Time and time again, people come up to us and pitch ideas for movies and television. Everyone thinks their story needs to be told or that they’ve got the greatest idea since the invention of the iPhone. But it’s not just enough to have an idea.Read More
Instead of telling your friend what happened that day (really, she can wait), quickly synopsize your movie idea. Instead of texting gossip about that person you met in an elevator, create a piece of scene direction that might describe that person as they enter a movie scene. Instead of engaging in a cutesy I.M., write a “cute meet” between two characters.
This clip is from the 1983 documentary (packaged in the “Tokyo Story” Criterion Collection DVD set), called I Lived But … The Life and Works of Yasujiro Ozu that featured interviews with Ozu’s production crew and recurring actors, plus excerpts from newsreels, home movies, and clips from two dozen of Ozu’s films. Ozu’s cameraman Yuharu Atsuta shot the film, and his long-time production company Shochiku produced it.
The Bechdel Test is a simple way to gauge the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films and just how well rounded and complete those roles are. It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. It is astonishing the number of popular movies that can’t pass this simple test.Read More
In movies, TV, and actual conversation it’s by far the most frequently quoted dollar figure to mean “rich,” despite inflation. The top-shelf reality competition shows (Survivor, The Amazing Race) use that as the prize figure. But it’s not just a lot of money. It’s been mythologized as the transformative tipping point between the life we have and some mythological Good Life in which profound satisfaction is possible.Read More
An educational Q&A with screenwriter, director, and producer: John August, exploring his work on the films, Go, Big Fish, The Nines, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Minority Report, Corpse Bride, Charlie’s Angels, and Titan A.E. — Moderated by Deborah Dearth as part of the Palm Springs Film Festival. Read More
How can you write a memorable spec script that helps get you staffed? Why is it so hard to write a TV pilot script that not only gets you noticed, but could sell? I believe that strong writing will rise. In helping to launch countless careers, I’ve noticed some commonalities in the writers who make it. The strongest trait is belief in self and a burning desire to make it happen.Read More
It’s easy to feel intimidated by the thought of writing your first screenplay. The rules! The formatting! The binding! Don’t let the seemingly endless parade of screenwriting elements scare you away from writing your first script. Since a familiarity with the basics of the craft is half the battle, The Writers Store has created this Read MoreRead More
by Richard Walter You’re heard it a gazillion times: it’s not what you know but who you know. Talent, schmalent, one screenplay is pretty much like another. Don’t oodles of lousy scripts get produced? We’ve all seen movies that were worse than one or another of our own unsold screenplays. How can it be that Read MoreRead More
Let’s start off with a test. A Comedy Perception Test, to see if we’re perceiving comedy with 20-20 vision. Below are seven sentences, seven word-pictures. They don’t mean anything other than what they are. There’s no back story. Read them carefully.Read More