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Screenwriter’s Guide To Success

The creative life of a screenwriter is often filled with potholes, periods of drought and decisions largely out of your control. So how can a screenwriter plan their career? Focus on the creative process more than the outcome. Visualize signing your...
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The Dos and Don'ts of Pitching

As writers, pitching our stories can be an intimidating experience. After all, we are writers, not actors. Right? Not quite. This very notion is a common misunderstanding about pitching. We don't want you to be an actor. We just want you to be...
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The Screenwriters’ Guide to Writers’ Groups!

I am a huge fan of writers’ groups. After all, I’ve been working with writers for many years, and in those years I’ve been able to observe what a huge difference a strong and steady writers’ group can make in a writer’s...
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Why Story Structure Formulas Don’t Work

The following is a true story.I did a script coaching session for someone I’ll call Lisa. Lisa had spent the past four years pursuing her dream of becoming a professional screenwriter. She had written six scripts with nothing to show for it....
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The Most Important Rule for Entering Screenplay Competitions

Running the International Screenwriters’ Association (ISA), I’m often asked, “What’s the fast track to selling a screenplay for an emerging screenwriter?” My response is to make sure your script is at its absolute best...
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Surviving the Pitch: My Five Essential Survival Tips

A guest blog post by Greta Heinemann  Greta is a Supervising Producer on NBC’s “Good Girls”, has a show in development with HBOMax and a movie in development with Amblin Partners and 87North. More on her bio at the bottom of this post.In...
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Telling Your Story In A One Minute Pitch

As screenwriting consultant and author Robert McKee once said, “If the story you’re telling, is the story you’re telling, you’re in deep sh*t.” What McKee means is, if your story is just a series of occurrences or a set...
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Making Lemonade: Should You Look for Representation in the Time of Corona

A few weeks back, I received an email from a very talented writer I had the good fortune to work with some years ago:  “Is it appropriate for writers to query agents and managers with the current virus? Is it callous, thoughtless or...
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Networks, Platforms and Studios Open For Development

QUESTION FOR FILMTVLAW.COM: Thanks for the amazing articles Brandon! Hey, I want to get out there with my series but I’m nervous about the big production halt. Is it a good time to try to set up a series?ANSWER BY BRANDON BLAKE, ENTERTAINMENT...
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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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What You Need To be Writing Right Now

Even in a pandemic, I’m still getting daily calls and emails from execs and producers asking if any of my students have a new pilot spec they should be reading.Because with Amazon and Netflix committed to spending billions on new content, and...
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The Power of The Self-Imposed Deadline

With lots of activity around the publication of my new book “Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser,” I have been fielding lots of questions about productivity. It often comes in this form:...
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How Comedy Works

So, how exactly does comedy work? First off, let’s differentiate between funny and comic. Funny is whatever makes you laugh. Period. End of story.  When my niece was five, I could shake a set of keys in her face, and dissolve...
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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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Building and Revealing Character

Simple but powerful tools for building fascinating characters and revealing their inner truth. I get Dr. Format questions flung at me every day it seems, and many of the questions have nothing to do with formatting.  For example,...
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“What Would Picard Do?” Kirsten Beyer On Co-Creating ‘Star Trek: Picard’

TV writer Kirsten Beyer is considered the knower of all things Star Trek. She seemingly burst onto our screens from writing oblivion to co-create Star Trek: Picard. Kirsten has been busy writing novels in the Star Trek Universe including Voyager and...
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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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Sundance 2020: ISA’s Table Read My Screenplay Event

At Sundance 2020, I was able to attend the International Screenwriters’ Association’s Table Read My Screenplay event, which allowed the winner of the contest, M Rowan Meyer to watch as his script for a...
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Sharpen the Screenwriting Craft With Your Voice

“Sharpen the Screenwriting Craft With Your Voice.” ISA’s Craig James On Navigating Your Career Every screenwriter has a story. Every story needs a voice. Screenwriters must keep writing to develop their unique voice in order to...
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