Screenwriting (Film)

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 software for the...

SAD NEWS: Blake Snyder Passes On

Hey, everyone– If you haven’t heard, I wanted to let you all know some very sad news… one of film’s most amazing teachers and writers, Blake Snyder, passed away yesterday.  He died in his home of cardiac arrest.  Blake is best known as the author of the incredible Save the Cat books, which helped...

MOVIE TALK: The Ugly Truth

The best part of “The Ugly Truth,” which opens this Friday, July 24, is that its title pretty much writes the review for you. A romantic comedy so bland and paint-by-numbers that it’s astounding it even got made (and more astounding that Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler chose it), it begins by following Abby,...

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 up money, the...

35 Tips on Indie Filmmaking… According to Nikki Finke & Friends

At last weekend’s Producers Guild/Produced By conference, a Deadline Hollywood Daily stringer compiled a list of 35 tips on producing indie films, from the mouths of folks like RJ Cutler, Roger Corman, Lawrence Bender, and a host of great execs, producers, and agents. Click HERE to check it out! You might also like:No Related...

Hung Up on the Hangover!

Hey, guys– Thanks to Brian, who pointed out this great article on Nikki Finke‘s Deadline Hollywood Daily about how The Hangover came to be written… it’s a pretty fun story– check it out! You might also like:No Related Posts

A Letter from WGA President Patric Verone…

Hey, folks– Hot off the press, here’s a letter from WGA president Patric Verone… thought you might find it interesting… May 29, 2009              To My Fellow Members, It’s been a while since I’ve reported to you about the progress of Writers Guild organizing efforts and the many successes we’ve had...

Sell Your Movie or TV Show… and Say Hello… at Pitchfest!

Hey, everyone– Just wanted to invite you all to next month’s annual Great American PitchFest, where I’ll be speaking and doing pitch and project consultations. For those of you who haven’t been to PitchFest, it’s a two-day festival where writers, producers, directors, and other filmmakers can take classes, network, and pitch their ideas to...

GINA'S QUESTION: Why don't playwrights and novelists get rewritten?

Today’s reader question comes from Gina, who writes: “I noticed that screenplays are always rewritten by many different writers but that would never happen to a playwright or novelist.  Why the double standard?  But, then again, that is how screenwriter’s will make their money on rewriting someone else’s screenplay.” Well, Gina, screenplays often get rewritten...

Older Writers – Part II

Hey, folks– Sorry I’ve been awol for a few days… I was actually out of town with very little Internet access, and I just got back late last night– so I haven’t been able to post for a while! Second of all, thanks for the posts and emails re: last week’s ageism question from...

Wanna Write a Comic Book Movie?

Huge thanks to Brenda for pointing out this piece from today’s Variety, which reports that Marvel— the comic book/production company behind Spiderman, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, etc.– is putting together a group of writers, a la the Disney Fellowship Program, dedicated solely to adapting Marvel comic books into movies! Very cool! Click...

PITCH WORKSHOP: Entry #7 Feedback

Hey, folks— Today’s Pitch Workshop entry comes from Mary S., who sends in a logline for her feature romantic comedy.  Take a look… First of all—Mary, thank you so much for sending this in!  Secondly, thanks to everyone who has already offered Mary their feedback and criticism… I hope it was helpful, Mary… and...

PITCH WORKSHOP: Entry #6

Hey, guys— Wanted to take some time today to respond to our most recent submission to the Script Notes Pitch Workshop.  Thanks to Matt for submitting his work, and thanks also to Janine for her thoughtful online response.  Matt, I hope you found Janine’s thoughts helpful, and I just thought I’d add my own...

PITCH WORKSHOP: ENTRY 5

Today’s submission to the Script Notes Pitch Workshop comes from Matt in Montreal, who is looking for feedback on his synopsis for his feature idea, Downsize This! (although he’s not married to the title).  He also says:“I’m aiming for a Jim Carrey inspired, farout main Protagonist, contrasted with an even wilder love interest, populated...

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 use it more. ...

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 professor ever), but...

Top 10 Ways To Win Writers Digest's Annual Screenwriting Contest – Part I

Writers Digest’s annual writing contest is in full swing… fiction, poetry, non-fiction… and, of course, screenwriting.  I’ve been judging the screenwriting division for the past few years, and I always love it—it’s a blast reading and discovering new talent.  And this year is no different, so I’ve been poring over hundreds of scripts, many...

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… take a look...