Film Interviews

screenwriting for cinema

 Tom Stempel

Understanding Screenwriting #114

Understanding Screenwriting #114

The Lone Ranger, I’m So Excited, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Nightfall, The Burglar, The Burglars, Camp, The Bridge

by Tom Stempel Hi, I’m Tom Stempel, and I write about screenwriting. Well, if you have already been following this column at The House Next Door, you know that from the first 113 columns. If you are primarily Creative Screenwriting veterans, you may recognize me from my years on the Editorial Board there or from […]

 KJ Doughton

V/H/S/2 and the New Horror Aesthetic

<i>V/H/S/2</i> and the New Horror Aesthetic

Five new masters of horror tell Creative Screenwriting what terrifies them and how to best scare a modern audience

by KJ Doughton During my late-’70s youth, Jaws chewed me up, spit me out, and left formative tooth-marks on my brain. The film’s terrifying set-pieces, rising from ominous build-ups to visceral shocks, continue to haunt my memory. The dark, murky Universal Studios logo, ushering in the opening credits amidst spooky whale calls and John William’s […]

 Adam Stovall

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber on The Spectacular Now

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber on <i>The Spectacular Now</i>

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber explain how they got to Now

by Adam Stovall There are people for whom Star Wars will always be their pinnacle of filmmaking. There are people for whom Pulp Fiction will forever be the film that made them love cinema. Lawrence of Arabia, Annie Hall, Videodrome—very different films that all have come to define the life goals and decision-making of ourselves, […]

 Bill Gibron

Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color

Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color

Defying dream logic with a carefully crafted puzzle box screenplay

by Bill Gibron At first, the images appear random. Bags of garbage being taken to a dumpster. Two boys on bicycles wandering by. A man drives his car to a local nursery and looks over the available inventory. He comes across a leaf which gives off a particular blue powder. Digging into the dirt, the […]

 Michael Welles Schock

Travis Beacham and Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim

Travis Beacham and Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim

Are the characters as interesting as the monsters?

by Michael Welles Schock It is a simple equation. The more fantastic or unusual the world of a story, the clearer and simpler that story’s narrative premise must be. Star Wars: A New Hope presented a fantasy universe filled with Jedi, droids and intergalactic combat. Yet its plot is very simple. It is about a […]