Thursday, 30 December 2010


Screen writing is fascinating! I don’t think I that good at it, but I am learning all the time, and I love the process. I certainly believe I have improved since I started exploring film making 10 years ago.

What makes a film, and its script, memorable, are the characters. Plots are secondary - characters are what it is all about.

There are two fundamental lessons I learned from my film making friends, and these are:

- avoid exposition ALWAYS - ie, anything that is on the nose, remove it

- characters only speak when they want something - ie, characters need to be motivated

Now, looking at the second point, this is a reflection of reality. When do we speak to other people? When we want something.

If life really does imitates art/movies, then we only ever speak to another person/character when we want something, on screen or off. And what a character says is never as important or interesting as to why they said it. What motivates a character (motive) is what makes us invest in a person and follow them. And non-exposition is what makes what they say interestingit leaves things to the imagination.

Yeah, next year is film making time!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday, 24 December 2010

Love thy neighbour

I read the funniest thing the other day - I had to share it:

I just took a leaflet out of my mailbox, informing me that I can have sex at 82! I am sooooo happy, because I live at 73 ... so it's not far to walk home afterwards.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Monday, 20 December 2010

X factor

Making a movie is such a risky proposition. Like a blind date!

Think about this: you have to put a whole bunch of actors together, under pressure, for long hours, in unnatural surroundings. This is one long blind date indeed, and that is what a movie shoot is all about. Yes, and you are hoping that there will be chemistry between all these strangers. That is the X factor - that is the unknown - the luck.

Of course, without a good script, you will only have bad luck, but if the script is good, you still need a lot of luck. If the chemistry is good, then luck is on your side.

I am excited about "Material" - please God we have plenty of chemisty for next year's blind date!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Opening weekend

The arts business is cruel - it is not for the feint hearted. And in the arts domain, movies are the toughest.

Books and CDs, for example, don't have an opening weekend, where the box office numbers are scrutinized with a magnifying glass.

Like a Web site, a book can grow, as the word of mouth spreads, if the right notes are hit. But, a feature film is an all or nothing kind of thing. It is hell on the nerves! Talk about suffering for one's art. When a movie opens you just pace up and down all night long.

I guess life really is about the numbers, no matter which way you look at it.

Next year we are going ahead with the Material movie and I am already pacing up and down, and we have not even made the film yet. A big journey awaits!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Funny Business eBook

We got some exciting news this week! The Funny Business book is now also available on in eBook format. Yes, you can get it for your Kindle or your iPad.

Check this out :

On you can also send the eBook as a gift - you gotta love this new world!

Thank you to everyone who has supported this cool book - we have had so much encouraging feedback. In fact, I heard that the publisher is going to have a second print run soon.

Funny business indeed!

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

In decent

A friend of mine sent this to me - it was too good not to share :

An elderly couple, who were both widowed, had been going out with each other for a long time. Urged on by their friends, they decided it was finally time to get married. Before the wedding, they went out to dinner & had a long conversation regarding how their marriage might work... They discussed finances, living arrangements, and so on.

Finally, the old gentleman decided it was time to broach the subject of their physical relationship. 'So, How do you feel about sex?' he asked, rather tentatively.

'I would like it infrequently,' she replied.

The old gentleman sat quietly for a moment, adjusted his glasses, then leaned over towards her and whispered, 'Is that one word or two?'

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Bed time story

So, I was in Hyde Park the other day. I met with Nick, our man main from the Coliseum - now that is one soulful dude!

Nick tells me that his wife works in this fancy shop in the mall there that sells duvet covers for 60 grand a pop. Holy cow!?

Nick then says to me that anyone who works hard for their money doesn't spend it on crap like molto expensive bed spreads. The folk who have made money by working hard may by a property offshore, but they don't waste it on crap like expensive luggage etc. This is generally for the nouveau riche and those tenderpreneurers that we keep reading about in the newspaper. Spot on Nick!

People who come in to money quickly, without taking any risks, or busting a sweat, think, in my view, that by spending money on ridiculous priced things that it gives them class, but as my mother and father remind me, class comes from character, and characters comes from hard work - you can't buy it !

It has been a long year, and some much needed rest is just what the doctor ordered. Rest that does not involved million buck bedding. I have heard of stashing money in the mattress, but splashing out money on a mattress, well, that is whole other story.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker