John Weidner

Occupy Oz

Quick post-script to my article in the most recent “MovieMaker” mag. In an attempt to offer helpful tips and tricks to new Virtual Pitch Fest, InkTip and Black List users, I forgot to mention something that really...read more

Posted at 29 Jan, 2015 | By: John Weidner | Categories:  Selling, The Biz

Colin Costello

The Worst of the Year

Meg Cabot, the writer of “The Princess Diaries,” once said, “If you're writing a screenplay, you need to be prepared to let go. There's a good chance the words you write aren't going to be the ones that end ...read more

Posted at 13 Jan, 2015 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  The Biz

Colin Costello

The Best Films of the Year

This was probably the hardest list for me to make, because I did see many great films this year. How is "Boyhood" not on this list? Or "Guardians of The Galaxy?" Or even, "The Lego Movie?" My criteria are very simple. What r...read more

Posted at 08 Jan, 2015 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  The Biz

Colin Costello

Ain't that the Dickens

Is there a more perfect story than Charles Dickens’ novella, “A Christmas Carol?” There’s a reason it transcends radio, stage, film and even the “Huh-Huh-Humbug,” episode on “Beavis a...read more

Posted at 24 Dec, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling, The Biz

Colin Costello

Character Cheat Sheet: The Big Five

Whether it’s Andrew Neiman attempting to become the next Buddy Rich in Terrence Fletcher’s torturous jazz class or Captain America chasing down The Winter Soldier, I believe all protagonists encounter five key tur...read more

Posted at 19 Dec, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips

Colin Costello

There Goes the Script-Hood

One of the great perks about The Writers Guild is the ability to go to their lovely theater to watch films for…FREE. Since I'm a confirmed cinephile, I love to take advantage of this. It gives me the opportunity to see...read more

Posted at 02 Dec, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, The Biz

Colin Costello

Hooked on Horror

And now comes the moment we've been waiting for my fellow mad scientists (aka screenwriters). The moment we take your horror message, messenger (the monster) & protagonist and combine them into one giant scareplay! My ad...read more

Posted at 24 Nov, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips

Mark Sanderson

It's About the Work

Maybe you've completed a few screenplays. Perhaps they've bounced around Hollywood, suffered criticism, notes and ultimately rejection. Congratulations! You've experienced the first rite of passage for any aspiring screenwrit...read more

Posted at 19 Nov, 2014 | By: Mark Sanderson | Categories:  Selling, The Biz

Chris Soth

It's a Wonderful, Meaningful Life

Finally the last of my posts on meaning in screenwriting. And as promised, I’m going to discuss how to bring more meaning to your writing. First with an example, maybe the highest “meaning per moment” rati...read more

Posted at 13 Nov, 2014 | By: Chris Soth | Categories:  Writing Tips

Colin Costello

Flaws & Claws

Martin Brody is terrified of open water and faces a man-eating shark. Damien Karris is a priest without faith and has to exorcise a demon. Ellen Ripley is a by-the-book engineer to a fault and must break rules in order to kil...read more

Posted at 06 Nov, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling

John Weidner

Mantra Madness

Landing a meeting in this town isn’t easy, especially when you desperately want to fit the mold - you know, the one that gets you hired. That said, perfecting the art of the meeting once you actually manage to get one i...read more

Posted at 31 Oct, 2014 | By: John Weidner | Categories:  Pitching, Selling, The Biz

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

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

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

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

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

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