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- July 18, 2017July 18, 2017Read more
“…and you can see, if you look at the structure of Spider-Man: Homecoming, that this isn’t just the formula for creating a great bad guy, it is actually a way of creating an entire cast of unforgettable characters, and shaping the journeys they all go on in the script.
Because every single one of these characters is really just a person with a really strong want and a really strong obstacle that forces them to reveal their really strong “how”—the way that they pursue the things that they want differently from everybody else…”
- July 12, 2017July 12, 2017Read more
“…one of the cool things about movies and one of the cool things about life is that pretty much everybody in the world thinks that they are the hero and that other people are the bad guys.
And that means that if we want to learn to write bad guys, we need to learn to step into their shoes, and see the world through their eyes– to empathize with the people that we hate the most, the people that we don’t understand, the people that we think are horrible.
There are people who I might feel exist only to antagonize me; there are people who might drive me crazy. But the truth of the matter is, if I stepped in and saw the universe through their eyes, they don’t think of themselves as the antagonist. They think of themselves as the hero…”
- July 8, 2017July 8, 2017Read more
“…As a screenwriter, you need to see, hear and feel everything.
And this is really the hardest part, because we have this urge to finish. And that urge to finish makes it really hard to actually see, hear and feel everything.
We want to put a band aid on it.
If you’ve ever had a fight with a loved one, you have probably had the same urge, “I want the fight to end.” And the desire for the fight to end doesn’t allow you to actually see, hear and feel what is actually going on. So you just keep glossing over it.
And what happens is our little A.D.D. minds want us to escape, “okay over here…no, no, look over here, no, no, no look over here.” Because the other thing about seeing, hearing and feeling everything is it is scary. It is hard and it is scary…”
- June 23, 2017June 23, 2017Read more
“…The process of writing a screenplay is different from writing a play in many essential ways. The first is the difference in the use of action.
For screenwriters, action is the primary tool of structure. But for playwrights, the primary tool is dialogue.
Don’t get me wrong. As a playwright, you need to visualize to some degree what is happening on the stage in order to really create your dialogue, in order to create the piece. But you don’t have to communicate that to anybody else. People don’t need to see your play in their mind like they do when reading a screenplay; they need to hear it, and they need to see the big elements.
You get to rely on the director, because plays have this thing called rehearsals.
It is crazy that rehearsals, for the most part, don’t exist in filmmaking. Even though some of the really great film directors do rehearse– for example Francis Ford Coppola had a history of bringing the cast up to his estate to rehearse– most film directors don’t rehearse at all.
That’s for a very simple reason: stars cost about $20 million bucks…”
- June 13, 2017June 13, 2017Read more
“…If you’ve been following my podcast, you know that I’ve been talking for some time about the desperate need for some smart people to start writing superhero movies.
Action movies and superhero movies are the mythologies of our time– millions of people see them, and as much as we might like to dismiss them as pure entertainment, the truth is, they irrevocably shape our view of the world, our children’s view of the world, the stories we tell ourselves about how to be our best selves, how to solve our problems, and what it means to be a hero.
In this way, all action movies are political.
Which is why it’s so darn nice to see a movie like Wonder Woman kicking ass at the box office…”