Advice — featured

5 Keys to Writing a Summer Blockbuster

Posted by John Truby on

It used to be that summer was the season for blockbuster movies. Now it’s a year-round phenomenon. Hollywood is in the business of selling films to a worldwide audience, which means they are always looking for a script with blockbuster potential. Most screenwriters think a blockbuster is simply a film that does really well at the box office. Technically speaking, that’s true. But the reality is that a script with blockbuster potential is a very special kind of script, with a number of story elements that studio executives are looking for. I’d like to point out five of the most...

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Write your Screenplay in 10 Minutes a Day

Posted by Pilar Alessandra on

I know you’re busy. Trust me, I’m with you. You’ve got work, school, kids, you name it. Family counts on you, friends need you – someone’s probably e-mailing, texting or instant messaging you right now!So how in the heck are you going to find time to write? Well, look down at that smart-phone or computer. You already are.Be honest. How many times a day do you sneak in a Facebook post, send a brilliant thought through Twitter or entertain a far-away friend with a text? Every time you do, you’re writing.You’re relating an anecdote; describing a person you met, engaging...

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Tales From the Script: 5 Things I Learned Interviewing Screenwriters

Posted by Peter Hanson on

Sitting down for intimate conversations with dozens of Hollywood's best writers was a transformative experience. Although I've been a professional screenwriter for many years, most of my work has been in the independent realm, so collecting material for Tales from the Script gave me a crash course in the realities of writing movies at the film industry's top levels.1. Good things come to those who wait ... and wait ... and wait. A recurring theme throughout the interviews in this project is the long (and painful) gap of time that stretches from the moment someone sets out to become a...

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Character Emotion Makes the Plot

Posted by Martha Alderson, M.A. on

Some writers excel at pithy banter. Others create dramatic action. The writers I most admire are the ones who in their own natural style convey a character's emotional personality in scene through active, non-verbal communication with just the right frequency and intensity.I have written extensively about how moviegoers and readers identify with stories through the characters' emotions. When we connect with the characters on an emotional level, the interaction become deep and meaningful. Well-written scenes that include characters' emotions allow the audience to viscerally take part in the story and bond with the characters.In my work as a plot consultant,...

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The Top 10 Reasons to Write a Spec Pilot

Posted by Ellen Sandler on

Whether you're an established film/ TV writer or an aspiring one, you've heard it - everybody in town has said it - you should write a spec pilot. Didn't used to be that way. Up until about five years ago, it was considered crazy or just plain clueless to write a pilot that wasn't commissioned by a network - nobody would read it, no agent would consider looking at it. (I did it anyway - tell you more about that later)But all that changed in 2004 when Marc Cherry, a veteran TV writer experiencing a downturn in his career (he'd...

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