visual mindscape

Establishing Atmosphere with the Visual Mindscape

No, I haven’t disappeared. Due to time constraints I have decided to cut back to a monthly column rather than every two weeks. The two primary screenwriting devices that are most often ignored are narrative pacing, which I discussed in an earlier posting, and Atmosphere. Atmosphere is the visceral experience created...

Visual Mindscape: How to Choose a Script Consultant

I begin with a full disclosure that in addition to being a screenwriter I am also a script consultant. As such, I must admit to a certain bias toward the value of script consulting to writers. I like to think of myself more as a script mentor than a consultant, and...

Visual Mindscape: The Pulse of Screenplay Dialogue

Screenplay dialogue is not like any other form of dialogue. It is distinct from the literary dialogue of novels as there is no on-going narrator to interpret and condense the speeches and reveal the inner thoughts and memories of the characters. There is a huge difference in words that are meant...

Visual Mindscape: A Query Letter to Incite

Before I get into the Query Letter I have something that I want to share with you. Those of you who know me and my work are aware that I have been fortunate enough to have every screenplay I have written either produced or optioned (and I don’t mean the Danny...

writer's block

Visual Mindscape: Overcoming Writer’s Block (No, Really)

Writers Block comes in many different guises.  For me there are three: Laziness, Boredom and Overwhelm. As for any other reasons out there, to tell you the truth, I don’t want to know about them. These three have caused me enough grief over the years. But I have found ways to...

Visual Mindscape: Film Locations as Allegory

Sometimes the specific needs of a scene lock you into a particular location.  But, in situations where this is not the case, you might consider choosing film locations that add a degree of richness to the scene. Often the obvious location is simply generic and adds very little to the story....

Visual Mindscape: The Kinetic Logline

Edward Albee once said “Any play that can be described in one line should be only one line long.” I couldn’t agree more, but the reality is we need loglines to help sell our scripts, and they are not going away, at least not in my lifetime. As I was so...

Visual Mindscape: Never Do a Free Option Agreement

I could make this the shortest column ever run in Scriptmag.com by simply saying; never, never enter into a free Option Agreement. There is never a valid or compelling reason to do so. I don’t care if it is your first screenplay or not, don’t do it. Have I made myself...