Articles & Advice

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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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“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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10 Surefire Tips To Boost Your Screenwriting Career

Pen Densham has been telling stories since he was knee-high to a grasshopper so he knows a few things about selling your screenplay in the Hollywood jungle. He is also well-aware of the tenacity and resilience screenwriters require to...
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Following Up on Your Screenplay or Pilot Submissions

The other day, I was sitting across from a new client who came to me feeling frustrated that he sent out his screenplay to the few managers who asked for it, but not heard anything back. The screenplay had gone out two months before we met, and ever...
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TWIC: Do I Really Need a Writer’s Group?

Week ending 11/22/19. As before, all names have been changed to protect the innocent…A few days ago, a working feature writer – who, for the sake of this blogpost, will be known as Randy – came to meet me for what has become...
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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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Answer These 3 Questions About Your Screenplay or TV Pilot

The other day, I met a new writer, who sent me his pilot to read ahead of our session. He was a talented writer, for sure; the world of his show was rich, and his plot well thought out. But it also left a number of questions for me, the sort of...
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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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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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“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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Elaine Loh on "Becoming a Working Writer"

A bunch of people have recently asked me about my journey to becoming a working writer, so I thought I’d use that whole writer skill and actually, well, write something! I can’t tell you how YOU can be a working writer, but I can tell...
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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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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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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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The Screenwriter’s Guide to General Meetings

Following last week’s THIS WEEK IN COACHING: MEETING PREP! installment, I thought it wise to take a bit of a deep dive into what general meetings are, and how they work. In fact, I couldn’t quite believe I hadn’t broken...
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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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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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