Honest Oscar Nominated Film Posters

Pi

 

Hey, Oscars got announced today and, maybe for the first time ever, we’re being timely. How so? Funny-cause-it’s-true nominee posters ripped from FastCo, who stole them from College Humor. Don’t blame us, Huffington Post started it.

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Real Life Stole My Movie Idea

The majestic beast before…

So last month this guy from Connecticut was at a seafood restaurant and when it came time to choose who to eat, he spotted an enormous 17-pound lobster in the live tank. Instead of dining on Lucky Larry, as he’s now known, he set him free (in the ocean, not just in the restaurant parking lot). Continue reading

My Movie Idea That Everyone Hates, Part 2

Bald Eagles2

Bald, Rug, Bald, Not Bald, Bald, Bald, Rug, Bald.

Meet Francis McTavish. He’s a likeable everyman with a beer belly and a bald spot. But what he lacks in abs, he makes up for with a cool job – he’s a geologist surveying for minerals in the rainy rainforests of Peru.

So he’s down in South America one day, when his helicopter crash-lands deep in the jungle. The pilot dies, and Francis has a nasty gash on the back of his shiny head. He uses some leaves from a strange looking plant to sop up the blood, then gets rescued.

A week later, and Francis is back at home in America. He looks in the mirror and holy shit his hair is growing back! Yup, there’s manly stubble wherever those magical leaves touched his head.
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My Movie Idea That Everyone Hates

Zach GalifianakisHave you ever wondered what happens after you die?

Specifically, have you ever wondered what happens after you die and have yourself cryogenically frozen, then wake up twenty years from now as just a head?

If so, you might enjoy my new movie idea: Like a Chicken. But if you do like it, you’re the only one. My writing partner and fellow Screenplaya hates it. All my friends hate it. And my wife said its high concept-ness reminded her of Adam Sandler’s Jack & Jill, but without the wit.

The thing is though, how many movies have a scene where an English Bulldog with a human head gets humped by a labradoodle… and not just for a cheap laugh. It’s a scene that matters.

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Why It’s Important to Lead Your Protagonist Up Sauron’s Ass

You can tell by his eyes he's totally not crazy.

There’s a concept in law called “The Reasonable Man”. The idea is that sometimes a judge has to compare your behavior to what a regular person might be expected to do. For instance, when faced with a stranger choking on a bus, would a reasonable person administer the Heimlich maneuver? (note: the stranger is on the bus, choking. They’re not choking because they tried to swallow a bus.)

In perhaps the only example where lessons from law school coincide with those learned in the trenches of Screenwriting U, we can learn much from Mr. Reasonable. In law, the more your behavior resembles Mr. R. the better. But in a movie, the more your protagonist resembles the Reasonable Man, the less chance you’re ever going to win that Daytime Emmy.

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Alternate Universe Movie Posters

In-any-era MJ vs. Lebron-style what-ifs dominate sports debate, so why not film? Case in point is this brilliant movie poster series by Peter Stults, in which iconic films are re-imagined in a bygone era. The results are clever, funny and an interesting peek into the mind of the artist. What if you could pick any director and cast to recreate your favorite movie? Continue reading

Impossible Rooms, Indian Burial Grounds, Fake Moonlandings & Devastating Subtext

I’ve been crossing paths with The Shining lately. As you can imagine, it’s been somewhat disconcerting. I was looking for examples of artists subverting other’s work for their own purposes and hit the motherlode. There are no less than five major theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s contentious re-envisioning of Steven King’s classic (wait, they are both “SK”, make that six). After all, creatives generally have a “day job”, so why not put your own spin on it? Or in Kubrick’s case, potentially hide some of the most shocking revelation(s) in the history of film.

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Driven Mad

I had mixed feelings about Drive. Maybe that’s bound to happen with an ultra-violent existential B-movie heist film set in L.A. that’s directed by a Danish unicorn. However, then I saw this very-spoilery (a warning, not a criticism) animated tribute and I reconsidered the source material. It’s awesomeness made me think of how deliberate Gosling’s minimal performance, the anachronistic 80s vibe and the unapologetically blunt story were. This, in turn, made me ponder the art of writing films that are-not-quite-what-they-seem (more on that in an upcoming post). Now I’m considering buying a silk scorpion jacket or maybe not.