Story Structure for Screenwriters

Part One

June 25th, 2020

in News

It's hard to believe that just 40 years ago  a modern screenwriting manual didn't exist until really Syd Field came along.  Since then we've seen a proliferation of manuals and experts present their take on proper screenwriting structure and form.  Even if you do not believe in the idea of consciously thinking about story structure as you write, having structure in mind as you conceptualize your story and frankly when you outline (if you outline) is probably something you do subconsciously if not with intention.  

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5 Tips for Writing the Thriller Script

June 18th, 2020

in Articles

Here's FIVE tips that every screenwriter should consider including in their thriller script.  Remember, just writing good action and thrilling scenes doesn't make for a good thriller alone.  You must develop character, create situations that engage, and take us the reader (viewer) on an emotional journey.  You have to bring the THRILL to your THRILLERS!

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Screenwriting survival tip: Put your spec screenplays in perspective

June 16th, 2020

in Articles

Remember in The Empire Strikes Back when Han Solo said to C-3PO, "Never tell me the odds!" In 2019, only 32 specs sold in Hollywood. In 2018 there were 40, and 2017 there were 62 specs sold. In addition there are reports of 50,000 screenplays a year being registered with the Writers Guild. Do you see where this is going?

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6 Screenwriting Non-Negotiable Elements Every Screenplay Should Have

June 15th, 2020

in Articles

Here are 6 must have elements for your screenplay.  Call them secrets or call them just non-negotiable elements, you must have these 6 key components in your story.  These tips, tricks and secrets sometimes can be a little nuanced, but they are also sometimes essential.

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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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Interview Archive: Jeff Nathanson talks CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

This interview appeared in our March, 2003 issue of Screenwriter's Monthly Magazine

December 22nd, 2014

in Interviews

Jeff Nathanson is shy. When he comes into an interview, he leans all the way back to put as much distance as possible between himself and the interview. He also prefaces each response with a deep breath. Perhaps the critical lashing he took from Speed 2 made him cautious. Even the successful Rush Hour 2 was no critics’ darling. However, Nathanson has reason to be proud now as Catch Me If You Can lingered at the top of the holiday box office and earned various award nominations. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, a real life con artist who traveled the world, forged checks and impersonated pilots, doctors and lawyers.

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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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