Articles Tagged Scriptwriting

From Idea to Story

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Suppose that you’re thinking of doing a documentary film about Elvis Presley, or a diner in your home town, or images of Islam in American popular culture. Something about the topic has caught your interest, and you think you want to take it to the next level. First, ask yourself what it is about the… Read more »

The Nuances of Film Editing

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The word “edit” has a bad reputation. To lay folk, the word brings to mind overindulgence, censorship, and the property neighbored by “File” and “View.” But people in film know better. Walter Murch, the editing savant behind Apocalypse Now and The English Patient, once compared film editing to translation in that the challenge is not… Read more »

Hometown Hitter

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First-time screenwriter/director Tom McCarthy didn’t stray too far from home when he decided to make his debut film The Station Agent. The film, set and shot about twenty-five minutes away from where McCarthy grew up in rural New Jersey, is a small-town story about an out-of-towner new to small-town life. Finbar McBride, played by veteran… Read more »

Story Is As Story Does

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In 1997, I had a decent career as a freelance magazine writer when at the beach one day I told a friend, a production executive at a major studio, about a book I’d recently reviewed. She said she thought it would make an interesting movie. A year later, I moved to LA with the option… Read more »

Screening No More

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Earlier this year the Carnegie Museum announced it would close one of Pittsburgh’s oldest and most renowned screening series and shut down the museum’s film and video department, the result of a $4 million budget cut for 2003. In addition to dropping the film and video program, Carnegie Museum is eliminating seventeen full-time and four… Read more »

Copyright Basics

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Copyright is the law that protects the creations of artists and authors by allowing them to have exclusive rights to their creative work, and to ensure that only they benefit financially from exploiting these rights. As an author of a written work, you are the only one who has the right to exploit that work…. Read more »

New Paths in Storytelling: www.bornmagazine.org

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When you begin reading a book, it is a given that if you start on page one and read each successive page you will eventually get to the end of the story. The same goes for watching a film or a play. We sit. We watch. We leave. From childhood we are trained that there… Read more »

The Future of Screenwriting

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Twice a week, Marc Bacus comes home from his day-job as an administrator at Southern Illinois University and logs on for a two- to three-hour chat session with a splinter group of screenwriters who call themselves the Viewmasters [www.viewmasters.org]. "There was such fierce competition at Zoetrope’s screenwriting site that a few of us decided to… Read more »

Mark Borchardt: The (Other) Indie Prototype

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During the Q&A after the first screening of American Movie at Sundance, director Chris Smith hailed his subject Mark Borchardt as "the ideal independent filmmaker"–which, in many ways, he is. For one thing, it was Borchardt’s incomparable DIY persistence (rather than Smith’s reputation) that allowed his 40-minute, $13,000 horror flick Coven to earn a coveted… Read more »