- The audience is fickle.
- Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.
- Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.
- Know where you’re going.
- The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.
- If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.
- A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.
- In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.
- The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.
- The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then –
- – that’s it. Don’t hang around.
This article is taken from http://www.theuncool.com/2012/03/28/billy-wilders-tips-for-writers/
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains.
Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
I hope that the shock factor will hit you here! Star Wars geekiness is far deeper than you ever imagined. If you thought the 6 movies, The Clone Wars cartoons and a few video games were all that existed in the Star Wars universe, you are very wrong.
Below I have attached 3 documents that make up the Star Wars Timeline Gold. The primary document is 1426 pages long and is followed by 358 pages of Appendices and the 187 page Clone Wars Supplement.
If you have a free year (or a time machine) then by all means, read them from cover to cover… otherwise, just for the sheer shock factor and knowledge, open up the primary document and skim through it. We are talking expanded universe mythology like nothing else in history…
Watch an extract from the first 5 minutes of the first episode of the hit show Friday Night Lights. It’s a great example of how, in a super short space of time, they have established our main heroes as people we already understand. We can pick up their unique vibe, their unique way of talking, their thoughts and feelings towards each other, what they care about (or don’t) and we have a good glimpse at the individual strengths and weaknesses that make each person who they are.
I believe that front loading your story with character establishment is absolutely vital to get your audience to give a damn about what happens for the next hour or two.
John Carter – Review 3 Stars
By Kyle St John Peters
First time live-action director Andrew Stanton has tried to pull off an epic feat. He has spent $250 Million dollars on attempting to bring to life ‘A Princess of Mars’, the century old novel written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, that has inspired everything from Superman to Flash Gordon, Star Wars to Dune and even more recent smash hits like Avatar. When you watch this film you can literally play ‘spot the inspiration’ of the last 80 years of Science Fiction. Stanton has attempted to bring us old-fashioned thrills that hark back to the days of the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, where we are put through cliff-hanger after cliff-hanger and are praying that our beloved hero will survive the journey. John Carter stood the chance of being such a film… a classic. Sadly though, it misses the mark by a long shot.
What worked? Andrew Stanton has spend a great deal of time and effort into creating a fantastic world for our story. The visual imagination on display is astounding and is realised in some truly gorgeous 3D ( I was almost salivating at some of the glorious alien vistas on display, especially during the travel montages). When you think about the fact that the source material is 100 years old, you can’t help but stand in awe of what a read it must have been for people at the turn of last century. Stanton has also done an outstanding job, not only on the visual world, but in the creation of fantastic cultures on the planet of Barsoom.
Carter’s initial arrival on Barsoom has some great comedic moments and it was at this point that I still had high hopes that I would be taken on the adventure of a lifetime. During the first half an hour of my visit to the planet, I wanted to live there. I wanted to adopt one of the cute baby Tharks and make sure I had my own domesticated dog/frog thing like Woola. On that note, Woola, Carter’sloyal alien hound is a fantastic little creation, one of the stand out points of the film for me. He is byy far the character with most heart, which might give you a clue as to where I’m going next…
What didn’t work? Basically everything else. I am still of the belief that Taylor Kitsch is a great actor with a great look and screen presence. Unfortunately, like his role in X-men Origins, he is not given much to work with in the script and the lack of chemistry between him and the female lead amount to a very apathetic response from us, the viewers. Also, she was far to Xena: Warrior Princess for my liking, but then perhaps that’s how she was in the novel. The antagonists in the film were also very weak.
The story is just a tad muddled, as is the pacing. We never really get a sense of the direction the story is actually going in, and when ‘significant’ things happen, Stanton fails to make big enough ‘moments’ out of them. The problem perhaps lies in the low stakes of the story and characer… yes, we know the fate of the world hangs in the balance, but we never really believe that Carter will ever fail and we never arrive at a point in the film where we honestly feel that all may be lost. So, no matter how visually spectacular the fight with the white apes may be, or how epic the airship gun battles and sword fights are, we are never truly invested in them and in the end, they fall quite flat.
Final Verdict:- John Carter represents a missed opportunity of the highest degree. The potential of a great enthralling journey in a wonderfully realised exotic culture, is squandered by a lack of chemistry between the cast, uneven plotting and a lack of genuine peril.