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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Feature Films Shot on the iPhone

Smartphones have now integrated 4K resolution into their video technology. Since the introduction of the first iPhone on June 29, 2007, only two feature films were shot on the iPhone with a FilmicPro app in 4K. Unfortunately, there are no other attempts to make a Hollywood feature film entirely on an iPhone. 

A wide range of film cameras are available to shoot Hollywood movies. The cost to purchase and/or rent any of these high-end cameras can cut deep into your film budget. Whether pride is involved, or studio reputation is at stake, the iPhone is rarely considered an alternative to making feature films. 

Only two Hollywood feature films were shot on iPhone cameras. Sean Baker's Tangerine (2015) and Steven Soderbergh's Unsane (2018) are feature films shot on iPhones. Tangerine's production budget cost $100,000 and generated $702,354 in the US box office and $828,874 (US & worldwide combined). On a $1.5 million production budget, Unsane unleashed a crazy $14,293,601 in the worldwide box office (including US box office) and $7,732,899 in the US box office. 

Do you want to be innovative? Expand your creativity? Take a risk to shoot your next feature film on an iPhone. Don't be afraid to be different because you will never know the outcome until you try something new. Your dream can come true shooting a feature film on an iPhone.


Happy Screenwriting!  


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Motivational Tip

Don't wait to get inspired, find inspiration creating art that motivates people.   

Cobra Kai Season 3 Premiere on January 1, 2021

Netflix's Cobra Kai Season 3 premiered on January 1, 2021. Episode 1 revisited Season 2, Episode 10: The school fight that rocked the Valley. Miguel Diaz still remains in a coma after Robby Keene kicked him off the second floor, causing Cobra Kai's star pupil to sustain a terrible neck injury accompanied with paralysis. Robby is on the run following his direct role in causing Miguel's tragic injury. With their differences and past grudges still intact, Daniel and Johnny go on a mission to locate the troubled teenager on the run before the police find him first. 

Samantha now struggles with PTSD after the controversial school fight that rocked the Valley. Flashbacks of John Kreese's Vietnam tour clearly convey his motivation to start Cobra Kai. John's desire to punish his enemies through showing no mercy is explained in its entirety. Daniel returns back to Tomi Village in Okinawa, the site of The Karate Kid II, to reclaim his lost focus and rekindle past relationships. Season 3 features many unique surprises, further delving into the mysteries pitting the past up against the present.   

Cobra Kai is an extremely well written series that instantly grabbed my attention upon my first initial viewing: I binge-watched Season 1 and Season 2 on Netflix. This former YouTube series has done a great job integrating "The Karate Kid" films into its storyline. There are many personal growth teachings that teach us to evolve, such as the wisdom Miyagi ingrained into Daniel's mind, body and soul. 

There is newfound empathy to understand Johnny Lawrence's character; we see his broken childhood and how karate gave him guidance. The fallout of losing the All-Valley Karate tournament kept Johnny living in the past. His inability to come to terms with the 80's restricts his character arc. Despite protecting his tough guy image, letting his defense down actually helps him become a humble character with moral values.  

Daniel adopted identical character traits that made Johnny unlikeable in The Karate Kid. Clashing with Johnny created conflict in his posh life. His wife reminded him to return back to the man she first met.  For the most part, Daniel's love for karate reconnected him with valuable life lessons. He self-reflects on Mr. Miyagi's teachings, focusing on karate as defense and focus. Concentrating on Miyagi's passion-first advice is what keeps Daniel living a rich life full of blessings. Nevertheless, karate represents Daniel's true calling to make a difference in his community. Perhaps karate is the main reason Daniel is who he is today; it serves as the foundation to his personal, family and business life. 

Binge watching Cobra Kai Season 3 gave me a nostalgic experience: These empowering episodes reconnected me with my childhood. My brothers and I would do karate after watching The Karate Kid movies! Whenever I feel disappointed, I remember the carefree times where I lived in the moment. Living in the moment keeps me in the present, reminding me to not take life so seriously. Life is too short to waste time on regrets, resentments, grudges and failures. We must learn to appreciate who we are, the life we lived and what we can become with hard work, effort and passion. If you want your dream, you are all the support you need. 

Until Cobra Kai Season 4 arrives, stay safe and healthy. Most importantly, keep writing the stories you want to see at the movies. Do it for yourself, not for attention, money and popularity. 


Happy Screenwriting! 

  

Screenwriting Inspiration: The Crossroads

When your Hollywood dream hits the crossroads, reflect back to the past to recapture your spark. 

Sunday, October 4, 2020

The Social Media Game

In my honest opinion: There are many effective ways to confront the trolling/hating/negativity problem we see on platforms designed to create 24-7 attention online—dopamine rush. 

Become the change you want to see in this world... Write a self-love book, become a personal coach, teach personal growth from conflict to resolution, empower people through sharing other people’s stories, understand that countless people are broken beyond repair and crave envy/jealousy to function and recognize that people playing victims are actually enablers. 

What doesn’t work is self-pity, making people feel sorry and calling them out because the aggressors know they are winning. If we make little short films to show what we dislike and share these video clips, this creativity can increase public awareness. 

What works is gaining enough confidence to never worry about these people. 


Living life offline enjoying the simple moments matter most. Don’t delete negative comments to show people the real truth. If we have to explain what we want from others and justify why we should be treated a certain way as compared to others, we will never find inner peace and happiness. We shouldn’t exhaust our valuable energy challenging “out of touch” people. 


Working hard and teaching others how to stay fit can get rid of negative distractions. 


There is an obvious difference between confident people and those who struggle with low self-esteem and hide their pain/suffering. You can detect almost any positive/negative traits in the words. 


What people want to see is the steps to build better health and fitness. They want to know when we have off-days and how we overcome them. 


In the past few weeks, I elevated my fitness to achieve bigger goals that have drastically improved my focus and overall production. It’s exciting to pursue mini goals because taking action will bring us closer to our dreams. 


There is a reason there are stands where people just clap, support, shout, envy and act jealous—some people just accept complaining, whining, praising and self-doubting as a disguise to mask fear. These widely popular people providing entertainment on the court, on a field, in a ring, on a platform and on a stage have undergone immense criticism and still defied traditional conventions—even their family and friends have pushed big mountains in front of them to block their dreams/goals. 


If successful people allow other people’s negativity to seep into their minds, they will keep losing in this life. 


We live in a critical world; however, it is important for us to remain positive. Positive change starts with us... 


As a writer, I welcome criticism, the truth, negativity and jealousy. If I’m going to pitch a screenplay to executives, I will not tell them I deserve an option because I worked hard, I had to overcome many challenges, I had to take several jobs, I have no support and every other self-pity antic. They want to see a confident pitch that follows the industry steps. No amount of kicking and screaming will convince them to purchase a bad story. Besides, I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in a dark movie theater watching a happy story from beginning to end. 


The Pursuit of Happyness is a perfect movie to convey resilience and equal competition. Check out “Smithereens” Black Mirror episode. The answers you seek are there. Good luck 😊 

Monday, September 14, 2020

The Fun Days... Blockbuster Video®

Video/DVD rental stores once ruled the aftermarket movie game. When I reflect back to the past, I remember going to Blockbuster Video and/or Hollywood video to rent VHS and DVD movies. Going to these video stores connected me to drive-in movie theaters, another pastime that has gone dormant since most people have moved their attention online.

It is important to add: Covid-19 closed the doors to the movie box office. In my honest opinion, Warner Bros. is feeling the financial heat to perform in the international box office or else their movie studio may lose out on their massive $205 million Tenet film budget. That is a ton of pressure to handle in the wake of COVID-19 shuttering movie theaters the past 6 months, especially with Tenet only earning $29.5 million in the North American box office in 2 weeks. Fortunately, the global market is stepping-in to savage 2020--they are making it possible for the film industry to rise above the coronavirus pandemic.

Aside from box office results and the lost Summer blockbuster season, Netflix® is paving the way for movie fans to rewatch past movies and shows online and on an app. Spending countless hours online is making people self-reliant, dependent on getting their web fix. It's a shame that we no longer have access to Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video.

Movie rental nights were so much fun. We could talk to real people in real life about the latest movies. Netflix® assumed control of the online movie movement; therefore, people must wait for new movies to be uploaded years later. The last time I checked, I prefer to watch recent movies after their box office run, not a few years later when my interest has dissipated.

Reminiscing about Blockbuster Video® and Hollywood Video® remind me of the fun days. Watching fake people on social media putting up a false facade to feed their overinflated egos create toxic envy and jealousy. Truth is, the people you admire do not actually live the lives that you see posted online. Never put people on pedestals because you will be chasing after their attention until you go crazy.

Fortunately, we still have Red Box to rent DVDs. There comes a moment when we must balance our online and real life time. Detaching from our phones, tablets and computers can keep us sane. All the negativity, attention-seeking, praising, over-complimenting and desperation occurring online is super toxic. Take a retreat away from the cyber world and visit somewhere new.

Until the next time, Happy Screenwriting!



Tuesday, September 1, 2020

What is holding back your Screenwriting?

Visit this article on "Creative Screenwriting" to read about 6 ways you can be holding back your screenwriting:

https://creativescreenwriting.com/6-ways-youre-holding-your-screenwriting-career-back/