Writing a New Scene for Les Miserables

Screenwriter William Nicholson discusses a sequence from Les Misérables (a 30 year old musical), which needed a brand-new scene. This is not a usual screenwriting assignment. I was hired to turn the super-successful stage musical into a movie — a show I admired and loved. From the start, my brief to myself was: Don’t screw it Read MoreRead More

Tony Kushner on Writing the Screenplay for “Lincoln”

In this interview by Dylan Callaghan, Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner re-traces his six-year odyssey in scripting Lincoln and illuminates how the bloody and transcendent story the film centers on is still playing out in America today. The new film Lincoln draws its considerable dramatic power from the moral, existential dilemmas that churn at America’s core. It’s unlike any film legendary Read MoreRead More

Interview with Working Screenwriter: F. Scott Frazier

In this interview with the Bitter Script Reader, working screenwriter F. Scott Frazier discusses how he sold six scripts in under two years and talks a little about his creative process. In this segment, Frazier answers a common quesiton: “How did you get your agent?” A discussion of some of the realities of being a Read MoreRead More

Character Analysis: Ralphie from “A Christmas Story”

Scott Myers dives in and breaks down the character of Ralphie from the perennial favorite “A Christmas Story” The season of giving, or in this case – receiving, just does not feel red and green enough until re-watching the definitive American Christmas movie – “A Christmas Story.” But believe it or not, when this winter Read MoreRead More

THR’s Writer Roundtable: Why ‘Schindler’s List’ Is Irresponsible and When Judd Apatow was a Dishwasher

THR Award Season Roundtable brings together Judd Apatow, Mark Boal, David Magee, Chris Terrio, Michael Hanekeand and John Krasinski for an hour long discussion on the craft of screenwriting. Full Transcript below The Hollywood Reporter roundtables typically draw diverse groups of talented people. But the six men who gathered Oct. 2 at The Residences at the W Hollywood might be Read MoreRead More

Keys to the Craft: What You Must Do To Become a Better Screenwriter (or Filmmaker)

Scott Myers ran an excellent series on five habits that you must invest in in order to excel at screenwriting (or filmmaking for that matter). Think Concepts If you write a spec script based upon the first story idea that comes into your mind, that script will likely suck. Even if it’s decent, it probably Read MoreRead More

Judd Apatow: Confessional Personal Comedies in a Big Studio World

Scott Foundas interviews Judd Apatow about his latest film This is 40, his inspiration for Funny People, and trying to maintain expectations between career and family. If Apatow’s film career to date can be seen as tour of key stations in the journey from the cradle to the grave—a Jewish comic’s 2001 that begins with the loss of virginity (The Read MoreRead More

Bad Movie Dialogue Speaks in Complete Sentences

Grammar Nazis will have to plug their ears for this one. Real language is full half developed sentences that just get… well… you know… interrupted. “Bad movie dialogue speaks in complete sentences without any overlapping or interruption, and avoids elliptical speech, which is truer to how people actually talk.” This from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. Read MoreRead More

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