Monday Starters #14

A collection of links, fun and serious, on film and culture, to start the week, with a special focus on what writers are posting in the blogosphere.


Special Dossier: Tasmania and the Cinema, from Senses of Cinema

“While emphasising a recent upturn in feature film production, this dossier incorporates a range of perspectives including reflections by such Tasmanian filmmakers as John Honey and Jonathan auf der Heide, historically detailed accounts of the films of the 1920s, discussions of landscape cinema and the ecological gaze, and more speculative accounts of figures such as Errol Flynn and the implications of the survivalist concerns of Van Diemen’s Land. It also suggests the increased urgency of dealing with this recently productive cinema in relation to Australian film history, the specificities of regional filmmaking, a general lack of state and federal government support, and contemporary developments in ecology.”


The Ken Wilber Biography Project

A documentary series that illustrates Integral thought and establishes Ken Wilber as the most important and best known philosopher of our times.

“Ken Wilber is the originator of arguably the first truly comprehensive or integrative philosophy.

As Wilber himself puts it: “I’d like to think of it as one of the first believable world philosophies.” Incorporating cultural studies, anthropology, systems theory, developmental psychology, biology, and spirituality, Integral Theory offers the most comprehensive and inclusive vision of life, the universe, and everything that we have ever seen. Integral Theory has been applied in fields as diverse as ecology, sustainability, psychotherapy, psychiatry, education, business, medicine, politics, sports, and art—helping to pull the many different schools within each field into a more comprehensive whole, while also showing how all these fields fit together in a genuine “theory of everything” for today’s world.”


Blog link: Script Reader Gripes: #3 Why aren’t we writing disabled characters?, by Katie Boyles

“There are 10 million disabled people in the UK. That’s approximately 18% of the population. Statistics show that disabled characters are represented at 0.9% so the question being asked was – are disabled people being fairly represented in TV and radio?”


Blog link: Observations of a script reader: where are the police when you need them, by Howard Casner


The Creative Benefits of Exploring the Uncomfortable, by Gina Sclafani (via Co.Create)

“My plan was to Force Myself to Learn About Something I Am Not Interested In. I figured instead of just diving deeper into my comfort zone, I’d head to a foreign place and try to find meaning and create connections. If I could look at areas that I had zero interest in with fresh eyes, maybe I would see other areas with fresher eyes. As a writer, this is always a good thing. I would be an explorer. It would be fun.

I was wrong. Going outside your comfort zone is—and this should have been obvious–uncomfortable. Even painful. 

I’m no neurologist but I am now certain that the synapses in your brain like the familiar path. It’s fast and easy. Diverting hurts. While I consider myself an open-minded person, apparently I’m not as open as I thought. That’s like finding out you have a bad habit that you didn’t know you had. Great!”

Deus Ex Machina

Blog link: For We Grant That The Gods Can See Everything, by Jared Kelly

“Deus ex machina: would you like a god from the machine or maybe you’d prefer something a little more subtle? I watched The Fugitive (1993) last night and was struck by a brilliantly disguised deus ex machina scene.”


Nottingham Festival of Words

February 9-24, 2013

Author talks, Children’s, Comics, Craft, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories, Readings, Workshops, and more.


The Executives: a studio executive roundtable (thanks to @LaFamiliaFilm for sharing the link)


Blog link: My writing goal for 2013: tell six stories, by David Bishop


Blog link: Five Things That Separate Professionals From Amateurs by Debbie Moon

“Amateurs think someone else is the driving force in their career.”

“Professionals pay attention to the details.”


Seeing Movies Now–Alas!, by Norman N. Holland, Ph.D (Psychology Today)

“…the New Yorker critic Anthony Lane put it neatly when he was talking about improbabilities in movies. “Watch [them] on DVD and you find youself scoffing at the unlikely curves and switches in the plot, whereas the same setups, viewed in the dreamy imprisonment of a movie theatre, feel like the machinery of fate.” “Dreamy imprisonment” gets it exactly right. We know we can’t do a thing to affect what’s going on on the screen. We don’t need to test the reality or probability of what we are watching and we don’t. In the old phrase, we suspend our disbelief.”



Blog link: Not worth the thin air it’s written on, by Jez Freedman

“Did you read this blog entry from Piers, about the possessory (and frankly downright disrespectful) film credit ‘A Film By’ – and then enter the director’s name. The post is spot on so I’m not going to repeat it, just read it there instead. The prevading disrespect in the industry to the work the screenwriter does is endemic.”

Short Film

Blog link: Are Short Films Pointless?, by Alan Parkinson (The Script Guide)

On the benefits and drawbacks of making short films.

Tips on Filmmaking

Everything I Know About Making a Film, by Nigel Cole (via Raindance)

“16. All storytelling is a balance between subtlety and clarity. How do you be clear without being obvious? Solve that and you’re on your way.”


Ways of Seeing (BBC, 1972)

John Berger discusses traditional Western aesthetics and hidden ideologies in visual images.

“The process of seeing paintings or seeing anything else is less spontaneous and natural than we tend to believe. A large part of seeing depends upon habit and convention. All the paintings of the tradition used the convention of perspective which is unique to European art. Perspective centres everything on the eye of the beholder, it is like a beam from a lighthouse, only instead of light travelling outwards appearances travel in, and or tradition of art called those appearances reality. Perspective makes the eye the centre of the visible world. But the human eye can only be in one place at a time, it takes its visible world with it as it walks. With the invention of the camera everything changed.”


Introduction to Writing TV Drama Sat. 16th February. Nottingham, UK.

“This practical workshop led by Jim Hill offers an insight into writing for television drama. Illustrated with clips, exercises and handouts, the session will assist writers in clarifying their projects while demonstrating practical steps towards an original first draft script.”


Blog link: It’s all about the twist and the turn, by Daniel Martin Eckhart


Dramatic writing is really nothing more than telling a story, and nobody ever tells a story quite like anyone else.

-Paddy Chayefsky



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