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flash of genius
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Screenwriters and The Flash of Genius

Screenwriters and The Flash of Genius The other day I awoke having had the most glorious film idea I felt I had ever had. IN MY SLEEP. I dreamt it. Like a joke in a Wes Anderson film, ‘it came to me in a dream’. The entire day, and ergo

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Typewriter - Writing Spec Scripts
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Something For Nothing – Writing Spec Scripts

Something For Nothing – Writing Spec Scripts There’s a terrific viral that periodically does the rounds where a restaurateur advertises on Craigslist for a solo musician to play in his restaurant for five nights a week, with a specific set list, in exchange for free publicity and exposure. It’s a

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Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid
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In Script Development Nobody Knows Anything

Nobody Knows Anything When I worked in screenplay development, I spent an awful lot of time befuddled because William Goldman had really nailed it when he said: “nobody knows anything”. Nobody does know anything and that’s what makes the world go round and round in blissful experimental ignorance and means we

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screenwriting
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The Agony of Screenwriting Success

Screenwriting Success Hurts Some years ago I wrote a film that eventually I called ALBATROSS and subsequently it has been my own private albatross. I was incredibly fortunate. A series of stars lined up for me and within a year of my film even being written it was being shot with

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a window into an executive's script pile
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The Hierarchy of an Executive’s Script Pile

A couple of months ago I had a friend round for dinner who just so happens to be the Head of Development at one of the best TV companies in London. In a series of what appeared to be ginormous coincidences, I also just so happened to have recently completed a

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Crowdfunding Pitch Movies on Indiegogo
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The Top 8 Crowdfunding Pitch Movies on Indiegogo

The crowdfunding pitch film is the campaign’s secret weapon. The pitch film sits at the forefront of your ask for the crowd to fund you. The pitch film literally should be perfect and personal. It should move, involve and inspire. If those three emotions are provoked, someone just might dip

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super troopers 2
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The Film Producer Salary & A Pocket Full of Dollars

Let’s be blunt about it: the financial outlook isn’t great for Film Producers at the moment. A Film Producer Salary is firmly not what it once was… I remember the days as a Producer in the Noughties, where out of every budget (development and production) the producer received 10% as

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Music Sheet - Screenwriters & Musicals
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12 Things Screenwriters Can Learn from Musicals

12 Things Screenwriters Can Learn from Musicals   I recently ventured from my comfortable world of screenwriting into completely new territory. No, I’m not acting– I’m working on a stage musical. The process has involved late nights, rewrites, and brainstorming until I think I’ll explode. Yet despite the artistic suffering, writing a musical has taught

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cutting out the middle man
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Cutting Out the Middle Man in Film Distribution

The Berlin International Film Festival was distinctly different this year. Sure, there was the typical melee of execs taking pictures around remnants of the Berlin Wall. And yes, as per usual, the films ranged from disappointing to exhilarating. Yet there was something that I can only describe as a digital

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Hollywood sign
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The Smell of Fear in LA

I’ve spent the week in LA, (City of Angels & Devils) As I have previously mentioned, many times, I love LA and this time was no exception. I ate dinner on a table exactly next to Gwyneth Paltrow (she drank martini and wine, and did not order the ‘steamed vagina’),

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The Newsroom
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9 Observations about Aaron Sorkin’s THE NEWSROOM

THE NEWSROOM This post started as a tweet, developed into a Facebook status and is now finding full expression as a blog post. recently I finished, in a double-bill, The Newsroom Season 3 (and, by extension, The Newsroom). Some observations:   The Observations 1. Humbug to the naysayers.  So it’s

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fired as a screenwriter
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My Pain At Being “Replaced” as a Screenwriter

Being “Replaced” A couple of years ago, I became that person: a replaced screenwriter. It was a screenplay I dearly loved and had put my heart and soul into and, on top of the rejection of being booted off whilst I was circus performing on that roll, the whole thing

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indiegogo logo
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Swerving Development Hell in the New Dawn of Crowdfunding

Welcome and hello to the thousands of you who visit the IS website every week. By way of an introduction, I’m Miranda Fleming, and I’m thrilled to be starting this new monthly column. I’ve worked extensively in development (Channel Four Films aka Film4) and I’ve Produced, Exec Produced and supported

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31 screenwriting books you must own
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31 Screenwriting Books You MUST Own

When I say “screenwriting books you MUST own”, I’ll be honest: the MUST is for effect. You don’t have to do anything, particularly buying screenwriting books in such volume that the Amazon driver knows you by name. But you’re a writer, you already know that. A more accurate title for

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writer
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10 Signs That You, My Friend, Are A Writer…

Do These Signs Match Your Habits? Someone tells a tragic family story that has taken them years to open up about and you unwittingly shout “DIBS ON THAT” the second you hear a breath being taken in case any other sympathetic ear in the room was thinking the same thing.

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dawson leery
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Read It And Weep

“Will you read my script for me?” Gah. Five words to strike fear into the heart of anyone with eyes. As a former Development Exec, it’s something I hear an awful lot and, sometimes, I have to punch myself alive to remember that, indeed, it had been my chosen career

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screenwriting rules
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Five Screenwriting Rules You Can Break and Five You Can’t

  Even the notion of screenwriting rules gets some people into a serious tizz, and it’s this controversial topic I want to explore this week. I’ve spent the last three weeks watching my new film Kajaki (out on Friday in the UK at all Vue Cinemas) over and over again, either

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women screenwriters - Diablo Cody wins her Oscar for Juno
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Why Women Screenwriters should Stop Moaning and Just WIN

All Screenwriters LOVE Moaning Because there’s been quite a lot in the press lately about the plight (or otherwise) of women screenwriters, I’ve been thinking a bit lately about whether I think I’m hard done by because of my sex (sex as in female, not sex as in, I’ve been trying

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screenwriting truth
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My Search for a Screenwriting Truth

In Screenwriting, the truth matters… Today we’re going to talk about The Truth. Not this sort of truth. Or this. Or even this. We’re going to talk about the kind of screenwriting truth that connected six out of the nine Best Picture nominees in the 2014 Oscars. The kind that

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kajaki movie
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What I’ve Learnt about Screenwriting: Part I, The Idea

What I’ve Learnt about Screenwriting: Part 1, The Idea So I’ve been doing this for a while now, and for some reason I feel a powerful, hubristic, intimations-of-mortality urge to communicate nuggets of web-friendly wisdom to all you aspiring screenwriters out there, who will no doubt be stealing jobs from me this

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dead man's shoes - write what you know
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To Screenwrite Right, Write What You Know

Write What You Know or Just Say No! (and other rhymes) I’m going to give you procrastinating scribblers a little bit of advice today. Yes me, who gets up at the crack of 10.30 in the AM and eats really really really old Chinese food from the back of the fridge

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procrastinating writer
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Screenwriting & The Fine Art of Procrasturbating

  I’ve always been a big fan of those books that are a collection of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters where they tell you, with grating self-deprecation and lashings and lashings of false-modesty, how they got their big break to their billion dollar Oscar winning career, their learned thoughts on the

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screenwriting envy
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Seething With Screenwriting Envy!

Screenwriting Envy “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure”. Guess who said that? You never will. It was Bill Cosby! I have spent the past hour trying to find another quote to go alongside that one, possibly by someone like Ray

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shawshank
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In Screenwriting, Hope Springs Eternal

The Rafn Column Part III Screenwriting – Hope Springs Eternal When I worked as a Development Executive, the most terrifying thing I ever had to do was fly to LA on my own to do a round of meetings to build relationships with the US agents, scout for sitcom showrunners

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Ari Gold
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10 Ways To Irritate a Development Executive

The Rafn Column Part II 10 Ways to Irritate a Development Executive When I finally made the transition from being a Development Executive to becoming a writer, I believed that I had a genuine advantage because I had been granted the gift of insight having been on both sides of

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tamzin rafn
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The Rafn Column Part I: Explaining the Obvious

The script, the script, the script… I have always had a love affair with scripts. I love, love, love them. Love them warm coming off the printer, love the font that echoes the old Hollywood era when they would have been bashed out by men in high waisted trousers on

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