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8 Keys to Writing a Marketable Script

1. ONE GENRE TO RULE THEM ALL I recently sat through a webinar where writers were given the opportunity to pitch their concepts. One lady stuck out to me because she described her project as a suspense, thriller, and comedy, with horror elements....
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“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” 7 Tips for Great Dialogue

Jacob Stuart's advice on writing dialogue for screenplays.Hollywood has a short attention span. Unlike writers, who may have all day to sit and ponder, plotting out their next script, or revising and revising a screenplay until their fingers are...
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7 Ways to Make Sure Your Screenwriting Career Never Takes Off

Often, I get asked: What are the commonalities you’ve seen among your writers who have broken in? What are the shared traits of working screenwriters? And, even more specifically, what are the most important things that a screenwriter can do...
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How to Write Action Description

Alex Southey explores five different kinds of action description, and how they dictate tone in a script. Many people tend to assume that because it doesn’t affect the final film, action description doesn’t matter very much. But this couldn’t...
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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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Vince Gilligan on Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul

Showrunner Vince Gilligan discusses structuring an episode, pacing a season, character development, and Easter eggs for fans.It’s not every day one has their work referred to as quite possibly the greatest television series of all time. And...
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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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Model NDA: Nondisclosure Agreement

This Guide provides a simple Model Nondisclosure Agreement (NDA), controlled by California law and venued, for any action, in San Francisco. This is a fairly broad NDA for parties seeking to collaborate, partner, or buy or sell interests in...
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ISA Names Top 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2019

Each year, the International Screenwriters’ Association puts out its elite list of screenwriters to watch and 2019 is packed with twenty-five diverse talents who have gone above and beyond to grow, improve, and get noticed, smashing their...
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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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Don’t Ruin a Good Read! Screenwriting Mistakes to Avoid

While I don’t fashion myself a script or story consultant (because, let’s face it, there are already enough of those – including a few really great ones – out there), the simple reality is that at this point in my career, I...
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The Five Pillars of a Successful Pitch

Our last Virtual Pitch Challenge was such a success that we decided to host another one, and WOW we were we blown away by the responses. It was abundantly clear that everyone who submitted took the advice from our last pitch panel and applied it to...
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The 5 Powers of Screenwriters

Writers often feel powerless in the face of pursuing their goals. They feel helpless in the face of a business they perceive to be difficult to enter and succeed. We fight off overwhelming feelings of confusion when developing our stories. It...
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Breaking In: Representation – GETTING SIGNED

When one of my clients emerges from a meeting with a potential manager that, for all intents and purposes, seems to have gone well (good flow to the get-to-know-you conversation, interests in similar types of projects, maybe a few people in common...
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Size Matters! What the Length of Your Screenplay Says About You

A few recent incidents made me realized that I have to talk about it. Shallow though it may seem, I have to talk about size. Or, more accurately, length.First, it was the 120-page 2-hour TV pilot from a first time, unrepresented writer.Then it was...
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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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Interview with ISA Fellowship Winner Sean Collins-Smith

Ever since graduating from film school in 2010, Sean Collins-Smith has wanted to move to Los Angeles to pursue a TV writing career. His goal seemed unobtainable, though, until he won an ISA Fast Track Fellowship on the basis of his...
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To Every Character Their Moment

Art Holcomb discusses the importance of Moments for characters, and offers advice on how to use them in your own scripts.By Art Holcomb.Moments.They’re what the audience remembers about a great movie. They’re what actors (and script...
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Have a Horrible Holiday

Horror Equity Fund discusses the relationship between Horror and the Holidays. 'Twas the night after X-mas and all through the house…  bodies and corpses were starting to mount...Most people don’t think of Horror when they think...
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Screenwriting Within The Parameters of a Film Budget

Films right now are very expensive to make, and very expensive to market. Even TV series on streaming networks such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO are dealing with multi-million-dollar film budgets per episode. If you're trying to work in Hollywood,...
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