screenwriter

Do It or I Chew It
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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...

Screenwriter as Handyman

Behind the Lines with DR: What Does a Screenwriter Write?

There’s an old Hollywood story I’d heard about Earnest Lehman, famed screenwriter of The Sound of Music. He was asked what exactly it was that a screenwriter wrote. I’m obviously paraphrasing here: “Have you seen my movie?” Lehman asked. “The Sound of Music? Why yes?” “Did you see the opening? Where Julie Andrews appears...

Derek Jeter (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

BREAKING IN: Derek Jeter and the Art of Screenwriting

Recently, an interviewer asked some top major league baseball players what their greatest fear is. For guys who don’t flinch when 90-mile-an-hour fastballs are fired at them every day, they gave some surprising answers. Some said: “Heights.” One said: “Spiders.” But how did New York Yankees superstar and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter...

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Filmmakers The Erwin Brothers Schedule a Moms’ Night Out

When a harried mother sets up a quiet night out with just her girlfriends, she doesn’t plan on a stolen car, a lost baby, and a biker gang making her night complete. Directed by The Erwin Brothers, Moms Night Out from TriStar Pictures opens May 9. Starring Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Sarah...

MerylStreep

Producers POV: Charlie Kaufman’s Women

A great deal has been written over the past forty years about (Alfred) “Hitchcock’s Women.” Immaculate blondes, sensual ice queens that could be both treacherous yet vulnerable. These strong independent women often drove the action of his famous suspense films – and they suffered for it. They have become icons of his era. One of our...

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Story Talk: Should I Take a $1 Option On a Screenplay?

You get the phone call, and it goes something like this: Friend: Hey, are you sitting down? (smile in his voice) You: Yeah, what’s up? Friend: I have a producer who wants to option your script! You: (heart flutters) Oh my god … Friend: Yeah, he’s an indie producer I know—really talented, really connected....

WHAT are you thinking?

WHAT Are You Thinking? Tips to Break Into the Film Business

I’m late night gorging on trash TV instead of reading a script, watching a movie or even catching up on sleep. Hulu is apparently determined to keep me awake, no matter how repetitive the commercials. Because just below the video is written, “What are you thinking?” Haunting. Those very same words have been running...