script

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...

Do you have a personal connection to your screenplay?

Back to the Chalkboard: Personal Connection

Have you ever had to write something you didn’t care about? Think back to high school, college, grad school, or even your job – there must have been some paper or assignment that you simply could not motivate yourself to write until the last possible minute. Or, you actually started writing this burden of...

Courtesy Free Dictionary

Why Spec Scripts Fail: The “Wrylie” (Parentheticals)

Courtesy Free Dictionary In our previous examples, we explored a few of the many reasons Why Spec Scripts Fail. For better or for worse, screenwriting conventions have evolved over the years with the emphasis on evolved. When an author pens a stage play, the playwright’s words are sacrosanct – none can be changed without permission....

Editing Screenplays

From The Lens: Editing A Screenplay

As a kid, I sometimes thought: Isn’t it unrealistic that the characters in nearly every film never take a break to go to the bathroom? Maybe they aren’t drinking enough water? For that matter, I never see them drinking water either! Later I realized that would be far too much information for the audience....

worried cat

The Wide Margin: Tell the Cat to Beat It!

Writers today are obsessed with structure.  I’m not talking about the traditional beginning-middle-end style structure.  I’m talking about the micromanagement of page counts as typified by anal retentive “techniques” like “saving the cat.”  I’m pretty sure Paddy Chayefsky never thought in terms of a beat sheet, assigning plot points to script pages with a...

Carnal Knowledge still Nicholson Ann-Margaret

The Wide Margin: A Writer’s Carnal Knowledge

“So, that’s one for “Cah-nahl Knah-ledge…“ That’s how they sold tickets at the old Hahvahd Squah Theahter Harvard Square Theatre where I first saw the classic Mike Nichols’ film.  The Harvard Square Theatre – before succumbing to the sweeping home viewing revolution – used to host both old films (different daily double features!) and...