A Place For Film – Hollywood Storytelling

On this week's episode, we're discussing the Hollywood storytelling method with USC film grad and IU Cinema Technical Director Manny Knowles.

Sam Rockwell in Moon

Photo: Copyright 2009 Sony Classics

Sam Rockwell in Moon, one of the films discussed this week.

Episode 109 – Discussing Hollywood Storytelling

On this week’s episode, we’re talking to USC film grad and IU Cinema Technical Director Manny Knowles about the Hollywood formula, and how it applies to not just Hollywood films, but all kinds of films.

We start out with What Have You Seen Lately, and Jason and Andy are discussing Warm Bodies, a zombie film coming out in February that had a preview at the Cinema. Andy is also discussing some films from the Todd Solondz series.

We then start talking about the Hollywood formula. Manny explains what is involved in the structure of the standard Hollywood film, and why some succeed and some fail. He then breaks down a few films, including Rocky, Jaws, and Moon.

Be warned, we spoil Moon thoroughly. Go watch the film before listening to this episode.

Manny also gives some examples of other films with good examples of the Hollywood story structure.

If you’re interested in reading more about the Hollywood story structure, Manny provided a list of interesting books:

  • Field, Syd – Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
  • Gulino, Paul – Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach
  • Howard, David and Mabley, Edward – The Tools of Screenwriting: A Writer’s Guide to the Craft Elements of a Screenplay
  • Hunter, Lew – Lew Hunter’s 434: The Industry’s Premier Teacher Reveals the Secrets of the Successful Screenplay

Video – Discussing Hollywood Storytelling

External Links:

Movies Mentioned In This Episode:

2001: A Space Odyssey
50/50
A Few Good Men
About a Boy
Alien
Back to the Future
Chuck & Buck
Crazy Stupid Love
Dark Horse
Dawn of the Dead
Die Hard
Downton Abbey
ET
Happiness
In Another Country
Jaws
Life During Wartime
Love Bites
Moon
Orchestra of Exiles
Ordinary Extraordinary Junco
Rocky
Take Me Home Tonight
The Battle of Algiers
The Comedy
The Flat
The Hobbit
The Wackness
Top Gun
Twilight
Warm Bodies
Welcome to the Dollhouse
X-Men: First Class

Andy Hunsucker

Andy Hunsucker is the creator and co-host of A Place for Film - The IU Cinema podcast. Along with his co-host Jason Thompson, he produces a weekly podcast focusing on events at the IU Cinema, and film at Indiana University. He also designs posters and video animations for the Cinema on a volunteer basis.

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