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John Carter’s Massive Bomb and Screenwriting Beats – Part 3

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2 of this post. Let’s more carefully investigate exactly why John Carter didn’t work. What are the lessons learned from this? Analysis:  Flashback and Voice Over Not to overstate the obvious, but within the opening minutes of this $600mm trainwreck, there are two separate instances of voice […]

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John Carter’s Massive Bomb and Screenwriting Beats – Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this post.  Click here to read more about screenwriting beats.  What went so wrong with John Carter? Well, let’s look at the beats. Here’s a basic breakdown of the beats of Act 1.  1. Open on Mars with the space wars going on. Fast and furious voice over […]

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John Carter’s Massive Bomb and Screenwriting Beats – Part 1

If you are unsure what screenwriting beats are or need a quick refresher, please read my article on beats first. Now… The film John Carter was a very expensive, massive bomb in the spring of 2012, almost five years ago now. (Reading online that it was estimated this film would have needed to gross $600mm […]

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WESTWORLD, aka Real Doll’s Big Day Out

Westworld is the new HBO show based on Michael Crichton’s film from 1973. It’s set in a futuristic Western-themed Disneyland where robots are programmed to act out set storylines. The guests participate in these pre-defined scenarios. It’s a bit Groundhog Day (every day is the same), a bit The Searchers. Human visitors come and go […]

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Shocker.

She’s BAAAACCCCKKKKK. It’s been a long silent stretch, but I am finally back to the blog. Stay tuned for weekly posts and more. In 2015 I started teaching screenwriting, so get ready for more detailed information — breakdowns, beat sheets, more detailed analysis of beats, genre analysis, analysis of current material. As promised, a lot […]

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Floating on an Ocean

This year was like floating on an ocean. At first, it seemed peaceful. Sacred, even. Not here nor there. The expanse. Then, as the chill bit and the solitude weighed, any lingering thoughts of peace flew out the window and it was like, get me the fuck out of here. As 2011 comes to a […]

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Emotional Density

Many times screenplays are simply dry. They may be cleanly written, even well written to some degree. The plotting can make sense. The characters may even be charming. But they leave me feeling thirsty for more. The experience of the script feels like tissue paper – it just has no density. As a reader, I […]

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2011 CineStory Competition – Enter Now!!!

It’s not too late to enter the 15th Annual CineStory Screenwriting Awards. Approximately 20 finalists and semi-finalists of this competition are invited to participate in a weekend retreat wherein writers work closely with Hollywood professionals on their material. Previous attendees have gone on to accomplish great things in entertainment. It is a really wonderful mentorship […]

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Okay, Fine… But What’s Your Story About, Really?

Anyone who knows me well can probably tell you that sometimes I can be wholly oblivious to the most obvious points but pick up on subtleties the average person wouldn’t even think to look for. This is an interesting character juxtaposition and probably what makes me a writer before anything else. Documenting and chronicling the […]

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