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The Super-Duper Act One Check List

Here’s a checklist of everything you need to be thinking about when you write, rewrite and rewrite again the first act of your movie. Some of these ideas have been covered in previous articles so links will be added so you can read about them in more depth. Let’s get started.

Rom/com writer Steven Rogers reinvents himself with the trash-tastic I, Tonya

The indie biopic I, Tonya tells the story of the infamous figure skater Tonya Harding and her quest for Olympic gold. Writer Steven Rogers (Kate & Leopold, Hope Floats), known for writing in the dying genre of romantic comedies, decided it was time to reinvent himself as a writer. Here’s how he did it.

7 Steps to Tackle Your Screenplay Rewrite

The most important thing I tell any writer who is embarking on writing their screenplay is to just plow through and get that first draft done.  Here's the rub though.  Finishing that first draft is only the beginning of the journey for you as a writer.

The Disaster Artist writers on making a good movie about a bad movie

When actor/director James Franco read the book about the making of The Room, he knew he needed to bring it to life. That’s where writing partners Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber come in. Best known for romantic films like The Fault in Our Stars and 500 Days of Summer, they felt this bromance was incredibly relatable.

The Shape of Water writer on writing the adult fairytale

Director and co-writer, Guillermo del Toro, said the idea for The Shape of Water came to him when he was just six-years-old.

Steps to Writing the Modern Western like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

All cinefiles love a good Western. High Noon, Shane, The Good the Bad and the Ugly and Unforgiven are a few of the best. But a Western doesn’t have to take place in the past, or even in the Old West. Some Westerns take place in space, like Outlander, Star Trek and Avatar. Others take place in modern day like Hell or High Water or Black Hat. Some are set in the future, like Mad Max or Logan.

Greta Gerwig on her powerful mother-daughter love story, Lady Bird

“People say that acting is listening, but I find that writing is listening as well,” says Greta Gerwig, writer and director of the beautiful new film Lady Bird. Gerwig’s successful acting career has led her to forge an unconventional, yet organic way to tell stories. We sat down with her to find out more about her screenwriting process.

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.
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