Michael Mann and Lev Kuleshov

Michael Mann’s commentary on the Restored Director’s Cut of MANHUNTER focuses primarily on the parallel psychology of the serial murderer and the cop. But let’s skip to the last few minutes of the commentary in which Michael Mann summarises his approach to filmmaking. “Film is made in the editing room. In the writing and in the director’s preparation you’re planning …

Act One: No Inciting Incident

BRUBAKER strays from the traditional structure because of its offbeat First Act. It lacks an Inciting Incident, nor does it have any significant protagonist characterisation. We witness from Robert Redford’s character’s POV how the most appalling injustice and brutality is inflicted relentlessly upon his fellow inmates. Over thirty minutes into the movie, Redford’s character identifies himself suddenly as the new …

The Three-Act Character

In her PLOT CONSTRUCTION WORKSHOP, Linda Aronson discusses THE INSIDER as an example of a flawed script. The film not only put Russell Crowe on the celeb map with a Best Actor Nomination, it was also nominated for another six awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. That’s a pretty good result for a ‘failed script’. As …