Screenwriting

life itself

Back to the Chalkboard: Empathy and LIFE ITSELF

In a recent text exchange with a screenwriter friend of mine, I lamented, “Life is Sooooo F*#king Hard!” Without getting into the details of my travails, I can tell you I don’t have Ebola virus and I am not homeless and starving. I understand that on the spinning roulette wheel of life, I’m very,...

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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...

shawshank1

Column D: Should You Take Him Back? (When to use Flashback)

I want to talk to you today about one of the more controversial tools in the screenwriter’s toolbox – and that’s flashback. Like voice-over, flashback is “frowned upon” by screenwriting gurus, professors and so-called purists. The reason for all that frowning is that flashing back slows the forward momentum of the film and “takes...

Screenwriting Polygamy

Back to the Chalkboard: Screenwriting Polygamy

It’s a Sin! No manager or agent will represent you. No studio or producer will buy your script. You must build your brand and be consistent! You must not confuse the very smart, often Ivy League-educated people who run production companies, studios, and networks! You must either write alone or with a writing partner,...

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...