Writer Alex Keegan has a good article in the Internet Writing Journal on what transformed the Oscar-winning film Gladiator (2000, starring Russell Crowe) from a B-movie action flick to an excellent film. In "Shoot the Rhino," Keegan discusses the choices made by the screenplay's three writers. He points out that with only slight differences in the color and sensibility--the tone--the whole movie would have become less appealing. Instead, the writers focused on developing the hero, Maximus, as a man rather than just as a warrior, and made the dialog scenes weightier, "almost Shakespearean." Keegan discusses other tacks the writers took that gave the movie more impact--including convincing the director to leave out a particular special-effects scene. (Keegan doesn't say where he got the information. I assume it must be from interviews in Extras scene of the movie DVD.)
Caveat: If you haven't seen the movie yet, but want to, don't read Keegan's post because it gives away the ending.
Quote of the Day (and good to remember when I'm composing a blog post):
Most blogs suck. I'm being blunt, but no one wants to read about what you
ate for breakfast unless you're a dingo and you ate a baby.
-- Bob Mayer in He Wrote, She Wrote: the Crusie-Mayer Writing Workshop.