From Script to Screen: Changing the Dialogue

Posted on June 27, 2018 at 9:41 am

This is a fascinating look at the difference between the way the script for “Sleepless in Seattle” looked on the page and the way it finally appeared on the screen. We don’t know how many of these changes were intentional and how many were slips of the tongue or amended by the actors because they felt more natural.

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Behind the Scenes Understanding Media and Pop Culture Writers

More on “Solo” — Easter Eggs, Clues, and More

Posted on June 1, 2018 at 10:06 am

Don’t listen to people who say that “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a disappointment on the screen or at the box office. It may not have set a record in ticket sales, and some critics may have complained that it wasn’t “A New Hope,” but I thought it was terrific. Whether you’ve seen it already or are planning to go, these will help you appreciate it even more.

Gifted cinematographer Bradford Young (“Arrival,” “Selma”) talks to his hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune:

I am always seeing that Chicago of my grandmother’s house, where I spent a lot of my high school years. It’s in all of my movies, in the way I light faces, in the way I photograph. It’s alive to me, always a reference. Her place was heavy on the senses, so sparsely lit, so textural. I guess I saw a vision there, a deep black aesthetic, in the way things were placed, a response to how space was used that felt specific to our DNA. It’s Great Migration-influenced, really. You don’t have a lot, so what you have you display. Plastic on the couch — black people were not the only people who did this, but for us it transcended the practical. We liked it. My grandmother had one of those Venice scenes on her wall, the kind with a light inside that twinkled. It was fine art to her — aspirational.

NOTE: Some audience members have complained that the movie looks too dark. That is because some theaters are not setting their projection correctly. If it does not look right to you, check with the theater manager. Believe me, this is one movie where you want to see everything.

Copyright Disney 2018
A breakout star of “Solo” is never seen. You just hear the voice of Phoebe Waller-Bridge as a very outspoken droid, L3-37. Waller-Bridge had her breakthrough as the creator and star of the hilarious and horrifying “Fleabag,” a series about a wildly dysfunctional young woman. She is also the writer/producer of the acclaimed crime drama, “Killing Eve.” L3-37 is a wise-cracking Sojourner Truth of droids, urging (and implementing) freedom in a manner that would be more inspiring if we all had not seen “Terminator.” Waller-Bridge is a treasure, though, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Slate has A Casual Viewer’s Guide to the Most Obscure References in Solo, including the explanation for the appearance of Darth Maul.

Copyright Disney 2018
And of course there are Easter eggs (hidden jokes, references, and clues). Slashfilm has a good list. I love the way a tiny detail from the first film (Episode IV) has become significant over time. And admit I am not enough of an expert to get the Aurra Sing reference without a little help. Thanks, as always, to the fanboys and nerds who deepen our appreciation for these stories.

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Behind the Scenes Understanding Media and Pop Culture

Mysteries of Screenwriting Credits: & vs “And”

Posted on May 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

Scott Myers has an excellent guide to understanding the arcane world of screenwriting credits. For example:

Here’s the deal with “&” and “and.”

When you see an ampersand (&), that means the writers worked together on the project and are considered — at least for that project — a writing team. So whatever revenue they generated in the form of compensation, production bonuses, and residuals gets split. If it’s two writers as a team, each gets 50%. If it’s three writers as a team, each gets 33%. In the case of a movie like “The Simpsons Movie,” which has 11 writers with Screenplay By credit, each with an ampersand between them, I have no clue how they divide that pie.

When you see the word “and” between two or more writers, that means the writers worked independently of each other and are not considered part of a team. So for instance if you look at the writing credits for The A-Team, you’ll see this:

Written by Joe Carnahan & Brian Bloom and Skip Woods

That means that Messrs. Carnahan and Bloom are considered a writing team on the project while Woods’ contribution was as a solo writer.

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Behind the Scenes Understanding Media and Pop Culture Writers

Sean Karp Explains Sound Editing and Sound Mixing

Posted on May 14, 2018 at 8:00 am

It was a pleasure to interview sound editor and mixer Sean Karp for The Credits.  Here’s an excerpt:

The goal is almost for your work to be invisible, then?

The rule of thumb is: if your work is noticed you did a bad job. The point is to help tell the story, to help the film draw people in and get caught up in the story. So if people are paying attention to the sound, then you really didn’t do a good job because they’re not in the story, they’re not being drawn in. Badly done sound can be much more noticeable than a really good, smooth job. It cuts the suspension of disbelief. A really good movie is going to draw you in, so it’s our job in post-production sound to help the director or the producers achieve that in the final product; it’s all about the experience for the person sitting in the seat.

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Behind the Scenes Interview

Beyond the Bechdel Test: Using Software to Test Screenplay Gender Balance

Posted on May 13, 2018 at 8:26 pm

Male actors are refusing to appear in films unless their female co-stars get equal pay.  Stars are insisting on “inclusion riders” in their contracts to make sure that every part of the production is open to all.  And now there is software to test the “gender balance” in a screenplay.

The New York Times reports:

Now, a few Hollywood players have developed technology that aims to do that: new screenplay software that can automatically tell whether a script is equitable for men and women.

The idea came from Christina Hodson, a screenwriter who is involved with Time’s Up, the activist Hollywood organization addressing inequities in the industry…

She wondered if screenwriting software — which writers almost universally use to format scripts — could easily tabulate the number of male and female roles, for example, and how much each spoke. That way, writers could see and tackle the problem even before casting directors or producers had their say….On Thursday, just weeks after that initial conversation, Highland 2, with the gender analysis tool that Ms. Hodson dreamed up, became available in the Apple app store as a free download.

 

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Behind the Scenes Gender and Diversity
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