writer

Little League World Series - photo courtesy of The Daily Caller

Great Stories Are Like Great Games

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...

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Behind the Lines with DR: I’m a Lying Liar

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...

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Behind the Lines with DR: Writer as Sacrificial Lamb aka Doug a la Carte

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...

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Behind the Lines with DR: Swear I Didn’t Do It

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...

Sending Queries to Literary Managers About a Screenplay

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...

Mila Kunis and Segel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Photo: Universal Pictures)

No Dramatic Stone Unturned

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.

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....

Work Habits of the Pros

Screenwriting is unlike any other professional endeavor. To survive its unique pressures and peculiarities and have a career, you’ll have to master a few fundamental disciplines.