Jun 18, 2013
Every couple of years, Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush are faced with a dilemma -- how do we keep fresh a book called Alternative Scriptwriting: Beyond the Hollywood Formula when what was once "alternative" is more mainstream than anyone could have ever dreamed? Every generation of filmmakers since Thomas Edison has railed against the basic structure of the medium, whether it was talkies overtaking silents, narrative vs. anti-narrative or a general rejection of three-act format that so closely resembles live theater and its heart and soul.
KEN DANCYGER podcast excerpt: "Television is looking to present a Western as Shakespeare (Deadwood) and a crime story such as Breaking Bad as tragedy as well as entertainment. Television is a new major center of creativity that appeals to the younger audience searching for new things."
Don't know what I'm talking about? Early in the new fifth edition of their book, Dancyger and Rush compare the work of two prominent directors whose films most everyone knows: Steven Spielberg and Steven Soderbergh. It's as simple as e.t. vs. sex, lies and videotape, two hit movies that both happen to use lower case letters in their titles. In a moment, I'm going to ask the co-authors to compare and contrast these two well-known filmmakers, but I think anyone who considers themselves a film fan knows how differently structured are the films of Spielberg and Soderbergh. You don't have to be a literal film student to gain a number of insights from Alternative Scriptwriting, but the biggest one is right there on the cover. Instead of showing one or two film images, this edition gives us a photo of Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds— atop a second image from not a movie at all, but a landmark television series, AMC's brilliant "Breaking Bad." The message is clear: some of the most alternative scriptwriting of our generation is being created not for film but for cable television. Put that blue crystal meth in your bong and smoke it!
Ken Dancyger & Jeff Rush Order Alternative Scriptwriting from Amazon.com