Burger bait. A cavalcade of charging horses. A plastic bubble paradise. They’re all sitting on the coastline of Australia.
Every year, the two-kilometre coastal walk from Sydney’s Bondi Beach to Tamarama becomes an open-air gallery for the celebrated Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, with selected artists invited to install sculptural works along the shoreline for three weeks in spring.
Dan Harmon’s process bears many lessons for aspiring screenwriters.
With a track record spanning dozens of TV shows and movies, Dan Harmon has established a unique and successful voice as someone for young writers to learn from and emulate. Best known for his work creating hit comedies like Community and Rick and Morty, Harmon has become a cultural force in the comedy community, able to understand and manipulate story structure while subverting expectations and building characters and comedic moments that speak to broad audiences. Harmon has been highly open about his process and methods, doing extensive Reddit AMA’s, and detailing the Story Circle he uses as the basis for many of his scripts. But beyond Harmon’s methodologies, the man has a great deal to offer in the way that he treats his writing process as well.
Here’s why button-pushing Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke chooses not to cut.
Starting his career in 1970s German television, Micahel Haneke has made 16 films since 1989. In the U.S., he first became more well known for Funny Games, an English remake of his own film, with action moved from Austria. He rose to further acclaim here in 2012 with Amour, which was nominated for two Academy Awards. The quality common to all his work, according to an essay on the director from n+1, is that his films are “’taxonomic’: [Haneke’s films] examine the possibilities of contemporary (haute) bourgeois life and consistently shows its protagonists to be at best trapped and ineffectual and at worst, much worse.”
“In a film, you’re constantly manipulating everything, but at least you can eliminate this kind of manipulation.”
The Tribeca Film Festival has become a traditional festival every Spring in New York City. However, in the past few years, the Festival has had screenings of TV shows, followed by Q&As with the casts, in addition to movie screenings. In 2017, for example, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale had is premiere at the festival, as well as Nat Geo’s Genius. This is the result of the increasing quality and quantity of TV shows released every year, which have been arguably more interesting than movies released in theaters. To follow this trend, the Tribeca Film has launched its first ever TV Festival, to take place between September 22nd and 24th at the Cinépolis Chelsea in New York. The line-up includes a sneak peek of Better Things (FX), followed by a conversation co-creator Louis C.K.; the series premiere of At Home with Amy Sedaris (truTV), followed by a conversation with co-creator Amy Sedaris and Andy Cohen; the series premiere of ABC’s Ten Days in the Valley, followed by a conversation with star/EP Kyra Sedgwick; a sneak peek of Gotham’s new season, followed by a conversation with Executive Producer Danny Cannon and ensemble cast Ben McKenzie, Robin Lord Taylor, Camren Bicondova, David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, & Jessica Lucas, and more…
“should budget be considered when you’re an unrepped writer workin on a spec? Or just best poss story?”
The easy thing is simply to say “Write the best story possible.” But screenplays are not just stories. They are movies. And movies cost money to produce. A studio’s production budget is pretty much a zero sum game, they only have so many dollars to go around, so it’s possible you could write a great story, but price yourself out of a deal because what you’ve written is too expensive.
In general, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to wear a producer’s hat along with your screenwriter’s hat, at least be aware of some elements that drive up the cost of a script. To wit:
If you are writing a mainstream, big budget movie, it is what it is, and so you’re probably less concerned with budget. But if you are writing a small indie film, perhaps something you want to direct or act in yourself, you absolutely have to be concerned with budgetary issues. Also you may come up with a contained thriller script like this one:
A down-on-her-luck woman stuck in her apartment must fend off waves of Yakuza assassins sent by her ex, who is a dangerous mob boss.
That recently sold as a spec and as I understand it, the entire movie will be shot in the woman’s apartment. One location. That right there saves a boatload of production dollars. Even major studios will take a bite at a low-budget script like that hoping to strike gold like Paramount did with Paranormal Activity.
So in general, the conventional wisdom still holds true: “Focus on writing the best story possible.” But don’t forget to don that producer’s hat from time to time and at least be cognizant of some pricey script elements. Depending on the project, where you are in your career, and what your goals are, you could benefit from taking into account budgetary concerns.
This is the last in the current round of GITS reader questions. I believe this has been the most questions at any given time (upward to 20). I keep thinking folks will run out of questions to ask, but evidently not.
I will open up another round in a month or so. In the meantime, if you have something you want my two cents on or you think might be a subject the GITS community would benefit from, please feel free to email me with your inquiry. And as always, you can check out the archives: GITS Reader Questions. I believe there over 200 Q&As in there at this point. That’s a lot of content. Worth checking out.
If you plan to be in New York in May and are a Baywatch fan, here is some good news: the red carpet premiere of the movie version will take place in Times Square on May 21. Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Pamela Anderson, and David Hasselhoff are expected to attend this special event, which will have other features: since there is no beach in Manhattan, Paramount will turn the plaza on Times Square into a breach area, filling it with sand, sharks, and a large white lifeguard stand. According to Showbiz 411, the reason for having the premiere in New York rather than in Santa Monica is Dwayne Johnson’s schedule: he has to be in the city that week. Directed by Seth Gordon, Baywatch opens nationwide on May 25. Are you attending the red carpet? Send us your pics or any other tips to email@example.com! Source: Showbiz 411 Contributor Carolina Malhado also has a blog reviewing movies, TV shows and theater in New York. You can follow it on Twitter and Instagram as well.
Two writers from Cars 3 have teamed up for Fox Animation’s A Tale of Momentum and Inertia
Eyal Podell and Jonathon E. Stewart, who together wrote on the upcoming Disney•Pixar film Cars 3, are set to take on A Tale of Momentum and Inertia for Fox Animation Studios, according to THR. The short it will be based on is from House Special, and has been seen at a number of festivals. You can check out the short in the player below. It’s the 1:10 story of a rock man, trying to keep a boulder from destroying a town.
Carlos Saldanha (Rio) and Maresa Pullman will produce for Bottle Cap Productions. Kameron Gates, who directed the short for House Special will produce as well. Gates has worked in the animation department for King Kong, The Day After Tomorrow and Hellboy. He worked in visual effects for Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clonesand Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. He’s also worked in the makeup department for quite a number of productions.
Podell is an actor who’s been seen in films like Behind Enemy Lines, Deep Blue Sea and the soap opera The Young and the Restless. He and his Dartmouth College roommate Stewart have teamed up to write. In addition to Cars 3, they have Seuss on the way, which is a biopic of the famous tongue-twisting children’s writer Theodor Geisel with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.
House Special, which produced A Tale of Momentum and Inertia, has quite a history in animation and stop-motion. Their website states, “Until July 2014, HouseSpecial was known as LAIKA/house. Our House was built on a long and illustrious history rooted in Will Vinton Studios (The PJs, The California Raisins, Dominos ‘Noid). In 2003, Will Vinton Studios changed hands and was acquired by Phil Knight (Nike founder) and re-branded as LAIKA in 2005. LAIKA/house was the iconic commercial arm of LAIKA through 2014 until we spun off (with LAIKA’s blessing) to create our independent studio.”
Cars 3 will hit theaters on June 16, 2017. Are you guys excited by the idea of A Tale of Momentum and Inertia? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.
ORLANDO — The Disney Parks mega-project known as Star Wars Land is well underway both here and in Anaheim, California. And the Mouse House is ready to let us in on a few of its secrets.
In a panel at Star Wars Celebration on Saturday, Disney Imagineers and Lucasfilm luminaries revealed tantalizing new details on a theme park that sounds more elaborate and unusual than any yet built on Earth.