screenwriting tips RSS

Al Pacino, character development, GLENGARRY GLENN ROSS, One Great Scene, screenwriting tips, subtext -

In this series of articles, we’re going to do a deep-dive on one knockout scene from a great movie. Today’s movie is GLENGARRY GLENN ROSS. The scene is when Al Pacino delivers a monologue to Jonathan Pryce, the context being that Pacino’s character is trying to close a sale. Here’s a link to the scene as a refresher ( Pacino is trying to sell a real estate deal, yet says nothing about it, nor is what he is saying directly tied to the sale itself in any way. It’s a masterclass in dialogue from David Mamet. The monologue begins with...

Read more

character development, Gillian Flynn, GONE GIRL, Our Favorite Screenwriters, screenwriting tips, SHARP OBJECTS, UTOPIA, WIDOWS -

Gillian Flynn has quietly become one of the top screenwriters working today. Formerly a television critic for Entertainment Weekly, Flynn burst onto the scene when she adapted her own novel GONE GIRL for director David Fincher. All three of her novels have been adapted to film/TV. Flynn wrote GONE GIRL (both the novel and film), WIDOWS and wrote on the series SHARP OBJECTS (also based on her novel). She’s currently filming UTOPIA, a series she created, for Amazon. And it might not have happened had Flynn not been laid off by Entertainment Weekly in 2008. At the same time, that...

Read more

balanced intellectualism, screenwriting, screenwriting tips, storytelling, Taylor Sheridan, THE DEPARTED, William Monahan -

William Monahan bust onto the scene as a screenwriter in the mid 2000s, writing KINGDOM OF HEAVEN for Ridley Scott and then winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s THE DEPARTED. He has since written the Mel Gibson film EDGE OF DARKNESS, The Leonardo DiCaprio film BODY OF LIES, LONDON BOULEVARD with Colin Farrell, and THE GAMBLER with Mark Wahlberg. How did he get there? As with other screenwriters in this series of articles, Monahan would probably contest the notion that he suddenly appeared on the scene in the mid 2000s. In fact, his experience as a...

Read more

book series, creative freedom, Game of Thrones, Hollywood, ironic lessons, screenwriting, screenwriting tips, storytelling -

Writing in the hopes of your script getting produced can be, counterintuitively, limiting. Setting limits on your imagination before the script has gone into production may seem pragmatic and business-minded, but it can also weaken the final product. This is the ironic lesson to draw from GAME OF THRONES. In an interview with the New York Times before the show came out, George RR Martin explained the genesis of his epic fantasy series – he was a frustrated TV writer. “To some extent, the project was also a reaction to my own Hollywood career. I was out there for 10...

Read more

budget, DEXTER, Hannibal Lecter, Hollywood, IDENTITY, LITTLE THINGS, Reviving Dead Genres, SAW, screenwriting, screenwriting tips, serial killer thriller -

There’s a truism in Hollywood that certain genres are dead. In this 4-part series of blog posts, we’re going to look at these genres Hollywood wisdom says are dead, why their death is the prevalent theory, and what it may take for any writer to revive them with their own script. Fourth up is the serial killer thriller, which was a mainstay in years past but has now migrated to television (perhaps most notably in the first season of TRUE DETECTIVE). As a sign of how far this once-mighty genre has fallen, per BoxOfficeMojo, there were ZERO serial killer thriller...

Read more