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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GENIUS CHARACTER REVEALS: Tom Reagan (MILLER’S CROSSING)

Tom Reagan in Miller's Crossing

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a short amount of screen time. …

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OPINION: Flashbacks and the (Rare) Stories that Need Them

Manchester by the Sea, flashbacks

One of the major exceptions to the oft-repeated “show, don’t tell” screenwriting rule is the equally common received wisdom that screenplays should avoid using flashbacks. The criticisms are familiar from scores …

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Character Reveal: Ricky Baker (Hunt For The Wilderpeople)

Ricky Baker, Hunt for the Wilderpeople

In this series we look at scenes and moments where a film or TV show has revealed a great deal of character information in a short amount of screen time. …

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The Genius, Multi-Conflict Opening of THE GODFATHER PART 2

godfather part 2 featured

There are, broadly speaking, two ways to convey conflict: implicitly and explicitly. The former involves illustrating some kind of dissonance through setting, silence, the way one character looks at another. …

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The Insider Interviews: Colin Vaines

Colin Vaines

THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: COLIN VAINES 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, …

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The Insider Interviews: Sarah Radclyffe

sarah radclyffe

THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: SARAH RADCLYFFE 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 …

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Nostalgia: Finding the Future of Film & TV, in the Past…

Stranger Things nostalgia

Audience Nostalgia From looking down 2016’s box office results, it’s clear that a certain trend shows no sign of stopping. Sequels, remakes and reboots abound, tapping into audience nostalgia to massive success. …

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10 Screenwriting Lessons We Can Learn from…BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)

Boogie Nights

Like much of Paul Thomas Anderson’s work, the BOOGIE NIGHTS screenplay has an odd structure, divergent POV and a hefty length, yet every page of it is full of worthwhile …

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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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Why Screenwriters Should Consider a Second Act Subplot

second act subplot listen up philip

While first and third acts pose their own challenges, it’s in the weeds of the second act that many scripts (and movies for that matter) go astray. Introducing a second …

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10 Great Sites to Download Movie Scripts From

movie scripts

Smart and serious aspiring screenwriters not only watch a lot of movies but read a lot of movie scripts. Studying the craft is an invaluable part of the learning and …

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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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10 Films That Make You Invested in The Protagonist’s Goal

low stakes in The Big Lebowski

In 9/10 cases the protagonist is the driving force of a successful film narrative. We invest in their story because we identify with their goal and become invested in it; …

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OPINION: Screenplay Anachronisms Can Bring the Past to Life

Anachronisms in the Alex Cox film Walker

Films that are set in the past are often judged for their authenticity. The “goofs” section of IMDb is overrun with anachronisms: this porcelain wasn’t made until six years later; or …

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14 Ways a TV or Movie Setting Was Used To Enhance a Screenplay

Setting as Character

When a TV or Movie Setting IS A Character In the Narrative… Ask yourself this: what is a TV or movie setting? Really think about it. Is it just a …

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25 Francis Ford Coppola Quotes For Writers & Filmmakers

25 Francis Ford Coppola Quotes

Francis Ford Coppola Francis Ford Coppola is one of the greatest writer-directors to come out of the so-called “New Hollywood” wave of filmmaking, having made THE GODFATHER, THE GODFATHER PART …

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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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The Insider Interviews: Michael Kuhn

The Insider Interviews: Michael Kuhn

THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: MICHAEL KUHN 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 …

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OPINION: Support Your Supporting Characters

Ned, supporting character, Groundhog Day

While it’s true that the star system is not what it once was, actors can still have tremendous power. Many actors have their own production companies, partly as a route for finding interesting …

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10 Classic Secondary Characters in THE BIG LEBOWSKI

Secondary Characters in THE BIG LEBOWSKI

The Coen Brothers‘ ability to create amazing, ultra-memorable secondary characters with only a few lines of writing  is something that all screenwriters can learn from. Consider the giant sea of …

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The Insider Interviews: Paul Webster

Locke - The Insider Interviews: Paul Webster

THE INSIDER INTERVIEWS: PAUL WEBSTER 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 …

Read moreThe Insider Interviews: Paul Webster