Diana Vacc sees “Titanic” Throwback Thursday Review

by Diana Vaccarelli

—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—
Although This Film is 20 Years Old So is There Really Anything to Spoil?

With the popularity of “Throwback Thursday” on social media and the current lack of quality in both film and television as of late, I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on some classic films. Titanic follows the story of star-crossed lovers Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) aboard the ill fated luxury liner.

THE GOOD

  • The chemistry of DiCaprio and Winslet is reminiscent of Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind and Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.  These two actors have created an onscreen couple for the ages.  The audience can feel the love the characters have for one another.
  • Writer/Director/Editor James Cameron had his hand in everything. This is the true testament to a legendary director.  He even did the drawing of Rose (Winslet) featured in the film.  He brought a story to life that has moments of laughter and brings you to tears, especially the end.
  • Billy Zane’s portrayal of the villainous Cal Hockley was breathtaking.  There were moments when I hated him more than that boss I once had who – never mind. But there also were moments that filled me with empathy for the character.  An example is when he watched from afar Rose and Jack’s kiss when they were reunited.  In this small moment you I definitely felt his pain as he realized he had lost his fiance.
  • The costumes, the sets, the scenery, every little detail was carefully considered by the filmmakers and crew and led to an overall feeling of reality.

THE BAD:

  • Total spoiler alert just in case: I still wish that Jack didn’t die at the end of this film and instead he and Rose livee happily ever after.  But then, I’m a sucker for happy endings.


THE REST:

  • Since there isn’t much at the theaters these days I highly recommend you watch or re-watch this classic film, which can be found just about everywhere, online and off. I confidently predict you’ll be very glad you did.

Cartoon: ‘Confidence’

The Grantman – AKA Grant Snider – deliverz:

 

This guy’s the best!

More of Grant Snider’s sensitive perception HERE

Buy his wonderful new book HERE

And Now a Few Words from Lou Stone Borenstein…

…About Lou Stone Borenstein, and why not?

by Lou Stone Borenstein & TVWriter™ Press Service

Tickets are now available for the remaining dates of my latest L.A.  show “A History of CENSORED in America”!

I have some free tickets available to the Aug 11th show. Let me know if you’d like any.

The show starts at 9 pm at iO West Theater – 6366 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Find out more about it HERE

Tickets to the Aug 17th show are only $5, and if you can make that one, it really helps as it’s a very tough time to get an audience for a show. Thanks!

Tickets are now available for August 17 5:30pm at UCB Sunset – 5419 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Learn more HERE


EDITOR’S NOTE: For those not in the know, Lou Stone Borenstein is an all-round cool kind of guy who has been writing and performing comedy since 2007. His writing credits include co-creating and writing the web series “Is This Thing On?” and writing for the DreamWorksTV digital show “Human Bowling Showdown.”

He was the face of Deep River Rock water in an international ad campaign and of evology.com in an online campaign. He performed stand-up regularly at the New York and Broadway Comedy Clubs in New York and now performs in L.A.

Other accomplishments include winning on Wheel of Fortune and publishing a crossword puzzle in the New York Times. Lou is a TVWriter.com Recommended Writer and a guy who really knows how to entertain.

Troy DeVolld’s Tips for Climbing the TV Success Ladder

by  Troy DeVolld

As a newbie to television seventeen years ago, I used to come in for a 7pm to 3am night shift in the late afternoon. When a producer asked me why, I said, “Because otherwise, you’ll never know who I am.” So began three straight years of employment.

A large part of success is hitting that sweet spot between simply busting ass and staying visible. Take cues from your superiors. If your boss is brassy and bold, he or she might enjoy you meeting them at that vibration. If your boss is super chill, take note of that and adjust your approach accordingly.

There’s also a third approach, which is figuring out who you are in the menagerie and playing that part well. I’ve been the “adult in the room” guy fairly often, balanced against bigger personalities and younger hires with a load of enthusiasm, but maybe in need of reassurance.

Personally, that’s how I like to staff. Kind of a rainbow sherbet of types. I don’t just want yes men/women, and I don’t just want bulldozers, as both types are valid and work just fine.


Troy DeVolld is a Larry Brody buddy, former senior story producer of Dancing with the Stars, and all-around true master of the reality TV genre. This article originally appeared on his Reality TV blog. And while you’re thinking about him, why not buy his book, Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market?

J. Michael Straczynski Gave the Best Writing Advice at ComicCon

J. Michael Straczynski is primarily know these days as the creator-writer-producer of cult fave TV series Babylon 5 as well as of the slightly less cult favored Sense8. He’s also written a ton of other TV and won his fair share of awards.

So now that we’ve established dude’s cred, how about we see what he has to say about this TVWriter™ minion’s all-time favorite subject – writing:

by Dane Styler

Screenwriter, producer, novelist, and comics writer J. Michael Straczynskibelieves in sending the elevator back down. He believes in helping others, like he once was, who have talent but not enough information. So at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, Straczynski helmed another of his irreverent yet frank, funny yet informative Q&A panels as he solicited questions from a room full of aspiring writers.

Shall we begin?

FINISH THE GODDAMN SCRIPT

“While we are in the process of writing things, we can’t be judged. But when we finish and put it out there among our friends and people who don’t like us, they could say, ‘You’re not very good.’ If you’ve been working on something for a long time, finish the goddamn thing and move on to the next project. The more you do and finish, the more you learn.”

For comic books, don’t be worried too much about the type of script format you choose; it’s really what’s inside the format that matters (i.e. the content).

WORKSHOPS EN LIEU OF WRITING CLASSES

“Attend workshops before taking writing classes. Classes are there to teach you how the teacher feels you should write. Workshops help you find your voice.

“Though the best way to learn how to write is to read a lot.”

FROM CHARACTER TO PLOT

“When developing a story, there’s two ways usually: Go from character to plot, or plot to character. I work from character to plot because I found that when going from plot to character, often you end up with characters who are service to the plot instead of their own thing.”

ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS

“After you have a general idea, begin answering each next logical question, truthfully, one after another. Who is the character? What does he want? How far is he willing to go to get it? How far is someone else willing to go to stop him?”

Straczynski quoted Heinlein, saying that part of science fiction writing is solving the problem for the next five minutes. To compel readers to read further, you hook them with mystery after mystery, starting with first page and/or scene, answering some along the way as you create more mysteries. In addition, he emphasized research, research, and more research, which will lead to more ideas, and make it easier to find yours answers in the process of questioning.

“So really, your process should be: Asking the next logical question, defining your characters, and doing everything in your power to poke holes in your story. Better to figure out those holes now, than 200 pages in.

“Because if you don’t find those holes now, someone else will….”

Read it all at Bleeding Cool

Start Your Own Illegal Streaming Website Now! (NO, DON’T! YOU SHOULDN’T!)

Adventure on the high interwebs! Ahoy, matey!

by munchman

Ever want to be the captain of your own pirate ship? Well, bunky, your time has come. A site called TVStreamCMS.com is ready, willing, and able to sell you the whole package.

TorrentFreak.Com explains:

n recent years many pirates have moved from more traditional download sites and tools, to streaming portals.

These streaming sites come in all shapes and sizes, and there is fierce competition among site owners to grab the most traffic. More traffic means more money, after all.

While building a streaming from scratch is quite an operation, there are scripts on the market that allow virtually anyone to set up their own streaming index in just a few minutes.

TVStreamCMS is one of the leading players in this area.

Yer friendly neighborhood munchamaniac isn’t advocating sailing the interweb seas in search of film and TV series booty to plunder or customers interested in buying your sordid, tainted, and potentially virus-riddled wares. Oh no, no, no, no.

It’s just I find it fascinating that this kind of thing is right out there in all our faces, almost as ubiquitous as der trumpenfuhrer’s dumbass tweets. And it makes me think, “Hey, my pretties, if this is available right out there via Chrome, Firefox or even one of Microsoft’s terrible browsers, can you imagine what’s waiting on the Dark Web?”

That’s Modern Life for ya. Fraught with peril, especially for the pure at heart.

There be dragons. Yeah.

Allie Theiss: Seven Apps That Help Deal with Distractions

by Allie Theiss

You’re a writer – right? You must be if you’ve come here to TVWriter™’s little online slice of TV heaven.

However, you’re reading this post instead of writing. Does that often happen to you? You get distracted and wind up doing everything but actual writing?

I know I have a serious distraction problem.

With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, the distractions are never ending. Plus, I have 21 cats, two dogs, and a teenager. My life is a distraction.

I’ve tried the setting the kitchen timer trick. I became too lazy to go into the kitchen and get the timer after week one.

I’ve tried taking Facebook, Twitter, and Netflix off my phone. I watch them instead on my tablet.

I’ve listened to music to keep the distractions down. However, this only allowed me to daydream enough to create other stories before I finished the one that sat in front of me.

I’m not even going to bother telling you how long it’s taken me to write this article. It’s too embarrassing.

What I will tell you about are the apps I finally found that give me a distraction-free zone. Here’s a short list of those that work for me:

Favorite Sound-Based Apps

1) Noisli 2.0: Drowns out distractions with ambient sounds, allowing you to concentrate and focus on your project. It also has a productivity timer and distraction free text editor.

Available: online, play store, app store, Chrome

Cost: free online/Chrome, paid apps

2) Brain.FM: This AI-generated music is fantastic for concentration and focus. Brain.FM claims that it only takes minutes to feel the difference.

Available: online, app store

Cost: free & paid

Favorite Block Distraction Apps

1) StayFocused: Manage distractions by adding the sites to a block list. StayFocused is the app to allow yourself a set amount of time to be distracted.

Available: Chrome

Cost: free

2) Freedom: Same company as StayFocused. You can block sites on a timer or do so manually. If need be, you can block out the Internet altogether. Select your devices. Schedule time. Distractions blocked.

Available: iPhone and iPad, plus all browsers on Windows and Mac.

Cost: paid

Favorite To-Do Apps

1) Wunderlist: An excellent planning and to-do app that allows you to make lists, get reminders, and work with collaborators. Access to-do lists through a variety of devices. (Rumor has it that TVWriter™’s very own LB uses this.)

Available: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, Windows, Kindle Fire and the Web.
Cost: free + paid (unless you want to collaborate, free will do everything you need.)

2) Todoist: Todoist is another to-do app that allows you to make lists, schedule reminders, and play nice with others. This app also prides itself on having a distraction-free environment when in use.

Available: web, Android, iOS, Mac, Windows, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and email.

Cost: free

Favorite Pomodoro Timer App

1) Focus Booster: If setting a timer is the best way to have focus, this is your app. Focus Booster gives you instant focus, keeps track of your time with timesheets, and trains you to have better work habits.

Available: web, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Cost: free for 30 days, then starts at $2.99/month

Sometimes it takes a whole village of apps to make us distraction-free. This is mine. Please let me know what you’ve picked when you find yours.


A big TVWriter™ welcome to Allie Theiss, a new TVWriter™ contributor and one of Larry Brody’s “Recommended Writers.” Check out her daily Story Prompts, Book Marketing ideas, and Script Magic on Instagram