Screenwriting Advice: Write The WORST Scene Ever!

Guinevere_Turner

Guinevere Turner is a writer, director and actor who has been working in film and TV since her 1994 debut film Go Fish. She went on to act in several films, including The Watermelon Woman, Chasing Amy, and Treasure Island. Eventually she teamed up with Mary Harron to write American Psycho and then The Notorious […]

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…

How NOT To Get Your Screenplay Read

A few years back I had the first draft of my first screenplay ever. Like a lot of folks who dream of Hollywood success, I was eager to share my work with the world. Problem was, I had no idea what I was doing. Through a friend of a friend, I was put in contact with an “entertainment attorney.”

How To Use Foreshadowing In Your Screenplay

To avoid having any one element of foreshadowing be too obvious, often the writer will throw in some red herrings–some things that could be foreshadowing but in fact don’t pay off or pay off in a different way than we expect. The person who has the gun in the drawer may become an immediate suspect in our minds, but later maybe we see him use it to light his cigarette and we realize it’s not a real gun (of course he may have a real one somewhere else….). That kind of misdirection keeps the audience guessing.

Tennessee Williams’ advice to screenwriters

tennessee Williams

You don’t really want totally arbitrary events in your script, but if you need to capture their attention, put it in and then in the next draft work your way backward in the story so it has some motivation…

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?

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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

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?