Writing Advice

TV Writing Interview: Part III… Take a Listen

Hey, everyone– Here’s the third part of the 3-part podcast interview I did with Judith Parker Harris and the Alive! Authors Network.  Take a listen… we talk about the politics and logistics of being a TV writer, frequent mistakes aspiring writers make, and how to break in and launch a successful...

Best Book Recommendation EVER!

Hey, everyone– I’m super-psyched to announce that my new (and first) book, Small Screen, Big Picture: A Writer’s Guide to the TV Business (which officially comes out November 25), is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Borders, and Barnes & Noble! The book is a user-friendly “business guide” for aspiring TV...

TV Writing Interview: Part II… Take a Listen!

Hey, everyone– A couple weeks ago, the Alive! Authors Network posted the first part of Breaking In and Breaking Through the TV Business, Judith Parker Harris‘s 3-part interview with me about TV writing… how to get your foot in the door, get noticed, and excel in the world of television. Well,...

Chatting About TV Writing… Take a Listen!

Hey, everyone– Just wanted to invite you all to listen to a recent podcast interview I did on the Alive! Authors Network… all about TV writing and the TV industry. This is the first of a 3-part interview I did, called Breaking In and Breaking Through the TV Business, with podcast...

PITCH WORKSHOP/READER QUESTION: The Importance of Loglines

Hey, everyone— Just wanted to give a quick follow-up to Tuesday’s episode of the Script Notes Pitch Workshop… and an answer to a question asked by Scott, the author of Tuesday’s Pitch Workshop entries.  Scott writes: “Wow, thank you so much for all your help. You are completely right, I know...

PITCH WORKSHOP: ENTRY 4

Hey, everyone— Today’s submission to the Script Notes Pitch Workshop comes from Scott, who submits loglines for two feature ideas.  So before we dive in… Scott—thank you so much for sending these!  The Pitch Workshop is one of my favorite parts of doing this blog, and I always wish people would...

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer

Props to my friend Charlie for turning me on to this site, but I wanted to let you all know about a pretty great blog… from Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer.  I don’t know Amanda personally, but if you’re interested in television writing… or how to break in… this is a...

Palin vs. Clinton: The SNL Match-Up

For those of you haven’t seen last night’s Saturday Night Live sketch starring Tina Fey as Sarah Palin and Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton, I’m posting it here.  I love this not only because Tina Fey does a DEAD-ON Palin impersonation, but because this is some great political sketch producing. I...

READER QUESTION: TV Spec-Writing Advice?

Today’s question comes from Peggy, an aspiring TV writer who lives in Florida.  Peggy writes… “I love Law & Order: SVU, and I am working on a script.  Any suggestions for me?” Well, first of all, Peggy—congratulations on starting your spec!  I’m not sure exactly what stage you’re at, but I...

GUEST PERSPECTIVE: How NOT to Write a Screenplay

Hey, screenwriters– I’m excited to present a special guest today… William M. Akers, author of the new screenwriting book, Your Screenplay Sucks! 100 Ways To Make It Great, from Michael Wiese Productions, and… my former screenwriting teacher at Vanderbilt University! Will was not only a great teacher (and my first screenwriting...

PITCH WORKSHOP: RESURRECTED… AND ENTRY #3

Hey, everyone— So, it’s been a while since we’ve visited or talked about the SCRIPT NOTES PITCH WORKSHOP, but I don’t want to let it fall through the cracks.  In fact, I’d like to revamp it a bit.  Originally, I’d proposed doing it in two or three-week stages: for a certain...

A Few Moments with Diablo Cody

Hey, guys– Happy Fourth of July weekend!  I wanted to point you all to my interview with Diablo Cody, the Academy-Award-winning screenwriter of Juno, which appears in this month’s issue of Writers Digest.  Diablo was one of the most fun interviews I’ve done, and she’s got some terrific insights into screenwriting…...

PITCH WORKSHOP: Entry #2

Hey, screenwriters— Thought we’d take another look at one of the entries in the SCRIPT NOTES ONLINE PITCH WORKSHOP.  Thanks to all of you who have submitted… and please—keep ‘em coming.  I’m happy to hold off on moving to Phase 2 (paragraph descriptions) if more people want to post stuff. Also,...

PITCH WORKSHOP: The First Entry!

I am pleased to announce that we have our first entry in the Script Notes Pitch Festival!  A big round of applause—and a thank you—for going first goes to E. Daniels, who posted the first one-sentence pitch Thursday evening. Just as a quick refresher… we’re in Phase One of our Script...

THE SCRIPT NOTES ONLINE PITCH WORKSHOP!

Hey, film and TV writers— I’ve gotten several emails and questions from readers with specific questions about pitching projects they’re working on, asking if there’s some way to use Script Notes to really get down-and-dirty, hands-on advice about shaping their TV and film projects.  After all, whether you’re a newbie just...

Mama vs. the Maid

Hey, screenwriters— Saw two movies this last week—Made of Honor and Baby Mama—that I thought made an interesting comparison of romantic comedies.  Neither is particularly brilliant, but I think Baby Mama succeeds more as a romantic comedy, or relationship comedy, and I wanted to look at why. Although there are plenty...

READER QUESTION: How Are TV Writers Paid?

Hey, screenwriters— Today’s question comes from Dan, who comments at the end of Friday’s post in reference to something I had written about writing on TV shows.  I had written… “You might be hired [on a TV show] for 10 weeks… or 6 months… or even just one episode.  It varies...

READER QUESTION: From 9th Grade to Hollywood…

Today’s question(s) comed from Corey Nolter, a 9th grader who’s an aspiring screenwriter working on a research paper about his future career.  Corey asks a ton of questions, so I’m just gonna dive in.  Corey– I hope these answers help… lemme know how the paper turns out… and I expect a...

WHAT NOT TO WRITE: Vantage Point

Hey, screenwriters— I just want to say this up front: my wife made me go. Okay, that’s a lie. She definitely wanted to go more than I did, but the truth is: I kinda wanted to see it.  At least, I had wanted to see it… before it got nothing but...

WHAT NOT TO WRITE: Leatherheads

Hey, screenwriters– Today’s post is brought to us by Martin Scorsese‘s new Rolling Stones IMAX movie, Shine A Light.  (Okay, not really, but it looks incredible, so do yourselves a favor and check it out.)  And while I haven’t seen it yet, I can only assume that it will rock hard…...

READER QUESTION/GUEST PERSPECTIVE: How Do I Break Into Clip Shows?

Hey, screenwriters– Today’s question comes from loyal reader Valerie, who writes… “Hi Chad!… I am interested in creating clip shows and would love to hear your valuable insight on these types of programs (ie. where/how to license footage, how to sell them (Pods or Network), general production tips, etc…).” (For those...

GUEST PERSPECTIVE: Charlie Stickney… Writing For Animation

Hey, screenwriters– One area of entertainment I’ve never worked in– but often get questions about– is animation.  And with all the booming animated projects out there– Family Guy, The Simpsons, Drawn Together, The Incredibles, The Triplets of Belleville, etc.– I decided to spend a few minutes with my friend Charlie Stickney,...