Advice — gatekeeper q & a

Questions Writers Frequently Ask Directors

Posted by Bethany Rooney on

Q: I can “see” the movie in my head as I write it. Why can’t the director see it too?A: You’ve heard of “the director’s vision”? The director CAN see the film before a single frame is shot, but since he or she is a unique individual, as are you, there is no way that your vision can be the same. We each come to a project with a personal history and a point of view about the world that defines our ethics, our judgments, and our actions…and therefore, our choices. So you have to hope that a wonderful director...

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Q&A With Syd Field

Posted by Syd Field on

How much thought do you think writers should invest in terms of tracking the broad strokes of the protagonist’s emotional journey when structuring the story?I think all screenwriters should know the emotional journey from beginning to end. If you have the character’s arc clearly in mind, you can then begin to build your story and character utilizing the emotional journey as one of the major leads into the physical journey. Action and character, those are the two things to follow during the unfolding of the script. Take a look at Avatar or The King’s Speech – it’s an emotional journey...

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Your Burning PitchFest Questions Answered

Posted by Great American Pitchfest on

Summer is the season of selling, as people from all over the world flock to Los Angeles (or online) to pitch their ideas with the hope of getting their project sold. With these opportunities come questions, so we sat down with the leading authority on Pitchfests, Signe Olynyk and Bob Schultz, creators of the upcoming 8th Annual Great American PitchFest to answer your burning questions.What do I need to do to prepare for a pitchfest?The best thing you can do to prepare is to practice, practice, practice. Know your story inside and out. Be prepared to answer questions about your protagonist,...

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Agent, Manager or Both?

Posted by Fran Harris on

Reader Melissa Gallardo from San Francisco, CA asks: Do I need an agent or a manager or both? Expert Fran Harris replies. I speak at about 15 writing conferences and film festivals a year and I'm always asked the same question, "Do I need an agent, a manager or both?" And my answer is always the same. Forget about trying to land an agent or a manager. That's right. I said it. Stop trying to get an agent - at least for the next 6 months. I want you to block it out of your mind. I want you to...

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Cutting Scenes from a Screenplay

Posted by Martha Alderson, M.A. on

Reader Alexa Adams from Milford, CT asks My scene count is making my screenplay too long, but I can't see cutting any of the scenes I've written. What should I do? Expert Martha Alderson replies. The job of a good writer is to know which scenes to cut and which ones to keep. You, as a writer, needed to write each and every one of those scenes to better understand the characters. A movie-goer or reader needs only scenes that work on a multitude of levels at once. Tips: 1) Write your project all the way through each draft. If...

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