In defense of formula

In defense of formula

Script Magazine has just published my new article where I discuss the issue of “formulaic” writing, and the use of story structure paradigms to help guide the process of crafting a screenplay. It begins thusly: Writers often rebel against the idea that a...
Sellable Screenplay Concepts

Sellable Screenplay Concepts

My March 12 webinar on “Creating a Sellable Screenplay Concept” is now available from The Writers Store. In it, I analyzed the loglines of some spec scripts that sold in 2013 — and discussed the common elements. It’s a 90-minute...
Award Season Genres

Award Season Genres

SCRIPT MAGAZINE has published my online article where I break down the SAVE THE CAT “genres”, as I see them, of most of the big movies vying for Awards this season.  Check it...
Live Genre Webinar 8/7

Live Genre Webinar 8/7

On Wednesday August 7 at 1 PM PDT, I’ll be teaching my fifth webinar for The Writers Store — on one of my favorite topics: Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat “genres.”  Blake believed pretty much every great and successful movie falls into one...
Specs that sold in 2012

Specs that sold in 2012

SCRIPT Magazine has published my article analyzing the common elements of screenplays that sold in 2012.  One of the key things that I noticed was the pretty obvious SAVE THE CAT genres of each.  Here’s how the article begins:   We screenwriters want to sell our...
Finding the right genre

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...
Teaching at UCLA

Teaching at UCLA

In 2013 I started teaching a course at UCLA Extension Writers Program on adapting true stories into feature screenplays. It’s a ten-week online class, available from anywhere in the world.  I use the Save the Cat books to help writers identify the proper genre...
Loglines don’t tease

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...
“Great Scenes” webinar

“Great Scenes” webinar

My January 9 webinar for The Writers Store on “What Makes a Great Scene” is now available online through their store, for $79. Similar to the webinars I offered on “True Stories” and “Creating Series Ideas and Writing Spec Pilots“,...
ARGO and creative license

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...
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