Showing posts from August, 2014

Confusion of Week One

The first week of school is always the most stressful for me (and for everyone else, I imagine.)

Even provided with syllabi ahead of time, we still have to figure out exactly how the classes are structured, how the professor wants assignments, and what writing style we're to use. Professors clarify assignments and explain, change, or add things to the syllabus that weren't part of the original. On top of that, we have the hundreds of introductory posts by all the students that must be read, and then a couple replied to. When students make minimal comments like "Hi, nice to meet ya, good to have you in class" - and they do that for EVERY student, some of us tire of that quickly. So I always look forward to getting past that point - I never was one for small talk anyway.

This semester, we'll be writing loglines for five episodes of a current TV drama series and one full spec episode. (I'm doing Blue Bloods, so we're binge-watching all episodes. Thankfully, …

My MFA Textbooks

I tried putting together a fancy little widget from Amazon to show our textbooks, but the code doesn't seem to like me at the moment.

Instead, I'll list my textbooks, software, and equipment here, and update the list each semester.

Semester 1

Books Required:

Books Recommended:

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Film

Software Required:

Writing and Viewing the TV Drama Series

Another class I'll be taking this semester is Writing the TV Drama Series. We haven't received our syllabus yet, but based on an older one, I think we might have to write a pilot episode of our own creation. I'm excited about that, oddly enough, because some of today's favorite dramas are not my favorite.

Some of my favorites over the last few years have included (in random order): Longmire, The Good Wife, LOST, Blacklist, 24, Sherlock, CSI: Miami, Law & Order: SVU, and Midsomer Murders. But I admit, I enjoy some of the older (tamer?) dramas as much or more than some of these because of content. In the older dramas, I didn't have to worry about too much gore or being assaulted with filthy language or graphic sex scenes. 
We started watching a few drama series this weekend, based on textbook and other recommendations.

Once Upon a Time 2011- Created by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz Pilot Episode written by Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz Starring Ginnifer Goodwin, J…

Rethinking the Use of Color and Plot in Screenwriting

Since my last post, we've watched a short film recommended by Hulu's Summer Film School and a feature film recommended by Robert McKee in Story, one of my textbooks this semester. Story is actually required reading for two of my classes this time, so I'll make good use of it in the coming months.

I had a question about textbooks, so I added a widget at the bottom with all our required books for this semester. I'll add to it each semester as we go.

The Red Balloon
Written by Albert Lamorisse
Starring Pascala Lamorisse

This delightful short (35 minutes) was full of surprises. The story is told visually, with minimal dialogue, and won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Hulu recommended watching this movie for its use of color. The boy runs all around the back streets of Paris, providing a drab and dreary backdrop to the colorful red balloon.

The surprise ending still has me smiling.

This film hit a personal note with me. On my 1st birthday, my maternal grandp…

The Journey to an MFA in Screenwriting Begins

School starts again in 12 days, and I'm getting excited. I'll be seeking my Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting through Regent University. My school books have arrived, and one syllabus has already been posted, so I've started my reading assignments.

I want to use this personal blog now to document the movies and TV shows that we're watching and record some of my thoughts about them. I'd love to hear your own reactions to the movies and shows we see. (I use "we" because my husband Tim watches most of the programs with me. He's been a movie buff for years, so it's interesting to get his take on them, too.)

Confession time: for the past four years, we've not had a TV. We gave our big TV away when we moved to a different state, and because I was entering school to get my bachelor's degree, we decided to live without one for awhile. This summer, we've utilized my laptop to watch programs on Hulu, and we've just added Netflix DVDs to t…