Screenwriting

courtesy of Sebastian Horndasch under a creative common license

Alt-Script: How To Become a Better Screenwriter

I want you to consider the possibility that the following statement is true: “You can’t learn to be a good screenwriter solely by writing, getting notes on your writing and reading articles about screenwriting.” Although all of those processes are useful, ultimately they fall short of what a screenwriter really needs to make progress....

Shooting Script

Why Spec Scripts Fail: Shooting Scripts vs. Spec Scripts

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. Shooting vs. Spec. A conundrum. There is a lot of gnashing of teeth by a variety of well-meaning critics and pundits when...

life itself

Back to the Chalkboard: Empathy and LIFE ITSELF

Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers! 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...

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...

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,...