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The Dialogue Series

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</script></div>{/googleAds}When you go and see a movie the last person you think about is the writer and in most cases that's exactly how they like it. The movie stars take the brunt of the intrusive side of showbiz, to a lesser extent the directors and producers, and the writer - usually - can walk amongst us mere mortals without the bat of eyelid or a single spark of recognition...

But there is a common event amongst the movie going public where, when the lights go up, you sit in disgust and say ‘I could tell a better story than that'. That both makes you realise someone actually sat down and wrote the pile of dung you just sat through, and that if you wanna create something better, you'll have to write one too. Such is the seed that births the next great (or crappy) screenwriter. Of course, if you couldn't care less about how they're made, then now is the time to skip to the next review, my friends this one's for the writers out there.

While there are literally thousands of scripts that hit Hollywood alone every single week, only around 250-ish are made into movies every year. Of those 250-ish, only a handful are made from new writers. For anyone out there wanting to know about the very select group of professionals paid to create our big screen adventures out there, maybe pick up on some tips, or at least find a kindred spirit amongst Hollywood's wordsmiths, ‘The Dialogue' interview series is for you.

This series of on average 90 minute interviews attempts to give you a frank and open discourse with some of the top writing talent working in Hollywood today. Broken into genre types, male, female, and team writers, it only takes the selection of a few titles to realise that the people who end up doing this job are both from incredibly disparate walks of life and also kindred spirits. What you do get is a frank discussion from all of them that covers their beginnings, their ascension into the A-list, and the day to day events of a working screenwriter.

Hosted by either Mike De Luca or Jay Fernandez (seems De Luca does the bulk of the interviews), this series is a very good way for someone interested in writing films to get a feel for what lies ahead. What becomes apparent quickly is the desire to quench your creativity often comes secondary in this medium, and what really matters is your ability to hone your craft and deliver what is asked for. The writers at this level are not bitter, as one might expect, but all are extremely pragmatic about the realities of the business. Any starry-eyed new writer out there with blinders on about how wonderful Hollywood is should do themselves a favour and take a look at a couple of these.

The interview style is relaxed and non-probative. It certainly allows for the subject to lay out their own philosophies on the craft of writing, the business, and their own proclivities, but as there are some quite diverse opinions about these subjects, it might have been more interesting to see them challenged on those opinions. It's not as if these people are not used to being challenged, after all. This is not to say the interviews aren't interesting, but the all too gentle touch from the hosts can get a bit monotonous at times. Some of the subjects are more open than others, but with some further prodding, I think the series could delve even deeper and accomplish its goal of a frank representation of this job.

It should be noted this series does not instruct a new writer on the mechanics of screenwriting, nor is that its intention. But there are certainly snippets throughout the three titles I reviewed that will help someone already familiar with a script to refine their techniques. These are important things for a new or emerging writer to hear, and the series does them a service by canvassing a broad spectrum of writers and allowing them to go into their own experiences in depth. Coupled with training in screenwriting, this series could have someone well on their way to finishing their first script or improving an old one, and avoiding some rookie mistakes. Very enlightening.

Component Grades
4 stars
3 Stars
DVD Experience
3.5 stars


DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.33:1

Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access.

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging


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