Hollywood

Courtesy Google Images

Why Spec Scripts Fail: Ignorance vs. Arrogance

Stewart Farquhar holds Screenwriting and Advanced Screenwriting certificates from the Professional Program at The UCLA School of Theatre Film and Television. Stewart has analyzed over 4,000 scripts for private and studio clients. “Knowledge makes people humble. Arrogance makes people ignorant.” I wish I knew the correct author of that thought. The desire to write a successful spec...

Script Printer Circa 1925

Why Spec Scripts Fail: Failure to Do Your Homework – Part 5

Together we explored some aspects of screenwriting homework and how the failure to apply yourself to its completion is a reason why many spec scripts fail. It’s important to understand that these should be considered less as rules and more as filters that an overworked, underpaid and, in some environments, highly stressed reader uses...

Do It or I Chew It
Courtesy-cutestpaw

Why Spec Scripts Fail: Failure To Do Your Homework, Part 4

In our previous homework discussions, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, several reasons spec scripts fail may have seemed obvious or simplistic to some readers… As obvious as looking both ways before you cross the street. Or as basic as not falling prey to “TEXTAHOLISM” while you hold up traffic at a stop...

Dialogue

Wendy’s LA4HIRE: Best Screenwriting Tips for Great Dialogue

As a producer and script consultant who reads hundreds of screenplays, one of the most common weaknesses in the majority of scripts I review has to do with dialogue that is expositional, or what we call “on the nose” — where characters state exactly what they are thinking and feeling, or tell us information...

yvette-yates-02-401x600

Actress Yvette Yates and the Depth of Character

Yvette Yates (In the Blood, Without Men) real life depth of character reveals a new way of viewing how actors and actresses in the New Millennium are sophisticated, immensely talented and exceptionally well-trained. According to grocery store fanzines, it would seem most people are only interested in the dirty laundry of actors/actresses. You know…...

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...