Not long ago I was called in for a big meeting with the producers that had optioned one of my writing projects. We were in the office of the company president, patiently awaiting his late arrival. As the minutes ticked away, ...read more
I love reading a great script. It doesn’t matter if it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com or even drama. You know the kind I’m talking about - the ones where the dialogue and action weave and flow effortlessly with...read more
Every story from “King Arthur” to “Gravity” is built on structure. It’s the foundation that carries the story.
But how does structure work exactly?
Structure streamlines the journey which is bu...read more
The million dollar question for writers living outside of LA is: “Do I have to move there?”
I say “yes.” This is not meant to dash dreams. Without dreams, you can’t have optimism and hope. What ...read more
Posted at 07 Apr, 2014 |
By: Colin Costello | Categories: Selling, The Biz
Many years ago, one of my stage plays was in the running for a spot in the prestigious Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. After a production of the play, the director and I were quizzed by the committee charged...read more
Recently I was in a pitch meeting with a screenwriter. Though he was brand new to the business, he was doing a great job of selling himself and his project. His story concept was strong. The execution was solid. The character...read more
Hello! I know you're a busy film professional. I understand that you spend eight or even 10 hours a day in the office. I also get that your work duties require that you read a script at home every night, and several over the ...read more
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