Goodies Box (DVD’s)


  • Film Writing Books and eBooks Recommendations

  • Main Feature Films Genres and DVD Recommendations

    • Love
    • Romantic Comedy
    • Action
    • Adventure
    • Thriller/Espionage
    • Murder/Mystery/Detective
    • Crime/Gangster
    • Melodrama
    • Biopic
    • Sports Film / Biopic
    • Epic
    • Auteur Films
    • Film Noir
    • Black Comedy
    • Music/Dance
    • Prison
    • Drugs
    • Horror
    • War
  • Short Film DVD Recommendations

  • SA Film suggested DVD viewing

  • Inspirations and Esoteric Book Recommendations



Most writing literature put forward here is either works I have read or comes highly recommended, one or two just look interesting … any book on film you wish to read is worth the effort. It all goes into the pile of ‘research & life experience’. Gathering information can Never be a waste of time. Happy reading!
Story             Alternative Screenwriting                    Writers Journey      Strike Up! 2         The Artists Way
Robert McKee.      Jeff Rush, Ken Dancyger.  Christopher Vogler.       Philippa J Dyer.             Julia Cameron.
Story.                     Alternative Scriptwriting.   The Writers Journey.    Strike Up! Structure     The Artists Way.
SEMINAL             MUST READ                          SEMINAL                       Your First Film.         MORNING PAGES

Dr Format 2012                          The Woman in the Story                       Art of Adaptation Turning Fact into Fiction2                  Advanced Screenwriting                    Creating Unforgettable Characters
David Trottier.    Helen Jacey & Linda Seger.          Linda Seger.             Linda Seger.                     Linda Seger.
Dr Format.           The Woman in the Story.           Art of Adapting          Advanced            Creating Unforgettable
Format NB!                                                                  Fact into Fiction.         Screenwriting.                Characters.

Joseph Campbell                         Aristotle's Poetics              Screenplay             Linda Aronson - 2001-2        Save the Cat
Joseph Cambell.                       James Hutton &                Syd Field             Linda Aronson              Blake Snyder
Hero with 1,000 faces             Gordon M. Kirkwood       Screenplay          Screenplay Updated      Save the Cat
PRECURSOR TO VOGLER     Aristotle’s Poetics

Secrets Screenplay Strcuture                       Writing Short Films                    Screenwriters               Save the Cat Strikes Back             Save the cat goes to the movies
Linda J Cowgill.                 Linda J Cowgill.              David Trottier.             Blake Snyder.       Blake Snyder.
Secrets Screenplay     Writing Short Films.     Screenwriter’s Bible.           Save the Cat          Save the Cat
Structure                      VERY USEFUL                                                         Strike’s Back         Goes to the Movies

Alternatve scriptwriting                                  Screenplay Writing the Picture                        Alternative Scriptwriting 2006                       Character Traits
Ken Dancyger & Jeff Rush.       Robin U Russin &         Ken Dancyger & Jeff Rush.            Dr. Linda Edelstein.
Alternative Scriptwriting.     William Missouri Downs.       Alternative Scriptwriting.            Writers Guide to
(1995 Version)                  Screenplay Writing the Picture.   Rewriting Hollywood Formula.  Character Traits.

Making a Good script Great         The Screen        Cut to the Chase        The Third Act        Writing Subtext       Inside the room
Linda Seger.          Linda Aronson.         Linda Venis.          Drew Yanno.           Linda Seger.         Linda Venis.
Making a Good     21st Century.        Cut to the Chase.      The 3rd Act.     Writing Subtext.  Inside the Room.
Script Great.                                                                                                                                          Writing for TV



ALL films put forward here I have personally watched and love. (If I don’t like them, they’re not here! Ha). However, it might be that some have slipped through my memory bank, so speak up if you if you want me to find a copy of a particular film. I can try and source it for you. The genres … there are no absolutes, they’re my own categories. Sometimes choices have had to be made, for example, The Hurricane could be a Sports Film or a Biopic or a Prison Drama. I’ve gone with the thrust that I’ve interpreted as most prominent. So if you’re looking for writing inspiration check across all possible genres. All pictures belong to, if you wish to source further information that’s a good place to start.


The Romance Film I have determined as any storyline where you are routing for the two lovers to get together by the end. Often the love interest is a sub-plot to the main story, but if the main thrust of the film is ‘lerve’ … then it falls into this category.

Love Story                 The thing called love                 Romeo and Juliet Dir Baz Luhrmann2                  Romeo and Juliet Dir Franco Zefferelli             Pretty Woman
Love Story.           The Thing Called Love.     Romeo & Juliet.            Romeo & Juliet.           Pretty Woman.

Country Strong               Runnaway Bride                You've Got Mail                    The Family Man                    A Walk in the Clouds
Country Strong.        Runnaway Bride.        You’ve Got Mail.          The Family Man.        A Walk in the Clouds.

Nottinghill            Sweet November               Before Sunrise  Before Sunset              The Family Stone                First Daughter
Notting Hill.       Sweet November.     Before Sunrise / Before Sunset.      The Family Stone.     First Daughter.


Most of the Love genre have a little bit of comedy as well as drama in them. There is even an emerging group called the Dramedy! However, this category is to do with lovers that one is routing for, but the vehicle of exploration is essentially comedic in nature.

Serendipity                   What a Girl Wants                  As Good as it Gets              10 things i hate about you                   How to lose a guy in 10 days
Serendipity. What A Girl Wants. As Good As It Gets.10 Things I Hate About You.How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.


Boys, toys, guns. Goodie chases baddie. Often a women love interest is around but one doesn’t go too deeply into character here. The thrust is on the action. Big action fight in the end: car, bus, train, horse, anything fast and fierce. Usually male leads but notice how Angelina Jolie is creeping in there at the end. In this category the Hero is always the most highly skilled in his or her field, and even with a formidable opponent – of course they succeed in the end!

The Matrix                   Bourne Identity                  Lethal Weapon Collection                       Die Hard Collection                  Salt
The Matrix                        Bourne Identity           Lethal Weapon                       Die Hard                         Salt


The main difference between Action and Adventure is that where Action is trying to track down a person … Adventure is trying to track down a ‘thing’: an artefact, a museum piece, information even, and return it to rightful owner often. There’s a moral need here of the protagonist to ‘do the right thing’. Often clues to the treasure is braced in symbols, riddles, or games. The hero also needs to be highly skilled and at the top of their game in order to oppose the force of the antagonist.

Lara Croft Tomb Raider                 Tomb Riader the cradle of life                   Raiders of the Lost Ark                National Treasure             The Da Vinci Code

Lara Croft – Tomb Raider  & Cradle of Life.      Raiders of the Lost Ark    National Treasure    Da Vinci Code


There are so many genres and subgenres of the thriller category because they all involve a murder, which is usually a deliberate crime. So gangsters, crime bosses, the unhinged all come into the crime, murder, mystery, suspense, detective category. How I have chosen to break it down is that if the hero is being followed, chased or terrorized and we wait on tenterhooks for the duration of the whole film for the crime (murder) to happen by the end of the film – then I have identified those as Thriller/Espionage but if the murder happens at the beginning of the film then it goes into the Murder ‘Mystery to resolved’ category. In the straight thriller category, the Hero has a real possibility of being killed by the end of the film.

the recruit                Airforce One                     The Jackal                    The fugitive                    Pelican Brief

The Recruit                  Airforce One               The Jackal                 The Fugitive              The Pelican Brief


The Suspense-Murder-Mystery is when the murder happens at the beginning of the film, which is usually related to the detective story.Sometimes referred to as Crime Drama. Someone has usually committed a crime at the beginning of the film, (inciting incident), and we wait for the whole film for the crime to be resolved, revenged, or put to bed somehow.

Seven                      The Manchurian Candidate                 Sherlock Holmes                 Murder on the Orient Express               Suspect Zero

Seven.            The Manchurian Candidate.      Sherlock Holmes. Murder on Orient Express.  Suspect zero.


The two categories above also often deal with crime … but I believe the crime GANGSTER
drama demands a section on its own. Gangsters work in packs like wolves.

Hustle and Flow                    Donnie Brasco                      The Godfather                   Gone in 60 secs             Bonnie and Clyde Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway

Hustle & Flow.    Donnie Brasco.                 The Godfather.          Gone in 60 Seconds.      Bonnie & Clyde.
(Hip Hop drug Gang)  (Mafia gang)     (Mafia gang)      (Car thieves gang )       (Thieves/Murderers)

The Bandits           Four Brothers                     scarface                   Hardball                Point Break

The Bandits                     Four Brothers                 Scarface                      Hardball                            Point Break
(Thieves)               (‘The Hood’ Gang)             (Drug gang)             (Neigbourhood Gangs)   (Surf gang – hybrid sport)


If Action is known as the Male ultimate movie, the Melodrama is probably exactly the opposite. Often called the ‘Woman’s Weeper’. Well-drawn characters. Mostly the hero’s are women (not always). Melodrama used to terrify me, I thought it was all about weeping … until I understood what a melodrama was. There might be some tears (quite a lot of tears), but more importantly: the violence is emotional rather than physical. The antagonist can be a person; a social order; or an outside influence that places unreasonable constraints on the protagonist. The hero’s journey then, is to break the code of conduct of that social order. So Melodrama
then, in my opinion, can also include, medical drama’s, even battles with drugs can actually come into this genre.

Girl Interrupted                              A Dream of Passion                      Kramer vs Kramer                    Monster                  Monsters Ball

A Girl Interrupted.                A Dream of Passion.        Kramer vs Kramer.    Monster.                 Monster’s Ball.
(Antag mental illness)   (Antag Societal Norms) (Antag female demands)  (Antag – Abuse)    (Antag – Death)

Erin Brokovich                     Crazy Beautiful                     Kinky Boots               My Sisters Keeper                          Changeling

Erin Brokovitch           Crazy / Beautiful                Kinky Boots      My Sister’s Keeper              Changeling
(Corporate Antag)(Antag drink, depression)(Antag prejudice)(Antag Leukemia)(Antag Police corruption)


The Biopic is often classified as a slightly less lavish version of the Epic, however for historical films such as Troy or Alexander the Great that does not apply. Either way the same principles apply:big budgets, big cast, often period, (which automatically raises the budget), takes place over a vast period of time. Usually the Biopic will occur when the main character has passed along, when they are honoured for their greatness, sometimes even for the first time, often death substantiating their immortality. The Biopic needs to be an interesting person of history that can hold our attention for a long time. Often they are tragic figures and very often controversial figures also!As such, the Biopic often has to take an angle on the character in question, which in turn can be controversial in slant and direction.

The Kings Speech                  La Vie en Rose                Troy2                  Alexander the Great                 chaplin
The King’s Speech      La Vie en Rose                   Troy                     Alexander the Great             Chaplin
King George vi           Edith Piaff     Achillies rise to power            Conquering Macedonia     Charlie Chaplin

Sylvia Plath               Beatrix Potter               The Passion of Ayn Rand                            Walk the Line                 The Iron Lady
Sylvia Plath          Beatrix Potter            The Passion of Ayn Rand      Walk the Line         The Iron Lady
Depressed Poet  Children’s Writer       Existentialist                           Johnny Cash      Margaret Thatcher

in the name of the father                  Capote - Truman Capote              Enid               The Aviator Howard Hughes                the doors
In the Name of the Father       Capote                      Enid                            The Aviator                   The Doors
The Guildford Four              Truman Capote           Enid Blyton                Howard Hughes          Jim Morrison

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves                    Elizabeth 1                   Malcolm X                     Frida Kahlo                    Surviving Picasso
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves       Elizabeth 1           Malcolm X                  Frida               Surviving Picasso
Historical based                             Elizabeth 1           Muslim Leader        Frida Kahlo         Pablo Picasso


The Sports Film has now become an enormous genre. I’ve made it Film slash Biopic because sometimes sports films include people who are real or existing, for example The Hurricane is a real story of how Ruben Hurricane Carter was released from a prison sentence after 16 years being wrongfully accused. Invictus is the real story of how the South African rugby team won the World Cup in 1995 after Mandela’s release in 1994. A river Runs through it is a hybrid Epic about a family that bonds through fly fishing over a lengthy period of time. So the Sports genre can be a hybrid but more often than not it ends with some big event which is pertinent to that sport such as a competition or festival, some kind of celebration. Often a win or a lose situation, for example Rocky ends with the Championship match, A Knights Tale ends with a championship match, so does Girlfight, Jerry Maguire, Driven, Hardball

The Cutting Edge - Chasing the Dream                      The Hurricane                     A knights Tale                 Point Break                 The Horse Whisperer
The Cutting Edge             The Hurricane           A Knight’s Tale              Point Break     The Horse Whisperer
Ice Skating                    Boxing – TRUE Story            Jousting                   Surfing              Horse Riding

Rocky                    Million Dollar Babe                     Chariots of Fire                 Girlfight                Jerry Maguire
Rocky                   Million Dollar Baby              Chariots of Fire               Girlfight                  Jerry Maguire
Boxing                            Boxing                                  Athletics                      Boxing                      Football

A River Runs Through It                           The Fast and The Furious                       Hardball              Invictus              Driven (Burt Renolds Sylvestor Stallone)
A River Runs Through It     The Fast & the Furious     Hardball                Invictus                         Driven
Fishing (Also Epic)               Racing                         Football & Gambling        Rugby (True)        Formula 1


The term EPIC really relates to a style of film-making rather than a plot. Epics are the ultimate in movie making magic: Large sets, costumes, casts, sweeping landscapes, sweeping musical scores (designed specifically for the production), takes place over a lengthy period of time. Epics usually fall into the Biopic category, the Sports Biopic, or War dramas, demonstrated in the next two categories.There are very few clean Epics only. See if you can find more and make up your own minds … Here are a few fictional ones. Otherwise find them under Biopic or War category.

Legends of the Fall               Ladies in Lavender             Brokeback Mountain              Lord of the Rings                 Harry Potter

Legends of the Fall    Ladies in Lavendar     Brokeback Mountain   Lord of the Rings            Harry Potter


There are many people who have an indelible signature style, like John Wayne (Westerns Actor), John Ford (Westerns Director), Arthur Freed (Musicals), Alfred Hitchcock (Thriller Suspense), Errol Flynn (Romantic Adventure Swashbuckler). The samples I have chosen here are modern day actors or directors that I think are great in some way with signature style.

Quentin Tarrantino            Woody Allen           johnny depp           Guy Ritchie           Spike Lee

Quentin Tarrantino.      Woody Allen.                 Johnny Depp.       Guy Ritchie.               Spike Lee.
(Violent anti-violence) (Psycho spoofs)            (Anti-hero)            (Lose style)            (Black culture)


The signature of Film Noir is that it can actually be any genre, but it often relates to the Murder Mystery category because the overriding atmosphere, the look and feel, is dark, stark, sharp lines and camera angles, deep shadows and contrasts. Noir means ‘black’ in French and it’s an apt term. Often powerful men wielding guns,beautiful femme fatales wielding sex as fluidly as a gun, mostly for reasons of deception, betrayal, or manipulation. Film Noir is often played out at funerals, night-clubs, or in gangs, mafia locations. There can sometimes be touches of comedy (for example, The Sting has moments of Film Noir).

The Black Dahlia                   The Third Man                 Harold and Maud                 A Kiss Before Dying                   Nikita
The Black Dahlia.       The Third Man.        Harold and Maud.         A Kiss Before Dying.         Nikita.
Josh Hartnett.         Orson Welles.      Brilliantly macarbre.             Matt Dillon.       Modern Femme Fatale.

In Bruges                  Donnie Brasco                   Wicker Park                 The Maltese Falcon                     The Big Sleep
In Bruges.                   Donnie Brasco.         Wicker Park.              Maltese Falcon.        The Big Sleep.
Collin Farrell.             Al Pacino.                   Josh Harnett.            Humphrey Bogart    Humphrey Bogart
Dark places                 Johnny Depp             Femme fatale betrays                                   Lauren Bacall.


Black Comedy is different from Film Noir in that it is written specifically as a comedy. But the comedy is a bit off-beat, dark, humorous in a deep, but thought provoking way.

Ally McBeal Series            Death at a Funeral              Prizzi's honor                   Penelope                   50 First Dates
Ally MacBeal.              Death at a Funeral.        Prizzi’s Honor.              Penelope.                  50 First Dates.


The Dance or music category bear very little explanation – they’re joyous, lift the spirit, usually end with an up ending, also can end in a performance, festival or celebration of some kind – generally the feeling is uplifting, even if it’s down its up (e.g. Black Swan.)

The Company              Save the Last Dance              Country Strong         Bootmen            Coyote Ugly

The Company          Save the Last Dance       Country Strong             Bootmen                         Coyote Ugly

Honey               Step Up               Dance With Me - Chayanne             Dirty Dancing 2               Dirty Dancing Havanna Nights

Honey                               Step Up                     Dance With Me         Dirty Dancing               Havanna Nights

White Nights            Shout          Greece  Saturday Night Fever       Black Swan        Center Stage

White Nights.               Shout.                  Greece.     Saturday Night Fever.      Black Swan.      Center Stage.
(Hybrid Hostage)

Take the Lead             Music from the Heart             Tap          August Rush            Accross the Universe

Take the Lead      Music From the Heart            Tap                             August Rush          Accross the Universe


Prison Dramas are becoming a huge category and as such might be forming their own genre. Real or fictional people have their own stories to tell of whether they were rightly or wrongly convicted, how the escaped the Law, and whether that law was ‘fair’ to them or not. Often they take a moral stance on the hero’s position, sometimes they can be real stories too. Notice how people in prisons are not only men. Women are developing their own take on prison dramas. Sometimes this category demands legal eagle dramas … or some kind of legal aid assistance.

Shawshank Redemption                      Dead Man Walking                       Redemption The Stan Tookie Williams Story                 Brubaker              Within these Walls

Shawshank Redemption.     Dead Man Walking.       Redemption.                 Brubaker.       Within these Walls

Paradise Road                        Prison Break                         Bad Girls                  Last Dance                Cool Hand Luke

Paradise Road                   Prison Break                           Bad Girls                        Last Dance            Cool Hand Luke

The Man in the Iron Mask                    Papillon              Kiss of the Spiderwoman                        Brokedown Palace                      Birdman of alcatraz
Man In the Iron Mask.      Papillon.  Kiss of the Spiderwoman.   Brokedown Palace.         Birdman of Alcatraz.
(Hybrid Action Adventure)


Need I say more, drugs are a huge chunk or what makes up the modern western
world. It’s not surprising that several of these stories have emerged.

Trainspotting             Candy - Heath Ledger                 Riding in Cars with Boys                      Hustle and Flow                  Blow
Trainspotting.                     Candy.       Riding in Cars with Boys                  Hustle & Flow.                    Blow.

Requiem for a Dream                   scarface                  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas                   Carlito's Way               american gangster
Requiem for a Dream.        Scarface.   Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.       Carlito’s Way.     American Gangster


The objective of Horror is to TERRIFY! PETRIFY! UNNERVE! SHATTER! It explores our most ghastly traits and existentialist fears of the unknown. Set in spooky mansions or dark locations with serial killers or vampires, Horror preys on our most primal fears and paranoias, you either ‘get it’ or you don’t. The violence is often escalated to such ridiculous heights that you have to laugh, so they can be called dark comedies. Teenagers dig screaming with their friends and laughing their heads off. … There’s a time and a place for horror. I wouldn’t suggest watching on your own though! Tread carefully or you’ll tread on your dreams … Often amplified by CGI and film noir techniques to depict with satanic rituals and characters like Dracula, Frankenstein:

a Nightmare on Elm Street                   Scream                  From Dusk to Dawn                   Alien               iNTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE
Nightmare in Elm Street.   Scream.            From Dusk Till Dawn.         Alien.         Interview with the vampire.

The Blair Witch Project              The Exorcist               The Sining               The Texas Chain Saw Massacre               Lyfstraf
Blair Witch Project.         The Exorcist.                     Shining.          Texas Chainsaw Massare.          Lyfstraf.


War dramas are self-explanatory. War is something that has happened or is happening in many countries all over the world and will continue to be a source of debate and controversy. War Dramas can though, be seen also as Epics! Have a look at Gone with the Wind, Reds, The Patriot, Braveheart, often huge sets, huge budgets. If you haven’t seen it before … watch The Wind that Shakes the Barley. Not a huge budget, Irish film, but one of the saddest and most poignant you’ll ever see.

Gone with the Wind                Harts War              Pearl Harbour              The Patriot             Braveheart
Gone with the Wind.          Hart’s War.                    Pearl Habour.                 The Patriot.                       Braveheart.
Beyond Borders             Blood Diamond            Saving Private Ryan                GI Jane            Stop-Loss
Beyond Borders.             Blood Diamond.          Saving Private Ryan.            GI Jane.                         Stop-Loss.

Courage Under Fire            Reds               The wind that shakes the barley                 Platoon            Private Benjamin
Courage Under Fire.       Reds.              The Wind that Shakes the Barley.        Platoon.              Private Benjamin.

Star Wars Collection            Apocalypse Now (Epic)            Black Hawk Down             War Horse             Dances with Wolves 2
Star Wars.                         Apocalypse Now.         Black Hawk Down.           War Horse.            Dances with Wolves.


Gavin Hood with Light Meter            paperman              wooden camera           The Lunch Date 2           Bad Santa
Storekeeper.                  Paperman.        Wooden Camera.            The Lunch Date.              Bad Santa. (Billy Bob)
Dir: Gav Hood.             2013 Oscar Winner.                          Adam Davidson as student.
Raised funds for Tsotsi.                                                               Later … Greys Anatomy

Alive in Joburg - District 9 Short Film    Multi-facial Vin Deisel     the big shave     Doodlebug Christpher Nolan       Freiheit George Lucs Short Film
Alive in Joburg.                    Multi-facial.            The Big Shave.                      Doodlebug.                    Freiheit.
Raised funds for Tsotsi.      Vin Diesel.    Martin Scorsese Student film.     Christopher Nolan.      George Lucas.


South African Films are not widely celebrated all over the world and often pictures or information is hard to come by. The face of SA Film though is changing. We will continue to develop this section. Here are some of the best …

tsotsi2 Gavin Hood with Light Meter           Mapantsula              Feila se Kind              A Reasonable Man                Bang Bang Club
The Storekeeper.                  Mapantsula.                 Feila se Kind.      A Reasonable Man.     Bang Bang Club.

tsotsi2 The Flyer          Tsotsi            red dust 2           Blood Diamond              Road to Mecca
The Flyer.                                Tsotsi.                Red Dust.        Blood Diamond.                  Road to Mecca.

Cry the Beloved Country                 Drum - Taye Diggs                  Country of my Skull                  cry freedom 2                  COME BACK AFRICA
Cry the Beloved Country.       Drum.         Country of my Skull.          Cry Freedom.                   Come Back Africa.
(v controversial)     (Drum Magazine)     (TRC Hearings)                (Steve Biko/Donald Woods)  (Lionel Rogosin)



As a writer you need soul inspiration from time to time, or maybe you just want to sit
under a tree for a while and peruse. I found all these resources useful at different times
depending on my needs.

The Artists Way           Realms-of-the-Earth-Angels-Virtue-Doreen                The Da Vinci Code           Goddess Card Pack                the celestine prophecy
The Artist’s Way.       In the Realms of Angels.  The Da Vinci Code.    Goddess Cards.         Celestine Prophecy.
For creative                For those believers          If you’re a believer…     40 amazing       Ancient spiritual insights
spirits.                          in earth angels.                                                         goddesses.                          in Peru.


iqu2film Heart 121.3 kb


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