Tuesday, June 22, 2010


(A follow-up to

1.) A movie, first, is photography. PHOTOGRAPHY. Or rather, cinematography. Photographed images which move.

2.) The second key feature of movies is sound. Even silent movies had accompanying scores. What makes film unique is that it combines several art forms. At its best it's a giant painting come to life, backed by a symphony.

3.) Upon this foundation of pure art is added the literary, the intellectual, in the form of narrative. This leads us to think about the art of narrative.
A.) What's the nature of narrative? What are a narrative's internal dynamics? How successful artistically is a particular narrative?

4.) Within the filmed narrative are aspects of theater: acting and dialogue.
These are standards which can be used to judge a movie as art.

Now we can look at the magazine's "top" three Westerns: "High Noon"; "The Ox-Bow Incident"; "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Understanding Beatlemania

Since 1998 I’ve been thinking about Beatlemania. Partial knowledge of how it occurred provided impetus for the ULA campaign.

Recently I was listening to a radio show about the Beatles at the same time I’d been reading a book about blitzkrieg. A lightbulb turned on. I finally understood the physics of Beatlemania. Which means, I know how to duplicate it.

Some points: Beatlemania was caused by an unplanned conjunction of physical circumstances, first in England, then for the U.S. The Beatles had talent—but a lot of bands have talent. Manager Brian Epstein didn’t know HOW their success would happen, but he sensed—he “saw”—that it could be done. What he brought to the equation was his total belief in the band, and his reworking of the Beatles look. Both were crucial. More important was the situation that Epstein and the band jumped into. A window existed and they hopped through it. A perfect storm came about.

Creating literary “Popmania” would take concentrated work. The payoff would be worth it. The payoff would be huge. I’m talking a billion-dollars huge, which sounds fantastic, but it’s not. Ten times bigger than Eggers. Competition wiped out. What I’d need are a few young writers willing to be adaptable—able to abandon their brainwashing, and humble their egos, to learn how to write pop. A tall order.

During the next many months I’ll be working quietly but hard to set the plan up.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Buzz Ratio

There should be a way to calculate the buzz factor of various cities. Meaning, the total buzz achievable through that city, divided by the city’s size.

For instance, the buzz potential in New York is gigantic—but there’s a tremendous amount of ground to cover, as well as many competitors for noise.

At the other extreme, it’d be easy to dominate a small town, but it has low payoff.

The ideal is a city with a big payoff, with small as possible competition and territory.

What’s the buzz ratio of your city?

Monday, June 7, 2010

New Art II

We as writers need to create works of surprise and wonder. Do that, and the literature will be ours.