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genre or die series

Top 10 Essential Creative Reminders From Chadwick Boseman

Losing Chadwick Boseman Last week the creative world was rocked by the unexpected passing of Chadwick Boseman due to colon cancer. Known best internationally for his powerhouse performance in Black Panther (2018), Chadwick has an impressive CV. Starting out in bit parts in television, Chadwick rose through the acting ranks very quickly once he’d achieved his breakthrough role in 2013 in the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42. He continued to portray historical figures, starring in Get on Up (2014) as singer James Brown and Marshall (2017) as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Tributes have poured in for Chadwick all week. It’s clear to see how much… Read More »Top 10 Essential Creative Reminders From Chadwick Boseman

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15 Hard Truths About Screenwriting

Screenwriting: the talent of making words into moving pictures that takes from our mundane lives and into a whole other world! But what do the masters say about it? Here, the writing and filmmaking masters (and mistresses!) give us their tips: 1) “Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them effects, but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.” — Steven Spielberg Spielberg has a point here. Effects are dated so fast that they are yesterday’s mouldy cheese by the time they are on the big screen. What we remember isn’t the flashy effects but the… Read More »15 Hard Truths About Screenwriting

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21 Famous Filmmakers’ Genre Secrets

 Sign up for the B2W Mailing List, HERE! Genre gets a bad rap when it comes to movies and television, but these are the facts: writing good genre is REALLY DIFFICULT. Every bit as difficult as writing good drama! Check out the famous filmmakers’ quotes below and see how many touch on the same things, including: Why various genres appeal to certain audiences How mixing up different ideas, threads, characters, plots can really help Why genre does not automatically mean “dumb” How zeitgeists can really affect the popularity of certain genres Why you need to know what goes into various… Read More »21 Famous Filmmakers’ Genre Secrets

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8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Thriller Screenplay DEAD

So I was interviewed by the awesome Joanna Penn’s podcast this week. Make sure you check out her fantastic site The Creative Penn and follow her as @thecreativepenn on Twitter, because she does for authors what B2W does for screenwriters in demystifying the process of getting out there and doing it! The podcast will be out soon – I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, Joanna and I talked a little about genre and Thriller, plus Bang2writers frequently ask me for my “DON’Ts” on writing this difficult and challenging genre. So without further ado, here’s my top 8 tips on how… Read More »8 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Thriller Screenplay DEAD

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Top 6 Reversals In Movies

FYI – SPOILERS! I’ve said only recently I don’t read enough reversals in spec screenplays, in ANY genre. I thought it time to offer up some examples of those I’ve watched that I felt were effective. Before we get going however, here is the definition of ‘reversals’ I am using for the purposes of this post … “A place in the plot where a character achieves the opposite of his aim, resulting in a change from good fortune to bad fortune.” You may also want to read THIS POST, which contains a definition of what screenplay reversals are. There’s also a great… Read More »Top 6 Reversals In Movies

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5 Reasons I Got Involved In ASSASSIN

  1. It has not one, but TWO savvy female characters … As regular Bang2writers know, my passion is for female characters who have agency of their own and pull their weight in the narrative. Unlike many gangster films where females are purely there for decoration, Chloe and Alex both contribute to the story and are absolutely essential to the plot beats. As writer/director JK Amalou says, “The female characters play a bigger part in our story than is usual in films of this type.” 2. … But there are no patronising gender politics. I obviously read a lot of… Read More »5 Reasons I Got Involved In ASSASSIN

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Breaking Into Theatre By Carla Grauls

Many thanks to Bang2writer Carla for sharing her insights on breaking into theatre – some really good advice here. Enjoy! The first play I wrote was a dark comedy except that it wasn’t a comedy. It was just dark. After that first play written at university, I have been involved in developing a new play with a theatre, a dark comedy. This time I have taken steps to ensure it is funny…not just disturbing. My play Occupied will be previewed at Theatre 503 in July this year as part of Labfest: a season of new writing. I was invited to… Read More »Breaking Into Theatre By Carla Grauls

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Genre or Die, Pt 8: Art Film – More Than Meets The Eye?

SPOILERS: Memento, Dust Devil, Angel HeartOkay, Art Film isn’t *strictly* a genre on its own. But it’s a “type” of film and though Art Film can incorporate all types of genre (though it’s often horror/thriller, but not always), it’s something scribes are very often interested in. Not only did Elinor ask for Art Film to be looked at as part of Genre or Die, such films as Pi, Lost Highway, Hellraiser and Existenz [amongst others] have come up for discussion on this blog more than once. But what is Art Film? I don’t get a lot of art scripts, has… Read More »Genre or Die, Pt 8: Art Film – More Than Meets The Eye?

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Genre or Die, Pt 7 (2 of 2): Gangster/Crime Specs

I’ve always been interested in crime and read lots on the subject: I’ll never forget my year 9 English Teacher Mrs. Robins’ face when I gave in a discursive essay – with gory photocopied pictures, no Google images then! – on serial killers. But hey, I got an A. So it’s kind of inevitable then that I LOVE gangster films. And though gangster films have “peak times” when everybody’s doing ’em, they never *really* go away. Maybe less so for me, since one genre Bang2write gets A LOT is gangster. You may remember I’ve already posted about Marc Pye’s Act… Read More »Genre or Die, Pt 7 (2 of 2): Gangster/Crime Specs

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Genre or Die, Pt6 (1 of 2): Gangster

The lovely Anya asked about Gangster movies, so I thought now might be the time to catch up with writer, director and producer JK Amalou and ask him about his first feature, a gangster film called Hard Men. I’ll follow this up with my own thoughts on Gangster movies. Enjoy! Oh – and while we’re on the subject, DON’T search “Hard Men” on Google Images. Good. Lord. ; )——————————————————————— What’s the story behind HARD MEN? What was your inspiration for it? HARD MEN was borne out of failure actually. I’d been working on another film. Twice we had a start… Read More »Genre or Die, Pt6 (1 of 2): Gangster

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Genre or Die, Pt 5: Science Fiction

SPOILERS: Minority Report & Impostor in particular———————————————————-Science Fiction, Sci-Fi, SF. Take your pick. For safety’s sake after last time I’m going for SF. Also it takes less time to type and I’m a lazy moo. SF appears to me to be the one genre that needs another to really “work”: think about it. When was the last time you saw a movie that was *just* set in the future or had futuristic elements? Alien – SF Horror. Minority Report – SF Thriller. Galaxy Quest – SF Comedy, Running Man – SF Action, etc etc. It seems (to me anyway) that… Read More »Genre or Die, Pt 5: Science Fiction

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Genre or Die, Pt 4: Comedy

SPOILERS————————————-Comedy is not something I really think about in my own work; I don’t think of myself as a funny or witty person and comedy is not I think one of my scripts’ strong points. Yet weirdly my scripts are often praised as being funny, if not as a whole (I tend to avoid the whole comic premise), then in part – usually lines of dialogue or a character’s outlook, rarely a scenario. And that’s what really makes and defines a comedy spec first and foremost in my opinion – a scenario. Something original, funny from the first look. You… Read More »Genre or Die, Pt 4: Comedy

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