Category: Didactic

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Jon Snow Book to Screen
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From Book to Screen: 9 Essential Steps to Skilful Adaptations

From Book to Screen: 9 Essential Keys to Adaptation Stories that have made the journey from book to screen have always been popular. But it feels more than ever they make for a increasingly popular sub genre. They even have their own category on Netflix. Whilst it’s a tempting route

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Casino Royale High Stakes
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How to Expertly Create High Stakes in Your Screenplays

The Importance and Meaning of High Stakes in Screenwriting It’s pretty simple. Story stakes answer the question… “So what? Why should we care?” High stakes can benefit the story in many ways, they: maintain audience investment. increase tension. give purpose to character’s actions. provide characters with something to play for. However,

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The Lobster Dialogue
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On the Nose Dialogue: How to Lose It or Use It in Screenwriting

On the Nose Dialogue: How to Lose It or Use It in Screenwriting Granted, writing on the nose dialogue might not be the greatest sin in screenwriting terms. But it’s often the quickest way for a screenplay reader to view your work as unprofessional and, frankly, amateur. Sometimes, what was

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Snape Harry Potter Subplot
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The Deep Value of Subplots: With 10 Awesome Examples

The Value and Importance of Subplots: With 10 Amazing Examples Subplots. Most movies and TV series have them, whether large or small. The grand overarching plot is the defining part of a narrative arc. But subplots help add depth to this narrative arc. They keep the audience’s interest from waning

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Breaking Bad Story Structure Inciting Incident
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Truly Understanding Story Structure: The Vital Steps

Understanding Story Structure: The Essential Steps Story structure. It’s easy to take it for granted. It’s easy to think it unimportant in a world where structure is constantly being played with and upended. Picture this scenario though: You’re enjoying a movie. The story develops in front of you, drawing you

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Matrix High Concept
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The 7 Vital Steps to Developing a Great High Concept Movie

Turn Your Loose Story Ideas into a High Concept Movie in 7 Steps   What is a “high concept” movie? What do movie producers and executives look for in a high concept? And how do you turn a logline into a high concept to begin with? Screenwriters are constantly searching

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Harry Potter Scar Visual Metaphor
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How to Harness the Power of Visual Metaphor In Your Screenplays

What is a Visual Metaphor? And How to Use One in Your Screenplay… You want a screenplay to be entertaining but reflective and unique but relatable. You want the audience to connect. Using visual metaphors can be the key to unlocking this. When used intentionally, visual metaphors can transform your

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Science Fiction Movie - Arrival
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How to Write a Compelling Science Fiction Movie

How to Write a Compelling Science Fiction Movie   While science fiction movies can be exhilarating to watch, they can be just as daunting to write. How do you create a captivating and believable story world? What amount of exposition is necessary for introducing sci-fi elements? How do writers not

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Screenplay Reader
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49 Fixable Reasons A Screenplay Reader Passed On Your Project

49 Fixable Reasons A Screenplay Reader Passed On Your Project   Every writer has experienced that moment of wanting to throw the towel in after getting rejected. However, it’s important not to be defeated by the thoughts of the person typically on the other end of your screenplay: The Screenplay

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Fargo Show Don't Tell Marge and Norm
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‘Show Don’t Tell’ – Why The Screenwriting Mantra Endures

‘Show Don’t Tell’ – How to Best Follow the Principle   It’s a term you hear frequently when it comes to storytelling – ‘Show Don’t Tell’. But what does it mean exactly?  And how you can you take that principle and use it in your screenwriting? Let’s take a look…

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Voldermort Character Fatal Flaw
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How to Expertly Develop Your Character’s Fatal Flaw

A Character’s Fatal Flaw – What Does it Mean?   In good stories, as in life, one of the most important aspects is the search for growth and the striving for change. Sometimes, the best screenplays knowingly complicate this journey by introducing a character with a major fatal flaw. A

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Succession, Kendall Roy - Character Arc
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How to Properly Nail Your Character Arc: The Ultimate Guide

How to Nail Your Character Arc: The Ultimate Guide   A crucial part of any screenplay is the main character’s growth and evolution from beginning to end. This is their character arc. How do they grow? How do they change? What journey do they go on? Their character arc should

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Beat Sheet Writing
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How to Write an Awesome Beat Sheet for Your Screenplay

Why a Beat Sheet is Important to Your Screenplay Whilst inspiration can strike at any minute and writing can be incredibly spontaneous business, screenwriting is usually smoothest when you’ve got a solid plan. Organization and outlining are crucial to the process. The best outlining technique to use, is The Beat

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Walking Away from Explosion Movie Trope
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35 Movie Tropes and How to Avoid Them in Screenwriting

35 Movie Tropes and How to Avoid Them in Screenwriting   Most audiences can agree that movies often lose their impact when writers cut corners and rely on cliches and overused movie tropes. But what exactly is a movie trope? A movie trope is a commonly used device or motif

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Paul Dano Typewriter Film Treatments
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Writing Great Film Treatments: The ULTIMATE Guide

Film Treatments: The ULTIMATE Guide   So you’ve managed to come up with a brilliant idea for a film. You’ve developed the idea into a logline and thought through a synopsis that seems to work. Time to just muck in and write the thing right? Wait a second – a

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15 Cunning Red Herring Examples in TV and Film

15 Cunning Red Herring Examples in TV and Film   Surprise is one of the most important elements in movies and tv. Knowing how to write a killer plot twist is an important skill in your writer’s tool box. And in screenwriting, a red herring can serve as a great

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Pulp Fiction Briefcase Plot Device
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16 Powerful Plot Devices To Use in Your Screenplay

16 Powerful Plot Devices To Use in Your Screenplay   It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot but what exactly is a plot device? A plot device is any technique in a narrative used to move the plot forward. Plot devices are basically the methods you use throughout

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The Dude Character Description
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What Are The Must-Know Keys to Writing Great Character Descriptions?

The Must-Know Keys to Writing Great Character Descriptions   Great character descriptions are what help ease the reader into your great characterization. They’re the entrée, if you will, to the main event. If you’re a screenwriter, you know a huge amount goes into the making of a fantastic screenplay. It’s

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Se7en Protagonist and Antagonist Dynamic
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Protagonist and Antagonist: How to Craft The PERFECT Dynamic

How Do You Craft the PERFECT Dynamic Between Protagonist and Antagonist?   The conflict between the protagonist and antagonist is an essential part of screenwriting. However, this crucial conflict can often be a conflict between three characters rather than just two. We’re going to take a look at what defines

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Daenerys Season Eight
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15 Examples of Bad Writing in Really GOOD Movies and Shows

15 Examples of Bad Writing in Really GOOD Movies and Shows   If you pay even a sliver of attention to people’s critiques of TV and film, then you understand that great screenwriting isn’t necessarily a given, even for shows and movies that have made it all the way to

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Matrix Exposition - Morpheus and Neo
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15 Crafty Exposition Examples: How to Do It Right

15 Crafty Exposition Examples: How to Get Exposition Right   Exposition is an essential part of any screenplay. However, there is a fine line between pulling it off smoothly and making it feel too obvious to audiences. Learning how to write good exposition is a key step in learning how

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Judy Garland Biopic - 'Judy'
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How to Write a Great Biopic: Pitfalls Screenwriters Should Avoid

How to Write a Biopic: Pitfalls Screenwriters Should Avoid   From BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY to JUDY, the biopic is a seriously popular modern movie genre. But having such a concrete story to work from in the telling of someone’s life isn’t always as carefree as it seems. With the number of

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat! Analysis Series: MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING (2002)

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, many of whom were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it, the book delivered a structural screenwriting roadmap: not quite a full-blown

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Bradley Cooper Writing First Draft
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Your First Draft : 9 Essential Steps to Getting it Right

Your First Draft : 9 Essential Steps to Getting it Right   It might not be what you want to hear after months, maybe years, of painstaking screenwriting work. But your first draft is almost certainly only the first stage in the evolution of your screenplay. Your screenplay’s first draft

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Various Archetypes
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201 Character Archetypes Writers MUST Have In Their Armoury

201 Character Archetypes Writers MUST Have in Their Armoury   Every screenwriter knows that writing a great screenplay takes more than just a good plot or good world building. It relies heavily on constructing memorable characters. Understanding character archetypes are an important step in this endeavor. Character archetypes are broad

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Fleabag Fourth Wall Break
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The Fourth Wall Break in Screenwriting – How to Do it & Why

The Fourth Wall Break – How to Do it and Why   An increasingly common device used in modern Film and Television, the fourth wall break can serve as a dynamic way of breaking down the barrier between an audience and a protagonist. However, when deployed inappropriately it can also

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Westeros World Building, Daenerys
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World Building in Film and TV: The Essential Steps

World Building in Film & TV: The Essential Steps   If you’ve ever enjoyed losing yourself in the world of Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, you know how important world building is. After all, world building is what makes us suspend our disbelief and fully sink into a

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Anthony Minghella writing process
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50 Hollywood Screenwriters Reveal Their Writing Process

What’s Your Personal Writing Process? In screenwriting, sometimes the biggest challenge is discovering the most effective writing process That Works For You. For example, each and every writer has a different approach to how they: summon key plot points establish characters use subtext utilize themes generate dialogue control pacing optimize

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How to Definitively Nail Your Movie Theme – The ULTIMATE Guide

How to Nail Your Movie Theme: What is Your Screenplay Actually About?   What is your screenplay about? What is your movie’s theme? These may seem like obvious questions. But many experienced script consultants will tell you that a common frustration in reading hundreds of screenplays professionally is that often

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Internal Conflict in Toy Story
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10 Fantastic Internal Conflict Examples

10 Fantastic Internal Conflict Examples   Internal conflict is a powerful and absolutely essential tool used by writers and filmmakers in drama. These ten examples, as well as the internal conflict definition below, definitively prove it. Most, if not all, of the great TV shows and films are rife with

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Whodunnit - Seven, Detectives
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How to Write a Whodunnit or Detective Movie

How to Write a Whodunnit   A whodunnit is more a narrative structure, than a genre (although one could easily argue it’s a sub-genre). That’s why it can be presented in the form of a thriller, a horror, a mockumentary and even a comedy. The structure encompasses everything from the

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how to generate script ideas
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How to Generate Great Script Ideas – 5-Step Guide

Generating Script Ideas – 5 Top Tips Whether you’re sitting down to write your first script or are an experienced writer writing your tenth screenplay – where you get your script ideas from can be tricky.  There are a number of easy ways to help get your creative juices flowing

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How to Write A Coming-Of-Age Movie

How to Write a Coming-Of-Age Movie   As its name implies, a Coming-Of-Age movie focuses on the growth of the main character from youth to adulthood. In this context, it’s quite common and logical that most of these stories revolve around the high school years, especially 12th-grade senior year. Leaving

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Movie Titles
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Crafting Ideas for Great Movie Titles: Your 5-Step Guide

Crafting Ideas for Great Movie Titles: Your 5-Step Guide   It is often argued that the first 5 pages of your script will make or break your chances in screenwriting ,at least in terms of making that initial first impression on busy script readers, development executives and producers. First impressions

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script analysis
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Why Screenwriters Need Pro Script Analysis Now, More Than Ever

There’s often an element of mystery or confusion surrounding script analysis services. Sitting at home, watching a bad film or TV show, it’s the easiest thing in the world to play  “backseat writer.” The thinking goes: “I could write better than that. All I have to do is write something

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat! Analysis Series: SUPERBAD (2007)

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, many of whom were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it, the book delivered a structural screenwriting roadmap: not quite

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat Analysis Series: GROUNDHOG DAY

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books , Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, who were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it the book delivered a structural roadmap to writers: not quite join-the-dots,

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save the cat 10
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Save the Cat Analysis Series: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

One of the world’s most popular screenwriting books , Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat has brought clarity and a sense of direction to thousands of screenwriters, who were looking for the logical extension of Syd Field’s work. If you’re not familiar with it the book delivered a structural roadmap to writers: not quite join-the-dots,

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How to write a period drama - Mary Queen of Scots
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How to Write Period Drama

Period drama “Period drama” is a slippery term. Typically, it means a project set in a time period that’s older than recent memory. (While STRANGER THINGS is set in the period of the 1980s, it’s unlikely anyone would refer to it as a “period piece”.) But where to begin when facing

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Reddit screenwriting
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Reddit Screenwriting: A Comprehensive How-To Guide

Reddit Screenwriting: A How-To…   Reddit is an online community made up of smaller, individually themed communities, whether they’re centred around sharing simple images or jokes, posting personal anecdotes and requests for advice, or hosting Q&As with celebrities.  Then, of course, there’s the Reddit screenwriting community, pictured below.     

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Mike Judge quotes
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15 Great Mike Judge Quotes for Writers & Filmmakers

15 Great Mike Judge Quotes After gaining a Physics degree from the University of California, Mike Judge put his science career on hold. The Ecuadorean-born American would go on to create some of the most influential American animated comedies of the 90s, including BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD and KING OF THE

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screenwriting electricity in The Silence of the Lambs
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What is “electricity”, in screenwriting terms?

On the Special Edition DVD/Blu-Ray for THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, Jodie Foster is interviewed as part of a retrospective. In the interview, Foster explains that a structurally insignificant scene (the one where “Multiple” Miggs can’t contain his excitement, after Clarice’s first meeting with Hannibal Lecter) is in fact very

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all blacks
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What the Most Successful Sports Team Can Teach Screenwriters

Learning From the New Zealand All Blacks In the history of organised sports – globally – one team stands alone. The New Zealand All Blacks are the most successful sports team in history, with an astonishing 90% win rate. We’ll say that again so it sinks in properly – they

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R J Macready in The Thing
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GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: R J Macready (THE THING)

In our Genius Character Reveals series we examine scenes and moments where a film or TV show reveals a tremendous amount of character information in a compressed amount of screen time. This instalment focuses on R J Macready (Kurt Russell) the helicopter pilot besieged by a shape-shifting alien in John Carpenter‘s

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screenwriting etiquette
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An Ultimate Guide to Screenwriting Etiquette in Film & TV

Why Screenwriting Etiquette is so important…   As a new screenwriter, how does one conduct oneself in one of the most competitive industries in the world? It’s an important question, and one that so many new screenwriters only find the answer to through costly mistakes. Screenwriting etiquette is more important

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dead man's shoes
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10 Screenwriting Lessons From DEAD MAN’S SHOES (2004)

DEAD MAN’S SHOES (2004) DEAD MAN’S SHOES follows Richard (Paddy Considine), a soldier who returns to his home town to get revenge on the men who abused his mentally-challenged brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell). The script was written by director Shane Meadows and Considine, with additional material by Paul Fraser. After

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Kurt Vonnegut
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31 Writing Lessons From Iconic Author Kurt Vonnegut

31 Writing Lessons From Iconic Author Kurt Vonnegut With his deceptively simple prose style, novelist, playwright and essayist Kurt Vonnegut, jr. (1922 – 2007) bridged sci-fi and literary fiction. Novels like Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions didn’t exactly open readers to new worlds as new ways of thinking. Perhaps this is why

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