Writing Wednesdays

I’m doing this one kind of late today.  It’s a busy busy time for me this month and this is the first moment I have to spend some time of this…

I’d like to applaud the work of Maggie Stiefvater, whose writing I have come to love.  I don’t always fall for authors.  I usually fall for particular books and don’t care to read other works by that author.  As a writer myself, I can see how horrifying this is, but at the same time it’s all about the art and not the artist.

But I think I will read anything that Ms. Stiefvater writes.  A couple of years ago, I read her modern werewolf series SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER and I was struck by the haunting poetry of her writing.  And it was quite a story of survival and change and while the characters were a little thin, the style carried the work and I fell in love.  Here’s the opening paragraph:

Chapter One – Grace

15°F

I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surround by wolves.  They were licking me, worrying at my body, pressing in.  Their huddled bodies blocked what little heat the sun offered.  Ice glistened on their ruffs and their breath made opaque shapes that hung in the air around us.  The musky smell of their coats made me think of wet dog and burning leaves, pleasant and terrifying.  Their tongues melted my skin; their careless teeth ripped at my sleeves and snagged through my hair, pushed against my collarbone, the pulse at my neck.

Stephen King wrote a piece recently in The Atlantic on opening sentences and how writers can spend years crafting them.  I must admit I browse through the bookstore opening books and reading the first line, then if the first line grabs me I read the next.  If it doesn’t interest me by the end of that first paragraph, I put the book down.

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Movie Mondays

I’m starting a new initiative to get this website rolling!

Welcome to MOVIE MONDAYS!  I will also be having WRITING WEDNESDAYS and PHOTO FRIDAYS.  Check in each week to see new posts regarding these topics.

So for my inaugural Movie Monday post, I want to focus on learning to make movies at film school versus on the job.

Today, August 5th, is the first day of a Teen Filmmaking Camp run by the organization I work for Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP) which is a great resource for indie filmmakers and people who want to see independent films and support indie filmmaking.  It’s a 5 day intensive program for kids ages 13-17 where Day 1 the kids learn the basics of story and come up with their script, Day 2 they break down the script into what they need to shoot the project and who will do what,  Days 3 and 4 are production, and Day 5 is post.  They screen the films for family and friends at the end of Day 5.  Phew!

On top of all this, my alma mater, USC, was just ranked the #1 Film School in the country by The Hollywood Reporter, a Los Angeles “trade” publication.

This all got me thinking, what is the “best” way to learn how to make movies?  Ultimately, there is no best because what’s best for me might be the worst for you or impossible to do because of money or family or whatever.  But people still argue the point and I’m sure with this list of film schools, there is further argument as to why USC is “the best” and the others are somewhere else on the top 25 list, or not on it at all.

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