Archive for May, 2011

May 19, 2011

Script: Winter’s Bone

This Oscar-nominated adapted screenplay for Winter’s Bone is written by Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini. Enjoy!

May 19, 2011

Quote of the Day: Somerset Maugham

The best style is the style you don’t notice.

May 17, 2011

ScreenwritingU ProSeries: Is It Worth It?

I’ve been thinking about trying the ProSeries, a six month online screenwriting course offered by ScreenwritingU. From what the website has to say, it sounds like the best possible investment in a serious screenwriters future. But the course costs a whopping $1100. So I’m left asking, is it worth it?

Of course, there are discounts to be found throughout the site that bring the cost down to $700. But this makes me leery — if they make it so easy to get the course at a discount, why not just offer it at the discounted price all the time? I realize many of us only like to buy things on sale, but it still aggravates me when companies up their regular prices to make their discounted prices look better.

All in all, the course sounds like a worthwhile experience, but I’d like to hear from those of you who have taken it and don’t have testimonials on the site.

So tell us, ProSeries-ers — is it worth it??

Please leave your comments below. In the meantime, I’ll try some of their free courses and see what I think. I’ll let you all know how things go.

May 17, 2011

Quote of the Day: Carrie Latet

Without a pen I feel naked, but it’s writing that is my exhibitionism.

May 16, 2011

Script: (500) Days of Summer

Here is the script for (500) Days of Summer written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.

May 16, 2011

Quote of the Day: Jen T. Verbumessor

Imitation is the highest form of pissing me off.  Quit stealing my content and violating my copyright. 

May 12, 2011

Quote of the Day: Mae West

Keep a diary and one day it’ll keep you. 

May 12, 2011

The Top 5 Screenwriting Mistakes to Avoid

This list comes from Hal Croasmun of ScreenwritingU. Here’s what Hal had to say:

Mistake #5: On-the-nose writing.

When characters consistently say exactly what they think and feel, an audience quickly gets bored. They are being spoon fed and that doesn’t require their attention or entertain them in any way.

Instead, you need deeper meanings that adds interest, intrigue, and causes an audience to have to interpret, thus giving the audience an internal experience of the story.

BTW, on-the-nose writing is fine for early drafts of your screenplay. It serves as a place holder, but before you turn in the script, you need to make sure that each line delivers as much meaning as it can.

Solutions include pouring character into the lines, delivering subtext, creating anticipation, setting up or paying off, and others. Take the time and effort to become an expert in OFF-the-nose writing and every reader will respect you for it.

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May 10, 2011

An Interview with Frank Pierson, Scribe of Cool Hand Luke

This great interview from the WGAW gets into the mind of screenwriter Frank Pierson, the writer of such greats as Dog Day Afternoon, A Star is Born, and Cool Hand Luke:

Many of you know Frank Pierson’s work as former President of the WGAW or his stint as the President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Others of you may know of his remarkable writing resume, starting in the ‘50s with television shows such as Have Gun – Will Travel and Playhouse 90, followed by five decades of films like Cat Ballou (Screenplay by Walter Newman and Frank R. Pierson), Dog Day Afternoon (Screenplay by Frank Pierson), A Star Is Born (Screenplay by Joan Didion & John Gregory Dunne and Frank Pierson), In Country (Screenplay by Frank Pierson and Cynthia Cidre), and Presumed Innocent (Screenplay by Frank Pierson and Alan J. Pakula).

But odds are, all of you know the famous line he came up with while writing 1967’s Cool Hand Luke (Screenplay by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson):

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”  

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May 10, 2011

Quote of the Day: Russell Lynes

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.