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Maestro
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Billy, Does the answer to your genre defining question--"Will these two individuals become a couple?"--have to be "yes"? If not, would you list some of the better ... er ... more noteworthy ...films that answered the question in the negative? Thanks - Mark
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re: "communally watching a live show in real time has become, outside of sports on TV, an odd, almost retro event" American Idol? - Mark
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2010 on American Woman at Living the Romantic Comedy
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Counterpoint re: 9/11 and the power of a good story--there was a TV series pilot about a man who was presumed killed in the Twin Towers who turns up in the present with no memory of the intervening years. I would've liked to have seen that show. But I also get why it didn't get picked up.
Toggle Commented Dec 10, 2009 on Airworld at Living the Romantic Comedy
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Billy, Why don't you write ... a song? Works for me - Mark
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>"I can't remember the last time having a tantrum in public got a writer ... so much attention." While I can't, either, Olson has thrown so many tantrums in public that he was bound to connect sooner or later. @Bill: re: "I think being able to read something and recognize it as having potential is a different talent and not one you necessarily have because you are writer." I beg to differ. There's a saying, "you have to be willing to kill your babies." That's screenwriter-ese for 'you have to be able to put your personal feelings/prejudices aside and objectively assess whether or not a script/story has potential.' @E.C. Henry and Eric C: re: "How is a pre-pro screenwriter SUPPOSED to solicit interest in his/her material?" Aim lower. i.e. instead of trying to get Josh Olson or John August or another "A-list" screenwriter to read your work, approach Assistants, the guys/gals in the mailroom, and anyone else who is also trying to work his/her way up. Hopefully, you can all work your way up together. Also, join a writer's group. Again, there's the possibility that when one of you breaks in, s/he can pull the rest of you up, too. But even if that doesn't pan out, critiquing others and having your work critiqued will help you develop the skill I mentioned above to the point where you will no longer feel the need to have your work validated by someone else. As Charles Edward Pogue used to say, "A professional knows when he's done good work." Mark
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I wonder to what extent, if any, marketing played a role here. I mean, I think it's pretty clear that this movie would, shall we say, leave some expectations unfulfilled if it was targeted toward the Apatow/Rogen/Sandler crowd. Which, if memory serves, it was - Mark
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Billy, Yes, "Look Who's Talking" is definitely device-driven, but I think there's a difference between device-driven and world-threatening crisis event-driven. Although, from a pedagogic standpoint, I don't know whether that's a worthwhile distinction. So I will defer to the professional story analyst. Mark P.S. Even though my political beliefs differ quite a bit from yours, I completely understood (and agree with) your point in the sentence in question.
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I disagree somewhat with regard to the distinction between character driven vs plot driven, as there are quite a few character driven (movie) franchises that are not about characters facing some major world-threatening crisis. (Two which are semi-related to the topic of this blog that come to mind: American Pie and Look Who's Talking.) IMO, franchises--whether they are a series of movies, a series of TV episodes, or a series of MOWs (e.g. Columbo)--tend to be more character driven, while one-offs (stand-alone films) tend to be more plot driven (which might also be read as "situation driven" or "high concept"). Another difference between TV and feature films--and the irony of Ms. Heigl's situation--is that, in feature films, it's easier to "dis" the writer(s) (by saying, for example, that the material an actor was given wasn't of award winning caliber) and get away with it because the writers in feature films usually aren't also (executive) producers or showrunners.
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Have I been Anvil? Most definitely. Although I was never as successful as you, Billy, I also made a reasonable living as a musician until I hit my second act turning point--i.e. turned 30-years-old--and, as you say, gave up the rock'n'roll ghost and changed jobs to insure survival. (As an aside, the "maestro" moniker is a holdover from my former life, given to me as a friendly "dig" by my bandmates because I was the only one of us who had a formal music education--my BA is in music composition.) But I guess you could say that I'm also Anvil now since I have a day job, but continue to satisfy my creative urges through screenwriting (which is what drew me to your screenwriting book, classes and blog; although I'm not as successful as you in this endeavor, either). And since I've used the term, I guess I should offer a definition... "What is success?" To me, at the most basic level, a person is successful if s/he is paying the bills by doing whatever it is s/he is doing. Based on that, I agree with you that Anvil's perseverance is about to pay off in that they are about to become a successful metal band. It follows, then, that labeling them as a "failed heavy-metal band" was at best premature. "Yet to be successful metal band" would have been more apropos. Former successful musician, currently successful computer geek, and yet to be successful screenwriter - Mark
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