Monday, 18 May 2015

Update On My Work

So after (nearly) three years of studying, today I handed in my final pieces of work, concluding my time at Falmouth University. It's a pretty big day, but I thought I would update you guys on what I'm hoping is going to happen next!

So after studying all this time, I have realised that screenwriting is the route for me. One of my final projects was a feature length screenplay, and that is what I will now be looking to sell. Obviously, that is just one screenplay, so I'm going to need to write some more! I have my house in Falmouth for the next couple months, so I will be doing a lot of writing work during my break, before looking for a part time job, so I can begin to have some income and pay off the annoyingly high student debt, as well as use the money to submit to festivals, competitions and what not.

So yeah, lots of screenwriting is about to begin, or has begun, because I have already developed another idea which I am about to write a first draft for!

The screenplay I have already written, and gone through a number of drafts with, is titled The Pursuit. And if any producers/agents/directors/managers out there are reading, then let me tell you, it is a Young Adult Sci-Fi film, which I would pitch as a cross between The Hunger Games and Moon.

The logline goes like this:

Born onto a mission to explore the stars, Lily only dreams of going home to Earth. What was once an impossible dream becomes suddenly more achievable when the ship regains a lost connection with Earth, and Lily becomes friends with a lonely technician named Bry on the other end. 

Sound like some something you might want to read/pursue further? Get in contact!! (

Other shameless plugs on this post include; an article I wrote recently on Jay and Mark Duplass's TV show Togetherness  for Steam TV. You can read that one here.

Don't worry though, I'm not giving up the blog just yet! In fact I'm celebrating my hand in with a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road, because that's just what film students do. Keep an eye out for a review of that in the next few days!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

GUEST POST: The Odds for the Film Underdogs

Something a bit different today as Alex's Essential Movie Blog has its first ever guest post! The post is written by Katrina Hinrichsen and looks at underdog films and what the character odds might be if you were to actually bet on them.

Katrina Hinrichsen is a Literature and Art History graduate with experience of writing on a wide range of subjects including the Arts, Travel and Marketing. She likes weird and wonderful films like Pan’s Labyrinth and Fight Club. You can connect with her on Twitter@katcuriosity!

Read on and enjoy!

You’ve watched them from your couches and cinema seats, waited with baited breath to see if they would triumph, and jumped up and fist pumped the air when they soared to glory despite the glaring unlikelihood.

But what, you wonder, are the precise odds for these athletes and sports teams’ eventual outcomes within these inspirational films? 

With the help of betting experts at, I had a look at what the odds would be if you were to actually bet on your film favourites coming up top.

Rocky (1976)

Who isn’t familiar with the infamous rags to riches story of Rocky Balboa, or at the very least its iconic theme tune? Made on just a budget of around $1million and shot in 28 days, this film became the highest grossing film of 1976 and sprung Sylvestor Stallone to stardom.

The film draws inspiration from the careers of at least three boxers. Stallone’s story initiates when challenger Mac Lee Green pulls out of his bout with world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed. Local working class Italian-American fighter Rocky is then handed the chance to step into the ring for an exhibition match.

Rocky is 100/1 to take out the champion, yet he knocks him down in the first and despite taking incredible punishment, goes the full 15-round distance. Creed wins on a decision, but Rocky proves his worth.

Chariots of Fire (1981)

This film is set in a class-obsessed and religiously divided United Kingdom in the early 1920s. It is based on the true story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: a devout Scottish Christian named Eric Liddell who runs in his worship of God’s glory, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome anti-Semitism.

After being well beaten in the 100 metre final, 8/1 chance Harold Abrahams puts in the performance of his life to win gold in the 200 metres. Meanwhile, Eric Liddell's religious convictions make him miss his preferred 100 metre final on the Sunday and he is given little chance of winning over 400 metres. However, he too beats his American rivals to take gold at odds of 10/1.

Chariots of Fire became a recurring theme in promotions for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and a stage adaptation was even mounted in honour of the recent Olympics too. The film’s director, Hugh Hudson, stated in the Evening Standard that "Issues of faith, of refusal to compromise, standing up for one's beliefs, achieving something for the sake of it, with passion, and not just for fame or financial gain, are even more vital today."

Hoosiers (1986)

Hoosiers is a sports film lightly based on the Milan High School team that won the 1954 state basketball championship. Angelo Pizzo, who wrote the original screenplay, knows about small-town sports, and this helped his film to achieve very positive reviews for its sincerity and resonance with high school students.

Coach Norman Dale's unconventional methods initially attract only derision from the people of Hickory, but he sticks to his ways to somehow lead his small, un-athletic squad all the way to the Indiana State Championship final. In the final they are 14/1 to defeat a taller, fitter South Bend team, but a last second score seals an unlikely victory!

Cool Runnings (1993)

What a classic comedy. This film tells the true story of four Jamaicans, who decide to embark on a bobsledding challenge of a lifetime, by competing in the Winter Olympics despite never even having seen snow before. With the desperate motivation of a former champion runner within their team, these Jamaicans are set out to become true Olympic contenders.

The team begin the games as 250/1 outsiders in the four-man bob and were out to 500/1 after their placing last on the first run, yet they still came within a whisker of beating 4/6 favourites Switzerland to the gold.

Their tale is truly inspiring, demonstrating that when one door closes, alternative routes to success are still possible.

Warrior (2011)

Warrior is a modern American sports drama starring Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy as estranged brothers whose entry into a mixed martial arts tournament forces them to confront each other and their past.

U.S. Marine Tommy (66/1) and Brendan (50/1) are outsiders to scoop the $5m Sparta prize, yet they both overcome the odds to battle their way through to the final, where they are finally reconciled as Brendan (8/11) forces Tommy to submit in a brutal bout.

The film has received a lot of praise for its approach to the themes of forgiveness and family bonds. It also puts a spotlight on MMA as a sport that’s growing in popularity.

All these films are successful examples of the classic underdog formula, where the viewer gets to watch and support their favourite characters as they overcome serious challenges to become sporting champions (or close enough to it)!

What are your favourite inspirational sports films to watch and would you have ever bet on the athletes’ triumph? Share with us in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Katrina Hinrichsen