Tips by a Hollywood Insider on how to Write a Successful Query Letter

November 24th, 2014

in Articles

There’s really no right or wrong in Hollywood, but based on reading a zillion query letters, here’s some suggestions when undertaking a letter writing campaign.

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Confessions of a "Sometimes" Procrastinating Screenwriter

November 20th, 2014

in Op/Ed

First let me stop writing the script I am currently working on so I can pound out this short editorial. Though I should say allow me to stop bleeding at the keyboard as I struggle with the current scene I am writing. I have to admit that I am my own worst enemy as a writer.  I procrastinate, often, and it can sometimes be so debilitating that I never finish some screenplays. Why?

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10 Questions with INSURGENT & JANE GOT A GUN Screenwriter Brian Duffield

Screenwriter Interview Series

November 16th, 2014

in Interviews

Pennsylvania-born writer Brian Duffield first broke onto the scene in 2010 when his spec script YOUR BRIDESMAID IS A BITCH made the Black List and sold to Skydance. Recently Duffield was honored as one of the top 10 screenwriters to watch in Hollywood. Not one to rest on his laurels, Duffield has been writing non-stop since then  including the upcoming films INSURGENT and JANE GOT A GUN. He also hopes to make his directorial debut next year with the horror-romance VIVIEN HASN’T BEEN HERSELF LATELY.  Oh, and Brian also recently got married. Fortunately for SU, Duffield took time out of his busy schedule to talk career, life, love, death, taxes, Obama, marriage...

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Men, Women, & Children, and Jason Reitman & Themes

November 9th, 2014

in Articles

At the Jacob Burns Film Center in October, film critic and JBFC president Janet Maslin interviewed director Jason Reitman after the screening of his latest film Men, Women & Children (based on the novel by Chad Kultgen) written by Reitman and Cressida Wilson.

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Screenwriting in the News 11.3.14

November 3rd, 2014

in News

The Tim Burton/Nicolas Cage Superman movie that never quite managed to get off the ground in the 1990s has become enough of an object of spectacle and speculation that it’s even receiving its own documentary. New information about what that movie might have done to the last son of Krypton, courtesy of the project's screenwriter Dan Gilroy, suggests that the world might have been better for the movie remaining unmade...

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“Happy Delusion:” An Interview with Theodore Melfi, Writer/Director of ST. VINCENT

October 9th, 2014

in Interviews

I’ve known Ted for a while. But for most people he is one of those 10 years in the making overnight success stories that writers need to hear about. Ted didn’t write his first script, send it out, sell it, and magically appear on stage with Bill Murray on the opening night of his movie. He struggled and toiled for many years. Yet, he might actually dispute the word “toiled” as he has an infectious positivity – what he calls his “Happy Delusion.” Those who know him say Ted is someone you want to work with, almost have to work with because there is something about him that seems, well, Normal. Real. And apparently, in Hollywood, that is unusual! Go figure.

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Interview with Canadian Screenwriter Jeff O'Brien

September 30th, 2014

in Interviews

Jeff O'Brien is a Canadian born (Vancouver) screenwriter having studied screenwriting at the Vancouver Film School. A fairly prolific writer, he has written for numerous international film companies from Mexico, Chile, France, Canada and the United States. His first produced feature was BLIND HEAT, he also wrote the award winning feature LA TAQUERIA, and currently has several projects in production. In this inteview O'Brien talks about how he got his start, what it's like writing for international companies, and how he approaches the craft of screenwriting.

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TOP TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY

September 24th, 2014

in Articles

The chances of selling a screenplay are a zillion to one.  Maybe a billion to one? A million to one?  Or -- if you’re lucky, the math is in your favor and the chances are less than that.  But yes, the odds are staggering. The biggest and most important tip I can share with you is this -- do not submit your screenplay unless it is absolutely brilliant.  Seriously-- if your script is not the absolute best it can be then your script will be rejected. 

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Seven Lessons from Bob Nelson's NEBRASKA Screenplay

March 16th, 2014

in Script Reviews

The Oscar nominated movie NEBRASKA, with an award winning screenplay by Bob Nelson, is in my opinion one of the better scripts recently produced for screenwriters to learn a little something about the craft. Why? It’s the epitome of efficient and dramatic storytelling. The script is pithy, direct, yet it has depth and emotion (theme) that is so subtle in its presentation. 

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