Viewing: Screenwriting

The Beauty of Flawed Storytelling

A lot of my favourite books and films feature “flawed” storytelling—whether it’s suddenly ending a story without resolving the central conflict (Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love) or abandoning a protagonist through sudden, off-screen/off-page violence mid-way through (Michel Houellebecq’s The Map and the Territory or the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men). These techniques, if they can be called that, are […] Read more

George Saunders on Writing Well

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of listening to George Saunders talk about the craft of writing or his own creative process. As a recovering screenwriter, I’ve spent years on projects where it seemed like everyone involved wanted to impose rules onto a story, to make it into something that checks all boxes and […] Read more

Changing Direction in 2015

2014 was a strange and surprising year, both professionally and personally. A few projects that mean the world to me went in – shall we say – unique directions I hadn’t anticipated. And yet, my career as a freelance copywriter has continued to rise well beyond my initial expectations when I arrived in Toronto in […] Read more

A Reminder That Filmmaking Is (Often) Interpretive

Check out this page from Francis Ford Coppola’s notebook during the production of The Godfather. He’s pulling everything he can out of Mario Puzo’s written work and trying to visually represent it on the screen. (Spoiler: He did a pretty good job of that.) via […] Read more

Why Hanna Horvath Ain’t Llewyn Davis

Raina Lipsitz wrote a piece recently for Aljazeera America titled “Hate Lena Dunham? You’ll Love Llewyn Davis” in which she seeks to expose the gender-based prejudice that Lena Dunham’s creation, Hanna Horvath, suffers and which the Coen brothers’ work epitomizes. She believes there’s a “fascinating double standard” in looking at how Hanna has been received […] Read more

Keeping Your Wounds Fresh

Ordinarily, forgiving yourself and others for perceived wrongs is the way to go. Carrying around unresolved issues isn’t healthy and tends to eat away at you until you snap. So why not just leave the past to rest? Answer: Writers aren’t ordinary. Hanging onto grudges and fixating on problems may seem petty and counterproductive to […] Read more

A Few Things I Think About ‘Her’

It was never going to be a difficult task to get me to see Her, the film directed by Spike Jonze (Where the Wild Things Are). I’m a sucker for mopey-dreamer-adrift-in-a-soulless world flicks: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Lost in Translation, Before Sunrise, In the Mood for Love… you know, uplifting stories and all […] Read more

Year in Review: Freelance Fever

I officially became a full-time freelance writer when I moved to Toronto last spring. However, making a serious “go” at independent contracting, particularly in the creative industry, definitely takes time and effort. My focus so far has been to develop productive relationships with organizations and individuals who share a similar creative perspective and deliver the best […] Read more

Calling Out “Hip” Writers

There’s a big difference between creating twenty-something characters who are relevant to the world right now and writing about twenty-somethings. The latter is a pretty big irritation to me because I think that, while it’s a no-less-difficult task, it pretty much amounts to a kind of writerly betrayal. Particularly if you’re a twenty-something who’s a […] Read more

Undermining the Awesomeness of ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’

I watched Blue is the Warmest Colour in a half-filled downtown Toronto theatre, knowing beforehand that I was about to witness some pretty graphic sex scenes (given the information leaked out in previews for the film). But whatever, right? I’m an omnivorous film nerd and I’m up for anything. My sole concern is that the […] Read more

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