Story Concept

Have you ever tried to explain the premise of your story and people just don’t get it? That’s OK not everyone is going to understand your vision, however, if you explain it to two or three people and no one gets it, perhaps it’s time you rethink that premise. Nothing will kill your audience’s enthusiasm for a story quicker than a lack of clarity.

I have a rule for myself, if more than two people give me the “I don’t understand” look, I let go of my pride and reevaluate my premise. Is it as strong as it can be? Bad guys doing bad things or someone struggling to be a better person is not very compelling without clear and high stakes held together with some sort of theme.

This scene from the Sopranos always makes me chuckle. I’ve never pitched a movie to the mob but I have tried to explain a weak premise story to a room full of friends… I think it went a little something like this…

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Fade In:

20130404-133902.jpgI’ve decide to refocus this blog. Originally, I liked the idea of pop culture commentary but I soon realized that is not my true passion. It is fun for sure, and I don’t plan to completely abandon that idea but I need to realign with what really drives me. I find myself more interested in creating stories than simply musing about content already produced by others.  Don’t fear, I won’t be losing that “pop” perspective, as everything I write about is influenced by my family in one way or another, it will just not always be stated as such in my writing.

What the hell does all of that mean?

What will you write?

For those of you who don’t know, I have passion for storytelling and the physical manifestation of that effort in the form of DIY movie making. Anyone with a similar interests that has spent at least ten minutes on the internet knows there are literally thousands of DIY movie making blogs and youtube channels. They can teach you everything from how to make a camera rig for less than $20 to creating professional looking SFX. However, I have noticed that there are nowhere near as many sites devoted to all the other components of DIY movie making, parts that get less notice or fall through the cracks of internet “how to” scene. I’m talking more about writing, acting, directing and artistic vision.

Now I’m sure this leads you the question…

Who the hell you?

I am just your average writer with only a film degree from a local University and limited experience writing on my own. I’m not even going to pretend like I’m some sort of guru or act like I have some inside track on how to break into Hollywood. If I did know, than I would be in Hollywood. It is my hope this site can act as a single resource for those who want to take their creativity to the next level, whether it be to make your next youtube video or to spruce up that screenplay you’ve been working on for the last year.

So now what?

It is my hope with this site  will grow and spark discussion about the craft of storytelling. I still have a lot to learn, but maybe we can learn together. My vision for this blog is to be a place where we can pool our resources, expand our knowledge and encourage one another.

Can this blog really serve as a knowledge base to help us independent writers and movie makers to bring our storytelling to the next level?

I’m certainly going to put my effort in that direction. I know this will be a lonely journey at first, but hopefully not for long. I should also make this disclaimer that I any suggestions and/or tips I make may not work for everyone. As an independent writer there is going to be a lot of trial and error trying to find your own way, your unique voice and hell, just trying to get through that first draft.

So let’s begin this journey and see how far we can go with this thing.

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Major Changes Ahead

Story Breakdown Board

Story Breakdown Board

When I started this blog,  I had just a vague idea of what I wanted it to be. After a prolonged bout of bronchitis I had time to really give this blog some serious thought. I have decided to make some major changes to the direction I want to go in. A direction that would keep me engaged and hopefully engage others in the process and actually some might find helpful. For now this picture is a hint as to where I’m headed. Stay tuned for more information.

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Snap Judgement: Trance

I judge a movie based solely on the trailer.

Not fair you say? That’s part of the fun.

Hey look Bevis, it's a dirty slot... huh, huhhuh.

Look Bevis, it’s a dirty slot… huh, huhhuh.

Trance starring James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel. Directed by Danny Boyle. In theaters ??? ??  2013.

Maybe I’m a fanboy, but Danny Boyle never fails to impress. Looks like a solid cast too. I’ve liked McAvoy ever since Last King of Scotland. I believe that Rosario Dawson is an underrated talent. Her performances are consistently authentic, even when she was chewing on Kevin Smith’s dialogue in Clerks 2. Vincent Cassel is another one of those character actors that can convincingly slip into almost any villain role despite the fact his facial expression regularly seems to imply he just smelled a fart.

It is interesting to note that this film is actually a remake of a UK TV movie made over a decade ago. I’ve seen TV remakes of theatrical releases but never the other way around. Weird. However, much like Christopher Nolan, I trust Dany Boyle to create a quality film no matter the source material.

Anticipation Scale: See it in the theater

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Nerd Alert: Zombiezzzz

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My poor wife didn’t realize she married a nerd.

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January 7, 2013 · 5:15 pm

The Weirdness: Unexpected Heavy Metal

Christmas from the Dark Side

Christmas from the Dark Side

When I first saw this I thought it was fake. Certainly Count Dooku wasn’t putting out a metal versions of holiday classics, but I looked into it, and sure enough, here is the iTunes page for “A Heavy Metal Christmas” with Mr. Lee on vocals. I wish I could have posted this before Christmas but the bronchitis was getting the better of me. This was just too weird not to share.

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Snap Judgement: Welcome to the Punch

I judge a movie based solely on the trailer.

Not fair you say? That’s part of the fun.

Welcome to the Punch 2013

Am I late for the Chanel shoot? Hey, this shot needs more blue!

Welcome to the Punch starring James McAvoy, Mark Strong and David Morrissey. Directed by Eran Creevy. In theaters March 15th,  2013.

I’m a big fan of Mark Strong. I’m also a fan of James McAvoy… and wait… is that The Governor? What’s not to like about that? I read a recent interview with Mark Strong where he explained that they made every effort to weed out cliché gangster dialogue from the screenplay. Now if it can rise above some of the cliché looking action scenes this could be a very good movie. I’m intrigued by the villain acting from a position of weakness angle. What do you think?

Anticipation Scale: See it in the theater

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