What’s In a scene: Danny Collins

danny-collins-al-pacinoWhat’s In a scene: Danny Collins
Danny Collins passed by last year without too much attention perhaps. Al Pacino plays a rock star. Bobby Cannavale plays his son. It’s based on a true story.
Pacino has, in my opinion, one great scene in the film which made it all worthwhile for me. It is a small, but important kind of moment in the life spectrum – a scene of preparation – before something very important happens.
I won’t say ‘spoiler alert’ and describe it here. Sorry. I will just say that the scene and what follows it illustrate that there are different kinds of scenes, movie moments which need to be framed in different ways.
You may not discover how a scene needs to be constructed within a script until you it. Or you may know before you start writing what the shape has to be.

And… I have a one week class next week — Scene Writing Intensive — all about different kinds of scenes, how they function within a script structure. We’ll discuss that scene in Danny Collins and many more. http://ow.ly/i/jvg4Q


Some of what movies embody like nothing

Some of what movies embody like nothing else– http://ow.ly/I6BV30031GC


“Actually, Feature Film is Devouring TV”

HUGH LAURIE AND TOM HIDDLESTON NIGHT MANAGER HANDSHAKE 134216057-0303adfd-0fb2-46a5-bdc2-c9974b9016ffPeople will say TV is swallowing film. But perhaps it is the reverse. The best TV is becoming more like feature film — evolving into the feature form more and more. With a few differences, of course.

The “one hour” TV shows are not 60 minutes long necessarily. They are more visual, more cinematic, with more evolved design.

If you want your script to move in that direction, let it happen. TV writing can be movie making. The material can dictate the scale, duration, style. It’s not talking heads exclusively.

Hugh Laurie is an amazing nemesis in The Night Manager – miniseries on AMC.
Cast, designed, shot like a motion picture.

The undeniable demand in TV writing – solid character canvas. There must be an interesting set of situations which your characters are inhabiting, struggling with, yearning through. Consider the evolutions of their emotional connections along a time line. Even a spread sheet. One thing about TV, character stories get spread out over time, multiple episodes, seasons, an entire series even. So are a character’s feelings toward another person changing? Do deeds of enterprise impact relationships? In the realm of TV series slow burn dramatics, the audience wants a character to move into a relationship but that person can’t move forward. Until… You’re the writer. You decide.

Have a 1-hour TV pilot concept you want to develop and take to script? Here’s a great opportunity to do that in my upcoming session of TV Pilot Script Workshop which begins Monday, May 9 online at Screenwritingmasterclass.com. Go HERE for more information.


Network – Faye Dunaway – still fresh and

Network – Faye Dunaway – still fresh and incisive. http://ow.ly/4nfpeI


Gene Hackman brings internal dissonace –

Gene Hackman brings internal dissonace – loner cop – loner dad http://ow.ly/i/iPSs5 http://ow.ly/i/iPSwN


Gene Hackman brings internal dissonace –

Gene Hackman brings internal dissonace – loner cop – loner dad http://ow.ly/i/iPSs5 http://ow.ly/i/iPSwN


Just watched White Nights — an amazing,

Just watched White Nights — an amazing, beautiful film. Hail, Visconti http://ow.ly/10FtNK


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