Friday, December 18, 2009

Second Draft

This past summer I wrote the second draft of my screenplay, then during this semester at school we read through it in class (usually reading about 15 pages at a time) where I received feedback from the students and teacher. I hoped to get the screenplay completely read--all 127 pages--so the same students could hear it from beginning to end, and that goal was accomplished last night when we read the last 27 pages. This morning I met with my screenwriting professor. I feel really psyched over the things he had to say about my script. Such a good feeling to receive great input and encouragement. Now I'm anxious to write the third draft, but alas, the holiday season is here and I'm on a time crunch. Next semester I start an entirely new story.

Monday, December 14, 2009

So many movies, so little time!

With the semester drawing to a close, I finally had time to watch a couple movies. I want to post my opinions on the movies I saw over the weekend, and I would welcome any comments from the few people that follow this blog.

First, I want to post a disclaimer: I am not using this entry to bash the movie; I truly want input on this topic. What drives this particular story? I am interested to know because the main character in my opinion is so unlikeable. I feel no pity, no sympathy, no connection to Bella at all. I cannot find anything that makes me want to root for her. She wants to die (so to speak) and by the end of the movie I wanted to help her die. Except I dislike her so much, I want to help her really die and not be immortal with Edward. A primary aspect taught in storytelling is that the protagonist has to be likable in some way. The person can be ornery, stupid, whatever, but somehow there must be something likable too--something to make the viewer think, "Okay, I'm behind this person. I want her to succeed, I'm rooting for her cause." Maybe I am missing something since I have not read the book. I read Twilight after I saw that movie and I enjoyed both. I have not read New Moon. So maybe I am missing a key part that makes Bella likable. I figure if the main character is completely unlikeable, there has to be something that drives the story so readers (or the audience) will overlook that major flaw and keep on reading (viewing). Please tell me what the secret is to this story. I really, in all sincerity, want to know. I have heard comments that people liked New Moon better than Twilight, so I feel like I am missing something, somewhere. What is it?

Julie & Julia (2009).
I enjoyed this movie. I got a kick out of Julie saying she was not a writer because she wasn't published. I used to buy into that myth too. It's like an unwritten rule of society that you have to be published to be a real writer. Then I realized, "Hey, does a runner have to run a marathon to be considered a real runner? Does a chess player have to compete in tournaments to be a real chess player?" But, for some reason, most people think writers have to publish, and I get that type of response when people find out I am studying screenwriting. They respond as though I can't be serious unless my screenplay is made into a movie. What if I write a dozen screenplays and not one hits the screen? Does that mean I'm not a screenwriter? Then what did I write?

Anyway, I digress. Overall, the movie was fun and interesting. I enjoyed the way scenes from Julie's life were juxtaposed with Julia's life. Since the movie is based on a true story, I found myself amazed that Julie could accomplish such a tremendous task of cooking all those recipes in a year, especially since she did not get home until around 7 or 8pm and still found time to blog daily. Makes me feel guilty for my sporadic blog posts. :)

I do have one complaint about the movie though: I did not appreciate the F-bomb being dropped out of the blue. Granted, it's my fault that I did not take the time to use a Clearplay filter, but the word did not fit the scene, and did not fit the character that dropped it. So what was that all about? I get angry enough at the use of foul language in movies, but using it just to use it makes me even angrier. Okay, I vented. Now I feel better.