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Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
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Screenwriting: Flanking Your Story

Tarantino is one of those writers who brings a definite personality to his work.  A lot of what he does, though, is very specific to his own genre and when people "use" it - it feels like an imitation.  Even when they are really just being inspired by the same types of films he was inspired by - it feels imitative.

However, there is one thing he does well which I think can be used by any writer in any genre.

Whenever his stories reach a point where the audience can play the rest out in their minds...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  14 comments  0 shares

New Media: Cruelty

This is for discussion.

Nothing I'm about to say should be thought as an endorsement of censorship.  I believe people should be allowed to say whatever they want.  I am, however, about to question - why would they want to say things?

I got a proposal for a new media (read as mobile/web entertainment) project from a major studio today and in reading through it I started to notice that most of the new media proposals I see are very mean spirited.  They proudly announce "This show is not PC!" (politically correc...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  15 comments  0 shares

Your Friends Can Destroy You

Your Friends Can Destroy You

We're taught to universally encourage our friends and support them.  However - what we're not educated about is how.  We are also not informed that our friends encouragement can destroy us despite their best intentions.

There are two ways.

1) Nothing but Encouragement. 

We don't like hurting our friend's feelings.  We want them to like us - and usually that means saying nice things to them even when we might be thinking otherwise.  It could be anything ...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  20 comments  0 shares

Visual Effects: Compositing Article

The design magazine Creative Cowasked me if I would share some of my thoughts about creating cinematic composites using the author's favorite shot of The Least Likely trailer as an example - the street fight scene.

The article will be coming out next month in their free magazine.  You can have a hard copy sent to you if you're in the US (and maybe Canada) or a pdf emailed to you for international.  You just need to sign up and request it here:

...Read more
almost 17 years ago 0 likes  7 comments  0 shares

Screenwriting: "What the..."

I've been so busy lately that I've been working from the moment I wake to the moment I sleep.  I keep thinking the end of the workload is near... but it elludes me.  However, I've neglected the blog for a while, so I'm going to try to write some very short ideas (much to the celebration of many).

Here's a common scene in a scrīpt.

LINDA walks into the room, there is a bright ball of light in the center.


          What the...When I w...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  10 comments  0 shares

Music For Film

Music for Film:  Music into Direction

As a director who began his professional life as a musician, studied film scoring with David Raksin, and still scores his own work when possible, I've had a lot of thoughts over the years about music in film - here are just a few of them:

The orchestra or band should be able to fit in a typical room of where the movie is taking place.

The materials used to create the instruments used should be available to the people of the story in a temporal and perhaps even a geographical way...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  8 comments  0 shares

Screenwriting: Drama Into Story

Screenwriting:  Drama into Story

The basic building block of screenwriting is the dramatic moment.  Drama is the basis of a scene, but it is also the basis of each moment in the scene.

When there are two opposing forces with valid positions or equal weight - drama is created.  

If the drama has significance, it will be of interest to the audience.  To give significance to a dramatic moment, make sure the audience understands the valid motivations for both sides.  To add depth to your writing, try to no...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  16 comments  0 shares

Cinema Theory: Truth

Cinema Theory:  Truth

Jean Luc Goddard has a famous quote:  "Film is truth at 24 frames per second."

Any one who makes films knows after a while that this can't be true.  Everything you do to create a movie is manipulation.  Even in a documentary.  How you shoot your subject, what you leave in, what you cut out, the order you assemble your footage - everything is manipulation.  

Even once all the footage is shot, the context of each shot creates a comment on it's  neighboring shots.  Hitchcock g...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  10 comments  0 shares

Acting: Fear

Acting:  Fear

This could apply to public speaking or life in general, but I'm only going to be talking about fear as it applies to acting here.

People express their fear in different ways - some people get louder, overcompensating for their fear.  Some get very small and shy - some get frozen.  Generally though, none of these people are totally aware of what they are doing and if they do become aware - it just makes them do it more.  All they are aware of is that they're afraid.

So - fear when acting is bad, but ...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  25 comments  0 shares

RED Digital Cinema Camera

This is only going to be interesting to the film technology minded.  I don't talk much about technology - but this might be interesting information for those who need to know about such things.

RED:  Crossing the Line

Peter Jackson's short film "Crossing the Line" which was shot with the RED Digital Cinema Camera was playing at the Cinegear Expo today.

If you ever visit cinegear, Here's a fun game to play:  Count How many times you can over hear James Cameron's name be dropped in dif...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  11 comments  0 shares


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Los Angeles, United States
Member Since
April 13, 2007