Brent Simmons has straightforward advice on error messages: They should be of the form “Can’t x because of y.” A similar form is this: “Noun can’t x because y.” (As in “‘Downloaded.app’ can’t be opened because it is from an unidentified developer.”) Badly-written dialog boxes make me lose faith in an app very quickly. Here’s […]
Final Draft reports abusive calls and emails that may have stemmed from Craig’s recent tirade on Scriptnotes. This is not okay at all.
Katy Perry’s “Roar” is a very successful song with a lyric couplet that drives me crazy.
Four states will be voting on marriage equality this November, and for a change, I think it’s worth winning this round. Washington is where I’m putting my money.
If you click over to my IMDb profile, you’ll see two new projects: “Phil Coulson: Agent of Shield” and “Coulson’s Day Off.” I’m listed under the writer section, having contributed characters. Only I didn’t. At all.
There’s nothing wrong with the parable of the scorpion and the frog. But as screenwriters, let’s stop having characters actually recite it. It’s been done before. A lot. So now it feels like a hacky and desperate way to make villains seem cool by rationalizing their actions.
When you stir stupid and lazy together, they form a toxic compound called Smug Ignorance. It’s non-partisan and always fatal. The symptoms are phrases like, “I don’t know much about computers, but…” or “Look, no one knows if climate change is real.”
We need to stop teaching kids to play the trombone. And the oboe. And the French horn. With the best of intentions, we’ve taught kids to be helpless cogs in a symphonic machine. Worse, we’ve created a system that pretty much guarantees most adults won’t be able to make music by themselves.
Megan Amram shines a spotlight on one of my frustrations with this crop of post-collegiates, a kind of defensive detachment.
Wait, how did I not know the Manic Pixie Dream Girl existed as a trope?
We got an email this morning from a guy — let’s call him Bob — who wanted to check out FDX Reader, but couldn’t find it in the App Store. That’s because he was looking in the wrong App Store. And it’s not his fault, really.
Broadcast networks basically want their own cable-quality shows, so they consciously (or subconsciously) gravitate towards writing they perceive as edgy, even though a lot of what attracted them will have to be excised.
I’m reading more network pilot scripts this year than in years past, so I can’t say whether this is a new trend or just something I was unaware of: What’s with all the swearing?
Can a review be wrong? Not just contrary to popular opinion, but genuinely untrue?
I have little sympathy for users outraged that Hulu is going to start charging.
Gary Whitta wrote in with his proposed moratorium: the wall of expository newspaper clippings.
Really, wireless radio devices don’t need to be touched to work.
In The Matrix, why do the machines need humans? “As batteries” is a pretty lame answer.
Nearly every browser lets you “View Source,” showing how the page was constructed…up to a point.
Screenwriting continues to be the most transparent and opaque part of moviemaking.
As a guy who runs a blog about the nuts and bolts of screenwriting, I sometimes get frustrated by aspirants who only want to dip their toes in, or believe they should be able to have a thriving film career in Duluth. The don’t want to commit fully to the form or the craft. A […]
A pet peeve and a losing battle with popular meaning.
Among the products Apple announced today is iMovie 09, an update to their entry-level video editor that I currently find completely unusable. They have demo videos up showing some of the new features, which range from very helpful (stabilization) to fairly gimmicky (the animated maps). What’s most clear, however, is that they’re sticking with the […]
This past week, I trekked down to Norwalk for early voting. I hadn’t originally planned to, but I kept envisioning getting hit by a car on my way to the polls, and watching the returns from a hospital room with two broken legs, despondent that I missed my chance at exercising my democratic right, and […]
David Mamet argues that even high-minded goals like social commentary ultimately become Cameron Diaz’s swirling ass — attractive distractions that ultimately lessen a movie. And he’s got a point.