Full disclosure: I haven't seen everything this past year and for that I apologize. So if there might be something you feel I missed on my list please don't crucify me, it may be just that I haven't gotten around to seeing it yet. Sorry fans of 'Paul Blart Mall Cop 2'... anyways here are my favourite films of this past year:
5.5 = The Big Short: Great cast, touchy subject matter, uniquely told
5 = Creed: Sly Stallone brings it, fight scenes are some of the best, fantastic story that actually makes sense
4 = The Revenant: Probably this years best picture, outstanding cinematography, masterfully acted by both Leo and Tom, how the hell did they pull off that bear scene?
3 = Spotlight: Best ensemble cast of the year, minimalist in its telling, story is simple but one that needs to be told
2 = Sicario: Most tense movie of the year, beautifully shot, brilliant score, Benicio del Toro
1 = Ex Machina: Simple, story isn't far off from becoming reality, unique, magnificent SFX, great ending
Again I haven't had time to see all 300+ movies released past this year so I'm sorry. This list is based on my professional opinion and if you disagree well that's too bad.
Let me start by saying that I am a BIG fan of George R.R. Martin. His novels are pieces of literary heaven, and let's face it, the fantastic HBO series GAME OF THRONES would not exist if it were not for him. His worlds are epic, and his stories are visionary. That all being said, it's not his work that I have a problem with, it's his work ethic.
Now before you start crucifying me for saying such a thing, hear me out. I know what it's like to write. I've written fiction, screenplays and even copy for both television and radio advertising. OK I get that it's nothing like what Mr. Martin needs to produce, but hey it's still writing. Writing is hard. It always has been and always will be. It's common sense that to become a better writer, you should work on your craft if not daily, then every other day. And if you're getting paid handsomely for producing work, then you should be able to meet deadlines.
By now, if you're a fan of George R.R. Martin, you probably know that he hasn't delivered a draft of the eagerly anticipated THE WINDS OF WINTER. He wrote a 1600 word essay explaining why. He cites many reasons, many are life related which I get. But the one reason he gives that really makes no sense to me, as an aspiring writer, is that he never has liked the idea of deadlines. Really?
Deadlines are the lifeline of many writers. If you're fortunate enough to have deadlines then you shouldn't complain because that means you're getting compensated for your work. Congrats! Mr. Martin has missed not only his first deadline which was Halloween, but his publishers gave him another two-months to deliver, call it goodwill. Except he also missed his second deadline to deliver a transcript to his publisher and editors. I don't get that. To be clear, I'm not angry. What I am is confused.
George R.R. Martin makes a lot of money for a lot of people, himself included. He has much more pull than many other writers have, but for him to miss two deadlines is unacceptable. There are many other writers who are just as talented as Mr. Martin who deliver when asked to. And there will be just as talented writers in the future who will deliver when asked to. What Mr. Martin has done is open a door to all these current and future writers to just ignore deadlines set by their publishers. Or so I think and that to me is sad.
In closing I am going to reiterate that I am a big fan of Mr. Martin's work. And I'm not the only one, there are literally millions of fans, and from many comments I've read from his blog, not many of them are upset that he didn't deliver on time either. So really is it a moot point? I don't believe it is because, like I already said, deadlines are life. Heck, if I didn't set any deadlines for myself this post wouldn't have been possible. Right?
I hope the holidays and New Year have been joyful to you and yours! I'm not sure about you, but with the start of every New Year I always try to make a resolution. I'm happy to say that I actually kept my last years resolution, which wasn't overly ambitious, but heck I kept it none-the-less.
My last years resolution was to devote more time to reading more books. I have fallen far behind in the literary category over the years and figured why not give it a shot. So I told myself my goal for 2015 would be to read at least five (5) novels.
That being said, I did honour my resolution, having read a total of seven (7) novels. I wanted to focus mainly on getting many classics read, but added in a few others that caught my interest. The books I read in 2015 were, in order:
1) LES COSTELLO - CANADA'S FLYING FATHER
2) ANIMAL FARM
3) AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
4) OF MICE AND MEN
5) FAHRENHEIT 451
6) SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE
Of those I can say that I most enjoyed ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell (full disclosure: 1984 by George Orwell is my favourite book of all time), but OF MICE AND MEN came in at a close second. The most disappointing of the bunch, in my humble opinion, was SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE. Just didn't do it for me. Perhaps the subtle humour wasn't up my ally, I dunno.
So now for this years resolution. I have two actually. First, I hope to be more active on social media. And when I say social media it could be anything, not just posting on this blog. So basically if I post something professional, or enlightening on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook page then I will see that as a success. And these posts can be about anything, but I will do my best to keep most of it professional. I'm new to Instagram so I can see myself utilizing that network a lot to start 2016 so I don't see my first resolution to be much of a problem.
And my second resolution for 2016 will be to make at least two films. I am currently in pre-production on the first (stay tuned to this blog for updates), but as for the second, I have no clue what I'll make, but I will try to make another.
So there you have it. My resolutions for 2016. What's yours?
I just came across an interesting writing website called '420 Characters' that I wanted to share.
Based solely on the sites title you already have an idea what it's about... To be able to tell stories with as little words as possible is a challenge, but I'm a firm believer that being able to do do will improve your writing immensely.
So if you have a minute take the time to read a handful of stories published on '420 Characters' by the great Lou Beach and see if you can come up with your own unique tale.
And remember... never stop writing!
Link: 420 Characters
This next video comes courtesy of Ava DuVernay who many of you may not know, but rest assured, you will. She's responsible for bringing us SELMA, a Golden Globe nominated feature film that tells the eye-opening story of Martin Luther King and his civil rights march through Alabama. Anyways, Ava's take on creativity helped get the creative juices flowing through my veins, and I hope it'll do the same for you. Enjoy!