Surprise or Suspense?

James Napoli • September 17, 2021

I had an interesting experience while binge-watching the first two seasons of the beautifully acted and tonally flawless British television series Broadchurch. In an attempt to keep this article spoiler-free, I will simply say that the program,...

Surprise: The Key to a Great Script

Sean A. Mulvilhill • September 16, 2021

I love the film Die Hard. A New York cop’s visit to reconcile with his wife in L.A. is interrupted by a terrorist attack in her company’s building. John McClane, the cop, becomes a one-man wrecking crew in order to save his...

Filmmaker Phil Volken’s Ode To Screenwriters

Phil Volken • September 14, 2021

“Be Savvy, But Follow Your Heart” Filmmaker Phil Volken’s Ode To Screenwriters:We spoke to filmmaker (don’t call him a writer-director) about screenplays and what attracts him to a project. If you don’t find a project...

The Neuroscience of Writers Block

Jessica Hinds • September 13, 2021

The Neuroscience of Writers Block: Why Your Goals Are Hormonally Causing You To FailEver wished your desire to write was as intense and persistent as a heroin addicts desire to get high??Goal setting is one of the most simple yet effective tools to...

Beth Lapides Encourages Writers To Follow Their True Selves

Brianne Hogan • September 10, 2021

“Unboxed Creatix” Beth Lapides Encourages Writers To Follow Their True Selves Despite The Setbacks:Beth Lapides is a hallmark on the female comedy scene. She has graced our screens and stages as she continues to entertain audience across...

Create Your Pitch Part II: Sell, Don’t Tell

Lee Nordling • September 9, 2021

Welcome to the second piece of the pitching pie-that’s-not-in-the-sky.“But I’m still working on the first piece,” you sputter, spraying crumbs.“That’s fine,” I reply, my transparent face-shield in...

Create Your Pitch Part I: Baiting the Hook

Lee Nordling • September 7, 2021

This begins a two-part series on various ways you can improve your hitting percentage with pitches. This is not going to be about self-promotion, which is always useful, or how to network successfully within the industry, which may be...

Manager Andrew Kersey’s Advice To Screenwriters...

September 6, 2021

Manager Andrew Kersey’s Advice To Screenwriters: “Develop Your Craft. Develop Your Voice And Your Time Will Come.” Andrew Kersey, who represents screenwriters, shares his insights into how screenwriters should deal with...

How to Create the Perfect Antagonist

Ashley Scott Meyers • September 2, 2021

It seems like movie villains are a dying art. Most mainstream movies are more interested in spectacle and likable leads than giving us an antagonist we can fear. But in so doing they tend to forget a cardinal rule of storytelling: Your hero is...

Honor Your Premise

James Napoli • September 1, 2021

Save the Cat practitioners will be familiar with the phrase “the promise of the premise.” Blake Snyder used it to describe the screenplay beat he called “Fun and Games,” in which the crux of the action offered within the...

Navigating Your Story: Salva Rubio on Save the Cat Goes to the Indies

Brianne Hogan • September 1, 2021

Since its inception over twenty years ago, the methodology of Blake Synder’s Save the Cat has been as synonymous with storytelling as Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and Syd Field’s Paradigm Worksheet.Many...

Overpowered Antagonists: Writing for Supervillains

Kieron Moore • August 27, 2021

The importance of the superhero in today’s cinema is undeniable. Marvel’s movies in particular have been praised for the way they’ve taken comic book characters most cinemagoers hadn’t heard of just ten years ago and built...

How To Build A Viable Screenwriting Career - Literary Manager John Zaozirny

John Zaozirny • August 26, 2021

Literary Manager John Zaozirny On How Screenwriters Can Build A Viable Screenwriting Career “Take Notes”:We spoke with John Zaozirny, a manager at Bellevue Productions about how screenwriters can attract attention in the business.What...

Diane Drake on Screenwriting

Ann Baldwin • August 25, 2021

Diane Drake is one of just four female screenwriters with sole credit who have earned $1 million or more for their screenplays in the United States.Her first produced script, Only You, sold for $1 million and starred Robert Downey, Jr. and...

What Does It All Mean?

Ruth Atkinson • August 23, 2021

When I work with writers or evaluate pieces for the Sundance Lab, FIND and Screen Queensland one of the questions I often ask myself is, “What does it all mean?” A lot of the time once I’ve finished a script I can’t answer...

The Hand of the Princess: Understanding the Romantic Subplot

Michael Welles Schock • August 20, 2021

It is a common narrative archetype found in all forms of story, from ancient to modern: a hero journeys to a foreign land, wins the love of a princess by performing certain deeds, and through this romantic union becomes the land’s future...

Dos and Don’ts in Screenwriting: The Best of Meet the Reader

Brianne Hogan • August 17, 2021

The true gatekeepers of Hollywood are the script readers. They are the people who read script after script for a living, looking for the next great film – or at least ones that are saleable.They understand the importance of story flow and the...

Jeff Nichols on Screenwriting

Kelly Leow • August 16, 2021

I’ve made five films now and written all of them. I’ve been fortunate enough to keep creative control over my work, and that’s because I’ve kept control of the stories themselves - Jeff NIcholsJeff Nichols is an award-winning...

“Don’t Write Scripts, Write Movies” Says Manager Scott Carr

Scott Carr • August 12, 2021

Literary manager Scott Carr talks about the screenwriter-manager-industry triad. What does a screenwriter in demand look like?Three words: Incoming call business.The goal with any writer is to position them in such a way that their work and...

Finish What You Started with Finishing School

Matthew Wade Reynolds • August 12, 2021

It’s been said by a certain British nanny named Mary Poppins that a job well begun is a job half done. Or maybe it was Aristotle.But anyone with a drawer (or laptop) full of partial outlines, treatments, screenplays and TV pilots knows better,...

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