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Tell Me A Little. Show Me A Lot.

A screenplay, or movie script, is more of a format than an art.Good dialogue is individual to each character, but when it’s used as a crutch to explain the plot, the lines become blurred. That’s where an old saying in screenwriting...
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Nonlinear Storytelling Techniques

Over the course of human history, art has always been reflective of the time in which it was created. Neoclassicism was born from the Age of Enlightenment. Abstract Expressionism exploded onto the scene during the Cold War as a release of social...
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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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7 Screenwriting Hacks If You’re Stuck

Hands up if you’ve ever been stuck on a scene while writing your screenplay. Come on. Be honest. The scene that causes you to sweat profusely and gives you heart palpitations. (If that happens, walk away from your computer for a while). Every...
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Let’s Talk About Subtext In Screenwriting

Subtext – n.The underlying personality of a dramatic character as implied or indicated by a script or text. An inner world. A place glimpsed peripherally. Overtones.In screenwriting, subtext is implicit (intimated) versus explicit...
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“I Want To See Something I Haven’t Seen Or Felt Before” Says Roger Avary

Academy Award™-winning Screenwriter Roger Avary graced onto our screens in a big way after co-writing a little indie film called Pulp Fiction with an equally little-known screenwriter Quentin Tarantino. Avary continued his...
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But… Do I Really Have to Outline?

(Hint: It’s a Screenwriting Career Requirement!) Here’s the thing: Over the years I’ve heard every reason why writers hate writing outlines. They kill the magic. They leave no space for discovery. They are too confining. They take...
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7 Ways To Check If Your Script is Done

You think your script is done? How do writers know when a script is ready for submission? This is a very important question as you might not get a second chance with the right person.If you want to know when your script is ready to submit to a...
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The Interactive Future - 5 Tips For Creating Choice-Driven Content

Interactive movies, television, and ads are here to stay. While Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch thrust the medium into the mainstream, storytellers have been creating this type of content for decades. In the...
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8 Things to Avoid Writing on the First Page of Your Script

Have you looked at the first page of your script lately? Page one is the very first thing a reader will see when they open your script, and often times problems exist immediately and set the story back before it even gets started. I’ve opened...
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Subtext- The Beauty Of What’s Left Unsaid (Or Unwritten) In Your Screenplay

A problem I frequently come across as a screenwriting consultant and instructor is the tendency of writers to overwrite and to include too much on-the-nose exposition. This can quickly mark as a screenplay as amateurish, whereas its...
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“Find Your Way Into The Story” Says Robert Reiner

Actor-writer-director-producer-activist Robert Reiner has no problem being a multi-hyphenate. Reiner first came to fame as a two-time Emmy Award-winning actor on the landmark television series All In the Family. He...
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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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What An Audience Really Wants From Your Script

If you’re trying to write a successful script—-a script that gets produced and seen by a large number of viewers—-you obviously want your script to be loved by your audience. So if we want people to watch our work, we need to know...
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Write Worlds And Characters Actors Want To Play

I am convinced that actors with creative intelligence want to play roles that challenge, expand, and refresh their artistic instincts. They want to get involved with films that get noted for Oscar consideration. It’s the job of the...
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Screenwriter Ted Campbell Goes “Underground”

As part of Creative Screenwriting Magazine’s mission to showcase screenwriters making waves in the film world, we spoke with Ted Campbell who recently set up his thriller script Underground with Film Bridge International. Acclaimed director...
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The Circle of Lady Parts

It has been a whirlwind of a month. Ups and downs. Lows and highs. It’s almost as if I’m doing this thing called life. June marked my two-year anniversary of moving to Los Angeles. For those of you who do not know, I purchased a one-way...
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7 Reasons Your Characters Hurt Your Script

Your characters compel you to be honest, and this creates a challenge. The actions of the characters make your story. Writers often focus on plot, structure, theme, dialogue, description, amongst many other elements, but the success of your script...
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Comedy Screenwriting Craft: Using Metaphors

One of my favorite plays (and films and TV shows, for that matter) was Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, in which a pair of mismatched friends, one divorced and one soon-to-be, decide to room together. On the surface, Oscar Madison and Felix Unger...
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Screenwriting Craft: Creating a Proactive Protagonist

I sometimes joke that if someone were sitting next to me regularly during my client meetings at the Akasha Cafe in Culver City, they’d think I have one note in particular that I REALLY like to give. And that note, said in many different ways,...
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