Short Circuit: Stop Chasing Your Screenwriting Dream!

Years ago, I had an agent and spent a lot of time “chasing” a screenwriting career, and I never got anywhere. Today, I no longer have an agent, don’t live in L.A., am writing to please myself… and the work just kind of magically appears… not that I am buying my own private island or anything yet...

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

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...


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...