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Seven Years of Featured Posts

Let’s begin the celebration of seven years with some of our classic TV Calling featured posts.

It used to be you’d pin a post to the top of your blog, and call it featured. Well–
“Featured Post” is somewhat of an outdated concept with this site, especially since we’ve never really had a slider to begin with (*shudder*). TV Calling has been a mostly linear design, with a few in-depth articles highlighted occasionally. And since I now only post worthwhile content, everything is highlighted (i.e. everything is a de-facto featured post).

We’ll take a closer look at the TV writing and TV business sides in more details (starting tomorrow), but in the meantime, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a few forgotten gems from our earlier days.

Our very first featured post was, unsurprisingly, a crazy rant of mine on why I hate French “television”.
Although the French TV industry still has a lot of catching up to do, it’s refreshing to see the amount of progress from 2008. In fact, I’m writing this very post from Paris (not the one in Texas) so I’m getting to see a few recent French TV shows. Not the worst.
It’s also funny to see that a few French shows have even made waves in the US (namely Les revenants).
I also attended last October at the Writers Guild Theater the second edition of “Direct to Series”, a “showcase dedicated to French television series”. No, I didn’t bawl my eyes out.
Speaking of International fanfare, a few of my other earlier featured posts were about visa/green card issues. We’ll get back to those when I post about “Seven Years of My Life 101 (or Life of Alex)” on Saturday.

When it comes to story issues, I wrote back in 2008 about mythic structures and hero psychology.
The instigating post was mainly focused on The Dark Knight (I had just seen it), in relation to the concept of flawed (super)heroes.
The second one, still an off-shoot about hero psychology, was on Joseph Campbell’s books–and how others have tackled a variety of issues through the prism of screenwriting.

Vices, virtues and dilemmas should also not be forgotten in the world of screenwriting. Identifying the “moral premise” behind a story is essential to understanding why this particular story touches us, affects us. It is also what will ultimately give dimension and consistency to a great story. Few books deal with this in direct correlation with screenwriting. The Moral Premise by Stanley D Williams appears to be right on target by clearly and easily linking past and present stories, both in theory and practice.

On the other side of mythical stories and structures we have what is inside the character’s head, the character’s psychology. A lot of books have been written on the subject but few aimed at screenwriters. William Indick’s Psychology for Screenwriters seems to be one of the only books I have come across dealing exclusively with this. Comprehending the psyche of your characters can only benefit your writing and your story, especially in the television medium where characters are the medium.

Deep stuff.

As pointed out previously, the concept of “featured post” has been phased out, with most articles now relating to TV writing or the TV business. We did have occasional floaters to mark events.

In 2009, Lordy had a series of very interesting guest posts on unsung artists (at the time): Don Bluth and Craig Ferguson. Of course, Craig Ferguson has since become more well-known, but Lordy’s posts are still worth the read.

I talked about technology, with the iPhone, the iPad, and the future of eBook readers.
I had a one-off interview with CSI:NY’s Hill Harper. Because why not.
I ranted about the unsavory televised spectacle that was Michael Jackson’s funeral.

During the first year of TV Calling, I wrote 11 movie reviews (8 based off of the screenplay).
My most popular was The Cabin in the Woods, which finally came out in theaters over three years after my article.
Others include The Box, Watchmen, Star Trek (the reboot), Inglorious Basterds (Cannes 2009 version), Buried, Prisoners (four years before it came out), Orbit (still waiting on production), Unknown White Male (two years before release), MacGruber, and Paul.

Movie talk still continued after. In the days of Ed Norton’s Bruce Banner, I took a look at “The latest about Marvel and DC Movies” and I brought up “five under-the-radar movies you should watch.” (A few of those have since gained notoriety.)
Given Hollywood’s fascination with IP, I had a talk about “Hollywood’s Trivial Pursuit of Games” (get it?), and most recently how “You die a brand or live long enough to become an IP“.
I also wrote about the advent of 3D (and Avatar) in a big way with three dedicated posts on the issue.

And, for some reason, there were these two amazing posts about: the Weinstein Company being on the verge of bankruptcy while doing a movie adaptation of the 1970 Broadway musical Pippin (“Pippin my studio: The Weinstein way of dealing with problems“); and Taylor Lautner trying to be Stretch Armstrong (“Taylor Lautner: Badder, Bulkier, and Sparklier“).

Good times. I can’t wait for the TV writing advice.

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