Monday, February 27, 2017
Orange County Screenwriters Association
Monday, February 27, 2017

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A not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing education and resources to the film community both amateur and professional.


Monday, February 27, 2017

logoThe Orange County Screenwriters Association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing education and resources to all aspects of the film community both amateur and professional!


Cardinal

I admit that I am a sucker for these shows. …

The Good Fight

When I grow up I want to be The Kings.…

OC Screenwriters - Articles

Articles
Feb
26

Cardinal

00016996 01PI admit that I am a sucker for these shows.  A body is found or a person is killed and a flawed detective has to solve the crime.  Along the way will be surprises, twists, solid drama and a killer you probably could guess.

"Cardinal" is just such a series.

Let me also say that 10 episodes can be a long sit.  With ten episodes the attenuation of actual narrative thread is almost always guaranteed.  "Forbrydelsen" at 20 episodes didn't seem long at all; The American version, "The Killing" did.  So maybe it's just the way the story is told.  But I like that I like that "Cardinal" is six.  That means that we won't have to put up with much filler and we'll get more actual connected story.

As mentioned, you know the plot.  Girl's body found.  Old case that was never solved.  Previous detective who couldn't solve the crime the first time around is brought back.  He's bitter, cynical but still focused on the one case he couldn't resolve.

Billy Campbell plays the central character Cardinal.  His newly minted partner is, Kristen Thomson, a Canadian actress who you may know from the series "Flashpoint."

Now all this does seem familiar even though the way the little girl died is quite gruesome however there is a twist.  I won't say what it is or how it all comes out (because I don't know) but the end of episode one had me sitting up straight because the filmmakers just threw a curve that made me pay even more attention.

I read that each ep was budgeted at 1.8 meg and it shows.  Great production values.  It was shot in Ontario so the snow is ass-deep in every scene which adds to the bleakness of the crime and Campbell's character's malaise.  One scene is particular is stunningly shot - I've never seen anything like it before.

"Cardinal" doesn't wallow in the malaise.  There's a crime, new clues and Cardinal is determined to solve it.  There's even a great moment where his superior says (words to the effect) of go ahead and enjoy the moment when you'll tell me I told you so.  Meaning, he's been redeemed on at least a few of his contentions about this crime the first time around.  Great and so human which just adds to the feeling of veracity.  Plus, Cardinal is not exactly in love with the idea of his new partner which we've seen before but the way the relationship is written is fantastic. 

I enjoyed the first episode of "Cardinal."  It was well-written, well-executed and it felt like there was a lot to come soon.  That's why I feel like the six episode arc is going to be great - they have to get on with it not drag the story through the symbolic snow for episode after episode of red herrings and side trips that mean nothing.

"Cardinal" is a Canadian production and those are just getting better and better.  Starting to love their TV stuff more than just about any other country.

I'm hoping that this all bears out my expectations.  I'll let you know if it doesn't.

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Feb
20

The Good Fight

good fightWhen I grow up I want to be The Kings. As in Robert King and Michelle King who were responsible for the incredible "The Good Wife" and "The Good Fight" which picks up after the main character of the "The Good Wife" (Julianna Margulies' Alicia Florrick) has left for other pastures.

I'm going to steal this excerpt from Wikipedia to explain the main premise because it covers everything needed to say:

The series follows Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, as she is forced out of Lockhart, Decker, Gussman, Lee, Lyman, Gilbert-Lurie, Kagan, Tannebaum, & Associates after an enormous financial scam destroys the reputation of her goddaughter Maia (Rose Leslie) and Diane's savings, leading them to join Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) at one of Chicago’s pre-eminent law firms.

The series stars Baranski, Leslie, Jumbo, Erica Tazel, Sarah Steele, Justin Bartha and Delroy Lindo, and features Paul Guilfoyle and Bernadette Peters in recurring roles. The series is executive produced by Robert King, Michelle King, Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Liz Glotzer, Brooke Kennedy and Alison Scott, with Phil Alden Robinson producing and co-writing the first episode.

109352 1309b copyWhat all that means (basically) is the original show is back but different.  Between "Wife" and "Fight" the Kings did a short-lived political satire show "Brain Dead" which involved alien critters invading the brains of people in Washington and creating even more politically polarized parties.  Hmmm.  Truth is very much stranger that fiction.

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Feb
19

Jeff Lyons Event - Anatomy of a Premise Line

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IF A STORY IS GOING TO FAIL, IT WILL DO SO FIRST AT THE PREMISE LEVEL.

JOIN US ON MARCH 4th, 10:00am to learn from noted story analyst Jeff Lyons how to identify and fix problems in your story BEFORE you begin to write.

AnatomyOfAPremiseLine coverAnatomy of a Premise Line: How to Master Premise and Story Development for Writing Success is the only book of its kind to identify a seven-step development process that can be repeated and applied to any story idea.

SEATING IS LIMITED! BOOK NOW! RESERVE YOUR SEAT

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WHAT: Seminar & Bruncheon Cost includes Breakfast Buffet

WHEN: Saturday, March 4th TIME: 10:00-2:00

WHERE: Claim Jumper Restaurant Banquet Room 18050 Brookhurst St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 (714) 963-6711

HOW MUCH: $22.50 in advance $25.00 at the door.

HIGH PRAISE FOR JEFF LYONS' WORK!

  • Jeff's seminar concepts are brilliant! This man knows what he's talking about and he can show you! In about three sentences
  • I knew this was going to be something that I needed.
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  • I am in awe...

    REGISTER NOW!

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Feb
19

Powerless / Apple Tree Yard

powerlessI have been a comic book fan since childhood when my dad would take me and my sisters to the local drug store to peruse the offerings after church on Sunday; something I'm sure the priests would not have approved of. 

"Powerless" would have been a welcome addition to that ritual although I'm positive it would never have been considered at that time.

The concept is simple: the world has superheroes from the DC Universe and some that haven't been created yet, I'm assuming.  I'm at a disadvantage here because beside the big marque characters I haven't followed a lot of any comic book series for a while.  "Jessica Jones" was new to me although I did remember "Luke Cage."  I can't honestly tell you what DC has been up to - but "Powerless" is a fun step!

In this world, as you can easily imagine, there is a lot of collateral damage in any superhero/super villain fight.  Marvel has already covered this somewhat in "Jessica Jones" a heroine who lives in a post-Avengers battle world where superheroes aren't loved for the destruction they've instigated while saving the world.  Supervillains are one thing, yo; getting to work when entire blocks are closed down due to buildings falling is entirely another.

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Feb
18

Riverdale / 24 Legacy

riverdale header3I wonder at times if I would enjoy being a TV or movie critic.  I do like finding gems and telling my friends and students about them.  Shows that inspire me to be a better writer are always a treat.  But then there's the other end of the spectrum so that would all be a wash I guess. 

In the middle somewhere is most of what I end up watching.  Not groundbreaking material, like "Archer" or "Game of Thrones" but well-conceived and well-written like the two shows in this article.  Both "Riverdale" and "24 Legacy" are well-above middle ground though.

I didn't think I was going to like "Riverdale" - it's not exactly geared to my demographic.  But I did.  A lot. 

Re-envisioning the "Archie" comics (or maybe the comics are now like this - I don't know) has the characters of Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, Reggie and others living large in Riverdale: a small town with dirty undercurrent, including big time murders and hot affairs between teachers and students.

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