How to Make Formula Your Friend
One of the worst things that can be said of a film (or your script) is that it’s too formula. This is a common criticism among reviewers, audiences and probably even members of your writing group. This criticism is taken so seriously that I’ve seen young writers doing everything in their power, and wasting a lot of time, trying to avoid formula and instead be original. So let’s get one thing out of the way right off the bat…
Goodbye Christopher Robin Writer Breaks Down Characters by Archetype
Screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce is known for powerful films like Hilary and Jackie, Welcome to Sarajevo, and for writing the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: Isles of Wonder, where Queen Elizabeth appeared to skydive into the arena with James Bond.
Boyce’s latest film is Goodbye Christopher Robin and tells the true story of ...
Wonderstruck’s Writer Creates a New Generation of Selznicks in Hollywood
If the name Brian Selznick sounds familiar, it’s because the author, illustrator and now screenwriter is a relative of film mogul David O. Selznick, who produced dozens of films including Gone with the Wind. Brian’s grandfather was David’s cousin. He says having the famous name is a lot of fun but it hasn’t necessarily helped him in any way.
Do You Overwrite? Here’s How to Stop.
One of the biggest mistakes screenwriters can make is overwriting their screenplay. Unless you’re Aaron Sorkin, whose screenplay for The Social Network was a whopping 164 pages with scenes lasting eight pages, you need to keep the dialogue, scene descriptions and page count as short and tight as possible. It’s worth repeating that film is a visual form of storytelling and we want to support the images with our screenplay, not the other way around. Here are a few guidelines to keep you from writing too much.
5 Tips to Make Exposition Invisible
A hundred years ago it was popular to start a story with two maids working in a foyer talking about the crisis the family of the house was facing. They would then leave and the play would begin. That kind of thing is far from acceptable these days. In fact, you have to do the opposite. You have to make your exposition invisible. Here are five tips to doing just that.
Did You Have Overly Critical Parents? Then You Probably Have an Overly Active Inner Critic.
When we talk about the inner critic we usually focus on someone else’s inner critic—we read the article about the successful director that still suffers from self doubt, or we talk to the person in our writing group who just sold a script and they tell us they’re worried that everyone will think they’re a fraud. In cases like these it’s easy to see the inner critic for what it is: A nebulous cloud of doubts and worries that isn’t rooted in reality. But when it comes to our own inner critic, truth and fantasy become much more difficult to separate from each other.
How the Blade Runner 2049 screenwriter used math to write the sequel
Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples wrote the original screenplay for Blade Runner based on the Philip K. Dick story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. This time, Fancher wrote a short story that became fodder for the sequel and collaborated with writer Michael Green on the new screenplay.