Once in a Blue Moon

What does a Blue Moon look like? Today I was reunited with my father after he was held emotionally hostage by his second wife for over a decade. A blue moon looks like the crystal blue eyes he has opened to his newly liberated world.

What does a blue moon feel like? “Once in a Blue Moon” feels like his blue eyes sparkling once again — and his wry smile smirk on a quip – or his mischievous eyes slide a knowing smile.

Yes, its been at least 15 years since I was sure that my emails, letters, phone messages or pleas were shredded by jealous hands. Hands that tenderly care for animals, but shun any human grace.

He’s living with my dear sister now. A blue moon feels like the world has been set right, full and shiny blue all over the blue planet.

Happy, that’s how a blue moon feels.

Love you Dad, thanks for the hug and kiss! Can’t wait for you to see your “All grown up” grandchildren who have waited patiently for you to reappear too.

Once in a Blue Moon sounds like a sigh, and smells like tousled grey hair.


Moving Along, Hitch’s B’day and Greenlight Blinks

First a great shout out to my colleague, Crystal A for placing in the Creative  World Award Screenwriters Contest!!

creative world awards crystal adaway

We both are members of the VSF, wonderful group.

Now is the time to consider making that blockbuster: Just a few steps outlined here: How to get a Hollywood Studio to greenlight your film. Not the easiest thing to do in life, but if we don’t try how far do we know we will go??!!

I would also like to wish Alfred Hitchcock a merry, merry 114th b’day. He really started alot of unique cinema trends and here is a great video that explains some techniques that I had never understood before.

Made in Britain Alfred Hitchcock. 

This BioDoc focuses its concentration on Hitch’s life pre-Hollywood 23 movies. Perspective and movie special effects were his game and by 23 he was a proven director of those techniques. As assistant director he built sets that enabled his boss to only shoot in one way. His pre-Hollywood movies showed his prevailing themes: Voyeurism, Wrongly Accused and Murder. At 28 he was top director with, “The Lodger”. In “Stages” he banked his first cameo, although it was the back 9of his head.

Pay special attention to the clip from 19.42 -23.40 for a primer on his perspectively ingenious special effects. These were the days before post production where all the magic had to be captured in real time. Boggling thought. No green screen no blue screen, ah technology. Creativity was the key to success way back then. We are talking 1929, when the talkies emerged that Hitch made his strides.

“Language of the cinema is the language of the writer.” As Hitchcock says and does. He cleverly uses his first voice pieces to instruct the subconscious to suspense.

My favorite film trick, which I had never figured out before is known as the Shifting Process.

Hitch placed his camera at a 45 degrees angle to reflect a model. Then a mirror was placed in view with the silver scraped from a rectangle shape next to the model (in view of the camera) and any action can be placed, live or projected to appear next to the model at the model’s scale and therefore tricking the eye. Hitch used this famously as a British Museum piece when he was barred from filming there.

Now on to his most famous technique developed in Britain. Show, react- show again, as writers we can use those  magic tricks. Catch the blink, Greenlight, win some contests and show, show response and show again. RIP Hitch, the joke’s on us.

One more thing, “Blackmail”, also one of the pre-Hollywood 23 has a delightfully conflicted female character who is both innocent and guilty. Ah the magic of words. This is all before he came to Hollywood and “Rebecca.”




Scripting a Choregraphed Fight Scene

Have you ever wondered how to script a fight? Who doesn’t love a good Jackie Chan romp?

Maybe you don’t have visions of melee. But it sure can be a great climax! I’ve collected some info and sites to help if you are so inclined.

To begin: Make it clear who is attacking – with a clean attacking motion and a fully extended arm toward one of the targets.Make it clear who is defending, by making sure the parrying person’s weapon straight up and down.

Therefore if A is attacking B, have A raise their weapon straight up and down. This may not be the correct fighting pose, but it photographs well.

Next: Keep the choreography short and simple. Every action should incur a reaction.

So if Warrior A decides to challenge Soldier B, then A could cut to the left hip and parry a low line left.

I like this video which illustrates some of this so far:


Next deflect a blow to the head (SHOT <—– cut to head) I would not advise scripting a camera shot, just saying, but you can cleverly do this by describing this action. Don’t forget only four sentences in a paragraph for each scene.

I would enter some dialogue here: “Ahrg”, or “grr.”

Now repulse the blow with a low line right. You have created a 3 move fight. To make the fight longer, just repeat these moves, but have the other person start it.

Some say don’t even script an action scene in a blockbuster.


I say write it. It’s your story and your movie. You can pay the piper later.