Colin Costello

Beware of Monsters

Author Richard Wright once said, “The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.” So too, shall your readers. And if you scare them correctly, they won't simply bow. They’ll run for cover. In ...read more

Posted at 20 Oct, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling

Mark Sanderson

Execution

If you want to be a working screenwriter in Hollywood, you must learn the craft of executing a producer’s notes quickly and effectively. You’ll usually get one crack at your second draft, and if you haven’t...read more

Posted at 15 Oct, 2014 | By: Mark Sanderson

Rickie Castaneda

Table It!

You’ve finished a few drafts of your script, but still feel like it needs some work. You’ve separated yourself, reread & rewritten...but something’s still missing. I think the best way to remedy this pr...read more

Posted at 14 Oct, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda

Colin Costello

Horror Lessons

Boo! It’s that time of year again - when demons and unearthly creatures emerge to scare the bejesus out of us. And, no, I’m not talking about receiving notes from a producer or agent. I speak of my favorite genre...read more

Posted at 04 Oct, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips

Colin Costello

How Much Do You No?

The burst of “no's” came with the speed and painful sting of a twirled wet towel “thwacking” multiple times against my bare ass. Each email began: “Thank you for entering….” Then ca...read more

Posted at 26 Sep, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Networking, Selling, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Keep the Pace Up!

Pace is a critical part in the construction of a screenplay. A slow-paced story can be agonizing for a reader to get through and, in-turn, become an easy pass. The most common mistake I see in screenplays are including scene...read more

Posted at 23 Sep, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips

John Weidner

Are You Prepared?

"What are you prepared to do?" was Sean Connery's oft-repeated line to Kevin Costner in De Palma’s classic gangster pastiche, "The Untouchables.” To me, it perfectly sums up the screenwriter's dilemma, vis-à...read more

Posted at 18 Sep, 2014 | By: John Weidner

Rickie Castaneda

Let's Get Visual

There are lots of “How to Write a Screenplay” books. But if you’re like me, sometimes you need to see things visually. If so, I have two recommendations for you: AMC’s "Story Notes” This progra...read more

Posted at 16 Sep, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  The Biz

Colin Costello

Adaptation

Once again I didn't listen to my girlfriend’s sage advice. It bit me in the ass. I broke her rule of not reading Internet reviews for my family film, “The Stream.” I was feeling pretty good after seeing a f...read more

Posted at 09 Sep, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  The Biz

Colin Costello

It's Bad, Dude!

I had a bad experience with a heavyweight producer two weeks ago. He started reading a spec of mine and called me after 40 pages to praise it. He went on to say that he never gets past page five. He then said he hoped I didn&...read more

Posted at 04 Sep, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Networking, The Biz

John Weidner

Keep Hope Alive!

It was a Tuesday. Who starts a class on Tuesday? This guy does, David Milch. I sort of knew who he was. Kind of. Not really. But I went anyway. It was a long drive from Pasadena to the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills. My air co...read more

Posted at 02 Sep, 2014 | By: John Weidner | Categories:  Writing Tips, Networking, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Love at First Draft

The first draft is so many things wrapped into one. In many ways it’s the most important draft…but not for the reasons you may think. I believe the first draft is for the writer more than anything. It gets you ...read more

Posted at 26 Aug, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Why Good Things Happen

It’s ironic that in a craft that promotes structure and formula that the industry itself has pretty much zero of both. There is no blueprint of guaranteed success. Yes having an agent or manager is helpful, but I know...read more

Posted at 21 Aug, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips, Networking, Selling, The Biz

Chris Soth

It's the MEANING, stupid!

So last time we talked a little bit about meaning and how religion and movies have this in common: both try to explain and thereby, give meaning, to life. Let’s talk a little bit today about the natural enemy of meaning...read more

Posted at 11 Aug, 2014 | By: Chris Soth | Categories:  Writing Tips

Colin Costello

Hark, it's Superwriter!

I love summer movies. Why? I’m a geek. More importantly, I’m a SUPERHERO GEEK. So with Marvel dominating our multiplexes, I got to thinking about writing a superhero spec and wondering what really separates "The A...read more

Posted at 07 Aug, 2014 | By: Colin Costello

Chris Soth

Your Script is Meaningful

Movies are a new religion. Is that sacrilege? Bear with me. What does religion, or any heartfelt code mean to do? What do movies DO? For that matter, what does all ART do? What should every work of art, or craft (as I prefer...read more

Posted at 31 Jul, 2014 | By: Chris Soth | Categories:  Writing Tips, The Biz

Colin Costello

Giving You the Business

“I love your writing. Love your voice. I have an idea and I’m wondering if you could…” Okay writers, raise your hands if you know what’s coming next. For those of you who guessed, “&helli...read more

Posted at 29 Jul, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Networking, Selling

Colin Costello

Be Social

Once upon a time, writers could live in isolation, bang away on typewriters, drink, smoke...and then poke their heads out like groundhogs and turn in their scripts. But as the Bob Dylan song goes, “The times, they are ...read more

Posted at 23 Jul, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Networking, The Biz

John Weidner

The Power of No

Years ago while finishing my first screenplay, I happened across a quote from Terry Southern that gave me pause. In it, he describes screenwriters as “completely incompetent in any other form of writing, and, of course,...read more

Posted at 21 Jul, 2014 | By: John Weidner | Categories:  Writing Tips, Networking, Selling, The Biz

Colin Costello

Raising the Stakes

Imagine you’re a producer. I’ve just entered your office, sporting a baseball cap, a superhero t-shirt and shorts. I sit down, overly excited, to tell pitch my new spec. I call it, "The Ride.” It’s a ...read more

Posted at 15 Jul, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling, The Biz

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