Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lessons From the Frontline: How We Made a Successful Independent Movie

  Last year, I co-wrote and produced a feature-length independent movie called Cheesecake Casserole. This past week, Cheesecake Casserole was released in 50 million homes across America via i*Tunes, amazon.com, and on-demand cable channels. Cheesecake Casserole definitely feels like a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Some Tips in Defining the Point of Your Movie

Last week, we took a look at how the question “What is the Point of Your Movie?” can help shift you into the kind of active, feeling relationship with your script that is necessary when writing from the heart. We … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How the Simple Question, “What is the Point?” Can Breathe True Heart & Soul Into Your Script

You hear a lot about needing to know the theme or thematic point of your movie. But a lot of times, we retreat so far inside our heads trying to figure out all the mechanics of good screenwriting in terms … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How “Warrior” Works as a Melodrama and What We Can All Learn From It:

There are two key conflicts that play out in every movie: The external conflict – this is what makes up the bulk of the plot; the literal, physical battle that is playing out between our protagonists and antagonists. The internal … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What We Can Learn From “The Hurt Locker” and “Tree of Life”

All you need to write an effective screenplay is a clearly laid-out dramatic idea. The success of movies like Hurt Locker and Tree of Life confirm this. Neither of these movies conform to much of what you’ll find in the traditional screenwriting … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Word on Dramatic Danger: Crazy Heart

I finally got around to seeing Crazy Heart – it is a perfect example of how even a slower-paced, more meditative character study uses life-or-death danger to generate dramatic traction. Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) isn’t just your garden-variety alcoholic, he’s … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A History of Violence

My problem with A History of Violence is that it never really deals with the psychological/emotional split that is at the heart of its premise. According to the world of the story, Tom Stall (Viggo Mortenson) was not just a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dramatic Clarity

Clarity creates ease. You see this all the time in life. Take money, for example. If you’re vague about your financial affairs (how much you have, how much you earn, how much you owe), then you create a baseline level … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Joseph H. Lewis’ “Gun Crazy”

There is such a deep existential power to Gun Crazy, chiefly because there really is no rhyme or reason to what our heroes do. When asked by her partner-in-crime why Annie feels the need to kill innocent bystanders during their … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather”

There is something so incredibly profound about The Godfather, something that goes deeper than the surface of its Mafioso plot, something that speaks to a much more universal experience of what it means to be born into a family legacy. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment