Good afternoon. Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce another blog entry for my novelist. I must say this has been a harrowing week. We were out for a walk on our usual route when we crossed the street to practice social distancing. We heard the rumble of a low-pitched bark and turned to find one of the neighbors, a known whack job had decided to adopt a Pitbull. I shudder just saying the word. Apparently, it had come out of its house sans owner and it stared at us as we continued along. The owner attempted to call it back in vain. We now have a different route but between you and me I have been researching mace online. I do this late at night while my novelist is asleep. I am considering this brand and have been practicing my aim. That said, here is my novelist.
I have almost completed the rewrite for the fourth book in my series which I am planning to release this summer. Hopefully I will have it finished by next week and start in on book five. Since I have been posting a lot about writing lately, I decided to switch gears this week and focus on films.
I thought I would tell you about one of my favorite resources for writing. They are called ScreenwritingU and last week they started doing a once a week class on Fridays at noon. Every week is a different screenwriting subject. Last week’s was Build Mystery Into Your Script. The best part about it is the Friday classes are free. At the end of each class they usually pitch one of their pay class series you can take, and they will from time to time offer a discount.
This week’s class is called How to Write Exceptional Scenes. The class lecturer is usually Hal Crossman (who is doing this Friday’s class) and he does a great job. I have listened to many of his lectures over time and he is always top notch. If you do take the free class which often runs around one and a half to two hours, you’ll sign up on their web site giving them your name and email address, then on the day of the lecture they send you an email with instructions. They will also send you a worksheet to print out to use during the class.
What sets them apart from traditional writing classes is they have done a lot of research in the movie industry and interviewed many producers, writers, actors, directors etc. So, you get more industry insight from them than you might in a normal writing class. This makes for great additional learning if you are a college graduate with a writing, play writing or film degree. If you are looking to enroll in a screenwriting program I would not take their classes in lieu of a degree. But if you want additional training to supplement your college education, then this is a good place to do that. If you don’t have a college degree, I recommend them as well just not as a replacement for a university education.
So again, every Friday at noon ScreenwritingU is doing a free screenwriting class and if you have the time while your riding out the Covid-19 wave, I recommend checking it out. Here is this the link for tomorrow’s class.
A lot of you may have this list already but I thought I would mention it anyway. The AFI has been featuring a movie a day with their Movies To Watch While We’re Apart series. Since half of these films are what I would call masterclass must see films that most people recognize or have seen, I would not list them in my STREAM OF THE WEEK section of my blog as I try to make that section for outstanding movies that might get overlooked. But if you haven’t seen some of these classic films (which you really should) give it a whirl.
While you are waiting for my next blog post you can check out my novel Chicane on Amazon.
STREAM OF THE WEEK: MOVIES THAT ARE ACTUALLY FUNNY DOUBLE FEATURE PART DEUX: SOAPDISH AND ARTHUR-Amazon
Last week I suggested a couple of comedies that are extremely funny and a little if not a lot on the raunchy side. This week I am offering up a couple of films streaming that are included with Amazon Prime that are also extremely funny but not raunchy. They are both romantic comedies and though a lot of romantic comedies are stupid at best, these two are whip smart.
Soapdish came out in 1991 and has an unbelievable cast: Sally Field, Kevin Klein, Whoopie Goldberg, Elisabeth Shue, Robert Downey Jr, Cathy Moriarty, Teri Hatcher, Kathy Najimy, Carrie Fisher, Ben Stein and Gary Marshall. The film is a spoof on television soap operas with Sally Field playing Celeste Talbert, the reigning queen of soap operas who’s younger boyfriend had dumped her and now she’s found out the producers have decided to bring her worst nightmare, old boyfriend Jeffery Anderson (Kevin Klein), from the dead to revise his roll. Thrown into the mix is newcomer Lori Cravin (Elizabeth Shue) who happens to be Celeste’s niece…or is she. The movie is a fresh take on the usual romantic comedy and brilliantly acted.
Arthur, the original from 1981, is a true highbrow delight. Perpetual playboy Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore in his terrific Oscar nominated performance) is a drunk. He is also extraordinarily rich and is set up by his family to marry equally rich Susan Johnson (Jill Eikenberry). If he doesn’t, he loses all his inheritance. But Arthur is about to do something none of his family thought possible. He’s going to fall in love…with a shoplifting waitress named Linda Marolla (Liza Minnelli). Coming along for the ride is his fairy godfather and trusted butler Hobson (Sir John Guielgud in his much-deserved Oscar winning performance). An absolute must see that may end up on the AFI Movies To Watch While We’re Apart list.