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Mark Allen
Director , Screenwriter , Composer
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Screenwriting: Story

Screenwriting:  Story

If I'm going to talk a little bit about writing, I should probably begin with something simple:  defining what I think about story.

Story is not just stuff that happens.  That's plot.  Plot should be a by product of story.

Story is a series of dramatic moments that occur in an attempt to resolve dissonance to consonance.

Generally story begins when something is put into dissonance.  This means that something is "wrong" or out of balance.  

Moments of disson...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  7 comments  0 shares

Screenwriting: Resources

Before I launch into some thoughts about writing in the next couple days I thought I'd put a list together of books and resources.

There are so many books now... I've not read a lot of them - especially any written in the last five years - but this list will make for a fine self study writing course.


Story- Robert McKee.     This book helps to define what story is.

Adventures in the ScreenTrade- William Goldman.   This is not a very academic book, but you will learn a great deal fr...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  14 comments  0 shares

Acting: Auditioning

A couple people were asking for advice about acting.  This is such a large category - but since I just went over the mindset of being pursuing any dream - I thought I'd stick to something very practical.

Acting:  Auditioning

You are coming into the room to show that you are an entertaining person to watch as that character.  Here are a few tips that might help you achieve that.

Just as you would in any scene - know where your character came from, know where you're heading, know what you want to accomplish ...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  14 comments  0 shares

Orchestrating An Audience 配合聽眾 | 配合听众

When creating entertainment, I feel like the performance creator's job is to give the audience and excuse to do what they already want to do.  For example, at a concert, the fans want to scream at the cute boys on the stage and they want to be a fan.   When you're working in a concert therefore, your job is to justify a situation where this can happen.  You can use all the tools of drama to make this happen.  You orchestrate this release of emotions.  

For films, you do this same thing - you are assemblin...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  16 comments  0 shares

How To Start From Nothing part 03 of 03 | 怎樣白手起家?(3/3) | 怎样白手起家?(3/3)

So, how exactly does one start with nothing?

So far, you:

  • know how your target industry works.

  • have a talent for something and spend every moment you can developing and expanding that talent.  It will cost some friendships, it will cost lots of TV watching, internet surfing and instant messaging.

  • you are working efficiently - not just hard.

  • You know who you are.  You've embraced yourself.  You've recognized yo...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  26 comments  0 shares

How To Start From Nothing part 02

This is a continuation of the previous blog, if you haven't read part 01, please do before reading this.

I am picking up under number 3 at step three....  Yes, I realize my number system will have to be modified before I put it in "the book."    ;)

Step Three:  Do what you do and let everyone know that that is what you do and don't do anything else.

Yes, that's the title of step three - the whole thing.  Do not be a Jack of All Trades.  Be the guy/girl who does THAT THING.  The r...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  13 comments  0 shares

How To Start From Nothing - part 01

How To Start From Nothing - part 01

This is going to be focused on the arts, but could very well apply to worlds I don't know as well.  The premise is that if you look at the successful people in the arts - perhaps a majority started from meager beginnings, what is more important than money can be your approach.  Now, I'm not going to say that it wouldn't be nice to have a huge benefactor who just pays for your life and projects - but maybe not having one can build a little character and make you apprec...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  13 comments  0 shares

Dreams Can Be Burdens

Just some late night thoughts inspired by a conversation with a friend.

Dreams can be burdens.  

I'm not talking about the dreams you have when you sleep - though I probably will in a future blog.  I'm talking about the dreams you have about your life.

This will not be a popular view, but I think it's worth sharing.  In the middle ages in most parts of the world - there was no encouragement to have large aspirations.  You could not rise from a peasant and become a king - it was not possible, so it was...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  35 comments  0 shares

Film vs. Digital

The difference between flm and video was commented on in one of my blogs, so I decided to write up a quick discussion topic for this.

There used to be a huge divide between film verses video as far as looks are concerned.  The primary difference people can see are:

1.  The Interlacing of Video

2.  The different in Depth of Field

3.  The lattitude differences.

4.  The color depth

5.  Grain/Texture

Let me put these into conversational terms.

1.  The Interlacing of Video.  somethin...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  12 comments  0 shares


I'm very busy right now preparing for my next production - we start shooting Friday - but I wanted to put up a simple question.

More and more over the next decade "films" will be shot on video and hard drive and will be projected much in the same way.  Does it make sense to call them films?

Pencil lead has no lead in it.

But there is a stigma to "film" vs. "movies."  In the movie-going vernacular "films" are movies to be respected and "movies" are a popcorn affair.  I don...Read more

almost 17 years ago 0 likes  13 comments  0 shares


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Member Since
April 13, 2007