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“I was rejected from the Sundance labs maybe four times with Sound of Metal. . . . There wasn’t a lot of encouragement from anybody in the industry.”
—Writer/director Darius Marder (Sound of Metal)
The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith

The movie Sound of Metal picked up two Oscars last night for Best Sound and Best Achievement in Film Editing but fell short in four other categories including Best Original Screenplay. But today, I’m giving it the first-ever ”Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles” Award.

This doesn’t take anything away from recent Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Women) or Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winners Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton (The Father), but Sound of Metal best embodies the essence of what I’ve written on this blog over the last 13 years and in my book Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles. (And this is something that I’ll give out in the future as I dig deeper in current and past films. Perhaps I’ll build a short book around them.)

Sound of Metal was written by Darius Marder and his brother Abraham Marder from a story originating with Darius and Derek Cianfrance. Sound of Metal is one of those movies I will revisit again and again. And it’s one of those movies where the story behind the story is equally amazing. Let‘s start by revisiting that quote that top of this post:

“I was rejected from the Sundance labs maybe four times with Sound of Metal. . . . There wasn’t a lot of encouragement from anybody in the industry.”
—Writer/director Darius Marder (Sound of Metal)

Filmmaking is a brutal business. And Darius is clear in various interviews that he wants you to know how hard it is so you won’t feel like you’re alone. And it hasn’t gotten any easier during a global pandemic. Conflict is not only a key part of your screenplay, but it’s with you in the writing and developing stage, in the financing stage, in the shooting and editing phase, and in the distribution phase. (Did I miss anything?)

The process of getting Sound of Metal written and produced was over a decade in the making. After the script was finally completed, financing fell through many times. Sometimes locations were secured, cast and crew in place, only to have it not happen.

”Nothing was easy.”
—Darius Marder on the process of getting Sound of Metal made

The Marder brothers wrote this on spec, meaning all those years of writing, they were not making a cent. In fact, Darius was self-funding the travel to meet with investors and actors over the years. He estimates they wrote 1,500-2,000 pages to get to the final script.

With funding finally in place, and only 12 days from shooting, the financing fell through once again. Lead actor Riz Ahmed had spent months learning to play the drums and learn American Sign Language (ASL) and turned down other work, in what looked like yet another bust in getting the film made. But angel investors came through on what Darius called a Hail Mary call to a couple he’d met in London.

They shot the film in 25 days with a budget in the $4 million range. It’s a remarkable achievement. And it’s important to point out that the movie’s success is rooted in failure. The seeds of the story were an unfinished hybrid narrative/documentary titled Metalhead about a drummer with an ear injury. When writer/director Derek Cianfrance knew he would never finish Metalhead he asked Darius to take over the project. That’s where Darius took parts of the doc and began making it its own story. He later said he wished he could start every project with that much front-end research.

Before I break down the film a little, let me say that this film feels authentic at its core. From the drummer Ruben’s obsessiveness, from Lou’s (Olivia Cooke) desire to get him help, and from the counselor Joe’s meeting Ruben head-on. I have known people with addictions who are skilled at conning everyone—including themselves. And I used to show produce conferences where I got to know people in the ASL community and loved their directness. (Less wasting of time/words beating around the bush.) It not surprising to learn that the actor who plays Joe, Paul Raci, knew ASL as his first language.

Now we move into spoiler territory. (Check out the Sound of Metal on Amazon Prime before reading what follows.) Here’s a breakdown based on the chapters of my book:

CONFLICT: Sound of Metal is full of conflict. Starting with the sledgehammer conflict of the drummer Ruben facing hearing loss and potentially not being able to do what he loves to do best. There is conflict with his girlfriend. When he goes to a center to learn ASL there is conflict with the counselor. There is conflict with himself and how he is going to deal with his life-changing circumstances.

CONCEPT: The logline on IMDB reads, “A heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.”

CHARACTERS: The three main characters are so well developed that we could of followed any of them at various parts of the story. But they wisely keep it Ruben’s story. He is the classic protagonist at the end of his rope. A spotlight was put on his journey and the audience clearly understood this clarity.

CATALYST: Ruben starts losing his hearing around the 10-minute mark, after they established that he‘s good at what he does. Co-writer Abraham is, in fact, a musician who once had an illness in real life that prevented him from playing the instruments he loved. It adds to the authenticity of the movie.

CONSTRUCTION: Sound of Metal follows a solid three-act structure by design. Darius says he’s a “structure-holic.”

Act one—Ruben starts to lose his hearing. Seeks help and is told it will only get worse. He keeps drumming, and it gets worse. He has to step back from his music. And from his relationship with his girlfriend. The major dramatic question that isn’t answered until the last scene is, “What’s he going to do about his hearing loss?”

Act two—Going to a retreat-like place to learn how to cope with his deafness. He arrives there at the 27-minute mark. It doesn’t go well and first so he leaves. But he returns after reaching a breaking point. Joe mentors Ruben, and while Ruben has his dark moments, he appears to embrace the deaf community around the midpoint of the film. There’s a wonderful non-verbal scene at the halfway point where Ruben turns the metal of a slide into a drum as a youth listens with an ear on the slide.

Ruben’s dealing with not a handicap but a new reality. He flourishes so much that Joe offers him a job. But it’s clear Ruben is not ready to shed his old life. He checks the band’s website and sees his girlfriend performing on stage. He decides to sell everything he has to have an expensive Cochlear implant in hope of restoring his hearing. This eventually results in a lack of trust and leads Joe to ask Ruben to leave the deaf community immediately. (That turning point happens 88 minutes into the story.)

Act three—The implants are a disappointment to Ruben. It reminds me of the saying, “All disappointment comes from unmet expectations.” Ruben spends time in a cheap hotel until he can return to the audiologist hoping his hearing can be adjusted. He connects with his girlfriend in Paris and tries to pick up where they left off. He says they need to get back on the road performing, but it’s clear that’s not going to happen.

According to Darius, Sound of Metal borrows from Hitchcock’s Psycho in that you start out thinking you’re in one movie until you find out you’re in another one. You think it’s a story about deafness, but it turns out to be a story about addictions. That’s part of the architecture of the story.

CLIMAX and CONCLUSION—Ruben packs his things and leaves. He walks to a park bench and listens to the cacophony of sounds around him including a bells (another version of the sound of metal) before taking off his implants and watching the world in total silence. He appears to reach an epiphany. He’s found peace.

CATHARSIS—Ruben’s emotional journey is complete.

CONTROLLING IDEA—Though Ruben didn’t listen to Joe initially, the advice he was given earlier in the film was to find, “That still place. That’s the kingdom of God.” French philosopher Pascal wrote way back in the 1600s that, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” How often do we sit alone in a room…without a cell phone, tablet, or computer nearby? At least in American culture, contemplation is eclipsed by the selfie.

CHANGE—Ruben finds a quiet place at the end of the film. What Darius called “the journey of acceptance.” Ruben has been transformed.

CAREERS AND COWS—Darius was raised on a Buddhist goat farm. By his own admission he wasn’t a good student until a teacher turned him on to literature. He went on to work a variety of jobs including teaching middle school students, working as a personal chef, shooting wedding videos, before making the 2008 doc Loot. A film festival winner that came with a $50,000 cash prize and shown on HB0.

And, of course, after Sound of Metal finally got made it had to deal with a world essentially on hold due to COVID-19. Amazon Studios released it into theaters in November 2020, and on Amazon Prime the next month. But at least the Marder brothers got to see their movie in theaters near where they have roots in Massachusetts.

Scott W. Smith is the author of Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles

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“I’m having an amazing life—and it isn’t over yet.”
—Cloris Leachman (how she started her 1972 Oscar acceptance speech)

Actress Cloris Leachman was a Hollywood icon with Iowa roots. Long before she picked up an Oscar Award, a bunch of Emmys, and a whole new fan base as an 82-year-old on Dancing with the Stars, Leachman had a humbler start when born in Des Moines in 1926. She died yesterday at age 94.

Her father and a cousin started Leachman Lumber Company in Des Moines which is celebrating 100 years of business this year. She began playing the piano and performing in plays as a youth in Iowa on her way to greater success in Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles. In 2006, Drake University in Des Moines awarded her with an honorary doctorate in fine arts.

If Leachman had of just been an extra in the following plays, Tv shows, and movies her career would have been remarkable.

Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (the original Broadway show)
Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific
Lassie
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone
The Last Picture Show
Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein
The Muppet Movie
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Malcolm in the Middle

Of course, she wasn’t just an extra but an acclaimed actress whose career spanned an unbelievable nine decades. Along the way she picked up eight Primetime Emmy Awards which is a record she shares with Julia Louis-Dreyfus. (It’s worth noting that both went to Northwestern University. And because it’s an expensive school it’s also worth noting that Leachman received a scholarship to attend the drama program.)

Here’s her Oscar acceptance speech for The Last Picture Show where she gave shout-outs to both her first piano teacher and her dancing teacher in Des Moines, her father Buck “who paid the bills,” and her mother whose “imagination and funny sense of humor” all which lead to her success.

Dream big, start small.

And here’s her performance from a script Peter Bogdanovich and Larry McMurty (based on McMurty’s book The Last Picture Show) that led to her Oscar.

P.S. Leachman’s comment at the Oscar’s about her father paying the bills got extended applause. I imagine because in 1972 they had a deeper understanding of what that meant. Leachman was three years old when the stock market crashed in 1929 meaning from that point through her teen years was lived in the economic hard times of The Great Depression and World War II. AP News reported that since Leachman’s family ”could not afford a piano, she practiced on a cardboard drawing of the keys.”

Scott W. Smith is the author of Screenwriting with Brass Knuckles

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“[Hollywood has] welcomed change with about the same relish the dinosaurs welcomed the Ice Age.”
Stephen Galloway
The Hollywood Reporter

“I get asked all the time, ‘Where does this stop? When does it stop?’ The truth is that it is only getting started.”
Brett Sappington (on the growing number of streaming services)
A senior Parks Associates analyst and researcher

OscarEmmy

In the New York Times article, The Streaming Era Has Finally Arrived. Everything Is About to Change,” Brooks Barnes writes that the streaming era is a once in a generation disruption—like the shift away from silent movies or the introduction of broadcast television, or cable decades after that.

He points out that how in 2018 there were 495 scripted original series, and says that all the work is making it “gravy time” for many. Just this month Disney Plus and Apple Plus TV added more viewing choices to audiences to the over 250 online choices out there. (Ever heard of Horse Lifestyle TV? As the saying goes, “there are riches in niches.” Just ask Tyler Perry.)

No doubt there will be audience fatigue with all of these choices, and some consolidation and mergers of shows and companies, but we are living in a streaming world—at least until the next disruption in 10, 20, or 30 years. And with the blending of movies, broadcast/cable TV, and streaming, the entertsinment status quo is in the early stages of a major earthquake leading to speculations never imagined even a year ago.

“With more original movies bypassing big screens, the line between TV and film is blurring, prompting once-unthinkable operating questions. Studios, for instance, employ separate executive teams to oversee the development and production of movies and television series. Should that siloed approach end? There has even been some muttering about whether the Emmys and the Oscars should merge.”
Brooks Barnes

Barnes is referring to a The Hollywood Reporter article by Stephen Galloway this summer where he addressed what all of these streaming changes mean at award time.  Netflix’s Roma last year kicked off the debate on when the foreign-languge film, produced by a streaming company, with a limited theatrical run, was up for a Best Picture Oscar.  (it did win Best Foreign Film, but lost to Green Book for Best Picture.

But it’s just a matter of time before a streaming company wins a Best Picture Oscar—perhaps The Irishmen, which Netflix releases next week will be that picture. Either way, the provocative question is Will the Oscars and Emmys Merge in the Streaming Era?

That’s as fun to speculate as a joke starting with, “An Emmy and a Oscar walk into a bar. . . .”

P.S. Ten years ago I watched my first streaming show on my computer (Cocaine Cowboys on Netflix) and it took me about 2.3 seconds to realize that the VHS/DVD rental business was finished. Blockbuster went bankrupt. Blockbuster at its peak had 9,000 stores, but today there is just one left in the entire world. I don’t know what the the entertainment landscape will look like in ten years, but I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that studios will begin to sell chucks of real estate because “There’s gold in them thar hills.” Movies can be made anywhere—have you see Tyler Perry’s new Atlanta studio?—and real estate in Los Angeles is just crazy expensive.

Scott W. Smith

 

 

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“We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness” 
― Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

“Hello darkness, my old friend…”
—Simon & Garfunkel
The Sounds of Silence (written by Paul Simon and sung by Simon & Garfunkel)

The last two movies I happened to see in theaters were Joker and The Lighthouse. Thankfully, I didn’t see them on the same night. If I had of seen Joker and The Lighthouse back-to-back on the same day I would have gone home and immediately signed up for the newly launched Disney+  and planned to exclusively stream Disney films for the next year.

A Joker/The Lighthouse double feature would have had me rewatching Taxi Driver just for a ray of light. (I find nihilism as a worldview depressing, but I can handle it in two hour movie chunks.) The truth is both Joker and The Lighthouse are highly crafted films that will find favor at Oscar time. I expect actors Joaquin Phoenix and Willem Dafoe, directors Todd Phillips and Robert Eggers, along with the writing and production design teams to get Oscar-nominations.

But I think The Lighthouse black and white cinematography of Jarin Blaschke is the single most remarkable element of not only those two films, but of any film I’ve seen this year. And I should mention that both Robert Pattinson’s character in The Lighthouse and the Joker himself belong in what I call “The End of the Rope Club.”

“I would never write about someone who was not at the end of his rope.”
—Stanley Elkin

Here’s a little glimpse into how Joker and The Lighthouse were made.

P.S. As of this writing, the screenplay for The Lighthouse is available from A/24 at their “For Your Consideration” page (as well as the screenplays for The Farewell and Waves).

Scott W. Smith 

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“I believe in the affirmation of life. If we lose that hope, if we lose the possibility of it, we’ve lost an awful lot.”
Writer/Director Paul Mazursky
Film Comment 1978 Interview

“I never thought, I’m going against the grain, I’m going to inform America about the problem of women, about society, about the bums on the street. I just thought, is this a good story, and can I make it work? The European directors I love really showed me that. You make the movie you want to make, that engages you, the movie that you have to make. They got away with it for a long time. And I guess I did too.”
Paul Mazursky
TheWrap

Oscar and Emmy nominated Paul Mazursky’s died a couple of weeks ago.  The  career of the producer, director, writer and actor spanned seven decades. I was in film school when his 1982 film Tempest came out and once remember seeing Mazursky walking across W. Olive Ave. in Burbank as I waited at the stoplight next to Warner Bros. Studios. (When you’re 21-years-old and from outside L.A. you don’t forget those Forrest Gump-like moments.)

At that time in his career he already had two Primetime Emmy nominations (The Danny Kaye Show) and  four  Oscar-nominations (writing Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,  Harry & Tonto, An Unmarried Woman— the later also was nominated for Best Picture). But some of his more popular films were still to come including Moscow on the Hudson,  Enemies, A Love Story, and Down and Out in Beverly Hills.

“[Down and Out in Beverly Hillsmade me laugh and harder and more delight than any movie I’ve seen since Lost in America.”
Roget Ebert
1986 movie review on Siskel and Ebert

As an actor he also worked on a wide variety of  films and TV programs; Blackboard Jungle, The Twilight Zone, Antz, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Kung Fu Panda 2.

But when I think of Mazursky, Tempest is what comes to mind first. He directed the film from a script he wrote with Leon Capetanos based on the Shakespeare play.  It won the audience award at the 1982 Toronto International Film Festival.

The reason I link Mazursky to that film is not even the film itself that starred John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands and Susan Sarandon (and which just happens to be Molly Ringwald’s big screen debut), but because  Mazursky wrote a making of book on the film–fittingly called Paul Mazursky’s Tempest.

Keep in mind that in 1982 there was no Internet so behind the scene books were a key place to get a glimpse into the filmmaking process. I still have my copy of that book. Here’s a couple of shots from the book that may help you in scheduling your film.

photo-4

photo-3

The Director’s Guild of America has a video interview of Mazursky online. And here are a couple of videos interviews the Writers Guild of America did with Mazursky did last year.

Scott W. Smith 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“I have no daily process. I have trouble calling myself a writer. It was never a plan of mine. I learned to type in the Navy’s communication corps, learned Morse code and how to type at 100 words a minute (I never went to war). Typing was a skill I took advantage of. I like dialogue, exploring behavior. Behavior takes you everywhere – beyond imagination for a character. It runs you into other people’s behavior and so the battleground is set.”
Two-time Ocar-winning screenwriter Alvin Sargent
WGA Interview by Denis Faye  

Ordinary People (1980) won four Oscars including Best Picture and Alvin Sargent’s screenplay.  It’s a movie full of conflict, including this “battleground” scene on a golf course—that’s also a great example of sweeping emotional change that transpires in just two minutes:

P.S. Over the weekend Sargent turned 87 years old. Happy Birthday Alvin.

Related post:
Everything I Learned in Film School (Tip #1)
Screenwriting’s One Unbreakable Rule
Conflict: What? vs. How?

Scott W. Smith

 

 

 

 

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“Entertainment is not frivolous; through entertainment you can actually make people aware of things. And throughout the ages art has always had a huge influence on history… It seemed to me like a kind of an obvious thing to do, to make a film about slavery—just like it’s an obvious thing to make a film about the Second World War or the Holocaust…There really aren’t too many films about slavery.”
Writer/director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Combined from interviews with Danielle Berrin and  Elvis Mitchell

Jeremy Kleiner at Plan B knew me and he knew Steve [McQueen]and he said, ‘look, we don’t really have any development money, we can’t really help you.’ This was not a standard development situation. It became a spec script. But he said, ‘if you guys can work out what you want to do and if you’re willing to go write a script and do it on spec and turn it into something that works and Steve is happy with it, we’ll find a way to put it together.’ At that point, Jeremy was one of those producers where if he says that we’ll put it together, you believe that he means it.”
Oscar-nominated screenwriter John Ridley (12 years a Slave)
BuzzFeed interview with Adam B. Vary

12 Years a Slave received 9 Oscar nominations including Best Picture for producers Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas. Pitt is the sole owner of Plan B Productions and it was just announced a few days ago that his group would be partnering with Oprah Winfrey on a film about Martin Luther King called Selma.

Related Posts:
25 Links Related to Blacks & Filmmaking
Filmmaking Quote #24 (Brad Pitt)
Brad Pitt & the Furture of Journalism
Martin Luther King Jr. & Screenwriitng (Tip #7)

Scott W. Smith

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“Every villain is the hero of his own story.”
Actor Tom Hiddleston

“This was my first time acting, or even thinking about acting.”
Actor Barkhad Abdi (Lead freighter hijacker in Captain Phillips)
NPR Interview, October 20, 2013

The thing that surprised me most when I first visited Minnesota more than 15 years ago was how many Somalians lived there. (Today there are more Somalians living in the Twin Cities than any other place in the United States.) So it’s no surprise that Hollywood went to Minneapolis when it was looking for Somalians to cast in the movie Captain Phillips.

Barkhad Abdi was one of more than 700 people who showed up for an open audition in Minneapolis and I bet he was surprised when he walked away with the lead Somalian hijacker role (Muse) acting opposite two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips). And maybe even more suprised when he recieved a SAG nomination yesterday. Not a bad first acting gig.

“I hope people understand the culture clash between these very, very different characters, Capt. Phillips and Muse. One had just, the normal life, you know, he went to school, college, graduated, family, and now he [has] a job. And the other one is just someone that grew up in a war-torn country, that had no hope, no school, no job, no government, nothing…A ruthless man who has nothing to lose. A man who has nothing to lose is dangerous. So, that’s how I became his character.”
Barkhad Abdi
NPR Interview

I remember seeing the trailer for Captain Phillips (“Look at me. I’m the captain now.”) thinking of Abdi “that dude looks real.” Film is about illusion so it’s no surprise that he had no acting experience. That’s not uncharted territory. Remember last year when Quvenzhane Wallis received an Oscar-nomination for her first role in Beasts of the Southern Wild? There’s also the trained Cambodian physician Haing S. Ngor who came to the U.S. with no formal acting experience and won an Oscar in his first film, The Killing Fields. (Bruce Robinson also recieved an Oscar-nomination for his script of that 1984 film.)

But good filmmaking is also about experienced, skilled people working together—and the Captain Phillips cast and crew had that in abundance. They were led by documentary trained director Paul Greengrass known for his work directing The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and United 93 (for which he received an Oscar nomination).

And there was screenwriter Billy Ray (The Hunger Games) to bring his more than 20 years of experience writing the script based on the book A Captain’s Duty by Richard Phillips and Stephan Talty.

“From the beginning we were very determined that we didn’t want cardboard bad guys. That’s just not good writing. You always want to dimentionalize your characters whenever possible, whether they’re good guys or bad guys. You always want them to look like full, actualized human beings. Not so much that audiences can sympathize, but so that audiences can understand and maybe recognize a piece of human behavior in those characters and that was very important to me.”
Billy Ray
Interview with Captain Phillips screenplay writer Billy Ray at NYFF premiere

P.S. A clip that always come to mind of an evil character is from Schindler’s List. (And an example of no dialogue needed.)

Update 12/16/13:

From a Facebook thread on The Inside Pitch here’s a list (off the top of his head) of good bad guys by WME Story Editor Christopher Lockhart:
Rob Roy/ Archibald Cunningham  (Tim Roth)
In the Line of Fire/Mitch Leary (John Malkovich
Working Girl/Kathrine Parker(Sigourney Weaver)
Bravehart/ Longshanks (Patrick McGoohan)
RoboCop (1987)/ Clarence J. Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith)
Schindler’s List/ Amon Goeth (Ralph Finnes)
The Wizard of Oz/ Miss Gulch/The Wicker Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton)
Kiss of Death (1947)/ Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark)
White Heat/ Cody Jarrett  (James Cagney)
Training Day/ Det. Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington)
Also noting that Gary Oldman (JFK, Bram Stroker’s Dracula, True Romance, Murder in the First) , Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, The Iceman, Man of Steel) and Kevin Spacey (Se7en) “all play good bad guys when they play them.”

And I found this video on evil characters as well:

P.S. Can anybody  recommend a Solmalian-made film that can give those outside Africa a different view of the country and its people? I did find a Wikipedia link to the Cinema of Somalia—but I’d love to learn about screenwriting from Somalia and the country’s filmmakers.

Related posts:

Screenwriting Quote #172 (Christopher Lockhart) “You just have to ask yourself, “Okay I’ve seen this a million times, so what can I do to make it a little different?” (I think Captain Phillips fits the “unique, but familiar” mold.)
“To Live or Die?” “The best drama for me is one which shows a man in danger. There is no action when there is no danger. To live or die? What drama is greater?”—Howard Hawks / “I would never write about a character who is not at the end of his rope.”—Stanley Elkin
Don’t Bore the Audience! Can Tennesee Williams and UCLA’s Richard Walter both be wrong?
Starting Your Screenplay (Tip #6) “Who is your hero, what does he want, and what stands in his way?”—Paddy Chayefsky
Writing “Black Hawk Down” Another Somalia-based story

Related links:
The Screenwriter’s Guide To Movie Villains Screenwriting Spark as gather more than 40 links related to movie villains
BBC News Somalia Profile
AFI’s 100 Heroes & Villains (
And in this racially sensitive culture we still live in I feel the need to point out that the top villains are all white—except for Bruce the shark in JAWS and the Alien in Alien—and the first film black villain on AFI’s list is #50 Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington) in Training Day. (Okay, #3 villain Darth Vader did have James Earl Jones’ voice—but Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, the Wicked Witch of the West and the rest of the AFI list are all crazy white people. So please hold off on the emails.)

Scott W. Smith

 

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