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Cabin in the Woods - Writing Horror Screenplays
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Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Teen Horror

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 on the ‘final girl’ archetype, Teen Horror is now a mainstay of popular cinema. It was a cornerstone of the

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The Exorcist - Writing Horror Screenplays
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Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Occult Horror

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 are suppressed, repressed, traditionally denied or habitually ignored. The Occult Horror sub-genre, however, specifically deals with the esoteric and magickal (as

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Insidious - Writing Horror Screenplays
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Writing Horror Screenplays: How to Write Supernatural Horror

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 or CGI effects (even though we should love those too!). Unlike other Horror sub-genres (Slasher, Urbanoia, Body Horror, Cannibal) Supernatural Horror

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Unheralded Scene - Monsters
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Unheralded Scenes: MONSTERS (2010)

In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces. It might be a deleted

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Voice-Over Header
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OPINION: When Is It The Right Time For Voice-Over?

Using Voice-Over At the beginning of a screenwriter’s career, it is likely they will be hit by a deluge of information pertaining to offer the rules of how to write a script.  Not just that – a script that sells. It is this caveat and the hope for a not-too-distant windfall that forces

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Sleeping with the Enemy - classic stalker film
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Writing the Stalker Film Screenplay

Writing the Stalker Film Screenplay Stalking is an inherently cinematic activity and it crops up everywhere, in every kind of story. Following people around (with a camera) is what film-makers do, and as soon as the camera becomes a character, it’s a stalker. Whether it’s the cop watching the villain on

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LILTING film
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The Insider Interviews: Andy Brunskill

THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: ANDY BRUNSKILL The Insider Interviews series started in 2010 as a set of recorded interviews, featuring the likes of Tom Hiddleston, Gareth Unwin, who produced THE KING’S SPEECH, Ben Wheatley and Hossein Amini, the Oscar-nominated writer of DRIVE and THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY. These can be listened

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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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Furious 7
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Unheralded Scene: FURIOUS 7 (2015)

In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces. It might be a deleted

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Straight Outta Compton
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OPINION: Beginning With A Bang

Importance of Beginning With A Bang One of the most over-stated maxims when it comes to screenplays and screenwriting lies in the importance of the first ten pages. Not only is this a point that is pressed constantly home by writers, producers, consultants and anyone else who has an interest

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Yoda is wise, like our screenwriting tips article
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These are the Only Screenwriting Tips Worth Keeping

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 now decided they’re good for you. Your protagonist should dominate most scenes. It’s fine for your protagonist to drift in

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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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British IP
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10 Hollywood Films Made from British IP

Hollywood Films and British IP The wider British public are usually treated, once-a-year or so, to a slick piece of PR spin usually including the phrase “British film is booming” and citing major Hollywood releases as contributing to said boom. But the next time you sit down to watch a

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Hitchcock decisions at screenplay stage.
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Genius 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 directorial techniques of The Master of Suspense; the long take, use of POV, montage with a focus on hands, off-screen

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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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Predator
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Lessons From Timing the Death Sequence in 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 movies such as COMMANDO, TOTAL RECALL and TRUE LIES, which would draw as much attention for the dozens of onscreen

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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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writing advice you should ignore
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5 Bits of Famous Writing Advice You Should Ignore

You’re no stranger to getting advice if you’re a writer. Thousands of books, hundreds of films, and even entire college majors have been dedicated to the art of honing the English language. As a result, there are bound to be some bits of writing advice that come into debate. While

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Unheralded Scene - West of Memphis
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Unheralded Scene: WEST OF MEMPHIS (2012)

Unheralded Scene: WEST OF MEMPHIS (2012)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes

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deconstructing harry
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Unheralded Scene: DECONSTRUCTING HARRY (1997)

Unheralded Scene: DECONSTRUCTING HARRY (1997) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces.

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the fisher king
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Unheralded Scene: THE FISHER KING (1991)

Unheralded Scene: THE FISHER KING (1991)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes

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notes on a scandal
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Unheralded Scene: NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006)

Unheralded Scene: NOTES ON A SCANDAL (2006)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy”

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pi
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Unheralded Scene: PI (1998)

Unheralded Scene: PI (1998) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces. It

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running on empty
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Unheralded Scene: RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988)

Unheralded Scene: RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces.

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Unheralded Scene - O Brother, Where Art Thou?
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Unheralded Scene: O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000)

Unheralded Scene: O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy”

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Unheralded Scene - The Machine
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Unheralded Scene: THE MACHINE (2013)

Unheralded Scene: THE MACHINE (2013) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces.

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good will hunting
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Unheralded Scene: GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997)

Unheralded Scene: GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes

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Pulp Fiction
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Unheralded Scene: PULP FICTION (1994)

Unheralded Scene: PULP FICTION (1994)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces.

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boiler room
Craft

Unheralded Scene: BOILER ROOM (2000)

Unheralded Scene: BOILER ROOM (2000)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and

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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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the godfather
Craft

Unheralded Scene: THE GODFATHER (1972)

Unheralded Scene: THE GODFATHER (1972)   In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces.

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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Craft

Unheralded Scene: FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998)

Unheralded Scene: FEAR & LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS (1998) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy”

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gattaca
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Unheralded Scene: GATTACA (1997)

Unheralded Scene: GATTACA (1997) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and set-pieces. It

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The Wild Bunch
Craft

Unheralded Scene: THE WILD BUNCH (1969)

Unheralded Scene: THE WILD BUNCH (1969) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and

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lord of war
Craft

Unheralded Scene: LORD OF WAR (2005)

Unheralded Scene: LORD OF WAR (2005) In our “Unheralded Scene” series, our consultants nominate a classic film or TV scene, which in their view hasn’t received the admiration it deserves. It might be a scene from a classic movie, which has been crowded out by other, more “showy” scenes and

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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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Martin Scorsese - Storytelling Quotes
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15 Great Scorsese Quotes on Storytelling

Scorsese and Storytelling Martin Scorsese needs little introduction. The visionary director behind a lengthy list of iconic films from Taxi Driver to Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and through to The Wolf of Wall Street has inspired generations of movie-goers and filmmakers. In addition, Scorsese is a prominent film historian. He founded a nonprofit dedicated to film preservation, started the

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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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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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the script reader
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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 being written, increasing year-on-year, the challenge for those in power becomes one of filtration – everybody wants great writers and everyone wants hits, right? But

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screenplay format
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How to Write a Screenplay: Your 30-Step Guide

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 annoy your friends, going on about how you could have written a better script. You daydream about Jimmy Kimmel

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quotes about screenwriting - Spielberg
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30 Quotes about Screenwriting from A-List Directors & Actors

30 Quotes about Screenwriting from A-List Directors & Actors Whether they produce films, direct them, write them, or star in them, these iconic figures all agree on one thing: the importance of the screenplay. Here are thirty quotes about screenwriting, from people who would really, really know best…   The Quotes

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brit list scripts 2014
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The Brit List Scripts 2014

The Brit List Scripts 2014 The votes are in for the Brit List Scripts 2014! Out of the 140 scripts that were submitted, 34 scripts made the cut. For a script to qualify for the list, it needed to receive at least three votes, be unproduced at the time of the

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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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