Staton Rabin

screenwriting contests 3

Breaking In: Winning Screenwriting Contests Using Psych 101

My favorite philosopher, Yogi Berra, supposedly said: “Baseball is 90 percent mental, the other half is physical.” The same could be said of screenwriting.  As in baseball, winning at the game of screenwriting depends partly on talent and stamina– but even more on having the right mental attitude and understanding the way people think. When...

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...

85th Annual Academy Awards - Show

Craft: How To Write To Attract A Movie Star

Chances are, if you want to sell your screenplay to a major film producer, you’re going to have to write the kind of role that a movie star is dying to play. I accomplished this feat almost by accident when I chose Napoleon Bonaparte as the hero for my film project, Betsy and the...

talent 001

Breaking In: Are Screenwriters “Born This Way”?

I’ve evaluated thousands of scripts for writers, film producers, and contests over the years.  Occasionally, after reading a screenplay, I say to myself, “Now, there’s a born screenwriter.”  The writer may be a little “green.” He might make some rookie mistakes, such as not knowing how to show the passage of time. He might...

The Wizard of Oz (Photo: MGM)

Dream, Vision, or Fantasy?

In any given year, I read so many screenplays as a professional “reader” that you could pave the Yellow Brick Road with them and still have enough left over to start a recycling program in the Emerald City. Okay, so most of the scripts I read are in digital form and aren’t on paper....