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They're words on paper, more than that on screen

Underneath the glamour of Hollywood's illusions - the blockbusters and indie films, the sitcoms and miniseries - lie screenplays, little-understood literary masterpieces without which none of the magic could live.

From actors to directors, from costume designers to make-up artists, " . . . everybody gets employed because one person sat in front of a blank computer screen, or blank sheet of paper in an IBM Selectric, and started creating," says Kirk Ellis, a Santa Fe resident who won a Writers Guild Award for the HBO miniseries "Anne Frank: The Whole Story." "Nobody in a film works until the writer has done his or her job."

So, what is a screenplay, really?

"It's a potentially visualized presentation on paper," says Rick Reichman, who has taught screenwriting for more than 17 years and lives in Santa Fe. "A lot of people have similar and good ideas, but they have to be presented in the right way."

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