film writing

A Tip for Film Writers: Always Be Writing

Many times I hear writers say they are stuck or are in a writer’s slump because no ideas are coming, or because they don’t know what to write. They want an original idea for a film that nobody has ever seen before. They want the next great original idea that rocks the film world. Some…

By John Montana
A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy

Novel Choices: 4 Classic Books That Should Be Made Into Movies

Sometimes I wonder if the movie industry has a small box containing only 10 or so classic novels, from which they draw periodically to craft prestige pictures. Case in point: Come 2015, we’ll be getting a new version of the Thomas Hardy classic Far from the Madding Crowd … despite the fact that an excellent,…

By Simon Hardy Butler

Film Review: How ‘Laggies’ Loses Focus

I like Sam Rockwell. I really do. I would watch Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Moon over the better-known Adaptation and 2001 any day. And no one has ever played a fodder crewmember better than Rockwell did in Galaxy Quest. But his character Craig is not a realistic panacea for Keira Knightley’s Megan in…

By Jonathan Eig
Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin: Deconstructing the Storyteller

Unless you are intimately involved in a movie’s production, it can be virtually impossible to determine where the writer’s role ends and the director’s begins, or how much credit/blame to assign to the actor or the cinematographer. One of the reasons the auteur theory gained such credibility in the past half century is that it…

By Jonathan Eig

The Good, The Bad, The Screenwriter

To write a screenplay means dedicating yourself to hard, arduous and often frustrating work, as well as hour upon hour of pen-gnawing, wall-staring and creeping self-doubt. And when the first version is finally ready, you, as the writer, know that the editing process will inevitably take at least as many hours of dedication. Your screenplay…

By Annelie Widholm
rorschach the secret of roan inish

Perceiving Film: The Cinematic Rorschach Test

We’ve been talking a lot about favourite films recently. Were I to make a list, John Sayles’ 1994 movie The Secret of Roan Inish would rank fairly high. But if you want to discuss and analyse that movie, you would find me useless. I’ve seen it once, and though “never” is a long time away,…

By Jonathan Eig

Poetry In Motion (Pictures): 19 Films that Feature Poetry

There’s a very easy way for screenwriters to make characters seem smart, and that’s to have them quote some verse, usually by a heavyweight poet (Shakespeare, Milton, Yeats or Eliot). Sometimes it’s just a way for the screenwriters to wear their educations on their sleeves.   Splendor in the Grass (1961) Splendor in the Grass,…

By Niall McArdle