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A Place For Film - Hollywood Storytelling

Sam Rockwell in Moon

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


A Few Good Men

About a Boy


Back to the Future

Chuck & Buck

Crazy Stupid Love

Dark Horse

Dawn of the Dead

Die Hard

Downton Abbey



In Another Country


Life During Wartime

Love Bites


Orchestra of Exiles

Ordinary Extraordinary Junco


Take Me Home Tonight

The Battle of Algiers

The Comedy

The Flat

The Hobbit

The Wackness

Top Gun


Warm Bodies

Welcome to the Dollhouse

X-Men: First Class

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