Screenwriting

Screenwriting

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing an Original TV Pilot

by Martie Cook

In the coming months, TV execs will read hundreds of pilot scripts and hear at least that many ideas for new shows.  If you are an aspiring television writer, now more than ever, it’s important to have an original script in your portfolio.  Be it comedy or drama, a good pilot can jumpstart your career…

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Deciding What to Write – 5 Factors that Make a Script Attractive to Buyers

by Chad Gervich

As writers, we like to think a well-written and compelling story should be enough to sell a script. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true. In fact, it’s rarely true. Sure, selling a script requires a well-told story, but there are other, equally important factors that make a script attractive to buyers. Perhaps the five most important…

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Craft Your Script to Fit the Needs of the Moment – The Blueprint vs. The Sales Document

by Arthur Vincie

SO YOU THINK THE SCRIPT IS READY? You think your script is perfect. It’s wonderful, it’s awesome, you could shoot it tomorrow if someone gave you all the money for it. At least, that’s what I thought after I finished the second draft of Found In Time. However, this is rarely the case. Scripts are…

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Writing Screenplays – Everything You Need to Know You Can Learn from City Lights

by Claudia H. Johnson

Okay, that’s a bald overstatement. You can’t learn everything you need to know about writing screenplays from City Lights, but you can get pretty close if you pay close attention to one scene in the film. You’ve probably seen it—Charlie Chaplin meets the blind flower vendor—but I recommend that you screen it again. Several times,…

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Top Ten Reasons to Write with a Partner

by Claudia H. Johnson

A former screenwriting student, Tom Kurzanski, e-mailed me one day: I just wanted to thank you for planting the seeds of writing with a partner.  The seeds took root and I partnered up with a good friend and colleague of mine (Michael Young).  Now here I am with a TV pilot that, I feel, is…

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Sitcom Structure – Classic 2-act vs. Modern 3-act Structure

by Martie Cook

THE IMPORTANCE OF STORY STRUCTURE Quite simply, structure is one of the most important elements of your script. It is the glue that holds your story together. Think of structure as how you choose to tell your story. What happens in each scene and what is the order in which it happens? Let me warn…

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Screenwriting Tip #100: The Three Acts of Writing a First Draft

by Xander Bennett

Screenwriting Tip #100: The point of a first draft is just to exist. Nobody should ever spend more than three months on a first draft unless they’re hand-chiseling it on a stone tablet. The psychological process of writing the first draft follows a predictable arc. At first it feels like love in the springtime –…

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Transmedia Storytelling – Weaving the Universe

by Tom Dowd

Weaving the Universe Weaving the universe relates to the fact that any successful transmedia intellectual property is like a tapestry – many threads that are well-woven to create a beautiful pattern. This points to the concept that really successful intellectual properties tell many stories that weave into a larger picture or larger understanding of the…

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Cardinal Sin of Screenwriting: Fear of Offending

by Guy Gallo

Perhaps the cardinal sin a writer can commit is to mitigate his intention for fear of offending. I always say: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing extremely. “Drama doesn’t like sort of.” The most benign form of this error is timidity. I have often seen descriptions of characters that pull punches. Make a decision….

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The Spectacular Spec

by Martie Cook

WRITING FOR EXISTING SHOWS IS YOUR FIRST STEP It’s important to understand that no one is going to hire you as a TV writer simply because you want to be one. As with any business, in order to get work, you have to prove that you can actually handle the job. Hollywood is heavily unionized,…

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