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Are you in the process of working on developing blocking for action scenes?  Comedy?  What about both?  This excellent video from the YouTube channel Every Frame a Painting (by Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos) focuses on the work of master filmmaker Jackie Chan, and it features some very revealing insights about his working process and unique approaches to directing and editing (and martial arts choreography, of course).  Of particular note are ways in which he creates scenes in his earlier work produced in Asia versus movies made in Hollywood.  A very fun and enlightening movie for film students.

Among the very necessary debates and amidst the range of fallout that mediamakers have seen and are still to see from the New York Times investigative report on Harvey Weinstein and his subsequent fall from power as a movie studio executive, media students, educators, and professionals must sift through many perspectives and viewpoints.  I would like to highlight this op-ed by Sarah Polley that appeared today, The Men You Meet Making MoviesMs. Polley was the subject of an earlier post in mediateacher.net’s series on Women Mediamakers, Talking Stories: Portraits with Sarah Polley, which readers may wish to check out for further information on this important multi-talented creator.

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.

Soderbergh on set of “Logan Lucky”

“Really?  Can’t be.  Say it ain’t so, Steven.”  That was what many of us said when Mr. Soderbergh declared that he was retiring from directing movies.  And for those who had followed, studied, or were inspired by his unique career and creative output, it seemed that this might certainly turn out to be a bit of a joke from a world-class jokester.  Well, that indeed appears to be the case, and of course, he never really retired by any stretch of the term (such as with Behind the Candelabra, The Knick, and more).  Here is an excellent article on Soderbergh right now one week before the release of his promising new movie, Logan Lucky (written by the decidedly mysterious Rebecca Blunt — is this another Soderbergh joke?).

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).