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Amazon, character development, HBO, Netflix, screenplay contests, STRANGER THINGS, Thematic Depth, TRANSPARENT, TV pilot, WATCHMEN -

The myth of the television pilot in 2019 is that there are so many buyers that it has become easy to sell a pilot. 2019 continues the insane gold rush of scripted television. Ryan Murphy has a 300-million-dollar overall deal with Netflix. Shonda Rhimes has a 150-million-dollar deal. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have a 250-million-dollar deal. The number of scripted series is likely to top 500 this year, per The Hollywood Reporter. What this has done, for writers, is create a myth of the TV pilot being “easier” than the feature to sell. A common piece of advice for...

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Black Panther, Depth, Depth in screenwriting, thematic, Thematic Depth, Universal Thematic Depth -

For screenwriters looking to imbue their scripts with universal thematic depth, there’s a great example to look to. As the clock winds down on 2018, the number one movie of the year at the domestic box office in the USA is BLACK PANTHER.

BLACK PANTHER grossed 700 million dollars domestically. It grossed another 646 million in foreign markets. The film made well north of a literal billion dollars. It’s a smash hit by any possible definition. And it was a smash everywhere. The film made 100 million dollars in China. It made 28 million in Mexico. It made 42 million in South Korea.

What’s so impressive about BLACK PANTHER is that its themes are both universal and specific. For African-American audience members, certain elements of the story may hold greater weight, like the backstory of Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger, or the visitation of T’Challa at the end of the film to open an outreach center. But anyone can appreciate the themes of this film.

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