10 Flicks: Best Picture Losers

February 24, 2012 at 8:51 am

10 Flicks: The top 10 best picture nominees that didn't win.

We all know the movies that should have won.  But there are years when the right movie wins while others are just as deserving.  That’s the fun of the Oscars.  Everyone has their favorites.  Everyone makes their picks.

But there can only be one Best Picture each year.

Here are 10 of the best losers:

A Clockwork Orange

LOST TO: The French Connection

The Shawshank Redemption

LOST TO: Forrest Gump

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Gangs Of New York

LOST TO: Chicago

Star Wars

LOST TO: Annie Hall

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There Will Be Blood

LOST TO: No Country For Old Men

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E.T The Extra Terrestrial

LOST TO: Ghandi

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Jerry Maguire

LOST TO: The English Patient


LOST TO: Dances With Wolves

Saving Private Ryan

LOST TO: Shakespeare In Love

Pulp Fiction

LOST TO: Forrest Gump

10 Flicks: Best Original Screenplay Oscar Losers

February 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

10 Flicks: Screenwriting Oscar Losers | Movie Blog | Academy Awards

Best Original Screenplay.

My favorite Oscar category.  The award every screenwriter aspires to win someday.  Like any Oscar category there will always be losers who deserved their nomination but didn’t quite get there.

Here are the Top 10 Best Original Screenplay Losers:

Inglourious Basterds

by Quentin Tarantino

LOST TO: The Hurt Locker by Mark Boal


by Randall Wallace

LOST TO: The Usual Suspects by Christopher McQuarrie

Monster’s Ball

by Milo Addica and Will Rokos

LOST TO: Gosford Park Julian Fellowes


by David Franzoni, John Logan and William Nicholson

LOST TO: Almost Famous by Cameron Crowe

In Bruges

by Martin McDonagh

LOST TO: Milt by Dustin Lance Black

Finding Nemo

by Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson and David Reynolds

LOST TO: Lost In Translation by Sofia Coppola

Pan’s Labyrinth

by Guillermo del Toro

LOST TO: Little Miss Sunshine – Michael Arndt

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by David Peoples

LOST TO: The Crying Game by Neil Jordan

As Good As It Gets

by Mark Andrus (story and screenplay) and James L. Brooks

LOST TO: Good Will Hunting by Matt Damon & Ben Affleck


by Sylvester Stallone

LOST TO: Network by Paddy Chayefsky

Like Movie Blogs? Check Out The LAMBs

February 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

Like Movie Blogs?  Check Out Hundreds of LAMBs | Large Association of Movie Blogs

The Large Association of Movie Blogs (L.A.M.B) is an awesome resource for anyone looking for new movie blogs to visit.  There are literally hundreds of blogs written by passionate film fans.  You can spend hours surfing all the original content including features, reviews, lists, opinions and more.

I’m proud to say I’m Lamb #457.

The LAMB is a community built around the largest movie blog database in the world.  They also publish great content on a regular basis including the annual LAMMYs, a celebration of movie blogs.


Click here to check out the site.

Click here for a complete list of LAMBS.


10 Flicks: Best Film Editing Oscar Losers

February 21, 2012 at 7:22 am

10 Flicks: Editing Oscar Losers | Movie Blog | Academy Awards

As a professional editor, I have a particular soft spot for this category.

Best Film Editing

There is a huge amount of work, dedication and passion that goes into the final edit of a film.  These unseen heroes deserve their time in the spotlight.  There are so many talented editors who have been nominated but didn’t not receive their prize.  This list is dedicated to them.

Here are the Top 10 Best Film Editing Losers:

Million Dollar Baby

Edited by Joel Cox

LOST TO: The Aviator

Apocalypse Now

Edited by Richard Marks, Walter Murch, Gerald B. Greenberg, Lisa Fruchtman

LOST TO: All That Jazz

Die Hard

Edited by Frank J. Urioste & John F. Link

LOST TO: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Pulp Fiction

Edited by Sally Menke

LOST TO: Forrest Gump

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Edited by Dody Dorn

LOST TO: Black Hawk Down

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

Edited by Richard Chew, Lynzee Klingman, Sheldon Kahn


The Silence of the Lambs

Edited by Craig McKay


10 Flicks: Best Film Editing Oscar Losers


Edited by Richard Francis-Bruce

LOST TO: Apollo 13

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District 9

Edited by Julian Clarke

LOST TO: The Hurt Locker

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The Dark Knight

Edited by Lee Smith

LOST TO: Slumdog Millionaire

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Screenwriting & Minecraft

February 20, 2012 at 12:20 am

Screenwriting & Minecraft | Screenwriting Blog | Mojang Minecraft


I read IGN a lot.  I visit the site multiple times a day for movie, television and video game news.  When you visit the largest gaming site on the net as often as I do, big stories like Minecraft don’t go unnoticed.  I just never took the time to really find out what this indie game was all about.  Now it’s one of my favorite games of all time.

Minecraft is essentially a giant sandbox.  A massive world that allows you to create virtually anything you can think of.  Your character is essentially thrust into a unique world with nothing. You must rush to gather resources, create shelters and survive the onslaught of monsters that await you when the sun goes down. After a few days in the game, you can branch out and begin collecting better materials and creating better structures.   It’s pretty much limitless.

Confused?  Here is the intro video from the official Minecraft site:

The more you play, the more rare types of materials you find and the more ‘things’ you can create.  Feel like exploring enormous caves?  Go for it.  Is it your goal to create huge towers?  Why not?  Did you decide to create a bridge that links the towers and a water slide that leads into the caves?  Of course you can.

Curious as to what is possible when you really dive into a game like Minecraft?  Check these creations out:

The only limit truly is your imagination.  Sound familiar?

Before I get into screenwriting, I’d like to first make mention of the inspirational story behind the phenomenon known as Minecraft.  The game was created by Markus Alexej Persson or Notch as he’s commonly referred to.  He’s a talented and passionate game designer who had an idea and got to work.  The game is a massive achievement and has taken the gaming world by storm.  Notch is a superstar now and the development world is eagerly awaiting his company Mojang’s next project.

Read this for more on Minecraft’s development.

Notch had a vision, executed that vision and found an audience who adores his work.  That level of commitment and dedication is universally inspiring to anyone looking to start a new creative project.  Personally, his story inspires me as a screenwriter.


Screenwriting & Minecraft | Screenwriting Blog | Mojang Minecraft

When I’m developing a story, I can’t just sit at a table and spit out a treatment.  I need something to do while I think.  Eventually I need a quiet place to work but in the early stages I like to have something to do.  Obviously, I can’t do anything that requires a ton of brain power because that would be counter productive.

Normally, I think about stories while I’m being active.  I play basketball, I swim, I go to the gym or I take my dog for a walk.  But sometimes, I rely on video games.  Again that sounds counter productive but it has to be a specific type of game.  For me, the all time champ is Sim City.  It’s an open world that allows you to do whatever you want.  I used to play Sim City all the time with a notepad close by.

Minecraft takes all the things I love about Sim City to the next level.  I’m not limited to buildings and roads anymore.  I can build absolutely anything I want as long as I’ve gathered the resources to pull it off.  The resource gathering is monotonous, repetitive and takes forever which is perfect for brainstorming screenplay ideas.  I’ve spent hours demolishing mountains and digging in caves while thinking about new screenplays.

It’s just me, an empty cave and a blank page.


Every time I launch Minecraft, I set it up on one monitor.  On the other, I alternate between Microsoft Word for story notes & Final Draft for screenwriting.  Typically on the left, I’d be creating a tower because I felt like it.  On the right, I’d be typing notes about new characters and story points.  The system works perfectly…

Except, I don’t play Minecraft anymore.

Why?  Because I’m actually writing now.  I don’t need my latest brainstorming device anymore.  I’m sure when it’s time to begin a new tale, I’ll jump back into my Minecraft world but right now, I’m focused on the story the game helped me create.  It’s a strange relationship.  I’m absolutely addicted to the game but I never play it unless there is a story problem or scene I want to work out.  Thankfully, there are always new screenplays to write and there will always be giant structures to create in the process.

What do you do when you develop screenplays?

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Why I Play Minecraft | A fantastic post on IGN

Screenwriting & Minecraft | Screenwriting Blog | Mojang Minecraft