HOW TO WRITE A SCREENWRITING: PART 1. INTRODUCTION

HOW TO WRITE A SCREENWRITING – Is a new feature that will lead you through the process of  writing a screenplay in the tradition of the great gurus Robert McKee, Syd Field and Damon Lindelof.

Part 1. Story – camera – action.

A man walks into a room. That’s a story! A woman eats a peach that’s too big for her small mouth. That’s a story! A dog has worms and keeps rubbing its rear end on your new carpet. That’s not a story. You just need to take the dog to the vet and buy a new carpet. The point is we are surrounded by story. Story is everywhere. It is in the food you eat, on television, in the newspapers, in the conversation of your co-workers. Story is the warp and woof (there’s that dog again) of life, the rich tapestry from whence we all come, the undiscovered country to whence we all go.

But how do I write a story? Which story should I choose? What story do people want to hear? And what’s the difference between a story in a book and a story in a building?

All these questions will be answered in this 23 part on line course on How to Write a Screenwriting. Whether you want to be the next J.K Rowling and die under the weight of all the money, or you want to be the next Charlie Kaufman and die under the weight of everyone going ‘what?’, How to Write a Screenwriting is the ONLY online resource you need as a screenwriter who wants to write a screenwriting.

Of course writing is not easy. Look at the title to this whole course that I’m writing. Have you looked? Okay, the more perceptive among you will have noticed that there is something not quite right, something that the unkind might refer to as ‘wrong’.  Of course, I wanted to write ‘How to Write a Screenplay’ but I was also thinking of ‘A Guide to Screenwriting’ and so accidentally I wrote ‘How to write a Screenwriting’, erroneously combining to the two titles because I was hungry and I was thinking about dinner – I’m thinking lasagna specifically. So do I go back and change it? NO. Why not? Well, for one thing it’s more work. But the more important reason is that LIFE DEPENDS ON MISTAKES.

Think about it.

All multi-cellular life comes from errors in replication of DNA. If there weren’t any errors, if everything was perfect, then no evolution. No evolution then no complexity; no complexity, then no us. No us, no cinema. No cinema and we’re out of a Goddamned job, just because the asshole DNA worked too damned well. Perfection is the death of life and the death of story. Do you think Jonathan and Christopher Nolan wanted to write Memento? No, they just kept forgetting the story-line and had to keep going back. Do you think Larry McMurty wanted Brokeback Mountain to be a heart-breaking gay love story? No, the original novel has the two cowboys fighting but a slip of the pen and fellatio as all over the page! Do you think Quentin Tarantino meant to write The Hateful Eight? No, his original screenplay was supposed to be called The Careful Eight, but one accidental slip of the fingers and suddenly he has to write something violent to justify the wrong title.

You NEED to make mistakes. And I promise you if you follow this EXCLUSIVE online Screenwriting course, you will be making tons of them.

OSCARS 2016: WHO SHOULD WIN; WHO WILL WIN

HOLLYWOOD – The Oscars are almost Oscaring in the Oscars Hotel in Oscarsland, Hollywood.

But who should win the Oscars 2016 – alternatively known as the Academy Awards of OSCARS – ? Here the Studio Exec tells you his predictions for who should win and tells you who will win.

Best Picture

Who Should Win: Mad Max Fury Road

Who Will Win: Mad Max Fury Road

Best Director 

Who Should Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Who Will Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Best Actor

Who Should Win: Leonardo diCaprio

Who Will Win: Leonardo diCaprio

Best Actress

Who Should Win: Brie Larson – Room

Who Will Win: Brie Larson

Best Supporting Actor

Who Should Win: Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Who Will Win: Sylvester Stallone

Best Supporting Actress

Who Should Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Who Will Win: Jennifer Jason Leigh

Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Should Win: Room

Who Will Win: Room

Best Original Screenplay

Who Should Win: Ex Machina

Who Will Win: Ex Machina

Best Animated Feature

Who Should Win: Anomalisa

Who Will Win: Anomalisa

Best Foreign Feature

Who Should Win: Son of Saul

Who Will Win: Son of Saul

Best Documentary Feature

Who Should Win: Amy

Who Will Win: Amy

Best Cinematography

Who Should Win: Roger Deakins – Sicario

Who Will Win: Roger Deakins – Sicario

Best Music

Who Should Win: Ennio Morricone

Who Will Win: Ennio Morricone

Costume Design

Don’t give a shit

Film Editing

What?

Make up and Hair Design

Pffffffffft.

Production Design

Yes.

Sounding editing, Visual Effects, Animated Short, Documentary Short, Short Short

Nope.

For more Oscars Click HERE.

DANGEROUS REVENANT PARTIES SWEEP HOLLYWOOD

HOLLYWOOD – The Los Angeles Sheriff’s office has issued a warning, instructing the general public to not indulge in parties inspired by the film The Revenant.

Sheriff Joel Mackey told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY that ‘the Revenant parties’ (as they are called) have so far cost the lives of over two hundred revelers.

It’s a horrible thing. Organised via the internet crowds of thirty to forty people descend on some abandoned warehouse or waste ground out of the way somewheres where no one is likely to happen by. There will be some drinks and refreshments comprised of homemade alcohol and squirrel meat. On a prearranged signal a wild bear is then released and will indulge in sexual relations with one or more of the party goers. This often ends in wounding and has led to fatalities. As if that wasn’t enough, everyone is then packed into a portable freezer unit, like an ice truck or a meat locker or something where they spend the next three nights naked and begging to be killed.

Variations on this basic model include thrill seekers being dragged naked through the snow and thrown off cliffs and into pine trees. Animal rights groups have criticized the use of live animals for entertainment purposes and although the number of bears injured is actually very small in comparison to the number of party-goers killed they also object to the violence, including musket shots and stabbings that have been discovered on some of the animals. ‘There was also a horse that was… well, if I told you it would be a spoiler,’ said a spokesperson for the American Society from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

However, the film’s director Alejandro G. Iñárritu believes the parties are actually a good thing:

Okay so some people get killed, but the important thing is that they feel they are part of an interactive experience with the movie. Anything that can bring them close to the  true nature of the wild is surely a good thing, don’t you think? When we were making the film we had a hell of a lot of fun with hypothermia, frost bite and a little light cannibalism. The fact that some fans of the film are going through the same thing is a testament to how the film is connecting with its audience.

Although officially not illegal, the Sheriff has declared that such parties are highly unsafe and people should avoid them at all costs.

Sheriff Mackey told the Studio Exec:

What we at the Sheriff’s office can’t understand is why can’t people base their theme parties on something more wholesome. What about a Peanuts party? Or a Hateful Eight shindig? The death toll is already high and only looks like going up if this continues. These people have very little understanding of what a savage bear can do when unleashed on a crowd of scantily clad ravers, all of whom are goading the animal.

Leonardo diCaprio and Tom Hardy, the stars of the film, are planning on releasing a charity single – a cover of Don McLean’s Vincent – the proceeds from which will go towards a bear refuge for damaged animals.

The Revenant is currently on release.

THE HATEFUL EIGHT – REVIEW

THE HATEFUL EIGHT – REVIEW: Quentin Tarantino’s second Western is a bloody locked room mystery of a wide screen claustrophobia and unbridled suspicion and violence.

John Ruth (Kurt Russell at his most John Wayne-y) is a bounty hunter nicknamed the Hangman, because instead of shooting his targets and bringing them to town over a saddle insists on seeing them hang. Escorting notorious female felon, Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) to the gallows he meets Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a former soldier turned bounty hunter who has his own bodies to bring to market. Along the way they also meet Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a Confederate bushwhacker turned Red Rock sheriff. Why all these characters happen upon one another while running ahead of a potentially deadly blizzard is never fully explained and the mystery gets even deeper when they arrive at the dubious refuge of Minnie’s Haberdashery where they meet up with cowboy, Michael Madsen, Englishman, Tim Roth, Southern General, Bruce Dern and Mexican Bob, Demian Bechir. Minnie, sweet Dave and the other regulars of the place are missing and something is obviously afoot.

What follows is bloody and witty, long-winded, frustrating, violent (obviously) and both overwhelming and underwhelming at exactly the same time. The premise is much more modest than the epic treatment it is given. The Hateful Eight feels like an Agatha Christie inspired bottle episode of Bonanza written by Sam Peckinpah, but why it has to be three hours long  and shot in 70 mm is beyond me. There are performances to relish from the veterans of the cast – and it is a blessed relief to not have to put up with the supposedly brilliant Christoph Waltz any longer. Ennio Morricone’s score is worth the price of admission alone. The opening scenes of the snowy Wyoming landscapes are gorgeous but like many mysteries the initial intrigue leaks out with each ho-hum revelation. Of plot holes there are several and Bob and Harvey Weinstein might do well to employ a tough no nonsense script editor on the final two Tarantino productions.   All of that said, The Hateful Eight is a better film than Django Unchained and Inglourious Bastereds, though it doesn’t reach the early peaks of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

 

For more Reviews, Click Here.

QUENTIN TARANTINO TO FILM BONANZA

HOLLYWOOD – Quentin Tarantino has announced his next film will be a ‘re-imagining/rip off’ based on the popular TV show Bonanza.

Speaking last night EXCLUSIVELY to the Studio Exec, Reservoir Dogs director Quentin Tarantino had this to say:
Continue reading “QUENTIN TARANTINO TO FILM BONANZA”

COPS TOO BUSY SHOOTING PEOPLE TO PROTEST HATEFUL EIGHT

HOLLYWOOD – Quentin Tarantino’s new film The Hateful Eight premiered last night without the police protest that had been threatened.

Following Quentin Tarantino’s comments at a rally in Brooklyn, New York, police unions in New York and then nationally had threatened a boycott of his new movie – The Hateful Eight – as part of their response. However, the protest didn’t materialize as the police were too busy abusing their powers, gunning people down in the street and otherwise creating mayhem to turn up outside the theater and wave some placards around. The premiere which took place Monday night at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood passed relatively peacefully – not so much on screen though obviously.

A spokesperson for the Police told the Studio Exec:

Of course we were angry about Mr. Tarantino’s comments. A lot of his films are actually great and he has a lot of fans who are cops. You should listen to us all quoting Vincent or yukking it up over that Madonna monologue from Dogs. So we felt betrayed when he talked about how we were murders and all that stuff.

So why didn’t you protest?

Listen, those unarmed individuals ain’t going to shoot themselves. We got a job to do.

I see.

Also there might have been a situation. You would have had a protest but then you would have also have had to have police polcing the protest and we’re not to keen on protesters. So we would’ve been forced to do something about that and we wouldn’t have been gentle.

The Hateful Eight is in theaters on Christmas Day.

FIRST LOOK AT TARANTINO’S NORTHANGER ABBEY

HOLLYWOOD –  Quentin Tarantino’s 8th film – The Hateful Eight – hasn’t hit theaters yet, but already we have the first look at his ninth project: an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, entitled Northanger Motherf*cking Abbey Motherf*cker .

Tarantino had already spoken with the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY about the project (click here for that), but it was only today that he revealed that he was already filming.

I am editing The Hateful Eight at the moment, but it isn’t exactly rocket science. I’ve got eight people in a cabin. So it’s cut to him then to her then back to him. Easy. So during my lunch break I decided we could get started on Northanger Abbey. I have my paperback of the book, annotated heavily in different shades of red crayon. Keira Knightley is on board and so we have been going for it.

The official synopsis reads:

Young Catherine Morland (Keira Knightley) is one of ten children of a clergyman and his wife. An addict of ‘gothic fiction’, she is invited by wealthy neighbors to accompany them on a visit to the spa town of Bath where she meets the Thorpes and Henry a man with whom she will fall in love. However, Henry’s father, General Tilney (Kurt Russell) disapproves and it looks as if no happy marriage can take place. However, when the Sicilian mafia led by Turko Polito (Samuel L. Jackson) kill General Tilney and his entourage over his gambling debts – the famous blood Bath scene for Austen aficionados – Henry and Catherine go on a murder spree around Europe to hunt down and kill the gang that offed General Tilney.

Northanger Motherf*cking Abbey Motherf*cker will be released in 2016. 

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

TARANTINO TO FILM LONG CHERISHED JANE AUSTEN ADAPTATION

HOLLYWOOD – Even as Quentin Tarantino adds the final touches to The Hateful Eight, rumors are already circulating about his next film being his long-awaited Jane Austen adaptation. 

In an EXCLUSIVE phone call to the Guatemalan office of Studio Exec, Quentin Tarantino was explicit: ‘It’s always been my dream to do a Jane Austen adaptation. I f*cking love Northanger Abbey, and I would costume drama and post-modern irony the shit out of that motherf*cker.’

What attracts you to the 19th Century novelist?

She’s the Elmore Leonard of her time. Just snappy as shit. Tight plotting and strong female characters. I’ve been a fan for years and watched with something like f*cking despair as assholes like Joe Wright and Emma Thompson fuck her up time and time again. 

And who do you see in the film?

I’ve already had long conversations with Samuel L. Jackson about General Tilney. He’d be perfect, cause he has to seem threatening and yet ultimately, well I don’t want to give it away to anyone who hasn’t read the book. By the way Northanger Abbey was published in 1798 and so she wrote that one as an 18th Century novelist. Jamie Foxx would be his son Henry, but as yet I don’t have anyone for Catherine. Maybe Emma Watson. Or Kerry Washington. Or Kurt Russell.

So we can look forward to a radically different Austen, with a black cast and guns and samurai swords and stuff?

Are you f*cking high. No way. Jamie and Sam are gonna white up. I’m not gonna f*ck with the material on this one. No way. The reason I hated Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice was cause he went too Bronte on that shit. He Bronte to f*ck out of it. I’m gonna keep it pure Austen. Witty convoluted dialogue and corsets and drawing rooms. The only thing I might change is the title. I kind of like Northanger Motherfucking Abbey Motherfucker which I think is in the spirit of Austen’s anger.  

Northanger Motherf*cking Abbey Motherf*cker will be released in 2017.

KURT RUSSELL’S MUSTACHE REVERSES CLIMATE CHANGE

HOLLYWOOD – No one is quite sure how it happened – the studies are yet to be completed, and scientists squabble over different theories – but one thing is certain: Kurt Russell’s mustache has reversed climate change.

The gestation of Kurt Russell’s mustache has been a long glacial process, emerging from the full beard of The Thing, retracting into the stubble of Escape from New York, and first touching the air as the wonderful clipped beauty of Tombstone. The year Tombstone was released – 1993 – there was a a 35% rise in fertility and fistfights, such was its masculine magic. And now with Kurt Russell persuaded to hedge over his upper lip for Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight the benefits to mankind and planet Earth can be felt everywhere.

Resident ecologist Joaquin Phoenix popped into the Studio Exec Bungalow to explain:

We’re not sure how this is happening but it looks like following the appearance of Mr. Russell’s hairy handle bars that the ice caps have in fact fully re-frozen. Sea levels have fallen and the air quality is delicious.

How is this happening?

Some say that carbon is being captured from the air and sucked into the follicles, is one possible explanation. Or perhaps Mother Earth has just got a glimpse of the kind of man that she’d be missing and has decided to right her ways.

Of course now that the wonderful side effects of Mr. Russell’s lip ‘brella are readily apparent, many are calling on President Obama to legislate to protect the top beard. The White House were quick to quieten such proposals, stating that ‘It would be a brave administration that ever told Mr. Kurt Russell what to do and what not to do with his own face’.

The Hateful Eight will be released in 2016.

COUNTDOWN TO 2016 OSCARS BEGINS

HOLLYWOOD – The 2015 Academy Awards are over, but now the race is on for the 2016 Oscars and the Studio Exec has its FACT squad standing by.

1. Michael Keaton will receive a nomination for Batman 4. Admittedly, there have been other Batmans and we’re not sure how the numbers add up, but the title will be an obvious homage to the Birdman 4 film that Riggan refused to countenance in Birdman.

2. In an ill-advised attempt to win over Twitter, John Travolta will host the Oscars, ensuring a Lovecraftian vibe with fellow Thetans as guest hosts and everyone else soon becoming ‘hosts’ of another kind when the psychotropic light show renders them all brain slaves ready to enter the Hubbard ship.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Hateful Eight will be vying for the top spot as well as Leonardo di Caprio in The Revenant and Ron Howard’s In the something of the Sea. As the Academy has proven itself hopelessly poor at the nominating process, cage fights will take the place of ballots and nominees will be eliminated in a series of televised rounds.

4. In an ill-advised attempt to show that basically us show business types are color blind everyone will attend the ceremony in black face. For black guests this will be of course optional. Ridley Scott will be in charge with a spray gun for the forgetful.

5. The women will wear clothes and the men will in a break with tradition  also wear clothes. They will be of different colors and materials, and styles and there will be names attached to them. Anyone who cares about this will later be rounded up, come the revolution.

For more Movie FACTS CLICK HERE!

HATEFUL EIGHT: ON SET REPORT

COLORADO – Quentin Tarantino’s new Western The Hateful Eight began filming this week in Telluride and the Studio Exec was invited EXCLUSIVELY to witness proceedings by QT himself.

It is cold in Colorado this time of year and snowy, but Quentin Tarantino is wearing his trade mark Hawaiian shirt and his motor mouth is going at 180 rpm.

Hey, SE do you know that Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball is about a guy with a big dick. ‘You wre-e-eck me!’ You see? Jesus it’s just no fun no more. It’s so obvious.

The first shot involves Samuel L. Jackson and Channing Tatum, along with Mike Myers, Jan Michel Vincent, Mickey Rourke, Kevin James and Renee Zellwegger getting out of a stagecoach. It takes about two hours to shoot. During lunch I ask QT about the gestation of the film.

Well, I was really upset when the script leaked so I totally rewrote it. This one would never leak on the internet I decided (read the revised Hateful Eight script HERE). The first idea I had was not to make the film at all but do it, I mean perform it as a dance, but I talked it over with Harvey Keitel and he told me he thought it was – and I quote –  a ‘f*cking awful idea’. So I settled on making a film.

With Django Unchained you were obviously very influenced by the Spaghetti westerns. Do they continue to be an influence?

No, I want to do something else, something more purely American. So I just watched Bonanza over and over again and that became my key text. The only reason I haven’t mentioned it in interviews before is because of the plagiarism fuss, what with Spiderbaby and everything. So actually if you don’t mind not mentioning it.

Absolutely. And your casting choices? You’re using Kevin James I see.

Yeah Kevin is one of the most natural comic talents we’ve got . He’s like our Belushi, but a postmodern Belushi. Like if you had Belushi but he wasn’t funny, or charismatic. That’d basically be Kevin.

Will he be funny in this role?

Absolutely not.

And with that Quentin is called away to film the next set up: a gunfight between Joaquin Phoenix and Benedict Cumberbatch’s agent.

The Hateful Eight will be in cinemas in 2015.

 

QUENTIN TARANTINO HIRES ACTORS TO WALK AROUND HIS HOUSE IN CHARACTER

HOLLYWOOD – Increasingly eccentric Gawker litigant Quentin Tarantino ‘hires actors to walk around his house, in character,’ according to a source close to the actor who prefers to remain anonymous (it was Bruce Dern).

The actor said:

It started at the rehearsals for the table read of Hateful Eight when he cooked us all a big meal but insisted we stay in character for the dinner. Then he phoned Tim Roth up and asked him to wash his car, but always in character. If you go round to his house now you’ll see Uma Thurman putting up some shelves as The Bride and John Travolta out the back cleaning the pool dressed as Vince Vega.  

 Have you been asked to do anything, in character?

Oh, I mowed his lawn, but I like cutting grass so there was no problem with that. Poor Kurt Russell is re-roofing the house as Stuntman Mike. Quentin says it’s part of his process and frankly some of us don’t get much work anymore. Poor Mikey Madsen stands at the bottom of the drive waiting to see if Quentin has any work for him. 

The Hateful Eight will be released when enough publicity has been built up.

HATEFUL EIGHT: SCRIPT LEAK

HOLLYWOOD -Following the leaking of Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight script, Tarantino initially thought of abandoning the film entirely, but has  instead totally rewritten.


EXT. SNOW SWEPT PLAIN. DAY.
A stagecoach rides full pelt through the driving snow, followed by two outriders. They approach and enter a small town. 

INT. TAVERN. DAY.
Four men (TARANTINO, KEITEL, MADSEN and DERN) sit around a table in the tavern. They are finishing a card game that has been going on for hours. One of the men (QUENTIN TARANTINO) is in the middle of saying something. 

Continue reading “HATEFUL EIGHT: SCRIPT LEAK”

QUENTIN TARANTINO TO PERFORM HATEFUL EIGHT AS ‘INTERPRETIVE DANCE’

HOLLYWOOD – Hollywood Independent has confirmed that Quentin Tarantino will perform his leaked Hateful Eight script as an ‘interpretive dance piece’, the performance will be solo and no live streaming or video will be taken of the event.

Tarantino had halted production on the film following the leaking of the script onto the internet and is currently embroiled in a legal battle with website Gawker for publishing a link to the leaked script. Although Michael Madsen admitted to leaking the script (Click HERE for more on that), the culprit has yet to be identified.

Very little is known about the dance piece except that Tarantino himself will be the solo performer and he has been working for weeks with choreographers from the New York Ballet who have described his progress as ’embarrassingly bad’ and ‘dangerous to his health’. Tickets are selling at $200 a pop and will be on sale from 9 April. 

Swiss Tarantino expert Xavier Poulis is going to be first in the queue:

I more than anybody want to see Mr. Tarantino prancing about in a body stocking. The Hateful Eight is about a whole ensemble of characters, so to see him adopt all the characters is going to be what we in Switzerland refer to as ‘a wheeze’.

Do you think there’s any chance this could be quite good?

Heavens no.

Quentin Tarantino’s interpretive dance performance of The Hateful Eight will take place on the 29th of April and the money will go to the charity F*ck Gawker.