KARL: What do you think of this heat? JOHN McCLANE: Indian summer, huh? KARL: Feels like it’s going to rain like dogs and cats later. Here’s one of your guys. Detective, uh, Otto, isn’t it? JOHN McCLANE: John McClane. KARL: Mike, how you doing? I keep telling myself I’m going to take the stairs just for the exercise… but on a hot day like this, it seems I always end up riding the lift. JOHN McCLANE: What was the lottery number last night? You play the lottery? No? My wife buys me two tickets every week. Plays the same two numbers all the time. I say, “Why don’t you play a different number?“ She goes, “Those are my lucky numbers.“ I got the tickets right here-
— Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1996), written by Jonathan Hensleigh, certain original characters by Roderick Thorp
The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Elevator. Today’s suggestion by Gisela Wehrl.
Trivia: Jonathan Hensleigh was actually detained by the FBI after completing the script for the film because he knew extensive information about the Federal Gold Reserve in downtown Manhattan. Hensleigh stated that he got all the information from an article written in the New York Times.
Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Gisela: “This is one of the scene, where you convinced that John McClane is a real cop. He feels by heart, who the bad guys are! But the dialogue gives him some clues as well. The impostor cop mixes dogs and cats and talks about the lift instead of elevator. The next clue is a silent one — McClane sees the NYPD badge with his friend’s number. Therefore McClane talks about the lottery (as it was planted in the beginning of the movie). It gives him a reason to grab into his jacket. That’s one thing, what makes the Die Hard series so funny, McClane sometimes talks himself out of a situation. That he survives the shooting with several guns within an elevator (and ricochets), that’s due to the action genre.”
Another month is on the way, so another batch of new content is coming to Netflix. This month will see a slew of Netflix original programming hitting the streaming service, ranging from TV shows like the first season of Marvel’s Iron Fist to a new comedy special from Amy Schumer, and one of the many movies that played at the Sundance Film Festival just last month.
Beyond that, there are also plenty of great movies coming to Netflix in March, and we’ve picked out some of our favorites that ‘ll be able to watch throughout the month.
This comedy classic spoof of westerns hails from director Mel Brooks, and the irreverent jokes about race couldn’t be more relevant into today’s political and social climate. The jokes at the center of Blazing Saddles aren’t really about other races themselves, despite several jokes that seem to be at their expense that probably wouldn’t fly with general audiences today. Instead, it’s the idiots who would treat non-white people so dismissively who are the butt of the joke. Spoofs with significance behind their mockery are hard to come by these days, but Blazing Saddles is one that stands the test of time. Available March 1st.
There are a multitude of reasons Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi novel is a certified classic from 1993. You could go with the visual effects that still look amazing 24 years later, or you could go with the tyrannosaurus rex roar that blew our minds and ears in theaters. There are also the unforgettable chase sequences and the endless suspense from seeing the most realistic dinosaurs to ever grace the big screen (and that includes those that came in the sequels). Jurassic Park is a movie that demands being watched at least once a year, so get your fix in next month. Available March 1st.
Before Christopher Nolan went on to direct the best version of Batman the big screen has ever seen, he was at the helm of this psychological mystery starring Guy Pearce. Our story unfolds in reverse chronological order, making the mystery that much more engaging, and also providing audiences with an uncertain conclusion as to whether our main character can really be trusted. For those who haven’t seen it, we won’t spoil anything, but this is Christopher Nolan at his absolute best, and on a small scale in which he hasn’t worked in quite some time. Available March 1st.
This Is Spinal Tap
The term mockumentary became popularized in cinema when This Is Spinal Tap hit theaters. The film from director Rob Reiner was the first high-profile comedy of its kind, and without it, we might never have gotten shows like The Office or movies like Borat. Cameras follow around the band, which includes Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, as they embark on a new tour. It’s full of classic comedy moments, including the famous discussion about amps that go up to 11, not to mention a bunch of familiar faces for those who love Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and other Christopher Guest mockumentaries. Available March 1st.
Disney’s live-action remake of their animated hybrid from 1977 arrived without much pomp and circumstance. It didn’t bomb or anything, but with only $ 76 million at the domestic box office and another $ 67 from international markets, it wasn’t anywhere near as big of a hit as Disney usually has. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t one of the best live-action remakes from Disney’s recent run of pulling titles from their vault for modern audiences. It has just as much heart and beauty as E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, and a dragon that you and your kids will fall in love with. Toss this one on for the whole family. Available March 14th.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Speaking of live-action and animation hybrids, you can’t go wrong with the absolute best. Robert Zemeckis’ comedic murder mystery was a groundbreaking mesh of animation and live-action filmmaking the likes of which had never been accomplished so seamlessly before. Even more impressive was how the film was able to secure the rights to the iconic characters from Warner Bros. and their Looney Tunes gang, as well as some of Disney’s most signature creations. Combine all that with a clever, satirical approach to the film noir genre and you have a modern classic. Available March 24th.
Having caught this psychological sci-fi thriller at Sundance back in January, I can tell you that this is a Netflix original movie worth watching at the end of the month. As I wrote in my review from Sundance, “The Discovery has shades of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, both in its economical, practical production design, but also in its surprisingly simplistic approach to a high concept that is driven by carefully crafted characters. In addition, the path to the shocking, moving climax has plenty of influence from Flatliners, and a bit from the indie favorite Primer. Despite all these influences, the movie never feels like it’s overtly borrowing from them, but merely emulating certain thematic elements.” Available March 31st.
There’s nothing like watching someone breakdown completely. Wilde Maus, which translates simply to Wild Mouse, is a dark comedy film from Austria which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Austrian actor Josef Hader makes his feature directorial debut with the film, also writing the screenplay and starring as the lead character, a music critic from Vienna who loses his job after 20 years. The film follows Hader as Georg, who goes bonkers and starts wandering around Vienna trying to make sense of his life after losing the job that kept him focused for so long. He ends up creating some unnecessary problems with his wife, and randomly partners with a guy who wants to run a little rollercoaster at Vienna’s Prater amusement park. ›››
Do you have a story you want to write? A feature length movie screenplay? An original TV pilot? A web series pilot? A novel? Short story? An epic length limerick?
The Zero Draft Thirty 2017 Spring Challenge is for you!
March 1: You type FADE IN / Once upon a time.
March 30: You type FADE OUT / And they all lived happily ever after.
Hold on. I’ve just heard from the proper authorities that our request for an additional day in March has been granted. So technically, you’ve got 31 days, but since we’ve already got all the invitations printed as Zero Draft Thirty, we’ll just keep it at that.
In any event, here is some background on exactly what the Zero Draft Thirty Challenge is. On October 15, 2015, I posted this, inviting people to join me in November as I pounded out a draft of a comedy script. Hundreds of people responded.
So I posted this a few days later. Hundreds more people enlisted in the cause. We even got a groovy visual to go along with the initiative:
Then every day for 30 days in November, I did a Zero Draft Thirty post with inspirational writing quotes, videos, and handed out a daily Trumbo Award to the person who was deemed worthy for their efforts in supporting our collective cause.
Eventually over 1000 writers joined up for the Challenge. Via Facebook, Twitter, or email, nearly 200 writers let me know they had finished their Zero Drafts.
In processing all of this and noting how I had long promoted the idea that we should aim to write two scripts per year, I thought why not do a spring ZDT Challenge and a fall ZDT Challenge.
Hence the Zero Draft Thirty 2017 Spring Challenge in March.
And you are cordially invited.
Here is a ZDT primer:
Why did you start Zero Draft Thirty?
NaNoWriMo, the write a novel in a month outfit, used to run Script Frenzy, but stopped it in 2012. So why not fill that space here to coincide with our writerly cohorts as they plow through their novels?
Why the name Zero Draft Thirty?
When I posted the initial announcement, I made a point that this is not about writing perfect pages, rather this is about pounding out a first draft. I noted how some writers call that initial iteration of a script a vomit draft. Some a muscle draft. And some a zero draft. GITS reader Orange Pop came up with a great title: Zero Draft Thirty.
Zero Draft = Get The Damn Thing Done Draft! Thirty = November 1-November 30
You can shorthand it: ZDT or ZD30.
You mentioned Twitter. Does the Challenge have a hashtag?
Indeed it does. As you may know, I am all over Twitter, currently with 45,000 followers (@GoIntoTheStory). So whenever you Tweet anything to do with ZDT, use this hashtag:
What if we want to write a TV pilot or rewrite a script?
Absolutely you can use ZDT for any scripted project. In fact, I’m going to be rewriting — again — the script I wrote in November.
So how do we interact?
Every day at 6PM, I will do a ZD30 post here. In it, I will include an inspirational quote, perhaps some reflections on the quote, add a motivational video, I don’t have that all figured out, I’m just going to feel my way through it. I’m sure you folks will have some ideas or comments which will inspire me to feature something in the daily posts.
The daily posts are cool, but again where’s the interaction part?
As you know, my posts have a RESPONSE section. That means you can click Response and write something on any/all of the ZD30 daily posts. Then I will read your comments. Other writers will read your comments. I’ll post comments on your comments. Other writers will post comments on your comments. It will be comments, comments, comments all day, all night. That’s interaction. Of course, we could all choose a resort location, fly there, and interact, but all those mixed drinks with little umbrellas get in the way of writing, so we best stick with comments.
What sort of comments should we make?
Anything you want, but since the whole point of the ZD30 Challenge is to motivate each of us to pound out pages and get from FADE IN to FADE OUT, at the very least, I would hope you drop in often — ideally on a daily basis — and let us know how many pages you wrote in the previous 24 hours. But feel free to share your joy… or your pain. If you need a boost, ask for it. If you feel inspired, share your insights.
So the comments are really about creating a supportive environment, right?
You took the words right out of my mouth… fingers… keyboard.
I heard you would do ‘writing scampers’. What’s that about?
Several pro writers including Jane Espenson and John August from time to time invite people via Twitter to join them in 1 hour writing sprints. We came up with writing scampers as a way of embracing the Zero Draft spirit. I’d do them most every day during the Challenge as would others. It’s a great way to feel the support of other writers knowing while you’re in a writing scamper, other Scamperers are with you.
So I post script pages here?
NO!!! YOU DO NOT POST SCRIPT PAGES!!! THEY ARE YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY!!! YOU WANT TO PROTECT YOUR CREATIVE OUTPUT!!! AGAIN… DO NOT POST SCRIPT PAGES HERE!!!
WAIT. SORRY. THE VOLUME LEVEL GOT STUCK ON 11. LET ME DIAL… IT… DOWN…
Ah, got it. Just to underscore this point, the Zero Draft Thirty Challenge is all about one thing: Motivating each of us to write a script draft. That’s the focus. Not reviewing script pages. Not networking. Use the Challenge to get from FADE IN to FADE OUT.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please post in comments.
The Zero Draft Thirty 2017 Spring Challenge.
March 1: Type FADE IN / In the Beginning. March 31: Type FADE OUT / The End.
As usual, the week leading up to the Oscars is packed with parties and events celebrating the year’s nominated films. Here’s a look and when and where the stars will be celebrating the Academy Awards in Los Angeles this week: Tuesday, February 21 5:30PM 19th Annual Costume Designer Guild Awards Location: Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills Details: Lauding the nominees across TV and film including but not limited to La La Land, Lion, Captain Fantastic, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, and Nocturnal Animals. Honorees include costume designer Jeffrey Kurland being lauded with the Career Achievement Award, Meryl Streep with the Distinguished Collaborator Award, and illustrator and costume designer Lois DeArmond with the Distinguished Service Award. Vanity Fair and L’Oréal Paris Celebrate Young Hollywood Location: Delilah Details: Vanity Fair executive West Coast editor Krista Smith and Dakota Johnson host Vanity Fair and L’Oréal Paris’ toast to Young Hollywood in support of The Roar Foundation Shambala Preserve. Invitation-only event. Wednesday, February 22 Vanity Fair and Barneys New York Dinner Celebrating La La Land Location: Chateau Marmont Details: Vanity Fair, Barneys New York and Lionsgate host an intimate dinner at the Chateau Marmont to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union, to..
With just one week to go until the Academy Awards, the Writers Guild of America has announced the winners of the 2017 WGA Awards. Last year, the big WGA winners were Spotlight (Original), written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, as well as The Big Short (Adapted), written by Charles Randolph and Adam McKay; plus Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief winning the award for Best Documentary. What have fellow writers determined to be the best scripts of 2016? The big winners are Arrival (Adapted), written by Eric Heisserer adapted from Ted Chiang’s short story, and Moonlight (Original), written by Barry Jenkins. I’m so happy for both of these outstanding films! Congrats to both. ›››
I love movie theaters. Every time I walk into one, I get the feeling I’m at home again. They are my places of worship, they are my cathedrals, they are my palaces. Every last city in the world has their own unique set of movie theaters, usually with an extensive and interesting history behind each one. Over the last 10 days of the 2017 Berlin Film Festival (aka “Berlinale“) I was able to explore a number of different venues for screenings all over the city. I really love Berlin, and it’s now my home where I live, but I’m still exploring and still going to places I’ve never been before. Looking back over this year’s festival, I wanted to highlight a few of the gorgeous movie palaces I visited and share some photos of these places, since they’re all so lovely. ›››