Time for the 341st installment of Saturday Hot Links, your week’s essential reading about movies, TV, streaming, Hollywood, and other things of writerly interest.
Los Angeles Times: 2018 Summer Movie Sneaks Guide.
New York Times: Summer 2018 Movie Release Schedule.
A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis: Dear Movie Industry, We Have Thoughts.
Movie Theater Attendance is the Best It’s Been in Over a Decade.
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Is the Fastest Movie Ever to $1 Billion.
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Director on How Netflix, Marvel Are Changing What Viewers Want.
The Mystery Behind ‘Avengers 4’ Title Has “Backfired”.
Paramount Continues Hunting for Franchises with ‘A Quiet Place 2’ and More ‘Cloverfield’.
‘A Quiet Place’ Sequel: John Krasinski Has An Idea for Where He Wants the Series to Go Next.
Studio Drama, Big Risks and Cher: What Mattered at CinemaCon This Year.
The Most Anticipated Movies at This Year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Women Fight to be Seen at Cannes, Other Major Film Festivals.
Venturing into Cannes 2018: New Changes, New Rules, Are We Ready?
Netflix Eyes Cannes Loophole, Could Buy ‘Everybody Knows’ and More Palme d’Or Contenders.
Bentonville Film Festival Announces 2018 Film Competition Winners.
Do Media Chiefs Deserve the Lavish Pay Packages They Rake In?
Meet the 25 Players Who Can Actually Get an Independent Movie Made.
Meet 7 Key Players in China’s Film Industry.
MoviePass Business Model is ‘Highly Uncertain’ as the Company’s Owner Releases Stark Financials.
A Boom in Filming Gives Atlanta Stage Actors Room to Maneuver.
BAFTA Elevate Rocket-Boosts Female Directors in the UK.
‘Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ Curse Continues: Amazon Pulls Out Of U.S. Distribution.
‘Jurassic World’ Salaries: Chris Pratt Paid $2 Million More Than Bryce Dallas Howard on Sequel.
Move Over, Fantasy Football: Hollywood Writers Duking It Out in ‘Survivor’ Pools.
Screenplays With Unconventional Connections.
Is Directing or Screenwriting Harder? James Gunn, Scott Derrickson, and Jordan Vogt-Roberts Debate.
Diablo Cody Has One ‘Juno’ Regret: ‘I Wasn’t Clear Enough Why She Chose to Not Have an Abortion’.
Terrence Malick Tries His Hand at Virtual Reality, and Becomes a First-Year Film Student.
Late TV icon Steven Bochco is honored with Fox Studios building, the ‘epicenter’ of his hit shows.
Mark and Jay Duplass: The Pros and Cons of Making It As Brothers.
Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2018.
‘Rogue One’ Screenwriter Tony Gilroy Wins Austin Festival Award.
Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski Expelled From the Film Academy.
Roman Polanski Will Fight Against Academy Expulsion: ‘We Want Due Process’.
From Michael Cohen to Michael Clayton: A Look at the Fixer.
Tales of Starlight and Rey: Asian storytelling in Star Wars.
When ‘Deep Impact’ and ‘Armageddon’ hit Hollywood.
The Character Deaths That Defined a Generation.
Stories About Cults Are About Men, Women, and Power — That’s Why They’re Needed More Than Ever.
TV’s Next Fresh Ideas Might Lie in Its Past.
The ‘Roseanne’ Effect: Networks Doubling Down on Multicamera Comedies.
10 TV Pilots Likely to Score Series Pickups.
Behind the Insanity of Pilot Season, TV’s Hunger Games.
Tina Fey Calls Out David Letterman on Lack of Women Writers: ‘We Did Want to Write’.
Benedict Cumberbatch Just Crossed the Last Role Off His Bucket List.
To Spoil or Not to Spoil? TV Critics Reveal Their Policies About That Shocking Event.
Netflix Admits Mistakes Were Made in Their Cannes Feud.
In a first for digital TV platforms, Hulu will run commercials in downloaded shows.
YouTube says it’s working to be a safer place for advertisers.
Warner Music Group Sells 75% of Its Spotify Shares.
10 things I learned at writing conferences.
Listen: Scriptnotes (Episode 349).
Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week
I’m only offering two Prep workshops this year, so check them out.
The next session of my Prep: From Concept to Outline workshop begins Monday, May 28. I love teaching it because it’s exciting to dig into a new batch of stories and the process we use has a transformational effect on writers, a wonderful thing to behold. For example, here is an email sent to me from Dawn LeFever who worked with m in the Prep workshop in October-November 2014:
Hey Scott –
Hope you and your family are well. I know you are about to begin another prep course and I thought I’d give you a little insight you might want to share with your new students.
Since taking the course last year at this time, I not only wrote the script I prepped in class, but have written three more since then, having just completed the first draft of the third one yesterday. I LOVE this process and it feels really organic to me.
Every time I begin a new project, I pull out my notebook with the reading assignments and work through the process just as we did in class. I sort of begin the brainstorming list from day one and just add to it whenever anything comes to me while working through the process. I also use note cards before going to outline because it helps me with pacing.
Then, when I’m writing, I have both my script and my outline on my screen and just write away, checking back at the outline to stay on track. More than a few times, as I’m writing, I think about a line of dialog or an action and then look back at my outline and realize what I have in the outline is much better than what was occurring to me in the moment.
At other times, while writing, I will find ways to weave moments in the script that foreshadow what happens later, because I know what’s coming thanks to the thorough prep process.
In other words, as you say, I do truly break the story in prep, which makes the writing so much easier and (hopefully) deeper and richer. I easily knock out 10 pages a day with this process.
I know there are as many different ways to approach writing as there are writers, but, for me, your process makes everything click and, even more, allows me to get really excited to finally sit down and write.
In the past year, I have had some encouraging responses — I was in the top 15% of the Nicholl Fellowship screenplays and was in the top 50 for the ISA Fast Track Fellowship. I made the quarter finals for the Screencrafting Comedy Competition with two scripts (One of them a rewritten version of Smoker’s Choice).
So… forging ahead and having a blast!
Thanks again for everything and tell the folks IT WORKS!!!
All the best,