Articles & Advice

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Industry Speak: Terms and Vernacular for Screenwriters

A few weeks ago, a screenwriter who has yet to break in, reached out to me over email. It became clear in the first one or two lines of his message that he was not yet a working writer, was not of the industry, and not yet familiar with industry...
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The Single Golden Key Of Success In 2020

Want success in the new year?  Create a Weekly Action Plan of specific steps or actions you will take during the coming week towards achieving your overall goals. Thus, your first step is to make a few goals for the...
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Greta Gerwig Gives Us a Thoroughly Contemporary Take on “Little Women”

In this overpopulated age of remakes, reboots, and re-imaginings, how do you find a new path in on a property that’s already been told on the big and small screen over a dozen times? Filmmaker Greta Gerwig has managed to make something quite...
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Want to Give Your Screenwriting Career a Push in 2020? Ask Yourself THIS

I am a constant planner. A summarizer. On my good days, I’d like to think that I’m an observer and a learner. Which makes end-of-year such a great time for me, along with my clients, to take a step back and reflect.If there is one thing...
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7 Ways To Check If Your Script is Done

You think your script is done? How do writers know when a script is ready for submission? This is a very important question as you might not get a second chance with the right person.If you want to know when your script is ready to submit to a...
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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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