Ray Morton

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Meet the Reader: On Sluglines and Other Matters

When you read scripts for a living as I do, you notice an interesting phenomenon: certain common elements tend to recur in a majority of the scripts that you read in a specific period of time. These common elements can be premises and story concepts (e.g. after never having read a single script about...

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Meet the Reader: Ten Points to Ponder When You Write

Alfred Hitchcock once said that 90% of the effectiveness of his films was determined in preproduction, based on the decisions he made in the scripting, storyboarding, design, and casting phases. I’m of a similar mind when it comes to screenwriting – I think that the success or failure of most scripts is determined in...

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Meet the Reader: 12 Signs of a Promising Spec Script

The Writers Store’s advice on writing a script is a great starting point for getting your next script off the ground. Read on for Script Reader Ray Morton’s advice. Professional script readers will often claim that they can tell if a screenplay is going to be good or not after reading just a few...

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Meet the Reader: What Makes a Good Screenwriter?

I was talking with a writer friend lately about what qualities a person needed to have in order to be a good screenwriter and this is what we came up with: 1. You have to love movies: You’d think that would be a given, but it never fails to amaze me how many people...

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Meet the Reader: Bright Ideas

A note before we start this month. Lately, a number of readers have been reposting my columns on a number of other websites and in a number of other blogs. While I am certainly flattered that people think enough of my work to want to share it, I need to advise you that this...

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Meet the Reader: Deck Chairs

A while back, I received a rewrite of a script by an aspiring screenwriter that I have been working with for a while now. The first draft was based on a very cool idea and had some terrific elements in it with an enormous amount of potential, but the overall piece had some tremendous...

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Meet the Reader: The (Real) Rules of Screenwriting

Trying to make sense of all of the dos and don’ts of scriptwriting can be very confusing, especially when so many of them seem to be contradictory. Mastering all of the rules can often seem like an impossible task and can cause many people to become discouraged and even consider giving up. Here's why...

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Meet the Reader: Apples and Oranges

Readers aren't trying to steal your creativity. It's just that if you make the process of reading your script far too arduous and time-consuming, then all you are doing is giving development people — all of whom are always pressed for time and always have a million other scripts to read -- an excellent...