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Movie Lessons For Writers

Happy #MeanGirlsDay! 5 Reasons Why MEAN GIRLS (2004) Is Totally, FETCH

No Spoilers! Happy Mean Girls Day! Mean Girls Day comes but once a year … That’s October 3rd to the uninitiated!! If you have no clue what the hell I’m going on about, where the hell have you been??? You may have thought the teen movie MEAN GIRLS is ‘just’ some vacuous teen movie but IT’S NOT. There’s plenty here that screenwriters and novelists alike can learn from for their own stories. Ready? Then let’s go, bitches! 1) Our protagonist’s journey is so relatable Great characterisation is about relating your characters’ journey to your audiences’ and MEAN GIRLS has this… Read More »Happy #MeanGirlsDay! 5 Reasons Why MEAN GIRLS (2004) Is Totally, FETCH

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A Tale Of 2 Scientists: How Contrast In Characterisation Works

Action/Adventure is one of my favourite genres of Hollywood movies (sci fi or not), and it would appear Bang2writers share this love too, because I get a LOT of spec screenplays in this type of vein, especially dealing with such issues as extreme weather or climate issues; giant monsters or meteorites; sometimes all of these things and more. And why the hell not? If you like this type of movie – and I do – it’s a great way of showcasing how BIG you can think as a writer AND deliver. What’s not to like??? Now I’m a big fan of… Read More »A Tale Of 2 Scientists: How Contrast In Characterisation Works

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5 Reasons J.J Abrams’ STAR WARS Doesn’t “Owe” Anyone Gender Diversity

[CHRISTMAS 2015 EDIT: Okay, so this post is even more hilarious in retrospect now we know Rey is not the “token female”, but the PROTAGONIST in an otherwise male-centric franchise! But hey, apparently that’s STILL not good enough because now Rey is “too good” – yes, this is actually a thing! OMG … Well, at least you’re consistent Twitter in that you’re NEVER fecking happy. This is why we can’t have nice things or GOOD FEMALE CHARACTERS you nunchucks. CLICK HERE for a free ebook on how NOT to write female characters and if you’re one of the whiners?? DOOF! Punch… Read More »5 Reasons J.J Abrams’ STAR WARS Doesn’t “Owe” Anyone Gender Diversity

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6 Reasons Sweden’s Bechdel Cinema Rating Idea Is A (Well Meaning) Mistake

So, you probably read this week Sweden will be installing a rating system on whether a movie passes The Bechdel Test. Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last thirty years, The Bechdel Test refers to the comic strip by Alison Bechdel, Dykes To Watch Out For, where she joked back in the 80s she only watches a film if it “features two women talking to each other about something other than a man.” Thus, The Bechdel Test was born. And here it is: I’ve had quite a few exchanges over Twitter the past week about… Read More »6 Reasons Sweden’s Bechdel Cinema Rating Idea Is A (Well Meaning) Mistake

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What’s The Difference Between Thriller And Horror?

Thriller Vs. Horror Thriller and Horror … They’re practically the same genre, right? NOPE. Not by a long shot. Whilst they may share certain characteristics, Thriller and Horror are two definitive genres and this post will attempt to explain why in more detail. It’s A ‘Thriller / Horror’ Though I touch on this issue in my book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, I think it’s worthwhile to go into more detail on this element. I see LOTS of spec screenplays that call themselves “Thriller / Horrors” and this is nearly always a mistake. Not only does it wind up the… Read More »What’s The Difference Between Thriller And Horror?

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5 Reasons Screenwriters Should Watch PACIFIC RIM

 — No *real* spoilers, though do note I discuss stuff like theme, character arcs, dialogue from a screenwriting craft POV, as ever — 5. It’s Genre-Busting. I can just see how **this** meeting went. EXEC: We’ve got giant robot movies going back thirty years … and giant monster movies going back fifty or more! Bring me a goddamn giant robot vs. giant monster picture!! And in my mind I can see DECADES of screenwriters attempting to offer up the goods – but you just know everyone screwed it up by being too whacky, too OTT or conversely too arty/serious. And… Read More »5 Reasons Screenwriters Should Watch PACIFIC RIM

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4 Big Non Linearity Mistakes In Screenplays

Non Linearity is big news I’d venture for every ten spec screenplays I read, at least three will feature non linearity. Renowned non linear movies include Pulp Fiction, Memento, Twelve Monkeys, The Bourne Supremacy, Slumdog Millionaire, Groundhog Day and Premonition. Non-linearity sometimes finds its way into TV spec screenplays too  – particularly of the supernatural genre – usually in the form of flashback. (For the purposes of this post, note that when I say “non linearity”, I mean the “beginning, middle, end” will not necessarily be in *that* order). I love non linearity. Done well, it can really add a new… Read More »4 Big Non Linearity Mistakes In Screenplays

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How To Use Plot Devices – Voiceover, Flashback, Montage, Intercut and Dream Sequence

Plot Devices With A Bad Name … There are lots of plot devices in scriptwriting we hear are “frowned on”. We shouldn’t use voiceover or flashback is the usual (or voiceover WITH flashback!). I’ve also heard montage maligned in a similar fashion, as well as intercut and dream sequence. This is a load of rot as far as I’m concerned. You can use what you like. These accusations we see levied like “flashback is a lazy way of telling a story” is just another generalisation. Flashback can be an amazingly dramatic way to tell a story. … For A REASON!!… Read More »How To Use Plot Devices – Voiceover, Flashback, Montage, Intercut and Dream Sequence

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