Script Notes

“Script Notes” explores the craft and business of writing for film, television and new media. TV producer Chad Gervich takes a look at the latest Hollywood developments and what they mean for writers. He’ll also incorporate interviews and advice from some of the industry’s top players, from agents and execs to writers, directors and producers.


Get into the TV Writing Room… for FREE!

Hey, folks– Just wanted to invite you all to a great event next Monday, October 26… Final Draft software, “Script” magazine, and Writers Boot Camp are hosting a series of FREE writing panels designed to help film and TV writers navigate Hollywood… and I’ll be speaking on next week’s TV panel,...

CREATING POTENT VILLAINS – David's Pitch Workshop

Hey, folks– A few weeks ago, loyal reader David submitted to the Pitch Workshop a synopsis for his hacker thriller, Hacktivism.  So first of all, thanks to David for submitting… and thanks to all of you who responded with comments and constructive criticism. For those of you missed it, here’s the...

Colbert Nails Glenn Beck – BRILLIANT!

Hey, guys– Just had to post this clip from last night’s Colbert Report— it’s not only hilarious, but it’s one of the most powerful pieces of social/political satire I’ve seen in a long time.  Dead-on, never-wavering, and pulls no punches… and Colbert’s summation at the end is sheer genius.  Love this…...

Don Draper > Barack Obama?

Is Don Draper (the main guy in Mad Men) more influential than Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, and Simon Cowell?  According to 500,000 men who read AskMen.com— YUP. Check out this poll abput the 49 most influential men in the world… pretty interesting!   (And people say scripted programming is dying!  Uh, apparently...

The State of Hollywood… from a Mogul

Hey, folks– check out Nikki Finke‘s post of former Fox Films CEO Bill Mechanic‘s (Coraline, The New World) keynote speech at yesterday’s Independent Film & Television Production Conference.  Great insight into the state of movies today… Click HERE to read the speech… You might also like:No Related Posts

Two and a Half Men: Giving Characters Tangible Wants & Conflicts

I often talk in my TV-writing classes about the importance of giving characters TANGIBLE wants, obstacles, conflicts, etc.  In other words, we sometimes give our characters internal objectives and obstacles– like the desire to find love, absolve guilt, give forgiveness, be at peace, etc.– but it’s important to find physical, tangible,...

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...

Defending Josh Olson

When I was in grad school at UCLA, one of my professors always said one of a writer’s most important skills was the ability to see things—without judging—from different characters’ perspectives, especially villains’ and bad guys’.  He used to give us an exercise, asking: “How was Hitler right?”  (And before I...

Dear Kay and Josh…

First of all, huge thanks to Mary for her comment pointing out Kay Reindl’s Seriocity blog post “ripping me a new one!”  (Kay wrote a response to my response to Josh Olson‘s Village Voice piece, “I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script.”)  Josh Olson then posted a response to this blog...

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.  ...

Josh Olson Is Wrong

A few days ago, I posted a link to screenwriter Josh Olson’s Village Voice column, “I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script,” in which he rails against an aspiring screenwriter who asked him to read his script.   Now, first, let me say this… Josh is fairly vitriolic in this column…...

MOVIE TALK: 9

I’ve seen a lot of movies this week, but 9, the new animated movie produced by Tim Burton (The Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands) and Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Night Watch, Day Watch), is easily the most disappointing.  It’s not the WORST movie I’ve seen this week (that distinction is saved for My...

Some Seriously Glourious Basterds

Okay, I know I’m a little behind the bandwagon on this, but I FINALLY got around to seeing Inglourious Basterds tonight, and I have to say… THAT IS AN AWESOMELY BAD-ASS MOVIE. I’m not usually a huge Quentin Tarantino fan… I like him, but I always feel like he recycles his...

Why Leno Will Fail… Maybe?

Jay Leno‘s new not-the-Tonight-Show-version-of-the-Tonight-Show hits the airwaves Monday, and Hollywood is anxious to see how this will play out for NBC.  It’s been a huge controversy in the world of television… with some people applauding NBC for finding inexpensive, ratings-proof (possibly) programming, other vilifying them for axing 5 hours of scripted...

6 Quick Movie Reviews

Every once in a while, the stars align in little ways that turn out to be AWESOME… like when A) you’re off work for a week, and B) your parents are in town, so you C) get to spend the week seeing a ton of movies.  This never happens… I mean,...

Will You Read My Fucking Script?

Special thanks to Sam for pointing out this brutally direct and honest (yet I don’t think entirely fair or true) column from screenwriter Josh Olson (A History of Violence) from yesterday’s Village Voice… Click HERE to read “I Will Not Read Your Fucking Script“ You might also like:No Related Posts

Meet MFA Confidential!

Hey, all– Just wanted to introduce you to Writer’s Digest‘s newest blogger, Kate Monahan, who is chronicling her life as a grad student (in Fiction-writing) at the New School in New York City through WD‘s new blog, MFA Confidential. Kate just started last week, but I’m totally hooked.  I have to...

Don Draper Gets Skewered

Hey, Mad Men fans– Thought you might enjoy this great Mad Men parody, posted yesterday by the Landline sketch group… Mad Men in 60 Seconds You might also like:No Related Posts

PITCH WORKSHOP: David's Synopsis

Hey, everyone—   Huge thanks to David, a loyal reader who submitted his screenplay synopsis to the Pitch Workshop!   Here’s what David writes, open the floodgates for feedback…   Working Title: Hacktivism Genre: Thriller   Logline: An honest young programmer loses his job and finds out his wife is pregnant...

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters Trailer

Thought this was pretty funny and figured I’d share… for those of you who liked this spring’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which is already in the works to be a movie), by TV/Internet writer-producer Seth Grahame-Smith (Clark and Michael, History’s Mysteries), the next “revised classic” comes out in a couple...

PITCH WORKSHOP: Preston's Feedback

Hey, folks—   I just realized I never responded to Preston’s Pitch Workshop Submission a few weeks ago, and while this critique is embarrassingly late, I wanted to respond to Preston before posting the next one.  (And sorry this is so late, Preston!)   For those of you who don’t remember...

Hitler vs. Avatar

For those of you who haven’t seen the trailer for James Cameron’s Avatar, which comes out this winter, I’m posting it below.  (Not that it’s that great…) But first, and even better, comes “Hitler Learns That the Avatar Trailer Sucks” (which is pretty hilarious… maybe one of my favorites of all...

Congrats, C.C.– A Pitch Workshop Success Story!!

Hey, all– Just wanted to post a great email I recently received from C.C., a loyal reader who submitted the logline and synopsis for her TV idea to the Script Notes Pitch Workshop last December.  Here’s what CC writes… Hi Chad, A few months ago I submitted a synopsis for a...