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The Dos and Don'ts of Pitching

As writers, pitching our stories can be an intimidating experience. After all, we are writers, not actors. Right? Not quite. This very notion is a common misunderstanding about pitching. We don't want you to be an actor. We just want you to be...
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The Screenwriters’ Guide to Writers’ Groups!

I am a huge fan of writers’ groups. After all, I’ve been working with writers for many years, and in those years I’ve been able to observe what a huge difference a strong and steady writers’ group can make in a writer’s...
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7 Reasons Writers Need Filmmakers

If you, like many writers are wondering if your short story or book idea that you want to write could ever become a movie – then read on. Here are seven reasons why writers need filmmakers 1. Hollywood has a long and fascinating love-affair...
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Armando Iannucci Talks Comedy, Political Satire, Truth & Offending People

Armando Iannucci is a film and TV writer and broadcaster, who has written, directed, and produced numerous critically acclaimed television and radio comedy shows during his screenwriting career. His screenplay for the film In The Loop was...
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Why Story Structure Formulas Don’t Work

The following is a true story.I did a script coaching session for someone I’ll call Lisa. Lisa had spent the past four years pursuing her dream of becoming a professional screenwriter. She had written six scripts with nothing to show for it....
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5 Character Traits of an Awesome Action Hero

By Armaan Uplekar. Sarah Connor. Ethan Hunt. James Bond. There’s a deep bench of iconic characters that have helped define and exemplify action cinema for decades. Between preventing nuclear annihilation, rescuing hostages and restoring...
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Quieting the lizard brain

How can I explain the never-ending irrationality of human behavior?We say we want one thing, then we do another. We say we want to be successful but we sabotage the job interview. We say we want a product to come to market, but we sandbag the...
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Notes and Negotiation, a Screenwriter’s Guide

Award-winning scriptwriter Greg Bernstein applies negotiation theory to the emotionally-charged business of responding to notes on your script.Last movie I wrote was about Okies in the Dust Bowl. You’d never know because when it reached the...
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The Most Important Rule for Entering Screenplay Competitions

Running the International Screenwriters’ Association (ISA), I’m often asked, “What’s the fast track to selling a screenplay for an emerging screenwriter?” My response is to make sure your script is at its absolute best...
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Breaking In: Justin Haythe

British-born writer Justin Haythe achieved success with his debut novel, The Honeymoon back in 2004—the same year his first screenplay was produced: The Clearing (co-written with the director Pieter Jan Brugge). This fine...
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Surviving the Pitch: My Five Essential Survival Tips

A guest blog post by Greta Heinemann  Greta is a Supervising Producer on NBC’s “Good Girls”, has a show in development with HBOMax and a movie in development with Amblin Partners and 87North. More on her bio at the bottom of this post.In...
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Telling Your Story In A One Minute Pitch

As screenwriting consultant and author Robert McKee once said, “If the story you’re telling, is the story you’re telling, you’re in deep sh*t.” What McKee means is, if your story is just a series of occurrences or a set...
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Writing Effective Female Characters

Throughout the history of cinema, there have been a lot of underwritten characters. Sometimes the story is amazing, but the people – the moving parts – aren’t. If you are unable to connect with who you are watching on screen on a...
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Making Lemonade: Should You Look for Representation in the Time of Corona

A few weeks back, I received an email from a very talented writer I had the good fortune to work with some years ago:  “Is it appropriate for writers to query agents and managers with the current virus? Is it callous, thoughtless or...
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Networks, Platforms and Studios Open For Development

QUESTION FOR FILMTVLAW.COM: Thanks for the amazing articles Brandon! Hey, I want to get out there with my series but I’m nervous about the big production halt. Is it a good time to try to set up a series?ANSWER BY BRANDON BLAKE, ENTERTAINMENT...
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Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite

Working with writers, both new and experienced, my goal is to help them make their script as strong as possible. This process involves on-going conversations about what works and what doesn’t and invariably results in suggestions designed to...
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The Latest on The Industry, Screenwriting & COVID-19: Where are We Now? V2

And so it begins. The need for yet another industry updates, because while we are all sheltering-in-place and living a life where one day often feels like it bleeds into the next and it’s easy to forget whether it’s a Tuesday or a...
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What You Need To be Writing Right Now

Even in a pandemic, I’m still getting daily calls and emails from execs and producers asking if any of my students have a new pilot spec they should be reading.Because with Amazon and Netflix committed to spending billions on new content, and...
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The ‘Loh’ Down On How Screenwriter Elaine Loh Navigated Her First TV Writer

Last year we interviewed ISA Development Slate and award-winning screenwriter Elaine Loh about her TV pilot Stringer. She was also an HBO Writing Fellow which led her to a coveted spot in the Gossip Girl writers’ room....
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The Power of The Self-Imposed Deadline

With lots of activity around the publication of my new book “Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser,” I have been fielding lots of questions about productivity. It often comes in this form:...
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