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Yeah, what he said…

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“Tornadoes are an ideal film subject, because unlike most meteorological phenomena, they are small enough to fit within the film frame, and they last a short time, changing rapidly. By comparison, a hurricane is hundreds of miles across, too big to see in a single image, and it goes on for hours, with little change. Tornadoes are much more contained, and visually compelling.”
Michael Crichton
Introduction to Twister: The Original Screenplay

“If you want a spiritual experience, you should go spend April to June in the Midwest, because you have never seen cloud formations like this! You watch everything in the sky happening in front of you as if you were watching time-lapse photography. We would literally watch cloud towers shoot into the sky and within fifteen minutes one little cloud would rise to become one 30,000 feet high.”
Twister producer Kathleen Kennedy

P.S. Crichton wrote the Twister screenplay with his wife at the time Anne-Marie Martin. He explains in the introduction to the printed version of the original script, “Eventually, with some trepidation, we decided to write the script together, and we began in January 1994. It was not clear to either of us how this would work out, or whether it would work at all. We had plenty of advice that collaboration was a good way to end a marriage. But, as it turned out, we had an easy time working together; the structure was unusually clear, dictating what should happen next. And, invariably, we drew our episodes and details from actual recorded events, making up nothing. This was important because tornadoes are so inherently dramatic, it is easy to become excessive in the usual Hollywood manner, and we wanted the incidents to remain true to underlying reality….As is so often the case with big Hollywood movies, other hands took over the project, and moved it off in other directions. What audiences will see includes the work of many other, uncredited writers, but readers may be interested to see how the project appeared at an earlier time.”

Related post:
Screenwriting & Storms
Don’t Waste Your Life (2.0)

Scott W. Smith

 

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When I was first starting out as an actor, I was under contract to Lucille Ball at Desilu Studios, which was owned by Lucy and Desi Arnaz. Lucy knew I had this passion for movie history which at that time was not a normal thing. Most people weren’t interested in movie history. She said, ‘You know, you would have a happier life as a writer than as an actor. You should be writing about movies, because nobody is.’ She told me that she thought being an actor would never make me happy, but writing would. She knew I was a journalism major at the University of Washington. She told me that if I took up writing as a profession, the first thing I had to do was write a book because people would look at you differently if I did. She told me it didn’t even have to be a good book, but that everyone is impressed with anyone who writes a book because most people lack the discipline to do it. I knew she was telling me this for my own good, not some other agenda, so I quit being an actor and became a writer.
Film historian Robert Osborne (1932-2017)
Cinema Retro interview with Lee Pfeiffer

85 Years of the Oscar: The Official  History of the Academy Awards
Turner Classic Movie Essentials: 52 Movies and Why They Matter

 

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Work hard and be brave—Casey Neistat

“There are two rules that I always adhere to. And that is to work hard and be brave. And I think the essence of hard work is one that’s pretty straightforward. You’ll never be the best looking, you’ll never be the tallest, the most talented, most capable, you’ll never have the most money—there will always be someone better at whatever you’re doing than you are. But you can always be the hardest working person in the room.”
Filmmaker Casey Neistat

P.S. Just after I posted this I saw this Facebook post by my director of photography friend Mac who gives an up-to-date example of what working harder looks like sometimes:

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-11-36-15-pm

Scott W. Smith

 

 

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“If you’re looking for an excuse, you’ll find one.”
Actor/Director Denzel Washington 
60 Minutes interview December 18, 2016

“I’m particularly proud and happy about the young filmmakers, actors, singers, writers, producers that are coming up behind my generation. In particular Barry Jenkins. Young people, understand, this young man made 10-15-20 short films before he got the opportunity to make Moonlight. So never give up. Without commitment, you’ll never start. But more importantly without consistency you’ll never finish. It’s not easy.  If it was easy, there’d be no Kerry Washington. If it was easy, there’d be no Taraji P. Henson. If it were easy there’d be no Octavia Spencer. But not only that, if it were easy, there’d be no Viola Davis. If it were there’d be no Mykelti Williamson, no Stephen McKinley, no Russell Hornsby. If it were easy , there’d be no Denzel Washington. So keep working, keep striving, never give up. Fall down seven times, get up eight. Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardshipSo keep moving, keep growing, keep learning—see ya at work.”
Denzel Washington
Image Awards
February 11, 2017 /Pasadena, California

Related post:
25 Links Related to Blacks & Filmmaking (2017 Edition)
Art is Work—Milton Glaser
Stephen J. Cannell Work Ethic 

Scott W. Smith

 

 

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, here’s a short film called Notes—a life story, a love story.

The Take Note Store in Canada says this on their website:

We’re so proud of our beautiful new ‘Notes’. Despite living in a time when connecting with people has become so much easier, it has also become so much less personal. This story reminds us of the power of putting pen to paper. We hope you love it too. We worked with BBDO Toronto to produce it.

The film makes me want to fly to Toronto and buy a pen and notepad. Simple, emotional & effective storytelling.

Related post:
40 Days of Emotions

Scott W. Smith

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‘Art & Fear’

Here’s a quote I pulled from my 2008 post Just Keep Writing (which itself came from a book called Art & Fear):

“Virtually all artists spend some of their time (and some artists all of their time) producing work that no one else much cares about.”
David Bayles & Ted Orland
 Art & Fear, Observations On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

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