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Screenwriting Advice: Give Your Characters the Power of the VOTE

Characters drive stories. Powerful characters give writers reasons to create stories around them. Directors want to create moments around that power. Actors want to channel that power. Audiences want to take part in that power. As a writer, your job...
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Carolina Groppa Explains Exactly What Film Producers Do. So Be Nice To Them

For as long as the film industry has existed, so have producers. But so has the general public’s confusion about what producers actually do. It’s surprising how poorly it is understood given the importance of this high profile position....
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Greta Gerwig Gives Us a Thoroughly Contemporary Take on “Little Women”

In this overpopulated age of remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings, how do you find a new path in on a property that’s already been told on the big and small screen over a dozen times? Filmmaker Greta Gerwig has managed to make something quite...
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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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“My Superpower is Persistence” - Gregory Allen Howard

“My Superpower is Persistence” Gregory Allen Howard Talks ‘Ali’, ‘Remember The Titans’, And ‘Harriet’ Gregory Allen Howard’s cousin introduced him to “what was underneath 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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“Dolemite Is My Name” Wears Its Heart on Its Velvet Sleeve

Screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski have a soft spot for pop culture’s underdogs and their struggles to gain legitimacy. They wrote the screenplays for the movies Ed Wood, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon,...
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“A Masterpiece Stoner Movie” Kevin Smith On ‘Jay & Silent Bob Reboot’

When indie screenwriters are asked to name their most prolific and influential filmmakers, Kevin Patrick Smith undoubtedly places on that list.Back in 1994, the iconic stoner comedy Clerks, set in the convenience store where Smith worked,...
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Why Demons and Devils Make for Superior Villains

We all know that “the devil is in the details,” but why are there so many demons in movies and on TV these days? In the past two years, there have been 26 horror movies released where the primary antagonist is some sort of supernatural...
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4 Secrets To Selling Your Screenplay… And Not Your Soul!

As a four-year-old, I was impressed by seeing my parents making short 35mm films for the movie theaters, even riding a live 7 ft alligator in one of them. Those experiences caused me to have a life-long desire to conjure visual and emotional magic...
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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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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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Villains And Their Functions In Stories

“…But when the tragic incident occurs between those who are near or dear to one another—if, for example, a brother kills, or intends to kill, a brother… or any other deed of this kind is done—these are the...
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Up Close And Personal With Guillermo Del Toro

Señor Del Toro is a very special filmmaker. The self-described traveling Mexican lives out of a suitcase from film set to film set, from life experience to life experience. He is simultaneously a Hollywood studio system misfit and Hollywood...
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Warner Bros. Chiefs On The Present And Future Of Film & TV

Each year, the Producers Guild Of America (PGA) hold the Produced By Conference to discuss the state of the industry with film and TV powerhouses. Good times. Bad times. Things are certainly changing fast. Screenwriters and producers...
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Unconventional Roles for Women Aren’t Just Empowering...

Unconventional Roles for Women Aren't Just Empowering, They're Game Changers  It’s a shame the wonderful coming-of-age comedy Booksmart has not done well at the box office. Expectations were high for the clever story about two...
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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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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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