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 …

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Thriller vs Horror – Why The Subtle Differences Can Save Your Script

Thriller vs Horror, The Birds

Thriller vs Horror – What Are the Critical Differences?   In terms of movie genres, Thriller and Horror are often mistakenly confused, or even lumped in together. The truth is, …

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

Movie Titles

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 …

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Save the Cat! Analysis Series: SUPERBAD (2007)

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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 …

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Save the Cat Analysis Series: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

save the cat 10

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 …

Read moreSave the Cat Analysis Series: DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

What the Most Successful Sports Team Can Teach Screenwriters

all blacks

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 …

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An Ultimate Guide to Screenwriting Etiquette in Film & TV

screenwriting etiquette

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, …

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10 Screenwriting Lessons From DEAD MAN’S SHOES (2004)

dead man's shoes

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 …

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31 Writing Lessons From Iconic Author Kurt Vonnegut

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 …

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Which Species of Screenwriter are you?

screenwriter species

The ‘building-block’ nature of screenwriting is such that any screenwriter needs a selection box of varying skills. As you’d expect then, different screenwriters tend to find themselves drawn to, and …

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Is the Subtle, Theme-rich Screenplay Dead?

theme-rich screenplay paterson

Is the Subtle, Theme-rich Screenplay Dead? Theme-rich Screenplay Treated Unfairly? The plot-light, theme-rich screenplay is often – at the script development stage at least – unfairly maligned with the phrase …

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OPINION: Screenwriters Should Consider the Cinema Experience

3D audience, cinema experience

It’s a cliché, but the entertainment industry is an industry. Show business is a business. It behoves screenwriters to remember this and to consider why write films in the first place. What …

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Should Screenwriters Write “Omnisciently”?

write omnisciently featured

To write omnisciently as a screenwriter often entails, for better or worse, including elements that may never show up onscreen: jokes in descriptions or insights into characters’ thoughts and histories …

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10 Thriller Screenplays You Should Read

thriller screenplays primer

Thriller Screenplay Power As a genre, ‘thriller’ tends to gently caress several others, namely horror, sci-fi, and drama. As such, thriller screenplays provide a goldmine of various narrative and structural …

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10 Minor Characters Who Still Have a Great ARC

minor characters arc

One facet of screenwriting which causes writers enormous headaches is conveying a lot with a little. Studying great minor characters is one way of learning this kind of efficiency. Minor Characters To …

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10 Commandments of the Accountable Screenwriter (Download)

screenwriting commandments

There are two kinds of rugby player”, the legendary Scottish coach Jim Telfer told his players, “there are the honest ones, and there’s the rest. The honest player gets up in …

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How to Write “Mythically” but Avoid Cliche – PDF Guide

avoid cliche

Writing mythically with cliché is relatively easy: watch a couple of films, read a couple of books then regurgitate the obvious stuff: quasi-religious story world, the quest, the mentor, initiation, …

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Writing Science Fiction Screenplays

Ex Machina - Science Fiction Screenplays

Writing Science Fiction Screenplays Sci-Fi is one of those odd genres – like the Western – that among script theorists often stimulates more argument about ‘defining your terms’ than it …

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Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Teen Horror

Cabin in the Woods - Writing Horror Screenplays

Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Teen Horror From 1974’s BLACK CHRISTMAS – rightly credited with being the god-monster of the modern mainstream genre – through to every postmodern twist …

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Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Occult Horror

The Exorcist - Writing Horror Screenplays

Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Occult Horror Occult literally means ‘hidden’ so all Horror could be described as occult in the sense that all Horror deals with things that …

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Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Supernatural Horror

Insidious - Writing Horror Screenplays

Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Supernatural Horror Supernatural Horror is perhaps the most writer-friendly of all Horror sub-genres because its effectiveness really does live on the page, rather than being hostage to practical …

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These are the Only Screenwriting Tips Worth Keeping

Yoda is wise, like our screenwriting tips article

In a giant sea of screenwriting tips and advice, where does one begin? It’s almost as bad as dieting these days. Cranberries are bad for you. No, scrap that, we’ve …

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10 Fee-Charging Screenwriting Contests, their Likely Profits and Prestige

screenwriting contest screenwriting contests

You’ve rewritten, redrafted, typed ‘Fade Out’ more times than you can count. You’re finally satisfied that your script, the one you’ve poured months maybe even years into writing, is finished. …

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Genius Hitchcock Decisions at Screenplay Stage

Hitchcock decisions at screenplay stage.

What hasn’t been written about Hitchcock already? From Francois Truffaut and Raymond Durgnat, to every casual message board user on IMDb, great swathes of humankind have discussed at length the …

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Lessons From Timing the Death Sequence in PREDATOR

Predator

Way back when… For much of the 80’s and into the 90’s, “Schwarzenegger” was a byword for a movie with a high body count. The box office was peppered with …

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Swerving Development Hell in the New Dawn of Crowdfunding

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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 …

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Script Reader Jobs: Your Complete Guide

Like it or lump it, the role of the industry script reader is becoming increasingly important in film and TV. With the volume of scripts increasing year-on-year, the challenge for …

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How to Write a Screenplay: Your 30-Step Guide

screenplay format

How to Write a Screenplay: Your 30-Step Guide. So – you want to learn how to write a screenplay. You think about it constantly. Whenever you watch a movie you …

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