Aspiring screenwriter: Go Hollywood or go indie?

Hollywood-sign

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…

Should You Go To Film School?

If you’re just starting out as a filmmaker, deciding if you should attend a traditional film school is something you need to decide. And it’s a costly decision – some of my friends here in Los Angles are over fifty-thousand dollars in debt…

Screenwriting: Why Kim Cattrall got mad at me

mannequin cattrall

If you’re writing a script to be read by someone who is possibly going to buy it, you want to make it as easy and entertaining as possible. Yes, it’s easy to overdo the parentheticals, ideally your dialogue itself suggests how it will be delivered. But when it helps, go ahead. A sarcastic remark from an actress is not too high a price to pay.

Are screenplay contests worth entering?

trophy

I’m pretty skeptical about script contests as a way to further your career. There are success stories but I think they’re the exception. So I was interested to read the view of Chad Gervich on the Script website. He says that winning a script rarely gives you the edge

Film Shot On Cannon 7D

One benefit of shooting with the Canon 7D was at a train station. Normally shooting this scene with another camera, it would catch a lot of attention and we probably would have been run off by security immediately. Knowing that there was no dialogue during this scene, I was able to shoot bare bones with the 7D and probably from a far, it looked like we were just taking pictures. No security ever questioned us and we filmed that entire sequence in under 40 minutes.

Filmmaking Seminar Los Angeles

orange_registernow

For Los Angeles based fimmakers looking to take their show to business, I recommend checking out the next Norman Berns workshop. In this full-day, hands-on instruction, you will gain experience on scheduling, budgeting, business plans, ptiching, fundraising and distribution.

Feature Filmmaking Advice

If you’re an ambitious writer, I’m going to tell you a secret. There is no better feeling in the world than the day you stop sending query letters and instead, you start producing your own work. For years and years, you have dreamed about seeing your work on the big screen. You know you’re good. So why ask for permission?

Write A Crappy First Draft

I think one of the biggest challenges writers face is an unrealistic standard of perfection. And as a result, it’s easier to talk about writing without actually writing. So let me offer you a strategy – don’t be afraid to write a crappy first draft. And second to that, don’t be afraid to suck.

Screenwriting: write what you don’t know

beach palms-w200-h200

An interesting twist on the old “write what you know” adage comes from aspiring screenwriter Mark McCann, who also is a policeman. One of his shorts was produced and has won some prizes and one of his feature scripts has just been optioned–for the fifth time. He told Arkansas Online: “I try to avoid writing movies […]