30 Things About Screenwriting

Free downloadable Go Into The Story eBook by Scott Myers.

Why am I smiling? Because today I’m making available to the public the first in a series of twelve monthly eBooks featuring some of my 21,000+ Go Into The Story posts. And it’s free! Just click on the link below to download a 95 page eBook titled: “30 Things About Screenwriting”.


Here are the twelve titles I will be releasing in 2017 (not necessarily in this order):

30 Things About Screenwriting

So-Called Screenwriting ‘Rules’

Everything You Wanted to Know About Specs

Guide to Aristotle’s “Poetics”

Character Types

How To Read A Screenplay

Writing A Script

Rewriting a Script

Movie Story Types

The Theology of Screenwriting

Writing and the Creative Life

The Business of Screenwriting

The idea is that having the content available as an eBook will be a more useful way for writers to digest these ideas and information.

Think of it as a kind Go Into The Story Greatest Hits collection.

Each will be free. Download them. Read them. Pass them along.

A very special thanks to Trish Curtin and Clay Mitchell who are stepping up to handle the process turning blog posts into eBooks. I could not be doing this without the efforts of these two fine people.

A final note excerpted from the eBook’s foreword:

The collection contains my reflections and takes on basic tenets of the craft. If any of them resonate with you, great. If not, feel free to ignore them. Each writer needs to figure out their own approach to screenwriting. My hope is to help feed that process and provide writers with inspiration along the way.

For background on this series, go here.

Spread the word, would you? And the download link.

Much more to come each month in 2017.


30 Things About Screenwriting was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Interview (Audio): Martin Scorcese with Alexander Payne about “Silence”

From a recent appearance at the Directors Guild of America.

Martin Scorcese, Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants) in conversation with Martin Scorcese (Mean Streets, Goodfellas) and writer-director of the new movie Silence.

A trailer for the movie Silence:

For more DGA podcasts, go here.

Interview (Audio): Martin Scorcese with Alexander Payne about “Silence” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story – Medium

Your smart fridge is about to make our IoT security nightmare so much worse



LAS VEGAS — Each year, CES plays host to some of the most compelling innovations in the tech industry: self-driving cars, virtual reality, robots, drones and televisions that get bigger and thinner each year. Not to mention Wi-Fi and bluetooth sensors embedded into just about every previously mundane appliance and object imaginable. 

Want Amazon’s Alexa in you refrigerator, washing machine, trash can and light fixtures? You’re in luck. How about a smart hairbrush, a Wi-Fi-connected shower or an app-enabled breast pump? CES has it all. 

More about Ces, Ces 2017, Iot, Gadgets, and Apps And Software

First Trailer for ‘Tommy’s Honour’ About the Scottish Founders Golf

Tommy's Honour Trailer

The pride of a father. The love of a wife. The soul of a rebel. The heart of a champion. Roadside Attractions has debuted a trailer for a film titled Tommy’s Honour, about the founders of the modern sport of golf. The film focuses on Tommy Morris, played by Jack Lowden, and his father Tom Morris, played by Peter Mullan, two golfing legends who helped make the sport into what it is today. Set in the 1800s, these two Toms helped redefine the sport at a time when Scottish golfers were considered low-class players. The cast includes Sam Neill, Ophelia Lovibond, Peter Ferdinando, Max Deacon and Paul Reid. This looks like a fine drama about a desire to rewrite the expectations of society, proving that anyone can be successful. ›››

Continue reading First Trailer for ‘Tommy’s Honour’ About the Scottish Founders Golf


Drew Barrymore’s Netflix Sitcom ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ Is Not About What You Expected

santa clarita plot

Timothy Olyphant is an actor we’re happy to see is starring in a new series. He’s the kind of performer you’re pleased to see show up in any medium, but with a show, it means our time isn’t limited with the Justified star, who has such a relaxed, natural charisma. With his new show, Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet, he’s acting alongside the equally charming Drew Barrymore, whose character undergoes a surprising change.

Below, learn what the Santa Clarita Diet is really about.

Santa Clarita Diet

When showrunner Victor Fresco‘s (Better Off Ted) new Netflix series was announced, there was no mention of cannibalism. It was teased “Sheila (Barrymore) goes through a dramatic change” which sends her family’s “lives down a road of death and destruction,” but her death (or hunger) wasn’t revealed until executive producer Drew Barrymore discussed the show with USA Today:

We can reveal that the “dramatic change” Sheila undergoes in the series opener is, in fact, death. And while they tend to their open houses and teenage daughter, the couple must sate Sheila’s unbridled id and undead hunger, first with raw meat and, eventually, the human kind.

The series is about husband and wife realtors, Sheila and Joel (Olyphant), raising their teenaged daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) in Santa Clarita. Sheila and her stoner husband aren’t fully satisfied with their lives, but her newfound hunger may lead to surprisingly good things for the couple.

Here’s how Barrymore describes her character’s transformation:

What if she finds herself, and we do this sort of Cro-Magnon type of evolution with her over the course of the 10 episodes. No gimmicks, no prosthetics, just an awakening. I just really enjoyed just shedding a snakeskin with her.

The actress calls the Santa Clarita Diet “optimistic.” The show isn’t about a “couple fighting and falling apart,” “it’s not heavy,” and “it’s not lacking in a sort of sweetness,” according to Barrymore. Santa Clarita Diet does, however, “got bite and backbone and balls,” which isn’t a bad way to describe a television series, which sounds a bit more interesting now and features a guest appearance from Nathan Fillion as a competing realtor. I wonder how things end for his character…

Here are two new posters for the Netflix show:


senta-clarita-diet-2 santa-clarita-diet

And here’s the official synopsis:

In Santa Clarita Diet, Joel (Timothy Olyphant, Justified) and Sheila (Drew Barrymore, Blended) are husband and wife realtors leading vaguely discontented lives in the L.A. suburb of Santa Clarita with their teenaged daughter Abby (Liv Hewson), until Sheila goes through a dramatic change sending their lives down a road of death and destruction…but in a good way.

Santa Clarita Diet is available to stream on Netflix starting February 3rd.

The post Drew Barrymore’s Netflix Sitcom ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ Is Not About What You Expected appeared first on /Film.


Hugh Jackman Hesitating About Retiring Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds Says ‘Logan’ Could Be Oscar Contender

hugh jackman retiring

Welcome to today’s edition of “Your Favorite Comic Book Movie Stars Talk a Whole Bunch,” where Hugh Jackman showcases some hesitation about officially retiring as Wolverine (because he’d like to team up with Deadpool, you see) and Ryan Reynolds says Logan could be an Oscar contender. Superhero movie stars and celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things?? Let’s Find Out!

The roots of this first part were actually planted last month, when it was widely reported that Ryan Reynolds had filmed a cameo as Wade Wilson for Logan, Hugh Jackman’s supposedly final turn as Wolverine. However, the rumor was quickly shot down by director James Mangold and Reynolds himself (and the internet, looking forward to seeing a movie that lives up to that great trailer, sighed with relief). But then, Reynolds said that he’d love to see Deadpool and Wolverine team up in a completely separate movie, a dream complicated by Jackman preparing to leave the role behind after 17 years and nine movies.

And that brings us to a new Variety profile on Reynolds, where the actor talks about wanting to play Deadpool “for as long as they would let me play Deadpool” and how he wants to make that team-up movie happen. The only obstacle is getting Jackman to stick around:

I have no idea if I can change his mind. It’s the audience: I would exclusively exploit that relationship to get Hugh back for another one.

Jackman himself is quoted in the article, where he seems to be hedging his bets about the whole thing:

I’m hesitating because I could totally see how that’s the perfect fit. But the timing may be wrong.

If Logan is an enormous hit, it’s entirely possible to see Jackman sticking around for another movie or two, even if it would deflate the whole “swan song” narrative that has built up around the film. And teaming up with Reynolds, who helped make Deadpool one of 2016’s biggest movies, is a recipe for success. At the same time, I’m of the opinion that Hugh Jackman deserves to eat a donut or six and for the love of God, let the man retire so he can eat some carbs.

Meanwhile, Reynolds also says that Logan could be the first comic book movie to be a real Oscar contender:

Logan looks like a movie that might break that glass ceiling. I know first-hand that it’s amazing. I’ve seen some of it. It’s mind-blowing. It relies a lot on character.

I’ve spoken to people who have seen the first 40 minutes of Logan (which have screened several times now) and they’ve had nothing but glowing things to say. However, “X-Men Franchise Star Says Nice Things About Next X-Men Movie” isn’t the kind of thing you should take too seriously, even if everyone involved has the best of intentions.

Logan opens on March 3, 2017.

The post Hugh Jackman Hesitating About Retiring Wolverine, Ryan Reynolds Says ‘Logan’ Could Be Oscar Contender appeared first on /Film.


Even More Details About Darth Vader’s Castle in ‘Rogue One’ Have Been Revealed

Darth Vader's Castle - Rogue One Concept Art

Not long after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit theaters, many fans had questions about a certain location we see in the movie that isn’t identified with any on-screen text. There’s a certain scene that takes place in a castle inhabited by Darth Vader. We’ve already learned some details about the location, including confirmation that it can be found on the volcanic planet Mustafar and the fact that it’s built on top of a Sith cave. Now even more information has come to light.

Rogue One co-production designer Doug Chiang recently sat down for an interview to discuss the work he did on the Star Wars spin-off, and part of the extensive discussion included Darth Vader’s castle details that are rather intriguing.

Over at StarWars.com, Doug Chiang talks at great length about the work he did on Rogue One, but this stuff about Darth Vader’s castle contains some of the more interesting information, showing just how much thought goes into creating a location like this in the Star Wars universe.

Chiang explains that Darth Vader doesn’t just live in a castle surrounded by lava because it looks cool. There’s real motivation as to why Vader lives here, and a lot of it actually has to deal with what happened on Mustafar with his old mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The co-production designer explains:

“The initial idea was, ‘Why would Vader live here?’ In our minds, we started to come up with a little bit of a backstory. That perhaps this place had special meaning for him, and that this is where he comes to meditate and to heal himself. We started with the idea that maybe it should be built around his bacta tank chamber, and he comes back here to rejuvenate himself and also to meditate. So from there, the structure itself grew out from the bacta tank, and there were certain ideas that we tried.”

Beyond the location of the castle, even the design itself serves a practical function for the Sith. Chiang continues:

“We were trying to go for a very iconic shape, and we always love tall towers. Ralph McQuarrie actually drew quite a few small thumbnail sketches [of Vader’s castle] that were very intriguing. They were kind of angular versions of a tower, and I saw the potential of where he was going, and I just exaggerated that quite a bit. One of things we landed on early was this idea of a tuning fork — a twin tower kind of look. And it was really interesting, because then that started to give Gareth a lot of ideas like, ‘Well, maybe the structure is built this way because it is like a tuning fork. It’s tuning the dark side in terms of the energy.’”

rogue one gareth edwards interview

As we covered in our first relay of details about Darth Vader’s castle, The Art of Rogue One book indicates that there may be a Sith cave found underneath the castle, which would explain the tuning fork design. But beyond that, there are even more ancient parts of the castle. Chiang says they went back to the idea of just why Vader would be here, inspired by images from unused concept art images by Ralph McQuarrie where Luke Skywalker visits Vader in an underground lava cave. He elaborates:

“I always thought that was such a compelling image, because you have this lava lake inside this cave and there was Vader’s throne. So we took that idea and thought, “Okay, well, maybe on the lower levels of Vader’s castle, there’s a more ancient part. That he actually built this castle on a foundation of an ancient structure.” If you look at the finished design, it has this very strong element of a structure that was there for a purpose, and that purpose was to draw energy from the lava lake. If you look at the design of the base, it feels very much like a dam, and how the lava flows through it, possibly getting energy. And so we thought, “Okay, well, that’s the foundation. Maybe even deeper, or underneath that, is an even more ancient part, which is a natural cave where Vader goes to meditate.” Visually, we’re trying to create a sort of history for the tower. The bottom is the most ancient, the lava lake dam part was perhaps what Vader built his foundation on, and then the tower was Vader’s addition.”

That’s a lot of thought going into a location that appears on screen for a matter of minutes. But when it’s the home of the most notorious Star Wars villain, you really have to make sure that every details is planned meticulously. This is something that is now canon for the entire franchise, something that can be used and referenced in countless other stories, so it needs to be created with logistics and practicality in mind.

Is there a chance introducing a structure such as this into Star Wars canon could come into play later somehow? After all, we know that Luke Skywalker went to go find the first Jedi temple when he disappeared after Return of the Jedi. Is there a chance Kylo Ren could maybe go looking for answers at his grandfather’s home one day? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, check out the whole interview with Doug Chiang over at StarWars.com, and read out previous piece on Darth Vader’s castle right here.

The post Even More Details About Darth Vader’s Castle in ‘Rogue One’ Have Been Revealed appeared first on /Film.


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