Articles & Advice

RECENTLY ADDED

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...
Read More»

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...
Read More»

“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...
Read More»

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...
Read More»

“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,...
Read More»

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...
Read More»

“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,...
Read More»

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...
Read More»

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...
Read More»

The Screenwriter’s Guide to General Meetings

Following last week’s THIS WEEK IN COACHING: MEETING PREP! installment, I thought it wise to take a bit of a deep dive into what general meetings are, and how they work. In fact, I couldn’t quite believe I hadn’t broken...
Read More»

4 Secrets To Selling Your Screenplay… And Not Your Soul!

As a four-year-old, I was impressed by seeing my parents making short 35mm films for the movie theaters, even riding a live 7 ft alligator in one of them. Those experiences caused me to have a life-long desire to conjure visual and emotional magic...
Read More»

Meaning and Toy Story 4

Two days after putting the finishing touches on the new 7th Edition of The Screenwriters Bible, I viewed Toy Story 4 for the first time.  I loved the film, but it was too late to add my thoughts about its contributions to the latest edition of...
Read More»

Your Screenplay or TV Pilot: How Long Should it Take to Write?

Okay, I admit it, I’ve been in denial. I did not think that this blogpost would need writing. Which, let’s face it, is nothing short of stupid on my part because, well, I have this conversation ALL. THE. TIME.Even as I write this, I...
Read More»

What An Audience Really Wants From Your Script

If you’re trying to write a successful script—-a script that gets produced and seen by a large number of viewers—-you obviously want your script to be loved by your audience. So if we want people to watch our work, we need to know...
Read More»

Let's Talk About Specs

I hear it all the time:“I want to sell my screenplay.”“How do I sell my screenplay to studios?”“My goal is to sell a spec (or two) a year.”I hear these from writers all over the world. Writers who just finished a...
Read More»

Career Success Comes to Those Who Try The Most Things

When I was 24-years-old after twelve months of working my first sales job I was hand-picked by upper-management to lead a team of experienced sales executives.I was excited about the promotion, but I was also scared. I had a severe speech impediment...
Read More»

Write Worlds And Characters Actors Want To Play

I am convinced that actors with creative intelligence want to play roles that challenge, expand, and refresh their artistic instincts. They want to get involved with films that get noted for Oscar consideration. It’s the job of the...
Read More»

About That Chip on Your Shoulder…

I get it. This blog post is going to piss some people off. And if the title already pissed you off, then… maybe don’t keep reading? Because this industry, if it is one thing for new writers trying to break in, it’s challenging....
Read More»

6 Types Of Friends Every Screenwriter Needs

Most screenwriters owe their tenacity and determination to the people they surround themselves with. This includes all the industry folks that can either directly or indirectly get your screenplays into the write (sorry, right) hands that can...
Read More»

Screenwriter Ted Campbell Goes “Underground”

As part of Creative Screenwriting Magazine’s mission to showcase screenwriters making waves in the film world, we spoke with Ted Campbell who recently set up his thriller script Underground with Film Bridge International. Acclaimed director...
Read More»