Writing and making a short film?

Writing and making a short film? Less is more (unless it’s too much less) By Screenwriter Jurgen Wolff 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? It’s the script. Or sometimes the lack of one. In … [Read more...]

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. Here are three questions I find useful: 1: What’s the one moment in their lives they would change if they could? If you ask this of real people you get some surprising answers. Yes, sometimes they’re the big events (“I never would have married my first … [Read more...]

How To Use Foreshadowing In Your Screenplay

A screenwriter sent me an email saying she understands the need for foreshadowing but wasn't sure how to do it. Of course the specific content depends on the story but here are some general ways you can adapt: 1. A visual clue. A very obvious one is letting us glimpse a gun in a drawer when your protagonist is looking for a pair of scissors. We know that gun will be used at … [Read more...]

How to give your screenplay emotional intelligence

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"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...]

Writing a screenplay-hold that template!

Today's Filmmaking Stuff guest article comes from veteran screenwriter Jurgen Wolff. I find Jurgen's approach to movie script writing to be very useful. In the following article, he expresses his thoughts on The Hero's Journey and other screenwriting templates. Writing a screenplay-hold that template! I had an email from someone asking whether I’m really against the use of … [Read more...]