December 13, 2021 – Screenwriter’s News


I skim the trades, so you dont have to.

The Best Episodes of Television in 2021

My two-cent takeaway: Determining your favorite episode can be difficult, especially if youve been binge watching. As a test, find an episode from this list (or any episode of any show) of a show youre not familiar with that is either high rated or not, and try to determine what you know about the show as a whole from that single episode. How does the story draw you in, or push you away? What comes up for you that requires more information or informed you? And finally, how can you apply what you learned into your own screenplay?


The Best Films of 2021

My two-cent takeaway: Interesting lists of best films.  I dont agree with a bunch of them, but in any case, now that its the end of the year. Figure out your own top 10, 5, etc. and read the scripts.  It will make a good comparison between what you see on the page and what can end up on the screen.


Steven Spielberg Refused to Use Subtitles in West Side Storyand Give English the Power Over Spanish

My two-cent takeaway: To be clear, there is Spanish in the movie, but it is not subtitled. I find this choice to be interesting in the sense that what they say is left up to the interpretation of the non-Spanish speaking viewers, perhaps akin to watching a silent film. However, it should be pointed out that when films are subtitled in foreign languages for other countries, the subtitler” usually writes titles for everything that is said. These unintended additional subtitles take away the ability to enjoy the possible misunderstanding (that could be instrumental in the plot or a storytelling device) that rises from not knowing the language.


The Underperformance of West Side Story: No, Its Not Just Because Gen Z Doesnt Like Musicals

My two-cent takeaway: A quick column, but brought to mind the issue of trying to write for a topic that you think is important and how its essential to not be pedantic or risk rubbing people the wrong way.

New Book The Executive ChairExplains What to Expect When Youre Expecting a Pilot and Other TV Business Issues for Writers

My two-cent takeaway: 30 minute interview with Kelly Edwards.  Any insight you can gain from the executives point of view is worth its weight in gold.  Edwardsbook is basically a primer for a cheat sheet that will help you make that connection.  Helpful for those who are will to do the work that is required to get into the industry.


Get OutTops WGA List of 101 Greatest Scripts of the 21st Century, ParasiteCracks Top 10

My two-cent takeaway: Its important to remember the script differs from the produced movie. Personally, Get Out, which I thoroughly enjoyed, wasnt what I was expecting compared to what I visioned in the script.  It just goes to show you how difficult the filmmaking process is.  If you plan to look for Get Out online, make sure youre not reading a transcript from the movie.   For those of you who want to improve your writing, commit to reading as many of the top 101 scripts as you can. Start with your favorite movies, and if it makes it easier for you, watch the film first and look out for what has been altered and, of course, remained the same.  Pay particular attention to dialogue and the order of scenes since those are the only elements that can clearly the same, or not.


BoJackCreator Reveals the David Fincher Joke That Netflix Cut Over Fear of Upsetting the Director

My two-cent takeaway: Its interesting to get some backstory on the writing process and how you cant always get what you want. The joke (on the Twitter feed — and check out the whole thread), which is revealed to actually be an entire scene (and early in the series) could be better, but the ending still got a chuckle out of me.


The Upshaws creator Regina Hicks has inked a multiyear overall deal with Netflix.

As part of the pact, Hicks is teaming with Barack and Michelle Obamas Higher Ground to develop a scripted comedy about four middle-aged Black women from Houston. Hicks will write, serve as showrunner and exec produce alongside the Obamas.

My two-cent takeaway: Again, another example of a talented writer who has gelled with a network on their show and turned their hard work into an overall deal.—————————————————

The creative team behind CWs Walker” reboot is developing Walker: Independence,” a prequel series set in the 19th Century.

My two-cent takeaway:  Walker, Texas Ranger with Chuck Norris (which felt like a serialized version of Lone Wolf McQuade) was a popular show in its own right.  Not surprising that Walker, with Padalecki has taken off and now theyre developing an 1800s version, which if done right, should be the best of the bunch. With IP like this (Walking Dead, anyone?), the possibilities are endless.


Whatre your two cents?

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