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Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Hobbling

It’s interesting how a few words written by William Goldman in his Misery screenplay (based on a Stephen King novel), and translated more than 25 years ago into a movie with two actors (Kathy Bates, James Caan) under the director Rob Reiner can still make you squirm just thinking about it as the scene walks around your memory bank.

As ANNIE swings, the sledgehammer makes contact with the ankle. It breaks with a sharp CRACK.
CUT TO:
PAUL: CLOSE UP, shrieking.

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I thought about the short film Transform by Zack Arias today. Hard to believe he first did this almost 10 years ago. It was shot with a flip camera if I recall correctly. It not only holds up today, but it’s an inspirational classic.

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Stories Matter

Stories matter. Stories have been used to dispose and malign, but stories can also be used to empower and humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Danger of a Single Story

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The Necessity of Stories

Stories are how we make meaning of our lives. Something happens to me sometimes and in recounting it—just in telling the story of what happened to me—there’s a kind of meaning that comes. I think stories are necessary, just as necessary as food and love. It’s how we make meaning of our lives.”
Novelist Chimamanda Adichie
Framing the Story/ TED Radio Hour

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’77 was the year young filmmakers—college students, for the most part—started writing me about the stories I’d published (first in Night Shift, later in Skeleton Crew), wanting to make short films out of them. Over the objections of my accountant, who saw all sorts of legal problems, I established a policy which still holds today. I will grant any student filmmaker the right to make a movie out of any short story I have written (not the novels, that would be ridiculous), so long as the film rights are still mine to assign. I ask them to sign a paper approval, and that they send me a videotape of the finished work. For this one-time right I ask a dollar.”
Author Stephen King
Rita Hayworth and the Darabont Redemption
Introduction to The Shooting Script

Frank Darabont did the dollar deal with King when he was 20-years-old and made a short film out of The Woman in the Room. A few years later Darabont wrote King wanting the acquire the rights to King’s novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

I’m actually not sure if this was a dollar deal or not, but King gave him the rights because he liked what Darabont did with The Woman in the Room, but he also thought the odds of actually getting a old school prison break movie made was a longshot.

And the rest is Hollywood history.

I encourage you to read both Darabont’s shooting script for The Shawshank Redemption and King’s version found in the collection Mean Seasons.  One could teach a whole college semester class just on the Shawshank movie, screenplay, and novella. (And perhaps a second class on another story from Mean Seasons —The Body—which Rob Reiner turned into the movie Stand By Me.)

P.S. To inquire about King’s $1 rights and other questions, visit the Q&A section on his website.

Scott W. Smith

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If you weren’t alive in 1977 this is what was popular before the internet came along:

“To me, The Gong Show was the simplest and most elegant of TV shows. The anti-game show. The anti-variety show. A hot mess of street performers and buskers and B-list celebrities who all appeared to be in on the joke. At base, they dared you to watch, and I loved it. Watching Chuck Barris on television proved to me that the best way to be funny, was to amuse yourself before all others. Those who laughed along with you, became your boss. Those who didn’t, were of no consequence. It’s the truest thing I’ve ever learned in my career.”
Mike Rowe blog post

Chuck Barris—who died last week (but isn’t to be confused with Chuck Berry, who also died last week)—had a movie produced on a book he wrote. Charlie Kaufman wrote the screenplay to Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, where Barris said he was once a hitman for the CIA.

Scott W. Smith

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“For young black horror filmmakers, if you have a script, reach out and I’ll try to help it get made. Monkeypaw Productions is my production company and we’re really trying to promote untapped voices in genre… The reason we don’t see more films about the African American experience is because we haven’t nurtured black talent, we haven’t encouraged young black filmmakers to dream big.”
Writer/director Jordan Peele (Get Out) @Jordan Peele
Digital Spy

Related post: The First Black Feature Filmmaker

Scott W. Smith

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