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. He is hosting a virtual Massive Action Day on Saturday, … [Read more...]

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. The questions are simple: 1. Who are these … [Read more...]

What Screenwriters Can Learn From Documentary Filmmakers

Recently I taught a workshop to a group of documentary filmmakers, and I was reflecting on how much easier we screenwriters have it. The docu-makers may have a general story idea in mind, but often in the course of filming it turns out that reality doesn't cooperate. Sometimes one of the people they're filming dies or decides to stop cooperating. Sometimes they're following … [Read more...]

Tennessee Williams’ advice to screenwriters

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OK, I'm fibbing, it was actually Tennessee Williams' advice to playwrights, but it applies just as much to screenwriters: “What shouldn’t you do if you’re a playwright? Don’t bore the audience! I mean, even if you have to resort to totally arbitrary killing onstage, or pointless gunfire, at least it’ll catch their attention and keep them awake. Just keep the thing going … [Read more...]

Screenwriting How To Protect Your Material

Stop screenwriting rip offs

Since starting Filmmaking Stuff, many screenwriters have written me, asking if I could provide advice on how they can protect their screenplay from theft. I usually tell screenwriters that most producers will not go through the process of raising a gazillion dollars without compensating the screenwriter fairly. However, as my screenwriter friend Jurgen Wolff points out, … [Read more...]