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The Neuroscience of Storytelling

Ramona Zacharias • June 17, 2021

It’s a simple question: “How do you write an effective, engaging story?”Ask Lisa Cron. An accomplished author and story coach, she has just published her second book, Story Genius (subtitle: How to Use Brain Science to Go...

Are You Ready To Enter The Screenwriting Marketplace?

Alexander Robb • June 16, 2021

Every screenwriter has toiled for years on their film and TV scripts. They’ve written, got screenplay feedback and rewritten their scripts. You may have even attracted the interest of a literary agent or manager who’ve helped your polish...

How Reading Screenplays Will Improve Your Writing

Alex Bloom • June 15, 2021

As you probably know, the best way to master any creative craft is to study and learn from the best.In the way Picasso’s early work owes a massive debt to Van Gogh, Woody Allen based his persona on Bob Hope, and Jimi Hendrix learnt all he...

Plotting Film Noir

Kieron Moore • June 14, 2021

The Nice Guys follows private detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling) and thug-for-hire Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) as they team up on the trail of a missing girl – a case which leads them deep into the seedy underworld of 1970s Los...

Personal Story Arc: The Key to Powerful Writing

Art Holcomb • June 11, 2021

Write what you know - AnonymousThis quote has been an old saw for writers for as long as I can remember, but its meaning has always been obscured.I’m currently a judge for the screenwriting competition at the Austin Film Festival and others,...

Aaron Sorkin on Screenwriting

Brock Swinson • June 10, 2021

Aaron Sorkin has one of the most distinctive voices in the business. From A Few Good Men to The Social Network and The West Wing, he is best known for his intelligent and witty dialogue. His latest venture is an online...

Know Your Process

Ruth Atkinson • June 9, 2021

I’ve often wondered what makes a successful writer. I’ve tossed around many attributes like talent and connections but the one thing I keep coming back to is productivity. A successful writer is one who writes. Who actually writes....

How to Write Great Loglines

Brianne Hogan • June 8, 2021

Lane Shefter Bishop isn’t kidding when she laughs, “I have such an eclectic background.” Not only is she a multi-award winning producer and director (including an Emmy and six Telly Awards), but she’s also the CEO of Vast Entertainment, a...

Celebrating Another Successful ISA Fast Track Fellowship

Caitlin Arcand June 7, 2021

Another incredible Fast Track Week has come and gone! This season, our Fellows, Vandon Gibbs and Elena Perez, spent a week being mentored by eight top-level agents, managers and producers, including reps from CAA, Endless Media, 1993 & more. They...

Writing for Television

Jennie E. Park • June 7, 2021

Daniel P. Calvisi is a writing coach and former Story Analyst for Twentieth Century and Miramax Films. His book, Story Maps: TV Drama: The Structure of the One-Hour Television Pilot, follows his earlier Story Maps: How to Write a GREAT...

Plants and Payoffs in Screenwriting

James Napoli • June 4, 2021

“Bad for glass,” mutters private eye Jake Gittes in Robert Towne’s Chinatown. When the statement is first heard in the story, it is merely Jake’s culturally insensitive remark about the inability of Evelyn...

The Nutshell Technique

Brock Swinson • June 3, 2021

As a practiced script consultant, Jill Chamberlain has read more scripts than most individuals have seen movies. In her research, she has discovered that 99 percent of first-time writers are missing the fundamental step in writing: to tell a...

Reverse Cause and Effect

Jeffrey Kitchen • June 1, 2021

Reverse Cause and Effect is a unique development tool that enables you to wade into a complex mix of story material and pull it together into a tight sequence of events. Cause and effect is a crucial part of good screenwriting because Plot Point A...

The Building Blocks of Story

Joe Gilford • May 31, 2021

Imagine that there was one foolproof way to come up with a story for your screenplay.Well, keep dreaming. It’s all well and good to think up incredible ideas. In the end, though, a screenwriter has to turn them into something.Workable story...

Jack Garman – Story Editor At Gallagher Agency On Navigating Hollywood

Jack Garman • May 28, 2021

Jack Garman went to film school at Los Angeles Valley College and then, five years ago, began to read scripts for various production companies. He has read and given notes on hundreds of scripts. He has worked with Gallagher Literary as a Reader and...

Heart: The Emotional Core of Screenplays

Tim Long • May 27, 2021

With over twenty-five years of professional story development and screenwriting experience, and nearly two decades of teaching screenwriting at the MFA level, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate on hundreds of screenplays and films. During...

Tarantino’s Rewriting: The Hateful Eight

Kieron Moore • May 26, 2021

Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight had a notoriously difficult route to the screen. In January 2014, barely two months after the writer/director had announced he was working on a second Western after 2012’s Django...

The Key to a Perfect Pitch is You

Caitlin Arcand May 25, 2021

Another successful Pitch Challenge and Panel has come and gone! We were so impressed by the quality and diversity of all of the submissions we received. It was definitely difficult to narrow it down to our three winners.At our Virtual Pitch Panel,...

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Learning from Stoppard

Mike Fitzgerald • May 25, 2021

Comparing two drafts of a script can be hugely instructive, revealing point-by-point how a writer went about improving the story. When I stumbled upon an earlier draft of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, I discovered a dazzling, glittering...

The Importance of Stakes in Screenwriting

Alex Bloom • May 24, 2021

Having been in the script consultancy business for some time, if I had to name the single most significant factor as to why a spec screenplay does or doesn’t get picked up, there’s one in my opinion that towers head and shoulders above...