Watch your words: Visit a set and read your script aloud

Every scriptwriter should visit a set. You will learn that a great deal of work goes into bringing your story alive. You will experience long hours, actors with incredible durability, directors with patience, crew who do their jobs and some who don’t. Overall you will have a feeling of how very many people are involved … Continue reading

Capturing Silence

Your script reads better if you avoid directional cues. Forget “pause” and “beat.” I know, each is listed in The Screenwriter’s Bible but paint a verbal picture instead. Film is visual. Give clues to the director, actors and crew with visual writing. So instead of: LILA You have to know that Jack wasn’t there. SAM … Continue reading

Writers Read: Script Sources

What? You haven’t been reading scripts? Reading scripts is a great way to see how scripts are formatted, how characters develop, how action is written, how fight scenes are described and more. For beginning screenwriters constant script reading is one of the very best ways to learn your craft. The good news is that you … Continue reading

Theme and Events: What is your story about?

Producer Richard Gladstein  (Reservoir Dogs, The Bourne Identity, Pulp Fiction, Finding Neverland, Ciderhouse Rules and many others)spoke at a recent gathering in Los Angeles.  He touched on many aspects of production and his personal history in the industry. The words that struck me as a writer were, “Create events to service the theme.”  In … Continue reading

The End Goal: Production

Just as you write your logline before you begin your story, and just as you know your ending before you write the first scene, you need to remember that your end goal is to have your story produced and distributed. Why should you be thinking about this?  Because you want to write a script that … Continue reading

The Solid Root: Logline for your script

The logline is your story encapsulated in one sentence.  Although some writers think that the logline is best written after the story is finished because now they know the story, the best time to write your logline is before you begin the script. Although you will probably rewrite the logline many times, beginning with the … Continue reading

Getting Attention for Your Script: The Script Trailer

Yesterday, I was one of many writers attending Ellen Sandler’s workshop Developing An Original TV Pilot at The Writers Store in Burbank, CA.  She is holding another workshop on January 15 During the day we learned many practical tips and exercises for development.  Ellen is a great teacher; she gives practical examples along … Continue reading

The Professional Writer: But I’m an artist. Get over it.

The other day I had a long telephone conversation with an aspiring screenwriter.  His script was way over the current script length for a professional production.  I told him that his script would be tossed before the title page was read at that length.  He replied, “But I’m an artist.”  He then went on to … Continue reading

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