Universal Pictures Writers’ Fellowship

Great, memorable movies have become scarce as hell these last few years. Everything is remakes of what was already done. Originality has officially left the building. It’s rare that a beginning screenwriter/director will get shine on the big screen or the television screen. A few such as Lee Daniels and LaShonda Rhimes have slid through and I’m grateful because that is motivation for me but (and you knew there was a but) there isn’t enough good screenwriters. Well aspiring screenwriters listen up because opportunity is knocking at your door with a vengeance.

Universal Pictures (yes that Universal) has set up a writer’s fellowship program for up to five potential writers to work with the studio for a year. They will be able to:

Work on current projects
Pitch original ideas
Attend workshops
Receive mentoring
Interact with top literary agents and
Sit in on Universal’s executive meetings

Starting September 3rd applicants can submit their packets. Only online submissions allowed and only 500 will be accepted. The Writers’ Fellowship Application, a legal release form, resume, 2 letters of recommendations and a statement of purpose answers are what are required. Semi finalists will be asked for a 2nd screenplay. Ten finalists will then be chosen and be interviewed in LA. Finally 5 will be chosen as participants of Universal Pictures Writers’ Fellowship. Visit nbcunicareers.com for full info and good luck!

Peace and luv!

Posted from none other than your favorite writer’s favorite writer Ms Talia

And the Oscar goes to…

Before I die I will win an Oscar for writing a movie but until then lets see who are nominated for this Sunday’s event in the literary categories.

Writing: Adapted Screenplay

Argo written by Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild screenplay by Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi written by David Magee
Lincoln written by Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook written by David O. Russell

Writing: Original Screenplay
Amour written by Michael Haneke
Django Unchained written by Quentin Tarantino
Flight written by John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom written by Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty written by Mark Boal

Good luck!
Peace and luv!

Posted from none other than your favorite writer’s favorite writer Ms Talia

The Most Powerful Authors In Hollywood

What makes an author powerful? Is it how many books they sell or the ability to weave fantasy into words that breathes life into anyone who reads the book? Does your definition apply to authors who have crossed over into the Hollywood scene? Or do they have a whole other level of power? According to The Hollywood Reporter a powerful writer in Hollywood has accomplished successfully the transition from book to the movie screen, has mastered getting their work published and have made a cultural influence due to their literary work.

The Hollywood Reporter has released the list for the 25 Most Powerful Authors in Hollywood. You should not be surprised at who made the list especially if you love to read but just in case you have no clue here are the top 10 from that list:

1. Stephen King
2. Elmore Leonard
3. Nicholas Sparks
4. El James
5. Suzanne Collins
6. Robert Kirkman
7. George R. R. Martin
8. James Patterson
9. Michael Lewis
10. Stephenie Meyer

Check out the complete list here. THR also did a list for authors to look out for to make it into Hollywood too. Guess who is numero uno on that list?

1. Zane
2. Jennifer Egan
3. Lee Child
4. Maggie Stievater
5. John Green
6. Ranson Riggs

Do you agree with either list? I have only read work from Zane in the authors to watch list but I am up for reading something from the others. If you had to make a list of the top 5 powerhouse authors who would be on that list?

Peace and luv!

White Directors and Black Movies

English: Quentin Tarantino in Paris at the Cés...

English: Quentin Tarantino in Paris at the César awards ceremony Français : Quentin Tarantino à la cérémonie des César du cinéma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

How do you feel about white directors doing black movies? Does it matter? Should it matter or are you content with it because at least our story is getting played on the big screen? I’ve been very vocal about not caring too much about movies that depicts us how whites view us. I can definitely say that about some black writers/directors too – we do not always eat watermelon, talk ghetto, or wear rainbow colored weaves. That can be addressed in another post. I want to get back to the white director/black movies thing.

 

Quentin Tarantino has a new project with sexy Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington and Leonardo DiCaprio called Django Unchained. The story is set in the 1800s. Django (Jamie Foxx) is a free slave who has his wife Broomhilda (Kerry Washington) snatched away to a place called Candyland. Calvin Caprio (Leonardo DiCaprio) is the slavemaster exploiting females. First off, Candyland? Really? Cute, real cute – *dropsmic. Django goes on this wild journey to get his wife back from Candyland and that is the point of the movie.

 

Jamie, during an interview said the role became interesting to him once he realized that Django was married since back in that time slaves, free or not, were not legally married. Kerry was recently on Live With Kelly and described it as a love story. We all know Quentin Tarantino is one fall short of the coo-coo’s nest and whatever he do never is ‘normal’ which I’m not sure is a good thing or not. The only movie of his I’ve seen was the first Hostel and that was twisted so I don’t know what to expect with this one. His motivation?

 

The racism is what I wanted to deal with and that’s the reason to do it. It’s not to avoid it, it’s absolutely to deal with that.

 

Later on in the interview the director admits to wanting to show how fucked up America was back then. Um….newsflash Quentin, blacks already know; we still live in that fucked up Amerikkka.

 

I’m not going to watch it. It does not even sound artistically decent! Besides that I have always said since watching Higher Learning I would never watch another movie where blacks are depicted exactly how whites (not all) view us or where they play ‘captain save a nigger’ and this one falls in one of those categories. I would not mind it as much if more movies with blacks in it were made NOT depicting us in these stereotypical ways. You know, more variety. Instead white directors look at ‘those’ movies as “not marketable”. WOW! What is the difference? After all this advancement and having our first black President directors can’t figure out how to market a movie with an all black cast unless they have one white main character (yes directors have said this) or the blacks are thugs, slaves, or whores?

 

Write and direct a movie on blacks in a progressive environment or as a super hero, market it like the ‘other’ blockbusters then come holla at me to watch it!

 

Peace and luv!

 

Check out the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC8VJ9aeB_g

Motivation Monday

film chamber

film chamber (Photo credit: _sarchi)

Tim Story, have you heard of him? How about the Fantastic Four moves? The Barbershop series? Taxi? Hurricane Season? Ok how about the Think Like A Man… movie? Yeah thought you would perk up on that one. All of these blockbusters were directed by a talented brotha named Tim Story. His last film Act Like A Lady… has officially made him the highest grossing director in Hollywood. Even with this newfound status the grind does not end. He said the biggest challenge for him is still getting access. Mr. Story is not necessarily wanting to direct just black films he wants to direct and do a great job. His inspirations were Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Ron Howard and John Hughes. I hope much, much more successful movies for you brotha. Congrats!

Peace and luv!

This Is The Remix…

What does Beauty and the Beast (animated version), Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengence, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Raven and The Hunger Games have in common? They all will come out as movies this year.

I’m not a fan of remakes and I’m iffy on bestselling novels being turned into movies (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it). I’m a book fanatic so a director will have to come with it on the movie version. They need to work with the author to make sure they are capturing what the author was trying to accomplish in the book. Obviously the director of The Raven can’t sit down and chop it up with Edgar Allan Poe but I did see the trailer for this movie and I’m actually intrigued.

So no disrespect to the American cast for the movie The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo but I read the novel and instantly fell in love. So descriptive and vivid and I even watched the Swedish version (yes a bish said Swedish, I can be cultured too; long as it has subtitles) last year and felt it was right on point with the book. Why would I want to taint that?

Harry Potter. The movies were perfect! That’s about it for me. Are there movies you’ve seen that came from books or was remixed to a newer version? I would love to hear, maybe I forgot a few books or remixes.

Peace and luv!

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

  • The Raven (diamondpublicationz.wordpress.com)

Black Hollywood

Is there such a thing as ‘Black Hollywood’? If not should there be?

*Just a side note. It’s funny how as I am writing this ABC News is doing a piece about actor Alec Baldwin being loud as hell and disrespectful on an American airline flight delaying take off and just being ignorant. Typical, that fool always acting crazy and yet he still gets work. Anywho…

…..what does that have to do with Black Hollywood? Recently Chris Rock sat down with Alec Baldwin for his show and answered a couple of questions. What caught my eye was Chris Rock saying this:

‘99% of the time when you hand somebody a script they pick a person in the movie that they identify with…When you hand somebody a black script they don’t relate to anybody in it.’source: http://www.theroot.com, 2011

English: Chris rock at Madagascar 2 premiere i...

Image via Wikipedia

Hmmm…..

I kind of agree with him as far as that script situation goes. If you peep out the tv shows and movies prodominantly black casted what do you see? What is the common denominator? In my opinion it’s stereotypical of how blacks act. It’s cool for sometimes to have a funny stereotype but to make it the whole concept of the show it’s a guarantee that the show will not pop off for a long time.

Please don’t get it twisted, I’m not hinting that we need to sell out what I am saying is that we need to step out of our comfortable zone box and challenge ourselves. Not all black people lived in the hood, sold drugs, was in a gang, carries guns in their purses or cannot speak anything other than ebonics.

Unfortunately it’s a hell of a lot harder to pitch an ‘urban’ movie, tv show or a novel for that matter. By now we should be elevated to a higher level. But with that being said should we have a ‘secret society’ type club just for Black actors/actresses? Would that be too offensive to the black actors already in the game? I would love to hear your opinions.

Peace & luv!