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'The Three Wells' Podcast featuring Corne van Rooyen


The Three Wells podcast is based on the principles expressed in Matthew Kalil's book, The Three Wells of Screenwriting. Working screenwriters, film professors, first-time screenwriters, adaptation writers, TV writers, commissioned writers, script editors, playwrights, novelists, songwriters, journalists, documentary writers... anyone looking to break into their next idea or overcome writer's block can benefit from this practical screenwriting aid.

With Spling as the host of The Three Wells podcast, Matthew gets to the nitty-gritty of what it takes to be a writer, how to find inspiration and how to apply The Three Wells of Screenwriting methodology through the lens of the films, TV shows and novels of screenwriters and authors.

Corne van Rooyen, the screenwriter behind Vaselinetjie, Hollywood in my Huis and a number of popular South African TV dramas, joins us in studio for our latest podcast.

Pivoting around the metaphor of a well and finding your deep sources of inspiration, the concept deals with the External Sources well, the Imagination well and the Memory well. Kalil discusses how one digs into each of these wells in terms of what's been gleaned from pop culture, what the mind can fathom and how our experiences can be leveraged in the writing process.

An extension of the book, Kalil uses the podcast as a platform to discuss the writing process with renowned screenwriters and authors to unpack how they've come to rely on each of these wells in their writing journeys. Speaking about each of these wells and finding out how these screenwriters operate, you'll be able to get a better understanding of the core principles at play in The Three Wells of Screenwriting and hopefully be inspired by some of the ideas and concepts for your own projects.

Here's a review of Matthew Kalil's book, which will give you a much greater understanding and a veritable treasure trove of honest advice that has helped him and is worth revisiting.

This The Three Wells podcast was recorded at Fine Music Radio's recording studio at the Artscape in Cape Town, South Africa.

 
Christia Visser on 'The Recce'


Christia Visser is a natural, who has quietly ratcheted up an impressive collection of performances with lead roles in Hollywood in my Huis, Tess, Girl from Nowhere and supporting roles in Ballade vir 'n Enkeling, Alison, Last Ones Out and now The Recce. Having seen most of her feature films, one can be forgiven for thinking you know her, testament to her terrific ability to bring you alongside her characters.

Her latest film, a war drama called The Recce (opens nationwide 28 September), directed by Ferdinand Van Zyl, finds her playing Nicola Viljoen, a wife struggling with the idea that her combatant husband may not return home. Spling caught up with Visser to find out more...

How did you come to be involved in this project?

I auditioned.

Can you tell us a bit about your character - was there any resonance for you?

I play the role of Nicola Viljoen, the wife of the recce, Henk. There was a lot of resonance for me. Nicola is an incredibly strong woman, she has her own opinions about the war, she's not oblivious at all... she fights for her husband and unborn child, for love. She is so many women that I know.

The Recce - Nicola Viljoen

How did you prepare for the role?

That is always a difficult question as I don't have a recipe. For Nicola, I used the unknown to fuel her fear, everything she does not know about the war and exactly what happens there... like me, she's only heard stories.

What did you learn from your time shooting The Recce? Would you be interested in doing more war films of this nature, why?

I think every time you shoot on a different project, you work with new people, you push yourself a little further and you learn... I don't think it's something you can necessarily pinpoint or put into words. I have to say that The Recce was a beautiful experience for me, it's amazing to work with a group of people you admire and trust.

Yes, all stories deserve to be told and no one is ever exactly like the other.

It looks like a labour of love involving blood, sweat, mud and tears - what was the most challenging aspect of your performance?

Most challenging for me personally was playing a pregnant woman, I've never been pregnant, so I had to remind myself constantly that there's life inside me... I had to learn to move differently and feel different... the extra weight helped for the most part.

The Recce - Nicola Viljoen

What is your most cherished memory from ‘The Recce’?

Playing in a sprinkler with Greg Kriek... we had so much fun doing the flashback scenes, we got to drink lemonade and chase each other around the yard, like kids!

What do you think audiences will take away from the experience?

I think it'll bring a deeper sense of understanding. The film jumps into the deep emotional side of war, a side we try to overlook as humans. I may never know what my family members went through... I can only try my utmost to understand.

You've undertaken a number of challenging roles... do you feel that these performances help you grow as a person?

Definitely... I get to go to places Christia would never go... it gives me a better understanding of myself and others... I get to test my limits every time.

You seem to live and breathe through your characters, how do you shake off some of the more intense ones?

Sometimes it takes time to shake it off, but for me, the trick is to let it be what it is, don't force it out, live it out... I am also extremely fortunate to have incredibly supportive family and friends, they always remind me who I really am and they are patient with me.

What's next for Christia Visser?

There are some exciting new ventures happening later this year... I can't share details yet, but all in good time.

 
Casinos in Pop Culture


Casinos have been around for hundreds of years, so it should come as no surprise that over time they have made their way into pop culture. After all, when you think about the thrill of the games, the glitz and glamor, and the crazy lifestyle often associated with Las Vegas, casinos have plenty to offer creators.

Casinos have been featured in everything from movies to books, TV shows, and even video games. It’s not just land-based casinos that have been featured; these days online casinos are also being celebrated in pop culture.

We take a look at some of the best examples of casinos in pop culture over the years.

Casinos in movies

There are so many casino movies out there that it would be difficult to name them all. From modern classics such as Casino Royale to popular heist flicks such as the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, these movies all feature gambling venues that make for an excellent setting, as well as often being central to the storyline.

Some of our favorite examples of casino movies out there include Casino, 21, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Back to the Future 2, Rounders, Rain Man, The Hangover, Swingers, and Croupier. As for those featuring online casinos, they’re a bit rarer. One example is the 2013 movie Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck, although it didn’t get great reviews. It would be interesting to see if any hits based on online casinos come out anytime soon.

Casinos in TV shows

There are several instances where casinos have featured on popular TV shows. Think Friends, when they all go to visit Joey who is working at a casino or that episode of The Simpsons when Homer takes Ned to Sin City to show him “the right way to live.”

What some of you may not realize, however, is that there are also a few TV shows out there that were actually centered around gambling and casinos. Most notably, these include Las Vegas, which ran back in the early 2000s and focused on a former CIA agent and casino boss played by actor James Caan, and The Casino, which was a reality TV series that offered viewers an insight into the realities of running a casino.

Casinos in literature

Some of the casino movies we mentioned before are based on popular books. These include Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Ben Mezrich’s 21: Bringing Down the House: How Six Students Took Vegas for Millions and Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. However, these are not the only examples of casinos in literature.

Of course, there are several books written on gambling and casinos, but many of these discuss the principles of the games and offer advice on how you can beat the house. Other interesting reads include Don’t Look Twice, The Eudaemonic Pie, and Straight Flush, which is based on the true story of a bunch of frat boys who start one of the biggest online poker sites.

Casinos in music

Musicians have also been inspired by the thrill of gambling, writing lyrics about the ace of spades, deals with the devil, and more. This list wouldn’t be complete without hits such as Frank Sinatra’s Luck Be A Lady, Ace of Spades by Motorhead, Casino Boogie by the Rolling Stones, Viva Las Vegas by Elvis Presley, The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, Deuces Are Wild by Aerosmith, Poker Face by Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry’s Waking Up In Vegas.

Pop culture in the casino

Of course, it’s not just pop culture that draws its inspiration from casinos. It also works the other way around, with casino games taking their inspiration from popular movies, comics, TV shows, and more. Superman is just one of many examples of such inspiration.

Taking inspiration from pop culture to create hit online casino games is a great idea, as it can help to create a truly engaging and better playing experience, particularly if the player is a big fan of the movie or TV show that the game is based on. So, if you’re a casino looking to reach out to a new audience or create better games, then using pop culture may just be a great way to do so.

 
'The Three Wells' Podcast featuring Shirley Johnston


The Three Wells podcast is based on the principles expressed in Matthew Kalil's book, The Three Wells of Screenwriting. Working screenwriters, film professors, first-time screenwriters, adaptation writers, TV writers, commissioned writers, script editors, playwrights, novelists, songwriters, journalists, documentary writers... anyone looking to break into their next idea or overcome writer's block can benefit from this practical screenwriting aid.

With Spling as the host of The Three Wells podcast, Matthew gets to the nitty-gritty of what it takes to be a writer, how to find inspiration and how to apply The Three Wells of Screenwriting methodology through the lens of the films, TV shows and novels of screenwriters and authors.

Shirley Johnston, the screenwriter behind Felix and a myriad of popular South African TV dramas, joins us for our first podcast.

Pivoting around the metaphor of a well and finding your deep sources of inspiration, the concept deals with the External Sources well, the Imagination well and the Memory well. Kalil discusses how one digs into each of these wells in terms of what's been gleaned from pop culture, what the mind can fathom and how our experiences can be leveraged in the writing process.

An extension of the book, Kalil uses the podcast as a platform to discuss the writing process with renowned screenwriters and authors to unpack how they've come to rely on each of these wells in their writing journeys. Speaking about each of these wells and finding out how these screenwriters operate, you'll be able to get a better understanding of the core principles at play in The Three Wells of Screenwriting and hopefully be inspired by some of the ideas and concepts for your own projects.

Here's a review of Matthew Kalil's book, which will give you a much greater understanding and a veritable treasure trove of honest advice that has helped him and is worth revisiting.

This 'The Three Wells' podcast was recorded at Fine Music Radio's recording studio at the Artscape in Cape Town, South Africa.

 
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