TAG: Screenwriting

Taxi Driver

Martin Scorsese in 10 Scenes: Taxi Driver


Excerpt from Martin Scorsese in 10 Scenes by Tim Grierson Focal Press, 2016 TAXI DRIVER, 1976 V. THE SHOOT-OUT The shoot-out scene is memorable not only for its violence, but also for a sense of ambiguity in it. This ambiguity pervades the whole movie, largely due to Schrader’s refusal to shine any solid light on…


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


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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Making an Image or Action Crucial to the Scene


Liking an image is not enough. No one cares what you want, what you like. They care if the story is pulling them forward, interesting them, confusing them in interesting ways. In my years of teaching screenwriting, the most frequent response given by a student to the question “Why did you do this or that?”…


Writing for the Green Light – Putting Your Line-Producer “Blinders” On


There’s lots of producers on a movie. . . . There’s the producer-producers (the ones who carry the project from beginning to end, who hustle and grind, hire and fire, and manage the project from concept to completion), there’s executive producers (who effectively represent the money or the financial interests behind the film, or are…

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Character Driven vs. Plot Driven


Character Driven vs. Plot Driven You will often hear films described as either character–driven or plot–driven. I think this is a false dichotomy. All films are character driven. All films have plot. These labels tell something, it’s true, about emphasis. And, for the most part, it’s become something of a commonplace that smaller, independent films…

Writing for the Green Light – The Genre You Choose Says A Lot About You


The stereotype about Hollywood is that it’s filled to the brim with wannabe writers (and this stereotype is completely true). But contrary to popular belief, most of these wannabes are actually good at writing and the majority of them possess the endurance to deliver a quality 100-page script. The problem is that most screenwriters consistently…


You Need a Logline


Screenwriting Tip #12: If you don’t know your own logline, you probably don’t know what your script is about. Some writers will tell you they don’t have a logline. Their screenplay is “too complex” or “too character-driven,” or they just didn’t bother to think of one before they started writing. These writers are either idiots…


Writing for the Green Light – Hollywood’s Biggest Secret


The big secret that almost never gets told to anyone outside Hollywood’s professional walls: Most films are green-lit before a final script exists. Think this is crazy? It’s not; it’s absolutely the truth. If a studio or an independent production company knows who their audience is, knows what channels and platforms will showcase their finished…


The Key Stages of Script Development


There are a number of stages in the evolution of a screenplay, and each stage usually requires various drafts. Each stage has a specific purpose as you proceed, step-by-step, from a general outline of your story to a script that contains the full dimensions of your film, including locations, actions, dialogue, sounds, movements, etc. This…


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


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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