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Tagged With: Tips

Blogs HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SERIES PITCH (PART 2: THE PERFECT CONCEPT)

In Part 1 I explained how I pitched one series with $13,000 worth of artwork and another with two sentences on the fly, and I sold the two sentences. But why did my two-sentences sell? What was it about the concept? What made it so good? ...

Blogs GREEN GRASS GROWS FROM COW PIES AND SO DO GOOD SCRIPTS

Have you ever been writing and felt like your story is crap? If you haven’t you must not be an experienced writer. If you have, don’t worry, crap has some useful nutrients in it. Let me explain...

Blogs 10 MAXIMS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SCREENPLAY

If you’re a writer who wants to improve the quality of your story, or a producer who wants your film to have the best possible chance at the box office, I've got 10 writing maxims for you that will maximize your chances of success...

Blogs THE IMPORTANCE OF THEME IN SCREENWRITING

Theme is the most important element of any screenplay. It aligns and focuses the plot, subplots, characters and dialogue. It is the Rosetta stone which allows you to translate that great concept you have into a great screenplay. But that’s not all it does...

Blogs HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR FEATURE OUTLINE IS DONE?

I recently went to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and looked at dozens of pencil drawings by Gustav Klimt. Surprisingly, I made an interesting mental connection with screenplay outlines: A pencil drawing visualizing what is going to be painted is to an oil what a screenplay is to a film.

Blogs GOT A RESEARCH QUESTION? ASK GOOGLE. GOT A STORY QUESTION? ASK YOUR MIND!

Every screenwriter is born with an amazing writing tool. It’s called the human mind. But if you don’t know how to use it effectively you could be wasting a lot of creative potential. I’ve found a very special way to resolve creative story problems that I think you’ll find very useful...

Blogs WRITE SCREENPLAYS THAT COMMUNICATE!

The secret to great screenplay writing is keeping it simple and visual. Words can be your friends as well as your deadliest enemy. Here’s a short tip that will improve your writing with every word you don’t write.

Blogs How To Flush Writer’s Block Down Your Mental Drain

There is no precise definition of what writer’s block is. Most likely, it’s just the terror of staring at a blank page or screen and thinking that the next words that come out of your cranial matter have got to be Oscar quality. Whatever it is, it’s really not that hard to handle. Over the years I have found three effective ways to get past whatever is blocking my creativity...  

Blogs The First 10 Pages: How to Hook the Audience

Ever get a big fish on the line only to have it get away before you could pull it into the boat? You probably didn’t set the hook. Rule #1 in fishing: set the hook. The same is true in screenwriting, only you’re not trying to hook a fish, you’re trying to hook the audience. You don’t need a fishing rod, you need ten great pages.

Blogs The #1 Most Important Screenplay Element. Are You Interested?

What is the #1 most important ingredient of every great screenplay? 

Is it great characters? 

Great plot?                 

High Concept? 

It’s none of these.  The #1 most important ingredient of every great screenplay is...

Blogs K.I.S.S. Bad Stories Goodbye

One of the most useful maxims in life is known by the acronym K.I.S.S. I'm sure you've heard of it. It stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. But simplicity is not just the key to a happy life; it's also the key to great storytelling—which only makes sense because stories are about life. Well-written animated features, no matter how complex they may seem upon first viewing, have basic character and plot elements that are very simple. To create a simple, well-constructed story you need only answer the following questions...

Blogs Learn the Three R’s to Become a Better Screenwriter

There are only two things you need to do to become a better writer: study and write.  The question is: are you studying and writing optimally?  I wrote screenplays for Columbia and Paramount on instinct, and wrote hundreds of animation scripts the same way.  But I’d never really “learned” how to write. I finally decided to get serious about my craft and read all the best-selling screenwriting books.  I learned quite a bit.  But one of the most important things I learned was that WHAT you read is only half of the journey.  HOW to read is the other.  Learn the three R's and become a better screenwriter...

Blogs You May Have Written More Than You Know!

Here's a tip for professional television and film writers.  If you haven't thought of this one yet it will save you time by eliminating the need to write some things twice.  But best of all, in just a couple of minutes it will let you see that you've probably already drafted over half of your script.  And that will make most any writer feel GREAT! What I do is this: After I've written an outline, and am ready to start the script, I cut and paste the outline directly into my script document.  But then I take it one important step further...