» Posts Tagged ‘character’

Description image

Scorsese directingIf you’re a director, you’re responsible for so much that goes on (or should be going on) on and off set, but your one primary role is to connect with, lead, and direct actors. There are many different ways to do this, but Mark W. Travis, considered one of the world’s leading authorities on film directing, has shared some thoughts on the difference between directing with a focus on character versus performance, and weighs in on his opinion on the “right” approach to coaching actors — one that will encourage and guide them toward performing to their full potential. More »

Description image

randy thom skywalker ranch oscar winner winning sound design designer audio post production interactive technologyMicrosoft has a history of recognizing the importance of elegant design. In January, the creators of the Windows 8 logo announced that they were to redesign NYC’s “notoriously confusing parking signs.” This sensitivity has also extended to sound design in the past, when experimental composer/producer Brian Eno was approached to create the Windows 95 start-up sound,” familiar to many I’m sure. Now, Microsoft’s YouTube channel has posted an interesting little video featuring Oscar-winner Randy Thom (The Incredibles, The Empire Strikes Back), the current Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Ranch, on the importance of the sound design of interactive technology. Simplicity — and, as it turns out, friendliness — are key. More »

Description image

on-story-austin-film-festivalScreenwriters are undoubtedly propelled by the question, “What if…?” Many times when writing a screenplay, however, we are tempted by the question, “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” This question can certainly lead to dramatic action sequences or hilarious set pieces, but may not reveal the true nature of our characters or propel the story forward. Thanks to yet another episode of On Story, the PBS series presented by the Austin Film Festival, we can watch the screenwriters of Wanted, Gone in 60 Seconds, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Snitch discuss how they write thrilling action sequences that define the characters in their stories. More »

Description image

Austin Film Festival recently kicked off the second season of On Story, its PBS series with directors and screenwriters curated from interviews from the festival. In the season premiere, the legendary late Sydney Pollack identifies the moments in the development of his classic films Tootsie, The Way We Were, and Jeremiah Johnson, when he discovered the keys to making his characters work in the context of the stories he was trying to tell, and how those discoveries were translated into the scripts and the final films. In this same episode, David Milch, creator of NYPD Blue and Deadwood, also describes how he created the character of Andy Sipowicz and how he channeled his frustration of not being able to tell the biblical tale of Paul into a storyline for Deadwood. You can check out the full episode here: More »

Description image

As screenwriters, we spend a lot of time writing, re-writing, and obsessing over dialogue.  Let’s face it — the audience won’t read the amazing writing of our action sequences, but they will certainly hear our pithy dialogue.  But do each of our characters have a unique voice? Thanks to the ongoing generosity of John August and Craig Mazin, their most recent Scriptnotes podcast provides five tests to see whether a character’s voice is working.  See the five tests from the podcast below and my personal take on each: More »