What are you scared of?
Everyone knows that fear can be a great motivator – but did you know that it’s also the most powerful emotion that drives every story in every genre?
Despite what you might think, f...read more
Posted at 18 Feb, 2014 |
By: Danny Manus | Categories: Writing Tips
One of the most common pitch tactics is “The Hollywood Cross” - a comparison of the script being pitched to other movies which have already been made.
While this is a tactic I am supportive of, it also has its po...read more
Think about all the scripts you've read. How many could you honestly say had one scene you've never seen before?
For my job in development I've read hundreds of scripts. Looking back on them now, only a few stick out in my m...read more
One of my favorite screenwriting books advises writers looking for ideas, to turn to newspapers, magazines, and history. As someone who has read thousands of queries and taken hundreds of live pitches, about 1 out of every 10...read more
“The Best!” “Oscar-worthy!” “Hilarious!"
When pitching, try to avoid these types of superlatives at all costs when pitching. Why? Because the quality of your writing is for me to evaluate.
I do...read more
I wish screenwriting was all about writing one great script and letting the town come to you and the rest just spooling out from there like a great ball of string.
Maybe it WAS like that at one point, but not anymore. Now, ...read more
My first life as a writer was as a writer of literary short stories and novels. I still write them. I also write long and short fiction in the mystery, thriller, slipstream, and magical realism genres. When I started writing ...read more
A trend in thrillers is a cynical "grizzled" quality. Everyone’s an asshole. The world is a mean and ugly place and only our hard-bitten, tough-as-nails, often alcoholic "hero" can save it.
And there's not necessarily ...read more
We all know that Film and TV are visual mediums, and it’s our job as screenwriters to not just tell a story with dialogue, but to paint a picture for the reader to grasp the setting. Unlike a novel, a script has a limi...read more
I get a godly amount of query letters sent to me via VPF. This is to be expected, and why I signed up.
Of course, some stand about above the rest.
I think the MOST important detail to include is…your own. Meaning, y...read more
Script gurus are a dime a dozen these days, each one claiming to have cracked the code for what makes a great script. One says it requires a 500-step hero’s journey. Another says the midpoint absolutely must be the mirr...read more
We’re entering an exciting time in filmmaking as websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are opening doors for funding independent projects. With this new age, writers are becoming more involved in the production proces...read more
Posted at 09 Dec, 2013 |
By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories: The Biz
Every new TV season networks launch a whole slate of new shows. Some are good, some are bad, but one usually stands out to us as fresh, provocative, and captivating. It becomes a hot topic at the water cooler or on social med...read more
Nobody enjoys rejection. It’s very much a part of the entertainment industry, and everyone has experienced it several times. Yes, even Steven Spielberg. Indeed, it took him ten years to get “Lincoln” made.
A pervasive problem in many of the screenplays I read these days is a noticeable lack of detail. For example, people being described as "attractive" - or characters given just one distinguishing trait (alcoholism, a limp, etc...read more
Posted at 06 Nov, 2013 |
By: Dan Benamor | Categories: Writing Tips
Getting paid. That’s a huge part of what this business is about. And it’s the hardest part. Especially getting paid what you’re worth. To be honest, the other hardest thing is actually realizing what you&rsq...read more
There are many pieces to building a great hero, and I think the one most often overlooked is his weakness.
Every Superman needs his Kryptonite.
Your hero's Kryptonite doesn't have to be complicated. It could be something si...read more
Congratulations - you’ve just finished the latest draft of your new script. You’ve received lots of positive feedback from your most trusted readers, as well as from a well-respected coverage service (or two, or t...read more
My favorite book on screenwriting actually isn’t a book on screenwriting at all. It’s a tiny little book about the relatively new Japanese martial art of aikido. I discovered it in the throwaway bin of a used book...read more
Posted at 11 Oct, 2013 |
By: Mark Simborg | Categories: Writing Tips