The Wide Margin by Kevin Delin

It’s a closely guarded secret that the City of Angels contains a thriving theater community. In fact, this group freely exchanges its artistic talent back and forth with that other entity better known as “The Biz.” During any given weekend, on dozens of intimate theater stages across Los Angeles, faces familiar from film and television will pop up in plays often penned by those who also write for “The Industry.” Going live provides incredible opportunities for writers who wish to create works longer than a YouTube sketch and see them performed by seasoned pros. The Wide Margin is a backstage pass to that artistic place bridging the gap twixt set and stage.

Empty classroom

The Wide Margin: Summertime Challenge

With June now safely behind us, the 2013-2014 school year is officially over.  It’s summertime! When I was younger that meant 75 days of uninterrupted fun.  That’s just how we roll in the United States: you are either in-school learnin’ or you are out-of-school playin’. We carry those impressions into adulthood. If you want...

In-N-Out 3x3 Burger

The Wide Margin: My First Writing Course (A Fairy Story)

Do you remember your first writing course?  I do.  High school.  Junior year.  Part of Mr. K’s honors British Literature class.  Mr. K worked hard at his reputation of being the most no-nonsense, scariest teacher that the good little middle class boys and girls of my sleepy, no-movie-theater town could imagine.  Even the honors Trigonometry...

Shakespeare Second Droeshout detail 1623

The Wide Margin: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare!

So, it turns out that no one knows exactly what day William Shakespeare was born.  We know it was near the end of April 1564.  Scholars believe he was born on the 23rd since he was baptized on the 26th.  But since 1582 lost 10 days when we adopted our present Gregorian calendar, there’s...

Film Editing Table

The Wide Margin: The Writer’s Most Unkindest Cut of All

I have a friend who makes his living as a film editor – he’s quite good and it’s likely you’ve seen his work – who can look you straight in the eyes and declare in a stentorian voice:  “I don’t do velvet ropes.”  It’s a common sentiment among grizzled industry veterans.  If you are standing in...

adverb

The Wide Margin: (Parenthetically Speaking…)

I learned more about the craft of screenwriting by studying acting than from reading books on screenwriting. There.  I said it. Actors, after all, are my real audience.  Without them, I might as well write a novel.  The moment I decide I’m going to write for performance, I have committed to communicate everything – my...

worried cat

The Wide Margin: Tell the Cat to Beat It!

Writers today are obsessed with structure.  I’m not talking about the traditional beginning-middle-end style structure.  I’m talking about the micromanagement of page counts as typified by anal retentive “techniques” like “saving the cat.”  I’m pretty sure Paddy Chayefsky never thought in terms of a beat sheet, assigning plot points to script pages with a...

The Wide Margin: Less is More

The Wide Margin: When Less is More

On the nineteenth day of the eleventh month of the year four score and seven after the founding the Nation, Abraham Lincoln delivered his über-nano Gettysburg Address.  Just how short was this speech?  272 total words arranged in only 10 sentences.  That is to say, 143 different words.  Just how few words is that?...