How to Evaluate Stories
April 6, 2012 – 11:56 AM | 2 Comments

This concise checklist of questions and examples helps writers, producers, editors, publishers, and development executives quickly zero in on key story problems. It reveals what’s missing in any problematic plot. Find what’s wrong and fix …

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Revolutionary Road – Power of Idealism
January 14, 2009 – 12:00 AM | No Comment
Revolutionary Road – Power of Idealism

The film Revolutionary Road tells the story of Frank and April Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet), two Power of Idealism characters who feel trapped in the bonds of a mundane suburban lifestyle.

Neil LaBute on Rewriting
January 14, 2009 – 12:00 AM | No Comment
Neil LaBute on Rewriting

Since LaBute’s background is as a playwright, he often rewrites based on his collaboration with actors. His most important point for me was never say in words what you can say with action; with a character’s look, expression or movement.

Doubt – Truth vs Conscience
January 8, 2009 – 12:00 AM | One Comment
Doubt – Truth vs Conscience

The movie Doubt, written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, has an emotional disconnect at its core– in the most unsuccessful sense of the word

Milk – Lack of Internal Conflict
January 7, 2009 – 12:00 AM | No Comment
Milk – Lack of Internal Conflict

Milk features standout performances and worthy subject matter of real historical significance. The film, however, is severely lacking in story on several accounts. Too much backstory compromises the emotional power of the film.

Stick To It – Reward Yourself
January 6, 2009 – 12:00 AM | No Comment
Stick To It – Reward Yourself

Nick Schenk scored big with Gran Torino after over ten years of struggle, rejection and near-misses. How does someone– anyone– keep motivated in the face of impossible odds, daunting circumstances and a crushing lack of validation. Here’s how.

The Wrestler – Power of Idealism
January 2, 2009 – 12:00 AM | No Comment
The Wrestler – Power of Idealism

Randy’s tragedy is he finds magic only in the empty choreographed illusions of the ring. He compulsively plays the spray-tanned bleached blond hero to dwindling numbers of cheering strangers.