- a conspiracy in writing

Author: Christer Page 2 of 6

Busting blocks

‘Tis the season for the great American blockbuster movies. I always look forward to this with a due sense of exhaustion and dread, as Blackadder would say. When they rock, they really rock (Inception in 2010). And when they suck, they really suck (this year’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).

Next year brings yet another Nolan blockbuster. Warner Bros are already rolling out the hype, and as usual the campaign seems to be an aesthetic feast of anticipation:

I can’t wait for this summer’s drivel to become history. Bring on 2012.

The second draft

You’ve worked hard on a first draft, finished it, and put it in a drawer for a while as you work on another script. When you open that drawer again to do a second draft, how to go about it?

Sometimes it’s easy, because there are obvious pieces of the story still missing, or you already have a clear idea about a character you want to add, or maybe cut, and so on. But then there are times when you’re still happy with your first draft, and you need some way to attack it, some new angle, some fresh perspective.

The script Pål and I are redrafting now is in the former category, there are obvious things that need to be worked out. But it struck me that in either case, I find the following simple pointers very helpful:

Screenwriter Scott Myers has compiled these dumb little writing tricks that work, and they actually do work. Don’t consider not giving them a try.

Myers also generously posted this screenwriting 101 by Dennis Lehane. Short and sweet.

And then there’s this invaluable blog post that presents Mystery Man’s seven scripts you gotta read! I’ve pointed this one out before, but I really can’t write without it. Not just the wisdom and guidance in Mystery Man’s comments, but the lessons learned by reading the scripts themselves.

With these in hand, I always find a way to start writing.


I guess most people agree that any kind of documentary is also some kind of storytelling. So I’ve always been a skeptic when it comes to the notion of the “objective” documentary film, which many people still insist is actually possible.

Going back to Nanook Of The North (Flaherty, 1922), the documentary has never been an objective representation of “truth”. Two obvious questions arise. Is such a thing possible? And would that really be the aesthetic, social, and political ideal for a documentary film?

In recent years, debates about the Michael Moore and Al Gore films have highlighted this issue. For Norwegian readers, here’s a recent piece by a colleague of mine, regarding a conflict between a documentary filmmaker and the NRK network. I’m fond of the professor’s focus on the difference between “documentary” and “documentation”.

LOST in space and time

I recently had an opportunity to ponder the merits of LOST, one of my fave TV series of recent years, when I reviewed it for Planet Origo. The final season got a lot of flak this year, and there are some very interesting questions about plotting and character development buried somewhere in those discussions.

Trust LOST to go out on one final “5 pints of debating down the pub”… I don’t know if I’d get much support for my view, but here it is.

Help Tim!

After a run of pretty weak movies in the past few years, one of my former fave directors is asking for your help. He might need it. (Link is in Norwegian, but it links on to English sites.)

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