Books Tools Resources

First 50 Pages Checklist

Before submitting your manuscript to an agent or editor, it’s important to make sure your submission package is in the best possible shape it can be. Here’s a checklist that can help you troubleshoot your manuscript and improve your chances of success: How strong is your first line? Make sure you...

Write Your Next Screenplay… on the iPad

I’ll be honest, folks… for weeks, I haven’t been sure what the big deal about the iPad is.  But having seen it and played with a little, I gotta admit… it’s pretty freakin’ cool. Having said that, one of the drawbacks for screenwriters is that there isn’t (yet) any professional screenwriting...

What To Spec This Year…

Thanks to Sam for spotting Alex Epstein‘s link to Alex Freedman‘s study on what TV specs to write this year… and what not to.  Very interesting– and helpful!  Click HERE to check it out… You might also like:No Related Posts

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: JayCut.com

Wanted to pass along a pretty cool website… For those of you who don’t need all the bells and whistles (or pricetags) of Final Cut or Avid, but still want to edit home movies or online videos, check out JayCut— a simple online editing application that lets you upload and edit...

Formatting Questions? Try This…

I’ve gotten a lot of formatting questions lately, everything from how to do slugs and shot headings to the correct way to show different sides of a phone conversation.  I’ve emailed some of you back directly (and some of you I’ll get to shortly, I promise), but I also wanted to...

BOOK REVIEW: The Invisible Cut

I was chatting with my friend Mark the other day, a playwright who’s recently started writing and directing his own short films.  He’d sent me the latest cut of his new short, and we were going over some notes I’d written for him… and he made a pretty astute comment.  ...

READER QUESTION: What if drinking means drowning in Hollywood?

Hey, all— Wanted to reprint an interesting email I got from Rebecca, one of our loyal friends and readers, in response to the book review I recently posted for Tom Malloy’s, “Bankroll: A New Approach to Financing Feature Films.”  I don’t agree with her, but I thought she raised some interesting...

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: JokeandBiagio.com

Hey, guys– Just wanted to point out a great new blog/website… For anyone wanting to learn more and break into reality TV, check out JokeandBiagio.com, a new blog from my good friend and super-talented reality producer Biagio Messina, which offers “tips, tricks, tales and tutorials on producing TV and film.” Biagio...

BOOK REVIEW: Bankroll

I’ve never worked in independent film.  I like independent film. I have friends who work in independent film.  I’ve written screenplays that could be independent films.  But me, personally—I don’t think I could do it.  For one main reason… One of the main duties of an independent filmmaker is to round...

Sex & the Island

Thought you guys might be interested in these new DVD’s, hot off the press from the Writers Guild Foundation…WRITERS GUILD FOUNDATION RELEASES LOST AND MICHAEL PATRICK KING DVDs The Writers Guild Foundation has released two new titles in its popular Writers on Writing DVD series – Inside the Writers Room with Lost...

Got Legal Advice?

Hey, screenwriters and filmmakers– Just wanted introduce you to today’s Website of the Day… Legal Ease, an outstanding legal Q&A blog from FilmIndependent.  It’s been up and running since the beginning of the year, answering questions on everything from options and Writers Guild minimums to licensing songs and obtaining book rights. ...

A Few of My Favorite Podcasts…

Thanks to the anonymous reader who posted in response to last week’s post about Jen Grisanti’s Storywise podcast, and their question… “Which writing podcasts do you regularly download?“ To be honest, I don’t listen to a ton of writing-specific podcasts… although I always wish I did… but I like to listen...

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Blambot

Hey, guys– Props to loyal reader Charlie for submitting today’s website of the day… which, admittedly, is kind of random and seemingly off-topic, but I thought it was so cool and interesting– and, hopefully, helpful– I wanted to pass it on to you all. So, for all you comic book writers...

Thanks for a great turnout!

Hey, everyone– Just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who came out Tuesday night for the Small Screen, Big Picture seminar and pitch panel at Barnes & Noble here in L.A.  There were a ton of Script Notes readers there… some familiar faces and some great newbies… and it was...

BOOK REVIEW: Greenscreen Made Easy

A few weeks ago, I finished writing on Reality Binge, a Fox Reality sketch comedy/clip show, which—like The Soup and many other TV shows and movies (including Sin City, 300, and skits on shows like The Daily Show and Best Week Ever)—was shot entirely in front of a greenscreen.   It...

A book recommendation… and a response to Dixon

Hey, guys– Wanted to take a second today to give you a great book recommendation.  Now, granted, I’m biased for a several reasons, but I’d urge you to check out Writer’s Digest‘s new book, The 2009 Screenwriter’s and Playwright’s Market.  Like TCG‘s Dramatists Sourcebook, it lists opportunities to which writers can...

WEBSITE OF THE DAY: Know Your Pilots

Hey, everyone– It’s January/February, which– in television land– means only thing: PILOT SEASON.  (I know all the networks keep crowing that they’re doing “year-round development,” and while that’s kinda true– to a certain degree– the old development/pilot/staffing seasons are still very much in effect.  Personally, I don’t think the networks will...

GUEST PERSPECTIVE: Ellen Besen, Animator – Part Three

Today we wrap up our chat with Canadian animator and author Ellen Besen, who’s been explaining the ropes of animation and offering advice on breaking into the industry… ME:  ELLEN, IMAGINE YOU HAVE STAR STUDENT WHO HAS JUST GRADUATED, HAS A TERRIFIC PORTFOLIO, AND IS ABOUT TO LEAVE BUBBLE OF SCHOOL. ...