I recently read a book titled Writing Drama: A Comprehensive Guide for Playwrights and Scriptwriters, by Yves Lavandier. This is a comprehensive book that truly digs deep into what successful dramatic writing is all about. The book weighs in at about 530 pages—and that’s not including the index and glossary—so it’s something you’ll have to take a bit of time with, but I assure you, it will be time well-spent. So whether you’re a screenwriter, playwright, or novelist, I’m certain you’ll find Writing Drama valuable, insightful, and a worthy addition to your bookshelf. For more information about Writing Drama, A Comprehensive Guide for Playwrights and Scriptwriters, CLICK HERE!
GREAT "MOVIE" PODCAST SHOW!
A few months ago, I posted about a podcast interview I did on the Movie Geek United Show. Let me tell ya, this has turned out to be one heck of a fantastic series of shows. In recent weeks, the Geeks have interviewed directors Brian De Palma and John Badham, composers Howard Shore and Mark Isham, writer/producer Michael Grais (Poltergeist), producer A. Kitman Ho (Platoon, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July), horror actor Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), actor Joe Pantoliano...and the list goes on and on. If you haven’t checked out this show yet, I strongly urge you to go to the Movie Geeks site and download what you’ve been missing. And for those of you who didn’t catch the interview I did, simply go to the August 19th podcast and download away! (Included on my interview segment is screenwriter Allison Burnett, screenwriter of Autumn in New York, Resurrecting the Champ, and Feast of Love.) To visit Movie Geeks United, CLICK HERE!
My friend Craig and I were at a housewarming party last night. This being Los Angeles, we got to talking to some young “movie people.” One fella was an actor, and another was a film composer, another was a budding filmmaker/screenwriter. We all got to talking about our respective favorite movies, soundtracks, and actors. Craig and I both got some blank stares after mentioning some of our selections.
I’m always left just a little incredulous when people (usually those under 30) have little notion of who Steve McQueen, Henry Fonda, or John Wayne were; or no real awareness of fantastic films such as The Great Escape, Midnight Cowboy, Rosemary’s Baby, Marathon Man, Three Days of the Condor, or, going back even further, Meet John Doe, Sullivan’s Travel’s, and Red River.
I mean, if you’re a filmmaker, screenwriter, actor, or film composer, you should have a decent grasp on movie history, right? Sure, there have been lots and lots of fantastic movies made in the last 20 years...but movies did exist back in “olden times.” If you’re not aware of some of the great films from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, then you owe it to yourself as a filmmaker to do a little exploring. I’m sure you’ll like what you discover.
With that in mind, I thought I’d have a little fun here, so I culled together clips and trailers from some of my all-time favorite movies. These are just a very few of the movies that sent shivers down my back in dark movie theaters, sparked my imagination, and ultimately, guided me to a career in filmmaking. I hope you’ll watch some of these clips. I hope you’ll watch all of them! Then perhaps you'll watch some of these movies; and I hope they’ll spark your imagination, thrill and delight you as they did me.
Also...you’ll notice that a few of these clips contain images of my all-time favorite actor—the late, great Steve McQueen (The Great Escape, Bullitt, The Towering Inferno). When it came to screen presence, he was the king. When it came to “cool,” he was the king of that, too. Enjoy!
Trailer for Midnight Cowboy (1969):
Trailer for The Towering Inferno (1974):
Trailer for The Poseidon Adventure (1972):
Trailer for Bullitt (1969):
Trailer for Rosemary’s Baby (1968):
Trailer for The Great Escape (1963):
Trailer for Goldfinger (1964):
Trailer for Marathon Man (1976):
Trailer for Electra Glide in Blue (1973)
Segment from the motorcycle chase from The Great Escape:
Tribute to Steve McQueen: