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WRITING TRUE: A Look at Biographical Screenplays

Writing a biographical film may sound really easy. After all, everything is there for you. However, real life is chaotic and messy, not to mention contradictory and confusing. A biographical screenplay should be none of these things. So, how do turn a life into a story?

Create an irresistible logline

What is a logline? If I said it’s a one-sentence summary of your film, I would be correct but not entirely accurate because it’s much more than that.

What is Craft?

When I was a very young writer people told me I was talented. I thought that meant I was basically done and all I had to do was write. Eventually, I figured out that is not how things work and began to educate myself...

Proceed with Caution: How to Avoid Becoming a Victim in Hollywood

One of the first things you learn as you become a writer is that there is an entire industry out there ready to take your money. A lot of these services are reputable and worth spending money on.  A lot are not. Let’s go through some of the more common scams to avoid...

Tips for Writing Powerful, Memorable Dialogue (with examples!)

I’ve found four examples of movie dialogue I believe encompass all these requirements. They are: The Social Network written by Aaron Sorkin; Pulp Fiction by Quentin Tarantino; Casablanca by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch and The Silence of the Lambs by Ted Tally and Thomas Harris.

5 Things an Aspiring Writer Can Do Besides Writing

Look, Major League Baseball Superstar Mike Trout didn't just wake up one day and become one of the best hitters in baseball.  He had to train.  He had to practice.  He had to watch tape and study other hitters.  He had to watch tape and study the pitchers he was going to face.  He had to work with coaches.  He had to work with teammates. If you're a screenwriter, so are you.

Five Strategies For When You’re Stuck

One of the things I tell beginning writers is that you have to love what you’re writing. You’re going to spend a lot of time with it, months, years, decades even. If you’re not telling a story you love that time is going to be very painful. But no matter how well you’ve chosen your story there may come a time when you get stuck. This is not exactly the same as writer’s block, that’s a complete stoppage. No, this is when you’re working on a project and, for some reason, you suddenly stop. You’re not having a problem writing. You’re having a problem writing that story. So, what do you do when that happens?

Five (More) Tips From Top Screenwriters

Screenwriting how-to quotes are incredibly helpful for both inexperienced and experienced writers alike. We find out how other writers work, and maybe we pick up a few new tips-and-tricks. Everyone can benefit from adding more tools to their writing ...

5 Ways to Make Your Screenplay More Diverse and Inclusive

As screenwriters, we can learn a valuable lesson from director Ava DuVernay, and ultimately Disney’s decision to go with a multi-ethnic cast. Though the book A Wrinkle in Time specifies that Mrs. Murray is white, that doesn’t mean Mr. Murray can’t be of a different race or that their children can’t be adopted, opening up the possibility of being a different race.

5 Hacks for Writing a Killer Opening Scene

The first scene in a movie has many jobs to do. Not only must it nail down the tone, time and place where the story is being told, it must also tease the journey ahead. It’s no wonder some writers spend months conceiving and writing the first five pages of their screenplay.

10 Tips for Networking at the Sundance Film Festival

If you’ve never been to the Sundance Film Festival and you're thinking about going next year, now is the time to start planning. Sundance is the place to make connections, see inspiring movies (and now TV shows) and learn about new trends. ...

How to Turn Your Feature Idea Into a Short Film?

It's nearly impossible to arrange financing for an independent feature film if you don't have (m)any credits.  To get financing, it helps to have a "proof of concept" that shows why an investor or company should give you money to execute your vision.  It is also MUCH easier to finance a short film.  But where do you begin?
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