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  • Making Sense of THE SIXTH SENSE
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    by Robert Taylor / IAFT-L.A.   What I wouldn’t give to go back and watch The Sixth Sense (1999) for the first time again. I can easily imagine the pleasurable astonishment of a viewer discovering the film, knowing absolutely nothing about the premise or the now-infamous twist. Re-examining the film today, it’s extraordinary to note […]

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  • KNOWING
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    “Nobody knows anything…Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work.  Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.” Screenwriting sage William Goldman famously wrote that in his 1983 Adventures in the Screen Trade. Today, Hollywood may still not know with certainty—but […]

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  • Revisiting THE GODFATHER
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    by Robert Taylor / IAFT-L.A.   The first miracle of The Godfather (1972) is not that we come to care deeply for its characters, but that we care about them in the first place. They are, after all, essentially despicable people who torture, murder and maim to ensure their power. And yet here is a […]

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  • THE NEW 1948
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    by Michael Chasin   Netflix, founded as a mail DVD rental service, recently announced a deal to produce four upcoming Adam Sandler movies. This has further positioned Netflix—with its House of Cards—beyond being (a now online) content deliverer—to also being—a content creator. The Sandler deal will follow the Cards model in that these big budget […]

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  • Respinning VERTIGO
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    by Robert Taylor   IAFT-L.A. If Rear Window (1954) tells us the most about Alfred Hitchcock as a director, and Notorious (1946) tells us the most about him as a craftsman, then Vertigo (1958) tells us the most about Hitchcock as a man. If you have any familiarity with his body of work or his personal […]

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  • CONTENT AS THE CARROT
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    by Michael Chasin   From the first flickers in Nickelodeons, content was the end product—people paid for. In the late 1940’s televisions were purchased—to watch shows (albeit with commercial interruptions). In the early 1980’s, cable TV was subscribed to—for the content. Entertainment content—as the end product—is at the core of these enduring consumer models. However, […]

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  • Reprising SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
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    by Robert Taylor / IAFT-L.A.   Watching this movie makes me wish it would rain more in Los Angeles. The best musicals are the ones strong enough to exist without their musical numbers—even though you can’t imagine the movie without them. Singin’ In the Rain (1952) would function perfectly as a comedy even if all […]

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  • GETTING NOTES & What To Do With Them, Part Five
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    by Frederick Bailey    IAFT/LA   A final thought about script notes… Some people who give notes are very conscientious. There was a guy I worked for at a company called Spectacor, now defunct.  His name was Abraham Gordon. He would read every draft of my script at least three or four times before he […]

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  • NEW WORLD YOUTH
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    by Michael Chasin   Hollywood is about genres. Why?  Because they work. Action, drama, romance, and comedy are all tried and true profitable genres. So it’s rare when a new genre emerges. Dystopian films—where in the future there is a perfect social order, at the expense of a lower class—have been made before—and have generally […]

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  • GETTING NOTES & What To Do With Them, Part Four
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    by Frederick Bailey    IAFT/L.A.   Once when I was working for Roger Corman at New Horizons, he gave me a sheaf of notes from a free-lance story analyst.  He wrote something for me in the upper right hand corner of the top page. “Fred, this lady doesn’t understand the genre, so you don’t have […]

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