marilyn_head_shotThis really darling piece —

Showed up on Jezebel the other day, all about women needing stronger [or at least with better dialogue] roles in Hollywood. [I'll give you the link later, hang in there.] It features a youtube clip of actress and producer Olivia Wilde.

[From House, you punks, start reading the fucking credits.]

It’s titled “Olivia Wilde Crushes It When She Talks About Women in Hollywood.”

Olivia Wilde totally does crush it too. [I'll give you that link too if you stick around.]

[Stop scrolling, you attention deficit bastards, there is method to my madness.]

The problem is the Jezebel writer, Hillary Crosley, doesn’t “crush it.”

[Sorry, Hillary, I'm sure you're a lovely person.]

 



 

Here is how Hillary’s “go girls” article ends:

“First you get the producers, then you get the power, then you get the women.”

Cute. But. No. Though it is a darling twist on the protest quote “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

That is Gandhi right?

 



 

Hollywood is not Occupy Wall Street. Hollywood is a corporate living breathing high school metaphor — that is supposed to make a profit, not topple banking corruption or withstand pepper spray in New York parks. And the emphasis there though it should maybe be on “high school” is on “make a profit.” As in “huge fucking profit.” And if you don’t get that? You don’t get Hollywood.

Oops.

 



 

In Hollywood, producers don’t bring in the money – or the power.

Producers in Hollywood are matchmakers. They match talent [actors, actresses, directors, writers] with projects [books, adaptations, concepts, specs] and studios [studios are the purse that is highly corporate and also linked into more corporate deals like “distribution” which is often with other studios and often highly problematic and is also another subject entirely that would take a whole other post so moving on].

Or, using another metaphor, let’s pretend we’re planning a home coming dance.

Yay! Back to high school!

 



 

Producers are the party planners. Producers bring everyone together, but producers in Hollywood aren’t paying for the dance or directing the dance. They are just matching all the right players up so it sounds like a really fun party and everyone goes, “Hey, great party, fuck, everyone will come, let’s do it!” Then the studios supply the cash and you know, if you’re bankrolling the party, that gives you some say. But if you throw [bankroll] a party and no one comes to the party [no cover charges, no drink sales, ahhh!]? Like, the homecoming queen and king say, Fuck you, dead party, we’re going to the country club instead?

Dead in the water.

So that’s why the [prom queen] talent can have more clout than the studio [bank roll]. The talent [prom queen] is the core of the equation. Because if the prom queen boycotts your party?

No fucking party.

Did the metaphor work?

 



 

So the power, making Hollywood films? Resides with studios [the money], and with talent [the people the studios will throw money into a project with because if those people boycott future parties?, no more parties].

So how does this all boil down in terms of hot female lead and hot dialogue for female characters projects in Hollywood?

You don’t go to the producer. You go to the toughest female Hollywood talent on the block, with or without tats, they have served their time and fought their way up through the hierarchy and have the clout.

 



 

This does not mean producers are not important. Producers are crazy important. Mostly the party would not even happen without producers. But do you know who Gale Anne Hurd is? [God I hope so but doubt it. Go IMDB you fools. Ahhh!] How about Robert Evans? [No? Ahhh!]

 



 

In other words, Miss Crosley? You got it wrong.

You want to make hot female driven projects? You do not start with “the producers.” You start with the toughest women in Hollywood.

And when I say “tough,” I don’t mean prison tats. I mean, they are the prom queens of Hollywood. They have such powerful track records with the studios, have starred in so many films that made the studios so much money, if they say, I want to make this or star in this or produce this or direct this? The studio suits will say, “I can’t risk you not showing up at my next party, I will write this check.”

But —

There is a caveat.

[There always fucking is a caveat. This is Hollywood. Bummer.]

“If this party fails, you go to Tough Hollywood Babe With Clout Jail” and stop making me fund parties no one shows up to.”

That means the tough girls in Hollywood have something to lose every single time they back something. See, if the suits get really pissed? They could screw up that other thing we don’t have time to talk about — distribution. And something we haven’t even mentioned here — promotion. And to cannon ball past all that? That’s a lot of effort. And why would they do that for another woman instead of for themselves making profit off a film that is important to them, stars them, and will keep them and their film career alive another decade or more?

And that’s another subject that would make this post too long. So. Let’s go back to the original point.

 



 

You want more women dominated films in Hollywood? You want better roles for women in film? You want better dialogue for women in films? You don’t talk to the party planner [producers]. You talk to the prom queens [tough ass kicker women actors and directors and writers in Hollywood -- and the big prom queens are the actresses, you can't fire them halfway through principal photography without dropping millions, everyone else is fungible].

 



Wait, I promised you the Olivia Wilde clip too. Here you go yay!:

 

 

Also, I should link you to the Jezebel piece. Sigh:

:::jezebel piece:::

 



 

PS: Dear Jezebel Peeps: If you need someone who actually understands Hollywood on the payroll? Hit my link. If I’m too busy or expensive? I’ll refer you.

You’re welcome.

 

hot sexy short hair

February 2, 2014

 

So this discussion is heating up over on FB about the Rapunzel hair and female law enforcement characters on TV thing and some people are saying, Oh well long hair is more attractive to men and whatnot.

I don’t think that is  true but I could be deranged.

[It has been suggested from time to time I am deranged.  Shut up.]

I think most men don’t care half as much about women’s hair as women care about women’s hair though.

I also think plenty of women are hot and sexy with short hair  — and that’s not even taking into account you can go into combat WITH LONG HAIR, if, you know, you just do something to stash it out of the way so it’s not a combat hazard to you and others when you pull a gun out.

Let’s take a look at hot women with short hair just to be sure:

 

hair_annette_beninghair_audrey_tatou

hair_charlizehair_halle

hair_keirahair_michelle_pfeiffer_2

 

I’m female and don’t even do girls and I know they are totally hot you fools.

Maybe the whole Rapunzel cop chicks thing is Charlie’s Angel Syndrome.

 

 

the_closer castle saving_grace rizzoli_isles  in_plain_sight

sleepy_hollow

haven

beauty_and_beast

lisbon_mentalist

 

Okay nothing is wrong with this picture if this is a casting call for a L’Oreal commercial.

There is something wrong if all of these are female law enforcement characters on TV and every single one of them has long, flowing unbound hair —

While. Chasing. Bad. Guys.

WTF?

That hair is a handle for any bad guy to grab and use to bounce your head off the nearest hard surface.

Also how are you going to fire a gun at a moving target if you are trying to shove Rapunzel locks out of your eyes just to see the target?

What is it with female cop characters on TV and long flowing unbound hair?

Also do not get me started on female coroner characters.  You want your hair falling into, um, corpse goo?  Seriously?  Ahhh!

 


[PS: I have to give Sleepy Hollow's Abbie Mills --- played by Nicole Beharie --- some points, once in a while she binds some hair back from her face.]

 


[PPS: :::Hot Sexy Short Hair:::]

 

 

 

[I laughed so hard at this I probably have brain damage.]

 

january classes

December 7, 2011

 

JANUARY CLASSES

Two January classes The Art of the Pitch and Visual Writing start January 10th. There is a preview of things to come in Art of the Pitch on the Austin Film Festival blog.

 


VISUAL WRITING
Begins January 10, 2012

MAKE YOUR READERS “SEE” YOUR MOVIE: You will learn how to use the visual elements space, light, and texture to create locations and scenes readers can “see”; how to establish and utilize perspective in scenes and sequences to make a script visually dynamic; how to create and utilize perspective; techniques to make characters visually dynamic and “real” for readers; techniques to juxtapose exterior and interior visuals to create visually dynamic motion and space on the film screen; and more….

Instructor | Max Adams

Reading Material | supplied in class forum & library | some outside material is linked to

Viewing Materials | posted or available via Netflix, iTunes, YouTube or your friendly neighborhood video rental

Weekly Chats | Thursday nights | 8 PM EST

Class Seating Limit : 12 |

Course Fee : $375 |

:::register:::

:::more info:::

 


THE ART OF THE PITCH
Begins January 10, 2012

GET READ AND SELL: You will learn the five essential elements your pitch must contain to sell to producers and studios; the two pitch models; action driven vs. character driven pitching; the six points an elevator pitch must contain to interest a potential buyer — and what an elevator pitch is; how to open; how to close; how to use your story’s turning points to make your story compelling; when film comparisons work — and when they don’t; how to address the specific concerns of different members of the entertainment industry; and how to condense and expand your pitch to take advantage of new pitching opportunities and mediums.

Instructor | Max Adams

Reading Material | supplied in class forum & library. Some outside material is linked to.

Viewing Materials | posted or available via Netflix, iTunes, YouTube or your friendly neighborhood video rental.

Weekly Chats | Thursday nights | 9 PM EST.

Class Seating Limit : 12 |

Course Fee : $375 |

:::register:::

:::more info:::

 


FUTURE CLASSES:

Two March classes High Concept Writing and Character Writing start March 13th, 2012. For a full list of upcoming classes visit :::classes:::

:::register:::

:::more info:::

 

 


 

 


*None of this has changed under Obama. Under Obama, The Patriot Act has been extended and expanded — twice.

*That is James Spader in Boston Legal playing Alan Shore — Crazily, Boston Legal’s creator David E. Kelly got to say more about the political situation in the US on Boston Legal than any other show since All In The Family. I chalk this up to masking political statements with a whole lot of sex. [Good job, Kelly!]

 

Upcoming 2011 —

Online Master Classes in Screenwriting
Taught by yours truly Max Adams:

 

March:
Character Writing, 03.15.11
High Concept Writing, 03.15.11

May:
Non-Static Writing, 05.17.11
Structural Writing, 05.17.11

July:
Character Writing, 07.19.11
Visual Writing, 07.19.11

September:
High Concept Writing, 09.13.11
The Art of the Pitch, 09.13.11

November:
Structural Writing, 11.15.11
Non-Static Writing, 11.15.11

 

•For more info on upcoming classes, visit :::afw courses:::
•For registration info contact Max via :::afw contact:::

 


•As of January 2011 AFW online courses are accepted accredited University of Utah courses. For info on course credit, contact Paula Lee in the Film & Media Arts Department via paula.lee @ utah.edu

 

upcoming classes

January 21, 2011

 

Upcoming 2011 —

Online Master Classes in Screenwriting
Taught by yours truly Max Adams:

 

March:
Character Writing, 03.15.11
High Concept Writing, 03.15.11

May:
Non-Static Writing, 05.17.11
Structural Writing, 05.17.11

July:
Character Writing, 07.19.11
Visual Writing, 07.19.11

September:
High Concept Writing, 09.13.11
The Art of the Pitch, 09.13.11

November:
Structural Writing, 11.15.11
Non-Static Writing, 11.15.11

 

•For more info on upcoming classes, visit :::afw courses:::
•For registration info contact Max via :::afw contact:::

 


•As of January 2011 AFW online courses are accepted accredited University of Utah courses. For info on course credit, contact Paula Lee in the Film & Media Arts Department via paula.lee @ utah.edu

 

go mamet go!

January 9, 2011

 

I love this —

It is a letter from David Mamet to the writers of a television show THE UNIT. THE UNIT didn’t make it — probably they did not listen to Mamet.

Every time I read a Mamet memo I grow fonder of Mamet. The only other people I know of who have ever been this brilliantly disdainful of suits are Bette Davis and Jonathan Hensleigh. Oh and maybe Patton Oswalt. But Mamet manages to top them all.

Also, those caps and asterisks are Mamet’s.


TO THE WRITERS OF THE UNIT

GREETINGS.

AS WE LEARN HOW TO WRITE THIS SHOW, A RECURRING PROBLEM BECOMES CLEAR.

THE PROBLEM IS THIS: TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN *DRAMA* AND NON-DRAMA. LET ME BREAK-IT-DOWN-NOW.

EVERYONE IN CREATION IS SCREAMING AT US TO MAKE THE SHOW CLEAR. WE ARE TASKED WITH, IT SEEMS, CRAMMING A SHITLOAD OF *INFORMATION* INTO A LITTLE BIT OF TIME.

OUR FRIENDS. THE PENGUINS, THINK THAT WE, THEREFORE, ARE EMPLOYED TO COMMUNICATE *INFORMATION* — AND, SO, AT TIMES, IT SEEMS TO US.

BUT NOTE:THE AUDIENCE WILL NOT TUNE IN TO WATCH INFORMATION. YOU WOULDN’T, I WOULDN’T. NO ONE WOULD OR WILL. THE AUDIENCE WILL ONLY TUNE IN AND STAY TUNED TO WATCH DRAMA.

QUESTION:WHAT IS DRAMA? DRAMA, AGAIN, IS THE QUEST OF THE HERO TO OVERCOME THOSE THINGS WHICH PREVENT HIM FROM ACHIEVING A SPECIFIC, *ACUTE* GOAL.

SO: WE, THE WRITERS, MUST ASK OURSELVES *OF EVERY SCENE* THESE THREE QUESTIONS.

1) WHO WANTS WHAT?
2) WHAT HAPPENS IF HER DON’T GET IT?
3) WHY NOW?

THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS ARE LITMUS PAPER. APPLY THEM, AND THEIR ANSWER WILL TELL YOU IF THE SCENE IS DRAMATIC OR NOT.

IF THE SCENE IS NOT DRAMATICALLY WRITTEN, IT WILL NOT BE DRAMATICALLY ACTED.

THERE IS NO MAGIC FAIRY DUST WHICH WILL MAKE A BORING, USELESS, REDUNDANT, OR MERELY INFORMATIVE SCENE AFTER IT LEAVES YOUR TYPEWRITER. *YOU* THE WRITERS, ARE IN CHARGE OF MAKING SURE *EVERY* SCENE IS DRAMATIC.

THIS MEANS ALL THE “LITTLE” EXPOSITIONAL SCENES OF TWO PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD. THIS BUSHWAH (AND WE ALL TEND TO WRITE IT ON THE FIRST DRAFT) IS LESS THAN USELESS, SHOULD IT FINALLY, GOD FORBID, GET FILMED.

IF THE SCENE BORES YOU WHEN YOU READ IT, REST ASSURED IT *WILL* BORE THE ACTORS, AND WILL, THEN, BORE THE AUDIENCE, AND WE’RE ALL GOING TO BE BACK IN THE BREADLINE.

SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE THE SCENE DRAMATIC. IT IS NOT THE ACTORS JOB (THE ACTORS JOB IS TO BE TRUTHFUL). IT IS NOT THE DIRECTORS JOB. HIS OR HER JOB IS TO FILM IT STRAIGHTFORWARDLY AND REMIND THE ACTORS TO TALK FAST. IT IS *YOUR* JOB.

EVERY SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC. THAT MEANS: THE MAIN CHARACTER MUST HAVE A SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD, PRESSING NEED WHICH IMPELS HIM OR HER TO SHOW UP IN THE SCENE.

THIS NEED IS WHY THEY *CAME*. IT IS WHAT THE SCENE IS ABOUT. THEIR ATTEMPT TO GET THIS NEED MET *WILL* LEAD, AT THE END OF THE SCENE,TO *FAILURE* – THIS IS HOW THE SCENE IS *OVER*. IT, THIS FAILURE, WILL, THEN, OF NECESSITY, PROPEL US INTO THE *NEXT* SCENE.

ALL THESE ATTEMPTS, TAKEN TOGETHER, WILL, OVER THE COURSE OF THE EPISODE, CONSTITUTE THE *PLOT*.

ANY SCENE, THUS, WHICH DOES NOT BOTH ADVANCE THE PLOT, AND STANDALONE (THAT IS, DRAMATICALLY, BY ITSELF, ON ITS OWN MERITS) IS EITHER SUPERFLUOUS, OR INCORRECTLY WRITTEN.

YES BUT YES BUT YES BUT, YOU SAY: WHAT ABOUT THE NECESSITY OF WRITING IN ALL THAT “INFORMATION?”

AND I RESPOND “*FIGURE IT OUT*” ANY DICKHEAD WITH A BLUESUIT CAN BE (AND IS) TAUGHT TO SAY “MAKE IT CLEARER”, AND “I WANT TO KNOW MORE *ABOUT* HIM”.

WHEN YOU’VE MADE IT SO CLEAR THAT EVEN THIS BLUESUITED PENGUIN IS HAPPY, BOTH YOU AND HE OR SHE *WILL* BE OUT OF A JOB.

THE JOB OF THE DRAMATIST IS TO MAKE THE AUDIENCE WONDER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. *NOT* TO EXPLAIN TO THEM WHAT JUST HAPPENED, OR TO*SUGGEST* TO THEM WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

ANY DICKHEAD, AS ABOVE, CAN WRITE, “BUT, JIM, IF WE DON’T ASSASSINATE THE PRIME MINISTER IN THE NEXT SCENE, ALL EUROPE WILL BE ENGULFED IN FLAME”

WE ARE NOT GETTING PAID TO *REALIZE* THAT THE AUDIENCE NEEDS THIS INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND THE NEXT SCENE, BUT TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO WRITE THE SCENE BEFORE US SUCH THAT THE AUDIENCE WILL BE INTERESTED IN WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.

YES BUT, YES BUT YES *BUT* YOU REITERATE.

AND I RESPOND *FIGURE IT OUT*.

*HOW* DOES ONE STRIKE THE BALANCE BETWEEN WITHHOLDING AND VOUCHSAFING INFORMATION? *THAT* IS THE ESSENTIAL TASK OF THE DRAMATIST. AND THE ABILITY TO *DO* THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES YOU FROM THE LESSER SPECIES IN THEIR BLUE SUITS.

FIGURE IT OUT.

START, EVERY TIME, WITH THIS INVIOLABLE RULE: THE *SCENE MUST BE DRAMATIC*. it must start because the hero HAS A PROBLEM, AND IT MUST CULMINATE WITH THE HERO FINDING HIM OR HERSELF EITHER THWARTED OR EDUCATED THAT ANOTHER WAY EXISTS.

LOOK AT YOUR LOG LINES. ANY LOGLINE READING “BOB AND SUE DISCUSS…” IS NOT DESCRIBING A DRAMATIC SCENE.

PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR OUTLINES ARE, GENERALLY, SPECTACULAR. THE DRAMA FLOWS OUT BETWEEN THE OUTLINE AND THE FIRST DRAFT.

THINK LIKE A FILMMAKER RATHER THAN A FUNCTIONARY, BECAUSE, IN TRUTH, *YOU* ARE MAKING THE FILM. WHAT YOU WRITE, THEY WILL SHOOT.

HERE ARE THE DANGER SIGNALS. ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.

ANY TIME ANY CHARACTER IS SAYING TO ANOTHER “AS YOU KNOW”, THAT IS, TELLING ANOTHER CHARACTER WHAT YOU, THE WRITER, NEED THE AUDIENCE TO KNOW, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT.

DO *NOT* WRITE A CROCK OF SHIT. WRITE A RIPPING THREE, FOUR, SEVEN MINUTE SCENE WHICH MOVES THE STORY ALONG, AND YOU CAN, VERY SOON, BUY A HOUSE IN BEL AIR *AND* HIRE SOMEONE TO LIVE THERE FOR YOU.

REMEMBER YOU ARE WRITING FOR A VISUAL MEDIUM. *MOST* TELEVISION WRITING, OURS INCLUDED, SOUNDS LIKE *RADIO*. THE *CAMERA* CAN DO THE EXPLAINING FOR YOU. *LET* IT. WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERS *DOING* -*LITERALLY*. WHAT ARE THEY HANDLING, WHAT ARE THEY READING. WHAT ARE THEY WATCHING ON TELEVISION, WHAT ARE THEY *SEEING*.

IF YOU PRETEND THE CHARACTERS CANT SPEAK, AND WRITE A SILENT MOVIE, YOU WILL BE WRITING GREAT DRAMA.

IF YOU DEPRIVE YOURSELF OF THE CRUTCH OF NARRATION, EXPOSITION, INDEED, OF *SPEECH*. YOU WILL BE FORCED TO WORK IN A NEW MEDIUM – TELLING THE STORY IN PICTURES (ALSO KNOWN AS SCREENWRITING)

THIS IS A NEW SKILL. NO ONE DOES IT NATURALLY. YOU CAN TRAIN YOURSELVES TO DO IT, BUT YOU NEED TO *START*.

I CLOSE WITH THE ONE THOUGHT: LOOK AT THE *SCENE* AND ASK YOURSELF “IS IT DRAMATIC? IS IT *ESSENTIAL*? DOES IT ADVANCE THE PLOT?

ANSWER TRUTHFULLY.

IF THE ANSWER IS “NO” WRITE IT AGAIN OR THROW IT OUT. IF YOU’VE GOT ANY QUESTIONS, CALL ME UP.

LOVE, DAVE MAMET
SANTA MONICA 19 OCTO 05

(IT IS *NOT* YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE ANSWERS, BUT IT IS YOUR, AND MY, RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW AND TO *ASK THE RIGHT Questions* OVER AND OVER. UNTIL IT BECOMES SECOND NATURE. I BELIEVE THEY ARE LISTED ABOVE.)

open seats 10.28.10

October 28, 2010

 

I have one seat open in the 5150 workshop, one seat left in the January pitch class, and four seats open in the Nov visual writing class. Also, the March high concept writing class is now open for registration.

*high concept writing is very popular please register early to reserve a seat in that class

 


:::class info:::

*update: the pitch class is full, the next pitch class will be 09.13.11

 

 

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