The first and last thing you see

Jacob T. Swinney built a supercut comparing the first and last shots of 55 notable films.

Lessons from God

Over the weekend, I revamped my YouTube channel and uploaded a bunch of videos, including my 1998 short film God, starring a young Melissa McCarthy.

The Origins and Formatting of Modern Screenplays

John Hess gives a terrific overview of the history of the screenplay format, and how changes in the film industry changed how the words are arranged on the page.

Eric Goes West

Ryan and his wife Amy produced a terrific short called Eric Goes West that played Slamdance last year as part of anthology called Holiday Road. The short is now available on Vimeo.

Making and Remaking Karateka

To commemorate the making and remaking of Karateka, Earl Newton shot a terrific series of behind-the-scenes videos, the first two of which are embedded below.

Academy screenwriters talk about the craft

Clear a half hour from your schedule, because the Academy has a six-part video series on screenwriters talking about the craft.

Final Cut Pro and Con

Over the past four weeks, Stuart and I have had the opportunity to cut a few projects in the new FCP X and evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. I think the differences in our reactions are largely based on how familiar we were with the old version.

Plot Device, and cheap VFX

Plot Device, a short film directed by Seth Worley (and funded by the Magic Bullet plugin folks) does a good job balancing story and how’d-they-do-that.

Never can say goodbye

Movie characters hang up the phone earlier than actual people would.

Movie titles in movies

This supercut by honsco tracks characters saying the title of the movie they’re in.

2010, the year in film

I’m perpetually amazed by mega-edits like this one, which combines pieces of 270 movies from this past year.

Notes on the DV Expo

At least a third of the booths were demoing HD-DLSRs or rigs designed to make them more usable, such as shoulder mounts, audio recorders and follow-focus units.

Hitchcock on MacGuffins

A cleverly animated bit with Hitch talking about these screenwriting staples.

Upon further reflection, it’s a bit overused

Another montage of movie tropes, this one involving medicine cabinet mirrors and their kin.

Why the Netflix/WB deal isn’t a bad thing

Netflix announced that it wouldn’t be shipping new releases from Warner Bros. until 28 days after street date.

When characters say the name of the movie

This handy montage might make you think twice about letting one of your characters use the title of the movie in dialogue.

Finding movies online, legally

SpeedCine indexes movies available through iTunes, Crackle, Hulu and Amazon VOD, letting you know where you can find any given title

“No signal” is the new air duct

This compilation clip demonstrates what a hoary cliché it has become to explain why movie characters can’t use their cell phones.

Habits, heavy lifting, and the possibility of suck

MakingOf has part two of my interview up on the site, in which I talk about work habits, writer’s block and 20-minute timers.

On adaptations and picking projects

MakingOf has an interview up with me in which I talk a bit about my writing process, the challenge of adaptations, and why one’s career is often as much about the scripts you didn’t write.

Leftover questions

Some readers had questions they didn’t get to ask on the call-in show last night, so I answered them this morning.

Video from Rancho Mirage Q&A

Synthian Sharp taped my Q&A in Rancho Mirage, and has it available on Vimeo.

Inspiration, creativity and showing up

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert discussing healthier ways to look at the creative process.

Writing better action

A new screencast (scriptcast?) on writing action beats.

Not great news at Blockbuster

They filed with SEC, noting “substantial doubt” about their ability to continue.