All About Reviews Movie reviews: you can’t move for them online. So why on earth would I write fifty of the damn things? That’s right! FIFTY! It all started when I lost any motivation to write. I fell into a downward spiral of “I’m not a good writer… I wasn’t meant to write… it’s not for me… I’ll NEVER succeed in this industry”… I guess many of you have gone down that road, too. But how do we get out of those non-supportive thoughts?? We take ACTION. For me, I decided it was time to see how others did what… Read More »5 Lessons From 50 Movie Reviews In 50 Days
All About Brit Marling I’ll confess I hadn’t heard of Brit Marling before last weekend. Like a good portion of blogging writers, the first I knew of her was her opinion piece in the NY Times, ‘I Don’t Want To Be the Strong Female Lead’. It’s fair to say this article really lit up social media. Since B2W is known for its own commentary on female characterisation, I thought I’d throw my own thoughts out on it. But first, credit where it’s due. Brit Marling is an American actress and screenwriter. She’s starred in films such as Sound of My Voice (2011), Another… Read More »Brit Marling Is Wrong On ‘Strong Female Characters’. Here’s Why
All About Dan Harmon Dan Harmon is an American writer, producer, and actor. Harmon created and produced the NBC sitcom Community; he also co-created the animated series Rick and Morty. He’s also an industry mover and shaker, having co-founded the alternative television network and website Channel 101. In other words, he’s not only a creative, but a guy who knows the whole caboodle! Harmon is also the creator of a structural visual representation he calls ‘The Story Circle’. One of the primary remits of B2W is writing craft, especially structure, so I thought I’d put it under the microscope like… Read More »Spotlight On Structure: The Story Circle by Dan Harmon
On ‘Woke Culture’ Hardly a week goes by without some (white) guy lamenting some version of the ‘death of storytelling’. Recently it was film director Todd Phillips’ turn, saying ‘Woke Culture’ is Killing Comedy Movies. Another director, Adam Hertz also chimed in on this saying American Pie wouldn’t get made today. (His position was slightly more nuanced than Phillips’ however, ultimately conceding that’s ‘probably a good thing’.) This is the cruncher though: TIMES CHANGE. This is how the industry works. It is not ‘woke’, it’s just good business sense. What is popular in one decade, is not in another. What’s more, audiences are becoming… Read More »No, Woke Culture Is NOT ‘The Death Of Storytelling’
All About John August I had the pleasure of talking with ALADDIN, BIG FISH, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, and CHARLIE’S ANGELS screenwriter John August recently. John is not only an amazing and successful screenwriter, he is also generous in terms of the knowledge that he gives away. His in-depth podcast Scriptnotes (hosted with CHERNOBYL writer Craig Mazin) has more than 400 episodes and his blog (which can be found at www.JohnAugust.com) has more than 1500 posts. Because he has already given away so much instruction in screenwriting, it was hard to find things to ask him that he hasn’t… Read More »John August: ‘The Greatest Barrier To Writing Is Just Starting”
All About Eric Eric Heisserer has a screenwriting resumé most Bang2writers would kill for. From franchises through to adaptations and indie dramas, Eric has been at every level of the movie coal-face it seems. Eric’s also really approachable and offers great insights on the craft. I interviewed him for my non-fiction Drama Screenplays book because he wrote and directed one of my favourite dramas Hours, starring the late Paul Walker. He’s also shared some excellent pointers on female characters in the past for B2W, too. So I thought I’d check back in with Eric in 2019 and see what other juicy… Read More »Eric Heisserer: ‘Beware The Paper Tiger That Prevents You Writing’
Casting Trouble Casting controversy … It seems hardly a month goes by without some! The same-old arguments and responses get wheeled out every time. Sometimes, writers may have trouble separating their own feelings about various casting troubles from the realities of the industry … Plus other times, the realities of industry actively entrench those same-old problems. Now what?? Well, here’s a round-up of the consistent casting mistakes, misgivings and confusions writers have when diverse characters and the actors who play them intersect. Enjoy! 1) “It should be the ‘best actor for the job’ You’re right, it absolutely should – so… Read More »7 Casting Debates That Need To Die The Death
Jurassic Snark Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came out last week to coincide with 25 years of the franchise. Needless to say, many official critics gave the new instalment a kicking, plus there was the inevitable cries on social media about it ‘not being as good’ as the original. But love or hate the new Jurassic Worlds, there’s plenty for us to learn as writers from the franchise. You ready for another instalment of Movie Lessons For Writers? OBVIOUSLY there will be *some* spoilers for the franchise as a whole, but only mild ones. So let’s go … 1) Entertainment first, ALWAYS… Read More »25 Epic Years of JURASSIC PARK: What Can Writers Learn?
It’s Cultural Diversity Day! It’s May 21, which means we are celebrating cultural diversity today, as set up by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). But what does the term culture mean? Well, that can depend on who is using the term, but one commonly-used definition is: “[Culture] is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by [a human] as a member of society.” In other words, culture is a people’s ‘way of life’ meaning HOW they do things in their group. This group may be… Read More »Happy Cultural Diversity Day. Will You Pledge?
Right now, diversity is the name of the game in storytelling, so it’s no accident a movie like THE SHAPE OF WATER won ‘Best Picture’ at The Oscars last week. (Whilst Jordan Peele’s GET OUT was technically more ‘deserving’ of the so-called diverse tag, it is still a genre movie … Whereas historically, The Oscars have always been more appreciative of drama movies, even ones with sci fi elements like TSOW). I won’t pretend THE SHAPE OF WATER was my favourite movie of the year because it wasn’t, but there’s still plenty for writers to learn here. Let’s go: 1)… Read More »6 Important Writing Reminders From THE SHAPE OF WATER
The Patron Saint Of Writers That’s right, Rocky Balboa is the patron saint of writers … and I’m gonna illustrate why. But first, here’s a little story for you. Once there was a scrappy little girl, who was all knees and elbows, who wanted to be a writer. The first time she realised this, she was about 6 years old. Her mother had a big bookcase on the landing, filled with grown up books. The little girl’s Mum had weird reading taste, so some of the covers were mad-scary, but that didn’t stop the girl from dreaming about one day… Read More »10 Rocky Quotes To Inspire You As A Writer
WARNING: Spoilers In my occasional Movie Lessons For Writers series, I put a recent or classic movie under the microscope and draw attention to what writers can learn, for good or ill. Since IT has been lighting up screens all over the world – surpassing the hallowed £500m mark, no less! – then whether we loved or hated it (or loved TO hate it), we can agree this remake has *something* to impart. What’s Working Obviously, plenty is. Rightly or wrongly, movies this popular will always have their detractors, but overall we can discern that the filmmakers definitely got something… Read More »How IT Demonstrates The Enlightening Power Of Subtext