Monday, June 16, 2008

Workshop Postponed/More Writing/other stuff

First the Big News…

We are postponing my Master’s Filmmaking Workshop that was to take place in Franklin, IN from July 7th – 25th. Franklin was hit hard by the flooding and it is going to take them some time to get things cleaned up. We are tentatively planning on re-scheduling the Workshop for late August. That will be determined by my friends back there in Franklin.

If you have already paid for the workshop please contact the Franklin Film Institute or The Indy Film Co-op for more information. I am hoping that we can re-schedule the workshop and that everyone can still make it.

I will let you all know when it will be re-scheduled as soon as I know.

My thoughts are with my friends in Indiana and in Iowa. Two states that have always been good to me. I hope all of you that I haven’t heard from are doing okay. I know you will recover from all of this and I am looking forward to seeing you all again. God speed.

More on writing … (continued from last week)

Once I have made all of the changes I want to my script, I bring in actors that I know and we do a read through. Different actors take on different roles. As we read through the screenplay from beginning to end I listen to the dialog. What sounds good, what sounds stupid, what just doesn’t sound right? And I make more notes.

Then I go back to the script and make changes to the dialog as it’s needed. The words have to sound natural coming out of characters mouths. If it doesn’t your actors can’t sell the lines. If they can’t sell the lines, their acting comes off bad.

Look at how bad great actors look in the Star Wars films. Why do they look so bad? Because they are trying to make stupid dialog sound good. I wish people would tell guys like Lucas that he’s not much of a writer when it comes to dialog. But as long as he makes more money than God, no one in a position of power will ever criticize his writing, they are all too dependent on his money to be honest with him. His dialog sucks! I don’t think he’s much of a story teller either. The last decent thing he made was American Graffiti. Although I must admit the very first Star Wars was fun.

I refine the dialog all the way through rehearsals and even when we are on set. I have no problem if an actor needs to change some words, as long as it doesn’t change my intent. I believe that you need input from your actors when it comes to dialog.

I was reading once that Steve McQueen used to go through a script and cut his lines. He would tell Directors that he felt he could just do a look at the camera which would get the same point across that some lines would. McQueen was a brilliant actor who knew what worked best for him and many times that was fewer words and more “acting”. He could achieve more with a facial expression or an action then many actors could with dialog. Listen to your actors!

That’s not to say that all actors are brilliant, that’s still up to you. As much as we want to talk about “auteurs” and the director being in control, it is still a group effort to get a film done. Don’t forget that.

Remember, the re-writing never stops until the premiere.

Write the best script you can with help from people you trust.

Other stuff…

I am still looking for Fall Tour Sponsors, if you know anyone at a company that you think might be a good fit for the Angry Filmmaker Fall Tour please let me know.

Check out my site and look at The Angry Filmmaker Work Books. They are packed with lots of good info and are a real bargain at a mere $10 each or the set of three for $25 (plus S&H).

As always, feel free to link to my site and you can now subscribe to my blog. So what are you waiting for?

And finally, your Angry Filmmaker Tip.

On the set, don't ever lose your temper. Let me repeat that. DON'T EVER LOSE YOUR TEMPER! If you lose your temper the entire shoot suffers.
- - from The Angry Filmmaker Survival Guide (coming really soon)

Talk later.



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