Articles & Advice

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Pearls of Wisdom from Working Writers: Early Career Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. You only know what you know and you learn as you go along so… making a mistake is inevitable. That said, isn’t it always useful to learn from other people’s mistakes? With that in mind, I turned to some of...
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Dates For TV Pitching Season, Pilot Season, and Upfronts

QUESTION FOR FILMTVLAW.COM:Thanks for all the super informative articles over the years! Hey, I’m always hearing terms like “pilot season” and “pitching season.” Is there a strict rule about this or is it more of a...
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Meaning and Toy Story 4

Two days after putting the finishing touches on the new 7th Edition of The Screenwriters Bible, I viewed Toy Story 4 for the first time.  I loved the film, but it was too late to add my thoughts about its contributions to the latest edition of...
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Your Screenplay or TV Pilot: How Long Should it Take to Write?

Okay, I admit it, I’ve been in denial. I did not think that this blogpost would need writing. Which, let’s face it, is nothing short of stupid on my part because, well, I have this conversation ALL. THE. TIME.Even as I write this, I...
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Let's Talk About Specs

I hear it all the time:“I want to sell my screenplay.”“How do I sell my screenplay to studios?”“My goal is to sell a spec (or two) a year.”I hear these from writers all over the world. Writers who just finished a...
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How a Big Life Leads to Better Writing

The other night I read a script that could be simply and, without question, described as one thing and one thing only: Derivative.The first act was almost 100% a poor man’s INCEPTION, the second and third act had bothersome parallels with EDGE...
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Choosing Between Agents, Managers and Lawyers

QUESTION FOR FILMTVLAW.COM:I’m an experienced showrunner with two series under my belt. I’m shopping around a third but getting shut out of all but current connects and friends. I never went the agent route, but now considering agent vs....
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When Social Media Meets Research, How Do You Know What To Believe?

When there’s a “wow” moment at an awards show or when a new movie trailer drops online, people around the world grab their phones and race to social media to voice their opinions. Even more people jump on just to read the...
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First Impressions: The Length and Look of Your Pilot or Screenplay

It was a long day. I had just finished 9 client meetings back-to-back. I had a bunch of emails that I still needed to answer, and, just as importantly, a screenplay I needed to read that night for a meeting the next day. All, for the record, great...
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Why Screenwriters Should Write With A Producer’s Cap On

Screenwriters need to think strategically about what they’re writing and why they’re writing it. Are you writing for yourself, a screenwriting contest, or are you looking to position your work in the marketplace? Charles Borg spoke with...
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Here’s What We Found Out About Ageism In Hollywood

Ageism. It’s a thing!  But what does it really mean? Is it simply a matter of screenwriters reaching an expiry date on their fortieth birthday, or is there more to it than that? Creative Screenwriting Magazine spoke with veteran agent...
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Breaking In: Representation – GETTING SIGNED

When one of my clients emerges from a meeting with a potential manager that, for all intents and purposes, seems to have gone well (good flow to the get-to-know-you conversation, interests in similar types of projects, maybe a few people in common...
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Portrait of a Promising Young Screenwriter

Don’t worry, this is not going to be another one of my venting, finger shaking, scolding blog posts. Which probably means that no one will be reading this but… what the hell. The bottom line is that for this one, no one angered me,...
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“Writing Is In The Rewrite” Says HBO Story Analyst Mark Chandley

Mark Chandley reads a lot of scripts – good ones – bad ones – and everything in between. As a story analyst for HBO and other organizations, as well as a writer’s assistant for A-list film and TV writer Roger Wolfson, Mark...
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Lee Jessup’s Screenwriting Resource Guide

On any given day of client meetings I will find myself rattling off my favorite resources when it comes to any and all things screenwriting. Books, blogs, competitions, labs, programs, fellowships, consultants, I’ve made it a point to get to...
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Reality Check

In working with screenwriters for nearly three decades, I’ve noticed three writing issues that arise over and over again. In each case, a reality check should prove empowering.1. Appearance is importantAfter a tweet that touted my...
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What You Need To Know To Graduate From Screenwriter To Film Producer

It is no longer enough for screenwriters to write screenplays. In the current film industry climate, screenwriters need to be more proactive in shaping our careers. In many instances, you may need to expand yourself and wear different hats. Creative...
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Pick Your Lane: Lit Reps Weigh in on Screenwriting Brand

Pick Your Lane: Lit Reps Weigh in on Screenwriting Brand(scroll down for bonus video!)All too often, when I talk to my friends in representation, I hear some version of: “Writers who are looking to break in HAVE TO pick their...
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7 Ways to Make Sure Your Screenwriting Career Never Takes Off

Often, I get asked: What are the commonalities you’ve seen among your writers who have broken in? What are the shared traits of working screenwriters? And, even more specifically, what are the most important things that a screenwriter can do...
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When I Talk to Writers...

WHEN I TALK TO WRITERS... There are a number of key points I emphasize - 1. How readable is your script? In other words, is it gripping, compelling, well-paced, uniquely interesting? If not, we make a plan to fix it. 2. Is it an acceptable length?...
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