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Posts from the ‘Articles’ Category


The GOYA Principle

Speaking to a recent UCLA graduate this past week led me to realize the importance of the GOYA Principle, not just for filmmakers, but for everyone who aspires to accomplish something in life.                 Read more »


On the set of HITCHCOCK

Took my UCLA class to watch Sacha Gervasi, a former UCLA screenwriting student, direct Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren in the final scenes of his film, HITCHCOCK, which will probably be out before the end of the year. Great to see him develop the subtle nuances of the story as the takes progressed through the evening. It’s going to be an interesting film.

A few days later, I did an interview about Sacha, the Hitchcock film and his next one on Hervé Villechaiz. (Link to that article at the bottom)

I repeatedly make the point in Letters to Young Filmmakers  and in my classes that, on average, it takes about nine years to get a studio film made – even for major directors and producers.

When I first got to know Sacha while he was a student, Read more »


The Three Act Structure: a Creative Straightjacket

There are those who claim that a film must have a three-act structure, and they often claim that Aristotle gave this “rule” to us. In fact, there were no acts as we define the term today in Greek drama, and Aristotle did not talk about acts at all because the plays he analyzed were all presented in a single continuous performance. Read more »


“Write What You Know?” No.

There is no writer alive who has not been advised, “Write what you know.” And there are few writers who have not, in the course of following this advice, spent months or years producing a personally cathartic but boringly predictable work.     Read more »


What’s Wrong With The Film Industry?

The resignation/firing of Rich Ross as Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, which I suggested was coming when I wrote a couple of blogs on the mentality that produced the disaster of John Carter several weeks ago, demonstrates another point I have made: that the average shelf life of the head of production at a studio in recent decades is in the range of 18-30 months.

An astute analyst of the film industry who had substantial investments in it compiled a list titled “What’s Wrong With the Film Industry?” which included the following points: Read more »