Clayton Kershaw, when a story melts down.

The Dodgers blew it again in the playoffs gifting the St. Louis cards with a take-home 1-3 series. This time it was star pitcher Kershaw who owned the melt down: he gave away a 6-1 lead in game 1 and a 2-0 lead in the 7th inning of game 4. The figthing red birds gratefully grabbed the offer en route to the world series.

Now, Kershaw is perhaps the best regular-season pitcher today. So, play along with my metaphor here: I see a pitcher like a top screenwriter, a master storyteller with a job: to take home a concept, a strategy, and in the end win. In baseball it’s the won game, in scriptwriting a finished, imaginative, killer story. (Sold, yeah.)

Kershaw in 2014 playoffs wrote some great beginnings, rock’n’roll first acts, then lost his plot points in act 3. The Dodgers jumped to early leads and coasted forward evenly. This is what good writers have learned to do, by apprenticeship and instinct:  set up the game-story and control it, directly, by pitching strikes and outs, and indirectly by inspiring your teammates to asphalt their opponents with talent.  But what about highs and lows? What about action?

Kershaw looked like William Goldman in the first 6 innings of both game 1 and 4: solid presence, perfect timing and ahead of the opposition. You trust a good writer like Goldman to take you on an adventure, like you trust Hitchock to serve a juicy finale no matter how cheap the McGuffin. But a “won game” has to actually be won, like in chess. A winning idea for a script has to be developed until it’s done and over. And it pays off.

Instead, the Dodgers seemed to wait lazily hoping to avoid disturbing plot complications. These horrors, in the form of home-runs, errors and comebacks, hurt. The more you are ahead, the darker the chance that forces of antagonism will team up to pull you down.

Kershaw may have to pitch his way out of a reputation as a choker, by winning “won games” that count. Lost games may be paradoxically easier to win, as concentration is less likely to slip away and a pitcher gets max support from his cast. But winning the “won games” is the ultimate test of patience, character, skillful. A subtle creeping danger haunted our pitcher-writer choice by choice, action by action, pitch after pitch, surfing the good story, gliding upwards towards a clear & happy climax, nothing to fear.

But our defeated storyteller Kershaw may have fallen into that exact trap of ignoring fear, coasting to a shortcut to the win. He even arm-wrestled opponents with a hasty greed for overpowering show-and-tell fastballs… Oops, gone. So little regard for  the dark disasters that lurk within an unfinished opus.

Clayton: in those fierce do-or-die moments (which will come again) focus your heart on your inner scoreboard, the one that ultimately matters. Fear is defeat. Keep your story burning.

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Branding smart w/ fresh squeeze: an immunity booster?

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Sweden is famous for its quality of life, democracy and gender equality – but not necessarily for humor (certainly not during the week).

So you can image my surprise when yesterday, just back from travel, I found this funny looking juice with a label the likes of which I’d never seen before.

Here was an example of branding with infotainment!

Recycling bits of Berlusconi news is in itself not news. The man has used gaffes and bad jokes as a way to boost his humanity and friendliness. Anyone remember the sad/mad Holocaust joke he cracked at a EU parliament session.

But now, the Man has lost his parliamentary immunity after been sentenced for fraud. Why put this on the juice pack? It’s innovative branding, for sure.

What do you think?

Any other examples of something similar?

GIVE IT ALL AWAY! Show your movie for free and watch what happens…

Crazy and Thief from Cory McAbee on Vimeo.

I am convinced that films should be screened for free. This is crazy by Industry standards of course, because there is still a bums (asses) in the seats mentality for film product, like there was from the age of Lumiere, Edison and Nickelodeons.

The “shoot for cash” mentality has lead us to awesome films and now heads for infinite action hero sequels. More coming on your visual plate by the way. The stock of Marvel stories is infinite, and there will always be a Ben Affleck to take a Batman role.

4-10K digital magic and FX do the box-office magic. From “Transformers” high-end production value have ridiculed and knocked-out indie filmmakers trapped in adult or teenage drama themes investigating life and its real-life dilemmas.

Here today you find a film distributed for free and made for passion. More and more movies that matter are made because someone has something to say, sell or not. Undistributed films find lots of places online to screen and enlarge their followings from festival appearances.

Getting your movie made requires no budget and no stars, no pre-sales and no big business. Now, if you wrote an A-listhe screenplay and have a star attached, go for the option, the sale and the kill – with all its compromises attached. But if you have an idea for a quirky film that bends the marketing rules, why not go for it anyway and shoot it rather than try and twist, butter and sugar the script.

There are so many ways to make a first picture open gates for you and start-up your careers. Career, yes. From simple ideas developed well and given away.

enjoy the show
/daniel

read the full article on the film here

Take the Sundance & Gates Foundation short film challenge?

Sundance and the Gates foundation welcome (and fund sinner) films about solutions to poverty, cinematic celebrations of innovation and problem-solving for common global problems.

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find all the info here

Also check out the Nuffglobal.net doc film contest about Climate Change, from way back in 2007.

LISTENED TO A SCREENPLAY PODCAST LATELY?

This podcast help new writers press launch their pin-ball into play. After a short personal intro, the useful interview with the creative network Stage32 begins.

The interview is with Richard Botto, head of stage32.com, mighty-popular online hangout for productive writers:

So If you:
are a writer with Hollywood ambition looking for a network
I suggest listening to at least part of this 55 minute podcast

It’s the next best for a screenplay writers, after moving to Los Angeles.

The entire podcast series can be found on iTunes and on www.sellingyourscreenplay.com

if you prefer full engagement the Youtube show is here:

Which online script coverage do you use? [part 1]

Today we start a ride thru script services online, sites that offer feedback and written notes on formatted, completed screenplays. There is a fee to pay, but in this case, it’s lower than the average.

On top of that, Script Analytics offers a proprietary coverage system that you are probably curious to try out. So am I.

8 tips for spontaneous performance from Ken Loach

There are as many acting methods out there as there are personal journeys through the craft of story and film. As Ken Loach shares in this video, you get to a method by trial and error until something seems to work and make sense. To get performance that plays as “real”, Ken resorts to techniques familiar to many indie makers: follow the story, not the budget, play the scene not the plot… and more.

This previous text comes from the Berlinale 2013 and the awesome award-winning blog Mentorless.com

Enjoy!

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ken loach