5 Screenwriting Tips

June 17th, 2021

in Articles

Writing is hard and it can be downright painful.  Getting started sometimes can be an issue, getting through the  second act can be overwhelming, and just finishing the third act can feel impossible.  Here are some random tips and thoughts for you to consider! 

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The Cruel and Shallow Money Trench

Saccharine free advice for aspiring screenwriters

May 24th, 2021

in Articles

The money trench. That was Hunter S. Thompson’s take on the TV business, but the phrase has been applied with equal accuracy to the writing side of the film industry. "Where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs." Like poetry really, and less hyperbolic than you might think. Because being a screenwriter who actually gets paid for what he/she does ain’t easy. Never has been, never will be. But people keep trying, every day, arriving in Hollywood with a laptop and a dream, looking like so many well meaning douche-bags as they clutter up my Starbucks for hours on end. And even though it’s futile to speak ill of the dream factory, here are the top reasons you, aspiring writer out there, should save the bus ticket, give up now and get a real job.

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60 Second Screenwriting Tip: The Narrative Spine

How it holds the key to a successful second act

May 7th, 2021

in News

What is a successful second act?  One that keeps the reader engaged, moves the story forward, and successfully delivers it into the falling action; that being the third act climax and the denouement.  A bad screenplay has a second act that simply doesn't keep the narrative trajectory in place and thus the spine of the story sags; meaning rising tension and conflict is not taking place.

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You Lost it in the Second Act Class - Now Open - Limited!

April 30th, 2021

in Articles

You Got Close To Page 60 But... you're stuck!   Well don't worry, this special screenwriting class/seminar can help you!

In general, there are many reasons why you "Lost it in the Second Act." This class focuses on the major issues that stunt screenplay development. Do not give up on that script that you think is hopeless! You started with good intentions, but just got stuck along the way. It happens to everyone, even professional writers. This class has been proven to help.

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Interview with REAR WINDOW Scribe John Michael Hayes

Interview Archive Series, 2004

August 1st, 2020

in Interviews

This is an interview I was really happy to get back in 2004, it was a pleasure to interview such a screenwriting legend as John Michael Hayes.  We have also added a neat short interview with him where he discusses characters and Hitchcock.

Rear Window is considered to be Hitchcock's most "cinematic" picture. At times it had to communicate a lot to the audience without a word ever being spoken. This isn't surprising as Hitchcock started directing in 1922, during the silent era, making several silent films. By 1954, the year Rear Window was released he had clearly mastered the art of directing. However, before he could unleash his visual brilliance there had to be a great script from which to allow such a great movie to be made.

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How WARM BEER turned into an EL CAMINO CHRISTMAS and got Christopher Wehner his first Movie Deal

A twenty-two year in the making success story

May 8th, 2017

in Interviews

Twenty-two years ago Christopher Wehner wrote his first screenplay.   Like most writers he dreamed of seeing his work make it to the big screen.  After many struggles, rejections, and disappointments he is on the verge of his dream.   When you go to his IMDB page it shows EL CAMINO CHRISTMAS as his sole writing credit.   From that perspective you might considered him an overnight success; only its been a twenty-two year in the making one.   And like almost all of these kinds of success stories it took chance encounters, some luck, and a lot of perseverance. 

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Interview with Screenwriter Mark Bomback

Screenwriter's Monthly April 2004

January 4th, 2015

in Interviews

Godsend stars Greg Kinnear and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos as grieving parents who get the chance to have their son back thanks to a doctor doing secret fertility research (Robert De Niro). He clones their dead son into a new fetus that she can carry to term. Eight years later, the boy grows up to be the same as he was before, only now he’s having murderous visions, speaking in weird voices and generally disrespecting grown-ups. It is Mark Bomback’s first produced script since 1998’s The Night Caller, though he hasn’t had any shortage of work. He worked on Constantine and is writing a draft of Die Hard 4, as well as plenty of paying, though less visible, rewrite and development work.

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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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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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