01 April 2009



This is my first official blog post. And who the hell am I? Just another screenwriter struggling to scrape out a living for himself in a world filled with big mouths and meager talents. I will use this space to vent on films, rant about ongoing projects, analyze things that don't need analyzing, trash talk everyone, and, of course, pimp myself.

Slowly, over time, as my half-formed primitive brain begins to grasp the surrounding components of this blog space, I will build up the surrounding areas to feature trailers and short films I've worked on, other blogs I wish to endorse, the many wonderful and diverse things I want you to know about, and all that other jazz that will give first time visitors a glimpse of my madness. I intend to stick to a schedule of at least one blog post per week in order to keep this space jumping, and if I do not stick to it, then I encourage people to send me threatening e-mails and engage me in physical altercations on the street.

For now, lets just stick to some of my hates, for they are enlightening. I hate the so-called "rules" of screenwriting and anyone who slavishly adheres to them. My only rule is "Don't bore me." Yes, the three act, or five act, or whatever act structure can help you with that, but it can also hinder and cause your script to become just another factory-produced plot delivery system lacking soul and spirit.

Listen: People invented these rules to give everyone an easy out. Can't write a good screenplay? Follow these simple rules and your script will be excellent by all scientific measures!

You see the flaw here, yes?

If you want to go off on a tangent and follow some tertiary character on a subplot that has no relation to the main action, then just friggin' do it. If it doesn't work, you can always fix it in rewrites. But if it does, my God, you've done something new, haven't you? Have a cookie.

I hate the Hero's Journey. In fact, I hate heroes. I hate nostalgic views of the past, the eternal battle between good and evil, black and white cowboy hats, unearned redemption, Manic Pixie Dream Girls, and almost all forms of shallowness. I hate purposely sympathetic characters - if your characters are interesting, they will be relatable, and therefore, on some level, sympathetic. I hate people who talk but don't do. I hate people who claim to be writers but don't read. I hate people who want everything explained to them and don't bother to examine a script beyond the words on the page. If you cannot see a subtext that is not even subtext (example from Raymond Carver: "He looked at me and he kept looking."), then you are not qualified to read scripts. Go back to the basics - Hemingway, Wharton, Chandler, Leonard, Vonnegut, Shakespeare, Salinger, Mishima, Remarque. Many others.

I hate double spacing after a period.

What do I love? I love complex, three-dimensional characters that act in a fashion somewhat resembling the people I know in real life. I love people who hold passionate opinions - why bother with life if you're going to be indifferent about everything? I love swearing. I love people who are bawdy but not obnoxious. I love moral grayness and ambiguity. I love raw emotion and I love snark. I love montages and long takes equally. I love deep focus and racking focus. I love '60s still frames and '70s zooms.

I love Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West, the greatest Western ever made. I love the way Kinji Fukasaku stages and shoots a yakuza raid. I love Charles Bronson saying "You're damn right" when he dies in The Magnificent Seven. I love every note Ennio Morricone ever wrote. I love Burt Young in everything he's in. I love all the characters in "The Wire," even Brother Mouzone. I love the endings of "The Sopranos," No Country for Old Men, Mulholland Drive, and Takashi Miike's Dead or Alive. I love "Mr. Show," "The Kids in the Hall," "The Simpsons" (Seasons 3 through 9), and the BBC version of "The Office." I love the versatility of Tatsuya Nakadai. I love the opening logos for any Asian film made between 1950 and 1995. I love the two minute, forty-two second long take in Hard Boiled. I love silent films. I love the Mummy Complex. I love Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim watching their old film in Sunset Boulevard. I love the way I always yell at Faye Dunaway to "Get the fuck out of there!" at the end of Chinatown, and I love the way I feel awful when she never does. I love the way Harakiri causes me to switch allegiances and viewpoints halfway through the movie. I love glorious, glorious black and white film. I love the sexual metaphor at the end of North by Northwest. I love both halves of Full Metal Jacket. I love Audrey Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, Claudia Cardinale, and Vivien Leigh, who manages to outact Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. I love Margaret Yang, Amelie Poulain, Lady Kaede, and Cabiria Ceccarelli. I love how much I hate Hitch, The Last Samurai, and that no-talent pretty boy Gary Cooper.

I love Seven Samurai. Every fucking minute.

You get the idea.

I love movies and television shows, but more to the point, I love stories. The cinema is my chapel, the DVD my Bible, the act of creation my prayer. Like any religious person, I do not practice enough, but when I do, I am at peace.

My name is Justin Muschong, and I own this place.

Now get the fuck off my lawn.


  1. wow! i learn new things about you every day! keep up the great work!

  2. I'm excited to see you are back in the blogging world! Or maybe you never stopped, but since we all switched from MySpace to Facebook, I haven't seen regular blog postings from you. Horray! :0)

  3. No bullshit. I want to work with you someday.

  4. I am generally open to the possibility of any and all collaborations. You can contact me at the newly available e-mail address in my profile if you're interested.