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Let’s just apply, for a moment (and for the hell of it) some screenplay wisdom, to novels.

A scene in a screenplay exists for one of two reasons: a) to propel the narrative, and b) to reveal character. With the great scenes doing both. Let’s go further by defining a ‘scene’ as a moment in time and space. In other words, if the scene is two guys catching up for the first time for 20 years since college, and they’re sitting in a diner back in the town where they grew up (for example). That’s a single SCENE. If they leave the diner and drive off to a local watering hole, it’s a new scene because the LOCATION has changed. If they ‘flashback’ mid-scene so we (the audience) are transported to them sitting in the same seats in the same diner, back when they were 17, it’s a new scene because the TIME has changed.

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Screenwriting
  1. Go Into The Story: UNC-Chapel Hill and UCLA screenwriting professor Scott Myers updates several times a day with wonderfully diverse material suitable for beginners and professionals alike.
  2. johnaugust.com: Any screenwriter looking for handy advice should read — if not submit to — the regular Q&As featured here. In addition to everything else, of course.
  3. Complications Ensue: Screenwriting involves television programs and films, and this blog has been providing valuable advice on both paths since 2004.
  4. The Thinking Writer: Stay on top of the latest conversations on the screenwriting industry and read over some nice insights into the creative process.
  5. …by Ken Levine: This Emmy Award-winner thoughtfully dissects television and film with humor and more than a few great writing lessons.
  6. Screamwriter: Aspirant screenwriters frustrated with the steady stream of rejections and minimal leads can certainly relate to the harrowing process of getting produced. Be sure to read the reviews and analyses of television shows and films as well!
  7. ThatActionGuy.com: hundreds of articles on screenwriting, novel writing, filmmaking etc from some of the best writers in the world.
  8. Screenwriting from Iowa: Scott W. Smith philosophically peers into screenwriting and the creative process that goes into the craft.
  9. Running With My Eyes Closed: Three screenwriters voice their opinions on television, film, digital media and, of course, their art!
  10. Screenwriting Basics: As the title promises, Screenwriting Basics offers up a comprehensive overview of what to do and what to expect when it comes to the film and television industry.
  11. Sex in a Sub: The self-deprecating, humorous and intelligent William Martell pulls from his screenwriting and festival juror experience to
  12. Creative Screenwriting Magazine: Jeff Goldman, senior editor at Creative Screenwriting, posts alerts about his latest podcasts discussing the craft with some of the industry’s top performers.
  13. Screenwriter’s Corner: With podcasts, videos, articles reviews and more, Syd Field’s Screenwriter’s Corner blog has plenty to pique the interest of the pre-pro.
  14. Marilyn’s Movie Candy: Visit this eclectic blog for some amazing tips and tricks on penning a rocking screenplay and stimulating the creative glands.
  15. Just Effing Entertain Me.: Advertising itself as “for the passionate screenwriter,” consider this utterly engaging and valuable site a must-bookmark.
  16. Script: Script magazine presents the latest news, views, people and trends shaping the screenwriting scene today.
  17. Shouting into the Wind: One of the most detailed screenwriting blogs around, Shouting into the Wind provides plenty of great articles on a number of relevant subjects.
  18. Bamboo Killers Emily Blake wants to break into screenwriting and production, and her experiences along the way make for some excellent lessons for anyone else hoping to pitch and sell their scripts.
  19. Scriptshadow: Carefully read over the reviews of screenplays both obscure and well-known for some amazing tips on what to do and what to avoid.
  20. Amanda the Aspiring Writer: A professional reader who hopes to someday write a screenplay of her own shares her thoughts on the different trends she routinely observes.
  21. Screenwriting Tips…You Hack: Get daily pointers on how to write screenplays that aren’t entirely awful.

Filmmaking

  1. Edgar Wright: Fans of Edgar Wright’s kinetic, humorous films can turn to his blog and learn all about his creative process.
  2. Sheri Candler: This marketing and advertising professional specializes in helping independent filmmakers spread the word about their latest projects.
  3. The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry: The beloved writer and performer and writers weighs in on his latest projects and oh-so-much more, granting readers some insight into how he approaches his projects.
  4. Kid Sis in Hollywood: For independent filmmakers, most especially those who work in the thriller and horror genres, the president and CEO of Shero Media (who also writes, produces and directs) offers an incredibly handy resource.
  5. Pulp 2.0: Another great blog largely targeting creative types with a passion for the cult and the pulpy.
  6. Ricky Gervais…Obviously: Take a peek inside the acclaimed comedian’s head for insight into how successful movies and TV shows get made.
  7. indieWIRE Blogs: Get perspectives from across the independent filmmaking scene through these exceptionally useful blogs courtesy of indieWIRE and Snag Films.
  8. News: The Filmmaker Magazine Blog: Filmmaker Magazine is an essential resource for anyone desiring to shoot a short or a feature-length project.
  9. The Art of the Title Sequence: Read some seriously cool interviews and analyses by filmmakers who delve into the details of their memorable and artistic title sequences.
  10. Directors Notes: Independent and world cinema share the spotlight here as an eclectic selection of filmmakers provide perspectives on their chosen art.
  11. Lights Film School: Between its technical and creative advice, interviews, equipment reviews, tutorials and competitions, Lights Film School makes for an essential read for the beginner moviemaker.
  12. Blogs at Filmmaking Central: Read up on the latest product reviews and events of interest to both novice and seasoned filmmakers — and be sure to stop by the rest of the website as well!
  13. Editor’s Blog at Fest21.com: Follow the latest filmmakers making splashes at festivals worldwide and their strategies for artistic success.
  14. Film Directing and Film Making Tips for the Independent Filmmaker: Film Consultant Peter D. provides anyone aspiring to work in any aspect of moviemaking with sound advice.
  15. Deb Patz’s F.I.L.M. Blog: Get tips on landing a job in the film and television industry from the author of Film Production Management 101.
  16. All About Film School: Learn how to succeed both in and out of film school with this straightforward resource.
  17. SynapticLight: Filmmaking and social media have begun blending together within the past decade, and this blog looks at how they inextricably intertwine.
  18. Independent Lens: PBS provides an amazing forum for independent filmmakers to showcase their works and the creativity and labor that went into producing them.
  19. Hope for Film: Award-winning producer Ted Hope weighs in on the professional, social, creative and political issues that impact filmmakers today.
  20. 1001 Positively True Stories of a Writer/Director: Nearly every corner of filmmaking gets covered on Angelo Bell’s essential blog for the independent creator, so be sure to give him a bookmark!

Film/Television News and Reviews

  1. CHUD.com: Members of the Cinematic Happenings Under Development community voice their opinions on all things related to movies and television. Be sure to read beyond the blogs as well!
  2. Film Threat: Film Threat keeps readers updated on the latest movie and television news, with interviews, reviews, film festival overviews and much more.
  3. /Film: Considered one of the best resources for all things related to the cinematic arts, /Film hosts plenty to keep moviemakers and their audiences interested.
  4. GreenCine Daily: GreenCine mail-based rental service also offers a lovely film studies and commentary blog covering every genre imaginable.
  5. IFC Now: The Independent Film Channel’s official blog may not update often, but be sure to visit the website as well as the archives for everything related to the movie scene outside of Hollywood.
  6. Cinematical: Even Moviefone has gotten itself into the film blogging scene, keeping its news and reviews accessible to most audiences.
  7. Pajiba: Pajiba’s unapologetic approach to reviewing stirs up some (comparatively) long, vibrant conversations in their comments sections!
  8. Videogum: This extremely enjoyable blog also looks at viral videos and web series in addition to the usual films and TV programs.
  9. Television Without Pity: Television Without Pity certainly delivers on the premise of its title, offering no-holds-barred insight into the best and worst of the small screen — in addition to news, interviews and musings on the medium as well.
  10. Bright Lights After Dark: Stop by the Bright Lights Film Journal‘s official blog for razor-sharp insights and critiques of today’s film and television scene.
  11. Film Blog at The Guardian: All of the contributors here at the oh-so-imaginatively titled Film Blog cover an interesting and eclectic mix of news, critiques, reviews, interviews and events from independent and mainstream sources worldwide. The Guardian also keeps the TV & Radio Blog as well.
  12. Women and Hollywood: Save for actresses conforming to very strict, very arbitrary standards of beauty, the contributions of women in Hollywood go almost entirely ignored. Melissa Silverstein hopes to change that using her strong feminist voice.
  13. Cartoon Brew: Explore the wonderful and oft-overlooked world of animation with Cartoon Brew’s fantastic selection of videos, commentary, news and insights.
  14. The A.V. Club: Although a general pop culture resource, The A.V. Club plays host to some of the Internet’s sharpest interviewers, reviews and media insights. Everyone wanting to enter into film or television should archive binge their extensive offerings.
  15. Ain’t It Cool News: The steady stream of DVD, movie, television and comic book news can get extremely overwhelming after a while, but this blog remains one of the most trusted and popular around.
  16. UGO: Hit up UGO for the latest news and reviews from the movie, television and video game fronts, with almost all genres considered.
  17. Category D: Dissect the media with an academic scalpel, courtesy of Temple University’s ever-insightful Chris Cagle.
  18. Observations on film art: Aspirant screenwriters wanting to focus on creating experimental or art films should read Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s detailed, intelligent opinions and observations.
  19. Movie Morlocks: Contributors at Turner Classic Movies’ Movie Morlocks blog absolutely love delving into the most niche, obscure films they can find — but they don’t ignore the assets of the well-known ones!
  20. Blogs at Movie City News: Keep track of Hollywood above and below the metaphorical “ground” through this impressively thorough resource.

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Cheers 🙂

Brian M

http://www.ThatActionGuy.com

If you want to know what’s wrong with American cinema today, you only have to pop on over to Box Office Mojo and see that Jackass 3D has taken $100,000,000 in 3 weeks (as at November 2, 2010). That’s what I said: $100,000,000 in 3 weeks.

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?

The success of this ‘film’ (and I use the word in the loosest possible context imaginable) is indicative of everything that’s wrong with modern American cinema (there’s a lot right with Hollywood too, mind you, but that’s a topic for another post).

If  Hollywood makes utter sh*t and YOU pay to see it. They will in turn make MORE SH*T.  And so it will go, forever and a day, circling around the u-bend of our culture and stinking the place up.

Forget a compelling narrative.

Forget powerful direction.

Forget riveting performances.

Because before too long cinema will be plagued by this sort of ‘filmmaking’ in the same way as the small screen is plagued with ‘Reality TV’.

So the next time you’re at a multi-plex and trying to work out which film to watch: pay to see something written by a screenwriter, not thrown together by a bunch of idiots.

Cheers

Brian M

http://www.ThatActionGuy.com

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