Dean Spanley – Art that Conveys Feeling

dean spanley art emotionLast night I came across Dean Spanley, a film I’d not heard of before. I was sold on the description of a quirky, adult fairy-tale with a masterful performance from Peter O’Toole. What I found, though, was a profoundly affecting take on basic human emotions. It may not be a film for everyone – at turns slow and lacking drama – but it’s everything I needed it to be, personally, as it created a very specific impact relating to grief. And it’s a keen example of how powerful art can be. Continue reading

Cutting out words to improve Mad Max’s summary

mad max fury road summaryI don’t know who’s responsible for the summary of Mad Max: Fury Road that’s currently loitering on the film’s IMDB page, but it’s got too many words and reads like someone’s trying too hard to sound dramatic. It may be that some random Joe has written this summary, someone with nothing to do with the film itself. Or it may be the production put it forward themselves. Whatever the case, it’s a good candidate for improving. So here’s a little challenge – can this descriptively over-the-top summary be improved simply by removing some words? Have a look below, and you decide: Continue reading

$70 million budget, couldn’t afford a proofreader?


olympus has fallen proofread

Aside from the general mind-numbing amble into cliché and the colour-by-numbers approach to plot and character development, Olympus Has Fallen appears to have suffered from basic grammar errors that apparently no one in the hundreds strong production team noticed. Or cared about. With an estimated $70 million spent on this tripe, was there really no room in the bloated production for someone to step back and say, hold on, are the news reports saying (badly) that a single terrorist has attacked the White House? Or should there be some form punctuation separating (presumably) a story title from its location? Who was responsible for letting this sentence through production?

And on another note, did no one in the scriptwriting, reading, rehearsal, filming or editing stage step back and think the line “We’ll get back with you later.” (spoken by the Secret Service Director) might be improved? How does $70 million not buy a professional standard of English?

 

The Digital Filmmaking Handbook by Mark Brindle – review

digital filmmaking handbook mark brindle, book review

If you’ve ever wanted a brief introduction to everything you could conceive of relating to digital filmmaking, this is the book for you. It doesn’t look big, but in the space of some 220 pages Mark Brindle has covered the full gamut of modern filmmaking, including what camera to choose, what software to edit in, how to write a convincing a story arch, tips for funding and how to distribute your film. Read it cover to cover and you’ll be able to convince any stranger you meet that you know how to make a film. Continue reading

Carrie by Stephen King – book review

horror book review

Before I read Carrie, the only book of Stephen King’s I’d read was On Writing. Which is an excellent piece of non-fiction, but didn’t endear me to his fiction writing. Having seen so many films based on his work, it never seemed fair to dedicate more time to the man by reading his books. You’d think anyone who can write that prolifically and please so many people, after all, must be writing to please crowds. But Carrie is such a uniquely solid little horror novel that it showed me the error of my ways. There are elements of this book that no film can really do justice to. Continue reading