Planning Ahead

It’s a brilliant idea and sure to be a cinematic masterpiece. You can’t wait to start shooting and allow all those stunning ideas to unfold for the camera. Great! But first, take a moment to slow down and let’s do a little planning, you and I.

Creating a story is a wonderful experience. Then, to see the concept you had unfold on the screen — be it wide or television. But most people who have a terrific idea never see it come to fruition. Why? Simple — they never complete pre-production.

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Steven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ is genius science fiction

Aliens arrive in 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'
Aliens arrive in ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’

[rating=4]Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Writer(s): Steven Spielberg

When I was a wee-lad, I can remember seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind on television. Originally released in 1977, it was in theaters a second time in 1979. However, I was still young at the time, and have no memory of seeing it in the theaters.

Read moreSteven Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ is genius science fiction

‘The Goonies’ is a wonderful escapist childhood fantasy

From left to right: Sean Astin, Jonathan Ke Quan, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green and Martha Plimpton in 'The Goonies'
From left to right: Sean Astin, Jonathan Ke Quan, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Kerri Green and Martha Plimpton in ‘The Goonies’

[rating=3]Starring: Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Jonathan Ke Quan, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, Joe Pantoliano, Anne Ramsey
Director(s): Richard Donner
Writer(s): Screenplay by Christopher Columbus, Story by Steven Spielberg

When I was a kid, I was completely drawn in by The Goonies. A pure escapist childhood fantasy from the mind of Steven Spielberg. I went to see it with my friends several times. I made treasure maps at home, going so far as to literally burn the paper in the oven to brown it, then take a match and singe the edges.

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‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’ makes for top-notch DVD

Jedi and Sith battle in 'Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace'
Jedi and Sith battle in ‘Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace’

[rating=3]Starring: Liam Neeson, Ewan MacGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ahmed Best
Director(s): George Lucas
Writer(s): George Lucas

Like millions of others, I was excited to hear that Lucas—the supposed “leader” of the digital revolution in Hollywood—had finally relented and released one of his many great movies on DVD.

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‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ is a charming chick flick

Renee Zellweger stars in 'Bridget Jones' Diary'
Renee Zellweger stars in ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’

[rating=1]Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant
Director(s): Sharon Maguire
Writer(s): Screenplay by Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies, Richard Curtis, based upon the novel by Helen Fielding

For those of you who read my Made review, then you are already aware that I rented this film because my wife wanted me to get a film “she would like”. Of course, she didn’t completely believe I was actually going to bring home one for her, but, I did.

Read more‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ is a charming chick flick

I hate musicals… but ‘Moulin Rouge’ was great

Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman are star-crossed lovers in 'Moulin Rouge'
Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman are star-crossed lovers in ‘Moulin Rouge’

[rating=3]Starring: Ewan MacGregor, Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh
Director(s): Laz Luhrmann
Writer(s): Laz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Let me start by saying this: I HATE MUSICALS!

With a few exceptions — The Music Man and White Christmas — I can’t stand musicals. I just never understood how all those people know the same dance steps, or all the words to the songs??

But Moulin Rouge is different, adding a facsinating spin on the classic musical mold. I liked it a lot.

Read moreI hate musicals… but ‘Moulin Rouge’ was great

Planning Ahead

One of the first things you need to do as you begin pre-production is to breakdown.

No, not you! The script.

Your screenplay needs to be broken down. That means reducing the script to those elements that will effect production.

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