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The War of the Damned

By the end of the last episode of the final season Spartacus creator Steven de Knight has accomplished resurrecting Spartacus in a modern day quintessence.  The episode “Victory” in which the slaves call out the name Spartacus victorious translates an essence of hope that even today brings tears to our eyes. De Knight has created a victorious Spartacus who gains leadership by his desire to advance freedom instead of power and by the mercy of the writers releases his sword grip on tangible live among his people.

The War of the Damned portrays a mix of distinct gladiators taking on the roles of heroes and villains each propelled forward by disparate drives and goals. In the Decimation episode where Spartacus has taken the city of Sinuessa we see how ravaging hunger for power and the blinding hate for revenge against Rome harbored by a fraction of the gladiators turns them back into the bitter savages that the romans had whipped them into.  There is a relentless darkness of human suffering in those scenes which seem to be an attempt to give context to human aggression. The first moment we understand why this season is named the War of the Damned is when the undefeated Gaul Crixus overtaken by hate; stands powerless to redeem his girlfriend’s pain inflicted by the Romans, decides to break from alliance with Spartacus and venture off to bury Rome in blood. He subsequently fails in his quest partly caused by his need for evaporative vengeance and his lack of having a plan of survival for his followers. This plan of finding freedom is what sets Spartacus expedition apart, he is a leader far outgrown the pitiful need for revenge. He is the hope that fights as a flame to keep his people alive, shine light on a better pad towards true freedom.

Spartacus the War of the Damned visualizes possibilities that can be prompted in characters who are fortunate enough to become the ruler of their own destiny. Each character elevates in a different way showing that acquiring power and being a leader are two very divergent concerns. With Crassus being the role model for Roman leadership every sacrifice made by the Imperator from the decimation process to crucifying Kore and relinquishing his victory over to Pompeii are the acts of an assuage leader who is loyal to his cause and sets out to mold his own destiny. This show portrays an animated original line of happenings in the uprising of Julius Caesar who with his charms and intelligence follows Crassus in times when he needs to and plays a chess game in times where he has to. His loyalty towards Rome gives him a depth that spins off his character into higher moral grounds. The scene in which he kills the roman Domina captured by Nemetes shows humanity in him reaffirming that he is the promise of Rome.  The season three villain found in Tiberius whose treachery against Rome is his arrogant desire for power and shortsighted need for revenge on his father is paradoxically robbed from life by the hand of the one woman that could have redeemed him. Bus as his father always feared Tiberius allows his weakness to allure him into his dead. The irony here is that the undoing of both Tiberius and Crixus is linked together in resembles of the type of leadership roles they cultivated in their own camps and how they consequently failed due to their own selfish enterprises.

Gannicus undergoes the most heartwarming transformation of the final season which functions as a testimony to the leadership capabilities of Spartacus. Gannicus finds a reason to fight outside of the arena and rises up to the challenge of becoming the leader that Spartacus needs in his army against Rome. The scene in which Gannicus fights off the romans that have surrounded him, keeping him from striking Caesar dead is a Homeric climax of the war of the damned. Two soldiers facing one another, compatible by sword and strength however, Gannicus has no chance to win this battle; even a dragon can’t lay waste to a roman army.  The War of the Damned concludes with advancing the methodology that Spartacus’ legacy is about him sacrificing his life and with that giving his people the chance to be freestanding characters far outgrown their slave title. Such as he does for Gannicus, giving him the dead of a free man whose life has served the cause and now forever soars in the company of his friends in the arena. 

Poem: a tree of desire

For every word I swallowed a tree of desire grew

As sinners we are lost as lover we were mysterious

You look in my eyes and see the depth of my sorrowful soul

Thunder ruins our dreams breaks our hopes but we don’t matter

Life will follow its own path without ever asking us for permission

We just hold on intensely too desperately to a produced dream

I have accepted the fact that I will be unhappy with any other man any other truth

I want to find truce in our words patience in our deeds strength in our tears

Laugh at the sunrise that shines over a better world

Free minds with hope to be better next time around

Will you fight for me in the new dawn of life?

Will you send for me when you get there on time?

I never made sense to the ones who thought they understood the world

Gods died for us kings started wars over us rebels turned to the streets to find us

Maidens dreamed of having their innocence back during the new moonlight

What did you and I do two souls put here for what credible reason

Black wings flying out to bring the news of tomorrow

Now we are kings to a desolated fantasy

Bright lights children dream it all depends on the fashion of time

If we make it or turn to ashes and leave on the back of the wind

Is entirely up to that what we believe

I hold on to you desperately you hold me back

We chose freedom place it on the kings thrown

We swear our allegiance to upholding the truth

No more silence no more rest any discordant

We have slept too long snow white’s castle has to be saved

Find the prince gather the streets bring us the kiss the only true innocent act of love   

The uniqueness of your logline may be what it takes to get your foot in the door 


Nafiss Nia, a screenwriting gem in Amsterdam, the founder of 1001ProductionHouse hosted a workshop about writing a successful logline during the first meetup of the screenwriters in Adam group. 

What is a logline about? 


The logline is an initial selling point a new fresh identity which makes your script different from all the rest. It’s a piece of commentary provided by the screenwriter on his/her script. The main function of a logline is to convince the typical busy studio head to spend a few minutes to read the premise of your script - which must be explained in a few sentences! A logline could also be send out to journalist to convey the message of the movie to the public. 

Do we all read loglines? 

I truly believe that we do even tho during the conversation at the workshop it became clear that apparently a percentage of people truly don’t think about reading a logline before striking the decision to watch a movie. However, they are on board of reading reviews about the director. To me it seems odd, because a film is not created or broken down by one singular person or process. As Nafiss Nia pointed out; ”it’s a team effort”. The director can’t deliver his best work when his team is not on alert phase one. The visual part of a movie is off course focused around the vision of a director, but the story element, the reason why your heart will tear up during a character monologue, or the subjective inner fight that a protagonist goes true is not the work of a director. It’s the genius emotional writing skills of a writer. For me a cardboard character, or a thin story can’t be saved by the hands of a brilliant director, it can only be saved by the hands of a talented writer. 

How to write a logline

When writing a logline, it’s key to keep in mind those all revealing W-WORDS: Who (is it about?) – What (happened?) – Why (did it happen?) – Where (did it take place?) and When (did it take place?). These are questions whose answers are considered basic in information-gathering. For a logline it is usually sufficient to pick three of the 5W’s and provide them with a matching answer. Next, one of the best lines I have heard is by renowned screenwriter, Aaron Sorkin who advices writers to write with intent. And in a logline you shouldn’t shy away from letting the audiences know what the intent of the movie will be. As Nafiss pointed out; “Why should I go out with you to see this movie?”. Make it clear what is it that the audience is getting from seeing this movie!

Elements of uniqueness

The life of an artist seems to revolve around finding the uniqueness within, but when are we truly unique? It’s as simple as starting off with asking: what would make my script unique to me? There is a crucial lesson I am taking away from this workshop. Which is; don’t be too protective of your story, in life we also have to give away the essence of our story to find people who want to be connected to us. Share your scripts elements of uniqueness and realize you are a storySELLER. Your main job before diving into the creative work, you will  
undoubtedly put into your script is to find the right selling words. What makes your car different and better from all the rest that are standing in the parking lot?

Dying to find out what you value as your scripts unique selling point…? Please feel invited to share it here below in the comment section..

Keep me alive; let me feel the golden breeze blowing through the midnight leafs

Smell the air when fresh rain touches the cement streets

One more time to run up that hill 

One more time to make love to the “I will never forget you” guy

A last chance to say I don’t want to let you go! Not tonight

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