Tagged: story different

talkin’ INTERSTELLAR Blues

TED interstellar blogpost
TEDed

“Interstellar” By Chris Nolan has sparked admiration and quality criticism (New Yorker)  Few other high-concept films in recent years have had this kind of echo, as if it were “2001 Space Odyssey” all over again.

TED-ed posted a number of blog posts and visuals about the science in the film.

The conversation continues here Cinemahead Forum

Release the Captured Image

danny photo

published in the collective book: MAGIC MOMENTS
by Broby Grafiska – Film I Värmland, 2014
ISBN 978-91-981533-0-9

I struggled as a kid with the systematic murder of butterflies in the name of the study and preservation of their magical, ephemeral beauty. Maybe an idea is like a butterfly that we find alive in flight, perfect as is. We humans are curious creatures, we live for ideas, we want to feed on rapture and wonder. We are driven to observe, hold, capture, even devour an idea. It’s a process we do unconsciously, like breathing, I suspect.But then, as in any story, once we feel an idea… “what happens next?”

For me an idea is like lighting a match in the dark, IT makes all the difference. IT reveals a little more. IT creates shadows and in betweens. Before I “get IT” or explain IT or identify IT, I can recognise one feeling: an idea can transform the unfamiliar into a cell of awareness without having a name or a purpose yet. Just a bolt of energy that reshuffles what we knew before, like a new kid on the block has the power to change an entire neighborhood.
For the most part, my ideas remain private, unexplained. Instinct is wordless, right? Why explain ideas to yourself? Sequences of verbal translation are a social tool of communication. My guess is when you feel an idea, you do what a plant does thru photosynthesis, changing light into nutriment. Perhaps our ideas are inputs, breaths to exhale later in new form. In between the in and out, is the mysterious, fascinating creative adventure of “process”, the middle of things, the Now. The East sits on the path of “what’s happening now” in a contemplative, deeper sense. The West keeps trucking’ on the highway of what happens next: desire, competition and material accomplishment. Action is inevitably a story structure: beginning, end, middle. The middle comes last because, a middle is a middle only if it is followed by an end.

Personally, I am interested in one specific kind of idea: the cinematic idea. A cinematic idea moves and changes thru time. It possesses- from its beginning – the energy and DNA of a film, and nothing else. A cinematic idea carries visual power and storytelling potential, emotional dynamics. A cinematic idea wants to be a film, not a statue, a painting, or a building. Trying to freeze and label a cinematic idea to me is like sticking a pin into that butterfly, to be able to place it – dead forever – under a magnifying glass. But I am no scientist or biologist, I am interested in stories ion motion, movies, personal films across genres and media. The movies I am most interested in are not the ones playing on Netflix, but those that have not been made yet. I started working with youth cinema for this reason: young and amateur creatives can fly if you just let them without dissecting them with how-tos and to-dos. One thing is fly, and another is to label, report and study.
James Joyce once said that his final opus “Finnegan’s Wake” – whose verbal flux and storytelling deconstruction were so unprecedented as to frustrate and fascinate readers for ever – said his inspiration for the weaving structure of the book came – in part – from the new art of cinema. [Read the “Introduction to Metaphysics” by Henri Bergson, there is a cinematic idea]

Ideas, in fluid narrative process, can become “stream of consciousness”, the art of flow. Many writers wait for flow to flood their pages with unstoppable, final sentences. Good ideas seem to shine with a promise: there will be “less pain” when a script “writes itself”. Bbut in story development good ideas are necessary but not sufficient. A writer can’t just admire a new magic moment of insight, s/he must dance with IT.

A magic moment “pops up” and we look at it, then we think we must save it, hold on to it, never let it go. How do we do that? Some scribble or tap notes. Some “take pictures” to stake a placeholder claim on the world. We all seem to want to trap, even arrest our ides as images and words, and then imprison them in our pocket digital devices. We seem to give so much value to our “captured images” and their potential value as idea reminders. But I know there is a way to do the reverse, to release the source of an idea back into the wild, to set IT free. I call it the Cinemahead process.

Carrying captured images and sounds can fill the hard-drive space in our camera and brain. This cuts down our play-space and playing with ideas (the process, the now) is the most juicy part of the game. So I try and leave a new idea exactly where I found it. Instead of capturing a shot of a tree as a memory, I play with it, then I put it back: I leave it there. Next time you do, look at how “your” idea returns where you found it. rock-n-roll! The next time, your the idea will be waiting for you there, exactly where you left it. Nobody will steal your ideas in the open. Trusting an idea into the common space can be not sonly exhilaratingly free, but even contagious. Imagine others as they may run into your ideas and you into theirs. Imagine a creative commons of shared ideas right around us, everywhere. So much common ground, so much potential for cross-pollination and mutual inspiration. Personally that in itself feels like an idea, so – like an unknown butterfly – I will leave it here and let it go. See what happens to it, now and next. The best part of a magic moment is breathe it in, and let it be.

[daniel alegi]

Stop Motion Last Supper by Charlie (the Kaufmans, that is)

Charlie Kaufman (and his brother) is a writer everyone seems to love. When I ask “who’s your favorite screenwriter” usually it’s either Kaufman or Tarantino or “the guy who wrote Seven“.

One of the reasons i think we seem to remember Charlie Kaufman as the author (more than whoever directed) is because he downloads his imagination straight into our gut. His worlds crack open or double up, crumble inside out and upside down, like our very own.

The best way to tell a personal story of truth, according to Federico Fellini, is to invent a whole environment of fiction. Not a dream world necessarily, but a believable make-believe in which the forces of drama embody people. People who fight their own gut instincts, people paralysed by the impossible choices in love and life.

It’s always a pleasure to hear filmmakers like Charlie Kaufman talk with candor and humility.

And – if you haven’t yet – take a look at Charlie Kaufman’s crowdfunded stop-motion animation

“Anomalisa”

+ metaphor, – rethoric. Cuaron on shooting his 3-week screenplay.

@Cinemahead we map scripts because it makes the process of writing less painful and more fun. A story map makes the making-of a script faster, visual, imaginative. Plus, it makes it easy to collaborate.

I ran into this YouTube interview with Alfonso Cuaron, director of “Y Tu Mama Tambien”. Listen to what he has to say about coming up with and directing “Gravity”. He says it was “a script that took three weeks to write”, a story rooted in personal adversities.

yup.

The magic of a reveal

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 7.06.09 PM

A forgotten station emerges from under NYC, a metaphor for the magic power of reveals. We discover what was hidden and the range of our familiar spaces and sources expands. Read more on the blog that posted the story first, the cool travelettes.

http://www.travelettes.net/new-york-city’s-hidden-subway-station/#%21

This station is with us now, like a secret in a story revealed from the deep. Meaning is best not told, but discovered.

BACK IN L.A. WITH THE WORKSHOP AGAIN

danny-L.A

I am back in Los Angeles at the Directors Playhouse, with a special run of “Story Different” my script development workshop that keeps helping writers and filmmakers win festival awards.

There are new dates upcoming in August.

http://cinemahead.com/workshop-2/sd/

If you're in town, take a look at the calendar or just stop by.

You can always grab a podcast from the resource page
http://cinemahead.com/resources/podcasts/

is making a movie like playing in the band?

follow @cinemahead on twitter

My favourite filmmakers use the same crew for every film. Do yours?

For example, I am Thinking of John Cassavetes, actor -director who shot many of his films inside his own studio-house. He cast his wife Gena Rowlands and his best fiends in every picture.

Each new movie was a challenge to a familiar formation of artists. The scripts went directly to the actors, not to outside casting agents or on-shot producers. The movies were not easy to make and the edits ignored audience tastes. The film “Husbands” was cut long and much less of a comedy than the studio insisted on, costing Cassavetes and his “band” pretty pennies, but resulting in a one-of-a-kind film. (the plot? three friends go to a hotel in London after the funeral of their best friend in the U.S.)

But like a band that plays every new song different, John Cassavetes played film different. He changed the rules of a game that has today changed even more.

Especially if you are making short films, your filmmaking is already like playing in a band. An adventure with friends.

The name of the awesome band in the clip is VIDAR. Worth keeping an eye on.

[Inspiration] Co-exist!

I like this French Poste ad, where reality and dream melt into one space. It’s not only about the basic difference between the material and the abstract, but also about how in the cinematic experience opposite dimensions and feelings  can – convincingly and inseparably – coexist.

“Jumping Jasper” alias “Hopp”

A man wants to jump from a building. A hobo is looking for food in a dumpster below. Who will give way?

A one-act play written by Yair Packer and adapted as a short by Cinemahead with students from the Molkom Folkhögskola in Sweden. The director is Sofia Linn Karlsson.