On Screenwriting (Capstone project)

Hello

https://alexpan71.wixsite.com/onscreenwriting
Password (all lowercase): miw

This has been quite the journey, both within this community and throughout my four years (and one more remaining) in undergrad.

I think my piece, site, and content speak for itself (as the image above shows), and I am not one to spoil. So, I have nothing else to say except…

Thank you. To anyone and everyone else, but amongst them all the Minor-in-Writing community for reintroducing me to writing as a passion, a life-long process, a medium of expression, an art, a craft… everything, truly!

And thank you, T and everyone in our Winter 2020 Capstone cohort, for quite the wonderful semester even despite the remote odds!

so thank you — thank you very much! ūüôā

Alex

and also made this last night. might as well self promote lol

Quality, Popularity, and Oscars

When we first talked about the Oscars in class, I thought, “Oh, this will be so cool! ¬†The movies I saw this year will do great! ¬†I’ll get to cheer them on and-“

¬†“Um… ¬†Amour? ¬†Argo? ¬†Beasts of the Southern Wild? ¬†I’ve never heard of these… ¬†But, they’re probably good if they’re nominated… ¬†At least I know what the others are about. ¬†Vaguely.”

“But that’s OK, because I’m sure I’ll have someone to root for in actors and actresses!”

“…I didn’t see any of the movies they got nominated for. ¬†I saw Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, and I saw a stage production of Les Mis, but that doesn’t quite count…”

“Y’know, The Avengers came out this year, and it’s the third-highest grossing film of all time, and so did The Hobbit – it got over $960 million! ¬†They must be in the running for some categories!”

“…The Hobbit is in makeup/hairstyling, production design, and visual effects. ¬†Just three. ¬†The Avengers is in visual effects. ¬†Just one.”

“…”

“…How come comic book movies never get nominated~?”¬† I just don’t know why, Hugh Jackman.

I respect people who watch all these different films and have informed opinions. ¬†(Like Carly, for instance.) ¬†I am most certainly not one of those people. ¬†It takes something big to get me off my rear and go to the theater, so usually it’s a big-budget, splashy film. ¬†Essentially, it’s the stuff that’s popular.

I got to thinking about how complicated popularity and quality are. ¬†On the one hand, if something is wildly popular, then there’s something in it that appeals to audiences. ¬†The Avengers isn’t one of those deep, thought-provoking films, but it is a ton of fun to watch (especially if you’re a fan). ¬†On the other hand, just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s good. ¬†(I’m looking at you, Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.)

The problem with me and reviewing films is that I really have no frame of reference other than my personal opinion.  Critics, at least, are aware of general traits that make a film stand above the rest.  I suppose all I can really say for certain is that if the public was allowed to have a say in the Oscars, the divide between them and the Academy would be miles wide.

What do you think of this popularity/quality business? ¬†Is there anything you’d like to add, or anything I’ve missed? ¬†Feel free to leave a comment!

The Superbowl of Awards’ Shows is Nearly Upon Us…

As a film critic for the Michigan Daily, and a huge fan of film my entire life – I’m practically a walking, talking IMDB – this Sunday, February 24th is an important day for me. Though I’ll admit, I think the Golden Globes are a bit more entertaining on the regular, I can’t wait for this year’s Oscars broadcast.

First of all, Seth MacFarlane is hosting. Family Guy is, has always been, and always will be a go-to source of funny for me, and I enjoy the fact that there’s someone else out there who shares my sick and twisted sense of humor. I can’t imagine MacFarlane doing anything but absolutely killing it, and I’m excited to see how tame he can be…

Secondly, there are some GOOD races this year. There’s nothing duller than when a category is a lock. Anne Hathaway WILL win Best Supporting Actress for Les Miz (I mean come on, did you see her what that poor girl went through? Gotta give the girl something…), and Daniel Day-Lewis WILL win Best Actor for Lincoln (he was like a cinematic resurrection…). But the other main categories are brimming with uncertainty: Best Actress is a deadlock between Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty, Best Supporting Actor could go one of three ways, in my opinion, though my money’s on Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln, I’d be surprised if Best Director didn’t go to Spielberg, especially since Affleck and Bigelow are conveniently absent, and as for Best Picture, will it be Argo or Lincoln? It will be interesting to say the least to see how it all unfolds…

Thirdly – two words: RED CARPET. Be your own judge of how fabulous or fabulously horrid everyone appears as they flock down the strip. Plus, just the sight of Ryan Seacrest as men (and many of the women) tower over him during interviews just makes me go “Awwwwwwww.”

And if you need a fourth reason to watch, you know someone’s going to botch an acceptance speech or knock it out of the park, trip on stage, make some idiotic political comment or an ass of themselves in some way shape or form, reminding us that, although the Oscars are the biggest night in Hollywood honoring the most talented minds in the business, they’re just people who make believe for a living. Perspective…

So, if you haven’t seen any of the honored movies yet, I’ve reviewed four of the Best Picture nominees (many of which were honored in countless other categories too) – and they’re all Must-See flicks: Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Amour… and there’s still time to catch them before Sunday!

What did you think of this year’s “best” films? Do you watch the Oscars? Who are you excited to see walk the red carpet? Who do you want to win/think will win/and definitely DON’T want to win?

I’ll be weighing back in post-ceremony with more thoughts, opinions and potentially some major venting… and I hope you will join me!