Way back when The Shawshank Redemption was barely hanging on in theaters, squeaking out some pretty meager box office, and still years before it was regarded as one of the greatest American movies of the last thirty years, Academy and Guild members were not yet able to rely on screeners as a way to keep up with [...]
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I was on my way from lunch to meeting at Paramount when my agent at the time called to inquire if I’d be interested in meeting a particular movie star to discuss a picture he had in mind. My agent said it was a passion project for the actor, but with solid commercial prospects in [...]
I’m a Los Angeles Lakers fan. As I’ve followed the team over the past few years, I’ve noticed certain elements need to be present, in a game, for it to be the most engaging and entertaining — the kind that keep me glued to the TV screen. Specifically, there are usually high stakes, intriguing backstory, [...]
I’m a lying liar. I admit the lie and that I’ve been lying the lie for some years now. I feel the need to confess. So here goes nothin’. But first, a little history. It was my one and only honeymoon. Hawaii (cliché alert). My spanking new wife and I were in a popular little [...]
Gary Ross, writer-director of films such as Seabiscuit and Pleasantville, invited me to join in a round-table luncheon with Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey. The congressman had shown interest in meeting with movie-making word-merchants to discuss a subject plaguing that particular news quarter: Violence in Movies. The tragic events of Columbine were still in the rearview [...]
I’m a big Michael Douglas fan. Have been since I was a boy and he was playing Karl Malden’s sidekick in The Streets of San Francisco. So I thought it was pretty cool when my agent asked if I’d be interested in writing a movie for his company. At the time, Michael Douglas was producing [...]
When I work with writers giving feedback and guidance on their material and career paths, I often end up giving advice about how to gain access to agents, managers, and producers – which seems to most writers to be the biggest challenge of this business. The common conception is that “who you know” is ultimately [...]
The doctor is in! This week features none other than the TV Script Doctor herself, Sarah McLaughlin, who also happens to be a successful comedy writer on shows such as That 70′s Show and Drop Dead Diva. Click image to play video; more details are below. Growing up in New York, Sarah McLaughlin wasn’t allowed [...]
Film is a dramatic medium. So as screenwriters, we should always be looking for dramatic moments because movies are about people … people with problems. Explore those problems with drama.