This holiday season, I’ve been avoiding traditional holiday movies and focusing on the non-traditional classics instead. Edward Scissorhands may be the best of the category. The Edward Scissorhands script was written by Caroline Thompson.
What I don’t like are pompous, pretentious movies.
There’s been a lot of finger pointing at Sony over the last few weeks, and particularly the last few days. The studio is being called cowardly for pulling The Interview from theaters, but Sony wasn’t the first to pull the film, the theaters themselves were. And it’s not like they didn’t have their reasons.
Yes, I think the movie should be shown in theaters despite the threats, and personally I would be first in line to see it on Christmas day. But I can’t hold the decision against Sony, particularly given the utter lack of support that the studio has gotten from the rest of the film industry and the rest of the nation. Everyone in Hollywood is afraid that they’ll be next, that their inappropriate emails sent among friends will be plastered on gossip sites, or worse, legitimate news outlets.
I found George Clooney’s take on the matter particularly insightful. Here are some excerpts of his interview with Deadline:
As it begins to dawn on everyone in Hollywood the reality that Sony Pictures was the victim of a cyberterrorist act perpetrated by a hostile foreign nation on American soil, questions will be asked about how and why it happened, ending with Sony cancelling the theatrical release of the satirical comedy The Interview because of its depiction of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. One of those issues will be this: Why didn’t anybody speak out while Sony Pictures chiefs Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton were embarrassed by emails served up by the media, bolstering the credibility of hackers for when they attached as a cover letter to Lynton’s emails a threat to blow up theaters if The Interview was released?
George Clooney has the answer. The most powerful people in Hollywood were so fearful to place themselves in the cross hairs of hackers that they all refused to sign a simple petition of support that Clooney and his agent, CAA’s Bryan Lourd, circulated to the top people in film, TV, records and other areas. Not a single person would sign. Here, Clooney discusses the petition and how it is just part of many frightening ramifications that we are all just coming to grips with.
DEADLINE: How could this have happened, that terrorists achieved their aim of cancelling a major studio film? We watched it unfold, but how many people realized that Sony legitimately was under attack?
GEORGE CLOONEY: A good portion of the press abdicated its real duty. They played the fiddle while Rome burned. There was a real story going on. With just a little bit of work, you could have found out that it wasn’t just probably North Korea; it was North Korea. The Guardians Oof Peace is a phrase that Nixon used when he visited China. When asked why he was helping South Korea, he said it was because we are the Guardians of Peace. Here, we’re talking about an actual country deciding what content we’re going to have. This affects not just movies, this affects every part of business that we have. That’s the truth. What happens if a newsroom decides to go with a story, and a country or an individual or corporation decides they don’t like it? Forget the hacking part of it. You have someone threaten to blow up buildings, and all of a sudden everybody has to bow down. Sony didn’t pull the movie because they were scared; they pulled the movie because all the theaters said they were not going to run it. And they said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible.We have a new paradigm, a new reality, and we’re going to have to come to real terms with it all the way down the line. This was a dumb comedy that was about to come out. With the First Amendment, you’re never protecting Jefferson; it’s usually protecting some guy who’s burning a flag or doing something stupid. This is a silly comedy, but the truth is, what it now says about us is a whole lot. We have a responsibility to stand up against this. That’s not just Sony, but all of us, including my good friends in the press who have the responsibility to be asking themselves: What was important? What was the important story to be covering here? The hacking is terrible because of the damage they did to all those people. Their medical records, that is a horrible thing, their Social Security numbers. Then, to turn around and threaten to blow people up and kill people, and just by that threat alone we change what we do for a living, that’s the actual definition of terrorism.
Read the full interview at Deadline.
The way a musical can make us feel is unlike anything else, in song and particularly in dance. I think people fly through plate-glass windows when they get shot because movies don’t have dance scenes any more. This is what we do instead.
This early draft of the Edge of Tomorrow script (originally titled All You Need is Kill) was written by DW Harper based on the novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.
The Unbroken script was written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, and Richard LaGravenese
and William Nicholson based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand.
If you want to be a screenwriter, take an acting class to get a sense of what you’re asking actors to do. Learning other skills will help you communicate with people and respect what they do.
It’s finally here! The 2014 Black List has been published. The list contains the names and ranks of the top 51 unproduced scripts circling around Hollywood this year, as ranked by the industry folks who read them.
To everyone who made the list, congratulations! You’ve accomplished an amazing feat, and we hope to see your films on the big screen very soon.
To the rest of us, look through the list. Study the titles. Study the loglines. Learn how they work, what elements they use, what details they put in, and what they might be leaving out. And if you can manage to get your hands on any of these scripts, do it.
A solid reminder for anyone who’s working on a female character:
I hate movies that tell people what to think. I’m proud that Democrats thought ‘Thank You For Smoking’ was their film and Republicans thought it was theirs.