Planning for opening titles

Karin Fong compares a great title sequence to raising the curtain before the show. By planning for opening titles at the script stage, you can help get your story started off right.

New interview up

I did an interview this afternoon with Sam Heer at BlogTalkRadio’s 123Film station, in which we talked about Go, The Nines, the Burton movies and screenwriting in general.

Writing on demand

Screenwriting isn’t a career that only happens in hermit-mode.

How long should it take to write a script?

Knowing the answer is part of the craft, just like a cabinetmaker promising a delivery date.

Simple is better than accurate

Simplicity is not the same as idiocy, or pandering.

Rethinking motivation

Try replacing the question of what the character wants/needs with, “Why is the character doing what he’s doing?”

Charlie on ABC

In the U.S., ABC will be “network television premiering” Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Saturday, Feb. 9th. Theatrical movies aren’t showing up on free television much anymore, but Charlie should work well. It falls into TV act breaks fairly naturally.

Publicity 101

It would be nice if the general public had some sense that movies are actually written, and that the actors aren’t making up their dialogue.

Clive Cussler really, really dislikes Sahara

An author rails against his Hollywood adaptation.

Writing what can’t be shot

Movies are about what characters do and say, not who they were before the story started.

How accurate is the page-per-minute rule?

Most screenplays are about 120 pages, and most movies are around two hours. But the conversion rate between paper and celluloid is rarely one-to-one.

Charlie out on DVD

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is out on DVD today (at least, in North America). There are three versions available: a widescreen version, a full screen version, and a two-disc set with bonus features. Obviously, don’t get the full screen version. It’s frustrating that they even sell one, much less call it “full screen.” In […]

Why is Charlie so passive?

In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, why is Charlie so passive in the movie? As the main character I would think he would do something during the big adventure in the factory but he does nothing. He faces no challenges. He is not tested in any way. He doesn’t even have the opportunity to make […]

Two big debuts

This past weekend, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opened to strong reviews and a hefty $56.2 million at the box office. I’m happy, of course, but that good news was eclipsed by even better news: the birth of my daughter on Monday. Her long-awaited arrival explains my lack of posting this past week, and the […]

Ton of Charlie clips online

Reader Francois just pointed out a large selection of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory clips hosted at IESB. I’m sort of surprised Warner Bros. made so many available, but they all look authentic and authorized. (CUT TO: Me furiously deleting any reference to their existence after WB says they’re not allowed.) Presumably, these clips are […]

I didn’t get here on my looks

The summer issue of Written By magazine is out, and the cover story is about my involvement with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. First the good news. The story by Mark Olsen is terrific, everything I could have hoped for. Often with reporters, you hold back a bit, because you’re nervous about being misquoted or […]

Back from the Charlie press junket

This weekend, I travelled to The Bahamas for the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory press junket. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a press junket is a two or three day period during which the stars and filmmakers of a movie meet with the press (both domestic and international) to answer questions about […]

Deciding which parents get to visit the factory

I have a question about your upcoming film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. What made you decide to have each child bring only one guardian to Wonka’s factory, and how did you choose which one would go? –Michael Daphne, Alabama In Roald Dahl’s book, each of the four rotten kids (Veruca, Violet, Augustus and Mike) […]

Cheaper Charlie shirts

Reader “Bri” was thoughtful enough to point out that Hot Topic has started selling less-expensive Charlie and the Chocolate Factory t-shirts. They’re perfect for your your rebellious kid sister who wants to express her individuality in a completely conformist way. The “Life Had Never Been Sweeter” shirt comes from a line of dialogue (narration, actually) […]

More Charlie goodness

A sharp-eyed reader wrote in to point out that the flash site for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is now open for business. You can find a lot more downloads, but still no “Cast and Crew” section yet. Ahem. Also, the full trailer is now up at Apple, without any of that AOL baggage that […]

Holy Buckets! It’s the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory trailer!

The full trailer for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is finally here in all its Quicktime glory. For now, it’s exclusively at Moviefone, but you can see it in theaters starting on Friday. It should be attached to Madagascar most places.

Official Charlie site updated

A helpful reader named Ethan pointed out that the official site for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been updated with new graphics and photos. Unfortunately, a quick mousing-around reveals that way too much of it is still “coming soon.” But at least there are now placeholders for some crucial omissions, such as filmmaker bios […]

Buy clothes Charlie Bucket couldn’t afford

My best-dressed friend Jen sent me a link to Kitson, which has started selling a line of exclusive, and expensive, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-related merchandise. I certainly don’t lay any claim to the idea of Golden Tickets or t-shirts, but I was a little giddy to see that three of the slogan shirts feature […]

Annoying Trend Watch: Technorati spam blogs

I use a Technorati watchlist to keep track of mentions of me, this site, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Technorati follows blogs, so it’s a nice way to gauge what topics people find interesting enough to write about. For instance, teenage girls tend to point out that “JohNny DePP iz SOOOOO HOOTTTTT!” Over the […]

New Charlie posters up

Ain’t It Cool News has the six new one-sheets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Five of the posters feature the young Golden Ticket winners, while the final one has a new image of Willy Wonka, with the appropriate tagline, “semi-sweet and nuts.” I hadn’t seen any of these one-sheets before this morning, but I […]