The Best Episodes of Television in 2021
My two-cent takeaway: Determining your favorite episode can be difficult, especially if you’ve been binge watching. As a test, find an episode from this list (or any episode of any show) of a show you’re not familiar with that is either high rated or not, and try to determine what you know about the show as a whole from that single episode. How does the story draw you in, or push you away? What comes up for you that requires more information or informed you? And finally, how can you apply what you learned into your own screenplay?
The Best Films of 2021
My two-cent takeaway: Interesting lists of best films. I don’t agree with a bunch of them, but in any case, now that it’s the end of the year. Figure out your own top 10, 5, etc. and read the scripts. It will make a good comparison between what you see on the page and what can end up on the screen.
Steven Spielberg Refused to Use Subtitles in ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Give English the Power Over Spanish’
My two-cent takeaway: To be clear, there is Spanish in the movie, but it is not subtitled. I find this choice to be interesting in the sense that what they say is left up to the interpretation of the non-Spanish speaking viewers, perhaps akin to watching a silent film. However, it should be pointed out that when films are subtitled in foreign languages for other countries, the “subtitler” usually writes titles for everything that is said. These unintended additional subtitles take away the ability to enjoy the possible misunderstanding (that could be instrumental in the plot or a storytelling device) that rises from not knowing the language.
The Underperformance of ‘West Side Story’: No, It’s Not Just Because Gen Z Doesn’t Like Musicals
My two-cent takeaway: A quick column, but brought to mind the issue of trying to write for a topic that you think is important and how it’s essential to not be pedantic or risk rubbing people the wrong way.
New Book ‘The Executive Chair’ Explains What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Pilot and Other TV Business Issues for Writers
My two-cent takeaway: 30 minute interview with Kelly Edwards. Any insight you can gain from the executive’s point of view is worth its weight in gold. Edwards’ book is basically a primer for a cheat sheet that will help you make that connection. Helpful for those who are will to do the work that is required to get into the industry.
‘Get Out’ Tops WGA List of 101 Greatest Scripts of the 21st Century, ‘Parasite’ Cracks Top 10
My two-cent takeaway: It’s important to remember the script differs from the produced movie. Personally, Get Out, which I thoroughly enjoyed, wasn’t what I was expecting compared to what I visioned in the script. It just goes to show you how difficult the filmmaking process is. If you plan to look for Get Out online, make sure you’re not reading a transcript from the movie. For those of you who want to improve your writing, commit to reading as many of the top 101 scripts as you can. Start with your favorite movies, and if it makes it easier for you, watch the film first and look out for what has been altered and, of course, remained the same. Pay particular attention to dialogue and the order of scenes since those are the only elements that can clearly the same, or not.
‘BoJack’ Creator Reveals the David Fincher Joke That Netflix Cut Over Fear of Upsetting the Director
My two-cent takeaway: It’s interesting to get some backstory on the writing process and how you can’t always get what you want. The joke (on the Twitter feed — and check out the whole thread), which is revealed to actually be an entire scene (and early in the series) could be better, but the ending still got a chuckle out of me.
The Upshaws creator Regina Hicks has inked a multiyear overall deal with Netflix.
As part of the pact, Hicks is teaming with Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground to develop a scripted comedy about four middle-aged Black women from Houston. Hicks will write, serve as showrunner and exec produce alongside the Obamas.
My two-cent takeaway: Again, another example of a talented writer who has gelled with a network on their show and turned their hard work into an overall deal.—————————————————
The creative team behind CW’s “Walker” reboot is developing “Walker: Independence,” a prequel series set in the 19th Century.
My two-cent takeaway: Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris (which felt like a serialized version of Lone Wolf McQuade) was a popular show in its own right. Not surprising that Walker, with Padalecki has taken off and now they’re developing an 1800s version, which if done right, should be the best of the bunch. With IP like this (Walking Dead, anyone?), the possibilities are endless.