Friday, May 21, 2010

Action Book Question

Working on the Action Book rewrites, so no Fridays With Hitchcock today, but part one of the "lost" Hitchcock interview with Tom Snyder is below.

But first... I am in the middle of rewriting the Action Screenwriting book, and so far it is going well. I have tried to rewrite it many times before, but the big problem always ends up being the half dozen chapters which contain really old and really crappy stuff always bogs me down. I get frustrated and quit - going back to fantasy land of some spec script. Rewriting the book is no fantasy. But this time I decided to just force myself until I broke through and got some momentum going. That's where I am now - it's a lot of danged work, but I'm doing it. Lots of new information, all kinds of new examples, and few original sentences remain.

Last year when I was fighting the damned page trying to rewrite the book, I wrote two articles on Action Scenes for Script Magazine that used CASINO ROYALE as examples. These were potential chapters in the book rewrite.

But here is the question (comments section) for any of you who read both articles - should I include both of them in the new book or only the first one? I would probably cut 10%-20% of the second one because it would be similar information, but should I have two very different examples of action scenes from the same movie? Or just that first article and skip the second article completely? Tell me what you think...

And while you're at it, if you have read the action book - what is your most favorite and least favorite chapter? Some stuff will get trimmed or even cut out, and I want to make sure I'm not cutting out the best part by accident.

And now to Hitchcock...



What frightens Hitchcock?

- Bill

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Echo Scenes - absolutely kick ass tip with SHOOTER, THE LOOKOUT, VERTIGO and NOTORIOUS as examples.
Dinner: Blackforest Ham from Subway - one of the Jared low fat ones.
Bicycle: Medium ride - and freakin' wind on the way home again!
Pages: Finished this chapter, happy with it, on to the next.

5 comments:

Richard J. McKenzie said...

I'd be happy as a clam at high tide to help.

Are the 2 articles somewhere where I can read them?

I searched ScriptMag's back issues, but I can't find the 'action scenes' articles.

RayB said...

IMHO, one of the key chapters in The Secrets of Action Screenwriting is "Organic Action." Tying together theme, the hero’s inner conflict, and external goal (and by extension, the villain’s motivation for his big plan) is vital to creating a cohesive story.

Too often I read scripts from aspiring writers who focus on imitating the “cool” factor from their favorite films, but they fail to establish the essential underlying thematic structure to support the gems that dazzle us in the best examples of the genre.

Understanding the necessary interplay between theme and character motivation filled in a huge piece of the puzzle for me, and deepened my appreciation of what each of the story acts must accomplish in order to tell a satisfying story. Of course, I’ve yet to entirely bridge the gap between understanding and successful execution!

Back to work…

wcmartell said...

Trust me - Organic was never at risk. But it's improved!

Richard - problem with the 2 articles is that they are still legally Script's and can't publish them on my site (etc).

Richard J. McKenzie said...

- drat -
they can't make things easy, can they?

What's important is that you get the answers you need.

If you don't get your answers, I volunteer to drive up to LA and read your copies (while you eat the lunch I owe you).

Nathan Shumate said...

I would say that the least useful part of the book (not a whole chapter, if I remember correctly -- I'm at work and my copy's at home) is when you explicitly compare an action movie team to Doc Savage's crew. I think this could do more damage than good, because it could lead even more people to construct movies around the standard Horror Film Group Of Friends (the jock, the stoner, the slut, etc.) or the Prefab Superhero Team (the flying guy, the hot but innocent chick, the hot but darker chick, the scowly guy with blades, the giant guy with the Brooklyn accent, etc.).

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