Archive for July, 2015

Wolf Children: The Lateral Tracking Shot

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Take a look at the unique and memorable lateral tracking shots in Mamoru Hosoda’s 2012 animated feature, Wolf Children.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/pdSKot0psNg[/embed]

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Dead Poets Society: Deconstructing a Classic

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Tom Schulman, writer of Dead Poets Society, deconstructs the story’s journey from script to screen, along with his unique working relationships on set with Robin Williams and director Peter Weir.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/UmdsLv7Zx6g[/embed]

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HF Crum

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

HF Crum is currently adapting a book for Modern Man Films (THE END OF THE TOUR) and producer Sam Goldberg (THE HEART MACHINE, 3RD STREET BLACKOUT). Crum was also a 2014 FIND Screenwriting Lab Fellow.

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Kateland Brown

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Since becoming a Finalist, Kateland Brown co-wrote an upcoming episode of Pretty Little Liars that will air in January 2016.

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José Luis González

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

José Luis González took the BlueCat prize money he received and invested in equipment to produce “The History of Magic” as a short and intends to hit the festival circuit when finished.

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Paul Thomas Anderson On Max Ophüls

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

No stranger to the magic of the tracking-shot himself, acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson shares his thoughts on the master of the art, Max Ophüls. 

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Snowpiercer: Left or Right?

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

How do you visually convey a character’s decision-making process? Bong Jun-ho’s Snowpiercer provides one possible answer. 

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/X05TDsoSg2Y[/embed]

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The Making of Young Frankenstein

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Mel Brooks’s long and storied career includes such luminaries as Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, and The Producers, but true Brooks fans will always have a special appreciation for the comedic brilliance of Young Frankenstein. Enjoy this short “making-of” video courtesy of AMC. 

[embed width=”420″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/9LQgeNTazp8[/embed]

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Blue’s Beats #10 – “Dallas Buyers Club”

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Blue’s Beats is a new blog series where we break down various nominated feature screenplays by identifying and discussing their important beats.

 

Today we’ll be taking a look at the 2013 American biographical drama Dallas Buyers Club, written by Craig Borten and Melissa Wallack and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 86th Academy Awards.  

To view a .pdf of the screenplay, click here

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/Hs1kpGNSRVk[/embed]

PLOT SUMMARY

The story takes place in Texas in the mid-1980s when the AIDS epidemic is still under-researched and highly stigmatized. We open on Ron Woodroof, diagnosed with the disease and subsequently given a painfully slim thirty days to live. Emotionally devastated but determined to live, Woodroof begins smuggling unapproved, symptom-alleviating drugs into the US from Mexico with the help of a HIV-positive trans woman and a reluctant doctor.

INCITING INCIDENT

(Pages 13-19) At the outset, the news that Woodroof is indeed infected with the AIDS virus serves as the inciting incident. Woodroof soon experiences all manner of persecution as a result of the disease including loosing both his home and his job.

PLOT POINT ONE

(Pages 25-37) When Woodroof applies for treatment, he learns that the only FDA-approved drug available is ineffective and incredibly expensive, and with his increasingly tenuous health, he concludes that an alternative method of treatment must be found. In Mexico, Woodroof encounters a doctor who advises him the the approved AIDS medication, AZT, is nothing short of poisonous, “killing every cell it comes into contact with.” Instead, the doctor proscribes him a combination of ddC and peptide T, neither of which are approved in the US. Over time, Woodroof finds his health greatly improved, and realizes that he can make a profit by smuggling the much more effective into the US.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/Vt-VF8GzQvU[/embed]

MIDPOINT

(Pages 44-59) Woodroof begins selling the new drugs on the street, and eventually forms a reluctant partnership with an HIV-infected trans woman named Rayon who claims that she is familiar in many trans and homosexual circles—the groups with the highest proportion of afflicted people—and can thus attract vastly more business. Since it is still unlawful to actually sell the drugs, the pair establish the “Dallas Buyers Club” wherein applicants may pay a monthly membership fee and receive the life-saving drugs for free.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/X32pSJrgF3Q[/embed]

PLOT POINT TWO

(Pages 79-97) When the FDA learns of Woodroof’s enterprise, it changes it’s regulations so that any unapproved drug is also illegal to possess. The club’s funding gradually dries up, and Woodroof learns that Rayon has become addicted to cocaine. As her health worsens, she reveals that she has sold her life-insurance policy in order to keep the club financially afloat. Upon returning to the US from a peptide T run, Woodroof learns that Rayon has died after being taken to the hospital.

CRISIS AND CLIMAX

(Pages 100-109) As the club continues to limp along, Woodroof gradually learns compassion towards the gay, lesbian, and transsexual individuals who are the club’s main clients. The pursuit of financial gain becomes less of a driving factor for him as he becomes more concerned with supplying the necessary drugs to the people he has come to know and love. As the FDA cracks down on the supply and distribution of peptide T, Woodroof files a lawsuit against the organization. He seeks the legal right to take peptide, which has been proven to be nontoxic but is still banned by the FDA. The judge eventually sides with him, allowing him to take peptide T for personal use, but finds that the court lacks the legal tools to reverse the FDA’s behavior.

DENOUEMENT

(Pages 109-111) The film dispenses almost entirely with falling action, instead using title cars to reveal that Woodroof eventually died of AIDS in 1992, though lived seven years longer than the doctors had initially stated thanks to the drugs he was able to obtain and distribute under the pretense of the Dallas Buyers Club.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/Aqo9z6lp4GY[/embed]

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The Secret to A Good Sequel

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

This short video sheds some light onto the secrets of making a worthwhile sequel. 

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The Cinema of Michael Mann

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Explore director Michael Mann’s aesthetic, thematic, and narrative patterns across his filmography in this short video. 

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Scorsese’s 39 Must-See Foreign Films

Friday, July 24th, 2015

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Ever the champion of visual literacy, Martin Scorsese enumerates his 39 must-see foreign films in an effort to jump-start the cinematic education of aspiring filmmakers. Scorsese’s list is as follows:

1. Metropolis

2. Nosferatu

3. Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler

4. Napoleon

5. Grand Illusion

6. The Rules of the Game

7. Children of Paradise

8. Open City

9. Paisan

10. La Terra Trema

11. The Bicycle Thief

12. Umberto D

13. Beauty and the Beast

14. Tokyo Story

15. Ikiru

16. Seven Samurai

17. Ugetsu

18. Sansho the Bailiff

19. High and Low

20. Big Deal on Madonna Street

21. Rocco and His Brothers

22. The 400 Blows

23. Shoot the Piano Player

24. Breathless

25. Band of Outsiders

26. Il Sorpasso

27. L’Avventura

28. Blow-Up

29. Before the Revolution

30. Le Boucher

31. Weekend

32. Death By Hanging

33. The Merchant of Four Seasons

34. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

35. The Marriage of Maria Braun

36. Kings of the Road

37. The American Friend

38. The Mystery of Haspar Hauser

39. Aguirre, The Wrath of God

To read the complete article from Open Culture, click here

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BlueCat Alum’s Latest Feature Optioned by NZFC

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

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Screenwriter Guy McDouall, winner of BlueCat’s Joplin Award during our 2012 competition, has been making waves in the world of New Zealand cinema. His award-winning feature, Random Acts of Violence, has been optioned and is currently in development with the help of the New Zealand Film Commission. 

Random Acts of Violence, McDouall’s first feature, follows a quarantined pacifist as he fights to find a cure for the fits of murderous rage he and other test subjects have become afflicted with. 

Christian Rivers, visual-effects maestro on nearly all of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson’s projects, from Braindead (that’s Dead Alive in America) to the Hobbit franchise, is set to make his directorial debut, accompanied by much of the core crew from the 2015 short film Feeder, also penned by McDouall, and currently enjoying massive success in the New Zealand festival circuit. 

Darkly atmospheric and tempered with morbid tension, Feeder is a modest, 17 minute short about a struggling musician who finds “a diabolical source of inspiration” when he moves into a new recording space. Esteemed New Zealand-born filmmaker Christine Jeffs has praised the film, stating it’s “a dark narrative with a twist. Surprises keep coming till the end.” 

Fresh from the critical success of his first short, Guy McDouall is in a prime position to unleash his first, highly-anticipated feature onto the world, and BlueCat is grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a promising and enthusiastic young talent. 

To read our 2012 interview with Guy, click here

To learn more about Guy’s short film, Feeder, click here

Feeder is currently playing at the film festivals listed below. Click on the links to view showtimes. 

 

Fantasia International Film Festival

Melbourne International Film Festival 

New Zealand International Film Festival

 

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Lynne Ramsay: The Poetry of Details

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

This video considers some of the detail-oriented visual poetry in a few scenes from Lynne Ramsay’s filmography. 

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How to Properly Format Your Title

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

In the treacherous world of screenwriting, many authors concern themselves with the occasionally obscure, often arcane practice of formatting and presenting their scripts. Industry professionals agree that the body of the work should be written in 12-point Courier font—a comfortable industry standard—but the correct formatting of the title, however, remains furiously contested. 

Of the various factions perpetually at war in the battle-scarred, no-man’s-land of correct title formatting, some combatants maintain that the title MUST be written in ALL CAPITALS, while others identify the exact line number (twenty-five) on which the title should be written. Another guide (which can be read here) states that on all subsequent pages, the title should be written at the top of the page, -centered-, underscored, and in ALL CAPS.

There’s something to be said for standardization, but in a psychotically commercial industry where a new idea has, at most, about fifteen seconds to capture one’s attention, authors feel the need to do whatever it takes to draw attention to their script, even at the most superficial level.  

But enough theory and speculation. How have the real industry insiders—screenwriters responsible for award-winning scripts—chosen to format their projects in the past?

Take the Coen Brothers’ script for No Country for Old Men, for instance. 

no country 2

Look at that beautiful type. Simple and elegant, this particular title falls within the parameters of guide.

How about Academy Award-winning writer/director Spike Jonze’s Her?

ner 2

That doesn’t look like Courier to me, Jonze. And forget about size 12. That kind of shoddy work will never pass muster with the guide. 

Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? Seems this title isn’t guide-approved either. Leave a comment if you think we ought to take back those two Oscars and three BAFTAs for this. 

es 2

William Monahan’s The Departed? Bolded and underlined and size 18? There’s just too much innovation here for me to wrap my head around. 

depart 2

Finally, fatally, there’s Tarantino. What else need be said? Yes, I am taking pot-shots at one of the most beloved filmmakers of our age. No, I would not say that to his face.

django unchained script

The moral here is that screenplay style guides are well and good, but notice that they’re called “screenplay guides” and not “screenplay laws.” Armed with this knowledge, a writer may choose to play fast and loose with the formatting of a film’s title, so long as it doesn’t assault the eyes and prove difficult to read. Accordingly, your correspondent does not necessarily recommend formatting a title in Comic Sans and, to that effect, would like to remind his readers that discretion is often the better part of valor. 

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1979 Interview With David Lynch

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

David Lynch casually chats about some of the directorial choices in Eraserhead, including the decision to emphasize his trademark darkly surreal comedy. 

[embed width=”420″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/l3WFOPWbG8I[/embed]

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The 50 Best B-Movie Titles of All Time

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

PDVD_038

In an effort to maintain its platinum standard of high-quality journalism, The Hollywood Reporter has compiled this list of the fifty greatest schlocky B-movie titles of all time. The list, which can be viewed in more detail here, is as follows:

1. Superman and the Mole Men

2. Untamed Women

3. The Mesa of Lost Women

4. The Twonky

5. It Came From Outer Space

6. Cat Women of the Moon

7. The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms

8. THEM!

9. Monster From the Ocean Floor

10. The Creature With the Atom Bomb

11. The Beast With a Million Eyes

12. Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

13. The Cosmic Man Appears In Tokyo

14. Plan 9 From Outer Space

15. Attack of the Crab Monsters

16. The Mole People

17. Fire Maidens From Outer Space

18. Invasion of the Saucermen

19. The Viking Woman and the Sea Serpent

20. Attack of the Puppet People

21. The Blob

22. Terror From the Year 5,000

23. Beautiful Women and the Hydrogen Man

24. The Brain Eaters

25. I Was A Teenage Frankenstein

26. I Married A Monster From Outer Space

27. Monster On the Campus

28. The Brain that Wouldn’t Die

29. Revenge of the Virgins

30. The Hideous Sun Demon

31. The Giant Gila Monster

32. Teenagers From Outer Space

33. The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock

34. The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

35. Two Thousand Maniacs!

36. The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?

37. The Adventures of Rat Pfink and Boo Boo

38. Werewolves On Wheels

39. Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS

40. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

41. The Toxic Avenger

42. Killer Klowns From Outer Space

43. Hell Comes to Frogtown

44. Frankenhooker

45. Attack of the 50ft Woman

46. Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood

47. The Wizard of Gore

48. The Killer Robots and the Battle for the Cosmic Potato

49. Big-Ass Spider!

50. Bimbo Movie Bash!

BlueCat Best Movie Title Contest deadline is August 1st! Submit your Screenplay!

 

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Spoiler Alert! Movie Titles That Give Away the Ending

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

In honor of our the upcoming deadline for our Movie Title Contest, we’re exploring the importance of titles when it comes to a film’s meaning, impact, and success.

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In today’s age of social media and accelerated cyberspace buzz, so much is made of not spoiling a film for those who have yet to watch it. But when it comes to some movies, the giveaway is right in the title.

See the slideshow at Zimbio: Movie Titles That Give Away the Ending

BlueCat Best Movie Title Contest deadline is August 1st! Submit your Screenplay!

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Tarantino’s Side-By-Side Visual References

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Quentin Tarantino, frequently lauded for his bold, auteur style, is responsible for a laundry-list of cinematic standouts that draw inspiration from pillars of film history and obscure cult classics alike. This super-cut takes a look at some of those visual references side-by-side. 

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/XG9wGUvw0MQ[/embed]

To read the full article on The Playlist, click here

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Blue’s Beats #9 – “The Social Network”

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Blue’s Beats is a new blog series where we break down various nominated feature screenplays by identifying and discussing their important beats.

 

Today we’ll be taking a look at the 2010 American drama The Social Network, written by Aaron Sorkin and and directed by David Fincher. The film won numerous Academy Awards, including the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

To view a .pdf of the screenplay, click here

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/2RB3edZyeYw[/embed]

PLOT SUMMARY

We all know it by now, right? It’s the story of the founding of Facebook. It’s a story that’s a mired in pop culture as you can get. It’s the story of how the world’s youngest billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg, developed the fledgling corporation and, despite numerous lawsuits and claims of intellectual theft, managed to turn it into an international powerhouse. Though the story of Facebook is a thoroughly modern tale, it incorporates age-old themes like betrayal, class, sex, revenge, and pettiness.

INCITING INCIDENT

(Pages 1-15) When 19-year-old Harvard undergrad Mark Zuckerberg is dumped by his girlfriend, he spitefully posts about her audaciousness on his LiveJournal, then takes it one step further by creating the joke-website Facemash, which allows users to rate the attractiveness of Harvard’s female students. The site garners inexplicable popularity and attracts the attention of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who invite Zuckerberg to work on their own social network, Harvard Connection.

PLOT POINT ONE

(Pages 55-65) Zuckerberg agrees to the Winklevoss’s proposal, but goes behind their back, with the held of his friend turned financier, Eduardo Saverin, to create his own, similar social network which he tentatively names Thefacebook. Outraged by Zuckerberg’s underhanded dealings, the Winklevoss twins voice their grievances to Harvard President Larry Summers, who proves to be unwilling to mediate.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/bLsM1z8lX_A[/embed]

MIDPOINT

(Pages 120-130) Prompted by the growing popularity of Thefacebook, Zuckerberg extends operations to other Ivy League schools, including Yale, Colombia, and Stanford. Eventually, the site attracts the attention of Napster founder Sean Parker, who shares his vision for Thefacebook with Zuckerberg. Impressed with Parker’s proposition, Zuckerberg ultimately moves his base of operations to Palo Alto, and also drops changes the site’s name to the more streamlined and recognizable Facebook.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/LPSsLWlZl40[/embed]

PLOT POINT TWO

(Pages 145-155) When the Winklevoss twins discover that Facebook has spread to Oxford, the file a lawsuit against Zuckerberg for theft of intellectual property. At the same time, Zuckerberg’s relationship with Saverin becomes increasingly strained, as Saverin freezes the company’s account after voicing his displeasure with Parker’s continuance in making business decisions for Facebook. Eventually, Saverin relinquishes his hold on the accounts when Zuckerberg reveals that and Angel Investor has offered the company $500,000 to expand its operations. What Zuckerberg fails to mention, however, is that the new business deal stipulates that the worth of Saverin’s shares in the company will be diluted from 38% to 0.03%—a development which will not effect any of the other shareholders.

CRISIS AND CLIMAX

(Pages 155-160) Scenes from the final deposition sequence are intercut throughout the film in order to build a sense of tension as Zuckerberg is beset on all sides by lawsuits and betrayal. On one hand, the Winklevoss twins claim that Zuckerberg stole the initial idea for Facebook while, on the other, Saverin claims that his shares in the company were unfairly and punitively diluted. Finally, Zuckerberg’s attorney advises that they settle with both parties out of court, as Zuckerberg’s callous, aloof, and perhaps contemptuous attitude will be received poorly by a jury.

DENOUEMENT

(Page 161) A short sequence of title cards provide all the exposition the film needs, effectively tying up the dangling plot threads. In this epilogue, we learn that the Winklevoss twins received $65 million while Saverin received an undisclosed sum, and has subsequently returned to the site’s masthead as co-founder. It goes on to say that Facebook has since attracted the patronage of upwards of 500 million users in 207 countries, and is likewise worth upwards of $25 million.

[embed width=”560″ height=”315″]https://www.youtube.com/embed/A6f-6l0W-0o[/embed]

 

 

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