Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inner Drives

How To Write and Create Characters Using The Eight Centers of Motivation
By Pamela Jaye Smith

Book Review
By Ann Baldwin

Pamela Jaye Smith is a world renowned mythologist, writer, consultant, speaker, and award-winning producer-director with 30 years experience on features, TV series, commercials, music videos, documentaries, corporate and military films. Some of her clients and credits include Paramount, Disney, Universal, GM, Boeing, the FBI, and the U.S. Army. In her book, Inner Drives: How To Write and Create Characters Using The Eight Centers of Motivation (Michael Wiese Productions 2005), you’ll gain a deep understanding of what’s at the core of all humans that makes us think, feel, and act the way we do, by looking closely at the energy centers (chakras), so you can build your characters from the inside-out making them more authentic and easier for your audience to connect with.

The centers of motivation (energy centers) are bundles of actual nerves in the body and are associated with an endocrine gland, which affect us physically and emotionally through the particular hormones secreted by those glands: sex hormone from the sacral center, stress hormone from the root center etc. You’ll learn things like why creative individuals with archetypes such as artists, detectives, intelligence officers, and writers, who have active throat centers, often crave something for their mouth (eating, drinking, smoking) and what kinds of food and beverage a lover archetype, who has an active sacral center (the center of sex, fear, and money), consumes like oysters, chocolate, champagne, and finger foods.

For each energy center, Pamela covers a vast array of area’s to use as references, when creating your characters, like the types of clothing, styles of speech, kinds of music, and physical actions; along with, using hundreds of examples of characters and films like Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in Pirates of The Caribbean, Jody Foster’s Clarice Starling in Silence Of The Lambs, Samuel L. Jackson’s Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and Susan Sarandon’s Annie Savoy in Bull Durham. She includes fun and creative techniques and exercises to get you in-tune with the energy frequency of your characters, yourself, and others.

Designing characters using the eight centers of motivation is like being the conductor of a symphony orchestra and knowing the exact musical sounds you need and when, to create the perfect rhythm for your audience to experience. I highly recommend Inner Drives for writers, actors, and directors who want to create unique characters with not just the physical, emotional, and mental bodies, but most importantly, the spiritual (life energy) bodies as well.

To learn more about Pamela Jaye Smith you can visit her at and purchase a copy of Inner Drives at Michael Wiese Productions, Amazon, The Writers Store, Borders, and Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Getting It Done

The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide
By Joshua Friedman

Book Review
By Ann Baldwin

Joshua Friedman has worked as a Production Assistant on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Royal Pains, and 30 Rock, along with many feature films, including Hancock, The Taking of Pelham 123, and Salt. In his new book, Getting It Done: The Ultimate Production Assistant Guide (Michael Wiese Productions February 2011), he gives you everything you need to succeed as a production assistant.

Joshua’s attitude helped him get through some challenging experiences and a few embarrassing moments, which he shares with pride and humor. He explains that while being a production assistant (more often called a PA) is hard work, it’s also very rewarding and fun.

The information he presents is comprehensive and detailed from job responsibilities of every production and crew member to all the equipment used. He includes extensive forms and checklists to get you familiar and organized, along with a glossary of terms from which to study.

This PA’s boot camp survival map prepares you to hit the ground running behind-the-scenes, before the action starts. It should be recommended reading for all film students.

You can contact Joshua Friedman for questions and comments at and purchase a copy of Getting It Done at Michael Wiese Productions , Amazon, Borders, or Barnes & Noble.