1. The audience is fickle.

2. Grab ‘em by the throat and never let ‘em go.

3. Develop a clean line of action for your leading character.

4. Know where you’re going.

5. The more subtle and elegant you are in hiding your plot points, the better you are as a writer.

6. If you have a problem with the third act, the real problem is in the first act.

7. A tip from Lubitsch: Let the audience add up two plus two. They’ll love you forever.

8. In doing voice-overs, be careful not to describe what the audience already sees. Add to what they’re seeing.

9. The event that occurs at the second act curtain triggers the end of the movie.

10. The third act must build, build, build in tempo and action until the last event, and then — that’s it. Don’t hang around.

Advice from legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder, a fine addition to our ongoing collection of advice from cultural icons and modern heroes.

From the excellent Conversations with Wilder.

(?Lists of Note)

When our parents sent a letter in the mail, nobody was allowed to open it to check if it contained a copied poem, which would infringe on the copyright monopoly. When our parents sent a letter in the mail, they and they alone determined if they identified themselves as sender on the outside of the envelope, inside the envelope, or not at all. When our parents sent a letter in the mail, the mailman was never held responsible for the contents of that letter, regardless of if the contents infringed a particular copyright monopoly or were even downright illegal.
It is entirely reasonable to demand sternly that our children have the same rights as our parents and grandparents had. A particular corporation’s profitability does not factor into it.

The mismatch between Silicon Valley and Congress isn’t just that Silicon Valley isn’t engaged enough with lobbying Congress, but that Silicon Valley has this outmoded idea that your ideas succeed when they are right, as proven in the marketplace, rather than because you were better at making a backdoor deal than the next guy.

I was there to take down the names of people who were arrested… As I’m standing there, some African-American woman goes up to a police officer and says, ‘I need to get in. My daughter’s there. I want to know if she’s OK.’ And he said, ‘Move on, lady.’ And they kept pushing with their sticks, pushing back. And she was crying. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he throws her to the ground and starts hitting her in the head,” says Smith. “I walk over, and I say, ‘Look, cuff her if she’s done something, but you don’t need to do that.’ And he said, ‘Lady, do you want to get arrested?’ And I said, ‘Do you see my hat? I’m here as a legal observer.’ He said, ‘You want to get arrested?’ And he pushed me up against the wall.

Retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, working as a legal observer after the raids on Zucotti Park this Tuesday, via Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force amidst the New Military Urbanism (via seriouslyamerica)

Starting a company requires you to become oddly unemotional. That means dumping fear of failure, dumping fear of judgement, dumping the desire to impress anyone.

The most famous expression of this truth was provided by Bill Gates in a Microsoft internal ‘Challenges and Strategy’ memo, dated May 16,1991. “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented and had taken out patents”, he wrote, “the industry would be at a complete stand-still today.” Rather more revealingly, Gates concluded that the “solution” to the problem of patents was “patenting as much as we can… A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose. That price might be high: Established companies have an interest in excluding future competitors.