Articles & Advice

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BIG LITTLE LIES - The Wild Card

In HBO’s Big Little Lies (based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty), series adapter/showrunner David E. Kelley (The Practice, Ally McBeal, Boston Legal) and his stable of amazing performers examine the idea of "tribe...
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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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Chronicles of my hats: Why Chaplin?

“One day, tired of being professionally frustrated and inspired by the great Charlie Chaplin, I decided to start writing about my different hats in life. So besides my frustrations, failures, achievements, and complicated moments; I believe...
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ATLANTA: The Existential Quest of Life

Recent Princeton dropout Earnest “Earn” Marks (Emmy-winning creator/showrunner/star Donald Glover) is on a journey of self-discovery. But he’s flat broke and his parents have not only cut him off, they also refuse to allow him into...
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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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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...
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You're Not Going To Win An Oscar...

You're Not Going To Win An Oscar......but hold on, I'll explain.I'm sure most of you did it Sunday night at some point in the evening (if you watched the Academy Awards). You imagined what you would say if you were up on that stage accepting...
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“There’s both light and dark…There’s a lot of dark!” Black Mirror

Charlie Brooker & Annabel Jones on screenwriting levers, satire, and why checking your phone is like smoking. Plus great practical advice for writers! Black Mirror. The term refers to the dark, shadowy image you see of yourself while...
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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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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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Magical Realism in Game of Thrones (Some Spoilers Present)

There’s a hint of the magical from the very teaser of the pilot of Game of Thrones. This is a fantastical world, where showrunners/writers/adapters David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wisely make sure not to introduce too much too soon for the...
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Does it come in black?

A good screenplay is watched, not read. In so many scripts I am t/asked to read, I find that the words get in the way of the story. When I read a good script, I feel I’m watching it. The words reveal the story in a visceral way.Good stories...
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Why The Crocodile Dundee Super Bowl Ad Made An Impact

Are They Really Remaking Crocodile Dundee? No, but the Super Bowl ad was pretty fun! For all of you out there who are Eagles fans, I send you a happy congratulations on your Super Bowl win. Being a fan of the Chicago Cubs, I know how difficult it...
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The Neurotic Superhero: From Comic Book to Catharsis

There’s a historical pattern around the popularity of the superhero—he or she is most needed during dark times in the real world. In Captain America: The First Avenger, when Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) visits the US troops...
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Alphabet Guide for Threading the Hollywood Maze

Agents are only as good as their clients. Buñuel’s dream vision is the ideal screenplay paradigm. C. G. Jung’s theory of synchronicity is true for seeking stories. Don’t submit synopses. Like babies, they are...
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Gravity

I watched GRAVITY (Alfonso Cuarón 2013) again recently. Why? The film's astonishing visual impact. I think Gravity is one of if not the most phenomenal technical productions in film history. I am also fascinated with all things space. 2001 A...
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LION (Garth Davis, 2016)

I’ve only now seen LION (Garth Davis) 2016). I have never been so affected by any film. This film states the obvious, which we all need to hear on a regular basis: that human emotions are universal. They transcend and are independent of...
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The 2 Copyright Forms Every Screenwriter Should Know

Every screenwriter should know two specific copyright forms used to protect qualifying written screenplays, often referred to as “Intellectual Property” or “IP.”  Why is this so important? Because Intellectual Property...
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Director Alexander Jeffery On Building the El Dorado of Short Films

As part of a TV[R]ev series on creators, David Bloom sat down with Alexander Jeffery, whose short film “Memoir” just screened on ShortsTV, the global home of short films. Filmmaker Alexander Jeffery...
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Dedication, Discipline & Cultivating Self-Worth in 2018 with The Story Farm

It's A New Year - So What?This is part of a weekly email series delivered to The Story Farm email list by the ISA's Max Timm. If you would like to join the email list and receive inspiring messages and upcoming offers from Max and The Story...
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