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, which he interprets as a strong opinion about something, like that capital punishment is wrong, or that the sins of the father are visited upon the child, or power corrupts. "I don't have strong opinions," he said. "Maybe … [Read more...]

Screenwriting Tips – Hope for shy screenwriters

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Shy and awkward is how screenwriter Seth Lochead describes himself. When he was starting out he felt he had to choose between building his career by socializing or by writing a great script. He decided to try to do the latter. The result is "Hanna," co-written by David Farr, starring Kate Blanchett as the daughter of a rogue ex-CIA agent. He told the Vancouver Sun: "“I … [Read more...]

How to give your screenplay emotional intelligence


"Chasing the Monster Idea" is a book by Stefan Mumaw in which he identifies seven questions that will help you determine whether you have a "monster" idea rather than just a good one (or a bad one). These questions also can help you figure out whether your movie idea is a monster. The first one: Does it evoke an emotional response? People go to movies not just to see … [Read more...]