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Seeing Music 2

Films can be saved by music. Try watching the opening sequence of ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ with the sound off – it’s like seeing someone’s terrible home movies. But with the John Barry score in place, it’s transformed to something special. This year, the excellent score to ‘Inception’ lifted the visual elements and showed […]

Avatar – The Legacy

Come on, how much do you hate the word Legacy? ‘Avatar’, described by the Guardian as ‘the world’s first attempt to fuse the aesthetic of Starship Troopers with the ambience of mid-period Enya’, had more than 125 licensed products incorporating toys, clothing, books and video games which earned over an additional 100 million quid. But, […]

Warning: Your Brain Must Be THIS BIG To Be Allowed On This Ride

My pal Frazer Lee complains that the audience of ‘Avatar’ Tweeted, Facebooked and MySpaced themelves into a stupor while watching ‘Timotei – The Movie’ at his local cinema. Last year at Somerset House the girl in front of me watching ‘Alien’ took pictures of her own hair on her mobile and Facebooked it. I swear, […]

Films With Windows

I don’t like screenwriting guides. Most of them are bombastic and out of date, and they’re all obsessed with Hollywood blockbusters. Not so Your Screenplay Sucks! by William M. Akers, which, despite its hectoring tone, is rather good and has 100 simple rules for why your script isn’t working. The book’s lessons could equally be […]

Blame Avatar

If Avatar had flopped, this wouldn’t have happened. But now the flood gates are open; George Lucas is threatening to reboot all six Star Wars films – that’s the two and a half good ones from the first set and the rest – all in 3D, even though it appears that converted 2D films don’t […]

Tinsel And Carbon Paper

It never gets any easier. I am now in the middle of my career, thirty five published books and an uncountable number of unmade film scripts in, and nothing changes; writers complain that the genre is disrespected, there are no great new stories, films are terrible, good novels fail to be published while trash sells […]