Wednesday 5 October 2011

Your INNER CRITIC - Change The Conversation!

The people we meet, companies we work for and institutions we come into contact with; they all play their part in rejecting us and judging us.

But most of it is done on an inner level by ourselves.

It happens when you write a genius script for a month until you wake up one morning convinced it sucks. Or when you're driving to an audition for a role you were born to play when you suddenly realise you're a pathetic actor.

Ever notice how much authority you give your inner critic? It's an all knowing God!

Except that it's not. The critic is your biggest fears multiplied by 500. Makes you think of the time you messed up on stage when you were 7, or when your school teacher said your writing was 'too basic'.

That was then and this is now. The crap you got from the world became internalised and now you're your own worst enemy.

The thing to realise about the inner critic is that it's not fact. Your inner critic isn't Spielberg or Meryl Streep, it's just a vulnerable part of you desperate not to be stranded, naked, and pointed at.

Hear what your critic says, but realise it's just one viewpoint. It's not a fact.

Your critic will say: "you suck! You have no talent, you're ugly, and you've lost something over the years".

You wouldn't let me say that to you. If your friends or family said it you'd be deeply offended -- so why say it to yourself? Why believe it? How can you be creative when you put yourself down so much?

You can't. There needs to be love. You've achieved lots. You've decided to be an artist in a world that only cares about city bankers and reality show contestants. You're brave. You have talent and you know it, so don't ever let your inner critic sabotage you. You're too good, too talented.

Perfection is impossible. Your critic only wants you to write when you have a masterpiece. That's impossible. You can't ever make a masterpiece on purpose.

A masterpiece is when a project, by hard work and luck, has less mistakes than all the others.

But you have to be willing to make mistakes.

You're not perfect. Artists aren't meant to be. We just step out the front door and create, do some hard work and have fun.

Stop stopping yourself. Your critic is not an expert. It's just scared. Tell your critic to take a break, or to give you constructive thoughts rather then condemnation.

Make art!

Care to share?

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Take Part In A KITFR Blogathon on Sat 8th October 2011!

Who is your favorite film character? Wouldn't it be great if you could speak to him/her? Well -- now you can!

I want you to let your imagination fly --- go off into your fantasies and have a meeting with the film character of your choice. Maybe you'll sit down with Forrest Gump to talk about life, maybe you'll interview John McCLane about all his Die Hard exploits. 

There's no right or wrong here. This isn't a contest. I just want all of us to have the luxury of spending time with a character we love. It could go something like this:

Forrest, I've always wanted to meet you!

What's a blog?

It's a place to have discussions, be part of a community!

Mom always said community is something special. 

It is! 

Or maybe it's more like this, a conversation with MARK ZUCKERBERG (the fictional, Sorkin-version):

How are you? 

Me? Fine. 

What have you been up to? 


Cool, anything else, been on holiday or anything? 

I don't have time. If I went on holiday I'd be someone who goes on holiday, but I'm someone who built Facebook which is why I'm in the offices of Facebook. Can I help you?

I just want to chat. 


It's what people do sometimes. 

Sometimes people chat. Sometimes people watch reality TV in their underwear. If I do what people sometimes do I may end up doing nothing at all. 


We done? 



So here's your chance! Don't get caught up worrying how they really speak. You don't need to be a screenwriter -- you just need to go off up into that brain of yours and imagine a conversation with a film character. I'll be doing one too! :D 

I hope you all join in! Feel free to share this as much as you can, it would be a lot of fun to see many people do this!

Please post your imaginary film character dialogues on your website/blog THIS SATURDAY, the 8th October 2011

"Film Character Dialogues - A Kid In The Front Row Blogathon"

I can't wait to read them!!

Care to share?

Saturday 1 October 2011

Olympic Gold - A Kid In The Front Row Screenplay

Last week I wrote an article for Anomalous Material called "The Elusiveness Of Cinematic Greatness".

In the article, I quipped; "Why of all the movies does Shawshank transcend? Don’t throw phrases at me like, “It has universal themes.” So what!!? When I was eight I wrote a story about a goldfish which won the Olympics. It had universal themes. It sucked."

Here are three comments which mentioned the goldfish: 

Nick Prigge: "By the way, could you forward me a copy of the script about the goldfish that wins the Olympics? We could probably get 2.5 mil from Paramount."

NeverTooEarlyMP: "And I’m with Nick about wanting to see the goldfish movie get made."

CitizenScreen: "Enjoyed reading this! And, I think a story about a goldfish that wins the olympics would make an awesome screenplay!"

Taking this feedback to heart -- I decided to pen the screenplay for what will undoubtedly be a smash hit --- "Olympic Gold". I hope you enjoy!

I am only interested in selling this story idea to the major studios in a seven figure deal.

Care to share?

Dreaming With Nothing

"I dream for a living" -Spielberg.

Good for him, the rest of us struggle. A field covered in the dead corpses of projects that faltered, fell and faded.

You have to believe in the impossible. To make a living in the movie industry is to do the unrealistic, to pull magic out of a hat when you don't even know what a hat is.

Advice is wonderful; write every day, write only when inspired; dedicate all waking hours to film, dedicate all waking hours to life and living; work for free to prove your worth, charge lots to prove your worth. Advice is great but however you do it, you end up time and again with nothing except a heap of battered-beat up experiences to share in some coffee house with a friend.

But at least you have those experiences. The work of successful artists is painted with a hundred failures. Everyone I know goes to bed at least six nights a week struggling with the dark knowledge that the goals we set for ourselves and the promise we've shown has lead to not much of anything at all.

And the real world has questions. The values set by the Western world are: how much money did you make? Did you win the award? Are you famous yet?

In some alternate reality someone asks; did you enjoy it? Did the project fulfill your ambitions? Did you manage to produce what was in your heart? Not in this world, not yet.

The worries of the artist are small compared to the real world issues of bills, poverty and war.

But art makes the journey worthwhile. The song at your wedding, the movie you watch every Christmas, the poem you have pinned up in the kitchen. I'm not saying they're everything but they're a huge contribution to society. We need to cherish the artists. They drive themselves mad as hell insane, just to produce something. Producing magic is the dream, producing something adequate is a miracle.

The successes failed again and again too, right up until they hit the jackpot. When I interviewed Lawrence Sher he told me how he was earning $7000 a year and struggling like crazy. Then it changed. The last few years he's been DOP'ing films like 'Due Date' and 'The Hangover', he's one of the most sought after guys in the industry. Scott Rosenberg told me that he wrote ten feature films before he got an agent. He wrote four more before something got made.

How close are you to giving up? How close are you to succeeding?

The margins are small. As Pacino said in 'Any Given Sunday': "It's a game of inches...".

Sometimes people put us down when we want to reach for the stars. Other times people want us to reach for the stars and we're too busy putting ourselves down and dwelling on failure.

Sure, you're failing. Everyone's failing. You have thousands of people for company. But you've trained yourself in your art for years; we improve, we get better. Sometimes you reach people, sometimes you get the big cheque. But not if you quit or cave.

Good luck, we're all in this thing together.

"If I am going to have any life anymore
it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch
because that is what LIVING is.
The six inches in front of your face."
-Pacino, in 'Any Given Sunday'

Care to share?

Extremely Excited - THE BOP DECAMERON

'The Bop Decameron'. I'm excited about this. 

Jesse Eisenberg is the star of two of my favorite films, 'Adventureland' and 'The Social Network' - and I've been dying to see Ellen Page do something as wonderful as 'Juno' ever since she made it ('Whip It' was cool, 'Inception' wasn't really about her.)

Page and Eisenberg together would be exciting enough. But it's also written and directed by a guy called Woody Allen

Woody Allen working with these two is music to my ears! I cannot think of better casting. And there's also Penélope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Judy Davis (finally working with Woody again!), Greta Gerwig - and Woody is acting in it himself (first time since 'Scoop' in 2006)

Unlike most, I have still stuck by Woody over the years. 'Scoop' and 'Cassandra's Dreams' were truly awful, but most of his other recent efforts I've liked. Even the much derided 'Anything Else' and 'Hollywood Ending' -- I enjoy them both and have watched them many times. 

But here Woody may have struck gold. Coming off the back of 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' and 'Midnight In Paris' (along with 'You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger', which I loved but the critics didn't) I can think of nothing better for Woody than working with two of the finest young actors in Hollywood. Eisenberg was destined to be in a Woody film; it's impossible to deny that the director has had an influence on Eisenberg; the mannerisms and acting styles are too similar. 

This is perfect perfect perfect. Of course, when I get this excited, it never works out. But this time, it just might...

Care to share?