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Archive for the ‘Chapter 7’ Category

With more exciting news in our Resources category (such as the Prelinger Archives and Portraits of America posts this year), the Library of Congress has announced that the National Screening Room is now online and features extensive resources for media literacy education.  Many items from this vital national archive are now accessible to the general public and classrooms across the country (and world).  As noted in an article by CBS News, among its highlights are: the classic Edwin S. Porter short The Great Train Robbery (featured for study in Chapter 2), the 1953 feature The Hitch-Hiker by Ida Lupino (a prime director for study with Chapter 5), and a wide variety of diverse types of media such as advertisements, PSAs, and home movies that are discussed in such posts as What Exactly is that Movie? on mediateacher.net and in our investigations of motion picture language and screenwriting throughout Moving Images. 

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About a year and a half ago, I posted an end-of-the-summer piece titled A “stink bucket of disappointment” or just some criminally wacky fun? about the movie Suicide Squad, written and directed by David Ayer (whose latest is Bright) and edited by John Gilroy.  For a very interesting critical investigation of editing related to Suicide Squad, I highly recommend this video: The Art of Editing and Suicide Squad It is from the YouTube channel Folding Ideas (by Dan Olson), and you can start at 01’20” into the video where he starts getting into the analysis of the movie’s editing.  

In fact, the piece is as much about cohesive storytelling as it is about the craft of editing.  There are many excellent breakdowns of issues to consider in the process of editing, as discussed throughout Moving Images, particularly in Chapters 1 and 2.  And Olson even references the Kuleshov Effect (at 17’30”) to help explain glaring weaknesses to the opening of Suicide Squad.  It is a revealing example of analyzing the effect of composition choices with editing.  It is worth pointing out that for a full analysis of issues with story and the filmmaking process with Suicide Squad, it would be critical to reference the shooting script by David Ayer.  Many answers to issues posed in the editing analysis could be revealed there.

P.S.: And here is a vlog post by Folding Ideas specifically about The Kuleshov Effect.

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There are many Crash Course videos from PBS Digital Studios, starting with one that builds on the Screenwriting Resources posts here at mediateacher.net: Screenplays.  It reviews the standard basic “rules” seen in screenwriting manuals, although you will of course want to turn soon to Chapter 7 of Moving Images to dig in well and be inspired about the possibilities and standards in writing for moviemaking.

There are also pieces on the invention of the movie camera, sound, independent cinema, many on film history, and numerous others.

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In a variety of posts, mediateacher.net has highlighted screenwriting resources, pitch notes, the work of current screenwriters (including Spike Jonze), and an original interview with writer Pamela Gray; for this summer’s screenwriter perspectives to explore, we recommend checking out the work of Oscar-nominated screenwriter Taylor Sheridan.  Until just a few years ago, he had been working as an actor; you may have seen him in Walking Dead.  

In one article he offers tips to aspiring screenwriters, and here he discusses his exceptional screenplay for the acclaimed recent movie Hell or High WaterHe also wrote the script for Sicario, directed by Denis Villeneuve (whose other films include Arrival and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049).  For his latest script, Wind River, Sheridan is also directing. 

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Player PitchThis Sunday Review piece from the New York Times by Jesse Armstrong (writer for The Thick of It and Veep) is great food for thought for current events / screenwriting discussions this week.  A very funny and interesting perspective on both today’s political news and the pitch and development process.  Call this Case Study T (or The D) in Screenwriting 101.

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