Finally! Google's opt-out is here

I know some of you, not-yet-converted people, have your reservations about Google's technological improvements and its scary attempts to turn privacy into a blurry memory.

Well, here's the proof that Google can make YOU happy too.
They truly think of everything:

Love Google.

Not again

Every now and then, I hear that statement again:

"Animation is for children"

And there I go, trying to explain again that animation is just a way of generating visuals rather than a genre in itself, or a ticket to a specific kind of audience.
I'm usually too busy finding the statement unbelievable and going mental with it, though, as to be able to convey the idea convincingly. Or even intelligibly. So I thought I should just give a couple of examples here. If you have that look of "doh" in your face right now (meaning this too is a fundamental truth to you!), you don't need to keep reading. Go and see an animated film or something.

Hanna Montana -to use quite outrageous an example- clearly isn't an animated film, but despite being live-action we can hardly say it's for adults and children alike. The animated film The Incredibles, however, a film that I personally consider one of the best ever made, is NOT for children only. It is appealing to children, of course, but they won't be able to grasp the subtleties of a married couple arguing, or understand how frustration and nonrecognition may lead someone to become a very specific kind of person. They will probably just see a bad guy there.

It's simple: you can shoot actors with a camera, or take pictures, or render frames of computer-generated characters. Or use any other method, existing or to come. It doesn't really mind, they all need an script as badly. And it is this script (the storyline, the dialogue between the characters, the characters themselves, the tone!) that will determine how "adult" the film will eventually be.

I finish with what I think is a relevant video. The moments in one of the episodes of the wonderful excuse-me-not-only-for-children Justice League TV series in which Superman's colleagues react to his sudden death and one of his closest friends gives a speech during the funeral. It's as good and emotive as that of live action films such as the famous Four weddings and a funeral one. And just in case it counts, it may give you "adult" goosebumps too.

And then of course there is Harry bloody Potter. But I rather not go there right now. Maybe some other time.

Blake Snyder's "finale"

"I love writers" - Blake Snyder

Blake Snyder, enthusiastic screen writing guru, loving teacher and practical structure genius, died yesterday.

His seminars and his most popular book "Save the Cat" (and the only one I've read, by the way) are said to have inspired and enlightened both budding writers and established professionals. Personally, I learnt a great deal from his approach and found his words extremely useful: an excellent starting point and a light to follow when lost in the dark corridors of your own writing.

Snyder had a blind faith in writers, and an unnatural respect for an audience that, as we all should know, expects to enjoy the film they go to see. He wasn't as popular as Michael Jackson, however, so media coverage have been somewhat moderate. And so I felt I needed to do my bit by posting something here and updating wikipedia (and sobbing a little when no one was looking...). After all, he was in fact "a lot of people's Michael Jackson", and his work means a lot to quite a few of us.

I feel the best way of explaining who he was is to leave a few relevant lines directly extracted from the messages on his blog after his passing.

"We'll never know how many bad movies he saved us from"

"I am starting production this month on my feature film that wouldn’t be happening if not for Blake’s book"

"This is very sad. Blake was one of the good guys. Shared his knowledge with everyone and anyone. He’d actually email you back if you had a question"

"Blake was a great writing teacher and the first person who really got me to understand structure, but more importantly he was a really nice man and seemed genuinely interested in his students"

"Blake, you saved more than just a cat my friend. I will truly miss you"

"This reminds me that there is no tomorrow. Only today. Make the most of it"

Which takes me to the end of this post. Whatever and however small it may be, let our work on stories be the best ongoing tribute to his life we could possibly offer.

Damn, Blake, I miss you too, and I never even met you.