Aspiring screenwriter: Go Hollywood or go indie?

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Because I’ve written a few books about screenwriting I sometimes get questions from people just starting out on their careers. One query that has started coming up more often recently is whether it’s better to chase the Hollywood dream or get involved with indie films, including ones made for the web…

Writing and making a short film?

I’ve seen a lot of short films over the years. Frequently I’ve been impressed by the visuals, the level of the acting, sometimes the innovative use of a mix of media. Can you guess what most often is the weakest link?

Who Wants To Go Mad For Free?

The idea is that you set a goal for the day and declare it on the MAD website and check in every hour to report your progress and watch a five minute live broadcast in which Jurgen gives tips and answers questions.

End Creative Procrastination

As filmmakers and screenwriters, it is easy to procrastinate. And it is a slippery slope. Despite your best efforts, sometimes life gets in the way of your projects. Next thing you know – a whole year goes by and you are no closer to completing your projects than before. Veteran Screenwriter Jurgen Wolff has a solution…

Unlock Your Screenplay Characters

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When writing a screenplay, there are lots of questions you can ask about your characters to get to know them better. Read this Filmmaking Stuff guest article from screenwriter Jurgen Wolff.

Write Screenplays From The Heart

I see that there’s a one day workshop being offered with the pitch, “Who better to teach you to understand characters than EXPERT BEHAVIOR ANALYSTS?” It’s not my intention to diss the people offering the workshop (which I also why I’m not going to name them)—they are both screenwriters as well as Expert Behavior Analysts and sound like a couple of smart guys with credible credits.

Do Screenplays Need a Theme?

An aspiring writer confessed to me the other night that he’s intimidated by the idea of theme. Screenplays, he’s been taught, are supposed to have a theme…

Your Screenplay Opening

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Some screenwriters think that just about every screenplay should open with a bang of some kind: perhaps a literal explosion, or a murder, or a chase.Those may well be good choices for certain stories, but my take on this is that what an opening actually needs to do is to prompt two questions and one feeling in your audience…

When It’s Time To Divorce Your Agent

People always point out that a relationship with an agent is something like a marriage, but without the sex (usually). Which means that sometimes there will be a divorce—at this point, the high profile one is J. K. Rowling dumping hers…