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. 

Gaming and the immersive environments of virtual reality continue to be among the most interesting storytelling arenas for young media creators, and this article — Virtual Reality is a Disappointment? Not in the World of Video Gamerspoints out some of the stops and starts with recent developments in VR and gaming-based storytelling.  For an example of a mediamaker working on a specific project (pictured at right), check out this article on Nonny de la Peña’s virtual reality project Hunger.  

The Tilda

By grace of the particular brand of her presence in Bong Joon-hos Okja, it is clear that “The Tilda” is a distinct genre unto itself, from Doctor Strange to the films of  Derek Jarman to Michael Clayton, Broken Flowers, and more.  And beyond the power of Tilda Swinton, there is much more to explore, clearly, in the newest work by one of the most dynamic of 21st century directors, Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, Mother, and The Host).

The vital roles of music and sound design in moviemaking are key components of Moving Images and have been featured in numerous posts on mediateacher.net, including pieces about composers Jeff Beal, Cliff Martinez, and Henry Mancini, among others.  Score, a documentary about composing for film by director Matt Schrader, opened this month and should serve as a solid resource to media literacy educators.  Score provides film history, profiles of and interviews with film composers (from Quincy Jones to Rachel Portman to Trent Reznor and many more), and exploration of the process of composing for motion pictures.

Composer Bear McCreary with his Hurdy-Gurdy

Here is an interview with composer Bear McCreary (Outlander, Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, 10 Cloverfield Lane) and Matt Schrader in which they note film scores that they believe to have “changed the way we hear movies.”  What would be your picks?  Check out the article and you will see theirs!

Here is a follow-up to the Women Pioneers of the Cinema: Patty Jenkins and the Wonder Women post from a few days ago (see below).  For Mekado Murphy’s New York Times “Anatomy of a Scene” series, Patty Jenkins narrates a key scene from Wonder Woman, along with a nice tip of the hat to a strong inspiration for her — Richard Donner’s Superman from 1978.

P.S.: Right after I posted this piece, the NYTimes published this highly interesting and enlightening interview with Patty Jenkins.  Read it to the end.  The exchange at the tail of this conversation with journalist Cara Buckley was one of the most take-your-breath-away moments I have read in an interview with a filmmaker in quite some time.  It features a very inspiring and strikingly original statement from Ms. Jenkins.

In Chapter 3 of Moving Images and a number of mediateacher.net posts (for example, check out Part 2 from this series or the Kevin Goff interview), we have discussed cutting edge moving image creation designed to produce advertising, public service messages, issue-driven content, and a wide array of visual storytelling.  Here is a very interesting current resource: the TBrandStudio Selects for 2017 from the world of animation.  The chosen mediamakers are: Nice and Serious, Block & Tackle, Bhakti Patel, Mighty Oak, and Pete Levin.

Director Patty Jenkins

As earlier periods of motion picture history could be described as the heyday of the Western or the Musical, we are clearly living in the age of the Superhero.  It seems like each summer brings the need for new articles on the evolution of the form — from Heroes for America! (And now the world.) or A Stink Bucket of Disappointment” or just some criminally wacky fun? (which was certainly far more the former than the latter) — and the current moment certainly calls for a nod in the direction of the upcoming release of the feature length film Wonder Woman. 

Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot shooting Wonder Woman

Now, finally, a contemporary major studio release that features a female superhero — and not only that, but the most popular super-heroine in comic book history, a character created by William Moulton Marston as a testament to the power, independence, and strength of character of the women in its creator’s life.  For a story at least as interesting  and jaw-dropping as anything that screenwriters can whip up, Jill Lepore’s The Secret History of Wonder Woman delves into the incredible stories of Olive Byrne and her mother Ethel Byrne (and aunt Margaret Sanger), of Marston and his wife Elizabeth Holloway and their unconventional family, and of the genesis and early years of Wonder Woman. 

For this movie, another milestone is being reached: it is directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins.  The only previous feature film directed by Jenkins is the feature Monster, (which she also wrote), starring Charlize Theron in an Academy Award-winning performance as Aileen Wuornos, the infamous serial killer who died by lethal injection in 2002.  Since then, Jenkins has been directing television shows, particular for the pilot of The Killing (another production featuring a strong female protagonist), Entourage, and Betrayal.  Now, Jenkins has directed the highly anticipated feature Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, written by Allan Heinberg.  Here is a video interview with Jenkins about the movie, and here is an interview from FilmInk.