flying wrestler

thoughts on screenwriting from writer-producer erik bork

I’m a screenwriter best known for my work on the HBO miniseries BAND OF BROTHERS and FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON, for which I wrote multiple episodes, and won two Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards as part of the producing team. I’ve also sold series pitches (and written pilots) at NBC and FOX, worked on the writing staff for two primetime dramas, and written feature screenplays on assignment for companies like Universal, HBO, TNT, and Playtone. I teach screenwriting for UCLA Extension, National University and The Writers Store, and offer one-on-one consulting to writers.  Click here to email me.

Finding the right genre

Blake Snyder's ten "genres" and fifty "subgenres" in his Save the Cat books are my single favorite tool for screenwriters.  I have long believed that studying this system of story types, and making sure each script you write clearly fits within one of them, is one of...

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The Two Types of TV Stories

Script Magazine has published my new article delineating the two types of stories on television -- "procedural" and "personal" -- which are easy for writers to get confused by. It's being posted on their website in connection with my upcoming April 3 webinar for The...

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Loglines don’t tease

Loglines describe a movie (or series) idea in a quick sentence or two that provide enough of an idea of what it’s about to (hopefully) seem like a grabby, fresh and commercially viable concept.  They present a compelling situation for characters one can imagine...

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Spec Scout

A very cool new website called "Spec Scout" tracks the status of currently unproduced screenplays in the Hollywood marketplace, in a variety of categories.  It also offers aspiring writers a chance to get their work professionally evaluated and ranked -- with the...

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Script Consultants: A Waste?

A few years ago, screenwriter Craig Mazin wrote a blog post voicing his skepticism about "script consultants" --  titled "Screenwriting is Free".  Craig (Identity Thief, The Hangover Part II) was advocating for aspiring writers, who he felt could be ripped off by...

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ARGO and creative license

Script Magazine online published my article about ARGO's use of creative license today.  Here's how it begins: Having adapted a number of true stories for the screen, I found myself wondering, as I watched Argo, which moments might have been created for the movie. I...

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The Campaign

On a plane ride a few days ago, I settled in to watch two of the funniest human beings on the planet (Will Farrell and Zach Galafianakis) in a movie directed by the awesomely talented Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents, HBO’s Game Change).  All I knew about...

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Inciting Incident types

  Lately I've been brainstorming what to write for my next feature script.  And I've been looking for questions to ask myself which might lead to good ideas. The goal is to stimulate the flow of possibilities through the use of some sort of  prompt, and...

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Literary Fiction/Screenwriting

Ben Fountain's new novel Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk was recently named a (top five) finalist for the National Book Award for fiction, and boy, can I see why.  I found it a great example of what "literary fiction" can do so well, that screenwriting can't -- and a...

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