IMPROVISING SCREENPLAYS: The Secret to Finding Your Voice

In Improvising Screenplays, improvisational actor Brett Wean shares how the concepts of improvisation can be applied to the work — and play — of writing your script. If you’re like most aspiring writers, chances are that “finding your voice” is way up there on your “becoming a writer” To-Do list. (Come on, we all have Read MoreRead More

A Legal Explanation of “Defamation” for Screenwriters

Entertainment Lawyer Christopher Schiller explains what defamation is and the types of legal defenses used in defamation cases. Writers draw from life to make up stories. And I’m not just talking about bio-pics or stories ripped from the headlines. That quirky character in your latest script that has the same interesting quirk as your Uncle Ralph? That’s what Read MoreRead More

7 Tips from Edgar Allan Poe on How to Write Vivid Stories and Poems

Dig through Edgar Allan Poe’s 1846 essay “The Philosophy of Composition” for seven tips for writing the macabre. 1. Know the ending in advance, before you begin writing. “Nothing is more clear,” writes Poe, “than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before any thing be attempted with the pen.” Read MoreRead More

Major Character Types – “Protagonist”

Michael Tabb outlines the role of the hero of a story – the Protagonist. Whenever agents, producers and executives are asked what they are looking for (regardless of genre or budgetary scope preferences), the answer always includes the phrase “character-driven.” Everything else changes with trends and taste. Therefore, since the one constant everyone is always Read MoreRead More

Erin McKean: Go ahead, make up new words!

In this fun, short talk from TEDYouth, lexicographer Erin McKean encourages — nay, cheerleads — her audience to create new words when the existing ones won’t quite do. She lists out 6 ways to make new words in English, from compounding to “verbing,” in order to make language better at expressing what we mean, and Read MoreRead More

36 Dramatic Situations for Screenwriters

J Gideon Sarantinos covers 36 sorts of conflicts that you can employ to add drama to your script. 1. Supplication (asking for help) Elements: a Supplicant, a Persecutor and a Power in authority, whose decision is doubtful. The Supplicant is chased, harmed or otherwise threatened by the Persecutor and begs for help from the Power Read MoreRead More

Scripted vs. Non-scripted Corporate Videos

Ron Dawson weighs the pros and cons of scripting content for corporate video. Believe it or not, I honed my skills as a corporate video producer/director during my tenure as a wedding videographer. In particular, the skills I learned shooting, directing and editing love story videos. Learning how to elicit emotion, ask probing questions, and Read MoreRead More

Romance Isn’t Dead…It’s Just Different

Danny Manus asks, what it takes to fall in love in film of the 21st century? Here’s a scary thought – 40 years from now, the story many grandparents will be telling their grandkids about how they met and fell in love will include the words “fuckbuddies,” “Tinder,” and “emoji”. Not exactly Bogey and Bacall, Read MoreRead More

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