It was the “Masters of the Universe” who turned all Americans into high rollers during the “Me Decade,” but it was the ordinary Wall Street Joes and Janes who brought the ride to a halt. A scintillating new suspenser, Margin Call — from first-time feature filmmaker J.C. Chandor, suggests how and why they did it.
From Script to Screen: The Rum Diary
by David S. Cohen
To adapt Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary, screenwriter Bruce Robinson (The Killing Fields) had to break a promise, go off the wagon, and risk the wrath of Thompson’s fans.
Writers on Writing: J. Edgar
by Dustin Lance Black
Scribe Dustin Lance Black (Milk) bucked preconceived public opinions in his search for the “real” J. Edgar Hoover when cracking the script for his powerful biopic of the enigmatic founder of the FBI, J. Edgar.
The Last Ride: An Interview With Writer Howie Klausner
by Randy Rudder
Howie Klausner (Space Cowboys), along with co-writer Dub Cornett, remained true to history while scripting the last days of music legend Hank Williams while retaining just enough creative license to leave their fingerprints on this touching story of an icon gone too soon.
An Interview With Final Draft, Inc. Hall of Famer Steven Zaillian
by Ray Morton
This October, Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List) was presented the Final Draft, Inc. Hall of Fame Award, adding to his already extensive list of accolades — an Oscar®, a WGA Award, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe®, a Humanitas Prize, and, just last year, the Writers Guild of America, West’s Laurel Award honoring a lifetime of achievement. Script takes a look at his inspiring career as Zaillian recounts how he has honed his craft over more than two decades of penning unforgettable screenplays.
Beyond the Page: Change of Art
by Peter Hanson
Searching for new ways to explore his favorite themes led screenwriter Joe Forte (Firewall, Say I Do) to a thriving second career as a painter.
What are Your Real Chances of Success?
by Corey Mandell
Writers know it’s not easy to launch and sustain a career. After all, the odds aren’t necessarily stacked in your favor. But, what exactly are your chances of making it in the industry? The answer might surprise you.
Goldman’s Rule on Structure
by John Buchanan
No element of a successful script is more important than a solid, effective structure. And no fundamental discipline of screenwriting is more misunderstood or misapplied. Here experts weigh in on the art of mastering structure.
10 Tips for Talking to Hollywood
by Peter Hanson
Practicing savvy techniques can help ensure you’re taken seriously by the film industry — even before you’re a working professional. Learn why the movie business is just like any other private club: Once you learn the secret handshake (metaphorically speaking), you can get in the door.
Booze Control: Terence Winter and a Sip of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire
by David Radcliff
Last year, Terence Winter (The Sopranos) traded Mafia stories for tales of gin mills and moonshine during Prohibition-era Atlantic City in the first season of HBO’s gripping drama Boardwalk Empire. The result was a smash-hit cable series that left frenzied fans immediately clamoring for the show’s second season.
Pacing Your Script
by Mike Kuciak
One of the elements that makes a professional-level script stand out is it moves in a speed and rhythm that feels like what we’re used to seeing in a theater. There are several common missteps that often contribute to making the pacing slow or uneven in a screenplay. Finding and addressing them will help turn your works into fast, fun, professional reads.
Wind From the East, Part 2: Manga and Anime
by Northrop Davis
Script further examines the growing influence of Japanese manga and anime in Hollywood and the opportunities the global medium presents to creative minds looking to start a career in film or television.
Script Secrets: Hero is Villain?
by William C. Martell
For every yin there is a yang, for every hero there is a villain … unless they are the same person. In an excerpt from his book The Secrets of Action Screenwriting, columnist and professional scribe William C. Martell explains this unique story situation.