Wonderstruck’s Writer Creates a New Generation of Selznicks in Hollywood
If the name Brian Selznick sounds familiar, it’s because the author, illustrator and now screenwriter is a relative of film mogul David O. Selznick, who produced dozens of films including Gone with the Wind. Brian’s grandfather was David’s cousin. He says having the famous name is a lot of fun but it hasn’t necessarily helped him in any way.
Do You Overwrite? Here’s How to Stop.
One of the biggest mistakes screenwriters can make is overwriting their screenplay. Unless you’re Aaron Sorkin, whose screenplay for The Social Network was a whopping 164 pages with scenes lasting eight pages, you need to keep the dialogue, scene descriptions and page count as short and tight as possible. It’s worth repeating that film is a visual form of storytelling and we want to support the images with our screenplay, not the other way around. Here are a few guidelines to keep you from writing too much.
5 Tips to Make Exposition Invisible
A hundred years ago it was popular to start a story with two maids working in a foyer talking about the crisis the family of the house was facing. They would then leave and the play would begin. That kind of thing is far from acceptable these days. In fact, you have to do the opposite. You have to make your exposition invisible. Here are five tips to doing just that.
Did You Have Overly Critical Parents? Then You Probably Have an Overly Active Inner Critic.
When we talk about the inner critic we usually focus on someone else’s inner critic—we read the article about the successful director that still suffers from self doubt, or we talk to the person in our writing group who just sold a script and they tell us they’re worried that everyone will think they’re a fraud. In cases like these it’s easy to see the inner critic for what it is: A nebulous cloud of doubts and worries that isn’t rooted in reality. But when it comes to our own inner critic, truth and fantasy become much more difficult to separate from each other.
How the Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter used math to write the sequel
Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples wrote the original screenplay for Blade Runner based on the Philip K. Dick story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. This time, Fancher wrote a short story that became fodder for the sequel and collaborated with writer Michael Green on the new screenplay.
Taking the note: “Good idea, but not so good execution”
Very often screenwriters will get a funky note that goes something like this, “It was a good idea but the execution wasn’t there.” Like many notes you’ll get in your career, it could mean a lot of things. To help you sort out what it means, let’s go over a few terms.
5 Things to Know When Writing a Star Wars Spin-Off
As a young writer, it is important to understand how franchise writing works. But where do you start? How do you know what kind of movies Lucasfilm will want to make in the years to come? That’s where my investigative work comes into play.
Five Tips for Writing Fast
As a screenwriter, there are times you’ll be asked to write fast. Whether it’s a class, a contest, an opportunity to submit, or an assignment—a screenwriter’s life is full of deadlines. And, at the beginning of your career, you’ll get this question “We really liked your script, what else do you have?” In that moment, you’ll realize just how important writing fast can be. Here are a few ideas on how to get those juices flowing and keep them flowing.
Five things I learned about screenwriting from Mother!
If you’ve seen any of Darren Aronofsky’s films (Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Pi), there’s no doubt he has a dark mind. But seeing his latest film Mother! makes me think he’s only just begun to tap into his own psychological agony. Be warned – this movie isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea (it gave me nightmares) – but there’s no denying Aronofsky’s a genius storyteller.
5 Great Things About Screenwriting
There are so many things to love about this amazing, wild, ridiculously-complicated world of Hollywood and writing scripts, that we thought listing a few might be a good idea. So, let's get back to basics and see why we do this, and love it a little bit, too.
The Danger of Competing Projects and How to Protect Yourself
So you have an idea for a movie. Before you commit to doing any hard work, research what’s in development and production to make sure a competing project doesn’t already exist. Depending on where you’re at in your career, it’s likely the other project will take the wind out of your sails and render your screenplay dead in the water. The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself!