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screenplay

Should screenwriters use camera directions?

Conventional wisdom* among amateur directors and beginning film lecturers is that camera directions should “never” appear in a film script.  Yet, the camera is probably the one thing that separates a screenplay from a stage-play.  (Okay, so there’s CGI, logos and subtitles, as well as editing overlays, but the stage can have its own version […]

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Uncategorized

An experiment based on Kuleshov’s work with political icons

The Kuleshov experiment can be used to test an individual’s historical knowledge or political leaning. It can also be used to cast actors. It’s more than just about proving the value of editing.

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history

When was history?

  39-year-old History teacher Josh Hoeska had a great idea.  His sixteen-year-old students were to hold a tournament to find out who was the greatest examples of courage in American “history.”  The two finalists involved events that happened in 2001 and 2005. In other words, their “history” was the Presidency of George Bush Jr.  Most […]

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review

America’s funniest romantic comedies, by decade

Today, I heard the sad news that Nora Ephron, screenwriter for Sleepless in Seattle passed away. I thought a fitting tribute would be to list our favorite American romantic comedies from each decade.

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history

Abraham Lincoln Impression

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. But that was over 200 years ago. Accents change over time, so there’s no attempt in the video to emulate a Kentucky accent. Lincoln’s best known speech was the Gettysburg Address. Four score and seven years ago, our four fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, dedicated […]

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history

When the athlete was anonymous and there were no sports pages

While Prince William, and most of the media, followed the European cup, Kate Middleton went to the theatre instead.  Sports are big news today, and almost every top athlete is a household name.  Things weren’t always that way. In June of 1812, a man from the county of Somerset came up with a challenge.  He […]

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1812 history

A suggestion to the unemployment problem, from 200 years ago.

In 1812, changes in technology, bank failures, and an economic recession (partly brought about because the European market was cut off by war) were putting people in Britain out of work.  But one man saw a solution.

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1812 history

“Land of Laughter”: British and American views of Burma, 1812-2012

When we read about Burma in history books, we read about war.  However, the first representatives of the English speaking nations to that part of the world were Baptist missionaries who saw Burma as “the land of laughter.”

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1812 history Uncategorized

Will history be kind to Bush (Jr)?

On CNN, Timothy Stanely compared Bush Junior to Harry Truman. Both Presidents left office with low approval ratings, both supposedly fought what seemed like unpopular wars (Truman in Korea, Bush in Iraq), yet both had “a gentle, honest personality that voters looked back on with fondness.” Really?  Gentle and honest? Really?

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history

History ‘is boring’, says bestselling historical novelist

The Times asked historical novelist Philippa Gregory why British school children stop studying history the moment they have that choice. Like one third of all British 13-year-olds, Ms. Gregory chose to stop studying history at GCSE level.   It was as if her teachers ‘sat down and said “What’s the most boring thing you can possibly […]