Finding a Manager

Oct 15, 2016 by

The first concrete step in any screenwriter’s career these days tends to be signing with a manager. It used to be signing with an...

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The 20 Script Must-Haves

Jan 28, 2017 by

The things that make screenwriting hard to succeed at are not mysterious. They’re just not easy to achieve. Successful scripts...

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Degree of Difficulty

Jan 20, 2017 by

I often say that a good story idea focuses on one big problem that it takes the whole story to solve. What that means is that the...

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What are the stakes?

Jan 12, 2017 by

It’s a constant question producers, agents and executives will ask: What are the stakes? And it’s maybe the most common...

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Keeping it Real

Oct 29, 2016 by

One of the most frequent and important types of notes I give on scripts is to question whether something seems REAL. Another way of...

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Chasing Success

Jul 3, 2016 by

We writers realize that the chances of any one thing we write being “successful” are slim. At least that’s true if we define...

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Perfect Counterparts

Apr 17, 2016 by

What makes an audience root for two people to be together? The Save the Cat books have a name for the type of story where the primary...

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Web of Conflict

Apr 9, 2016 by

What’s the key thing to focus on when developing a TV series idea? The answer is simple: the characters. Specifically, a web of...

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Script coverage services

Feb 20, 2016 by

What exactly is script coverage?  Is it a good thing to pay for, and how is it different from script consulting? I’m glad you asked....

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8 Characters of Comedy

Dec 31, 2015 by

When I work with anyone developing a half-hour pilot, I always recommend Scott Sedita’s book The Eight Characters of Comedy.  Written...

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95% is Problem-Solving

Nov 21, 2015 by

Billy Ray, writer-director of the new SECRET IN THEIR EYES, and screenwriter of CAPTAIN PHILLIPS and THE HUNGER GAMES, was recently...

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The Idea is EVERYTHING

Oct 31, 2015 by

I’ve consistently found that most of the notes I have on any script I read — and certainly all of the most important ones — are notes...

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