Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

Reblogged from AboutFace Media.

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Former Pixar Story Artist, Emma Coats tweeted 21 story basics in 140 characters or less way back that Pixar uses for the essence of good storytelling.

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

Read the whole list here.

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Hollywood Reporter Directors’ Roundtable 2012

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Never Hate a Director

Fantastic perspective from the folks at Badass Digest that just might make you never talk poorly of a filmmaker ever again.

JUST AS WE SHOULD NEVER HATE A MOVIE, WE MUST NEVER HATE A DIRECTOR.

NOT JUST BECAUSE THEY MAY BE GOOD, NOT JUST BECAUSE THEY MAY BE BELOVED BY OTHERS, BUT BECAUSE SOMETIMES A DIRECTOR OPERATING ON THE EXACT OPPOSITE ARTISTIC PRINCIPLES AS YOUR OWN IS THE FUCKING POINT OF ALL THIS. OUR MEDIUMS SHOULD HAVE RANGE. THEY STRETCH TO EDGES OF CONVENTION. THERE SHOULD BE ARTISTS OUT THERE WHO CHALLENGE YOUR ENTIRE SENSE OF WHAT YOU LIKE, HOW THE ART SHOULD LOOK AND WHY WE EVEN DO IT.

Read the entire article here.

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Quentin Tarantino & Roger Avary Oscar Speech

If you know the borderline bad blood that developed between former video store coworkers Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avery during the production of Pulp Fiction, their joint acceptance speech at the Oscars is interesting. Notice how they’re sitting on opposite sides of the room with Avery off to himself and QT with the cast and producer of the film, Lawrence Bender. I don’t know the whole story between these two, but because I don’t, it’s interesting to speculate.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkA3AoD-0oQ&feature=player_embedded]

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Why Remakes Are One of Our Greatest Achievements as a Civilization

Very, very interesting take on the age old debate — remakes vs. originality.

Whenever a reboot or remake of a movie comes out, people complain that it’s “not original.” When creators turn a book or comic into a TV show, critics sneer at Hollywood for having “no new ideas.” But they’re wrong. What remake-mania demonstrates is that pop culture behaves the way folklore has for thousands of years. That means remakes are part of humanity’s oldest storytelling tradition. They are also, arguably, vital to civilization.

Read the entire piece here.

UPDATE: IndieWire has issued a rebuttal to Newitz’s piece which you can read here.

The value of variants rested in the fact that they represented the unique perspective of the storyteller. Increasingly, it seems, modern remakes — and just about every other big budget Hollywood production — are designed to appeal to the mass by smoothing out any and all of a material’s idiosyncrasies in order to make it palatable on a global scale. In this day and age, there’s just one variant, and it costs $250 million to make and it gets distributed all over the world.

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Three Amazing Trailers to Upcoming Films

MAN OF STEEL

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jKWJZsjm5U]

LES MISERABLES

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVUk-BRZVAM]

THE MASTER

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ1O1vb9AUU]

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Christopher Nolan’s Longtime DP to Step Down

The Dark Knight Rises could very well be the last collaboration between Christopher Nolan and his longtime director of photography, Wally Pfister, who has been behind the camera on every Nolan film since and including Memento.

Pfister is taking his first turn sitting in a director’s chair this year, and in a story earlier this spring that talks about that project, the UK magazine Empire first reported that, “Wally Pfister … is retiring as a DP and moving on to his directing debut.” This past Friday on BBC Radio, Nolan confirmed, with a definite note of regret, that he’d be looking for a new cinematographer for his next film. That could mean that the next phase of Nolan’s directorial career could look very different indeed.

Read the entire article here.

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Happy Birthday, Stanley Kubrick!

On this day, what would have been Stanley Kubrick’s 84th birthday, we remember him with an excerpt from his 1968 Playboy interview:

The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.

Read the rest of the interview here.

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135 Shots That Will Restore Your Faith in Cinema

From Flavorpill:

[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/45944121 w=500&h=331]

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Why You Should Go to the Movies This Weekend

by Michael Neelsen

Last night was supposed to be the beginning of a weekend full of excitement, debate and joy. The Dark Knight Rises, the most anticipated movie of the entire film year, was finally out in theaters. I don’t know about you, but here at Reel Fanatics it was hard to stay focused on anything that day but the number of hours left before the midnight showings began.

Unfortunately, some sad, deranged individual in Aurora, Colorado had other plans. He decided he would dress in tactical gear, outfit himself with tear gas and four firearms and launch a bloody massacre in one of the midnight shows. This hits particularly close to home for movie lovers like us. Those are our people in those screenings. They’re people we could instantly connect with over our love of Batman and/or cinema if we had happened to be in the theatre with them. We movie geeks “know” those people in some ways.

At times like this we tend to focus on what’s most important in life. Family. Friends. Loved ones. Movies and entertainment can seem trivial by comparison.

Last night’s events are low-hanging fruit for those who would blame Hollywood and specifically The Dark Knight Rises for inspiring the killer to do what he did. But it’s important not to forget that Hollywood and The Dark Knight Rises are also what put those victims in that theatre. They were full of anticipation and love and yes, even obsession in some cases, for the movie they were about to see. We cannot allow the actions of one idiot to ruin what these people loved so much that they were willing to wait in line all day to see it.

Go see a movie this weekend. Do it because that’s what the victims died doing. Do it as an escape from the constant coverage on the 24-hour news networks. But most of all, do it because you love it. It’s important.

Sentiments from the Cast & Crew of The Dark Knight Rises

DIRECTOR CHRISTOPHER NOLAN: “Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”

CHRISTIAN BALE, aka BRUCE WAYNE/BATMAN: “Words cannot express the horror that I feel. I cannot begin to truly understand the pain and grief of the victims and their loved ones, but my heart goes out to them.”

GARY OLDMAN, aka COMMISSIONER GORDON: “My prayers and deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families of this horrific act.”

COMPOSER HANS ZIMMER: “We’re all devastated by what’s happened. I was going to send a note to Chris [Nolan] … but I didn’t have the words. Suddenly, words become meaningless because it’s so beyond anything. Devastated, I suppose, is the word. It’s just sad. Here we are, we were trying to celebrate this movie and celebrating that we’d finished it and then this happened. I just feel so incredibly sad for these people.”

WARNER BROS. PICTURES: “Warner Bros. is deeply saddened to learn about this shocking incident. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families and loved ones of the victims at this tragic time.”

SEN. CHRIS DODD, CHAIRMAN & CEO, MPAA: “We share the shock and sadness of everyone in the motion picture community at the news of this terrible event. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones and all those affected by this tragedy.”

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF THEATRE OWNERS: “On behalf of all the members and staff of the National Association of Theatre Owners, our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this despicable act and their families. We are grateful for the quick and effective response by police and emergency personnel. Guest safety is, and will continue to be a priority for theater owners. NATO members are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and reviewing security procedures.”

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