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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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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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About That Chip on Your Shoulder…

I get it. This blog post is going to piss some people off. And if the title already pissed you off, then… maybe don’t keep reading? Because this industry, if it is one thing for new writers trying to break in, it’s challenging....
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6 Types Of Friends Every Screenwriter Needs

Most screenwriters owe their tenacity and determination to the people they surround themselves with. This includes all the industry folks that can either directly or indirectly get your screenplays into the write (sorry, right) hands that can...
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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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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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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. manager...
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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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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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“The Story Is Not True, But The Feelings Are” TV Writer Liz Feldman

Known for her TV writing work on 2 Broke Girls and One Big Happy, Liz Feldman was ready to create her own TV show. She started developing story ideas based on her life experiences and what mattered most. Although death is very much a part of...
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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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Good Will To All

The other day, a student challenged me with this statement and question: “Conventional wisdom suggests that there must be a clear goal and an antagonist, but I don't buy it.  I've seen many movies where there appears to be neither a...
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How To Turn Your Logline Into A Pitch

Many writers struggle with coming up with that perfect logline for their project - let alone writing one, and then it's time to take that and turn it into a pitch. Well, it can all become pretty intimidating rather quickly! Luckily for you, our...
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What Do Typos in Your Screenplay Say About You?

Script readers or people who read screenplays professionally are quite often screenwriters themselves. They are looking for reasons to shuttle your screenplay into the pass pile. Excessive typos are a common reason for them to do so. So why do...
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Take Your Screenwriting Power Back

When it comes to who wields the most power in Hollywood, it seems screenwriters fall near the bottom rung. Let’s be honest: we’re beholden to the gatekeepers, whether they’re script analysts, producers, or studio execs, who will...
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How to Write a Logline Producers Won’t Pass On [with Logline Examples]

Before a screenplay is crafted by underpaid writers, it starts as a logline. At any stage of a production, a logline is a tool used to sell your idea.  Since movie loglines are so short, it’s easy to write out twenty in under twenty...
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Breaking into Screenwriting is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

“I broke in sooooo fast!!!”… Said no writer anywhere ever.Seriously. I mean… in the 90’s, maybe? Back then, it seemed like writers were emerging from complete obscurity to sell a screenplay seemingly overnight (only...
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