Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Miscellaneous: Movie Notes

Frank Cottrell Boyce, who has a few movies to his credit, offers a few tips on how to write one. Lots of good advice here, with my favorite being rule #4, Forget The Three-Act Structure:

When you’re shaping things, it’s more useful to think about suspense. Suspense is the hidden energy that holds a story together. It connects two points and sends a charge between them.

David Mamet said something similar when he observed that movies are simply about getting the audience to ask, “What happens next”? Do that all the way through, and you’ve got it made.

Much attention has been deservedly paid to Mark Gill’s grimly optimistic, or optimistically grim, assessment of the current state of independent film. It’s prompted plenty of analysis, like this column from David Carr of the New York Times. But perhaps the best appraisal comes from director, screenwriter and newlywed John August, who uses his own Sundance film The Nines as a case study.