Hollywood

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...

desperation

Notes from the Margins: A Writer’s Greatest Enemy

Much like an innocent, wide-eyed gazelle prancing along the African plains, the amateur writer has many natural enemies lurking, waiting to pounce.  But I bet you don’t know what their greatest natural enemy is. It’s not the cold-hearted agent, not the cynical gatekeeper, not the bitter reader, not the unscrupulous producer, nor the greedy...

Which Hollywood?

Legally Speaking, It Depends – Which Hollywood?

“I want to sell my script to Hollywood,” a statement I often hear from screenwriters. My response is usually, “Which Hollywood?” Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Hollywood is no exception. There are many levels of “Hollywood”, each legitimately the big time, but as different from one another as night and day....

photo courtesy of Apple TV

Producer’s POV: How (and Where) Should I Pitch My TV Show?

I get asked this question all the time: How (and where) should I pitch my TV show? As the Pitch Prep Coach for the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE)’s PitchCon and repeatedly getting up to bat myself as one of the qualified producers in the NBC/Universal partnership with the Independent Film and...

tim-robbins

Behind the Lines with DR: The Coolest Deed

Way back when The Shawshank Redemption was barely hanging on in theaters, squeaking out some pretty meager box office, and still years before it was regarded as one of the greatest American movies of the last thirty years, Academy and Guild members were not yet able to rely on screeners as a way to keep up...

Photo Courtesy of fastlanemag.com

Behind the Lines with DR: James Bond vs. My Big Fat Mouth

I owe much to James Bond. Or to be more accurate, 007’s inventor, author Ian Fleming. I was twelve years old and not much of a reader when I discovered my father’s collection of Fleming paperbacks on a shelf in our converted garage. After the first fifty pages I found myself treble-hooked by the...

Image courtesy of Utne Magazine

Behind the Lines with DR: The Ugliest Note… Ever.

I can’t say this any simpler. This is about the worst script note I ever received. Was it an unfortunate situation to be in? Hardly. It came from the mouth of a movie studio president. I was behind the doors of his Citizen-Kane-sized office, comfortably parked on his couch, at the end of a...

lies

Behind the Lines with DR: I’m a Lying Liar

I’m a lying liar. I admit the lie and that I’ve been lying the lie for some years now. I feel the need to confess. So here goes nothin’. But first, a little history. It was my one and only honeymoon. Hawaii (cliché alert). My spanking new wife and I were in a popular...