Monthly Archives: December 2017

Notes on Screenwriting

1st question for every scene:
What does the protagonist want? This is the super objective.

Next – break scene into shots and assign meaning or an essence to the beat.

What are they literally doing?  vs. What is the essence of what they are doing?


The purpose of each scene is to create order – so start with disorder and let the beat be about the attempt to restore order.

Trust yourself to judge if something is any good.

The process for each scene is re-forming the super-objective to better understand the beats (essence) and then reframing the beats to clarify the super objective (ultimate want).

Try to avoid a lot of dramatic structure within a scene.

You will be humbled by the constant screaming demands of the craft.

What happens next? That’s all we really want to know.

Tell a story. Don’t make it sloppy or trivial.

Let the story tell you how to write it.

The story will fight back – it KNOWS how it wants to be told.

There is the objective of the scene and the meaning of the beat. When you really nail these and put in effort to figure them out your subconscious will reward you with answer. But you pay for subconscious help by agonizing over structure.

Don’t narrate with dialogue.

Strive to make a silent movie.

Answer the most important questions first. Then reason backward and answer the smaller.

Most emotional situations call for restraint (not all).

Do NOT split focus in terms of a protagonist’s need. And do NOT repeat the same incident in a different guise.

Show the struggle of the character NOT her idiosyncrasies/wacky habits/odd knowledge.

What the character is literally doing (the doable action for the actor)

What is the essential action (the deeper meaning behind the literal action)

What is the nature of the relationship between the characters (define it)

Eliminate all ideas about what the character feels in favor of what she is trying to accomplish. Then the scene becomes about the degree to which she succeeds or fails and the reaction of the other person while she’s trying to fulfill her action.


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First Symphony: Listenable; somewhat modern. Tonal – but tonality shifts – characterized by a moderate amount of harmonic dissonance.

Second Symphony: To “October” – B Major (scary key). No recognizable melody or tonality. Structure and instrumentation are new: It is in one movement and finishes with a chorus.

A constructivist work: Totally independent movement of various instrumental parts – inclusive of things like an F# factory whistle.

Third Symphony: “First of May” Unifying Rhythm rather than a musical theme. A tonal work. No fixed key (polytonal – but E flat Major) Mild harmonic dissonance.

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La Jetee


Notes from J West’s book on La Jetee

To blink is to foreclose vision.

To create a break in seeing.

To impose a gap in vision.

In the structures of seeing and not seeing lies the kernel of the idea of memory of what we remember and what we forget demonstrates how remembering and forgetting are not oppositional acts but two sides of the same coin.

Forgetting is not an abandonment of the past but permission to elaborate, to reconstruct differently, to mix up the syntax.

Memory and Cinema are both comprised of an unstable set of associations. The choreography of memory. Stories going back to the past are always full of warning. An aberrant desire that meets punishment. (Orpheus, Oedipus, Vertigo).

But… To know the past and to unearth its radical contradiction is a necessary orientation for the future.

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David Bohm

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Notes on Wholeness and the Implicate Order/Reality and Consciousness

Widespread and pervasive destruction between people (race, nation, family, professional) prevents humans from working together for the Common good – and indeed even for their survival.

Humanity is the basic reality. The EGO identifies groups and makes things seem disconnected. Humanity comes first and is not separate form nature.

Humanity must learn to consider the totality – coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken and w/o a border – then the mind of Humanity will tend to move in a similar way and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.

At present there is no coherent world view. We live in a fragmented state.

Bohm posits – an undivided wholeness of the universe will reveal itself and — a new language will emerge.

Subject – verb – object — Structure implies that all action arises in a separate subject.

We defeat our deepest urgent toward wholeness and integrity.

Cartesian Order isn’t doing us any favors.

Wholeness and the Implicate Order here.

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Constitution or the State

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 9.24.51 AMIt has been said that the Constitution is the State. It is the law which creates and regulates government itself.

Marbury v Madison: Priority must be given to the Constitution over ordinary legislative acts.

Office holders have an obligation to observe the limits of their own authority.

“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.”

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