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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Two types of TV stories

Sep 19, 2015 by

Somehow an article I wrote for Script Magazine a while back never got added to my own website — and it’s about an...

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Why They Make Bad Movies

Aug 30, 2015 by

Beginning screenwriters often are shocked to hear how competitive the field is, and how difficult it is to break into.  If only the...

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Unmet Needs

Aug 1, 2015 by

I think the best television characters want something they can never have — and spend every episode pursuing it.  What makes them...

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Flaws and Character Arc

Jul 4, 2015 by

The best movies tend to have a growth arc for the main character.  In the end, they have often somehow become better versions of...

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Internal Stakes

Jun 27, 2015 by

The main character in a movie generally has a big problem that it takes the whole movie to solve. And this is what a professional...

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Audiences are sadists

Jun 6, 2015 by

If I could sum up the number one most common overall weakness in screenplays I read, it would be that the main character does not...

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