The Idea is EVERYTHING

The Idea is EVERYTHING

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 I would have had on the basic idea behind the story, if it had been pitched to me before it was written. And so, the #1 piece of...
Why They Make Bad Movies

Why They Make Bad Movies

Beginning screenwriters often are shocked to hear how competitive the field is, and how difficult it is to break into.  If only the writers with the very best skill, craft, artistry and ideas are able to sell their material or get hired, how does that jibe with the...
Dealing with Feedback

Dealing with Feedback

At all levels and at all points in the process of screenwriting, there are “notes” from others.  Whether it’s you first screenplay that you give to trusted loved ones — or a network pilot where every draft of outline and script is run past a...
“Premise pilot”

“Premise pilot”

“Premise pilots,” in my experience, are not seen as a good thing. But the definition of a “premise pilot” seems to move around a bit, depending on who you ask. Some sources on the internet say that a “premise pilot” is when the...
Spec Scout

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...
Script Consultants: A Waste?

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...
The Key to Industry Access

The Key to Industry Access

When I work with writers giving feedback and guidance on their material and career paths, I often end up giving advice about how to gain access to agents, managers, and producers – which seems to most writers to be the biggest challenge of this business. The common...