Thursday, December 14, 2017

Make sure that your story has a good ending.

Even though I have had problems watching tv lately, last week I managed to watch a new episode of The Big Bang Theory. I watched the episode, because I wanted to give the show a chance and see if it was even remotely watchable nowadays.

After all, over the last few seasons, this popular sitcom about our four nerds hasn't really been that watchable. It hasn't been well written and its storylines and characters have been mostly hopelessly stale and uninspired.   

So based on these things, I didn't exactly have my hopes up when I started watching episode S11E09, 'The Bitcoin Entanglement'. I didn't think that the show could work anymore and that it could even produce random quality episodes.

Nevertheless, as I started watching the episode, it didn't look that bad right away. It seemed as if the episode might actually work and that it would remind us of the good old days when the show was still funny and fresh.

After all, this episode - that dealt with our guys mining some Bitcoins - was about these characters going back in time. The characters were back to their 'normal' selves and were even back to wearing their old clothes.

In the episode, the main storyline was about our nerds trying to remember what they had done with their precious bitcoins. They tried to figure out where they had hidden their laptop that had the keys to their bitcoin wallet.

The only one who could more or less remember what had happened was of course Sheldon with his eidetic memory. He was the one who was able to remember important details about the case and how things actually were.

The main storyline, at least the premise for it, for once felt plausible and revolved around the nerd stuff. It was refreshing to see a storyline that was something else than the usual tired relationship nonsense that had zero energy or creativity.

The episode also felt fairly watchable, because the jokes in most cases were character driven and felt like they were organic and natural. It felt like the writers were inspired and were actually doing their jobs this time.

However, there was one thing that didn't work in the 'Bitcoin Entanglement' at all. The ending for the episode didn't work because the resolution for it - rather predictably -  was so disappointing and that it did not make sense.

After all, there was no way that our nerds would actually end up becoming bitcoin millionaires. It was obvious that there had to be some kind of a resolution that would lead to our guys losing their precious 'treasure'.

So not surprisingly, when Sheldon told that he had hidden the bitcoin key to Leonard's USB-stick, and that Leonard revealed that he had lost the Batman stick years ago, we got our weak ending. It was just a weak climax that didn't have a point at all.

Of all the resolutions that the writers could have come up with, the one that they chose was probably the worst. It did not match with the rest of the episode and how much energy and excitement the rest of the story had.   

In that sense, when I think of the resolution for the 'Bitcoin Entanglement', it's clear that even though the episode did have quite a few solid and funny moments, those moments weren't able to make up for the fact that the ending was just incredibly weak.

As a whole, the episode didn't work because it's not possible to write a weak ending to your storyline and expect that your story is going to work. You can't write a quality screenplay unless you make sure that your 'climax' works too.

Even though it's true that you don't always have to come up with a happy ending, you still have to make sure that your ending makes sense and that it can be derived from the rest of the episode and how the characters have behaved.

It simply can't be something that comes out of nowhere and that gets resolved in less than a heartbeat. It can't be something that makes little or no sense and is something that is going to underestimate the intelligence of your audience.

In that sense, it's just too bad that in the case of this TBBT episode, the writers weren't able to come up with a solid ending. It's too bad, because had they done their jobs well, 'The Bitcoin Entanglement' could actually have been a really good episode.

Friday, December 8, 2017

It's important to keep your mind fresh as a writer.

One of the most important things about being a writer is that you're able to be a consistent writer. You need to have the ability to write even when you don't feel like doing that and when you don't think that you can come up with anything good.

After all, as a writer, you don't always have the luxury of choosing when you're going to start writing. You don't always get to choose that precious moment when you're inspired and when you feel like you can get things done.

The reason I'm writing about this is because during the last couple of weeks, I haven't felt like writing that much. I haven't felt that good and have had problems getting myself in the mood to write anything that could be worth reading.

The biggest reason for this lack of focus and lack of concentration in my life has had to do with me not taking enough care of myself. I haven't managed to pay enough attention to everyday basic needs that matter in life.

For example, even though I have managed to exercise on a daily basis, I haven't paid enough attention to my sleeping patterns. I haven't managed to get enough sleep, which has made me less active and less focused than I'm used to being.

What this means is that during the last couple of weeks or so, after I have managed to come back from work, I haven't had that much energy left. I haven't had energy when it comes to writing and thinking about what to do next.

Instead of coming up with solid ideas for this blog or simply having the energy to watch television shows, I have tried to do something else. In most cases, I've gone straight to bed to get some sleep, which hasn't really worked at all.

The bad thing about these afternoon naps is that when I have went to bed to recover from my lack of sleep, I have gotten even more confused and disoriented. Napping has made it even harder to get my head straight and to get anything meaningful done.

After all, it's a known fact that you can't replace sleeping hours during the night with napping hours during the day. In the long run it's not a healthy way and will lead to health problems when it comes to your body and your mind.

So when I have woken up after my nap, unless I had a really good writing routine going on and unless I had a deadline, it was almost impossible to get anything done. It was more or less guaranteed that my day was over when it comes to being creative.

In that sense, when it comes to my well being as a whole, it's clear that I need to change my sleep patterns at least a bit. It's clear that I need to change some of my routines, so that I could feel less tired in my life again.

After all, even though it's true that napping during the afternoons can sometimes be a good thing - like for example when you're writing a screenplay - in the long run it's not the way to go way when you're trying to be at your best.

As a whole, not paying attention to your sleeping patterns and not making sure that you sleep enough is simply going to be detrimental for your health. It won't make you more creative and most certainly won't make you any more productive.

So in that sense, when it comes to my sleeping and resting habits in the future, I have to make sure that I'll find some time to get to my bed at least a bit earlier. I have to make sure that I find a way to change my sleeping habits at least a bit.

After all, there's no point in staying up until 4 am in the morning and not going to bed earlier. There's no point in not getting enough sleep, feeling constantly tired and not having the energy to do all those other things later during the day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Tv critics can't tell a good show from a bad one.














When it comes to the biggest surprise of this television season, there's no question that 'The Orville' has been a pretty big surprise. It has managed to win over a lot of Star Trek fans, who have been waiting for a solid sci-fi series for so many years.

Even though most of us didn't expect the series to be any good, this Seth Macfarlane show has managed to deliver the goods. It not only has managed to respect the spirit of the original Star Trek shows, but it also has brought something new to the table.

Still, even though pretty much everyone has managed to like the series, professional critics have been the exception. Television critics in general have been the only ones who think that the show isn't worth your time and that it's not worth watching.

According to them, 'The Orville' doesn't work, because it's too optimistic and that it has comedic elements in it. The fact that the series also manages to be sincere and that it gives us hope is something that is just not acceptable to them.





















On the other hand, when it comes to a dark, depressing and a badly thought out show like 'Star Trek: Discovery', critics have had no problems liking it. They have praised the show, even though it's pretty obvious that it isn't well made at all.

After all, the biggest reason that this official 'Star Trek' series doesn't work is because it has nothing to do with the original franchise. It manages to disrespect the vision and the values of the original Star Trek shows that people loved watching.

Instead of being a series that promotes intellectualism, curiosity and pacifism, the new Star Trek promotes stupidity, war and bellicosity. It portrays a world where there is no hope for mankind and where it doesn't have a future.

Not surprisingly, most Trekkies who gave the show a chance didn't like it at all. They couldn't stomach watching it and have been complaining how little the show has to do with the values and the idealism of the original shows.












Still, why did critics in general think that 'The Orville' wasn't a good show and that it wasn't worth watching? Why did they think that a bleak and a depressing show like 'Star Trek: Discovery' would actually be worth your time instead?

As far as I'm concerned, perhaps that is because they have been bought and paid for by the entertainment industry. Perhaps they are so corrupt that they're willing to promote awful television shows simply in order to make a quick buck.

Or perhaps that's because they're trying to appear 'hip and cool' by promoting a show that looks 'dark and serious'. Perhaps they're really that out of touch with reality and how the common people think about quality entertainment.

In the end, regardless of what the truth is here, it's safe to say that they got things completely wrong here. It's safe to say that by promoting 'Star Trek: Discovery', the critics bet on the wrong horse and are being ridiculed for all the right reasons.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sexual harassment and tribalism in America.

Over the last few weeks there have been an incredible amount of revelations about sexual harassment cases in the U.S. Ever since it became known that producer Harvey Weinstein had a long history of being a sexual abuser, things haven't been the same.

After all, it didn't take long before other big names were outed too. Celebrities like Kevin Spacey, Louis Ck, Charlie Rose, John Lasseter, Al Franken, Brett Ratner and Roy Moore among others were also revealed to be sexual abusers.

In most of these cases, being outed as a sexual harasser meant that your career came to an instant end. In most cases it didn't take more than 24 hours before the public outcry became so strong that your career was finished.

Yet, there have been two major exceptions so far in these cases. Of all the accused, Al Franken, a democratic senator from Minnesota and Roy Moore, a republican senatorial candidate from Alabama, have not paid the price for their deeds yet. 

When it comes to Al Franken (in picture), we're talking about four female victims. So far he's been accused of three counts of sexual assault (forced french kissing, butt groping) and one count of sexual harassment (following a female victim to a bathroom)

In Roy Moore's case, the public accusations are more serious. Among other things, Moore is accused of trying to have sex with a 14-year old girl, attempting to rape a 16-year old and for preying on minors on multiple occasions.

In any even remotely functional society these kind of accusations would mean that your political career would be over. In any normal society these accusations would mean that you would either resign or that you would drop out of your senate race.

However, since we're talking about politics and The United States of America, things don't work that way. The tribalism in politics is so strong that as long you're batting for the right team, it doesn't matter what you've done.

What this means in reality is that in Franken's case, democratic loyalists are convinced that Franken has done nothing wrong. They are convinced that the women who accuse him are liars and that they cannot be trusted at all.

Corporate democrats and Hillary-loyalists are taking it so far that they even claim that it might be Russia that's behind the whole thing. It's Vladimir Putin (!) who's behind these outrageous accusations against Franken.

In Roy Moore's case, it doesn't seem to matter to evangelical voters that he's accused of pedophilia and that he's a serial child molester. It doesn't matter that there are at least a dozen witnesses against him and that they all seem to be credible.

After all, 'a man of God' like him would never do things like these. There's no way that an honorable judge like Moore would do anything like that, so all the witnesses and the evidence against him has to be false and made up.

This kind of tribalism is so extreme that it isn't even limited to just Franken and Moore anymore. This kind of insane party worship also extends to former president Bill Clinton and to current president Donald Trump. 

After all, even though there are dozens of accusations against president Clinton, they don't really count. 'Mr. Lolita express' is a good man and those things with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Monica Lewinsky never happened.

In the same way, it doesn't matter what Trump has been accused of doing either. Those 'grab 'em by the pussy' tapes were only locker room talk and those other 14 sexual harassment cases against him don't amount to anything either.

So in that sense, when it comes to these sexual harassment cases, things could certainly be a lot better. Things could be better, even though it's a good thing that women are finally coming forward and that in some cases they're being taken seriously.

In the end, the truth is that especially when it comes to accusations against high-profile politicians, their victims unfortunately aren't being taken seriously enough. Both tribalism and party loyalty run so rampant that no amount of evidence seems to be enough.

As a whole, that's really unfortunate, because this kind of behavior is simply unacceptable for the nation. It's unacceptable, which is why it's so important to get rid of these politicians who are guilty of sexual abuse and harassment.

In that sense, I just wish that at some point people would stop playing politics when it comes to sexual abuse. I just wish that people would stop putting party over the people and that they would do the right thing.

After all, if they did that, things could get at least a bit better for sexual abuse victims. Things would get better and it would show everyone that nobody is above the law and immune from the consequences of one's actions.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Good story is the most important part of a film.

When it comes to making a quality movie, the most important ingredient in the process is the screenplay. There's nothing more important in the production of a movie than having a good story that you can build your film on.

After all, if your story isn't good enough, no amount of money is going to save your movie. If your story sucks, it doesn't matter who is going to direct the film, or who are the actors and the actresses that are going to be in it.

So whenever I read that the biggest reason that a movie sucked wasn't because of its story, in most cases I can only roll my eyes. In most cases, the person who is talking about the film has no clue what he or she is talking about. 

To give you an example, a couple of days ago I finally had the chance to watch the film 'Wonder Woman' with my friend. We managed to watch this DC comics superhero movie after having postponed seeing it for quite some time.

When it comes to our opinion of the film, I think we both ended up liking it quite a bit. We liked almost every aspect of the movie, including the beautiful Gal Gadot, who managed to play the 'Wonder Woman' character pretty well. 

The only obvious problem with the film had to do with its story. It's pretty safe to say that in the third act of the movie, the villain - no spoilers here - made very little sense, and that the motivation for the character was weak and convoluted to say the least.

Nevertheless, when I kept reading negative reviews for the movie, it was hard to find instances where the main complaint had to do with this aspect of the film. It was hard to find complaints about the story or the villain character.

In most cases, those negative reviews had to do with all those other things instead. Almost every aspect except the story was mentioned, like for example Gal Gadot supposedly not being good enough for the role of Wonder Woman.

There were other complaints too that didn't have anything to do with the story. Things like how there weren't enough jokes, that the director was a woman, that the germans shouldn't have been the villains or that the action scenes weren't creative enough.

When it comes to these supposed problems, I'm obviously not saying that the reviewers were absolutely wrong about their views. I'm not saying that there weren't any problems with the movie and that you're not allowed to criticize it in any way.

After all, there were certain moments and scenes in the film that could have been better. Certain scenes went on for too long and perhaps those action scenes actually could have been more 'inspired' than what we saw on the screen.

At the same time, if none of those story and screenplay issues made your top five complaints list, you're not making much sense. It's really hard to take you seriously if you don't have any issues with those aspects of the film.

That's because in the end, it's still the story that counts more than anything else in movies. It's the premise, the characters and the storylines that count more than those other things when it comes to deciding whether the film has any value or not.

As a whole, even though it's true that special effects and action scenes sometimes do matter, they aren't the most important part of the film. These aspects in most cases do not decide whether watching the movie is going to be an enjoyable experience or not.

In reality, the truth is that quality films will always be more than anything about the story. The most important thing about a good movie is always going to be that the screenplay for the film works as well as possible.

In that sense, if you're not paying enough attention to storytelling in a movie, you're not getting it right. If you're not paying attention to story aspects that matter and that define the value of a film, you're not getting what movies are supposed to be about.

Friday, November 10, 2017

What to do next with my movie screenplay?

As I wrote earlier here, this is the year that I finally managed to write my first movie screenplay. I managed to write it this summer when I felt that I absolutely needed to give myself a chance to see if I had it in me as a writer.

The script, called 'Valerie and The Girl', is about a young girl who doesn't have a father in her life. The screenplay is written as a stop motion animation and it doesn't currently have any intelligible dialogue in it.

The reason that I'm bringing this up now is because a couple of days ago I finally got feedback from the script. One of my friends had managed to read it and was kind enough to give his opinion about how good or bad it had turned out to be.

Getting feedback from the script was really important to me, because in all honesty, I had almost forgotten that I had written the script this summer. I had been so busy at work that I hadn't had that much time to think or worry about it.

After all, once I had finished writing 'Valerie and The Girl' in late July, I didn't give it another look for almost three months. I didn't read it, because I didn't have to actively pay attention to the characters and the storylines anymore.

Nevertheless, when it comes to the script, he liked how the screenplay was written and how clear the storylines were. He liked how I had managed to keep the storylines as simple as possible without making them look too simple.

When it comes to the characters, he liked how I had managed to make them relatable and likable. I managed to make them likable and had given them personalities and characteristics that made them feel worth caring about.

He also liked how I had managed to make the script funny in a natural way. The comedic moments in the script worked so well, because I was able to make good reads and knew where I was supposed to lighten up the mood.

When it comes to things that didn't work, he didn't actually have any clear complaints about the script. He didn't notice any moments where it was too obvious that I could have done a better job with how the story played out.

Not surprisingly, I was pretty happy about this, because even though I did have confidence in the script, I wasn't confident about every single aspect of it. I had certain doubts about some parts of the screenplay that made me hesitate a bit.

For example, when I had read the script right before he gave me his feedback, I had some problems getting in the mood at first. The lack of intelligible dialogue in the script meant that I had to pay attention to the story and feel it right away.

Fortunately, his comments made me feel better and made me think that even if there's some things that might need some polishing, it's still a solid screenplay. I had done a good job writing it and I should be proud of myself.

So as a whole, when it comes to the next step that I'm supposed to be taking with the screenplay, I guess I'm supposed to get those in charge to read it. I should find people that could consider my script and perhaps even get it produced.

After all, if produced, 'Valerie and The Girl' would likely turn out to be a solid animated film. It would likely turn out to be a good movie that would have the ability to keep the audience entertained and would make them happy.

In the end, the only really big problem here is that I don't have that many contacts in the entertainment business. I don't have connections outside my country that would help me in getting the script get the exposure that it deserves.

As unfortunate as it is, even though we do produce and film movies in my country, we don't make movies that require stop motion technique. We don't produce animated movies that would require ten to fifteen million dollar budgets.

In that sense, we can only hope that at some point something good would happen with this project. We can only hope that at some point someone in charge would say that this story has merit, that it makes sense and that it's actually worth filming.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What to think of the released JFK documents?

Over the last few days there has been a lot of talk in the media about the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. All over the world the media has been talking about the 'new information' pertaining to his murder that occurred almost fifty-four years ago.

This new information - that consists of freshly released documents - supposedly proves that Lee Harvey Oswald murdered the 35th president of the United States. There was no conspiracy behind the assassination and that it was simply a random act of violence.

The problem with this 'conclusion' by the media is that there's nothing in these declassified documents that would indicate that Oswald killed Kennedy. Nothing in these 'new' documents manages to even slightly point at Oswald's guilt.

For example, in these documents there's nonsense like Russians reacting to the possibility of Oswald being the assassin. The Russians, *gasp*, thought that Oswald must have been crazy *if* he assassinated the president.

There is stuff about how Jack Ruby - the assassin of Oswald - denied that there was a conspiracy in killing the alleged assassin. Ruby was adamant that he was not assisted by the Dallas police department officers in his deed.

There is also stuff that includes former director of the CIA Richard Helms testifying that Oswald was not working for the company. There was no chance that the alleged assasin had been on a CIA payroll at any point in his life.

In reality, not only are most of these 'revelations' decades old, but they don't really contain anything new. There's nothing new about important aspects that have to do with the case, like the eyewitness testimonies, the autopsy or the medical evidence.

Perhaps that is why the media was actually so happy to sing their usual 'Oswald did it song'. Since there was nothing incriminating here, they were boasting how this was the final nail in the coffin and that the 'conspiracy theorists' should give up.

In reality, unlike what the media is trying to say, the research community isn't actually looking for any 'smoking gun'. They aren't looking for that missing piece of evidence that would show us that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK.

In fact, every serious non-CIA backed researcher already agrees and knows that president John F. Kennedy died as a result of a conspiracy. Every serious student who has looked at the evidence knows that there was more than one gunman involved.

We know that the assassination was a conspirary because of the evidence that is available. We have the eyewitness testimonies, the autopsy report, the Zapruder film and the shooting reconstructions that prove that Oswald couldn't have been the lone assassin.

In fact, when it comes to these 'final nail in the coffin' claims, one of the most important moments already happened 25 years ago. This is when the Assassination Records Review Board declassified the eyewitness testimonies of JFK's autospy.

This is when it was revealed that for almost three decades we had been lied to. All the doctors and the nurses present agreed that unlike what we had been told, there was a big hole in the back of JFK's head and that the fatal bullet had come from the front.

This meant that Oswald couldn't have been the lone assassin because he couldn't have been at two places at the same time. He couldn't have been shooting from the 6th floor of the book depository and also from the grassy knoll at the same time.

So in that sense, whenever you hear the media talking about how there has been no 'smoking gun' in the case and that the 'conspiracy theorists' should give up, they are wrong. They couldn't be more wrong about their proclamations.

After all, just because they again paraded their usual 'experts' - CIA stooges like Gerald Posner, Max Holland etc. - that doesn't mean that they were telling the truth. That doesn't mean that they were giving us accurate information about what happened.

Just because they tried to obfuscate and tried to make us not believe our lying eyes, that doesn't mean that we should believe them. It doesn't mean that we should believe their lies and think that we shouldn't question the official story.

In the end, even though it's not fun to accept the idea that president Kennedy died as a result of a conspiracy, that is actually what happened. That is what happened and everyone who's willing to look past the lies should be able to see that.

As unfortunate as it is, the truth is that the media and the government have, for the last 50+ years, been part of the cover up. They have been doing everything in their power to make sure that we wouldn't get to know what happened.

In that sense, when they keep telling us that we shouldn't question the official story, we should protest. We should protest and let them know that despite their claims, we know that they're lying and that president Kennedy did die as a result of a conspiracy.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

'Star Trek: Discovery' is a pretty awful series.

It's not exactly a secret that I have a hard time watching drama shows on television that tend to be too serious. As a writer, I don't like to watch television shows that are too dark and too depressing for no reason at all.

This is especially true when it comes to remakes and reboots of classic shows. I don't like it when these remakes and relaunches decide to be extra serious simply in order to look more 'credible' than their predecessors.

So when I heard that there was going to be a new, 'darker and grittier' Star Trek series, I wasn't looking forward to watching it. I wasn't excited about a new show that wasn't going to be like the original Star Trek shows were.

After all, the reason that I liked the original series and the 'Next Generation' is because they managed to be uplifting as shows. They gave you hope that things were going to be okay as long as we as people managed to work together.

Nevertheless, after having now seen the first two episodes of 'Star Trek: Discovery', it has to be said that the new series isn't any good. The new series manages to get almost everything wrong and has almost nothing to do with the original Star Trek franchise.

What I mean by that is that unlike in the original series or TNG, in 'Star Trek: Discovery' you'll get a universe that is incredibly dark and bleak in almost every imaginable way. There's nothing that would make you feel that the show is going to cheer you up.

Instead of giving us a universe and a premise where everything is possible - like in the original shows - on this show there's no hope for mankind. Pretty much all is lost and nobody has a positive outlook on life anymore.

Not only is the show dark and depressing, but the new series also manages to be incredibly illogical and contrived. Almost nothing that we see on our television screen makes sense or feels organic when you think about it.

When it comes to the characters on the show, the biggest problem here is that they're completely unrelatable. Especially when it comes to our main protagonist, first officer Michael Burnham (a female character), it's impossible to like her.

For example, in the very first episode, our protagonist, incredibly enough, wants to do a pre-emptive first strike on Klingons. She wants to kill as many of them as possible, even though it's not even clear that the Klingons are their enemies.

A bit later, when her bellicose suggestion is turned down, she actually decides to stage a mutiny (!). She knocks down the captain of the starship,  takes charge of the ship and orders the pre-emptive strike to be launched by herself.

This, of course, is something that would never have happened on the original Star Trek or on The Next Generation. It goes completely against what the Star Trek franchise, its ideals, intellectualism and values were about.

Neither captain Kirk nor captain Picard would ever have gone full blown gungho against a potential enemy in their respective shows. They would never have acted like warmongering sociopaths like our main protagonist does here.

When it comes to storytelling aspects on the show, it has to be said that they don't make much sense either. The focus on the series is completely missing and there are numerous basic storytelling mistakes in the pilot.

For example, instead of the series starting with our main protagonists,it actually starts with showing us the Klingons first (!). We get a bizarre two minute introduction to our rivals instead of getting to see our protagonists first.

This is something that is completely idiotic and goes against even the most basic rules of screenwriting. It's simply incredible that the writers of the pilot decided to ditch the basics and decided to be 'cool' and 'hip' instead.

As I reluctantly kept watching the episode, it became obvious that were more major problems with the story and the storytelling. These other major mistakes didn't make it any easier to keep watching the show either.

One big mistake in the first two episodes was that there were very few characters that we actually got to know at all. Unlike the original shows that were about the whole crew, this new show seemed to be  mostly about Klingons and a couple of human beings.

In practice, what this meant was that during the pilot there were entirely too many characters that we knew absolutely nothing about. There were so many 'red-shirts' on board that the episode almost became a parody of itself. 

When it comes to these problems, it also has to be mentioned that the first episodes suffered greatly from too many ill-timed flashbacks. These weird flashbacks made it increasingly difficult to follow what was going on and what was real on the show.

At least in my case, at the beginning of the second episode I even thought that the first episode had only been 'a bad dream'. Based on the flashbacks it felt like it had simply been a simulation to test our captain's reaction to our idiotic first officer.

So as a whole, when you put all these things together, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I had huge problems watching 'Star Trek: Discovery'. It shouldn't come as a surprise that I had a hard time even finishing the pilot.

After all, when you have have a show that doesn't know what it should be about, the series is bound to be in trouble. When your premise, your characters and your storylines are all badly thought out, you can't really expect much from it.

In contrast, the reason that the original shows worked so well is because they were about optimism and about the idea that we all could get along. As long as we were open minded and were willing to go where no man had gone before, everything was possible. 

In that sense, it's so unfortunate that this new Star Trek series doesn't represent any of these values. Instead of being an uplifting show about hope, it spends most of its time depicting the universe as a place where mankind doesn't have much of a future.

In the end, it has to be said that I can't recommend 'Star Trek: Discovery' for anyone who grew up watching either the original Star Trek series or Star Trek: The Next Generation. I can't recommend it for anyone who was a fan of either of those shows.

As far as I'm concerned, even though it's true that the show looks expensive, that's not enough to make the series work. It's not enough to use your budget on special effects and expect that it's the only thing that counts when it comes to quality sci-fi.

On the contrary, the reason that the show fails is because of those other reasons. The series fails because it's badly written, because it doesn't have substance in it, because it doesn't make us think and because it doesn't make us better as human beings.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

'The Orville' is a surprisingly good Sci-fi series.

When I first heard about Seth Macfarlane making a comedy version of the classic Star Trek series, I didn't exactly have my hopes up. I didn't think there was much of a chance that the show could work and that it could be worth my time.

Especially knowing that the series was created by the guy who has been responsible for shows like 'Family Guy' and 'American Dad', my expectations were low. I thought there was no way this guy could create a solid, enjoyable series.

Nevertheless, after seeing the first two episodes of 'The Orville', I have to say that I have been positively surprised by the quality of the series. Even though the show hasn't been perfect, it has been much better than I had thought at first.

One of the biggest reasons that the sci-fi drama/comedy works so well is because it manages to respect the original Star Trek franchise. It takes the best aspects of the original series and 'The Next Generation' without making you feel like it's ripping them off.

By that I mean is that the series manages to respect the idealism that the original shows were known for. There's a positive, lighthearted vibe going with the show that manages to lift your spirits and makes you feel good inside.

The reason that the show has such an uplifting and upbeat tone has a lot to do with its likable characters. I was surprised by how well the characters work together and how almost all of them are well drawn and relatable.

This is especially true when it comes to the captain of the starship, played by Seth Macfarlane. Even though he hasn't been known as an actor that much, he does a surprisingly good job as a comedic version of James T. Kirk from the original series.

When it comes to the storylines on 'The Orville', I was surprised how well they managed to keep my interest. It was good to see that the writers on the show managed to provide well paced storylines that had substance in them.

Even though it's true that the show has some comedic elements, these elements don't take the center stage on the series. They don't override the essential dramatic elements and are not what the series is really about.

That 'The Orville' works so well also has a lot to do with its solid production values. It's obvious that a lot of effort, time and money was spent in creating a universe and a show that looks both believable and authentic.

At least in my case, I didn't have any problems with the show's set design, character design, make-up or special effects. Almost everything looked really good and made you feel like those in charge of the production knew what they were doing.

So all in all, when you combine all these good aspects, it's no wonder that the show manages to have value and merit. All these good things have made it possible that we have another 'Star Trek' series that is actually worth watching.

As a whole, even though critics haven't been kind towards the show at all (metacritic rating of 32% and rottentomatoes rating of 20% fresh), that doesn't mean that the series isn't well made or that you shouldn't give it a chance.

At least in my opinion, 'The Orville' - despite its minor flaws - manages to provide solid entertainment and keeps us interested. It manages to create a world and a future where almost everything is possible, as long as we believe in ourselves. 

In that sense, we can only hope that the show will keep doing well in the ratings. We can only hope that people keep watching it, because at the moment there aren't that many shows on television that are worth watching and worth your time.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

'Young Sheldon' doesn't work as a comedy series.

When it comes to this season's freshman comedies, there's no doubt that one series was more anticipated than the others. Of all the new television shows that were to be aired, CBS's 'Young Sheldon' was the most anticipated one.

The reason that 'Young Sheldon' was so hyped as a series is fairly obvious. The series that it was based on, 'The Big Bang Theory', had been the most watched comedy series on television for so many years and had a huge fanbase.

So having now seen then pilot for the show, I have to say that it doesn't look like 'Young Sheldon' is going to be a success. Based on its first episode, it doesn't look like there's anything in the series that would keep the audience interested in watching it.

The biggest problem with this 'spin-off' is that it doesn't have a premise that is good enough. The premise of the show, in which the audience follows the early years of young Sheldon Cooper, simply isn't strong enough.

As unfortunate as it is, none of the elements that made the original series so good are present here. There is almost nothing in the new series that would remind you what made the original show watchable in the first place.
 
After all, the reason that the original Big Bang Theory managed to work so well is because it had a solid premise and likable characters. The show about four likable nerds and a girl next door had elements in it that kept the show going.

When it comes to this new show, it simply isn't enough to have one of the 'characters' from the original. It's not enough to transfer one popular character from the old show, give him a fresh new face and think that it's all that it takes.

Besides, we shouldn't forget that the popularity of Sheldon as a character has always been at least a bit exaggerated. He isn't actually that popular, especially when it comes to the character's likability and relatibility.
 
By that I mean that there are a lot of characteristics about Sheldon that aren't desirable at all. In most environments, his 'autism' and inflexibility as a character are things that will turn off the audience almost instantly.

In that sense, it's all the more unfortunate that the producers and the writers decided to take the absolute worst aspects of his character. All the good things about the early seasons that had to do with Sheldon's character are gone now.

Instead of making Sheldon curious about how the world works, all he does on the show is brag how much smarter he is than the rest. Instead of making us relate to him, all he does is complain and insult others like he's the only person left on the planet.

So based on all these mistakes and how badly the writers messed up Sheldon's character and the premise, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the show doesn't work. It shouldn't surprise anyone that 'Young Sheldon' is in trouble as a series.

At least in my opinion, the pilot had too many problems and there were too few, if any moments that made you smile. It didn't feel like any of the characters in the episode made sense or that the writers knew what they were doing.

As a whole, even though it is true that the kid who plays young Sheldon is a talented actor (Iain Armitage from Big Little Lies), that alone is not enough to save the show. His presence as a Sheldon is not enough to keep the series going.

In that sense, we can only hope that sooner or later CBS will do the right thing and cancel the show. There's no real reason to keep the series going, even though the first episode that aired did get somewhat decent ratings.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel did what journalists wouldn't do.

During the last week or so, everyone who follows news has heard about Jimmy Kimmel. This late-night talk show host has been active in the media when it comes to the proposed new healthcare bill in the U.S. senate. 

As a host of his talk show, Kimmel has been spending his opening monologues speaking against the unpopular Cassidy-Graham bill. This legislative piece, if implemented, would hurt most americans and would make the U.S. health care system worse.

For those who haven't paid attention to the case, the whole thing started several months ago, when Kimmel talked about his newborn son's health problems. The heart defect that his son had was potentially lethal and had to be operated immediately.

Kimmel talked about how lucky he was that doctors and nurses at the hospital noticed the problem and took care of it. He talked about how deeply upsetting it was that not everyone in the country had the means to deal with healthcare issues like he did.

So not long after Kimmel's original monologue became popular, Lousiana's senator Bill Cassidy (r) thought that it would be a good thing to get free publicity. He went on the show to proclaim that every future bill would have to pass the 'Jimmy Kimmel' test. 

What this 'test' basically meant is that no child would be denied care because of a pre-existing condition like Kimmel's son had. Any bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act would have to address the issue sufficiently.

Kimmel, understandably enough, felt fairly good about these assurances. He perhaps even thought that he had made a bit of a difference and that his heartfelt speech about his son's medical problems would make politicians care.

After the publicity for the case eventually waned, it more or less looked like we were done with the whole thing. It seemed as if from now on, Kimmel's show would just try to be mindlessly funny and concentrate on comedy.

However, in late July, the republican controlled U.S senate tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Republicans tried to get rid of the Obamacare, which stated that no person would be denied a health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.

Even though the initial repeal effort turned out to be a failure, that wasn't the last word on the issue. It didn't take more than a month before a new, even stealthier bill was introduced, by none other than our 'Jimmy Kimmel test' senator Cassidy.

The problem with this bill was that it didn't pass the 'Jimmy Kimmel' test at all. Not only were there cuts in the bill to medicaid, but the protections for patients with pre-existing conditions were more or less thrown out too.

Once all these facts became available, it didn't take more than a day before our late-night host started going after senator Cassidy. Kimmel was merciless in the way he went after the republicans and their odious plans.

In his opening monologues, he openly called the 'honorable' senator a liar and a fraud who couldn't be trusted with this new healthcare bill. Again and again he went after the senator's empty promises and lies that he told us.

Pretty much no one else in the media was willing to say that Cassidy & Graham were completely full of it with this new bill. Almost all of the establishment media was trying to tap-dance around the fact that the legislative piece was a massive scam to hurt the poor.

In the end, Kimmel's reaction and the massive publicity that it created managed to make a difference. Kimmel's outrage and opposition is one of the main reasons that the Graham-Cassidy bill wasn't even brought to the senate floor for a vote.

In that sense, when you look at the whole thing, we can only be grateful that he was willing to talk about this issue with such honesty and integrity. We can only be grateful that he was willing to take a brave stand here.

After all, by doing what he did, he showed that just because you're a late-night host, that doesn't mean that you can't have a voice of your own. Being an entertainer doesn't mean that you can't make a difference when it comes to political matters.

On the contrary, Kimmel showed that if you have a platform like he has, there's nothing wrong with using it for a good cause. There's nothing wrong about rising up to the occasion, when no one else in the establishment media is willing to do that.

In that sense, by exposing these guys, he was clearly doing God's work here. By exposing them, he helped to make sure that millions in the U.S. are still going to keep their health insurances and that they won't get hurt for no reason at all.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Why are so many television shows so bad?

It's not exactly a secret that when it comes to television, most of the shows that you see on tv aren't good at all. Most of the shows don't have good things going on in them and there isn't anything in them that could keep us entertained.

The biggest reason that these shows don't work is because they aren't about anything real or meaningful. The premise and the basic idea in them isn't strong enough, so that the series could have something to build on.

Especially when it comes to most comedies that are out there, it seems as if the writers behind these shows had no idea how to write good stuff. It's as if they had no clue about how storytelling is supposed to work.
 
Nevertheless, when it comes to creating good stuff, it shouldn't at least on paper be impossible to pull off. Even though it's not easy by any definition, creating good shows should be doable, as long you pay attention to the basics.

Unfortunately, when it comes to this creation process, most of the time producers and writers don't seem to pay attention to these things. It's as if they had no idea about the craft and about how they're supposed to do their jobs.

For example, when it comes to creating a solid premise, they don't spend enough time coming up with a decent idea for their series. They don't pay enough attention to their idea, so that they could have a premise that might actually work.

When it comes to creating likable characters, they don't seem to think that those things are needed either. They seem to think that you don't need to have likable, honorable characters that people could actually root for.

This same, lazy approach to the craft also applies it comes to coming up with decent storylines. These writers aren't worried about coming up with storylines that would have substance, idealism or things that mattered.

Instead, what these writers and producers try to do is to obfuscate and throw off their audience. Things like spamming weak jokes, obsessing with empty popular culture references or using ridiculous amount of swearing is the way to go.

For example, 'comedy' shows like Community, Family Guy and Rick & Morty are pretty much all about using pop culture references. They're all about catering to the lowest common denominator with their pointless references.

When it comes to the overuse of 'jokes', pretty much all the multicamera sitcoms are guilty of this. Showrunners like Chuck Lorre are known for using jokes as a crutch when they have no clue how to make their storylines work.

In order to throw off the audience, if these showrunners can't come up with a solid storyline, they try to write in as many jokes as possible. By doing this they try to confuse us, so that we wouldn't notice that there's no real story in these episodes.

Still, perhaps the most heartbreaking of these cheap stunts has to be the overuse of cursing. This kind of behavior is especially true on HBO, where there are no limits on how much profanities or cursing you're allowed to use.

In reality, the only thing that a supposed 'comedy' series like 'Veep' has going for itself, is that it's completely filled with profanities. This Emmy winning comedy series that has unlikable characters and weak storylines has nothing else going for it.

In that sense, when you consider all these things, it shouldn't really surprise anyone that there are so many bad shows out there. It shouldn't come as a surprise when you consider how disrespectful most of the writers and producers are towards their craft.

In the end, the truth is that when it comes to creating quality shows, it's about paying attention and respecting the basics. It's about having a solid premise, having likable characters and making sure that you write storylines that make sense.

It's not about ignoring the fundamentals of storytelling. It's not about thinking that instead of respecting the fundamentals, you can just spam pop culture references, write cheap jokes and swear like a drunken sailor.

Unfortunately for us, as long as these writers and producers keep trashing their craft, things won't change. As long as they think that it's okay to cut corners and that you don't have to take your job seriously, we're not going to get better shows on tv.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

What should we think of the 'Zootopia' lawsuit?

A couple of weeks ago I read about a lawsuit concerning Disney's animated film Zootopia. I read about how a writer claimed that Disney had stolen his idea for the film and that the company should have to pay punitive damages as a result.

According to this writer, Disney had stolen the title of the film, 'Zootopia'. The company had also stolen the basic premise and the basic character designs in the film, which the lawyer for the plaintiff tried to argue in court.

When I started reading about the case, at first it seemed like there was a decent case against Disney. As long as you focused on the company stealing the title and you had your focus on the character design, it seemed like the writer was on to something.

However, once you dug a bit deeper and started to pay attention to the case a bit more, things started to get more complicated. Even though there are a lot of similarities, these similarities tend to be too generic and even deceptive.

When it comes to the original film, 'Zootopia' (2016) is an animation that tells a story about a hillbilly bunny called Judy Hopps. This bunny, who becomes a cop and moves to the big city of Zootopia, is what the movie is about.

When it comes to the film, at least 80-90% of its success has to do with our likable bunny. Bunny Hopps is the biggest reason that the movie works so well and that it was such a success both critically and at the box office.

Almost every emotionally meaningful story beat in the film is derived from this character. The character's idealism and her underdog situation is what makes the story work and what makes us care about what happens in the movie.

What this all has to do with the lawsuit is that in the plaintiff's treatment, 'Zootopia' apparently isn't about the 'Bunny'. In the plaintiff's version, the squirrel (that isn't even a cop) doesn't seem to be at the center of the story.

Instead, the plaintiff's version revolves more around the 'fox' character that we see in the produced film. This character (a hyena in the plaintiff's concept), isn't that likable and isn't someone that you can easily relate to.

The big problem with this is that if the plaintiff's story had a protagonist that wasn't particularly likable, that concept wouldn't have worked. There were going to be so many problems with the story, regardless of how the treatment would have looked on paper.

Incidentally, Disney admitted that they tried to write a script that revolved around the 'fox' character. They spent almost a year writing different drafts and tried everything to make the story work and to make it worth producing.

Eventually, they gave up and decided that the movie simply shouldn't and couldn't be about the Fox. They decided that they needed to start from scratch and thought that the film should instead be about the Bunny character.

What this means is that if Disney actually did steal the concept or the treatment from plaintiff, in that case they also ditched it. Even though the concept might have worked in theory, when they wrote the script, it didn't work anymore.

So as a whole, when it comes to this lawsuit, I think it's safe to say that it doesn't seem to be completely outlandish or frivolous. It seems to be likely that Disney in some ways tried to 'steal' the concept from the writer.

After all, the company is infamous for having stolen other people's material over the decades. They have clearly played fast and loose with copyrighted source material before (for example The Lion King / Kimba The White Lion).

Still, even though this wouldn't be the first time that they stole from other writers, when you consider what we know about the case so far (possibly different, unlikable protagonist / other stuff), the lawsuit is walking on a fairly thin ice.

As far as I'm concerned, even though I don't like siding with a corporation against an individual, in this case one might have to. It might be that in this case the writer didn't create a concept that was strong enough to be protected by copyright laws.

In that sense, if Disney took the idea and made it work, that isn't automatically their fault. It isn't automatically their fault if the plaintiff didn't come up with a story that was good enough and if the story didn't have merit to stand on its own.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Why is writing movies harder than writing for tv?

A couple of days ago I read some articles, in which television writers compared movie screenwriting to television writing. They wondered why tv writers aren't usually good at writing movies and why it can be so hard to transition to films?

These writers had their own theories about why this tends to happen. According to them, writing for tv was either too lucrative, or they thought that since they had somehow 'mastered' the art of tv writing, they were now 'too good' to write movies.

Not surprisingly, I didn't find these explanations to be particularly convincing or plausible. None of these writers, in my opinion, had the insight or the courage to admit why transitioning to films is so incredibly difficult.

In reality, the biggest reason that most television writers can't switch to writing films is that most of them just aren't good enough as writers. Most of them don't have the talent to write full length movie screenplays.

As far as I'm concerned, writing film scripts is a lot more demanding than writing television scripts is. Whether we like to admit it or not, it's a lot more demanding in almost every aspect that has to do with the writing process.

For example, movie scripts require a lot more ideas than your average episode for a sitcom or for a drama series. You need to come up with a lot more ideas that have to do with your premise and your characters throughout the length of the screenplay.

With movies, you need longer arcs that require more thought than those vignettes on tv shows. A twenty minute sitcom episode or a forty minute drama episode simply isn't as demanding storywise as is a full length movie screenplay. 

When it comes to this writing process, we shouldn't also forget that most television writers in the business aren't actually that experienced either. They haven't mastered their craft, even though they might think that they have done that.

As unfortunate as it is, the truth is that most of these writers did not create the shows that they have been writing for. The overwhelming majority of these writers were not in charge of creating the characters in the pilots of their respective tv shows.

This means that there's a very good chance that most of them have no clue about creating original material from scratch. They don't know how to create original material that would be good enough to be produced on its own.

In that sense, whenever I read someone writing about how they don't write movies for this and that reason, we should take their explanation with a grain of salt. There's a good chance that the person is not being honest about the issue.

At least in my case, the reason that it took so long for me to write a movie script is that it was really that difficult to come up with one. It was that hard and I knew that there was a good chance that I wouldn't be able to write one.

It wasn't because I thought I had more important things to do than to write movies. It wasn't because I was 'too good', that I had 'mastered' the art of television writing or that I was somehow above writing film screenplays.

On the contrary, it was because I was afraid that I was going to fail as a movie writer. It was because I was scared to death that I wasn't good enough, that I didn't know what I was doing and that I wouldn't be able to take my craft to the next level.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

What kind of screenplay did I manage to write?

Before I started writing my very first movie screenplay, I kept thinking what my strengths as a writer were. I kept thinking what are the things that I'm good at and how these qualities could be used in the writing process.

After all, if I wanted to write a quality screenplay, I would have to concentrate on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. If I wanted to write something that had any merit or value, I had to know what were the good things about me as a writer.

So when it finally came to deciding what I should write about, I knew that I would have to write something that I felt relatively good about. I had to choose a genre that would reflect my values as a person as well as possible.

Not surprisingly, since I'm a pretty big fan of animations, I thought it would be a good idea to give an animated screenplay a chance. I had been writing a lot about these movies, so I wanted to see if I could come up with a script myself. 

The decision to write an animated screenplay wasn't actually that difficult. Especially knowing that most animations manage to cheer me up and put me on a better mood, I thought it would make sense to write a script myself.

When it comes to writing the script, it shouldn't come as a surprise that I was influenced by other movies. Popular films like 'Amelie', the recent 'My Life As a Courgette' and 'Shaun The Sheep were the ones that influenced me the most.

For example, when it comes to 'Amelie', I liked how the main character in the film was so creative and proactive. I liked how Amelie was trying to do the right thing and how she was a character that you were able to root for.

When it comes to 'My Life As a Courgette', I liked the themes in the film and how well the animation in it was done. I appreciated how well the theme of being an orphan was handled and how the movie was able to convey real emotions.

When it comes to 'Shaun The Sheep', I absolutely loved how the writers were able to come up with an 80 minute movie that had zero dialogue in it. I found this to be awesome and was really impressed with how many good ideas the movie had. 

So by mixing these three movies, I wrote an 'original' script that revolves around themes and ideas that these films represented. The script, currently titled 'Valerie and The Girl', is some sort of a synthesis of these movies.

For example, like in 'My Life as a Courgette', the story is about a young child growing up. The character not having a father in her life is one of the overarching themes in the screenplay that plays throughout the script's length.

Like in 'Amelie', our main character is an active protagonist that tries her best to change things for the better. She not only wants to help others - including her new friend - but she also wants to know what happened to her father.

Like in 'Shaun The Sheep', in its current form the screenplay doesn't have any written, intelligible dialogue in the script. Every single scene in the screenplay runs on the strength of the characters and the overarching storylines that are in it.

As a whole, when it comes to the script, I'm fairly confident that the story and its characters feel authentic and respect the reader. I'm relatively confident that the story feels original and doesn't seem too much like the movies that it was 'based' on.

After all, if I managed to do those things, that would mean that I wrote something good. It would mean that I have a certain understanding of what storytelling is about and that I'm capable of writing original characters that you can relate to.

Still, regardless of how good the screenplay turned out, when it comes to this project, I did my best to come up with a good script. I tried my best to write a screenplay that would reflect my values and my strengths as a writer.  

Whether I actually managed to write a really good script, I don't know. That, after all, takes a lot of luck of and is something that cannot be controlled, no matter how hard you're willing to try and no matter how talented you are as a writer.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

'My Life as a Zucchini' is a solid animation.

Like many others, if I have to choose between watching a live action movie or an animated film, it's usually an easy decision. In most cases I'll watch the animated film, because it's much more likely to put me on a better mood.

After all, when it comes to animations, you don't judge characters in them the way you judge actors in live action movies. There's no prejudice involved with animated characters, which makes watching them so much easier.

In that sense, it wasn't a difficult decision to give a chance for a French animated film called 'My Life as a Zucchini'. This is a movie that was nominated at this year's Academy Awards in the best animated film category.

In essence, the movie tells a story about a young boy called 'Courgette' (Zucchini). Once he becomes an orphan, he is moved to an orphanage, where he meets other kids who haven't been fortunate in their lives either.

Over the course of the film's one hour length, the animation deals with all kinds of issues that have to do with the main character's situation. There's stuff about abandonment, friendship, acceptance and making the best out of what you have.

When it comes to 'My Life as a Courgette', very likely the best thing about it has to do with how simplistic and how down to earth it is. The themes in it are clear and there isn't anything in the film that doesn't belong to it or that feels forced.

Unlike in most movies, almost all the characters in it are likable and relatable. Every person in the orphanage, including the personnel, are characters that you can relate to and who are trying to work in the best interest of the kids.

When it comes to the animation in the movie, the stop motion technique works really well. It's a real pleasure to watch these characters and how the makers of the film have managed to make them so lively and full of emotion.

These high quality production values also apply to the voice acting. Especially when it comes to the original French version of the film, you can't help but to fall in love with these characters and how authentic they sound.

If there's anything in the movie that could have been better, I guess it has to be said that the ending for it was a bit lacking. The movie should have gone a bit longer so that the last fifteen minutes of the film could have had a better flow.

At least in my opinion, the last phase could have used a couple more extra scenes that would have made the ending more satisfying. There was something missing from the script that made the finale a little bit underwhelming.

Still, despite these fairly minor flaws in the film, it has to be said that I'm glad that I managed to watch 'My Life as a Courgette'. It's good to notice that movies like these exist and that they're not all the same old, same old.

As a whole, even though the film doesn't sugar coat things and doesn't shy away from real stuff, it manages to entertain. It manages to give you hope and makes you feel that just because things aren't going your way, life can still get better.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ideas vs. execution in quality screenwriting.

When it comes to ideas and execution in screenwriting, there's an age-old saying which says that 'good ideas are a dime a dozen and it's the execution of your idea that counts' when it comes to writing a good screenplay.

According to this saying, no matter how good your idea is, your idea is just an initial premise and only the first step in the process. Executing it doesn't guarantee that your premise will necessarily lead to anything good.

I've been thinking about this idea vs. execution thing especially after managing to finish my very first movie screenplay. Why is it that the execution counts so much and why your initial idea doesn't necessarily mean that much?

Very likely the best way to answer to this question is by saying that 'a good idea' really is just the first idea that you need for your story. In order to write a solid screenplay, you need to come up with a lot more 'good ideas' before your work is done.

By that I mean that any good screenplay is going to have at least a couple of dozen solid ideas in it. These solid ideas are what keep the story and the characters going and that keep the audience interested in what's going on.

It simply isn't enough to think that one super special idea is going to be all that it takes. It's not enough to think that just because you managed to come up with a 'great' idea, you can now start slacking with your project.

On the contrary, you need to have a lot of ideas and you need to have a good judgement about how to execute them. You need to be able to figure out which of your ideas make sense and which aren't good enough as a whole.

At the same time, when we're talking about how important the execution part is, this is not to say that having a good first idea isn't important. I'm not saying that you can slack with your premise as long you're willing to execute your script well.

As unfortunate as it is, when it comes to most screenplays, the basic idea in most of them just isn't good enough. The 'ideas' that they're based on aren't solid enough and don't have enough potential to become quality scripts.

In reality, if your premise and your idea isn't good enough, no amount of 'hard work' is going to save your screenplay. These 'weak premise' screenplays are never going to work, no matter who is going to be in charge of writing them.

In that sense, even though it's true that your 'great idea' by definition isn't all there is to the process, it still counts. That's why you should always make sure that your premise does have enough merit and that it's believable enough.

After all, by making sure that you have a good premise, it's going to be much easier to start developing your screenplay. If you're willing to pay attention to the basics, it's much more likely that your script as a whole has more potential.

So as a whole, when it comes to this whole thing, the truth is that it pays off if you manage to come up with a solid, workable premise. It pays off far more often if you're willing to come up with a premise that people might actually get interested in.

If you're smart enough or lucky enough to get a solid premise, there's a much better chance that you'll create something good. If you'll take your time with your premise, it makes the writing process a lot more tolerable and a lot easier.

On the other hand, if you're not willing to pay attention to your basic story idea, you're going to be in big trouble. If you're not willing to make sure that your story idea makes sense, things are not going to work out for you.

In that case, all that hard work with the screenplay will likely be in vain. Instead of creating something solid, you'll end up working with a script that doesn't have enough merit and doesn't have what it takes to keep us entertained.

Friday, July 28, 2017

What is the most important rule in writing?

Even though there are a lot of good rules when it comes to writing, some rules are more important than others. No matter how good you are as a writer, some of these rules are so important that you should almost never break them.

For example, when it comes me, I pretty much always try to obey the rule of 'finish what you start writing'. No matter what happens, I try to get the task done, so that I could feel better about myself and that I could move on to something else.

Still, even though this 'finish what you start writing' is a super important rule, it's not the most important rule about writing. Writing and managing to finish your screenplay is only the second most important part about writing.

At least in my opinion, the most important rule about writing has to do with 'publishing' and 'rewriting'. No matter how good you are as a scribe, you should never publish stuff without rewriting it - unless you absolutely have no other choice.

By that I mean that it's almost impossible to ever get everything right in your first draft. It's pretty much guaranteed that every single time you will make some fairly big mistakes that you won't be able to pick up right away. 

When it comes to rewriting and getting things right, there are no quick fixes for it. It always takes time and you need to be able to clear your mind, get a fresh pair of eyes and more or less forget what you managed to write earlier.

Writing good stuff simply isn't about who's the fastest writer or who's the first to get certain amount of words on paper. It's not about rushing to the finish line and thinking that being fast makes you somehow special as a writer.

On the contrary, writing good stuff is always about being aware of your flaws and being aware of you making mistakes. It's about being aware of your weaknesses as a writer and knowing where you're likely going to go wrong.

Especially when it comes to me, I have too many times published scripts and articles without thinking them through enough. I have written them in a hurry and thought that there was no difference whether I gave them another look or not.

If only I had understood earlier that I didn't have to publish everything right away as a writer. If I had only understood that writing is so much more about rewriting than it's about being fast, things would have been so much better.

As a whole, even though it's obviously important that you almost always have to 'finish' your projects, that itself isn't all there is to writing. It's not the only thing that matters and counts when it comes to creating quality stuff.

On the contrary, being too content with having finished your first draft doesn't mean that your job is now done. It doesn't mean that you have figured everything out and that you can now start slacking with your project.

In reality, writing your first draft is only the first part in the writing process. It's only the first step, and in most cases you have to do a lot of rewrites before you can be certain and confident that your script is in good shape.

In that sense, there is absolutely no shame in not getting everything right the first time. There's no shame in admitting that you made a lot of mistakes in your first draft and that you still need more time to get things figured out.