DR. MEL'S WEEKLY MESSAGE
Anyway, I had a wonderful time last Saturday working with the actors in the audition class based off my latest book THUMBS UP! HOW TO NAIL AUDITIONS. Even more rewarding was the fact when the people in attendance informed me that they were learning things that they have never known before. One statement still rings in my ears from Jerry Lopez Jr. He said, "I just thought I was the King at breaking down a script, that is until now." That came after the hours lesson on breaking down a script for a cold read from the book.
If you have never attended any of my workshops before, there is something you need to know. I am not a lecture type of person. That is, don't come to one of my workshops thinking I'm going to be preaching from or reading directly from my book, because I don't. I may refer to specific pages in the book, but my philosophy is, "Acting is interaction," therefore, I believe so is learning.
|STILL PHOTO FROM A.D.A.M.|
Stephen Beal, DH Lewis, Jamie Alyson,
and Director of Photography Gary Sievers
|Jack E. Curenton looking on while filming A.D.A.M.|
Also this week the new cameras came in. Oh happy day. The only bad news is now my office is full of camera equipment, lighting equipment, greenscreens, fliters, underwater gear, still cameras etc. I think my third bedroom is about to become nothing but a equipment room. I like that idea as of now, not only will I save money on not having to rent cameras for A.D.A.M., but also for any film I choose to film. I am ready; to go. Life is good. And, that is exactly my plan now that I have all of my own equipment, I definitly know how to write and produce a screenplay, I have access with LACA NOLA TALENT GROUP and LACA NOLA TALENT AGENCY to the best actors in the United States, nothing is going to stop me now. Or, let me correct that - nothing is going to stop ALL OF US now! What an elevator ride it is going to be.
Lastly, I want to welcome a guest writer this week in honor of screenwriters - Justin Murphy, not only is he a fabulous actor, but is one of LACA NOLA'S screenwriters. Be sure to check out his article and don't forget about the fabulous advice Jack Curenton always gives and Robby's insight.
Have a great week.
GETTING TRAPPED IN THE GENRE
Bruce Willis said, “After I did the first Die Hard I said I’d never do another, same after I did the second one and the third. The whole genre was running itself into the ground. The action film genre is gonna have to come up with some new bad guys.”
George A Romero, producer of Night of the Living Dead. Romero stressed, “As a filmmaker you get typecast just as much as an actor does, so I’m trapped in a genre that I love, but I’m trapped in it.” Whereas some actors and directors feel as if they are trapped inside a genre, others feel gratitude for the entrapment.
Take a look at the following scene from Pulse.
Murder In Screenwriting…And Storytelling Overall
I cannot even begin to tell you how many of my published works on Amazon Kindle have stories that are somehow concerned with murder. However, such stories have earned me a good number of sales here in The United States (while The UK market is more interested in my Sci-Fi/Fantasy material). Hopefully, some of these works will indeed be made into films.
As for any research on serial killers that scared me, there was at least one incident where I researched the murder cases of The Original Night Stalker from the 1970’s in Los Angeles (a.k.a The East Area Rapist in San Francisco) for my novel Shattered Dreams, dealing with a fictional serial killer in 1940’s-1950’s Hollywood. The website profiling a composite drawing of him and a recorded phone call of his voice was enough to cause me to hide in the bathroom before heading to bed immediately.
With the encouragement of older and more experienced writers who went through the same experience at one time or another, I was able to see my way through the novel to publication. Shattered Dreams later spawned a sequel, a novel entitled Horror In Burbank, which both feature the lead detective. Along with Murder Is Golden, a companion novel to Shattered Dreams, from the killer’s perspective.
Yet by writing another novel, Anger Always Flowers, its screenplay adaptation, the adaptations of a few other published works, and an original screenplay entitled The Rogue, I realized the beauty of how murder can be tied to a more character driven work as a back-story element, an afterthought. It can even be augmenting, if not deconstruct or reconstruct, the traditional detective story. Under the right circumstances, the rare exception does not have to be a factor in such a story at all.
Through the magic of using suspense, intrigue, and tension in my writing, I learned the act of a murder in a screenplay or story in general can be any one of these things instead of being confined to your typical serial killer romp. Such as how in Anger Always Flowers, the murder in an unresolved issue from the past stemming from a conflict between the New Orleans Mafia and the Klu Klux Klan.