Time for the 270th installment of Saturday Hot Links, your week’s essential reading about movies, TV, streaming, Hollywood, and other things of writerly interest.
2016 Box Office Crosses $ 11B for Another Record Year.
Box Office 2016 Wrap: How a Record Year-End Total Masks Big Troubles for Studios.
2016’s International Box-Office Surprises.
France’s 2016 Box Office Is the Second-Biggest in Modern Times.
‘Ben Hur’ to ‘BFG’: Hollywood’s Biggest Box-Office Bombs of 2016.
The 10 Most Inventive Original Screenplays of 2016.
The Best Laid Supervillain Plans: What Worked and What Didn’t in 2016.
101 reasons 2016 wasn’t quite as shit as we all thought it was.
35 Directors Pick Their Favorite Movies of 2016.
Is 2017 The Year DC Will Set the Course Straight?
The 52 Most Anticipated Movies of 2017.
In 2017, Hayao Miyazaki Rises Again.
Alibaba to Invest $ 7.2 Billion in Entertainment Over Next 3 Years.
Cinematic Advertisements: How Modern Hype Changed Cinema Ads.
How Hollywood’s Trump Ennui Has Changed Awards Season.
DGA Approves New Deal That ‘More Than Triples’ SVOD, Raises Feature Length Royalties.
20 Latin Americans Making a Difference for American Independent Film Today.
Did our ancestors speak like Yoda?
Every upcoming Star Wars movie to 2021 and beyond.
It May Be an Accident, but ‘Rogue One’ Is the Most Politically Relevant Movie of the Year.
How Batman Helps Me Survive My Mental Illness.
How ‘A Monster Calls’ Defeated Death From Page To Screen.
Most Memorable L.A. Locations in ‘La La Land’.
The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy.
Sidney Lumet and Paddy Chayevsky’s ‘Network’: The Grim Prophecy that Was Once Just Brilliant Satire.
Why 1994–95 Was One of Network TV’s Last Truly Great Seasons.
29 Very Black Things That Happened on TV in 2016.
The sheer brilliance of Hallmark’s corny Christmas movies.
Why National Geographic Decided To Dump The Dumb And Get Back To Its Educated Roots.
Netflix’s New Releases Coming in January 2017.
Netflix Launches Video Previews: How The Company Landed On Its Biggest Redesign Ever.
Why 2017 Will Be Crunch Year for the Global Ambitions of Netflix and Amazon.
7 Signs Augmented and Virtual Reality Are Ready for the Masses in 2017.
The 50 Best Podcast Episodes of 2016.
Their Words to Live By: Artists We Lost in 2016.
The Bitter Script Reader: In defense of ‘Passengers’.
Film School Rejects: Dear Readers, Thanks For 2016.
Jeff Willis: Intellectual Property.
Jeff Willis: Options.
Listen: Bart & Fleming (Episode 8).
Listen: Scriptnotes (Episode 281).
Watch: 2016 — The Horror Movie Trailer.
Hollywood Mourns Iconic ‘Star Wars’ Star Carrie Fisher.
Carrie Fisher, Script Doctor: Her Unknown Legacy Examined.
What Carrie Fisher, Bowie, Prince and Muhammad Ali Taught Us.
Debbie Reynolds, ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ Actress and Carrie Fisher’s Mother, Dies at 84.
Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week
As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one rule about a first draft and it’s this: “Get the damn thing done!”
Easy to say. Hard to do.
That’s why I created the Pages I: The First Draft writing workshop, a structured online environment — 10 weeks, 10 lectures, 10 writing assignments — to empower a writer to get from FADE IN to FADE OUT.
If you have a story you’ve pretty well developed and could benefit from:
- Weekly due dates to compel you to knock out script pages
- Lectures to steer you through the writing process
- Feedback and support from a community of fellow writers
- Analysis of your pages from a professional screenwriter and educator
- Teleconferences to drill down in your story and the craft of screenwriting
I have found the approach we use in the workshop, breaking down each weekly assignment to 10 pages or so, basically one or two sequences, makes the writing much more manageable. That in combination with several other factors make the success rate in my writing workshops — writers actually completing their scripts — quite high.
Some testimonials from writers who have participated in the workshop:
“A great experience. I didn’t just get a 99 page first draft out of it, I got all the notes, comments and ideas to start my second draft.” — Michael Waters
“I would highly recommend the Pages I course. The class set up and size is optimal. And although, personally, I was unsure how much I would get from the peer feedback — I found that incredibly rewarding as well.” — Stacey Fernengel
Consider enrolling in the upcoming Pages I workshop. Instructor: Tom Benedek.
It begins Monday, January 9.
Go here to learn more. Or if you have any questions feel free to email me.
Let me end with a some writer quotes about first drafts:
“First drafts are for learning what your story is about.”
— Bernard Malamud
“The first draft is nothing more than a starting point, so be wrong as fast as you can.”
— Andrew Stanton
“Then comes the great leap which is the first draft, I call it ‘the muscle draft,’ where you just muscle it out. You don’t worry about what you’re missing, you just get through it, get to the end.”
— Darren Aronofsky
“Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. That first draft is just spaghetti on the wall.”
— Dennis Lehane
“Sometimes you’re swinging your way through a first draft like a blind miner with a pick-axe. That’s OK. Get it done, nothing else matters.”
“The first draft, the first structure is really important… Do it fast, don’t get stuck.”
— Oliver Stone
“No matter what you write, good or bad, it’s an improvement to a blank page.”
— Chris Sparling
Of course, you can write a script on your own. Indeed, you want to develop practices which enable you to do that effectively and efficiently. The Pages I workshop can not only get you from FADE IN to FADE OUT, you can also learn an approach to page-writing which you can use in all future projects.
So get the New Year off to a creative and productive start. Join Tom Benedek in the upcoming Pages I: Writing the First Draft workshop.