Easy A gets A+ for character, but C- for story

October 7, 2010
Easy A Movie Poster Emma Stone Olive Penderghast

I loved the lead character and adored Emma Stone but the story fails to capitalise on these extraordinary elements.

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Why screenwriters should take the oral before the written

August 20, 2010
Oral storytelling around a campfire

A lot of screenwriters won’t share their stories until they’re “finished”. Here are 2 reasons you should tell your stories before you write a word of your screenplay.

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Why Inception didn’t do it for me

August 11, 2010
Inception Leonardo DiCaprio

Christopher Nolan’s Inception is extraordinarily imaginative, brilliantly executed and not even remotely emotionally engaging on any of its 3 levels. Here’s why it leaves me cold.

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What should happen at the midpoint?

July 30, 2010
Brokeback Mountain Heath Ledger Jake Gyllenhall Fight

If all you do at the midpoint is raise the stakes your script has little chance of packing much emotional punch at the climax. Here are the 2 things you should be focussed on delivering around the middle of Act 2.

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10 screenwriting insights I wish I’d had 25 years ago

July 22, 2010
Thumbnail image for 10 screenwriting insights I wish I’d had 25 years ago

Over the last 25 years, I’ve stumbled and lurched my way to some understanding of the screenwriter’s craft. Here I share the 10 screenwriting insights I wish I’d had when I started out.

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Why Toy Story 3 makes grown men sob

July 7, 2010
Toy Story 3 poster

Toy Story 3 reduces men to blubbering wrecks. Here’s why I think it’s so powerful – and it’s not about toy separation anxiety.

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Rocket Science: charming but does it pass the fundamental story test?

June 29, 2010
Rocket Science movie Anna Kendrick Reece Thompson School Bus

The Herald raved about this indie charmer and it is fabulous in parts. But ultimately it didn’t satisfy my own personal definition of a good story.

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How much do Australian films have to take to break even?

June 11, 2010
Box office

In LA, they say your film has to take 4 times its budget at the box office to make a profit – but local producer Vincent Sheehan says in Australia the equation is even more daunting.

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Animal Kingdom: Yes, it’s good but …

June 9, 2010
Animal Kingdom movie poster

Local critics are raving and David’s Michod’s crime family drama has some exceptional elements but here I try to balance the hyperbole with a little critique.

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The high concept trapped inside I Love You Too

May 27, 2010
I love you too Megan Gale Brendan Cowell Peter Dinklage Peter Helliar Yvonne Strahovski

Peter Helliar’s debut writing feature is disappointing but buried deep in the film is a high concept that might have made for a huge hit.

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