Monday Starters #16

A collection of links, fun and serious, on film and culture, to start the week, with a special focus on screenwriters’ blogs.


‘No Laughing Matter’ : Humour and Contemporary Art Practice, by Lee Campbell

“In this article, I explore two projects concerning artistic deployments of humour, starting with With Humorous Intent symposium at Mostyn, North Wales, April 2012 and moving ontoThree Artists Walk into A Bar.. Amsterdam, April 2012.”


London Screenwriting Research Seminar Feb. 7, 2013


Blog link: A Rock and a Hard Place, Part 1., and Part 2., by Doug Richardson

“Then my phone rang. It was the movie star calling from his exotic locale. After a few days off from filming, he’d had a notion or two he wanted to discuss. Fine, I said. Let’s discuss. Only his notions were mostly dialogue related and in relation to the previous draft. Until I’d executed the studio’s macro notes, the dialogue earmarked for the star’s famed pie hole was pretty much irrelevant. Still, I made scribbles as to his thoughts, bid him a fond adieu, and continued on with my assignment. Until the next day when he called again. And then the next day. And the next day…”


Blog link: The Necessity, Or Otherwise, Of Making Sense, by Earl Pomerantz

“Not long ago, I wondered out loud about whether I was being too narrow in my evaluation of movies by placing an overwhelming priority on the necessity for logic.  Holes in the narrative were an absolute “deal-breaker.”  One “head scratcher”, and I’m out.”


Blog link: Outlines, by Bamboo Killers

“I do believe in outlining. I don’t see how people who refuse to outline ever get anything finished. And my lack of patience with specific formats and index cards does not mean I don’t enjoy being organized.”


Jaw-Dropping Photos of Nature Through the Eyes of an Effects Designer (Flavorwire)


Anxious? Depressed? Literate? Try Bibliotherapy, by Jason Gots (Big Think)


Blog link: Do rewrites always make shows better?, by Ken Levine

“There are some producers with such inflated egos that they feel they must put their own stamp on every line. I worked with one of these too. You’d pitch a joke, everyone in the room would laugh, but he would have to change one word just to make it his. And honestly, his changes were lateral at best. Many times he killed the joke.”


Aeon: Human rites, by Harvey Whitehouse

“Rituals bind us, in modern societies and prehistoric tribes alike. But can our loyalties stretch to all of humankind?”


The Toughest Scene I Wrote – Vulture interviews screenwriters who had films released last year, including Tony Kushner (Lincoln), Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and others.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower


Classic Sitcoms: episode guides of classic sitcoms, including I Love Lucy, Cheers, Taxi, and others.

I Love Lucy

I Love Lucy


Blog link: Is it all or nothing? And what makes a script generic?, by Bitter Script Reader


Critical Studies in Television: Contemporary Issues in Television, by Christine Geraghty

TV Writing

Blog link: Pilot Blindness, by Jane Espenson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica)

“When you’re setting out to write a spec pilot, it’s natural to be thinking about some kind of surprising (but inevitable) development for the end of the episode — a twist that turns a story into a saga. A series has an arc, just as an episode does, and it’s not a bad idea to think of the pilot as containing the inciting incident that launches that arc. 
However, you can’t rely so much on some late-in-the-script event that it becomes the ONLY incident you’ve got. In other words, the pilot episode cannot simply be a collection of interesting people puzzling over a mysterious event until a big revelation happens in the last five pages…”


Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word (Brain Pickings)

“Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”


“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”

– Raymond Hull




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