Nothing should be placed in the script unless it has some kind of meaning, somehow furthering the characters or the story. David Landau explains how to use a set-up and payoff to elevate your audience's experience.
This month marks the 35th anniversary of the release of one of the all-time great movies: E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial, Steven Spielberg’s wonderful cinematic fable about a 10-year-old boy from a broken family who befriends an alien. Step behind the scenes to see how E.T. came to life.
Getting your script ripped apart can be heartbreaking. Vicky Hinault gives 6 tips for dealing with honest feedback.
In the past decade or so, movies have become enamored of backstory. Ray Morton explains the art of revealing backstory without excessive prologues or flashbacks.
Need help writing realistic dialogue? Paul Peditto describes an overheard dialogue exercise for screenwriting.
Brett Wean explains how the mistakes a character makes can help define him and clear a path to his becoming a hero.
Cutting scenes can be brutal for a screenwriter, but even more so when a studio orders it. John Buchanan explores why Hollywood cuts character-driven scenes.
When would a writer ever ask to undo writing credits and cross their name off their first paid writing gig? When an exec gets involved, that's when.
Tim Long discusses the importance of having an emotional core in your story.
Paul Peditto discusses collaboration and how disagreeing is sometimes a good thing.