Film Interviews

screenwriting for cinema

 KJ Doughton

Destin Cretton on Short Term 12

Destin Cretton on <i>Short Term 12</i>

Drawing from his own past experience as a foster home supervisor, writer/director Destin Cretton conveys both the crucial part that humor plays in caregiver resiliency, and the artistic outlets in which abused children express the unspeakable.

by KJ Doughton Slathered in peeling yellow paint, the building’s outside walls appear drab and benign. But looks can be deceiving. The interior of this building pulsates with the volatility and pain of a thousand exposed nerves. A California-based foster care center for at-risk teenagers known as Short Term 12, its rooms and hallways are […]

 Michael Welles Schock

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: Poor grammar, rich emotion.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: Poor grammar, rich emotion.

With sympathetic characters and a dramatic premise, David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints packs a lot of heartbreak into a simple plot.

by Michael Welles Schock There is no better way to express an ideal than to contrast it with its harshest opposite. We can best know joy by first knowing anguish. We can fully understand compassion only when it stands side-by-side with cruelty. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, the second feature film of writer/director David Lowery and […]

 Ken Droz

So Long, Dutch

So Long, Dutch

A personal tribute to Elmore Leonard.

by Ken Droz “Hey guys, I have to run over to Elmore Leonard’s house for a bit, so I’ll be back a little later.” Those were some envied words, admittedly, spoken to my co-workers 25 year ago on the day I first met Elmore “Dutch” Leonard.  I was picking up the script of a film […]

 Michael Welles Schock

Scriptmonk on You’re Next

Scriptmonk on You’re Next

I'm afraid to laugh. With tonal elements going in two opposite directions, You’re Next is a splatter flick with identity issues

by Michael Welles Schock You’re Next baffled me. It wasn’t because I could not follow the plot. It wasn’t because its story did not make sense. I was baffled because, even as the end credits rolled, I was still completely unsure whether I was supposed to find the film terrifying or hilarious. If it is […]

 Michael Welles Schock

Scriptmonk on 2 Guns

Scriptmonk on 2 Guns

A decent comic shoot-em-up, but poor structural choices keep 2 Guns from becoming more than forgettable

by Michael Welles Schock When working with action-comedy, experience has shown it is best to keep story development quick and clean. Scenes should progress with focus and energy. Plot points should surprise, yet clearly communicate urgent narrative significance. But if I were to describe 2 Guns in a few words, it would be dense and […]