Time for the 114th installment of Saturday Hot Links!
Today: The Talks At Google Edition!
Breaking down how Catching Fire became a record-breaking blockbuster.
4 sites that will change the way you think.
FilmmakerIQ: The History of Hollywood Censorship [video].
A brief history of Black Friday.
Guess what? Pay-TV prices are going up.
Python eats drunk man in India.
Film School Rejects: 23 things we learned from The Nightmare Before Christmas DVD commentary.
The history behind New York City’s most iconic holiday decorations.
Indiewire: 30 films we hope will head to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.
Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” manuscript goes to auction.
Box office turkeys of 2013.
Pardoned presidential turkey names, ranked.
Disney passes $4B at worldwide box office in 2013.
Test your creativity with this simple word exercise.
15 reasons we should be thankful for indie cinema in 2013.
How the Food Network created and lost foodies.
If Dr. Seuss books were titled according to their subtexts.
Vulture asks: What’s the worst, most awkward family-viewing experience.
Reputed ‘Dylan goes electric’ guitar up for auction.
Straight to Series: The Networks’ big-money bet to skip pilots.
8 foods you’ve been eating all wrong.
Tarantino is writing another western.
New archeological evidence pins down Buddha’s birth date.
Christopher Nolan on Francis Bacon and the Joker.
A complete GIF guide to Lourde’s dance moves.
The slooooowly improving gender politics of Disney’s Frozen.
Mick Jagger to become a great grandfather.
Shonda Rhimes to publish memoir about TV writing and single motherhood.
Why do I always wake up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off.
Joffrey from “Game of Thrones” to quit acting, become a humanitarian.
Disney looks beyond Magic Kingdom for Broadway prospects.
50 most troubled teens in movies.
The quest to end the flu.
10 writers to watch.
How snakes use GPS to find their prey.
Study finds TV shows with ethnically diverse casts, writers have higher ratings.
Modern art… or children’s drawings?
The Academy narrows live action short Oscar list to 10 films.
30 coolest Star Wars facts.
5 things Hollywood should be thankful for.
20 of the greatest action movie heroines.
12 proposed movie sequels that thankfully never happened.
3 painful lessons of independent film.
Ingmar Bergman evaluates his fellow filmmakers.
The 50 greatest last shots in film history.
Finally for next year, Saveur’s slot machine plans your Thanksgiving dinner.
Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week: For all the effort Tom Benedek and I put into teaching our classes and workshops, it’s always gratifying to receive word from writers who have realized some notable achievement.
Just this week, I received an email from an SMC writer in Australia who won a FilmVic award for outstanding achievement in professional screenwriting and now has producers circling to option her script.
Sometimes the victory can be a distinctly personal one such as writers who used our Prep and Pages workshops to finally – and for the first time – actually complete a screenplay.
Then there are achievements we all dream about, such as this one, a million dollar spec script sale from a writer who did two workshops with me.
It’s all part of the process. So when I receive such emails or meet SMC writers in person as I did at the recent Austin Film Festival, hearing how their understanding of the craft has grown to match their passion for writing…
It is, as I say, gratifying.
There is no guarantee for financial success as a writer. In fact, we have to face the facts: Chances are we may never make a dime from our creative efforts. Any screenwriting ‘guru’ who tells you otherwise is being dishonest and doing you no favors.
What Tom and I pride ourselves in is providing a professional approach to screenwriting that is grounded in literally decades of experience working in the film and TV business. We teach theory. We teach practice. We tell the truth.
Speaking personally, The Quest curriculum I have developed over the years represents a unique take on both theory and practice, what I call character based screenwriting. Every class and workshop I teach comes from that specific philosophy. If you are tired of working with this or that screenplay formula – which almost invariably leads to formulaic writing – character based screenwriting is an antidote because it leads writers into and through the characters to engage story universe, treating the scriptwriting process as it should be — an organic approach.
We will be rolling out our schedule of classes and workshops for the first half of 2014 in the next week or so. In the winter and spring, I will be teaching all of the eight Craft classes including the popular Pixar and the Craft of Storytelling and Character Development Keys one-week courses, as well as Prep: From Concept to Outline and Pages: The First Draft workshops. Plus I will be returning to Santa Monica on March 13-16, 2014 for the second 4-Day Quest Writing Workshop along with what I hope will be several on-site workshops in cities across North America.
In other words, 2014 offers many opportunities to work together, explore your stories and creativity together, and see where the writing adventure next takes you.
As always, I look forward to the opportunity to work with you, always with the hope that someday I will receive an email from you recounting your own personal writing success story.
For more information on Screenwriting Master Class, go here.