Chris, to my mom who's here tonight, and to my dad who's with us in the spirit. This is for you. Thank you."


William Monahan, The Departed:

"There's no place to put this down, huh? Valium does work. Anyway, I was going to cut off the beginning of this speech and make it brief, but I'm gonna leave it back in and say, you know, the movie that made me wanna be a screenwriter was Robert Bolt's Lawrence of Arabia. And I don't know what could've happened in the universe to end up with the same Oscars as Peter O'Toole, you know, so it's crazy. He's here, I've seen him.

So anyway, thanks to the Academy, to Warner Bros., everybody at Warner Bros., Alan Mak and Felix Chong who wrote Infernal Affairs, the producers present and not present, the agents, everybody who made The Departed such a success. Thanks to Marty and Leo for reading the script and calling each other and saying, "Let's make it." And Thelma.

You know, everyone who worked on The Departed was, you know, it's easy to say was at the top of their game before they started, and under Marty's direction it only got higher after that. Thank you very much."

25 February, 2007

Bluecat Screenplay Competition



4 days, 3 hours, 52 minutes
Deadline 1 March 2007

Independent Spirit: It's "Thank You For Smoking" and "Little Miss Sunshine"

Variety:

""Little Miss Sunshine" turned on the heat Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards, winning top feature, directing for Jonathan Daytor and Valerie Faris, first screenplay for Michael Arndt and supporting actor for Alan Arkin."

24 February, 2007

Kyle XY


This briliant hit sci-fi/teen drama/thriller started last week on Trouble and I forgot to mention it but it is repeated on Sunday at 12:30pm

A teenage boy wakes up naked in the woods but he has no memory of how he got there and acts like a new-born with no knowledge of the world or social awareness. He is however a very quick learner and appears to have special abilities. He is arrested for public nudity and gets interviewed by a child psychologist who, rather than let him go into the system and be destroyed, temporarily fosters him with her reluctant family.

The pilot is one of the best pilots I've ever seen in terms of setting up the premise and characters so believably and naturally. It is young skewing and maybe a bit female skewing but it is so well written and, at times, so funny that most people should get a kick out of it. The show deals with the mystery of where Kyle comes from and him trying to adapt to family life and school for the first time. For the first time he can remember anyway.

This proves that something aimed at young people can be pure fun and also mature, intelligent and well written. The excuse, "yes, it is lazily written shit but it's just fun for young people so it doesn't matter" should never be heard again.

I absolutely loved this series and it is highly recommended.

Kyle XY,
Trouble,
Tuesdays, 8:00pm (repeated Sundays 12:30pm) for ten weeks.

The European Screenwriters Manifesto


Federation of Screenwriters in Europe President, writer Christina Kallas said: "It is writers who face the blank sheet and conjure out of nothing the stories that captivate the world. Everything else - producers, directors and distributors - come later. The writer is a primary creator of the audiovisual work."

The President of the European Film Academy, the writer-director Wim Wenders, stressed the necessity of giving the writer back his identity which was lost during the years when the auteur theory prevailed.

"It's an important document. It has to be signed by members of all the world, and this is the beginning." Guillermo Arriaga, who had problems over the director of his trilogy falsely claiming auteur status.

----------------------------------------------------

Stories are at the heart of humanity and are the repository of our diverse cultural heritage. They are told, retold and reinterpreted for new times by storytellers. Screenwriters are the storytellers of our time.

European writing talent should be trusted, encouraged and supported. The European film industries need to find ways to attract and keep its screenwriters in the cinema and in their craft.

We assert that:

1. The screenwriter is an author of the film, a primary creator of the audiovisual work.

2. The indiscriminate use of the possessory credit is unacceptable.

3.
The moral rights of the screenwriter, especially the right to maintain the integrity of a work and to protect it from any distortion or misuse should be inalienable and should be fully honored in practice.

4. The screenwriter should receive fair payment for every form of exploitation of his work.

5. As author, the screenwriter should be entitled to an involvement in the production process as well as in the promotion of the film and to be compensated for such work. As author, he should be named in any publication accordingly, including festival catalogs, TV listing magazines and reviews.

We call on:

6. National governments and funding agencies to support screenwriters by focusing more energy and resources, whether in form of subsidy, tax breaks or investment schemes, on the development stage of film and television production and by funding writers directly.

7. Scholars and film critics to acknowledge the role of screenwriters, and universities, academies and training programs to educate the next generations in accordance to the collaborative art of the medium and with respect toward the art and craft of screenwriting.

8. Festivals, film museums and other institutions to name the screenwriters in their programs and plan and screen film tributes to screenwriters just as they do to directors, actors and countries.

9. National and European law should acknowledge that the writer is an author of the film.

10. National and European law should ensure that screenwriters can organize, negotiate and contract collectively, in order to encourage and maintain the distinct cultural identities of each country and to seek means to facilitate the free movement of writers in and between all nations.

We will:

— Distribute this manifesto to industry members and the press in our respective countries.

— Campaign for the implementation of the agenda defined by this manifesto.

— Seek the transition into national and European law of the legal changes demanded by this manifesto.

Signed: The President and the Board of the FSE, representing 21 guilds and 9,000 screenwriters all over Europe

Christina Kallas (President)

Sveinbjörn Baldvinsson (Vice President)

David Kavanagh

Willemiek Seligmann

The Participants of the Thessaloniki Conference on European Screenwriting 2006

Screenwriters around Europe

Friends and Supporters

----------------------------------------------------

Attach your name to the manifesto now

23 February, 2007

Opening Weekend

Bamako



Drama. Melé is a bar singer, her husband Chaka is out of work and the couple is on the verge of breaking up.


With Aïssa Maïga, Maimouna Hélène Diarra, Balla Habib Dembélé, Djénéba Koné

Writer: Abderrahmane Sissako
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako

Abderrahmane Sissako interview (PDF)

------------------------------------------------

The Good Shepherd


Thriller. Early history of the CIA.

With Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Tammy Blanchard, Billy Crudup, Robert De Niro, Keir Dullea, Michael Gambon, William Hurt,Timothy Hutton, Joe Pesci, John Sessions, John Turturro

Writer: Eric Roth
Director: Robert De Niro

Eric Roth interview 1
Eric Roth interview 2


Official site

------------------------------------------------

Letters from Iwo Jima



War drama. The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II, as told from the perspective of the Japanese.
(companion piece to Flags of our Fathers)

With Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase

Writer: Iris Yamashita (based on story by Paul Haggis and book by Tadamichi Kuribayashi and Tsuyoko Yoshido)
Director: Clint Eastwood

Iris Yamashita interview 1
Iris Yamashita interview 2 (mp3)

Production interview

Official site

------------------------------------------------


The Number 23


Psychological thriller. A man's life unravels after he comes into contact with an obscure book titled The Number 23 which he is convinced is based on his own life.

With Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Logan Lerman, Danny Huston, Rhona Mitra

Writer: Fernley Phillips
Director: Joel Schumacher

Official site

------------------------------------------------


Orchestra Seats (Fauteuils d'orchestre)


Romantic comedy-drama. A young woman arrives in Paris where she finds a job as a waitress in bar next to a theatre and gets inspired by the artists.

With Cécile De France, Valérie Lemercier, Albert Dupontel, Laura Morante

Writers: Christopher Thompson, Danièle Thompson
Director: Danièle Thompson


Christopher Thompson & Danièle Thompson interview
Danièle Thompson interview 1
Danièle Thompson interview 2

Official site

------------------------------------------------

Satan (Sheitan)


Comedy - horror. Young people out clubbing meet up with the bad shepherd.

With Vincent Cassel, Olivier Bartélémy, Roxane Mesquida, Nicolas Le Phat Tan

Writers: Christian Chapiron, Kim Chapiron
Director: Kim Chapiron

Kim Chapiron interview 1
Kim Chapiron interview 2
Kim Chapiron interview 3

Official site

------------------------------------------------

School for Scoundrels


Comedy. A young guy short on luck, enrolls in a class to build confidence to help win over the girl of his dreams.

Writers: Todd Phillips & Scot Armstrong (based on the screenplay by Hal E. Chester and Patricia Moyes and the book by Stephen Potter)
Director: Todd Phillips

Todd Phillips interview 1
Todd Phillips interview 2 (mp3)
Todd Phillips interview 3
Todd Phillips interview 4

Official site

------------------------------------------------

22 February, 2007

David Mamet interview

Bloomberg.com:

"In ``Bambi vs. Godzilla,'' his new book about the movie business, David Mamet nails producers, script readers, critics, film schools, audience testing, even Laurence Olivier.

Mamet, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who also earned Oscar nominations for his screenplays of ``The Verdict'' and ``Wag the Dog,'' spoke with me last week at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York."

First Impressions

Time Out:

"Will Gore asks why biopics and films based on real characters tend to produce award winners."

Written out of the picture

The Guardian:

"Giles Foden, whose novel was turned into a Bafta-winning film, reflects on the dangers of being adapted."

21 February, 2007

TV Forum


The Script Factory TV Forum is a two day training and networking event devoted to writing for the small screen (or even the plasma HD-ready widescreen...). While Film and Theatre require the audience to come to you, television uniquely reaches them right where they sit. If you are serious about a career writing drama then spend two days in April with us finding out how to get your work into living rooms across the land.

Through a combination of training, guest speakers and panel discussions, TV Forum aims to inspire participants to consider how their talents, ideas and aspirations may be suited to the wide range of TV drama opportunities, from soap writing to original single dramas or innovative sitcoms. Over two days, we aim to give screenwriters an essential overview of the current TV landscape coupled with the language, resources and industry knowledge required to further explore how to forge their own TV writing career.

Thursday 26 & Friday 27 April 2007, 10am-5pm
Soho Theatre, Dean Street, London W1
(See link for further details)

Cut the cute

The Times:

"European animators are challenging the feel-good, fluffy-edged creations of Hollywood."

Publicists get ink for screenwriters

Los Angeles Times:

"Even Oscar-nominated writers need someone looking out for their interests in the crush of award season."

20 February, 2007

Heroes triumphs for Sci Fi Channel

Jon Rogers, Broadcast

The first instalment of the US import Heroes gave The Sci Fi Channel its highest ever audience with 467,000 people (3.2%) tuning in at 10pm.

The NBC drama, billed as Lost meets X-Men, was the most watched multichannel offering over the 60-minutes it was on air and gained a peak adult audience of 622,766 at 10.25pm.

The second edition of the show, which followed on at 11pm, also kept up the channel's strong position with an audience of 364,000 (5.2%) across the hour-long slot.

Over the two shows The Sci Fi Channel averaged an impressive 420,000 viewers.

The previous highest rated 'programme' for the channel, which has been broadcasting in the UK for more than 11 years, was the film Jurassic Park which aired in May 2002.

The two editions of Heroes also helped propel the channel to its highest ever peaktime share (8pm to midnight) of 2.4% which made it the most popular multichannel offering over these hours, usurping the usual dominance of channels such as ITV2, E4 and Sky One.

Sci Fi Channel managing director Nick Betts said: "This result is a spectacular way to start the series' run. It more than validates the belief we had in the show the moment we saw it at last year's LA Screenings and reflects the hard work everyone at Sci Fi has put into launching it."

Heroes has proved to be a big hit in the US viewers where the show regularly secures the NBC network audiences of over 15 million.

The show will make its terrestrial debut on BBC2 in July.

Why TV Is Better Than the Movies

Newsweek:

"Film has always been the Four Seasons to television's Motel 6. Not anymore. Here's how the small screen ended up so much bigger—and bolder—than the big one."

Writers tell tales of winding road from script to screen

The Hollywood Reporter:

"Eight of this year's nominees for the WGA's two feature screenwriting awards gathered to ponder such questions as the thin line between drama and comedy, whether a screenwriter must know how his screenplay ends when he begins a project and how to ensure that a comic bit in "Borat" about human waste was guaranteed to get a laugh."

How many acts?

The Jobbing Scriptwriter:

"A more cynical opinion might be that people argue about the number of acts in a film purely because it generates more money. If you have ‘the one true formula’ for making a hit movie, then you can charge a shit load of cash for seminars and make a fortune from book sales.

But why are people so keen to kick over the three act structure? Why is it always perceived as wrong by creative types?"

19 February, 2007

Heroes


Heroes is about a group of people around the world, mostly America though natch, who discover they have developed superpowers, just when the world could be in danger.

I saw the pilot of this and loved it instantly. Sure there are flaws but what kind of love is it if you care about a few imperfections? I thought it would obviously be a huge hit but the trade press reviews suggested that it would only appeal to geeks. I took that personally and thought maybe they were right - for about ten minutes.

Every quality US network show and some really ropey ones had been bought by UK broadcasters but still no-one had bought Heroes. It was doing my head in and so I was relieved, and a little bit smug to be honest, that Heroes became the biggest hit of the new season. But at the same time I was slightly depressed at the UK buyers who bought surefire shits but honestly believed Heroes would have limited appeal. But that's the way the acquistion (and commissioning) cookie crumbles.

But to hedge my bets in a cowardly manner, Heroes may still fail in the UK but it clearly had more chance of success from the pilot than the shockingly bad style="font-weight:bold;">Runaway (bought by Channel 4) and Vanished (bought by Five) both cancelled early.

Heroes was created by Tim Kring who brought us crime procedural Crossing Jordan which I didn't like all that much, although it has lasted five seasons. There are some character and story choices he's made I could quibble with but he appears to be fixing them as the season progresses. The pilot, although good fun, is a bit muddled and tries to set-up too much. It was going to air in the US with episode 2 back to back but didn't. I agreed with the decision as that would perhaps be too much information to take in but Sci-Fi UK are showing episodes 1 and 2 back to back so we'll see if anyone's brain explodes. The advantage of showing both together is that a major popular character is introduced in part 2.



Science-fiction is notoriously difficult in getting a mass audience but Lost changed that by not being about the science fiction but by being about characters affected by science fiction. Heroes learns that lesson and it's clear from the outset that it's about people learning to cope with changes in their body that make them freaks. Hiro is stuck in an office cubicle doing a dull job and he loves his power but single Mom Niki hates what's happened to her and is scared by it. It turns out that Kring consulted with the Lost producers on how to sustain a series with major mysteries, which makes sense.

Interestingly, when the writing team works on an episode, each writer takes a character and writes the individual scenes surrounding that character. These stories are then combined and given to the episode writer, allowing every writer to contribute to every episode.

Highly recommended.

--------------------------------------------------------

Pilot screenplay (pdf))

Tim Kring interview (by Damon Lindelof of Lost)

Tim Kring Sci-Fi UK interview

Q & A with Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite, members of the "Heroes" writing staff (Spoilers - based on first five episodes)

Heroes, Sci-Fi channel (Sky 129, Virgin 135)

Monday, 10:00pm - Wednesday, 9:00pm
Thursday, 10:00pm - Friday, 11:00pm
(Plus Sci-Fi+1)

It will be shown on BBC2 in the autumn.

Tim Kring,"Heroes", interview


I am reproducing this interview with Kring by Damon Lindelof (exec producer of Lost) from the Heroes official site because although it is probably the best official site for a TV show ever, it is way too spoilery for UK pace viewers. I mean, seriously spoilery. And that's what I'll say in court when NBC sue me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tim Kring is creator and executive producer of "Heroes," NBC's new epic saga that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities.

Kring grew up primarily in Northern California. Eventually, his parents, who were both teachers, moved the family to Santa Maria on the Central California coast. Kring studied film at nearby Allen Hancock Junior College before transferring to the University of Santa Barbara, where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in religious studies.

Kring later received a master of fine arts degree from the University of Southern California's renowned film school and worked his way up in production as a grip, gaffer and on camera crews. He continued working in production until selling his first pitch for an episode of "Knight Rider" in 1985. Kring spent the next eleven years writing feature films, including the sequel "Teen Wolf II," series pilots and television movies such as "Bay Coven" and "Falling for You."

In 1996, Kring became a producer on the popular television series "Chicago Hope" and became the supervising producer on the series a year later. In 1998, he co-created the series "Strange World" and served as co-executive producer on the drama "L.A. Doctors." Kring joined the staff of NBC's "Providence" in 1999 as co-executive producer and signed an overall deal with NBC Studio. In 2001, Kring created the procedural drama "Crossing Jordan," which celebrated its historic 100th episode milestone in March.

Kring resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Lisa, who is a social worker, and their two children, Amelia and Ethan. In his spare time, he enjoys collecting acoustic guitars.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DAMON LINDELOF -Okay, Tim -- Brace yourself for everyone and their mother to start asking you "Do you know where you're going with this?" and the ever-loved followup "Does HEROES have an ending?"

Two parts...
a. Do you know the ending?
b. But more importantly... does HEROES need an ending?

TIM KRING - "Do you know where you're going?" and "Do you know the ending?" are two very different questions. I know where we're going in great detail for the first half of one season. We have a real sense of where we want these stories to be by the end of season one. We have a broad sense of where we'll go in season two. I have some ideas about farther down the road, but I'm pretty superstitious about that.

As to needing an ending — Unlike LOST, we have not set up a central dilemma that has to be solved, therefore concluding a larger quest. There is no island to get off of on HEROES. Instead, it's a show about characters dealing with extraordinary things happening to them. That is the central premise. So my sense is that if one can assume that dealing with their extraordinary abilities is something that these characters will always face, then their stories can bend and morph and evolve forever.


DL- How does it feel to be leaving the relative safety of a self-contained crime drama (Jordan finds body, Jordan solves murder) to enter the fun world of serialization... in which many of the questions you pose will not be answered for many, many episodes? You had always wanted to take Jordan more in this direction, but were forced to abandon it by the network powers that be... is it sweet that the same network is now embracing stories with much longer arcs?

TK- It's very exciting to challenge myself in a new way after being confined by a "closed-ended" type of storytelling. Having had a long career though, I've gotten used to trying to reinvent myself over and over again. The strange thing is that I find myself coming full circle sometimes. When I first started writing TV movies, I was known as the "horror" guy, then the "thriller" guy, then the "teen comedy" guy, etc. But in reality, having just written a new episode of HEROES, the muscles used in facing a blank page are remarkably similar no matter what genre you're in. I still struggle over crafting a scene one line at a time. And I still look for truth and reality in every emotion. Where it is really a different animal is in the writers' room — the breaking of the stories. It has to be much more diligently planned out because every beat of the story has a domino effect. Pulling one thread can really make the whole house of cards come crashing down.

It is certainly "interesting" (read "sweet") that the network is now embracing the very type of storytelling that was off limits less than two years ago.

DL- I sent you the trade compilation of J. Michael Stracynzki's "Rising Stars," a now fully complete story about a group of kids all from the same town who develop supernatural abilities (and are thusly labeled "Specials")... my question: Why didn't you read it? (and "no time" is not an acceptable answer, pal!)

TK- I'm intrigued by this question because obviously something I've done with HEROES proves to you that I didn't read it. The problem is, since I didn't read it, I don't know what that is. Did I miss something I should have stolen? Did I steal something and don't know it? I fear the latter from the tone of your question. But the truth is I didn't read it for a couple reasons.

First and foremost, because this show deals in the arena of the super hero and comic book world, I didn't want to be tempted or discouraged by other ideas out there. Very early on in the process, I went to see my friend Jeph Loeb for just this reason. I told him I was not well versed in this world and wanted him to steer me away from anything that was derivative or just out and out stealing. Unfortunately EVERYTHING I pitched to him had not only been done once, but many times in many ways. I literally went home that night convinced that I couldn't touch this subject without reinventing the wheel at best, and outright plagiarism at worst.

I finally decided, maybe foolishly so, not to read anything. In this way, at least my conscience is clear. And I have surrounded myself here with enough comic book folks who can tell me what to veer away from.

And there is actually another reason that I didn't read it. A more personal one. I have some form (never diagnosed) of dyslexia or reading problem that makes it nearly impossible for me to read anything that is not laid out neatly and logically on the page. I get extremely confused by the dialogue bubbles. My eye never knows whether to go left or right or up or down. I get easily frustrated and give up very quickly whenever I've tried to read comics.


DL- People are already mentioning our two shows in the same breath -- but other than large ensemble casts (which even shows like Desperate and Grey's employ) and a leaning towards the "unexplained," I don't really see many similarities... that is to say, in my humble opinion, HEROES is wildly original and not at all derivative of LOST. Does it piss you off to be described as "Lost-like," or is this something you embrace?

TK- I have gotten this question many times already and the simple answer is that I fully embrace the comparisons and look at it only as a positive. I can certainly see why people are asking it. They know very little about HEROES yet and at first blush you can make the comparison for the reasons you laid out. Hopefully, they will do this less and less as they get to know the show and see it for its differences. However, that being said, the shows are linked in many ways. The truth is there is no way that HEROES could have been made without LOST having paved the way for a large, serialized saga. It not only prepared the audience for this kind of storytelling, but the networks as well.

So it would be disingenuous of me to try to distance myself from LOST for those reasons and others. Not the least of which is our relationship. After all, the first person I called when I came up this idea, was you. It wasn't just that I've always loved your story sense and the way you think, but I clearly was picking your brain about your experience on how to undertake this "type" of show, given what you've learned on your steep learning curve on LOST. So, like it or not, buddy boy, you and I can't distance ourselves too much from each other. After all, that moment at the end of the pilot that everyone loves (and I always take credit for) was YOUR IDEA!


DL- Do you feel a need to start familiarizing yourself with the superhero genre... or do you feel the less you know the more "grounded" your show will be? And since when is grounded a good thing?

TK- To continue this thought from earlier — I am a little afraid of knowing too much. I guess my fear is that I could get too invested in the "powers" and lose sight of what attracted me to these characters. I feel that HEROES is, at it's core, a character based saga. I'm much more fascinated by the personal struggles that these abilities present to the characters. I want to know more about who these people are. Much more than I know right now. What are their fears and ambitions. Twenty two episodes a year of a television show gives you the opportunity to invest in the details of your characters. I really want HEROES to feel real — like this could happen to any one of us. So I guess the answer is yes, I do feel less I know, the more grounded it will be. Is grounded better? Ask me after the first season.

DL- Normally, a show like yours would be instantly labeled as "Cult"... How will you attempt to make HEROES more mainstream (assuming that you even want to) so that a network audience can follow a complex multi-character drama every week? Be aware... If you have in fact figured out the answer to the above question, I reserve the right to steal any valuable information I see fit to.

TK- I am very concerned that it not be seen only as a "Cult" show. My fear is that it could be labeled as such and discourage a huge segment of the mainstream audience.

I think if a person is watching it for just the genre "Cult" aspect, they will be disappointed. It just won't lean hard enough in that area for them. This is a much bigger idea than that. The Texas Cheerleader. The LAPD Cop. The single mom trying to raise her son. These characters and stories are so diverse; my hope is that everyone can find something that they like. I certainly don't shy away from the idea of "mainstream".

And mainly, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

18 February, 2007

Little Movies Go Big Time

Time:

"Thanks to downloadable video and an embrace of the form by some Hollywood heavyweights, something very old-fashioned is happening: people are watching short movies. On cell phones, computers, TVs and--this is really retro--in theatres, new audiences are discovering or rediscovering the satisfaction of the cinematic quickie. Shorts, for decades Hollywood's farm team for animators and directors, are returning to the major leagues of entertainment."

How to win auds, subvert genres

Variety:

"Chances are that many moviegoers who stumbled into "Borat" and "Children of Men" weren't expecting to bite into social commentary with their popcorn. But in both cases, that's precisely what the screenwriters had in mind."

16 February, 2007

The 2007 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards

Seeking the Best New Screenplays, Short Film Scripts & Original TV Pilots

AWARDS PRESENTED in NINE CATEGORIES
Over $25,000 in CASH & PRIZES
Including a $10,000 GRAND PRIZE!!!

Are you our next Award-Winning Screenwriter???

The PAGE Awards competition is rapidly becoming one of the most
important sources for new screenwriting talent within the
Hollywood community and worldwide. Each year our award-winning
screenplays are solicited by dozens of producers, agents, and
development execs, and many of our winning screenwriters land
script assignments, secure representation, and sign option
agreements on their work.

Best of all, the PAGE Awards competition offers all contestants
the opportunity to get a "foot in the door" and have their work
read by industry professionals currently in search of new talent.

GET DISCOVERED!!!

Next Entry Deadline: Thursday 15 March

Enter Online

Old v new may cost billions

Australian IT:

"IBM has warned of a looming crisis with old and new media on a collision course over how and where content such as TV, news and user-created will be carried, and says billions of dollars in revenue are at risk."

Love, marriage and a TV show

The Associated Press:

"One of the advantages for couples in a creative field such as this is that you develop this kind of emotional shorthand, so you can begin to really get your working pattern to run as smooth as a sewing machine."

The British Short Screenplay Competition 2006 winners

The BSSC has announced the winning screenplay of 2006 as judged
by the panel of judges: Kenneth Branagh, Michael Kuhn, Sir Alan
Parker, Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley:

The Handkerchief By Linda Niccol

The first runner up and recipient of the full suite of Movie
Magic screenwriting software worth over £700.00:

A Thousand And One Words By Chris Gilbertson

Further nine runners to receive Movie Magic screenwriting
software worth £200. each are:

Czecho/Slovakia by Paul Wootton
Hidden by Steve Gomes
If Tomorrow Never Comes by Emma Passmore
Knife Point by Mark Jones
Memory Chain by Kirsty Reid
OffLife by Ken Wright
One That Got Away by Lesley Lodge
The Black Book by Austin Blakely
The River Wye by Victor Hollingsworth

Dear God

My Forehead is Bleeding:

Writer-director Potsy asks for help from God regarding her shoot and inadvertently creates a very funny comment thread.

The Difference Between Romantic Comedies and Real Life – A Helpful Guide for Women

Liars and Lunatics:

"I used to go out with a girl who thought Bridget Jones’s Diary was the best film ever made, because it was a realistic portrayal of the day to day struggles faced by modern women. She wasn’t the only woman I’ve met who’s been unable to distinguish the difference between the actual real world and a shitty Hollywood vom-com, but she was definitely the most deluded."

A Chat with Screenwriter Peter Morgan

NPR:

"The Queen has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including one for its screenplay, written by Peter Morgan. Morgan also adapted the screenplay for The Last King of Scotland, and currently has a hit play on the London stage, Frost/Nixon."

Opening Weekend

Because I Said So


Romantic comedy. A meddling mother tries to set her daughter up with the right man.

With Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo

Writers: Karen Leigh Hopkins & Jessie Nelson
Director: Michael Lehmann

Karen Leigh Hopkins & Jessie Nelson interview

Official site


--------------------------------------------------------------------


Hot Fuzz


Action comedy. An over-zealous city cop gets transferred to a sleepy village that turns into a nightmare.

With Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Billie Whitelaw, Adam Buxton, Timothy Dalton

Writers: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Director: Edgar Wright

Simon Pegg interview
Edgar Wright interview 1
Edgar Wright interview 2

Official site

--------------------------------------------------------------------


The 9th Company (9-ya rota)


War action-drama. Young Soviet Army recruits are stuck in the bloody war in Afghanistan.

With Fyodor Bondarchuk, Aleksei Chadov, Mikhail Evlanov, Ivan Kokorin

Writer: Yuri Korotkov
Director: Fyodor Bondarchuk

Official site

--------------------------------------------------------------------

The Science of Sleep (La Science des rêves)


Romantic fantasy. A man entranced by his dreams and imagination is lovestruck with a French woman and feels he can show her his world.

With Gael García Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alain Chabat, Miou-Miou

Writer: Michel Gondry
Director: Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry interview 1
Michel Gondry interview 2
Michel Gondry interview 3
Michel Gondry interview 4
Michel Gondry interview 5

Official site

--------------------------------------------------------------------


The Truth About Love


Romantic comedy. As part of a drunken bet with her sister, a happily married woman sends an anonymous Valentine's card to her husband to see if he hides it.

With: Dougray Scott, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jimi Mistry, Karl Howman, Simon Webbe

Writer: Peter Bloore
Director: John Hay

15 February, 2007

Friday Night Lights



First it was a book, then a film and now it arrives as a quality TV drama series. Friday Night Lights is set in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas and in the pressurised world of high school American "football". The new coach is expected to deliver the state championship and the players are already being scouted by big colleges and mentally spending the multi-million dollars they might earn in the future.

ITV4 are showing this in conjunction with their coverage of the sport and of course gridiron fans will be its natural audience. However, this is a brilliant show which everyone should be able to get into, despite the despicable disport depicted.

Think of the sport in Friday Night Lights as the medicine in House. I haven't a clue what the doctors are babbling on about with the obscure science and medicine gobblegook but it is still compelling because it isn't about the science, it's about trying to save a life. The stakes in Friday Night Lights aren't as high, but as famous footie boss Bill Shankley joked, football isn't about life and death - it's much more important that that.

It's having rating problems in the US but it was still given a full season order because the network has faith that the quality will win through in the end. The problem remains with women who don't see it as being for them and that is a crucial section of the audience they need. For the UK, substitute 'women' for 'everyone'. That's going to have to be fixed in marketing because the show's fine as it is and it just needs people to give it a go.

It's not about a bunch of thick-neck, red-neck, brass-neck jocks doing it for the team and the American way. Well, it is a little bit to be honest but it's mostly about relationships and trying to be normal teenagers when there is also the pressure to succeed from your team-mates, your coach, the school board and the whole god-damn town.

Highly recommended.

Friday Night Lights
ITV4, begins Wednesday 21 February, 8:00pm

Word of Mouth: Hot Fuzz


Imagine a traditional English village murder mystery combined with a Hollywood action flick and you have Hot Fuzz.

One of the criticisms of Shaun of the Dead was that it was too simple a story and it appears that Midlands writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright took that to heart and set out to prove that they can do better but Hot Fuzz is too complicated and they end up with a plot that doesn’t bear close scrutiny.

There are some very good gags and the dialogue is great throughout. Their trademark call backs (gags referring to something earlier on in the movie) are fun as always.

The characters are good in that they are all different and have their own personalities and I didn't mind too much that they were a little familiar. I think we get introduced to too many characters at the same time and I’m not convinced all of them were needed for the story. Cutting some of them would have made the movie leaner and cleaner and better.

Of course with its "Lethal Weapon meets Miss Marple" mash-up there’s going to be issues with the tone especially as it does take a slight horror detour. What I liked about Shaun of the Dead was that it was about extraordinary things happening realistically to ordinary people but the ordinariness and realism is somewhat diminished in Hot Fuzz which lessens its impact considerably.

Simon Pegg in an interview said something very interesting, and I paraphrase, about how it’s important to be personal when writing rather than trying to appeal to lots of people because by being personal and true to yourself you will find that lots of people who can relate to that.

Great advice and it was said in reply to a question about whether the Americans understood Shaun of the Dead. However, Hot Fuzz seems much more parochial than Shaun of the Dead and I would be surprised if it matched its international success.

Someone once said that if you notice the direction then it’s bad direction. I’ve never really been convinced of that until Hot Fuzz. I found Wright’s direction to be seriously annoying at times, especially with the sound design and jump cuts. Although I did like his match cuts. The film is overlong and the pacing seems a bit wonky.

Hot Fuzz is, however, an enjoyable enough film as long as you don’t think about it too much and it's worth seeing.

14 February, 2007

For Your Consideration: Little Miss Sunshine

My visitor stats indicate a lot of people who read my blog live in Hollywood, hopefully some of you are members of the academy. There are screenings of this movie, if you haven't seen it yet, until the 17th (see above link for details). Vote wisely.



Michael Arndt interview
Michael Arndt interview (mp3)
Michael Arndt post award nominations interview (mp3)
Michael Arndt interviewed by Syd Field (video)

Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (directors) interview
Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton (directors) interview (spoilers)


Read John Truby's spoiler free analysis (he's at Raindance soon)

Screenplay(pdf)

Buy the shooting script book
Buy the DVD
Buy the soundtrack (yes, even the soundtrack is brilliant)

Censored


...so reads the "vanity card" to a recent Two and a Half Men episode. The vanity card is a witty bit by the producer, Chuck Lorre, on at the end of every one of his productions for only a second and designed to be read by stopping the playback on freeze-frame. Although they are documented online at his website if you don't want to bust your VCR.

Ironically, the card CBS refused to allow on air was in response to complaints about the show's content. Of the comedies my cousin, Cathy, in Chicago tapes for me, I look forward to Two and A Half Men airmailing across the Atlantic the most. But I have to admit I was surprised at just how near the knuckle some of the gags have been this season - for US network TV.

The skill in the writing has been in being implicit rather than being explicit and writers with more freedom could learn from that as being subtle is often better than being obvious. I have been trying not to worry about the show's fate considering that neo-cons have been in charge of regulating television since the "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl.

Chuck Lorre makes a good and very funny point in that censored card: why are people watching his sitcom each week just to complain about it? There are programmes in the UK that have been watched and enjoyed by millions but because a few people have complained the programme makers have been chastised. But if you read the regulator decisions it's usually either about inappropriate content pre-watershed - no argument there - or about clearly signposted post-watershed programmes. If a programme's about sex and you're sexphobic don't watch it. Unless of course it's an educational programme on how to deal with one's sexphobia, in which case it might be a good idea to watch.

So these complaints aren't about people being forced to watch something they find offensive but about them trying to stop other people watching those shows and trying to change the climate of what is considered acceptable.

In those regulator reports there are complaints from people who seemingly spend their time searching the adult channels for when women reveal more than is allowed. Now if you're horny and lonely and doing that, that's fair enough, I won't judge, but doing the same thing just so you can complain beggers belief.

It's strange that when you've got someone flicking through porn channels with a penis in their hand and someone else flicking through porn channels with a pencil in their hand, it's the pencil wielder who's the wanker I feel more sorry for.

I had the option of stopping that video cassette tape Cathy sent me and throwing it in the bin at the first sign of near-knuckleness but I chose to watch on because of the sheer brilliantly written hilarity. I have however noticed the "off-switch option" being mentioned more frequently in defence by programme-makers and I only hope it catches on.

Ben Richards made the same point beautifully and, sadly, bravely in last week's excellent Party Animals in relation to Muslim extremism and book burning. There is no right not to be offended and that's how it should be. Although, to be honest, Torchwood does test my tolerance somewhat.


Chuck Lorre interview on the pain of comedy

Shameless writer's suicide battle

BBC NEWS | Entertainment

"Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, he discussed his struggle with bipolar disorder and how it feeds thoughts of taking his own life."

Repeated 16 February 2007, 9:00am
(not available on Listen Again)

13 February, 2007

The Dresden Files


The Dresden in question is a wizard who investigates paranormal happenings on behalf of clients (which include the police unofficially). It's based on the popular books by Jim Butcher.

Nice premise, shame about the execution. The pilot was a chore to get through and I couldn't make it all the way through episode 2. Actually I call the first episode the pilot but the proper pilot is the fifth episode and that has been cut down from the original two hours. That should be fun then.

The hopes were that it could mirror the success of Buffy and Angel but the plotting and characterisation is too mediocre for that to happen. Good dialogue alone has been known to keep me watching bad shows but it's just not good enough here.

You can however see the right elements in place and they may pull it together before the end of the 12 week run but, call me old-fashioned, I think development time should be finished before you start filming.

They needed to be sure of the tone and who the show was aimed at because in this world of tough competition, you can't be sure the audience will have the patience to stick with it.

However, if you enjoy the Russell T Davies episodes of Doctor Who then this will be great fun.

Sky One, Wednesday 14 February, 9:00pm

Guillermo Arriaga, "Babel", interview


The Hollywood Reporter:

"Basically, all writers have like 120 pages to create characters, to create dramatic tension. I have only 30 pages for each one of the stories. So I need to make it very tight and try to choose the right words and the right scenes that will express this. On the other hand, I also want to continue what I had begun with 'Amores Perros,' which is to tell stories of consequences and how an accident can put together different people around the world. So this is how I had this concept."

12 February, 2007

Workline


Workline, a new confidential employment advice website and helpline has been launched by Women in Film and Television.

Supported by Skillset and the UK Film Council, this free, confidential and nationwide service is available to anyone working in the UK film and television industry, including employees, employers, full and part-time workers and those who are self-employed

The service will be run by staff who have several years of industry and human resources experience and supported by employment law firm Goodman Derrick LLP. The service's advisors can help with any work and employment related questions Monday-Friday.

Advice will cover the full gamut of work-related issues including contract issues, maternity and paternity leave and pay, flexible working hours, statutory disciplinary and dismissal procedures, redundancy pay, jury service, pensions, sickness and statutory sick pay, and equal opportunities questions.

To contact service, visit the website
or e-mail help*AT*workline.org.uk
or call 0870 850 7147.
(Calls to the helpline cost 8p per minute and callers are asked to leave a message and are called back within 48 hours. The helpline is open Monday-Friday. )

London Comedy Writers Group

Tuesday 12 February, 7pm-9pm
Old Kings Head, Kings Head Yard,
London Bridge


-------------------------------------

Fancy taking your loved one to see a never-before-seen play by Shakespeare on the eve of Valentines Day?

No, I kid ye not. The London Comedy Writers, now in its sixth year, meets every three Tuesdays (approx) at the Old Kings Head, Kings Head Yard, London Bridge. It's up the apples and pears, in a small pub off Borough High Street (if using London Bridge tube station, make sure you come out of the Borough High Street East exit).

We begin on the dot of 7pm - the play lasts one hour and will be read by professional actors and actresses. Get there BEFORE 7pm to take advantage of the pub's generous happy hour - the prices go up at 7 so I tend to stock up at 6:55.

This Tuesday night we will be hearing a new play by (Sir) Aaron Shakespeare - real name - one of our members. We then have a 10 minute break to replenish our ale, and then go round the table and give feedback to the playright. We then get merrily pissed.

We normally read film and TV sitcom scripts, but occasionally we venture into playwriting and occasionally sketch writing. Make sure you turn up before 7pm - no need to book, but if you contact me off-list beforehand I can make sure you get the script to print off and bring with you - it will make it easier to give feedback later.

Turn up and get on the list with your own script!

Thank ye all verilly much, ye blaggards.

Tristán White
tristan.white*AT*gmail.com
London, UK

The Wire


The Wire is the greatest television drama of all time ever. Everyone says that because it's true.

I prefer drama that is complex, truthful, emotional, treats me like an adult and says something about the world, so this is perfect for me. It is never preachy and always entertaining. If 'entertaining' is the right word. Sure it's often funny but it's also often scary as well. Not fake horror scares but the fear you get when characters you have got to know and care about are put into danger.

Co-creator David Simon wrote the source book for Homicide - Life on the Streets, which also held the "best TV drama of all time" title until The Sopranos and Six Feet Under came along to fight amongst themselves for it. He became an Emmy winning screenwriter on the show and interestingly, the other writers on The Wire come from books too. Which was more than a little annoying as it destroyed my "novelists make crap screenwriters theory" and I really, really liked that theory.


Just when I thought the series couldn't possibly get any better it did. In season four the interweaving storylines seem a bit more assured and the pace feels faster. The series has relatively low ratings on HBO but it was commissioned for a fifth and final season as soon as the network saw the first episode, or perhaps saw the universal media acclaim that derived from that first episode.

The show isn't for everyone, just as ordinary television is called chewing gum for the eyes, The Wire is a five course meal requiring the savouring of every last morsel and that takes a bit more effort. I never watch it live but tape it as there's so much going on, and I don't want to miss a word.


The series starts off with four kids just being kids and then you see the pressures on them to leave school and become involved in illegal drug-dealing. We also see the cops, teachers and the boxing coach who try and prevent that happening to them. Everything is politics, not just with the council and the mayoral elections, but with the school, the police and, of course, on the street. The drug dealers run businesses like any other business but when they fire people it's a little more permanent.

You don't have to have seen the previous series' to enjoy this. The two articles below give a background to the show and explain things much better than I can.

The Wire, season 4
FX, Tuesday 13 February, 10:00pm
(repeated Monday 00:20am plus on FX+2 time shift)


---------------------------------------------------

The Guardian article
The Observer article

David Simon, Slate interview

Tim Goodman's blog - brilliant deconstruction of each episode

Charlie Brooker comment (video)

HBO site (possible spoilers)
FX micro-site

---------------------------------------------------

Buy /rent season 1
Buy/rent season 2
Buy/rent season 3

---------------------------------------------------

Simon Pegg, "Hot Fuzz", article

The Guardian:

"It's the oldest jibe in the book: 'Americans just don't get irony.' But they do, argues comedian Simon Pegg - our national senses of humour have more in common than we like to think "

Outsider Films

I posted a script call for Outsider films, has anyone heard anything from them or worked with them?

BAFTAs: It's "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Last King of Scotland"

Variety:

"At the BAFTA awards, The Last King of Scotland and Pan's Labyrinth each landed three prizes, with two wins apiece for The Queen, Little Miss Sunshine, United 93 and Children of Men."

WGAs: It's "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Departed"

Variety:

"Opting for recent awards-season favorites, the Writers Guild of America presented its top screenplay trophies to Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine in the original category and William Monahan for The Departed in the adapted category."

09 February, 2007

A call to action in support of Peter S. Beagle

Conlan Press:

"In 1978, Peter wrote the screenplay for the animated version of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. It took draft after draft written under ferocious deadline pressure to make everything work. Producer Saul Zaentz made a lot of promises to Peter in order to get him to do that work in return for no money beyond his original "consulting fee" of only $5,000 — promises that Zaentz almost immediately reneged on."

Opening Weekend

Blood and Chocolate


Romantic horror. A teenage werewolf wants to honour the tradition but she falls for a bloke.

With Agnes Bruckner, Hugh Dancy, Olivier Martinez, Katja Riemann

Writers: Ehren Kruger and Christopher Landon
(adapted from Annette Curtis Klause's book)
Director: Katja von Garnier

Ehren Kruger Interview 1
Ehren Kruger Interview 2

Official site

-----------------------------------------

Charlotte's Web


Family comedy/drama. Charlotte tries to help a pig escape from death row.

With Julia Roberts, Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Cedric the Entertainer, Kathy Bates, Reba McEntire, Robert Redford,Thomas Haden Church, André Benjamin

Writers: Susannah Grant and Karey Kirkpatrick
(adapted from E.B. White's book)
Director: Gary Winick

Official site

-----------------------------------------

Climates (Iklimler)


Drama. The marriage between a uni lecturer husband and his TV business wife begins to fall apart.

With Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Nazan Kirilmis, Nehmet Eryilmaz

Writer: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Nuri Bilge Ceylan interview 1
Nuri Bilge Ceylan Article 1

Official site

-----------------------------------------

Epic Movie


Comedy. Movie spoof.

With Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Jennifer Coolidge, Jayma Mays, Faune A. Chambers, Crispin Glover, Tony Cox, Héctor Jiménez, Darrell Hammond, Carmen Electra, Fred Willard, David Carradine, David Lehre, Kevin McDonald, George Alvarez

Writers: Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer
Directors: Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer

Jason Friedberg & Aaron Seltzer interview

Official site

-----------------------------------------

For Your Consideration


Comedy. Actors find out their film is generating award season buzz.

With Catherine O'Hara, Ed Begley Jr., Eugene Levy, Harry Shearer, Christopher Moynihan, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Suzy Nakamura, Jennifer Coolidge, Parker Posey, Sandra Oh, Richard Kind, Bob Balaban, Michael McKean, Fred Willard, Nina Conti, Ricky Gervais, Loudon Wainwright III, Claire Forlani

Writer: Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy
Director: Christopher Guest

Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy interview 1
Christopher Guest interview 1
Christopher Guest interview 2
Christopher Guest interview 3

Official site

-----------------------------------------

Goal! 2: Living the Dream


Sports drama. Mexican-Amnerican footballer gets transferred from Newcastle (who lost in the FA Cup at home 1-5 to Birmingham City) to Real Madrid (another team not as good as Birmingham City).

With Kuno Becker, Alessandro Nivola, Anna Friel, Stephen Dillane, Rutger Hauer, Frances Barber, David Beckham

Writers: Adrian Butchart, Mike Jefferies, Terry Loane
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Official site

-----------------------------------------

Hannibal Rising


Thriller. The teenage Hannibal faces life after the death of his parents.

With Gaspard Ulliel, Rhys Ifans, Li Gong, Helena Lia Tachovska, Dominic West

Writer: Thomas Harris
(adapted from his book)
Director: Peter Webber

Official site

-----------------------------------------

Music and Lyrics


Romantic comedy. Former pop star is given a chance to write a song but is struggling with the lyrics until he meets a woman good at writing lyrics.

With Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore

Writer: Marc Lawrence
Director: Marc Lawrence

Marc Lawrence interview 1
Marc Lawrence interview 2

Official site

-----------------------------------------
The Reef


Animation adventure. A fish tries to stop a bullying shark.

With (voice work): Freddie Prinze Jr., Rob Schneider, Evan Rachel Wood, Donal Logue, Andy Dick, Fran Drescher

Writer: Scott Clevenger
Directors: Howard E. Baker, John Fox

Scott Clevenger interview

Official site

-----------------------------------------