Wednesday, March 23, 2016

J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Alfonso Cuarón & More Want To Teach You How to Make Movies at Tribeca

Learn from the greats at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

If you were eagerly awaiting an opportunity to be in the same room as some of your favorite directors, the day has come. The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival has curated an eclectic lineup of Q&As with some of the biggest directors in Hollywood, as well as their more independent-minded auteur contemporaries. Panelists include J.J. Abrams, Andrea Arnold, Joss Whedon, Jodie Foster, Baz Luhrmann, Alfonso Cuarón, Tina Fey, Jodie Foster, Francis Ford Coppola, and more.

The best part? Some of the discussions are free. See below for the full lineup, courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival. And buy tickets to individual events here.

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Friday, March 11, 2016

The Lay of The Land: How Denis Villeneuve and Ridley Scott Create Mood With Landscape

If your landscape is just a setting, then you're using your landscape wrong.

In The Martian and Sicario, the landscapes are foreboding characters all their own. These two video essays by Ashley Perry show how Denis Villeneuve and Ridley Scott did it, and it all comes down to the formative setting.

As opposed to a neutral setting, in which the landscape is indifferent to the action or the characters, a formative setting seeks to express the character's psychology. As such, your setting should be working in service of dramatic action rather than just existing simply as the space for the action to unfold.

In Sicario, some of the most tense moments occur when nothing happens at all:

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Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Script Reader's Checklist: 60 Things That Will Land Your Screenplay in the Trash

If you ever manage to get your script in front of a script reader, you're kind of lucky, but you're also kind of screwed.

Readers are notoriously known for dismissing scripts, tossing them for having a boring first paragraph, poor formatting, or less. (You really can't blame them — they have to comb through hundreds of those things.) So, how do you better your chances of getting a pass from one of these gatekeepers? Well, maybe knowing how they judge each one would help.

During his time working as a reader for different L.A. production studios, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Terry Rossio compiled a checklist to help him better evaluate scripts, and decided to share it on his blog. They definitely will help you know whether or not your script is headed toward the trash. Check it out below:

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