Saturday Hot Links

June 22nd, 2013 by

Time for another installment of Saturday Hot Links!

Today: The We Remember James Gandolfini Edition.

Deadline: Unfinished Business: The projects James Gandolfini left behind.

Eonline: James Gandolfini on The Sopranos: His 5 top Tony moments.

Flavorwire: Why James Gandolfini’s death feels so personal.

Flavorwire: James Gandolfini’s most underrated performances.

Huffington Post: James Gandolfini movies.

Inside TV: David Chase on James Gandolfini.

LAT: James Gandolfini: A look at his final film and television roles.

The Playlist: The 5 most memorable performances by James Gandolfini.

ThinkProgress: Remembering James Gandolfini for more than just The Sopranos.

THR: Tim Goodman on James Gandolfini: “You couldn’t look away from him.”

Variety: James Gandolfini mourned at Italian festivals.

18 fan art tributes to Tony Soprano.

Bruce Springsteen dedicates “Born to Run” to James Gandolfini.

Comic-Con 2013: The complete TV lineup.

A gigantic galaxy shaped like a penguin.

Listen: The ’60 “Batman” theme sung by actual bats.

How can bodies of water be different colors.

The Playlist: 15 famous director/actor bust-ups.

Vulture: Ranking all 62 Stephen King books.

David Cross developing comedy for Showtime.

Uh, seriously? Masturbation parties?

Supercut: John Goodman loses his shit [video].

10 recent TV commercials directed by famous directors.

Canadian motorcyclist pursued by massive gray wolf [photos].

Dude should have been riding a stealth motorcycle.

A breakdown of Apple’s $20B a year media empire.

75 things to do in San Francisco this summer.

13 ways to cast A-list actors in microbudget films.

There are giant clouds of alcohol floating in space.

40 minute talk: Sam Mendes and Paul Greengrass [video].

6 unproduced Pixar films and sequels.

How caffeine can cramp creativity.

Why Johnny Depp quit drinking.

Filmmaker IQ: Secrets of a trailer guru: How this guy gets you to the movies.

7 animals that are better color-changers than chameleons.

Cable TV scrambles to play catchup.

50 greatest summer albums, 1963-2013.

/film: The Heat trailer rebuilt in LEGO [video].

23 undeniable signs you’re an assistant.

Jeff Rabinov set to negotiate Warner Bros. exit.

The periodic table of The Muppets.

Christopher Nolan sneaks into Man of Steel screening.

A.V. Club: Why is it so hard to make a good Superman movie.

Why does everything taste bad after you brush your teeth.

Sundance Institute announces 11 artists selected for 2013 fellowship program.

The Postal Service performs “Such Great Heights” on The Colbert Report [video].

Stephen Colbert’s tribute to his recently deceased mother [video].

Here’s exactly what Damon Lindelof and Drew Goddard changed in World War Z.

7 creative ways movies have recycled old film footage.

2013 NASA astronaut class: Half women.

Indiewire: Fall festival wish list: The 50 films we hope to see at Toronto, Venice and Telluride.

5 actual facts about the science of dreams.

A breakdown of how “Game of Thrones” strayed from the book in Season 3.

Irv’s Burgers in WeHo to shut down?

James Franco seeks $500K in crowdfunding for film trilogy.

Manhattan’s secret payphone graveyard [photos].

11 year-old Natalie Portman audition tapes for Leon: The Professional [video].

A soccer stadium in downtown LA?

Interview with Franklin Leonard.

7 things writers can learn from bartending.

Dave Chappelle, Flight of the Conchords on “Oddball” summer tour.

Bernie Sahlins, co-founder of Second City, dies at the age of 90.

Creativity Post: Investing in the creativity sector.

Why Chuck Wendig hates origin stories.

DreamWorks Animation to produce TV shows for NetFlix.

Movie and TV character licensing revenues hit $49.3B in 2012.

TotalFilm: 50 greatest movie illusions.

10 high-profile TV pilots that did not get picked up.

Why lasers are the future for our movie theaters.

How 8 famous writers chose their pen names.

Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week: There are three parts of The Quest.

Core [8 weeks]: Participants learn essential screenwriting principles covering Plot, Concept, Character, Style, Dialogue, Scene, Theme, Time. There are 6 written lectures each week which post daily, then a writing exercise due Sunday to put the theory into practice. I wrote all 48 lectures amounting to over 250 pages of in-depth content and believe it to represent a new, cutting edge way to think about screenwriting.

The approach presented in Core is unique in these respects:

Coherent: Rather than a writer being forced to pick a bit of screenwriting theory from this guru or that, this educational resource or that, the Core content comes from a specific perspective – my own – based on over 25 years experience as a screenwriter and over 10 years as an educator. Every concept presented in Core is tied together by an overall philosophy about screenwriting, writing and creativity.

Comprehensive: The content presented in Core provides writers all the knowledge they need to have to be able to write a professional quality screenplay.

Character-based: Whereas so much of the conversation about screenwriting is focused on structure [and by 'structure' most people mean 'plot'], Core presents an approach that begins and ends with character. In my view, this is not only the best way for a writer to craft unique, compelling, and entertaining multidimensional characters, it’s also the most effective – and frankly logical – way to find your story’s plot.

For 8 weeks in Core, participants in The Quest are immersed in screenwriting theory. At the end of that time, they put their understanding of those essential principles to work writing an original screenplay of their own.

Prep [6 weeks]: Starting with an original concept, participants in The Quest develop it through a series of 6 weekly lectures and writing assignments, each building upon the other until they end up with a thorough outline of their story.

I have been teaching Prep at SMC since we launched in January 2011 and the course has proved to be extremely popular. It picks up on the theory laid out in Core and runs with it in a workshop environment. The six weeks lay out like this:

The first two weeks are about exploration, starting with the Protagonist and a series of key questions to help define some of the narrative’s fundamental elements, then a full week’s worth of brainstorming, three different ways to prompt the writer’s creativity and engage the story.

The next two weeks are about wrangling the narrative, the primary Plotline points that provide the spine of the plot, and the movements of the Themeline, the story’s emotional plot.

The final two weeks are about crafting the structure, scene by scene, sequence by sequence, subplot by subplot until the participant has a detailed outline.

Armed with their outline, the writer can approach the page-writing part of the process with confidence, primed to type FADE IN and go.

Pages [10 weeks]: Using their outline as a guide, participants pound out script pages through a series of 10 weekly lectures and writing assignments. Averaging about 10-15 pages per week, by the end of The Quest the writer has a complete first draft of their original screenplay.

Here, too, the process is founded on the principles presented in Core and put into use in Prep, all reflecting a character-based approach to screenwriting.

As noted, The Quest is a workshop and that means:

* Weekly writing exercises and assignments

* Detailed feedback on all exercises, assignments, and script pages

* Regular teleconferences

The thing is I teach all three parts of The Quest through Screenwriting Master Class.

In fact, I’m leading a Prep workshop right now and will be heading up another session in September.

I’ll be launching the entire Core series [eight one-week classes] on July 15th, offered on about a bi-weekly basis. You can pick and choose any of the 8 courses or sign up for The Core Package for a nearly 50% discount.

The very next part of The Quest I’ll be overseeing is Pages I: The First Draft. It begins on Monday, July 1.

If you like the philosophy, approach and tone of what I do on the blog, and want to learn an approach to character-based screenwriting I have developed over the course of 25 years as a screenwriter and 10 years as teacher, I invite you to work with me as your mentor in one of the upcoming SMC classes.

For more information about all our courses and workshops, go here.

Onward and upward!

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