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As writers, we read books, we attend workshops and we end up struggling to reconcile conflicting theories. They can’t all be right, so which one should we follow? Three-act structure or no three-act structure? How many acts, beats or steps should we have in our screenplay? What if the solution was to realize that we can do anything provided we obey a single rule: Thou Shalt Not Be Boring. It isn't, “Should we use the three-act structure?”, but instead, “Which one should we use, and how?"
Regular Registration:09/24/16Class Begins:09/24/16

FEATURED PODCASTS (show more)

Posted: Sep 23, 2016 Hosted By: Jeff York Guest: Misha Crosby

Oliver Stone is still fighting the good fight in "Snowden".

 

It's become popular to knock filmmaker Oliver Stone for some of his conspiratorial beliefs and cinematic excesses, but his latest film "Snowden" is a very measured and precise work. It may not have the go-for-broke oomph of "JKF" or "Natural Born Killers", but it's clever, well-acted, and about as topical as films come these days. Was Edward Snowden (a slow-burning Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a patriotic whistleblower exposing our nation's dirtiest spying secrets? And does America even care about their government spying on them today? He puts these issues out front and center in a well-constructed story that dutifully honors the tropes of Main Character, Dynamic Character and Opponent, the three-character triad of screenwriting. Stone's latest also gives audiences a lot to think about and discuss afterwards. You can argue about Snowden's actions, but you cannot argue with that.

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Posted: Sep 24, 2016 Hosted By: Jacob Krueger "...Sully is an example of a really good script, by a really good writer, that doesn't tell a really good story.

Sully is trying to do something very, very difficult: a film adaptation of a real man's life. It's trying to find drama in a situation that is inherently internal.

 

The first mistake Sully makes is failing to trust its own source material. As several recent articles point out, the persecution of Sully by the airlines, which forms the central premise of this story, never actually occurred. It was completely made up by Clint Eastwood, who insisted the movie needed "an antagonist," and failing to find one, made one up.

 

Movies are like life, and the best movies draw their inspiration from life. As useful as the idea of an antagonist may seem, thinking about characters in this way is only going to draw you away from the truth of your story. It's going to lead you to the kind of mustache twirling villain we see in Sully, rather than the fully drawn characters we experience in real life..."

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Resources

The SoCal Creative & Innovative Film Festival The SoCal CIFF is a short Film Festival that showcases the Creativity and Innovation inspired by the limitations of an ultra-low budget. Production value is the name of the game. Spooky Movie Int'l Horror Film Festival Giving cinema fans all the fake blood they've been craving. Founded in 2006, the Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival is Washington, D.C's only genre-based film festival. Docutah Dixie State University (DSU) presents DOCUTAH 2015 September 8-12. DOCUTAH - Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival originated at DSU in 2010. Bruges City Film Commission Promoting Bruges as a city of culture and a tourist destination by offering assistance to audiovisual productions. Arizona Underground Film Festival Arizona's premier genre cult film festival. Madhouse Entertainment Madhouse Entertainment is a production and literary management company that works with screenwriters and writer/directors in the areas of film, television and new media. Rotten Tomatoes What’s a Tomatometer? It's the most trusted resource for professional reviews of movies and TV shows. The Tomatometer measures the percentage of positive reviews from critics. 21 Laps Intrepid’s mandate is to produce and finance commercial features in the action, thriller, horror, and comedy genres, principally targeting the 12 – 29 year old audience. Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Big Island Film Festival brings Filmmakers and Film Lovers together every May at The Mauna Lani Resort. We are hosted by The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i. Baby Cow Productions Established in 1999 by award winning comedy creators Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions Ltd has gained an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent, w DC Shorts DC Shorts champions short filmmaking. Universal Studios Location and Production Services has successfully supported some of Hollywood’s biggest films, top network television shows, commercials, print, reality and news programs. Swiss Army Man: The Bad Screenplay Experiment with Jacob Krueger This week, we're going to be talking about Swiss Army Man by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. This is an extraordinary script, and one of the great examples of just how far outside of the rule box you can actually go as a screenwriter or director. It's also a prime example of how a really out-there script can sometimes attract the biggest talent in Hollywood, in this case, Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano.

 

There's an exercise that I often do with my "Write Your Screenplay" students that I call the "Bad Screenplay" exercise. We put a list up on the board of all the students' greatest fears about their writing. We hear all kinds of things: "bad dialogue," "cliché," "redundancy," "no structure..." the list goes on and on, as the white board fills up with increasingly egregious fears.

 

And then I give my students a challenge: to write a scene that embodies every one of the fears about their writing that we've put up on the board. To strive not for good writing, but for bad writing. In fact, I tell them that if their writing starts to get good, they should look up at the board, find the idea they find most horrifying, and strive to integrate it into their script.

 

In many ways this is exactly what the Daniels did in the creation of this screenplay. Daniel Kwan has spoken about the fact that he hates fart jokes, hates buddy movies, hates a cappella music, and many of the other fundamental elements of Swiss Army Man.

 

He built Swiss Army Man out of the things that he hated most in screenplays.

 

So why would somebody do that?

Boston Palestine Film Festival The Boston Palestine Film Festival seeks to present the extraordinary narrative of a dispossessed people. Cinema offers a powerful means of interpreting the collective identity. Imperative Entertainment IMPERATIVE ENTERTAINMENT is a next generation entertainment studio focusing on the development, production, and financing of original & branded entertainment across all media. Atlas Awards ALL film and script submissions are guaranteed a professional film review published to Atlas & Aeris Magazine and the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). Long Island Screenwriters Group (LISG) The LISG functions as a writing resource and supportive environment for writers of all levels. Screenplays are read by professional actors and screenwriters at the monthly meetings. American Film Institute AFI is America's promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. Benefits of Consultants and Networking, with Story Expo Founder

In a short installment of our Curious About Screenwriting podcasts, I interviewed Derek Christopher. Derek has been the go-to guy for the top consultants in the industry for over a decade. By organizing major events, seminars, and speaking arrangements with names such as late great Syd Field, Robert McKee, and Linda Seger, Derek has firsthand experience of how important working with a consultant really is.

 

Derek also runs and organizes Story Expo. Story Expo is a once-a-year event where writers and storytellers of all kinds gather in Los Angeles not only to network, but to take classes from the top consultants. Specific classes and seminars that are truly applicable and incredibly educational where you own personal writing craft is concerned. Taking place over the weekend of September 11, if you can make it out to Story Expo this year, it will be a can’t miss event. The ISA will happily be joining Derek and if you would like to meet the staffers of the International Screenwriter Association, as well as yours truly, come on out and say hi. You can learn more at www.StoryExpo.com

The Film Collaborative THE FILM COLLABORATIVE is the first non-profit committed to distribution education and facilitation of independent film, offering independent filmmakers full services. 222 Footlight Entertainment We create scripted & unscripted digital content and short films. Both behind & in front of the camera - we are the Footlights #womeninfilm Cinema at the Edge - Independent Film Festival 3 days of screenings, parties & artist programs that celebrates independent filmmaking. A major festival for independent film. The cinema at the edge in Santa Monica, CA is one of the National Film Festival for Talented Youth NFFTY is the world's largest and most influential film festival for emerging directors. In 2015, we screened 248 amazing films from the best filmmakers 24 and younger. Camden International Film Festival Highlighting international documentary filmmaking that shows dedication to craft and a unique / artistic approach to storytelling. Hawaii Film Office We’ve got competitive tax incentives, the only state-owned and operated film studio in the country and a growing list of production facilities, and an experienced pool of crew and talen Boston University College of Communication Students completing the two-year graduate program will earn an MFA in Film (focus in Screenwriting) and be prepared to place, sell, and/or produce their work in the film and television
Late: 09/24/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play , Novel FREE LOGLINE SUBMISSIONS - Submit your story and showcase it on this network. Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Late: 09/24/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play , Novel Get your script and story performed by professional actors at the Horror Festival. We offer screenwriters, novelists and storytellers at ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Regular: 09/24/16 Short FULL FEEDBACK on your screenplay from our committee of Professional Screenwriters, Filmmakers, Production Heads and Script Consultants. Get ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Extended: 09/25/16 Feature Our aim is to discover and recognize the brightest and most original voices in storytelling from around the world. We are looking for ... Final Deadline: 09/25/16 Regular: 09/25/16 TV Pilot , Web Series This is a monthly Television Festival showcasing the best of new TV PILOTS, Webseries and TV Spec Screenplays from existing shows. Get your ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Regular: 09/26/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series Get your script and story performed by professional actors at the Comedy Festival. We offer screenwriters, novelists and storytellers at ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Regular: 09/26/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play , Novel Get your script and story performed by professional actors at the Family Festival. Thank you for the detailed feedback. Whoever did this ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Late: 09/27/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play Send your first scene (or first moments - 10page limit) and get feedback. Winners (at least 20 a year) get their first scene read at the ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Regular: 09/27/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play Offers writers at all levels the fantastic opportunity to hear their scripts read aloud using TOP PROFESSIONAL ACTORS and showcased online ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Regular: 09/27/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play , Novel The Fastest Growing FANTASY/SCI-FI Festival and Contest in the World today! – 0ffers screenwriters at all levels the fantastic ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Late: 09/29/16 Short All entries get their POEM shown on this website. AND, you can submit your Poem to be made into a video (guaranteed 1000s of view). GET ... Final Deadline: 09/29/16 Extended: 09/30/16 Feature Well-written thrillers are always an excellent way for writers to show Hollywood pros a combination of commerciality, unique voice, and a ... Final Deadline: 09/30/16 Final: 09/30/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play , Novel WILDsound Monthly Screenplay Festival offers screenwriters at all levels the fantastic opportunity of hearing their scripts read aloud by ... 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Final Deadline: 01/31/17 Early: 09/30/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short The New Hope Film Festival Script Competition is especially interested in discovering and nurturing new and overlooked screenwriters. The ... Final Deadline: 01/27/17 Early: 09/30/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short The Capital Fund Screenplay Competition is where your scripts are read directly by investors who buy projects and fund films at the studio ... Final Deadline: 06/01/17 Late: 10/01/16 Feature VIWIFF 2017 is committed to highlighting the best stories the world has to offer that are written by women. The festival is a forum for ... Final Deadline: 10/15/16 Late: 10/06/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short Fresh Voices strives to identify, nurture and bring to market the most promising new voices in screenwriting. Since 2009, Fresh Voices has ... Final Deadline: 11/03/16 Final: 10/13/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Web Series A Table Read can help change your script, one of ours can jump-start your career! Top 3 WINNERS will be flown to Park City, Utah during ... Final Deadline: 11/16/16 Final: 10/15/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short To provide a platform focused on promoting and encouraging diverse voices and stories. We're looking for writing from perspectives – ... Final Deadline: 10/15/16 Late: 10/15/16 Feature , Short Untill November 15, 2016, experienced & new producers/directors/writers from all over the world can register or submit their scripts. The ... Final Deadline: 11/15/16 Regular: 10/15/16 Feature A 3-day celebration of independent cinema from around the globe every April in Goshen, Indiana. Final Deadline: 12/15/16 Regular: 10/15/16 Feature One of last year’s winners signed with a top literary management company and has projects in active development! We’re looking for ... Final Deadline: 10/20/16 Regular: 10/15/16 Feature We want to give an undiscovered screenwriter, an artist that fills their work with goodness, truth and beauty, the opportunity to meet with ... Final Deadline: 12/01/16 Regular: 10/15/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series This year, we're offering a contest to not only provide prizes worth over $10,000 -- including platinum passes, free air travel, and hotel ... Final Deadline: 12/15/16 Regular: 10/24/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play TIFA, the Toronto Independent Film Awards Inc. (formerly known as Toronto International Film and Video Awards Inc. TIFVA) is dedicated to ... Final Deadline: 01/03/17 Late: 10/31/16 Short We are holding a montly short screenwriting contest where the top three scripts will be considered for option/purchase and possible ... Final Deadline: 12/31/16 Regular: 10/31/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series The Madrid International Film festival has as its objective in the promotion of cinematographic art by presenting films of quality and ... Final Deadline: 03/30/17 Final: 11/01/16 TV Pilot This is the dawning of the era of you, the new TV Writer! To help you sell yourself and your series, TVWriter™, the most successful ... Final Deadline: 11/01/16 Early: 11/01/16 Short We want to create an innovative system where participants are aware of where their money goes and can impact the process of competition. ... Final Deadline: 05/01/17 Regular: 11/03/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series , Play The Best in New Media....Honoring Stories Worth Telling. All Genres and lengths welcomed. If you write stories worth telling, this is the ... Final Deadline: 04/25/17 Late: 11/15/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Web Series Rated SR is a film festival that focuses on socially relevant human stories and raises awareness to social problems by offering positive ... Final Deadline: 12/15/16 Final: 11/18/16 Feature Our mission is to provide industry exposure to feature screenwriters who are looking to have their stories told. Therefore this year's ... Final Deadline: 12/02/16 Extended: 11/30/16 Feature , Short International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema London has as its objective the promotion of cinematographic art by presenting films of ... Final Deadline: 11/30/16 Late: 11/30/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series Screenwriters... Did you know that ReelHeART was the first screenwriting competition that offered a Rehearsed Cast-to-Type Live Read for its ... Final Deadline: 01/31/17 Regular: 11/30/16 Feature We encourage film makers to stay creative, not bound by copyright governance, and pursue communication through video productions. We ... Final Deadline: 01/01/17 Early: 11/30/16 Feature , TV Pilot , Short , Web Series Our mission is to inspire and encourage writers through competition, while presenting a great networking opportunity for anyone involved in ... Final Deadline: 03/01/17 Early: 11/30/16 Feature , Short International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema Amsterdam has as its objective the promotion of cinematographic art by presenting films of ... Final Deadline: 10/31/17 Regular: 01/07/17 Feature , TV Pilot , Short Our main objective is to create exposure for screenwriters - to get your stories into the hands of the people who option, buy and produce ... Final Deadline: 01/07/17
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