Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Cold Bum Test - Judging a Script from Start to Flush

I saw this on on Wednesday. It tickled and disturbed me at the same time.

Hoskins Reads Scripts In Bathroom
23 September 2008 5:00 AM, PDT

Movie legend
Bob Hoskins test reads scripts for films - when he is sitting on the toilet. The Mona Lisa star decides whether or not to take a movie role depending on how engrossed he gets leafing through his lines as he answers a call of nature. And the actor has even given his selection process its own cheeky name. He says, "Cold bum test. I take (the script) to the khazi (toilet) in the morning and if I end up with a cold a**e I think 'This has got to be a good script'. If you notice you've got pins and needles, you think: 'This must be a good one.'"

For one, it's kind of upsetting to think that a script you've toiled for years on could be so close to becoming toilet paper if Bob Hoskins doesn't like it. You'd think that maybe he'd have somewhere else he could read scripts - i.e. an office - where he could just as easily be mesmerized by them. (On the other hand, I think that if you've written a script that has gotten into Bob Hoskins' hands, whether he's taking a crap at the same time or not, means you've done something right.)

More than anything, though, Hoskins' test makes me wonder how good of a script both "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties" and "Son of the Mask" were. Perhaps I should read those to educate myself a bit on the finer points of the screenwriting craft.

Go ahead, judge a book by its cover. Please.

This is pretty neat:
As part the first year of Hearts & Minds, Creativity partnered with Penguin Books on a talent contest, asking artists of all types to conceive a cover design for one of the publisher's upcoming titles. Penguin, as you may know, appeared in our Creative Marketers report last year, for bringing an updated art-driven aesthetic to its book covers. Notably, its Graphic Classics have become veritable collectors items, with cover art reimagined by contemporary artists like Frank Miller, Tomer Hanuka, Roz Chast and Art Spiegelman.

Penguin and Sam Taylor, author of The Amnesiac, kindly offered up Taylor's upcoming novel The Island at the End of the World as the foundation of our competition. Designers, illustrators, painters and photographers contributed more than 300 ideas for the cover design of Taylor's new book, and a jury comprised of Penguin editor Alexis Washam, creative director Paul Buckley and Creativity editors selected the 25 finalists presented here.
Click here to view the other 24 finalists. I've posted my favorite up top.

Also, here's an item about the best covers of 2007, from The New York Times.

And just to personalize things a tad, here are a few of my favorite book covers, off the top of my head:

What are some of your favorite book covers? What makes them great? Feel free to include links to the images.

[Via Galleycat]

The Write Stuff?

I'm instantly wary of anything that claims to be any kind of all-purpose guide to, well, anything, but The Guardian newspaper across the pond has a fairly impressive list of articles on various aspects of the craft of writing, all well worth checking out.

The best part is the people writing their respective articles are actual practitioners, as opposed to some guy who's writing a how-to book on creating a novel but has never written a novel.

Definitely worth a read, or multiple.

[Via Bookninja]

New York Film Festival opens Friday

The 46th Annual New York Film Festival opens this Friday. Their slate is full of great stuff, but here are a few I'd really like to see:

WENDY AND LUCY, written and directed by Kelly Reichardt. A young woman loses her dog on a road trip through Oregon. It looks like the plot really is that simple, but the movie has gotten great reviews and I really enjoyed Reichardt's Old Joy.

PANDORA AND THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, written and directed by Albert Lewin, 1951. This beautiful Jack Cardiff-shot mystery is being screened with a newly restored Technicolor print. The film will be introduced on October 10th by Martin Scorsese.

WALTZ WITH BASHIR, written and directed by Ari Folman. An "animated documentary" about the Sabra and Shatila Massacre that received amazing acclaim at Cannes and nearly won the Palme d'Or. The animation looks absolutely sick - check out the trailer if you don't trust me.

Check out the NYFF's full slate of films here. Those of our readers who aren't in New York can follow full coverage of the festival at the FilmLinc blog.