A Writer’s Roundtable… including George Clooney?

I definitely hate the game and not the playa… (OK, I’m not a huge fan of the beach either- the film or the thing…)  But I wanted to quickly post this from The Hollywood Reporter.

I am very cool (happy, even) with celebrating writers who (maybe/might/perhaps) be up for awards soon enough, but is it weird that I don’t think of George Clooney as a writer? I mean, Julie Delpy is there, and I totally think of her as a writer with writing skills on par with her acting chops. Maybe Mr. Clooney does a lot of adapting, which is why him=writer doesn’t really make sense in my brain…? I dunno. But, Clooney aside, the interview has some interesting perspective on the craft. And it’s a bit diverse, so yay that too…

 

Don’t Do What Johnny Dont Does

I should probably say upfront that I am a fan of The Black List. I know there are complaints about… whatever they’re about, but I’ve gotten great guidance from the group over there. Plus, there’s The Black Board, which is a great place for screenwriters to discuss topics at hand (Bested only, I think, by the forums on Done Deal Pro, which I’ll save for another post).

But, for now, an interesting post from The Black Board that leads back to a Tumblr post by Jill Pantozzi.

It’s a couple of quick reads, and will leave you nodding your head and thinking all this makes sense… But if this all makes so much sense, why on earth does it still happen? The objectification of women in comics should have ended… I dunno, forever ago? But it persists in such blatant, inexplicable ways.

I spent days at a con earlier this year, sitting across from an artist with a portfolio that seemed to only consist of barely clothed women. He didn’t seem to get a lot of people stopping at his table, and I suspect that’s because the crowd at the con seemed to be more than half comprised of women. Which shouldn’t shock anyone. I hope. (Except maybe that guy.)

Capturing The Damsel

When I started delving into screenwriting about 18 months ago, Tuesday quickly became one of my favourite days of the week. And, every Tuesday still, we are gifted with a new episode of Scriptnotes.

Last Tuesday’s episode deals with the weirdness of the Austin Film Festival (I mean, I know Austin is supposed to be weird but the AFF was truly weird. For me, at least. Though I added to that weirdness, I am very sure.) and the goodness of T-Bone Burnett (who makes a very valid and relevant point that should be paid attention to…).

But the bulk of episode 116 is devoted to discussion of the death of Damseling. The call for change starts around the 14 minute mark. Much like the rest of us, though August and Mazin are incredibly great at their jobs, they don’t have a solution to retire this old chestnut for good. But at least they’re calling it out and talking about changes in their own work. Or, John August so eloquently puts it:

“It’s simple, it’s lovely, but it may not be the right choice.”

 

Joss Whedon Is The New Black

Joss Whedon is the opposite of a misogynist. Which sounds crazy mostly because so many of his peers flex that muscle when they need to… Which, let’s be honest, seems like it happens more often than one might think necessary. Yeah, I’m dancing around this aspect of this topic a bit. I’m not calling anyone out, specifically, but ask yourself- When was the last time you witnessed a genuine 3D female character in a big Hollywood movie? I mean one that wasn’t rendered by VFX- one that had a brain and a heart and maybe even an important job to do that mattered a lot to the world of the story…?

Go ahead. I’ll wait. I’ll find something to read

…Anything? Odds are better than Vegas that Joss Whedon had something to do with whatever you’re thinking of. Which is great, but sad in that his dedication to equality on screen is so singular that he can actually be identified by this trait. Sure, lots of other folks do this too, but the mighty Joss does it so consistently. He doesn’t do Damseling (more on that later) and it’s so refreshing that it’s not just his work ethic, but his own life philosophy.

Which all serves to show us Joss Whedon speaking at Make Equality Reality introducing the idea of “genderist” (because things should just be called what they are) and generally saying sane, sensible things. Refreshing.

For some bonus Joss, a great set of interviews with Joe Utichi that includes this quote:

“I dislike agendas; I like obsessions because obsessions are part of what make us individual and exciting. Agendas – not so much.”

The 12th Post…

Does that make this post The World’s End? Possibly. (Probably the film I enjoyed most this year. Certainly the only film I’ve ever seen 12 times in a theatre… But I digress…)

Just taking a quiet moment to commemorate 12 posts on this blog. Seriously, as crazy as I’m sure it must sound, I’m a bit of a dilettante with blogs. I’ve never had one that held my interest for more than two weeks, or 11 posts (insert Spinal Tap joke here). Well, that’s more than a bit, I guess…

One great common theme I’ve been really glad to hear about over the past year (from people outside my own brain) is that writing for a living doesn’t make the act of writing any more or less joyful. It’s a great vocation, but not a fun one. Writing is something I love but not something I necessarily enjoy. And that’s cool. Every once in a while, it’s OK to be a bit neurotic about it. Then, it’s on to post 13…

 

Can feminist films flunk the Bechdel test? Sure they can

Read this:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2013/nov/06/cinema-programmers-feminist-films-bechdel-test-swedish

A good idea to rate films based on gender representation? Probably. I think the results would be shocking. Shocking.

My take on the Bechdel test is that it’s less of a test and more of an eye-opening guideline. I mean, can you even imagine a movie that had only one man in it, or men who only talk to each other about women? Men who have no interior lives or self-interest? Is there such a thing? No? Then why are so many women in that spot exactly?

Don’t get me started on the 5% female director stat either… I will Hulk out on you. This needs to change. All of it. Grr…

C4 was amazing (Tired? Me? zzzzzz)

There were so many great artists at C4 in Winnipeg. (I’m trying to track down and follow everyone here/Tumblr/Twitter/Facebook, so feel free to get in touch!) The brief rundown: David Prowse came over and introduced himself (!!!), lots of people were really into Deena’s work and were just cool people all around to chat with. Vistaprint and UPS both came through without a hitch. The weather was great. An awesome weekend in every possible way. (Though I was still too shy to talk to James Marsters. I can’t imagine that ever happening… Swoon.)

More later. Now, nap.

Wait, did I mention C4?

… It’s been a long couple of weeks, so I have no idea …

Anyhow, I’m at C4 all weekend, along with a bunch of other amazing folk, and I’ll also have work from the brilliant Deena Pagliarello. Stop by if you find yourself in the Winnipeg area (and, come on, why would you not be in the Winnipeg area? It’s beautiful here…)

The top secret project I’ve been working on is getting its first preview this weekend. Exciting! So come on over, say hello and get some goodies (did I mention FREE goodies? Oh yes, we have those too…)

John August and Craig Mazin and Scriptnotes live? Oh my!

Question- do you listen to Scriptnotes? If you’re interested in screenwriting, you should. I was surprised how many people I talked to at AFF who hadn’t heard of Scriptnotes, but then the live Scriptnotes panel was pretty packed, so maybe I was just talking to the wrong people…

On top of the magic that was live Scriptnotes (including Rian Johnson and Kelly Marcel even!) both John August and Craig Mazin presented panels of their own. And both were in the same teeny, tiny room. John August talked about the evolution of Big Fish (see it on Broadway!) and Craig Mazin gave a talk designed to make every screenwriter’s life easier.

Those three panels alone were worth the price of admission to AFF. If you have the chance to see some live Scriptnotes for yourself, you really should. Really.