WAYW: Loglines

This post is part of a series on Writing About Your Writing. Check out more posts here.

A logline is a one to three sentence summary of the main elements of your story told in an emotionally engaging way. Think of it as your ultimate elevator pitch. The term logline is mostly used in the Film/TV industry, but I find it useful for any type of dramatic, narrative storytelling.

Loglines are incredibly useful when you’re trying to market a show, pitch an idea, or apply for grants and awards. The better you can succinctly communicate your story, the easier it is for people to jump on board.

But Loglines can also be useful for you, the writer, to help shape and heighten the arc of your characters and story. Let’s dive in. Continue reading WAYW: Loglines

Mind-Hacking the Audition Process

betty-boop-ripping-hair

The relationship between actors and the casting process can sometimes be antagonistic, and that’s super unfortunate. If you find yourself ripping your hair off over the audition/casting process, and feeling resentful toward casting directors who “always bring you in, but never cast you,” consider these 3 mind-hacks: Continue reading Mind-Hacking the Audition Process

The Best Pixar Film of All Time

pixar-slice-600x200

I have always been a huge Pixar fan, and reading Creativity, Inc last year by Pixar (and now Disney Animation) President Ed Catmull has only solidified my adoration for the company and their brilliant creative process. You will often find me extolling the virtues of their story-telling and business principles, and basically recommending everybody everywhere to read his book.

When I saw this post from Collider called Pixar Films Ranked from Worst to Best I had to click. Now, I have yet to see Inside Out, but…I have a VERY CLEAR frontrunner for Best Pixar film, and it is not always everyone else’s frontrunner.

Luckily – the article agreed with me as to which is the best Pixar film. Take a look at the list and see if you agree, too!

Enjoy!giphy

Craft is for the Brits!

lead_960

An article in The Atlantic caught my attention the other day with the headline The Decline of the American Actor. Being an American Actor myself, I must do what I can to stay up-to-date about my decline. Wait…come again?

First a quick digest of the article: author Terrance Rafferty makes many assertions that bumble about throughout the piece. The most important, in my opinion, is the comment that (in relation to their more successful British counterparts) American actors have less appreciation for training and technique. Continue reading Craft is for the Brits!

Post-Apocalypse Now

douma_strike_m
A cloud of smoke rises following an airstrike by Syrian government forces in the rebel-held area of Douma, northeast of Damascus, on February 5, 2015 (AFP Photo / Abd Doumany)

There’s an ad I often hear on NPR featuring a film critic saying, “I can’t wait for the real post-apocalyptic dystopia to arrive so we can finally stop seeing films about it.”

Every time I hear it I think:hodgins-yes

I so often see synopses for new films or tv shows or plays that take place in this post-apocalyptic landscape, particularly written by younger, (I’m just guessing here, but…) white, male writers.

I totally get the impulse. It’s hugely dramatic after all. What do you do after the worse possible thing has happened? You fight the man and reclaim the day! Does matter how vague, contrived, or illogical the details. Hell yeah! Tune in! Continue reading Post-Apocalypse Now

Human Fact in Science Fiction

Love this Film 4 interview from the team behind Ex Machina. I’ve always been a fan of Sci-Fi storytelling for its ability to be a more obvious mirror for the human condition and the challenges of our current times.

Star Domhnall Gleeson sums it up perfectly in this quotation at the end of the clip [9:06]: “My favorite films are elevated genre-films. So they’re genre-films…that use the genre to tell us something about being human, to ask really important questions.”

Lincoln’s a Bitch

Lincoln
As dramatic and historic a time as the Civil War was, attempting to dramatize the “struggle” of Abraham Lincoln is damned near impossible.

If you saw the recent Spielberg movie, you know that Daniel Day Lewis’s portrayal of the 16th President is sweet, subtle, and extremely endearing – all attributes that Lincoln was noted to have.  But the truth is, even 3-D glasses wouldn’t give this Lincoln any dimension.

Having written a play about Abraham Lincoln myself…
tumblr_m27hunmZoZ1qggv4ro1_500…I know a little bit about what Mr. Tony Kushner was dealing with. Continue reading Lincoln’s a Bitch

Les Misery

MV5BMTQ4NDI3NDg4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjY5OTI1OA@@._V1._SY317_ I saw a screening of Les Miserable at the end of November, and I was swept away by the film. It was the first time I saw a Movie-Musical and thought: this works. There’s still new ground to be broken, I’m sure, but I think Tom Hooper has truly found a right combination of musical theatre style and cinematic story-telling.

I really hope this lays the groundwork for original Movie Musicals to see the light.

And Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman deserve all the praise they’re getting.

Anyway. This clip has nothing to do with any of that, but it’s been making the rounds on Facebook this morning, and it’s hilarious to watch. And damn if some of those voices aren’t SPOT. ON.

Enjoy!