About Writer Brian M Logan
Screenwriters on the whole tend to dislike being put into a 'genre box' by agents and studio execs. Which is completely understandable given most screenwriters can turn their hand to any number of genres.
For my part though, I actually don't mind it when someone talks about me and says, "You know, Brian M Logan...he's that action guy" - because my logic is that it's probably better to be thought of as a 'specialist' in one area of the screenwriting craft...than not thought of at all! And of course the great thing about being a guy who specializes in action, is that it's not only its own genre, but also a story element in practically every other genre. Which makes the writer of action pretty darn versatile!
But, versatile or not, I will 'fess up here and tell you that I'm not the guy to re-write 'Sense and Sensibility', 'Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood' or 'Beaches' for you. Nor am I the guy to lovingly re-imagine 'Piglet's Big Movie', 'The Hottie or the Nottie', or any film starring Tom Green.
However I am the guy to adapt that kick-ass comic book or novel you've got your hands on. Or to turn in a new draft of that horror, action or thriller assignment you've got burning a hole in your desk. Because if snappy dialogue and edge of your seat action is what you're after, then I'm someone who definitely speaks your language.
For more information on me, please click here: Brian M Logan CV.
If you want to scratch a little deeper than normal to really find out what makes someone tick, folks with an HR bent often suggest you put the person in question through some Jungian Typology testing. This is a form of human metrics devised by Carl Gustav Jung which divides people into 'Four Temperaments'. These being: Rationals, Idealists, Artisans and Guardians. I took one of these tests recently and discovered that I am an 'Artisan'. Or more specifically, an ISFP or 'Composer Artisan' (each temperament has sub categories). So if you're thinking about hiring me and want to get a handle on what sort of person you'd be working with...here's some high falutin' nonsense that apparently describes me:
The Portrait of the 'Composer Artisan' - (ISFP)
Besides being concrete in speech and utilitarian in getting what they want, the Composer Artisans are accommodating and attentive in their social roles. Composers are just as reluctant to direct others' behaviour as are Performers, though they appear even more so, since they are more attentive.
While all the Artisans are artistic in nature, Composers (perhaps ten per cent of the population) seem to excel in the "fine arts," having not only a natural grace of movement, but also an innate sense of what fits and what doesn't fit in artistic compositions. Of course, composing must not be thought of as only writing music, but as bringing into harmonious form any aspect of the world of the five senses. And so, when a gifted painter, writer, sculptor, choreographer, film maker, chef, decorator, or fashion designer shows up, he or she is likely to be a Composer Artisan.
Composers, like the other Artisans, have a special talent for "tactical" variation, and such talent differs radically from that possessed by Idealists, Rationals, and Guardians (who have their own unique and inherent abilities). As the word "tactical" implies, Artisans keep closely in "touch" with the physical world, their senses keenly tuned to reality. But, while the Crafter is attuned to the tool and its uses, the Composer is attuned to sensory variation in colour, line, texture, aroma, flavour, tone-seeing, touching, smelling, tasting, and hearing in harmony. This extreme concreteness and sensuality seems to come naturally to the Composers, as if embedded "in the warp and woof" of their make.
Famous 'Composer Artisans' include: Bob Dylan, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Cher, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mel Brooks, Steven Spielberg and Neil Simon
Following is a list of cinematic gems I consider to be my favourite films of all time.
Please note the use of the word 'favourite' rather than 'best' in that last sentence. Because although 'favourite' and 'best' can often be one in the same; it ain't necessarily so. And I'm using 'favourite films' here to mean films that I love so much, I've watched them again and again and again. And / or, films that have deeply impacted on me in one way or another.
I'm posting the list here, simply because - to those interested enough to join the dots - it's another little window into my soul.
1: Frank Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life'
Frank Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life' is the ultimate film about redemption from a filmmaker at the height of his craft. The greatest Christmas movie of all time (and I'm a sucker for Christmas movies) it is - ultimately - a film about second chances. A film that tells us that EVERYTHING you do in life matters. And that EVERYBODY you interact with in life, impacts on the person you are. And the person they are. So savour every moment. Every experience. Because everybody is a star in somebody's story. And sometimes, just sometimes...it's not your story that matters.
I have a tradition where every Christmas day I watch this film to remind myself of the wisdom it imparts. No matter where I am or who I am with, this is how I spend a big part of my Christmas day. And yup, every year I end up crying.
A modern day morality tale starring Bill Murray and directed by Richard 'Lethal Weapon' Donner? Tell me that's not a recipe for a fantastic film!!! Throw in 'classic' source material, Karen 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' Allen at the top of her game, 80s sensibilities, Christmas (a fantastic element to add into any feel-good film) and an exceptional soundtrack, and you've got a film that you can never watch too many times. Never!
And, you guessed it, I have another little tradition where I always watch this film on Christmas eve. No tears involved in this one though. Except maybe tears of laughter!
3: Mr Destiny
A vastly underrated film by James Orr, this is another film with a strong underlying moral. If you haven't seen it, get it on blu-ray. Every guy who reaches middle age and hasn't got his shit together should get this one out. Think your life's in the toilet? Think things would've turned out better if only you'd hit that last pitch in the high school play-off, or married the prom queen? Yes? Then see this film. Because if anything's going to shake you out of your quotidian existence, this is it. With a killer soundtrack and a cast that includes James Belushi, Linda Hamilton, Rene Russo, Jon Lovits and Michael Cain as ‘Mr. Destiny’, this is one of the best 'morality' films every made. Every bit as good today as it was when it was released in 1990.
4: Die Hard
Without a doubt the single BEST action film in history. The hugely talented John McTiernan at the helm. Bruce Willis in his first major film role. Alan 'benefits of a classical education' Rickman as the best ‘bad guy’ in the history of cinema...and Christmas! They don’t come any better than this, they really don’t. Everything works in this film. EVERYTHING. It really is about as good an action film as it’s possible to make.
Without a doubt the single BEST sci-fi film in history. Yes, ask me on a different day and I'll put this above Die Hard. If the truth be known you really can't separate them. James Cameron has, in Aliens, influenced every action / creature film since 1986. This film ROCKS! And rocks hard! Edge of your seat action that never lets up. Brilliant performances. Big assed guns. And don't even get me going on how many people started sleeping with the light on after seeing into HR Geiger's warped mind! James Cameron is THE best action director on the planet. He's also one of the best action screenwriters, too. (Let's face it here, the guy's a force of nature). And if this was the last film I saw before I died, then I'd probably die happy. Because cinema doesn't get much better than this.
6: Groundhog Day
Well what do you know, yet another comedy with a strong underlying moral (who knew!). Anything directed by Harold Ramis and starring Bill Murray is pretty much going to be a sure fire classic. And this is no exception! With the fantastic plot device of one day repeating itself over and over again, it speaks to everybody who has ever had a sneaking suspicion that their life is actually a bleak Sisyphean struggle. Has there ever been a better metaphor for Everyman's quest for meaning than this film? I don’t think so. Brilliant in every respect and as funny and heart-warming a film as you’re ever going to see.
Few directors can come close to Ivan Reitman's skill at handling comedy. And with him at the helm, a screenplay by comedic genii Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis (yup, he who directed Groundhog Day) and a cast including Ramis, Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis, this is an all time classic. And did I mention the soundtrack? Or what about: 'He slimed me?' - one of the top ten movie one-liners in cinema history!
"If it bleeds, we can kill it!" - If ever an action film deserved to be viewed again and again (with the sound up L.O.U.D) this is it! With a cast of characters carved out of pure granite. John McTiernan again proving his brilliance. Arnie doing what Arnie does best. Shane Black as a wise-cracking grunt. And a fantastic creature (thank you, Stan Winston) that made grown men wish they'd brought a change of underwear to the cinema, Predator is a film every red blooded male should be able to quote lines from in a dodgy Arnie accent, to tall blonde women in bars who are way too young to know what the hell they're going on about!
9: The Terminator
Like Predator, The Terminator is Arnie kickin' ass and taking names. With Linda Hamilton as the ultimate 80s damsel in distress. Michael Biehn as the edgy good guy from the future. And that man James Cameron again, defining the action genre and re-defining cinema. All before lunch. And all on a shoe-string budget. If you don't have a copy of this film in your collection at home, hang your head in shame. Because this film is iconic.
10: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Without a doubt the single BEST adventure film in history. With the immensely talented Steven Spielberg at the helm, George Lucas behind the wheel, Lawrence Kasdan behind the typewriter, Harrison Ford as Indy, and the eternally beautiful Karen Allen as the tough but sexy love interest...this is escapist cinema at its best, and is a movie that I wouldn't change a frame of, because it works on every single level. And for an action screenwriter like myself who prides himself on writing kick-ass action set-pieces, gaping in awe at the set-pieces in Raiders is like feasting on manna from heaven.
Special Mention: Ben Hur
'Ben Hur - The Story of the Christ' is the film that put the E in Epic. Won more Oscars than any film in history (matched later by 'Titanic' and 'Return of the King'). I've got a real soft spot for epics and this film succeeds on every possible level. Even today, nearly 50 years later, it is still the ultimate film of its type (only 'Lawrence of Arabia' comes close). Get it on widescreen Blu-ray if you haven't seen it, and be prepared to experience the Zeitgeist of epic cinema.
Extra Special Mention: Jack the Giant Killer
This wonderful piece of cinematic fantasy from 1962 is probably the film I watched most when I was a kid. It always seemed to be on TV, and each and every time I watched it, I loved it even more than the last time! Two headed giants, damsels in distress, leprechauns in bottles, pirates, witches, evil kings, toys that come to life, sword and sorcery, and the whole thing filmed in 'Fantascope and Technicolor'...what's not to LOVE!
Other Films I Really Enjoyed (And Could Watch Again)
It hasn't escaped my notice that all of my 'favourite' films were first seen by me when I was a kid. Which may go a long way to explaining my enduring fondness for them. Truth be told I could probably do another half a dozen 'Top 10 Favourite Films' from different eras without breaking a sweat. But, rather than doing that, I'm just going to list a lot of other films that I loved (and could easily watch again), decade by decade.
80s - (in no particular order):
Future Cop (Trancers); Scarface; History of the World Part 1; Ghostbusters 2; Halloween; Gremlins; A Nightmare on Elm Street; Morons from Outer Space; A Nightmare on Elm Street 3; Mad Max (The Road Warrior); Excalibur; Crocodile Dundee; The Octagon; Lone Wolf McQuade; Lethal Weapon; Tootsie; Risky Business; Romancing the Stone; Witness; The Princess Bride; Batman; Wall Street; The Hitcher; An Officer and a Gentleman; Blade Runner; The Howling; Dead Poets' Society; Die Hard; Die Hard 2; Throw Mama From the Train ("A Writer Writes: Always!"); The Untouchables; Field of Dreams; Major League; Evil Dead; Hellraiser; When Harry Met Sally; Back to the Future ; First Blood; Night Patrol; Flashdance; Airplane! (Flying High!); Stripes; Little Shop of Horrors; Big; Poltergeist; The Shining; The Thing; The Name of the Rose; An American Werewolf in London; Beverly Hills Cop; Scanners; Beverly Hills Cop 2; Trading Places; Beetlejuice; Heathers; The Empire Strikes Back; Coming to America; The Golden Child; Fatal Attraction; Henry V; The Fly; Planes Trains and Automobiles; The Breakfast Club; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; Roxanne; Jésus de Montréal; Twins; Back to the Future 2; Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade; The Tall Guy.
90s - (in no particular order):
Taking Care of Business; Cyrano de Bergerac; Point Break; Total Recall; Kindergarten Cop; Crazy People; Struck by Lightning; The Hunt for Red October; JFK; A Few Good Men; Reservoir Dogs; The Crow; Antz; Four Weddings and a Funeral; What Dreams May Come; Barton Fink; The Fugitive; Army of Darkness; Junior; Back to the Future 3; Ghost; Goodfellas; Blade; Godfather 3; Pulp Fiction; From Dusk Till Dawn; T2; Braveheart; Remains of the Day; Shadowlands; Escape From Absolom (No Escape); Basic Instinct; Unforgiven; Jurassic Park; True Lies; The Santa Clause; The Santa Clause 2; Glengarry Glen Ross; There's Something About Mary; The Cube; The Truman Show; American Beauty; The Last Boy Scout; The Long Kiss Goodnight; Miracle on 34th Street; The Mummy; Under Siege; Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy; Timecop; Die Hard With a Vengence; Fight Club; Galaxy Quest; Beverly Hills Cop 3; Fargo; Falling Down; As Good as it Gets; Independence Day; Twister; The Shawshank Redemption; The Truth About Cats & Dogs; Matilda; The Player; In the Line of Fire; Sleepless in Seattle; Ace Ventura: Pet Detective; Speed; Scream; Seven; Toy Story; The Usual Suspects; Jerry Maguire; Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels; L. A. Confidential; Men in Black; Bad Boys; The Nutty Professor; The Nightmare Before Christmas; The Sixth Sense; The Man Who Knew too Little; Bowfinger (I WANT A BOWFINGER MOMENT!); Grosse Pointe Blank; The Green Mile; The Matrix; The X-Files.
00s - (in no particular order):
Donnie Darko (Director's Cut); The Majestic; Meet the Parents; High Fidelity; Dog Soldiers; Identity; What Women Want; America's Sweethearts; The Butterfly Effect; X-Men; Memento; Jurassic Park 3; Shrek; The Bourne Identity; The Bourne Supremacy; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; Spider-Man; Spider-Man 2; The Incredibles; Shrek 2; Shaun of the Dead; Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; X-Men; X-Men 2; Batman Begins; Crash; Live Free or Die Hard; The 40 Year Old Virgin; Men in Black 2; The Passion of the Christ; Apocalypto; Bubba Ho-tep; The Wedding Crashers; A History of Violence; Kiss Kiss Bang Bang; I Robot; Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl; Rent; V for Vendetta; Syriana; Zoolander; Knocked Up; The Brave One; Babel; Music & Lyrics; Forgetting Sarah Marshall; Iron Man; Dark Knight; X-Files: I Want to Believe; Numb; Street Kings; Death Defying Acts, Starter for 10; My Best Friend's Girl; Purple Violets; Die Hard 4.0 (DVD version); Max Payne; Over Her Dead Body; Burn After Reading; Rec; JCVD; 500 Days of Summer; Let The Right One In; The Ugly Truth; Inglorious Basterds; Watchmen; Star Trek; It's Complicated; Kick Ass; Get Him to the Greek; Avatar, Thor, The Avengers.
Note: the above list is in no way definitive, but is simply a list of films that I remembered when I was writing this. I'll add more as and when they occur to me!