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mernitman
Writer/songwriter/teacher/script consultant Billy Mernit can often be found walking Venice Beach.
Recent Activity
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"Don’t think about it as a romantic comedy. Don’t look at the tried and true and what the movie needs to be. Look at these people. Look at what makes them unique and perfect for each other. Think about your... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2016 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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Rom-commers (writers especially), a reminder: As you know, the real romantic comedy action is presently on the small screen (see everything from Catastrophe to Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and that's just the C's). So if you haven't yet started on Lena Dunham's... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2016 at Living the Romantic Comedy
It's that time of the year again. Everyone who's got a beating heart knows that as soon as February rolls around, there's a major holiday to be reckoned with, one that's come to symbolize the meaning of love and romance... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2016 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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Would you like to see a movie that’s genuinely smart-witty funny, as opposed to dumbed-down farcical? A romantic comedy that’s contemporary-romantic, instead of sentimental and same-old, one that needs no apologies as a guilty pleasure but is simply pleasure-full, period?... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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If you're a screenwriter, or any kind of writer, your talent didn't entirely spring from your fingers full-blown, as if from the head of Zeus. Chances are good someone gave you a little help along the way. Yesterday was World... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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Full disclosure: I can’t “review” Trainwreck because I worked on it. In my capacity as story analyst at Universal, I did notes on each draft of the project, so I can’t be objective about the movie, though I’m delighted to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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There was a fine white mist at the foot of the Santa Monica mountains as I biked up the path early this morning - my last bike ride on the beach as a resident of Venice: Tater and I are... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were... "As some of the petitioners in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: November, 2009 I had the great good fortune to have screenwriter/director Shane Black visit my Writing the Character-Driven Screenplay class as guest speaker this past week. Creator of the Lethal Weapon franchise, he wrote The Last... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: June, 2010 An unhappy truth about living in this world is that not everyone will agree with you. It's why "Best" lists drive me nuts. Passions run hot when we assess the value of movies. I've... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: May, 2006 I don't so much think of Werner Herzog as a person as I think of him as a force of nature, an unlikely phenomenon, like those little balls of blue lightning that sometimes roll... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: April, 2010 Occasionally one does see a new movie cliché in formation. Given the impact of Kick-Ass, we may now be in for a decade of "pre-teen curses like a sailor before kicking a villain's butt"... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: September, 2008 [Another installment in the ongoing true life adventures of Periphery Man, who has had myriad peculiar encounters with celebrities, while not being a celebrity himself.] When you're a teenager with a record deal, the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: October, 2009 Dear Dad, It's still near-impossible to believe that you were here in the world with us only a week ago, and now you're gone for good. None of us - Mom, John, no one... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: May, 2009 Stay open for business. --Gordon Lish You have never felt more uninspired. You don't have the energy, you don't have the will, you don't have... it. The temptation to avoid the blank page is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: May, 2006 Given that it's one of the first and maybe only things most movie execs learn in Movie Executive School, along with the Lightbulb Theory (Q: How many development execs does it take to screw... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: September, 2007 It happened again this morning. Just when I thought it was safe to read another romantic comedy screenplay, out of the dark, brackish backwaters of its third act, the horrific rom-com Cliché That Will... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: January, 2009 Practically everybody in print has been finding a way to speak to the great historical occasion of our 44th President's inauguration, and I was particularly taken with Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott's take in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: July, 2008 Tater and I have been a couple for nearly two years; we live together but separately (adjoining apartments in one two-unit bungalow, with a wrap-around garden so the dogs can roam between) and by... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: March, 2007 Myths abound in our myth-making movie biz. There’s the myth of director as God – addressed by screenwriter Robert Riskin when he thrust a sheaf of blank screenplay pages at Frank Capra and said,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: July, 2005 1. Women Are the Means By Which Men Come To Know Beauty She was sitting at a table with her back to me, two aisles across the café. She had a sheaf of pages... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: November, 2006 The other night I went to hear the Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff play Mozart at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but I think what I may have heard was the by-now familiar sound of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: October, 2006 [Another installment in the ongoing true life adventures of Periphery Man, who has had myriad peculiar encounters with celebrities, while not being a celebrity himself.] Back in 1973, my first solo residence in New... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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A Tenth Anniversary Re-Post: August, 2006 [This past week would've been my parents' 68th wedding anniversary. My dad passed away 5 years ago, and my mom, 90, is now a single woman. This tribute to the couple once known as... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy
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"After realizing he knew more about the television on his wall than the food on his plate, award-winning TV producer and amateur chef Jared Stone buys 420 pounds of beef directly from a rancher and embarks on a hilarious and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 10, 2015 at Living the Romantic Comedy