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Follow Up

Notes on the state of the industry

Matt gives the full report from a WGA panel about the film industry.

Authors’ Guild vs. Kindle

Cory Doctorow makes many of the points I would about the Authors’ Guild’s grumpiness over the Kindle’s text-to-speech function.

Official badasses

MTV released its final list of top-ten badasses, which included contributions by me and a lot of other folks. Dirty Harry – “Dirty Harry” Ellen Ripley – “Alien/Aliens” John McClane – “Die Hard” Mad Max – “Mad Max” Walker – “Point Blank” Sarah Connor – “Terminator” Pike Bishop – “The Wild Bunch” Khan Noonien Singh […]

iMovie 09 is much better, still maddening

A few weeks ago, I expressed exasperation upon seeing demos of iMovie 09, which seemed to be working hard to fix exactly the wrong problems. Now that I have it installed, I’ve been able to spend a few days playing around with it. And you know what? It’s actually a lot better. Yes, that could […]

The biggest TiVo in the world

The thin line between unlimited DVR and video-on-demand.

The rat is dead

Last month, a visitor made an unwelcome appearance in our kitchen, eating oranges on the counter. He was first caught virtually by my laptop’s iSight camera, then later physically by a classic spring-lever trap. It was loud; it was unsettling; it was over. I actually like rodents as pets. I grew up with gerbils and […]

The Duluth Dilemma

In Banging a chainsaw against a tree, I expressed my frustration at those who complain how unfair it is that screenwriters in, say, Duluth, aren’t taken seriously. It got a lot of responses. Mike writes: Why can’t he complain if no one takes a screenwriter in Duluth seriously? If he wrote a damn good screenplay […]

Follow-Up Week

My favorite episodes of Intervention are the follow-up ones, in which they track what’s happened with the addicts in the months and years after treatment. Some have stayed clean, others are off-the-rails disasters. I always guess wrong. Here on the site, I rarely do follow-ups. In fact, once an entry gets pushed off the front […]

Slumdog Coincidentalist

A reader writes in requesting a reexamination of my post “The Perils of Coincidence” in light of an acclaimed movie which is already a screenwriting award contender: This weekend, I saw Slumdog Millionaire, a story that is succinctly described by the equation: “I knew the answer to this obscure question because this farfetched event happened […]

Postmodernism will eat itself

In the comments thread to my post on Charlie Brown, advertising, and whatever comes after postmodernism, reader Michael makes an important point: If everything is a reference to a reference to a reference, as so much creative work is currently, then audiences are forced to either “get” everything, or else be alienated by everything. It […]

Six week bug

I’m finally over the annoying illness that’s kept me on a reduced schedule these past few weeks. I’m calling it bronchitis, though my doctor never used that term, and it’s possible it was something else entirely. In general I’m not a person who gets sick for more than a day or two, so it was […]

Splinter, tonight

Following up on my earlier post about alternative distributions for indies, Splinter has its debut on HDNet Movies tonight, in anticipation of its theatrical roll-out this weekend. (And in competition with a certain presidential candidate’s national address.) I haven’t seen the movie, but it got a nice review today in Variety, and awards at Screamfest.

Insomnia 2008

I’m going to be one of the judges for the 2008 Insomnia Film Festival, an Apple-sponsored competition for U.S. high school and college students. Entrants get 24 hours to write, produce, edit, score and deliver a three-minute short film incorporating specific elements they only announce on the day. The competition begins at 9:00 a.m. on […]

Indie film, cont’d

How some are navigating distribution of indie fare.

WGA membership approves credit proposals

The WGA announced this afternoon that all three proposed revisions to the Screen Credits Manual passed handily, ranging from 83 to 90 percent yes votes.

Vote yes on credit proposals

Just a reminder for WGA members: ballots are due Thursday for the three screen credit proposals, which I wrote about in more detail a few weeks ago. It’s an easy Yes for all three. They’re basically just closing loopholes.

Self-distributing an indie feature

Todd Sklar, who I know from his work up at the Sundance Labs, wrote in to agree with a lot of the points I raised in my post-mortem of The Nines. His experience with the indie film he made and self-released is alternately inspiring and exhausting, but worth careful attention for anyone considering making a […]

I never told Robert Redford to suck it

I want to expand, redirect and challenge some of the discussion on my earlier post about Sundance, The Nines, and the death of independent film. For starters, many in the P2P world were all too happy to declare victory over, well, logic. (The Nines Director: Forget Sundance, Use P2P Instead). That’s incorrect on a lot […]

I got married

On Saturday evening, one hundred friends and family members got together for our wedding at a house in the hills. There were rings and toasts and food and cake. It’s all a bit of a blur. The photos I’ve seen so far have me grinning idiotically, which I’m sure I was. We had guests come […]

Scene challenge winners

Y’know, I think we learned something today: Derivatives were maybe not the best choice for the third-ever scene challenge. I deliberately picked something tough because in real life, screenwriters are often faced with challenging topics to explain. For example, last night I spoke with Ron Bass about the Einstein project he’s working on. Quick: Show […]

More on the torrents

There’s been a lot of feedback and reaction on this site and others about my c’est la vie attitude towards The Nines showing up on BitTorrent. Some felt I was tacitly endorsing piracy (no), while others wondered if I’d feel the same if I had financed the movie, rather than writing and directing it. So […]

Not a word

Last week, I wrote how much I admired the Pencils Down ad, in which TV’s top showrunners said they would be doing no writing on their shows during a strike. I said that I’d be delighted to sign a similar ad for feature screenwriters. I’m happy to say the WGA took me up on the […]

Heroes: Origins: Gone

The WGA strike kills a spin-off, and my episode with it.

Authorship in the digital age

A few weeks ago, my friend Howard Rodman was asked to give a talk at the 2007 Rencontres Cinématographiques de Dijon, speaking on a panel entitled “Copyright and Droit d’Auteur in the Digital Age.” Being a reader of the blog, Howard asked if he might incorporate a few of the observations from my Challenge of […]

Defeat keeps on going

“My Glorious Defeat,” the article I wrote for Men’s Health, is now up at MSN.com1 (No, I don’t get residuals.) May 3, 2011 Update: MSN.com is link no longer active, but can be accessed at Men’s Health. ↩