Screenwriting Craft: Making Screenplays Vertical

January 14th, 2022

in Articles

Hollywood loves buzzwords, and one of the latest is "vertical," as in make your screenplays vertical. Like many buzzwords, this one is based on a fundamental truism: it is easier to read a manuscript that is "vertical" with lots of white space on the page than one that has great text density.

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Three Books for Screenwriters

November 9th, 2021

in News

Books are the fastest and easiest way you can learn from an expert. In screenwriting, it’s no different. Some of the best screenwriters and those who have mastered the craft, have created countless books trying to encapsulate all they’ve learned in their work. If you’re a new screenwriter and looking to improve or simply to learn how to create better scripts, these three books will help you out.

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Old Sage Screenwriting Hack Advice

How to Unstuck a Stuck Story

September 13th, 2021

in Articles

Okay.  Been a while.  Here's some advice for you newbe screenwriters, just don't. Go back to bartending, uber driving, or living in mom and dads basement.  Anyway, stuck story? Get it unstuck.  Here's how.

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How to deal with the disappointments any screenwriting journey brings...

August 9th, 2021

in Articles

Everyone pursuing a screenwriting career will eventually realize this journey is not for the thin of skin or for those who cannot handle the emotional ups and downs this business brings. If you haven’t yet experienced the soul crushing disappointment of finally having written a script that goes into development, but it doesn’t make it to production and sits on a shelf, I don’t envy you. It’s happened to me a handful of times out of my nearly two dozen paid screenwriting assignments. Learn this early — there are no guarantees in the screenwriting game. You take your lumps, heal, and move on to the next screenplay and the next one.

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Ten Questions with Linda Seger

July 28th, 2021

in Interviews

Dr. Linda Seger is the original script consultant having literally inventing the job in 1981; before her it didn't exist.  Since then she has consulted on over 2000 scripts and presented screenwriting seminars in over thirty countries around the world. Seger has written nine books on screenwriting making her the most prolific screenwriting author we have.   Seger consulted for Peter Jackson’s break-through film, BRAIN DEAD and Roland Emmerich’s breakthrough film, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER. She also has given seminars for studios, networks including ABC, NBC, CBS, production companies, television series (MacGyver, The Mary Show), film commissions, universities and film schools. 

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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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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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