Saturday Hot Links

May 28th, 2016 by

Time for the 240th installment of Saturday Hot Links, your week’s essential reading about movies, TV, streaming, Hollywood, and other things of writerly interest.

Cannes 2016: Complete List of This Year’s Winners.

Cannes 2016: How the Cannes Film Festival Made Movies Exciting Again.

Cannes 2016: Amazon just won over the year’s biggest film festival with these 6 movies.

Cannes 2016: 17 Biggest Winners and Losers.

Cannes 2016: Can Any of This Year’s Movies Crash the Oscar Race?

The 2016 Indiewire Cannes Bible: Every Review, Interview and News Item Posted During the Festival.

How My First Trip to Cannes Changed My Perception of the Independent Film World.

Here’s Where You Can Watch Every Palme d’Or Winner.

48 Video Game Movies Currently in Development.

10 Sequels No One Asked For.

The Superhero Franchise: Where Traditional Movie Stardom Goes to Die.

Hollywood Heads for Crowded June in Chinese Theaters.

Apple Exec Raised Prospect of a Bid for Time Warner.

‘Angry Birds’ Flies Away With the Box Office, Leaving the ‘Neighbors’ and ‘Nice Guys’ Behind.

The Progressive Feminism Of ‘Neighbors 2’ Isn’t Afraid To Show Women At Their Worst – Girl Talk.

‘Ghostbusters’: How Sony Plans to Out-Slime the Online Haters.

Ghostbusters, Frozen, and the strange entitlement of fan culture.

Lionsgate Stock Surges as CEO Touts Bigger Film Slate, TV Production Growth.

‘Star Trek Beyond’ Director Pushed Studios to Drop Lawsuit Over Fan Film.

CAA’s Delicious New Expansion: Agency Launches CAA Culinary.

Wanda Chairman Wang: Disney “Shouldn’t Have Entered China”.

Super Bowl to Come to Los Angeles in 2021.

What’s the Future of Hollywood: The Ghetto Film School and Watching Movies on Phones.

Alamo Drafthouse Teams With Legion M Crowdfunded Studio Startup.

How Bryan Singer’s Original ‘X-Men’ Helped Define Superhero Movies.

The Nice Guys is a reminder of the importance, and sheer pleasure, of great screenwriting.

Joss Whedon Reveals Clues About His New, Non-Marvel Script.

J.J. Abrams Is the Golden Child ‘Star Wars’ Deserved.

‘Halloween’: John Carpenter to Produce 11th Film, the ‘Scariest of Them All’.

Guillermo del Toro rants and raves about John Carpenter on Twitter.

Stanley Kubrick’s original treatment for ‘The Shining’.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather notebook to be published as an epic 720-page book.

Read the One-Sentence Pitch That’s Eli Roth’s Next Crypt TV Horror Short.

How a Chinese billionaire’s dream of making an underwater fantasy blockbuster turned into a legendary movie fiasco.

Graphic: The Periodic Table of Storytelling.

Five Signs Your Story Is Sexist – Against Men.

From the Hays Code to ‘Loving’: Hollywood’s History With Interracial Romance.

Hedgebrook Screenwriters Lab: 5 screenwriters. 2 mentors. 1 week.

If Horror Movies Were Remade for Children.

A Letter To My Students About To Graduate From Film School.

Why Fat Is the New Skinny (TV Bundle).

TV Ad Sales Revenues Have Been on the Rise, But Don’t Call It a Comeback.

Will the Amount of Original TV Content Ever Stop Growing?

Study: Video Streaming Is “Approaching Saturation”.

Why Roots Is the Single Most Important Piece of Scripted Television in Broadcast History.

Why Damon Lindelof Is Ending The Leftovers.

HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Troubled No More, Network Confirms Fall Debut.

James Corden’s ‘Carpool Karaoke’ to Be Sold as International Format.

TV Co-Productions Booming Between China and Asia Region.

Why TBS Thinks You’ll Watch Other People Play Video Games.

‘Mad Men’ Auction: Now’s Your Chance to Find Out What’s in Don Draper’s Wallet.

Age of Abundance: How the Content Explosion will Invert the Media Industry.

Netflix Teases Its Big Summer Acquisitions, and Its Even Bigger Deal With Disney.

Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Says Service Is Not “Anti-Theater,” Filling Gap Left Open By Major Studios.

Netflix, Amazon Prime Face Content, Investment Quotas in Europe.

Hulu Now Worth $25 Billion, up From $15 Billion, Analyst Says.

Amazon’s New Pilot Season Includes Shows With Kelsey Grammer, Matt Bomer, Lauren Ambrose.

ComiXology Launches Monthly “Netflix for Comics” Subscription.

Spotify Nearly Doubles Revenue in 2015.

Twitter Changes Tweet Rules to Exempt Media, Replies From 140-Character Limit.

Snapchat May Already Be Bigger than Twitter, Leaked Data Suggests.

Legal Fund for YouTube’s H3H3 Raises More Than $145,000 to Fight MattHoss Copyright Lawsuit.

How a teenager created Oculus Rift in his parents’ SoCal garage.

SoundCloud is now offering users free digital mastering.

The New York Times of the future is beginning to take shape.

How Forbes Exposed Peter Thiel as Billionaire Secretly Funding Gawker Lawsuits.

Why Gawker Versus Peter Thiel Isn’t Just About Gawker.

Big Publishing is Not as Big Anymore.

We’re Buying Paperbacks, Audiobooks and Coloring Books — but Not E-Books.

Paris Review (interview): John McPhee.

4 Writers Homes You Can Rent on Airbnb.

3rd & Fairfax (WGA podcast): Episode 23.

Scriptnotes: Episode 251.

Watch: Rachel Bloom’s live performance of “Sexy French Depression”.

Watch: Through The Eyes Of John Hughes.

Watch: ‘Star Wars’ Blooper Reel Uncovered.

Watch: Steven Spielberg- Moments of Humanity.

Watch: The Kubrick Zoom.

Watch: We’ve hit peak lens flare.

Watch: Kicking Against the Chick Flicks: Reclaiming the Hollywood RomCom.

Watch: T.J. Miller’s Alternate Stephen Tobolowsky Insults from ‘Silicon Valley’.

Watch: James Corden Gets Driven to Work by Chewbacca Mask Lady.

Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week: We have a new website! Check it out here. If you look at our course offerings, you will see that Tom Benedek and I have put together a comprehensive curriculum, grounded in our collective 60+ years of working in the movie and TV business, and nearly 30 years of teaching experience.

Our 1-week Core and Craft Classes offer an excellent way to learn screenwriting theory and writing tools and techniques, all road tested on the front lines of working for decades in Hollywood. You may select one course to focus on a specific area of need or interest, or combine classes to go deeper into your personal education.

Our Writing Workshops provide an excellent way to learn everything from story prep to first draft to rewriting both movie and TV scripts.

Our Private Programs allow you to work with Tom or myself in a private one-on-one arrangement which we can tailor to your specific writing needs and life schedule.

Screenwriting Master Class alumni have set up projects at major studios including Paramount, Warner Bros., and Legendary Pictures, TV networks including ABC, AMC, HBO, and USA, and signed with top agencies including CAA, The Gersh Agency, UTA, Verve, and WME, as well as managers including Circle of Confusion, Grandview, Lee Stobby, Madhouse Entertainment, Mosaic, and MXN Entertainment.

Upcoming course offerings include:

May 30: The Coen Brothers and the Craft of Storytelling
With Scott Myers

June 6: Prep: From Concept to Outline
With Tom Benedek

June 13: Pages II: Rewriting Your Script
With Scott Myers

June 20: Pages I: Writing Your First Draft
With Tom Benedek

And beginning June 27, I will begin teaching my entire 8 course screenwriting theory Core Curriculum, a holistic approach to Character Based Screenwriting covering Plot, Concept, Character, Style, Dialogue, Scene, Theme, and Time. It’s the only time I will be offering these classes in 2016 and you can take them all for a nearly 50% discount by enrolling in the Core Package.

As with all Screenwriting Master Class courses, you get the unique benefit of online education:

  • Access courses anytime and anywhere on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
  • Learn the craft amidst a supportive, lively, and fun online community from around the world.
  • Receive feedback from instructors who know the business and have a passion for teaching.

To learn more about the positive experience Screenwriting Master Class writers have, go here to read just a few of the hundreds of testimonials we have received during our 5+ years of existence.

So please stop by our new website and let us know what you think. While you’re there, be sure to sign up to receive a free tutorial download: TV PILOT CREATION BUILDING BLOCK #1 – FAMILY OF CHARACTERS. Look for new tutorials each month by getting on our email list.

As always, we look forward to the opportunity to work with you!

Video: Steven Spielberg, Harvard Commencement Address (5/26/2016)

May 28th, 2016 by

Interview (Written): Matthew Weiner / The Paris Review

May 28th, 2016 by

A Spring 2014: The Art of Screenwriting No. 4 interview in The Paris Review with writer-producer Matthew Weiner whose credits include “The Sopranos” (12 episodes), “Mad Men” (show creator, 73 episodes), and the 2013 movie Are You Here.

WEINER: You know, I got a subscription to The Paris Review when I was fourteen or fifteen years old. I read those interviews all the time. They were really helpful.

INTERVIEWER: How did they help you?

WEINER: There were people talking about writing like it was a job, first of all. And then saying “I don’t know” a lot. It’s helpful, when you’re a kid, to hear someone saying “I don’t know.” Also, they were asking questions that I would’ve asked, only I’d have been embarrassed to ask them. Like, What time of day do you write?

INTERVIEWER: What time of day do you write?

WEINER: I write at night on this job because I have to, except Sundays when I write all day and all night. Left to my own devices I will always end up writing late at night, because I’m a procrastinator. But if there’s a deadline, I will write round the clock.

Matthew Weiner on the set of “Mad Men”

WEINER: Four years after I’d started working in TV, I wrote the pilot for Mad Men. Three years after that, AMC wanted to make it. They asked me, What’s the next episode about? So I went looking through my notes. Now, imagine this. At this point it’s 2004—I’m writing for The Sopranos—and I go back to look at my notes from 1999 … but then I find this unfinished screenplay from 1995, and on the last page it says “Ossining, 1960.” Five years after I’d abandoned that other screenplay, I’d started writing it again without even knowing it. Don Draper was the adult version of the hero in the movie. And there were all of these things in the movie that became part of the show—Don’s past, his rural poverty, the story I was telling about the United States, about who these people were. And when I say “these people,” I mean people like Lee Iacocca and Sam Walton, even Bill Clinton to some degree. I realized that these people who ran the country were all from these very dark backgrounds, which they had hidden, and that the self-transforming American hero, the Jay Gatsby or the talented Mr. Ripley, still existed. I once worked at a job where there was a guy who said he went to Harvard. Someone finally said, You did not go to Harvard—that guy didn’t go to Harvard! And everyone was like, Who cares? That went into the show.

How could it not matter, when everyone was fighting so hard to get into Harvard and it was supposed to change your life? And you could just lie about it? Guess what—in America, we say, Good for him! Good for him, for figuring it out.

WEINER: Mad Men would have been some sort of crisp, soapy version of The West Wing if not for The Sopranos. Peggy would have been a climber. All the things that people thought were going to happen would have happened. Even though the pilot itself has a dark, strange quality, I didn’t know that that was what was good about it. I just wanted an excuse to exorcise my demons, to write a story about somebody who’s thirty-five years old, who has everything, and who is miserable.

The important thing, for me, was hearing the way David Chase indulged the subconscious. I learned not to question its communicative power. When you see somebody walking down a dark hallway, you know that they’re scared. We don’t have to explain that it’s scary. Why is this person walking down a dark hallway when he’s on his way to his kids’ school? Because he’s scared about someone telling him something bad about his kids. He’s worried about hearing something that will reflect badly on the way he’s raised his kids, which goes back to his own childhood. All that explanatory stuff, we never even talked about it. And I try not to talk about it here. Why did that happen? Why do you think? You can’t cheat and tell people what’s going on, because then they won’t enjoy it, even if they say they want it that way.

You know how sometimes I give you a note that says, Why don’t you do X? and you say, That’s the thing I wanted to do? That’s what I learned at The Sopranos. That’s the note I try to give to everyone who writes here. Take the risk of doing the extreme thing, the embarrassing thing, the thing that’s in your subconscious. Before The Sopranos, when someone said, Make it deeper, I didn’t know what they meant. Or really, I knew in my gut—but I also knew that it was the one thing that crossed my mind that I wasn’t going to do. To have Peggy come into Don’s office after he’s had the baby and ask for a raise and be rejected, and look at the baby presents, so we know she’s thinking about her own baby that she gave away, and then to have her tell Don, “You have everything and so much of it.” There is something embarrassing about that. A scene that was really just about her getting turned down for a raise became a scene about her whole life. That was the sort of thing I learned from working with David Chase.

Another thing that happened when I began writing on The Sopranos was I noticed that people were always telling me anecdotes. They would throw out a line of dialogue they’d heard somebody say or that someone had said to them—and that was the story. I did not know how important that shit was. There’s an episode where Beansie and Paulie are reminiscing and Tony dismissively says, “‘Remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation.” And it’s devastating. David Chase had witnessed that actual statement. Now I have a ton of stuff like that I’ve saved, things people have said to me that are concise and devastating and sum up some moment in their lives. When I’m talking to some woman on an airplane, and she says, I like being bad and going home and being good, that is very useful.

For the rest of the interview, go here.

Daily Dialogue — May 28, 2016

May 28th, 2016 by

Rabbi Marshak: When the truth is found. To be lies. [clears throat] And all the hope. Within you dies. Then what? [clears throat again] Grace Slick. Marty Balin. Paul Kanta. Jorma…
Danny Gopnik: Kaukonen.
Rabbi Marshak: …something. These are the members of the Airplane. Interesting. Here.

He gives Danny back his radio.

Rabbi Marshak: Be a good boy.

A Serious Man (2009), written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: Rabbi Marshak misquotes the Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love,” changing “all the joy within you dies” to “all the hope within you dies” – appropriate given Danny’s family situation. Furthermore, he then names three or four members of the band (comically stumbling over Jorma Kaukonen’s last name), as an apparent attribution to the quote, but the song was in fact written by Grace Slick’s brother-in-law, Darby Slick.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Such an awesome scene and classic Coen brothers. Surprise after surprise — a Rabbi impressed by the Jewish members of a rock band? — ending with the return of a cherished item: Danny’s Walkman.

How to Decide Which Story to Write

May 27th, 2016 by

Are you trying to figure out which of one or more stories to write next? Perhaps you’ve put your producer hat on and considered each story’s relative merits in terms of concept, genre, marketability, casting, international appeal, and so forth. Or you’re the type of writer who says, “Screw that, I’m just gonna write whatever the hell I want to write,” which is absolutely fine. In either case, however, you have several stories staring you in the face, each crying out, “Write me! Write me!”

And for the life of you, you just can’t figure out which one to write… right now.

If you’re in that boat, here is a method I have proposed to dozens of writers who have used it to steer themselves safely to shore in the sure knowledge they have discovered which story they really want to write.

Warning: This approach may strike you as rather New Age or pseudo-spiritiual. But hey, I have lived 29 years of my life in California, so it comes with the territory!

Let’s say you have three stories and you can’t decide between Story A, Story B, and Story C.

Take three pieces of paper. On one, spend a couple of minutes and jot down anything that comes to your mind about Story A: images, dialogue, character stuff, whatever bubbles up into your consciousness. Do the same thing with Story B on another piece of paper. Also with Story C.

Next go to a room where you can turn off electronics, shut the door, and have some quiet time. Sit down and do whatever you can do to get into a mindfulness state (deep breathing, concentration, relaxation).

Pick up the paper for Story A and just sit with it for 5 minutes. Track what you are feeling. Same thing with Story B. 5 minutes. Story C. 5 more minutes. What are you feeling about each?

What you’re going for is to identify which story you have the most connection to / emotional resonance with at this time.

As I say, dozens of writers have tried this and almost every time, I hear back from them with a response like this: “It just became really clear I need to write this one.” In fact, I gave this advice to a writer just yesterday. She tried it. It worked.

Look, the chances of getting from FADE IN to FADE OUT, let alone creating something which becomes a compelling read depends in large part on your emotional connection to the story in question. It’s your passion for the story which gets infused in the process that can result in words magically lifting off the page and into the imagination of a reader’s mind.

So if you have two, three, or more stories, and you just can’t decide which one you really want to write, embrace your inner mystical self. Get quiet. Sit with your stories. And trust the one you’re supposed to write will reach out to you and let you know via your feelings that, “This is the one.”

How do you decide which story to write? Let’s hear your thoughts on the matter, all suggestions wanted!

Interview: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012 Black List)

May 27th, 2016 by

One of the best ways to learn the craft is read what professional screenwriters have to say about it. To that end for the next few weeks, I will be featuring interviews I have conducted with Black List screenwriters.

Today: Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber have written scripts that have made the Black List a remarkable 5 times, broke in with the hit indie film (500) Days of Summer, and have become go-to guys for adapting novels having written screenplays for The Spectacular Now and The Fault in Our Stars, and writing high profile projects Where‘d You Go, Bernadette, Rules of Civility, among several others.

Michael H. Weber (left), Scott Neustadter (right)

Here are links to the six installments of my March 2013 interview with Michael and Scott:

Part 1: “The false assumption I was under – that I think a lot of aspiring writers are under – is that most scripts in Hollywood are extremely good. Nothing like a few years reading unsolicited material to debunk that idea.”

Part 2: “When the guy doesn’t tell the girl how he feels, it’s because he’s scared. It’s a tool Scott and I have all the time, that probably more than any other tool in our toolbox, is we take a step back, and we ask the question, ‘What would really happen?’”

Part 3: “Again it goes back to the first time Scott and I met and liking the same movies. It wasn’t just great romantic comedies but I loved the work of John Hughes and they’re the movies I grew up on. They felt real to me.”

Part 4: “Happy endings aren’t real. Even the happiest ending is only happy because the story stopped there. But hopeful endings are a beautiful thing. That’s what I always aspire to.”

Part 5: “I would say – despite always having a proper outline before starting to write – I almost always find snags along the way that require us to step back and re-think things. Definitely don’t expect the writing to be surprise-free just because you think you have the road map perfected before you start.”

Part 6: “Just write every day, and then write some more. I try to even be competitive about it. What I mean is, I know that when I’m not writing, someone else is.”

Interview: The Fault in Our Stars.

Scott and Michael are repped by CAA and Kaplan/Perrone.

You may follow Scott and Michael on Twitter: Scott (@iamthepuma), Michael (@thisisweber).

“6 Screenwriting Lessons from Nia Vardalos”

May 27th, 2016 by

An LA Screenwriter post about a recent appearance by actor-screenwriter Nia Vardalos, best known for the 2002 movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding which grossed over $368M in worldwide box office revenues. Not bad for a movie with a reported production budget of $5M. Nia has gone on to write and act in other projects as well as carve out a niche as a ‘script doctor’, so when she offers advice, as she did this past weekend, it’s a good idea to pay attention. Here are two items which caught my attention:

3. Don’t wait for an agent or manager — make things happen for yourself.

When Nia got to LA, her agent told her that she wasn’t pretty enough to be a lead and wasn’t fat enough to be a character actress. When asked, Nia told her agent she was Greek, and the agent said, “Well that’s the problem.” Sadly, Hollywood still has this perception that only what’s been done before can be done again. That’s why Asian actors can’t be leads and Greek women can’t star in their own movies — it’s all bullshit.

So Nia decided to write herself a role. She didn’t get anywhere sending her script to studios, so she started doing it as a one-woman show. The show was selling out, so she put a small-but-pricey $500 ad in the LA Times, hoping it would draw someone — anyone — who could help her turn this show into a film. As fortune would have it, Rita Wilson saw the tiny little ad and came. The next night, she sent her husband Tom Hanks to the show. The day after that, Nia’s phone rang, and it was Tom Hanks. That was the genesis of My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

This is very much in the Spirit of the Spec, a series of posts I wrote several years ago:

You get an idea

You act on your idea

You write your story

You put it out there

Nia Vardalos

5. “Today is the day…”

At Second City, Nia said, they always used to say, “Today is the day…” That’s the point that stories start from. Today is the day that I ask the girl out. Today is the day my daughter was kidnapped. Today is the day I face my greatest fear. Whatever the situation, your catalyst should be a vital day in the life of your main character. Then, for Nia, she writes from a point of motivation — what does the character want? That’s what drives the story forward. In her stories, the answer to that question is usually happiness.

This hearkens back to one of the questions I always ask when doing story prep on a Protagonist character: Why does this story have to happen to this character at this time?

Not that character. Or some other character. This character. Not any story. This story. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Today. There is a specificity about why and how a Protagonist goes on the adventure they do, what I call their Narrative Imperative. The Call To Adventure is about leaving the Old World and going on a journey into a New World. And that Call is happening right now. Put the Protagonist at a pivotal point in their life and you’ve got the start of a dramatic story.

For the rest of the article on Nia’s advice, go here.

Twitter: @NiaVardalos.

Interviews (Video): Alfred Hitchcock

May 27th, 2016 by

I stumbled upon several interview with famed director Alfred Hitchcock and thought I’d aggregate them here:

If you discover any other interviews with Hitchcock online, please post URLs in comments.

The Business of Screenwriting: Selling Scripts and Shooting Scripts

May 27th, 2016 by

There are broad stages in the life of a screenplay: There is the selling script and the shooting script.

A selling script can be a beautiful thing to behold, every word precise, the balance of black ink to white space pleasing to the eye, the flow of dialogue to action crafted just so, all a reflection of a screenwriter’s incessant drive to create an entertaining story that makes for a good read. Something like this:

               Evelyn is trembling.

                         I'll tell you the truth...

               Gittes smiles.

                         That's good. Now what's her name?


                         Katherine?... Katherine who?

                         She's my daughter.

               Gittes stares at her. He's been charged with anger and when 
               Evelyn says this it explodes. He hits her full in the face. 
               Evelyn stares back at him. The blow has forced tears from 
               her eyes, but she makes no move, not even to defend herself.

                         I said the truth!

                         She's my sister.

               Gittes slaps her again.

                         She's my daughter.

               Gittes slaps her again.

                         My sister.

               He hits her again.

                         My daughter, my sister.

               He belts her finally, knocking her into a cheap Chinese vase 
               which shatters and she collapses on the sofa, sobbing.

                         I said I want the truth.

                              (almost screaming it)
                         She's my sister and my daughter!

Then there is the shooting script which can look like this:

Scene numbers. Omitted scenes. Multiple colored pages. Shit crossed out. Which can lead to this:

Honestly that can be a thing of beauty, too, because it means your movie is getting produced. But once it reaches this stage, your beautiful words can be reduced by production necessities to one big to-do list.

So the first takeaway is this: As you read scripts, which is something you should be doing, you will inevitably run across shooting scripts (also known as production drafts). Do not look to them for style tips. At that stage, style points don’t count.

The other takeaway is this. You may think of a selling script as being a spec script. Certainly that is true, you write a spec with the hopes of selling it. Therefore you put in endless hours to ensure it is a great read, every page, every line fine tuned.

But let’s say you do, in fact, sell that script. Your selling does not end there. In fact, every draft of the script you may write up to the point it goes into production is in effect a selling script.

Even after a studio, financier or production company has bought it? Yes.


Because you still have to do the following:

* Attract a director.

* Attract actors.

* Sometimes attract financing.

* Excite everyone who reads the script.

Your script, no matter how much you revise it, should continue to be as entertaining as possible all the way along to sustain people’s passion for it.

So as you go about fixing story issues raised by the Powers That Be such as trimming scenes to fit budgetary considerations, retooling characters to match with possible casting, shifting scenes to fit with potential selected locations, always remember: You are writing a selling script.

Continue to write pages that sell your cinematic dream.

The Business of Screenwriting is a weekly series of GITS posts based upon my experiences as a complete Hollywood outsider who sold a spec script for a lot of money, parlayed that into a screenwriting career during which time I’ve made some good choices, some okay decisions, and some really stupid ones. Hopefully you’ll be the wiser for what you learn here.

[Originally posted July 4, 2013]

Daily Dialogue — May 27, 2016

May 27th, 2016 by

“Where is pancakes house?”

Fargo (1996), written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: The Coen Brothers.

Trivia: Gaear Grimsrud has 18 lines of dialogue in the entire movie and never says more than a complete sentence at one time. By comparison, Carl Showalter has over 150 lines of dialogue.

Dialogue On Dialogue: I picked this because the Coens insisted that Peter Stormare, the actor who played Gaear Grimsrud, say “pancakes house,” not “pancake house” which is the actual name of the restaurant. Yes, the Coens are that precise when it comes to their attention to detail.