I’m a struggling screenwriter with an MFA from USC. In the years since I’ve graduated, I’ve had some gigs writing dialogue and trivia for video games, and have had a few near-misses in terms of selling my scripts. But I certainly can’t be said to have “made it.” I have to work a day job and do my writing on the side. But I still regularly write, and I believe that through practice my writing is continually improving.
I have a love for the craft of storytelling and how it can be done most effectively. This love leaves me feeling personally hurt and offended when a story fails to live up to its potential. My attitude toward movies can be summed up by Anton Ego in the film Ratatouille. When he is told “You’re thin for someone who likes food,” he responds with, “I don’t like food, I love it. If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.”
Many years ago, I had a somewhat popular LiveJournal where I frequently blogged about movies from a cranky and snarky perspective. Sometimes I would give a detailed analysis of exactly where a movie went wrong and how it could have been done better. But more often, I would give an off-the-cuff mockery and dismissal of a film. “From the writer of [some comically terrible movie] and the director of [some other comically terrible movie], comes a yet another blatant rip off of [some movie that keeps getting ripped off.]” Or “The Emperor has no clothes and [some critically acclaimed but pretentious director] can’t direct his way out of a paper bag.” Things like that.
While these posts were popular with my readers, I eventually realized I needed to quit doing this. I felt that relentlessly focusing on the negative was hurting me, both in terms of my writing and as a person. I had to protect my anonymity for fear of alienating someone that might be hiring me in the future. And I just got burned out on hate in general. I used to claim that even though almost all of my reviews are scathing, I’d much rather write a positive one, because that means that I got to see an excellent movie. Perhaps that was true, but I certainly didn’t act like it was true.
But I did enjoy blogging, and since I quit I’ve missed having that creative outlet for critical analysis. I can write essays on Facebook that will be seen by some of my friends, but that’s not the same. So I’m starting this new blog, with a more positive focus.
Which is not to say that everything I write will be roses and sunshine. I can’t highlight the positive without contrasting that against where things fall short. But I will endeavor to direct this blog toward what’s great about movies, rather than what’s wrong with them.