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Movie Lessons For Writers

How IT Demonstrates The Enlightening Power Of Subtext

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

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2 Important Lessons LIFE (2017) Can Teach Screenwriters

Mild Spoilers So I watched LIFE recently. I love a good space movie, not to mention a creature feature, so creature features in space tick all the boxes for me. Add Jake Gyllenhal *and* Ryan Reynolds?? BINGO. So, here’s my thoughts on this movie and what it can teach screenwriters in the way of a script report. Ready? LET’S GO: What’s Working The screenwriting/directing team behind this movie also brought us Deadpool and Safe House, so needless to say we’re in pretty safe (arf) hands here. These guys know their space movies, especially Alien and we’re treated to some excellent gore… Read More »2 Important Lessons LIFE (2017) Can Teach Screenwriters

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How To Write A Screenplay Bomb: Transformers The Last Knight

Look, I’m pretty easily pleased … As long as there’s some explosions, some robots kicking the shit out of one another, some running, some comedy, a bloke with his shirt off and a budget Angelina Jolie slinking about the joint, then it’s usually a thumbs up from me. But then I watched Transformers: The Last Knight at the weekend. It actually had ALL of the above – okay Marky Mark didn’t get his shirt all the way off (boo!) – but near enough. (Please note: before you judge me, I had some Tesco Odeon vouchers that needed using up. Okay??). And… Read More »How To Write A Screenplay Bomb: Transformers The Last Knight

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How WONDER WOMAN Proves The Power Of Untold Stories

No Real Spoilers So the news and reviews and first weekend figures are in: Wonder Woman is an epic box office SMASH! This is great news not only for female lead characters, but female directors as well. Patty Jenkins has done a HUGE turn to female filmmakers everywhere. Whilst it’s obviously completely and utterly wrong that ONE film had so much to prove like this, that’s a conversation for another time. For now, I for one am delighted that Jenkins et al has pulled this off, against the odds. BRAVO! So now I’m going to take a look at the… Read More »How WONDER WOMAN Proves The Power Of Untold Stories

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An Important Diversity Reminder From KING ARTHUR LEGEND OF THE SWORD

No Real Spoilers Following the run away success of my previous article, The Powerful Lesson ALIEN COVENANT Teaches Writers, I thought I’d have a go at dissecting another recent release. This time, it’s the turn of Guy Ritchie’s KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD. Living in the South West most of my life, I’m heavily into the King Arthur legend. I’ve watched countless adaptation: some good, some poor, most of them middle. So I was always going to want to see this one and see what Guy Ritchie of all people had done with it! As before, I’ll break the… Read More »An Important Diversity Reminder From KING ARTHUR LEGEND OF THE SWORD

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10 Things I Learned From Awesome Adaptations

When a book is turned into a successful movie, it becomes a cultural phenomenon. Fifty Shades of Grey. Game of Thrones. Harry Potter. Twilight. We all know these stories and characters, whether or not we’ve read or watched them. As B2W often advocates, knowing what an audience wants and why is why the half the battle. Each movie has its own appeal that makes it a pleasure to watch. If we dig a little deeper we can identify those points of attraction. There are specific factors that can turn books into successful movies. Let’s reveal the secrets. 10 Unpredictable Ingredients… Read More »10 Things I Learned From Awesome Adaptations

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The Powerful Lesson ALIEN COVENANT teaches writers

No real spoilers So, I saw Alien Covenant last night. I’ve been waiting for this one for ages, so it’s fair to say my expectations were high. Here’s what I thought of the movie (note: not the screenplay), broken down in the two main questions script readers consider: ‘What’s working?’, plus ‘What needs more development?’. Enjoy! What’s Working? It looks fantastic, but then that’s really a given. Ridley Scott has embraced the digital age whole-heartedly and I’d say that like most modern blockbuster directors, his movies are really meant for cinema. That works for me, since there’s nothing I like… Read More »The Powerful Lesson ALIEN COVENANT teaches writers

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Top 10 Scary Movie Lines And Why They Work

We all love Horror here on B2W, plus everyone loves quotable dialogue, so a post on top scary movie lines is a no-brainer! Many thanks to author Douglas Keesey for this post today. He provides some excellent pointers on why certain lines work in the genre and reminds us screenwriters – again! – that context is everything. Remember, great dialogue does not work in isolation. Enjoy! 1) Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1956) “They’re here already. You’re next!  You’re next! You’re next!” At the film’s conclusion, its lead character sounds crazy when he walks out onto the highway, warning passing… Read More »Top 10 Scary Movie Lines And Why They Work

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Adaptation Showdown: which is better, the book or the film?

If you’ve been hiding under a rock or been away in outer space, you may have missed that last year I launched my own author site for my novel writing at www.lucyvhayauthor.com! I decided to combine my love of movies AND books and create a ‘Book Versus Film’ feature over there … So far we’ve had some BRILLIANT case studies and some surprising conclusions, written by moi and some other excellent contributors. If you want to read them, CLICK HERE. Don’t forget to follow me as @LucyVHayAuthor on Twitter for interviews with crime writers, reading recommendations and round ups of… Read More »Adaptation Showdown: which is better, the book or the film?

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How To Write Female Leads Like A Professional Screenwriter

With the Oscar result due any moment, I’m in the curious state of being conflicted over which to root for this year, for the coveted Best Picture award! There are some genuinely diverse, interesting films up for the 2017 … a far cry from recent years. And long may that continue as far as B2W is concerned. However, if someone really twisted my arm? I would have to put my vote in for ARRIVAL. I’ve long been an admirer of Eric Heisserer’s work – I’d watched with interest his struggles to get the film greenlit, with Eric having to work on… Read More »How To Write Female Leads Like A Professional Screenwriter

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5 Lunatic Lovers From Movies And TV

1) Mickey and Mallory Knox, NATURAL BORN KILLERS When people first think of crazy lovers they go one of two ways: The Joker and Harlequin or Mickey and Mallory. These two are seriously screwed in the head. Both from abusive backgrounds, they hook up and go on a killing spree. They get off on killing people together. Taking lives brings them closer. They play sadistic games; not like cat and mouse, more like two wolves provoking each other. Deeply in love and deeply disturbed. Tarantino’s screenplay was heavily revised by writer David Veloz, the producer and the director Oliver Stone.… Read More »5 Lunatic Lovers From Movies And TV

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How To Use Girl Power In Your Story

Girl Power If you grew up in the 90s like me, then you heard the words ‘girl power’ A LOT. Now, writers will often tell me they have a ‘strong female character’ or a ‘feminist’ story in their spec screenplay or their unpublished novel. This is cool, but it rarely works out this way – in fact, there are LOADS of female character traps writers can fall into. Supersadface. But at grass roots level, very often the biggest issue is writers are simply TRYING TOO HARD. It’s all very well trying to appeal to femcrit bloggers or reviewers, but the reality… Read More »How To Use Girl Power In Your Story

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