Fade IN:

So how often do we find ourselves at the movies saying this is garbage. The story is horrible. Or maybe it begins great but by the middle you can’t believe they went that route. Quite often we say there is no more good stories to be told, Hollywood has been drained up of all creativity.  Well I think Blake Snyder said it best “Give me the same thing…only different.”

Such an amazing book.
Such an amazing book.

So we’ll explore that in a bit, but here is a little back story. Back in June 2013 both Josh and I wanted to start a short film, after all film for work is fun but it’s work. Well one thing both of us are huge believers in, is a simple, clean story. It’s not about the special effects, the big budget, if it was shot on a Red Epic or Canon T3i, it’s all about a solid story with clean cinematography, crisp sound, and great lighting.

Preproduction began in July 2013 with writing the story.  But before we would even write we felt it was good to study script writing first. Josh was told about the book written by Blake Snyder “Save the Cat”, he told me about it as well. What a great homework assignment. So after two days we each had our books arrive from Amazon.

The initial preproduction meeting.
The initial preproduction meeting.

I can agree with what people say, it is truly an amazing book. You feel like your in the office of the late Blake Snyder just listening to him express his knowledge and experience in Hollywood. The information is so basic, so practical, you wonder why you never thought about this before.  I recommend anyone who is starting to write a film read this before hand, or maybe twice, or maybe three times. After all I’ve read it three times and we have yet to start writing our story.  But yes time is the main reason we haven’t started writing. We have had a few creative sessions talking about concepts, log lines,  and such. We hope to begin soon though.

One of the great points Snyder presents is movie categories. When you think of movie genres what comes to mind? Probably romance, comedy, horror, drama, etc.  Would you ever think of Golden Fleece? What? What is that? Well as just one example, Golden Fleece is when a hero goes “on the road” in search of one thing and winds up discovering something else – himself. Thus Snyder has put Wizard of Oz, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Star Wars, Road Trip and Back to the Future in this category as it’s the same movie. Scary huh?

Another great point brought out is what we talked about in the beginning “Give me the same thing…only different.”  Often we may want to have fresh idea, something no one has done before. But we are too late, since the beginning of time those stories have already existed. We just have to accept it and play within the rules of our movie category. Thats why its important to realize what category our film belongs in to begin with.

Again so much great information to be learned from Snyder. This is not even a 0.5% of the book, this is a must read, so get your copy.  All it can do is improve you as a storyteller, and imagine if we all improved as storytellers, we would never have to sit in the theater again and say this is garbage.

Save The Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need

So a real quick update about the blog, lots of exciting stories coming. I have a piece all about my editing suite, another piece on a camera starter kit because my buddy Luke requested one, and another on film basics 101 again that one is for you Luke.  Our buddy Luke as you may recall came out to California this past summer and has since been inspired to begin filming. As he put it, “You guys made filming from nerdy to cool.” hahaha.. Thanks Luke.


2 thoughts on “Fade IN:

  1. “But we are too late, since the beginning of time those stories have already existed.”

    So very true! My friend and I discussed this many times while we discussed our plotlines for our seperate novels. We analyzed a few of our favorite storylines and realized their plot points were found in the Bible, a bit twisted of course… but nonetheless in the oldest book every written…

    Take for example Transformers: Megatron and Orion Pax are close friends. Orion is merely a humble archivist (fancy cybertronian librarian) while Megatron rises in the political arena. Megatron hungry for power wants to prove that he can be the best leader for Cybertron, but his motives are all but pure and he advocates violence. Orion Pax however is humble Andhra bestowed upon him the Matrix of Leadership and becomes the last of the Primes, Optimus Prime. Megatron obviously is bitter and resents Optimus and then creates a factions and Cybertron goes to war, completely devastated by warfare. Hmmm… two equals divided by ones quest for power while the other is exalted to a higher position because he was humble… sound familiar? Same goes for Superman… except that one is closer to the Genesis account and the gospels as Jor-El sends his son for the sake of Humankind and the Zod tries to kill Kal-El. What about the whole “rich guy falls for the humble girl who already loves someone else”? Well thats found in the Song of Solomon…

    I appreciate this post, I will recommend her the book, since she’s the screenwriter and I’m merely the poet turned amateur novelist.

    But I guess we are all plagiarists in the end.

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