Advice — expert series

How To Get An Agent the Right Way

Posted by Marisa D'Vari on

You're a hot writer! Already you can see your name on the front page of Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. But to make the magic work, you need an agent.Or rather, you think you do.Like a savvy cat who'll only agree to come to you when cream is forthcoming, an agent worth his or her salt is the same way.I was an agent trainee at ICM in what had to be the kindest office on the seventh floor. My boss, a woman, took pains to write 'nice' thank-you notes to writers who didn't make the cut. She did find some...

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How to Prepare Your Stage Play Script for the Theater Market

Posted by Jonathan Dorf on

What a high: you've typed 'end of play' and that full-length stage play you've labored on for the last eighteen months is finally finished. Time to send it out to Broadway producers and get that rave in the New York Times you've always dreamed of. ADD REALITY HERE.Finishing a first draft of a play is great. But it's like building a house. If you tried to sell that 'first draft' house, buyers would wonder why you're selling a house without wiring, plumbing, coverings on the walls ... you get the idea. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you only get one...

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Pacing in Writing Techniques You Need to Know

Posted by Gerry Visco on

Pacing, as it applies to fiction, could be described as the manipulation of time. Though pacing is often overlooked and misunderstood by beginning writers, it is one of the key craft elements a writer must master to produce good fiction. Best-selling author Elmore Leonard recommends simply 'cutting out everything, but the good parts.' While this is interesting advice, the following article covers the matter of pacing in a bit more detail.The elements of time delineated in your story or screenplay include the time of day or period; scene versus summary; flashback; and foreshadowing. Elements of time raise the following questions:...

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How to Become a Screenwriter: 6 Essential Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters

Posted by Karl Iglesias on

Did you know that million-dollar, A-list scribe RON BASS works an average of 14 hours a day, seven days a week? Or that ERIC ROTH likes to wake up in the middle of the night, write for a few hours, take a nap, start again in the morning and continue in the evening?Highly successful screenwriters are the most disciplined people I know. They make the time to write, face the blank page, produce a consistent amount of pages every day and deliver high quality scripts on deadline.But rather than listing all their common habits (you can read about 101 of...

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Focusing on the Use of Symbols in Film: Why 'American Beauty' Works

Posted by David Freeman on

There are many ways symbols that can be used in a movie. Today I will examine one of them.Alan Ball, the screenwriter of 'American Beauty,' makes riveting use of the color red throughout the film. The first time we see Annette Bening, she's cutting bright red roses.What does the color red mean in this movie?The way Ball uses it, it refers to a concept: the life force, which, by nature, tries to defy the suppressiveness of suburban life. That's why, the first time we meet Annette Bening, she's cutting red roses. She's cutting the life force. Shortly thereafter, we see...

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