Passengers Trailer

The much anticipated Passengers finally has its first trailer. Check it out:

The movie is written by John Spaihts, who has a few exciting upcoming projects; Van HelsingDoctor StrangeThe Mummy, and Pacific Rim: Maelstrom. He also wrote Prometheus (2012) and The Darkest Hour (2011). It’s directed by Morten Tyldum, who also directed The Imitation Game.

The movie follows Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s characters in outer space. From the trailer we see that they woke up too soon…90 years too soon…dun dun dunnnnn! *Suspenseful music*

I’m excited for this movie to come out. I’m especially excited to see JLaw have drunken sex with Chris. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.

The movie comes out December 21st. A great birthday present to me!

SMC

On the set of “Downsizing” starring Matt Damon

I had the unique opportunity on Thursday April 14th to be hang around the set of Matt Damon and Alexander Payne’s latest movie called Downsizing. They were shooting scenes in the Omaha area and I decided to check it out. I will provide pictures and video to go along with my experience.

I caressed Matt Damon’s arm and had a chance to talk with writer/director Alexander Payne, who is an Omaha native. He gave me some great screenwriting advice that I may share at a later time.

Downsizing is about a man who decides to shrink himself, hence the name “Downsizing,” in order to have a better life. It’s supposedly a social satire, which I expect from Alexander Payne.

The movie will come out December 25, 2017. It is starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Neil Patrick Harris, and Alec Baldwin. The only two stars who were shooting scenes in Omaha were Kristen Wiig and Matt Damon.

As you all may know, Alexander Payne likes to come back to his hometown of Omaha and shoot scenes for his movies. It’s his thing. Mad respect.

Here’s a video of me on set:


Above is the house they were shooting scenes at. This is the house Damon’s character downsizes to.


Matt walking around on set.


Matt came over to take pictures and sign autographs for fans.

  

SMC

Diversity within the Oscars and the Movie Industry

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“At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain, but we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together?”  – Jada Pinkett Smith

“I stand with my peers who are calling for change in expanding the stories that are told and recognition of the people who tell them.”  – Lupita Nyong’o

“If you think back 10 years ago, the Academy was doing a better job. Think about how many more African-Americans were nominated.”  – George Clooney

Let me start off by stating there’s not only a lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations, but a lack of diversity in the media everywhere. To go along with that, yes, racism, white privilege, sexism, etc. are still very prominent in our society.

And it sucks we’re still having this conversation, but honestly we’ll be having this convo for the next 100 years, unless we change it.

I’m ashamed to admit I’m guilty of not including more diversity into my scripts. I’ve written about 6 or 7 full length features and of those, only 2 (scripts) include diverse characters (from African-Americans to Hispanics). It’s an unconscious thing, but nevertheless it’s there. Of course, casting directors (and directors) are the ones who cast the actors, and they may choose whatever actor they see fit, but it’s my responsibility as a writer, to consciously describe a character as having more diverse features. And we should be creating scripts and roles that cater to these actors and audiences. We also shouldn’t be writing movies that solely portray races in a  stereotypical manner. For example: black people being cast as gangsters, or “from the Hood,” Mexicans as cholo’s, etc.

So allow us to take one step forward and diligently create that sine qua non the entertainment industry needs.

From now on, I vow, as a Mexican, Woman, and a Lesbian, I will conscientiously create screenplays that are more diverse. They will be filled with more openly diverse characters and content. This is where my contribution starts.

Let’s all take this vow.

And if you’re in the industry, vote on the actual best, regardless of race/age/gender. Amen.

SMC

Why is ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ considered J.J. Abrams’ movie?

The Cloverfield sequel finally has a trailer and it looks super creepy awesome, but every article about the movie has one name attached to it: J.J. Abrams. We’ve all seen his name constantly attached to sci-fi films. So if he didn’t write or direct the movie, why does J.J. Abrams get all the glory only serving as a producer? It’s strange, isn’t it? That his name will be the one everyone remembers. And I’m wondering why that is, and if it’s fair. But this is Hollywood after all and NOTHING IS FAIR in Hollywood.

Obviously for marketing purposes it’s the smart approach to showcase Abrams‘ name everywhere you possibly can. In the trailer, on the poster, visibly in the credits, etc. Because at the end of the day the producer is the one who is going to promote this film to audiences and important people in Hollywood. Let’s break it down to see what a producer actually does.

The job description of a producer is: Producers play an integral role in the television, film and video industries. A producer will oversee each project from conception to completion and may also be involved in the marketing and distribution processes. Producers work closely with the directors and other production staff on a shoot.

So it does actually sound like they have a lot to do with the actual movie during pre-production, production, and post-production. But at the same time (no offense to producers) they didn’t put the hard work of directing or writing the movie, they’re merely an overseer. But if you’re one of the big guys in Hollywood like J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg, Jerry Bruckheimer, George Lucas, etc. your name will most certainly be overly used and marketed. And I mean it completely makes sense to me. If I were to write or direct a movie and Quentin Tarantino was attached, you know everything would be done to let the public know it’s Tarantino’s film. It’s a marketing tactic that works all too well. But do you think it’s right that producers end up getting all the credit and praise? I personally don’t, but what do I know? I’m just a teenage dirt bag baby. (hehe).

Here’s the trailer:

SMC

New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s officially 2016. One more year of your life is officially over. Or for you optimistic people out there, it’s the beginning of a new year to prosper, learn, and grow. That is what I will be indulging in…hopefully.

I, like most people, have a few problems that tend to set me back when trying to get work done: I get lazy, which can consist of me not getting enough work done. I have ADD/ADHD (I’m sure), which results in getting distracted easily. And I live my life going through different phases which results in me going from one thing to another. One month I’ll be obsessed with Youtube, the next writing, the next filmmaking, then photography, etc. The list goes on and on.

That’s why this year, I hope to GET MORE SHIT DONE. I will do this by having more structure in my life and creating less distractions. This year is my year, I can feel it. Instead of wasting the valuable time I have, I will be doing something that is PRODUCTIVE. This is the year of productivity.

I will do more. I will create more. I will write more. I will experience more.

I can be a pretty boring person. I rung in the new year completing a short script, about 35 pages, but for me, that was a kick ass way to start my new year. Accomplishing more. Doing more. Focusing more. That will be me.

So down below, I’ll name a few goals I have for this new year:

  1. WRITE MORE

I hope to write, and COMPLETE more screenplays. I have so many scripts that I have started but haven’t finished. I strive to accomplish more by putting pen to paper…or hand to keyboard I should say.

2. READ MORE

I hope to read more in general, whether it’s news, novels, stories, but mostly I’d like to read more screenwriting books. I have read a lot, but I have so many that are collecting dust.

3.  EDIT MORE

I hope to do a lot more editing of my scripts so I can get them sent off to Hollywood or in competitions.

4.  WATCH MORE MOVIES

This includes new movies along with classics.

5.  BE MORE PRODUCTIVE ALL AROUND

In all facets of my life.

Those are my New Year’s resolutions and I hope to stick to them. Good luck with all your New Year’s rezzies. May you have a productive year!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

SMC

Most Annoying Things In Movies

It really blows when a movie states the obvious facts in the most unnatural way. Examples being something along the lines of:

  • “Hey big brother.” “What’s up, cousin?” etc.
  • Remind me why we’re at a cemetery at night?”

Stupid obvious shit like that will first off, make your audience cringe. It sure makes me cringe. There are better ways to show your audience who your brother or cousin is. But on the contrary not showing/telling us clearly who’s who is off putting as well and just plain confusing. We want to know who our characters are and what the hell they’re doing at a cemetery at night.

Just had to get that off my chest.

SMC

Simple Exercise To SHOW instead of tell

This exercise is going to seem pretty elementary and it’s so obvious but it didn’t hit me until earlier today. I was sitting in a room surrounded by things. All sorts of things. An ice cream machine, a pitcher of iced tea, hot coffee, a popcorn machine, etc. I took a look around and thought to myself, “I’m going to write down everything I hear and everything I see.” When I started jotting my surroundings down, I thought nothing of it, but as I was truly immersing myself into my surroundings, the simple idea hit me: Writing down my surroundings will help me to become a better writer. How? Well, describing your surroundings is an easy way to practice SHOW, DON’T TELL. I found myself describing what I saw with such detail. Seriously, it’s so stupid because it’s such a simple and easy exercise. But seriously, give it a try. Become aware of yourself as a writer and embrace your surroundings. It’s that simple. Do it as often as you can and practice it and soon enough your writing skills will be so sharp you can slice through glasss. (That was dumb) okay, bye.

Still Alice – Script of the Week

The script of the week this week is Still Alice, written and directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, based on the book by Lisa Genova. I am well aware this film won all sorts of accolades but I was less than convinced. I read the script before watching the movie. While reading the script I found it very rushed and hasty. The emotions, events, and relationships felt unnatural, and I was unable to connect with these characters. I realize with most movies you only get 2 hours tops to tell your story, but I felt at nearly 2 hours, (1hr 40) the script fell short. It’s as if Alice was fine one scene and the next she had Alzheimer’s. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the hell out of the concept, I just don’t think it was executed properly.

Like I said, after I read the script, I watched the movie. I went in with an open mind. Maybe I just rushed through the script and didn’t give it time to marinate. I love the cast, maybe the cast will be amazing and will do the movie justice where the script didn’t. These were the thoughts lingering in my mind. After watching the movie, I was left with a sense of longing…perhaps longing for something better, something more, something deeper?? The movie fell flat. Many lines of dialogue seemed forced and unnatural, comparable to the script. I thought Julianne Moore was great, that’s just because she’s great in everything she does. Besides the wonderful Julianne Moore, the film held nothing exceptional.

This could have been a great script, a great movie even, but sadly for me, it was not. Tell me what your guys’ thoughts are on the script or movie.

Script –> Still Alice 

Trailer:

SMC

Orphan – Script of the Week

An idea just came to me. Weekly scripts. What does this mean? Well, I will try to read a Hollywood produced script every week and post a link to it, to recommend to read or not to read. A few scrambled thoughts on it, and the trailer to the movie. Old scripts, new scripts. Doesn’t matter.

This week I read the script for the movie Orphan. This movie was written by David Leslie Johnson and Alex Mace and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. The horror movie came out in 2009. The movie follows a couple who recently lost their baby and decide to adopt a 9-year-old Russian girl, who turns out to be rather sinister.

I really enjoyed the locution of the script. For the most part it read smoothly from page to page. Some of the words used really jump out at you. The action sequences packed a punch. The ending was a bit different than the ending from the movie. I’d recommend checking it out and share your thoughts.

Orphan script: –> http://www.horrorlair.com/scripts/Orphan.pdf

Trailer:

SMC

Why Suspension of Disbelief in Movies Work

This post is really aimed at my girlfriend…you’ll see why. Yesterday I went to see Jurassic World with her. She’s the most unimpressed person when it comes to movies. She actually hates movies. Don’t know why. Don’t know where her childhood went wrong that made her hate movies. WHO HATES MOVIES???? Anyway, every 30 minutes I would ask her how she’s liking the movie, knowing her distaste for movies. She would answer, “It’s okay.” I would proceed to ask her after something epic would happen. She was still unimpressed. Well, I found out she doesn’t really care for action or unrealistic movies. Which, if you think about it, most movies are somewhat unrealistic.

After the movie we went out to eat. Most of the meal consisted of her going on about what she hated about the movie. (There were a lot of things). One thing she focused on was how unrealistic Jurassic World was. So I tried explaining to her that obviously in real life most of the movies out there would never happen, or could never happen, and that’s why they’re called movies. Although not all movies are works of fiction, some are based on true stories. Nevertheless, in order to make a movie work, you must have imagination. You have to exaggerate things or stretch the truth to make it more entertaining for your audience. You think biopics would be entertaining if movies stuck to the facts? Not everybody lives an interesting life, so of course you must create content for the purpose of a successful film. What makes a successful film you ask? Conflict.

You must throw obstacle after obstacle at your protagonist to overcome, whether it’s as extreme as fighting off dinosaurs or as mild as not fitting in. Whether it’s an external or internal conflict, your film needs conflict. Although too much conflict and too much going on causes chaos and the film fails. So you have to have a good balance of things. Okay, back to what I was actually talking about. Oh yeah, realism and movies.

Do we actually believe that Claire ran the entire movie in heels? No. Do we actually believe that Jurassic World theme park would ever happen? (Perhaps in the future, but for now, of course not.) Do we believe that people would genetically modify a dinosaur? Actually, I believe this one because humans are crazy, but you guys know what I’m saying. It’s the idea of suspension of disbelief.

In actuality we don’t believe any of Jurassic World to be true, but in the world they’ve created, we believe it. In the universe where these characters live, we completely buy it. Is The Hunger Games real? No, but the world that Suzanne Collins brings us into, feels real.

To further explain why fantastical movies work, I’m going to quote Syf Field and this will put the whole thing to rest.

“It was Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the 19th century poet and literary critic who coined the concept known as the willing suspension of disbelief. What he says is basically this: when we, the viewer, reader or audience, approach a work of art, we must leave our own personal beliefs, our own personal perception of reality, behind so we can approach the work on its own merits, on its own level. In other words, we must willingly suspend our disbelief no matter how distant the story line strays from what we believe to be true. All thoughts of what we believe to be true have to be suspended; our “reality” has to be left behind to “the work.”

Amen to that, Syd. Amen. So now you realize that no matter how unrealistic your concept is, there’s always room for an audience. (Unless it’s batshit crazy stupid). But in that case I’m sure the SYFY channel will pick it up.

SMC