Friday, July 19, 2013

Don't Save the Cat after all--Blake Snyder's screenwriting manual gets taken to task

The concession is made along the way that how Snyder's approach was presented may have turned into something he did not intend and isn't alive to be disappointed by, but the general polemic is that Blake Snyder has inadvertently ruined mainstream cinema by prescribing specific beats, paged moments, and acts for a sure-fire structurally sound screenplay.
These things have been happening for generations.  So many guitarists have been loathe to compose what they consider too scholastic a fugue they don't realize that when so few guitarists have any grasp of contrapuntal writing at all that scholastic fugues might not hurt them, and they might in fact be EASIER to write in some respects than less "scholastic" fugues.  Why?  Well, because the tighter restrictions at the very start of the process turn out to open up considerable freedom later in the process.  Once you've labored to the point where your counterpoint is fully invertible/interchangeable then a lot of the other stuff falls into place pretty readily by comparison. 
Not that this is a blog post about writing counterpoint for classical guitar, it's about a lament on the pervasiveness of the "Save the Cat" formula to screenwriting.  Jim West, who has made his loathing of cats (and dogs) generally known, might well agree that saving cats should not be the foundation of any screenwriting these days. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

HT Jim West: R Joseph Hoffmann on big and small atheists but particularly the small ones

Atheism has become a very little idea because it is now promoted by little people with a small focus.  These people tend to think that there are two kinds of questions: the questions we have already answered and the questions we will answer tomorrow.  When they were even smaller than they are now, their father asked them every six weeks, “Whadja get in math and science?” When they had children of their own, they asked them, “Whadja get in science and math?”  Which goes to show, people can change.
But we have not yet learned to love the universe as much as we once loved God because, as Stephen Crane once said, we know the universe does not love us back.

That may well sum things up for certain kinds of atheists ... and actually certain kinds of theists, for that matter.  ;-)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pacific Rim

Guillermo del Toro has made a movie about people in giant mecha suits battling giant monsters featuring characters like Hercules Hanson and Stacker Pentecost.  You're either going to roll your eyes at how stupid those names are or you're going to smile because you know those stupid names are on purpose. 

del Toro has placed the bar firmly and visibly at a certain level, folks.  Please don't trip over the bar running to a conclusion about what kind of movie this actually is. I had fun watching it as a matinee.  Don't drop nearly twenty dollars to see this as a 3D IMAX extravanganza but it's easily worth a 2D matinee.  :)