Su-City Pictures East, LLC

Screenplay & Film Consulting By Susan Kouguell

Month: August 2013

Susan’s piece on Producer Arthur Cohn at Locarno Film Festival

 

Click on link to read my piece on Arthur Cohn and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/locarno-international-film-festival-pre-festival-presentation

Producer Arthur Cohn at Locarno Film Festival

Lino Capolicchio, who played the main character, Giorgio, said a few words about his experience working with De Sica, and then the lights dimmed, and the credits rolled.

Susan’s Webinar August 28: The Essential Elements That Make a Screenplay Sell

The Essential Elements That Make a Screenplay Sell

August 28, 2013 at 1:00PM PST REGISTER NOW

ws_sellscreenplay_mediumAt a Glance:

  • A live webinar detailing the essential elements that make a screenplay sell
  • Reveals story analysts’ secrets; what makes them love or reject your script
  • Discover specific tools on how to make your opening scenes jump off the page and grab a reader’s attention

 

Susan’s Top Tips on the First Ten Pages article in SCRIPT MAGAZINE

You’ve heard the rumors.  And I’m here to tell you that these rumors are indeed true.

Yes, the way to win over a film executive is with an attention-grabbing first ten pages.  Of course the rest of your screenplay must continue to be as well-crafted and enticing as your first ten pages, but if your reader is not at the edge of his or her seat, wanting to find out what happens next, there is no chance that film industry folks will turn to page eleven.

first 10 pagesAnd here’s why

Read more:

Top Tips to Tantalize an Executive to Love the First Ten Pages of a Screenplay

 

 

 

 

 

Susan’s Interview with Manakamana Filmmakers Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez at The Locarno Film Festival for SydneysBuzz/IndieWire

Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez were awarded the Golden Leopard for their film MANAKAMANA in the Cinema of the Present competition at the 66th Locarno Film Festival

One of the films garnering a great deal of buzz at the Locarno International Film Festival is the extraordinary feature documentary Manakamana directed by American filmmakers Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez.

High above the jungle in Nepal, pilgrims go on an ancient journey, travelling by cable car to reach the Manakamana temple.

The filmmakers describe the temple, the sacred place of the Hindu Goddess Bagwait:  Since the 17th century it is believed that Bhagwati grants the wishes of all those who make the pilgrimage to her shrine to worship her – some even sacrifice goats or pigeons.  For almost 400 years their only access was a three-hour uphill trek.

Challenging traditional documentary narrative conventions, Spray and Velez chose to use dialogue sparingly (the first words are spoken about thirty minutes into the film); they avoid the use of voiceover or titles to explain the history of the Manakamna temple and the Goddess Bagwait.  The characters do not look at the camera; they are not interviewed. These compelling and provocative decisions are most effective.  The images tell the story.

Watching each of the character’s journey to and from the Manakamana temple in the 5’ x 5’ cable car, it is impossible not to project a backstory onto each character (if not one’s own backstory); imagining what their lives are like, getting glimpses of who they are. Manakamana is a meditative film, and as it unfolds, it becomes more dramatic as some characters begin to speak. But they speak sparingly. Focus remains on how characters react to their surroundings in the cable car — looking out the window or avoiding it, remarking on the hills, the corn fields, the Goddess.

To read more and see a clip:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/susan-kouguell-interview-with-manakamana-filmmakers-stephanie-spray-and-pacho-velez-at-the-locarno-film-festival

Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez were awarded the Golden Leopard for their film MANAKAMANA in the Cinema of the Present competition at the 66th Locarno Film Festival

Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez were awarded the Golden Leopard for their film MANAKAMANA in the Cinema of the Present competition at the 66th Locarno Film Festival

 

Conversation with Jacqueline Bisset for SydeysBuzz/IndieWire at the Locarno Film Festival

Bisset Discusses Her Vast Appetite for Acting    Photo Credit: Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell
Bisset Discusses Her Vast Appetite for Acting
Photo Credit: Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell

On 11 August, British actress Jacqueline Bisset received the Locarno Film Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award Parmigiani in the Piazza Grande, which was followed by a screening of Rich and Famous.

The Conversation with Jaqueline Bisset took place on 12 August. Carlo Chatrian, the Festival’s Artistic Director, introduced Bisset and Chris Fujiwara, Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The talk covered a wide range of topics on Bisset’s distinguished career. A delightful, humorous theme was food.

Here are some highlights from the afternoon’s talk. 

Bisset: “I wanted to go to acting school, and I did a few modeling jobs, to pay for acting school. I never aspired to be a model. I met lots of photographers, and I learned a lot about light — as a source of love and illumination, light as a gift of love. On film, that’s a massive contribution. Light of a great cinematographer — to illuminate truth and bring atmosphere to situations.”

To read more of my article:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/conversation-with-jacqueline-bisset

Bisset Discusses Her Vast Appetite for Acting    Photo Credit: Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell

Bisset Discusses Her Vast Appetite for Acting Photo Credit: Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell

Susan’s ‘Conversation with Faye Dunaway’ at the Locarno Film Festival – SydneysBuzz/IndieWire

Dunaway talks about her three iconic film roles in Bonnie and Clyde,Chinatown and Network http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/a-conversation-with-faye-dunaway

Film Festival Director Carlo Chatrian Enjoying an Anecdote with Faye Dunaway

Film Festival Director Carlo Chatrian Enjoying an Anecdote with Faye Dunaway

 

Susan’s ‘Conversation with Sir Christopher Lee’ at the Locarno Film Festival for SydneysBuzz/IndieWire

Front Row Seat to The Profound, The Witty, The Storyteller...Sir Christopher Lee

The opening night of the Festival on August 7 dramatically began under a lightening-filled sky in the Piazza Grande, where Sir Christopher Lee received the Excellence Award Moët & Chandon.  Film stills of Sir Christopher’s roles were projected on the buildings surrounding the Piazza.  Accepting his award, the charismatic Sir Christopher spoke mostly in Italian, stating his mother was from Italy — and then switched to English.

Sir Christopher’s most loved line of the night, “I did it. That was me doing the sword fights with Yoda, not a stunt double.” The audience cheered!

To read more of my article:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/sir-christopher-lee-at-the-locarno-film-festival

Front Row Seat to The Profound, The Witty, The Storyteller...Sir Christopher Lee

Front Row Seat to The Profound, The Witty, The Storyteller…Sir Christopher Lee

Susan’s interview with Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director Locarno Film Festival for SydneysBuzz/IndieWire

Chatrian’s passion for filmmakers, cinema and its history is zealously conveyed whether talking about the Festival’s tributes to Christopher Lee, Anna Karina, Faye Dunaway, Sergio Castellitto, Otar Iosseliani, Jacqueline Bisset, Margaret Ménégoz and Douglas Trumbull — to the Pardi di domani (Leopards of tomorrow) a competitive section that will screen shorts and medium-length films by young independent auteurs or film school students, who have not yet directed a feature — to the films screened on the Piazza Grande — to the Festival’s sidebar Histoire(s) du cinéma.

To read my full interview with Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of the Locarno International Film Festival:

http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/locarno-ff-interview-with-carlo-chatrian

 

Ask the Screenplay Doctor: Top Five Tips … How to Really Find an Agent

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Ask the Screenplay Doctor: Top Five Tips … How to Really Find an Agent

You may be a talented and brilliant screenwriter, but for many, getting an agent can be a tough and overwhelming challenge. Sometimes it might feel like the only way that you’re going to get an agent is if you open a fortune cookie that reads: “Today you will find an agent. Look at the person sitting at the next table.”  And, poof, that agent is seated with arms outstretched, awaiting your script.

Yes, there is nepotism, egotism, and many other ‘isms’ in the film industry, but when you venture on your quest to seek representation, it’s time to check your pessimism and cynicism at the door.  It’s time to take control.

Read more:

http://www.newenglandfilm.com/magazine/2013/08/screenplay

HAPPY SWISS NATIONAL HOLIDAY!

The countdown to the 66th Locarno International Film Festival has begun. 

Stay tuned for more of my Festival interviews, and more…

In the meantime…above is my photo of the setup of the screen in Locarno’s Piazza Grande.   

For more information visit:

http://www.pardolive.ch