Time for the 248th installment of Saturday Hot Links, your week’s essential reading about movies, TV, streaming, Hollywood, and other things of writerly interest.
Comic-Con 2016: Networks Boost Presence as Film Studios Take a Back Seat.
Comic-Con 2016: Is Your Favorite TV Show Heading to San Diego.
Comic-Con 2016: Highlights (and Lowlights) From Thursday.
Comic-Con 2016: Oliver Stone Calls Pokemon Go a ‘New Level of Invasion’.
Comic-Con 2016: What to Expect From 11 Big TV Panels.
Comic-Con 2016: Highlights (and Lowlights) From Friday.
Comic-Con 2016: Conversations with Joss Whedon.
Highlighting Can’t Miss Comic-Con Panels.
The Best of Comic-Con: The Coolest and Most Important Moments in Hall H History.
Box Office Analysis: Why the ‘Ghostbusters’ Reboot May Haunt Sony.
Why Hollywood Need To Question Their Faith In Remakes.
The Great Schism: When Indie Movies and Hollywood Blockbusters Stop Being the Same Thing.
TV Showrunners Could Be Hollywood’s Best Hope Of Saving The Movies.
ILM Exec Teases Franchise Future Of Indiana Jones.
‘Pokemon’ Movie Rights Land at Legendary.
Female-Led Films Are Finally Getting Bigger Budgets, But Don’t Thank Hollywood For That.
‘Star Wars,’ ‘Frozen,’ Disney Princess Toys Boost Hasbro’s Quarterly Earnings.
Mattel Reports ‘Ghostbusters’ Toy Sales Have ‘Exceeded Expectations’.
Why Marvel Succeeds Where Other Blockbuster Franchises Have Failed.
How New Line Cinema Is Making a Killing in Horror.
The Dark, Heights and Spiders: 10 Horror Films That Exploit Moviegoers’ Biggest Fears.
5 Rules From James Wan For Making a Successful Horror Movie in 2016.
Weinstein Co.’s Movie Shifts Raise Questions Over Money Woes.
Hollywood & 9/11: An Uneasy Relationship.
Behind Hollywood’s Closed Doors, A-List Stars Are Playing Dungeons & Dragons.
Movie Ticket Prices Hit Record High.
Why Luxury Theater Chain Cinépolis Is Buying Up Movie Houses All Across the U.S.
Inside the Saga, Secrets and Sale of CAA (Exclusive Book Excerpt).
Inside the world of fan filmmaking, where lovers of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’ play.
The Greatest One-Location Movies of All-Time.
Matt Damon Apparently Only Has Around 25 Lines Of Dialogue In ‘Jason Bourne’.
20 Great Movies With Very Little Dialogue.
How an angry national mood is reflected in pop culture.
A post-mortem on the horrible Ghostbusters outrage of 2016.
Why Good Storytellers Are Happier in Life and in Love.
The Six Main Arcs in Storytelling, as Identified by an A.I.
What Types of Low-Budget Films Break Out.
The Broad Green Layoffs: Why Good Movies Aren’t Enough to Avoid The Startup Curse.
Hollywood Flashback: Dustin Hoffman Remembers When Michael Ovitz Saved ‘Tootsie’.
Rian Johnson Names the Six Classic Films That Inspired the Tone of ‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’.
Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Mark Boal Sues U.S. Government Over Bowe Bergdahl Interviews.
Brad Bird On Why “Video Games Are A Bad influence For Storytelling”.
‘The Iron Giant’: Brad Bird’s Anti-Gun Violence Movie Gains Poignant Power in New Documentary.
Ava DuVernay Documentary to Open New York Film Festival This Fall.
Ava DuVernay is Basically Owning 2016.
The long road to Amazon’s ‘Carnival Row’ (2005 Black List) written by Travis Beacham.
Aliens at 30: In praise of James Cameron’s feminist masterpiece.
“Science fiction cyber-war is here”: Alex Gibney on “Zero Days” and Stuxnet, the secret weapon that got away.
‘The Shawshank Redemption’: Iconic Tree From The 1994 Classic Falls.
Francis Ford Coppola Revamps Zoetrope.com To Seek New Voices.
10 Great Movies Made From Black List Scripts.
Reddit AMA: Eric Heisserer (Lights Out).
Reddit AMA: Werner Herzog.
The Black List Interview: Robert Rue.
How We Save Movies: 25 ways the Academy Film Archive has made an impact in the past 25 years.
This Incredible Movie Theater Will Make You Want To Visit South Korea.
Best Smartphone Filmmaking Gear 2016.
15 Camera Shots Every Movie Fan Should Know.
RIP analog video: Last VCR maker will stop production.
Fascinating Behind-the-Scenes Film Books.
Film Festivals: A Guide to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The 45-year-old book that explains TV today.
Peak TV: Summer Viewing Spikes as Broadcast, Cable, SVOD Battle for Attention.
Eight Female Writers Announced as Finalists for Women in Film-The Black List TV Lab.
Lorne Michaels’ Above Average Digital Comedy Studio Raises $15 Million from Turner, Advance.
Dish Suffers Worst Quarterly Subscriber Loss Ever.
Netflix Only Adds 1.7 Million Subscribers In Q2, Far Fewer Than Expected.
Netflix Launches Flixtape, a Mixtape Feature to Curate TV Show and Movie Playlists.
Netflix Users Spend 18 Minutes Picking Something to Watch.
What Netflix Can Learn from The Video Store Experience.
Twitter Is Making It Easier to Request a Verified Account.
The Pokémon Go Effect: Nintendo Is Now Worth $9 Billion More.
Pokemon Go Bus Tours and Personal Drivers Pop Up on Craigslist.
Pandora Wants to Add More Podcasts to Grow Listening Hours.
The Beatles Releasing ‘Hollywood Bowl’ Live Album on CD for First Time Ever.
Audio: Why people in old movies talk weird.
Scriptnotes: Episode 259.
Watch: 30 Moments from 30 Kurosawa Movies.
Watch: Rod Serling 1963 interview.
Watch: How Alfred Hitchcock Controls the Audience | Rear Window Dissection.
Watch: How Film Scores Play with Our Brains.
Watch: Why Are Video Game Movies So Terrible.
Watch: Silence In The Silence Of The Lambs.
Watch: Color Theory.
Watch: Pixar Use of Color.
Watch: Blue Screen 1980.
Watch: 105 of Cinema’s Most Beautiful Close-Ups.
Watch: Studio Ghibli Composer, Joe Hisaishi, Conducts 2 Hour Concert of Their Greatest Film Scores.
Finally Ken Levine: R.I.P. Garry Marshall.
Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week
In a screenplay, characters exist for a reason. Unlike a novel, a writer doesn’t have unlimited time to introduce characters willy nilly, rather the limitations of a script’s length compels us to handle characters with one eye always on how they connect to the plot. Moreover almost all movies feature a Protagonist who goes through some sort of metamorphosis. As a result, it’s almost certain all of the primary and even secondary characters in a story tie into and support the Protagonist’s transformation.
All of this translates into a 3rd essential screenwriting principle I teach in the Core curriculum:
Character = Function
This may sound reductionist. It is precisely the opposite. Much like an actor asks, “What’s my motivation,” digging down into the core of their character’s persona, so, too, do we as screenwriters delve into characters to determine what their core essence is and how that plays out in terms of their respective narrative functions. Once we make those discoveries, we can shape our characters in unlimited ways, all the while playing to how they function in relation to the narrative.
That is the starting point of Core III: Character, a 1-week online class I will be teaching starting on Monday, July 25. In this course, you will learn about:
* Five primary character archetypes: Protagonist, Nemesis, Attractor, Mentor, Trickster
* Protagonist Metamorphosis Arc
* Nemesis as opposition and ‘shadow’
* Attractor as the character most connected to a Protagonist’s emotional development
* Mentor as the character most connected to a Protagonist’s intellectual development
* Trickster as the character who tests the Protagonist’s will
* Different Protagonist paradigms
* Working with archetypes and switching Protagonists
And much more.
The course consists of four components:
- Lectures: There are six lectures written by me, each posting Monday through Saturday.
- Writing Exercises: These optional exercises offer you the opportunity to workshop one of your own loglines and receive feedback from class members.
- Teleconference: We will have a Skype teleconference call to discuss course material, a great opportunity to interface directly with me and other writers in the course.
- Forums: The online course site has message boards where you may post questions / comments, almost always a place where remarkable conversations and analysis takes place.
We will analyze a lot of movies including The Wizard of Oz, The Apartment, The Silence of the Lambs, Slumdog Millionaire, Citizen Kane, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Life Is Beautiful, and many more.
For those of you who have not taken an online class, the interface is extremely easy. Plus online classes can be an amazing experience. Most of the activities you can do on your own time — download and read lectures, review and respond to forum discussions, upload loglines and track comments. In addition, I’ve been teaching online for over a decade and it never ceases to amaze me how much of a community emerges in such an environment.
Core III: Character is one of eight classes in the Core curriculum. Here is the schedule for all of them this summer and fall, the only time I will be offering these courses in 2016:
CORE I: PLOT – A one-week class which begins with the principle Plot = Structure and explores the inner workings of the Screenplay Universe: Plotline and Themeline. Start date: June 27.
CORE II: CONCEPT – A one-week class which begins with the principle Concept = Hook and examines multiple strategies to generate, develop and assess story ideas. Start date: July 11.
CORE III: CHARACTER – A one-week class which begins with the principle Character = Function and delves into archetypes: Protagonist, Nemesis, Attractor, Mentor, and Trickster. Start date: July 25.
CORE IV: STYLE – A one-week class which begins with the principle Style = Voice and surfaces keys to developing a distinctive writer’s personality on the page. Start date: August 22.
CORE V: DIALOGUE – A one-week class which begins with the principle Dialogue = Purpose and probes a variety of ways to write effective, entertaining dialogue. Start date: September 19.
CORE VI: SCENE – A one-week class which begins with the principle Scene = Point and provides six essential questions to ask when crafting and writing any scene. Start date: October 3.
CORE VII: THEME – A one-week class which begins with the principle Theme = Meaning and gives writers a concrete take on theme which can elevate the depth of any story. Start date: November 14.
CORE VIII: TIME – A one-week class which begins with the principle Time = Present and studies Present, Present-Past, Present-Future and time management in writing. Start date: December 12.
Choose one or two depending upon your interests and needs. Or if you’re really serious and want to save some coin (nearly 50% off), consider The Core Package which gives you immediate access to the content for all eight Core classes which you can go through at your own pace, as well as the option of taking each 1-week online course.
“Joining Scott’s class is one of the best decisions anyone could make when deciding to embark on the journey of writing a screenplay. His passion for teaching and screenwriting could not be more inspirational. I couldn’t wish for a better teacher and mentor!” — Theodora von Auersperg
“Your unique lectures helped me think about character in new ways, and will inevitably change the way I approach new ideas and outlines. And I’m blown away and impressed at the level of personal feedback/communication from you. I don’t know how you do it– androids couldn’t manage their time more efficiently than you.” — Bob Corsi
I have spent years studying Carl Jung, who was a huge influence on Joseph Campbell, and as the Hero’s Journey may act as a paradigm for narrative generally, I am convinced there is a similar universality in movies relative to these five character archetypes. Moreover these archetypes are a key to character-based screenwriting, providing writers a non-formulaic way to engage the story-crafting process.
For information on Core III: Character, which begins Monday, July 25, go here.
For The Core Package, go here.
I look forward to the opportunity to work with you!