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Tag: writers

Right Side of History Adapted Screenplay Oscars®

Right Side of History Adapted Screenplay Oscars®

Best Adapted Screenplay

BlacKkKlansman wins for Best Adapted Screenplay at the 91st Oscars. The screenplay is adapted from Ron Stallworth’s book BlacKkKlansman.

Film synopsis

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events. (IMdB)

Writers

Spike Lee is truly thrilled to win this first Oscar® for Best Adapted Screenplay. He states, “My grandma who saved 50 years of Social Security checks to put her first grandchild – she called me Spikie Poo – she put me through Morehouse College and NYU Grad Film. NYU!” This is a long time in coming for Spike Lee. The screenplay writers include David Rabinowitz, Charles Wachtel, and Kevin Willmott.

Willmott states, at Northern Arizona University, “Telling a character’s story you have to fictionalize the stories. Often as a writer, you do that with your own life experiences.” The story does reflect some personal experiences in his life.

Lee concludes the acceptance speech saying, “Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there!”

BlacKkKlansman Fun Facts

The film is one of only four US films to win the Grand Prix at Cannes Film Festival. The film receive a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival.

John David Washington did not audition for the role. He was offered the role from Spike Lee.

The final scene is edited using hundreds of cell phone camera footage taken in Virginia.

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Photo credit The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Being True ~ Kevin Willmott Screenwriter

Being True ~ Kevin Willmott Screenwriter


Kevin Willmott, Oscar® winner screenwriter, brings his insight into screenwriting adaptation, being true to self, and BlacKkKlansman to the Prochnow Auditorium in Flagstaff AZ.

Kevin Willmott Blakklansman 4chion lifestyle
Kevin Willmott and Tammy Ann

Kevin Willmott Screenwriting

Willmott discusses creating stories that Stallworth tells from Willmott’s own life experience. This is one part of the screenplay he owns. He states, “Telling a character’s story you have to fictionalize the stories. Often as a writer, you do that with your own life experiences.”

His adapting from the book he takes as much as he can from the source. A screenwriter’s job is to create a movie. Willmott tries to remain as loyal to the book as possible. He tries to connect to the spirit of the story when writing the film. The addition of Flip Zimmerman being Jewish brings the spirit of the film. This adds to the story with the KKK suppressing and victimizing not only African Americans but also others.

Willmott takes a lot of his writing to the awareness of human behavior. The ability to find the darkness in human behavior comes from life experience and observations. His ability to bring the real enemy provides an insight to the audience to think their own human behavior. He states, “we need to remain true to ourselves.”

Kevin Willmott Film Ending

The KKK burning cross scene was the end of the film and brought to the front that there are still issues in our country today. The addition of Charlottesville to the movie is the true events. This moment in history wrote this scene in the film of that day. They had to bring this moment to the completed film. “The characters, President Donald Trump and David Duke, wrote themselves right into the film,” he says. The narrative in this present day event fit with the completed film. The screening of the film completed with a standing ovation. 

Willmott takes time after the film to discuss the screenwriting, production, and how he has fought against racism his entire life.  “America First” is a Nazi slogan from the 1930s used in this country at rallies across the US. “Make America Great Again” is from the 1970s. David Duke started this propaganda on the Donahue show. They did not have to reach to tie the past to the current political rhetoric.  Willmott says, “The past is living in us today right now. It is what is making it a dangerous time.”

Kevin Willmott Twoness

The main theme of the film as well as life in America is twoness. That happens to anyone who has to deal with a majority that does not understand who you are. Willmott explains, “that the film has 2 Ron Stallworths in the film. The real Ron Stallworth faces being black and blue. The other being white and being Jewish. Throughout the film, there is often twoness with Ron Stallworth character and life in America.

Focus Features BLACKkKLANSMAN Los Angeles Premiere, Los Angeles, CA, USA - 8 August 2018
Kevin Willmott, Writer

Kevin Willmott Racism

The language in the film and racism is something that Spike Lee, director, and Willmott decided to not apologize for it, didn’t tone it down, didn’t make it palpable, didn’t make it better than it is, and show it for everything it is. This creates the absurdity that makes the humor and lets the audience deal with uncomfortable feelings.

Harry Belafonte’s scene runs between the KKK initiation scenes. This is a powerful moment in the film that takes me to something I learned as a young child. Not everyone sees the world or people the same. There are times in our life that we are asked to stop and think about our own stance and view. The value of finding your own voice to stand and speaking up is important. Willmott explains, “it is not always easy to do this but you teach those around you that it is wrong.”

Willmott brings a strong statement to the audience when discussing racism. He says, “We would like to believe that they are a different creature than we are. In reality they look like everyday folks like we are.” The ability for the screenwriting to portray this in film brings the darkness of racism.

He greatest message is that we need to understand what I means to be American, our complex history, and living in American. We need to understand more about each other and eliminate the ignorance. 

Kevin Willmott Side Note

David Duke did call Ron Stallworth when the film finished. He asked, “How am I portrayed in the film?” 

This is a film that brings the circle of life in America clearly. We have times in this country where we are good and flowing forward and then step back in time. Traveling the US this past year I often stopped at many locations for Underground Railroad. The feeling standing where thousands risked their lives to be understood by the majority is a true insight into the human spirit. We need to eliminate the ignorance and misgivings by standing true.

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Robot Chicken ~ Emmys® Red Carpet

Robot Chicken ~ Emmys® Red Carpet

Mike Fasolo (writer), Tom Root (writer), Matthew Senreich (creator), and Deirdre Devlin (writer) Emmy’s Creative Arts 2016 Red Carpet 4Chion Lifestyle

Mike Fasolo (writer), Tom Root (writer), Matthew Senreich (creator), and Deirdre Devlin(writer) join us on the red carpet at the Emmy® Creative Arts Awards. Robot Chicken is on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

Seth Green, actor, and Matthew Senreich created this comedy hit. The series uses action figures and incorporates pop culture parodies. The story draws in audiences of all ages by using the past and present pop culture references.

The team enjoys working together on the series-together. The ability to work with such a creative topic that draws in from pop culture makes this fun instead of work. The work continues to grow and improve each season. Thanks to the talent on the show and the many actors and actresses that take part.

This is the longest running series for Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. The team works hard to keep the stories creative and not become pigeon-holed. They said each day is successful with the crew because they fed off each other’s positive energy and uniqueness.

Robot Chicken took home 1 Emmy at The Creative Arts for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation.

Photo credit Raymond L Forchion Jr.

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Laura Ricciardi & Moira Demos ~ “Making Of A Murderer”

Laura Ricciardi & Moira Demos ~ “Making Of A Murderer”

Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos Emmys 4Chion Marketing
Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos Emmy’s Creative Arts 2016

Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos joins us on the red carpet at the Emmy® Creative Arts Awards. The duo took the evening by storm with their documentary Making of a Murderer on Netflix.

This 10-hour series took 10 years from a conception during film school to airing on Netflix. The story needs time to be told correctly and accurately. The couple moved from New York to Wisconsin for two years. This provided a time for them to research, gain trust about telling the story, and immerse in the story.

They took the story from criminal justice, a victim point of view, to the criminal point of view. The ability for the subjects to trust the duo to share their story accurately made the documentary successful. This documentary is a social justice story instead of criminal justice.

They share the documentary providing a voice, engagement, and conversation that is global. There is an online petition sent to President Obama requesting Steven Avery be exonerated.

They discuss that the documentary is not to solve the crime but to tell the story of Steve Avery, his family, and the community. They said, “we welcome anyone to research the story. It is all public record.”

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Emmy’s Creative Arts 2016 Red Carpet

Ricciardi states, “It took some time to get through the noise after the series aired, we are focused on the goal.” They will be returning with season two. The story continues to have questions.

Demos states, “The story continues to evolve. We continue to follow the events taking place. It is not over.” They are working on a project from HuffPost article, America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker.

Ricciardi and Demos work together on filming, concept, production, editing, and a partnership to air the series. The team has grown and they are deeply grateful for them.

The success each day they said, “came from the story and the focus to tell the facts.” Ricciardi states, “The lesson best learned is that we need to have more empathy and dignity towards each other.”

Making of A Murderer awarded the 4 Emmys® at The Creative Arts for Outstanding Picture Editing For Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming, and Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series.

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