Rickie Castaneda

The Call to Action

Last time I wrote about the the set-up – or the introduction of the heroine and her current world. Following the set-up, the heroine must be presented with an opportunity. This challenge will open a window into the maj...read more

Posted at 24 Apr, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips

Neo Edmund

Dealing With Professional Idiots

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

Posted at 18 Apr, 2014 | By: Neo Edmund | Categories:  Networking, Selling, The Biz

Colin Costello

It's the Genre, Stupid!

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

Posted at 14 Apr, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Get Set Up

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

Posted at 10 Apr, 2014 | By: Rickie Castaneda

Colin Costello

The Million Dollar Answer

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

Randall Silvis

Pitch Perfect

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

Posted at 01 Apr, 2014 | By: Randall Silvis

Colin Costello

Creating Chemistry

Last weekend, my girlfriend and I were driving up La Brea and got to talking about the evening’s plans. Me: “Yamashiro? Heard the view’s amazing, but the food’s...” Her: “No, that sounds...read more

Posted at 26 Mar, 2014 | By: Colin Costello | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling

Neo Edmund

Pitching's Big No-No's

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

Posted at 24 Mar, 2014 | By: Neo Edmund | Categories:  Pitching, Selling, The Biz

Neo Edmund

Five Rules for Screenwriters

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

Posted at 17 Mar, 2014 | By: Neo Edmund | Categories:  Writing Tips, Networking, Selling, The Biz

Danny Manus

Don't Be Afraid of Fear

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

Dan Scheinkman

The Hollywood Cross

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

Posted at 12 Feb, 2014 | By: Dan Scheinkman | Categories:  Pitching, Selling, The Biz

Dan Benamor

What Readers Remember

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

Posted at 06 Feb, 2014 | By: Dan Benamor | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling, The Biz

Myke Friscia

Based On My Own Experiences

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

Posted at 03 Feb, 2014 | By: Myke Friscia | Categories:  Pitching, Selling, The Biz

Dan Scheinkman

It's the Funniest Thing Ever

“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

Posted at 23 Jan, 2014 | By: Dan Scheinkman | Categories:  Pitching, Selling, The Biz

Mark Simborg

Get a Team

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

Posted at 17 Jan, 2014 | By: Mark Simborg | Categories:  Networking, Selling, The Biz

Randall Silvis

Make Her Squirm

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

Posted at 09 Jan, 2014 | By: Randall Silvis | Categories:  Writing Tips, The Biz

Dan Benamor

Get Me Invested

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

Posted at 07 Jan, 2014 | By: Dan Benamor | Categories:  Writing Tips, Selling, The Biz

Rickie Castaneda

Pages That Fly

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

Posted at 30 Dec, 2013 | By: Rickie Castaneda | Categories:  Writing Tips

Dan Scheinkman

Pitch Smart

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

Posted at 17 Dec, 2013 | By: Dan Scheinkman | Categories:  Pitching, Writing Tips, Selling, The Biz

Mark Simborg

You're The Formula

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

Posted at 12 Dec, 2013 | By: Mark Simborg

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