Screenwriting Tips RSS

Amy Adams, Disney, Nicole Kidman, St. Patrick's Day, Tom Cruise -

From heartwarming tales set in Ireland to comedic romps featuring leprechauns, there's a diverse array of films that capture the essence of the Emerald Isle. Some are beloved classics, while others might fall flat. Let's explore a mix of both in this rundown of St. Patrick's Day movies we know and sometimes love (or don't love).

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pitchable concept, slice-of-life, writer's block -

There is one simple trick to kill writer’s block, and that is to write. If you don’t know what to write, there is always one story you can tell, and that is the story of your own life. As the old saying goes, everyone in the world has one good story to tell. That story is their own experience as a human being. It is both as unique as a fingerprint (because nobody has ever lived exactly your life) and universal (because aspects of your human experiences are universally understandable to other human beings, i.e. the reader/audience). The wonderful thing...

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brevity, logline, spec script -

The short version: screenplays read best when they are lean and mean. The longer version… The standard length of screenplays used to be 120-ppg. It has been a long time since that has been the case; decades, in fact. It isn’t against the law or anything to write a 120-ppg screenplay, but we have to ask if there is a 90-ppg version of the same story to be told. If the project is something like an adaptation of a novel, it’s fine to go long. But if we’re looking at a spec script, then it’s best to lean toward a...

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adaptation, cinematic medium, moving image, novel -

I read a lot of scripts that read more like a novel’s worth of story shoved into a script-sized container. We get a sprawling ensemble of dozens of named characters, tons of plot threads, massive amounts of dialogue, and so on. It’s one thing if the script actually is an adaptation of a novel. But note that, even in that situation, the key word is adaptation. Not only is the story rendered in screenplay format, but very often adapting the novel to the script means finding the “movie version” of the narrative. Doing so usually means losing and/or combining characters,...

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page one -

A couple of articles ago, we talked about how, in many ways, the most important pages in a script are the first-10. Now let’s talk about the single most important page in any screenplay: page one. When the reader first opens the screenplay, they are starting from zero. A fresh slate; a human being who knows nothing except they are ready to be razzle-dazzled by a new script that they hope will carry them off of a magical cinematic adventure… and maybe lay the track for a movie that gets produced and makes everyone some money. If that first page...

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