Posts tagged ‘Script Magazine’

January 16, 2013

Bad Guys as Good Guys: The Dexter Approach

Brad Johnson has written a great article for Script Magazine about how villains can make compelling protagonists. He uses Dexter as a prime example.

Johnson writes:

So you think that bad guys can only be Antagonists? Think again. They’re just as multi-faceted as the good guys these days. One day, when you least expect it, you’ll realize the script idea rolling around in that brain of yours is crying out to have a bad guy protagonist at the heart of the story. But how do you put someone like that at the center of your script and expect the audience to go along for the ride? Audiences like to cheer for the good guys, right? Actually, what they really like to cheer for is a character with whom they identify. On some level – any level – if the audience can catch a glimpse of themselves inside the character, then you’re golden.

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September 5, 2012

How to Fail as a Screenwriter

Dave Trottier of Script Magazine has written a clever article offering up the three best ways to fail as a writer. He explains:

If you’re going to fail as a writer, then you might as well get it over with now.  Then you can focus on your day job and watch television all night.  The following 3 keys are guaranteed to unlock the door to instant failure and free you to flop like a floundering fish on the floor.

1. Just say no

Why didn’t you think of this before?  Stop writing.  It’s as simple as that.  Wait for huge blocks of time to open up, and refuse to write until they do.  Now that’s commitment!  Don’t touch that keyboard until your Muse flies down from Mount Parnassus to reveal the 101 master plots.  Failure comes to those who wait.

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May 1, 2012

Getting Your Script Read: Send Queries

Erik Bork has written an article for Script Magazine about the good old fashioned way of getting a literary manager to your read your script: send them a great query. Erik writes:

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 conception is that “who you know” is ultimately the key thing, because you can have the greatest script in the world, and if nobody in the industry will read it (because they don’t know you, and you weren’t referred to them by someone they trust), nothing will come of it, right?

True enough. However, this statement misses one key part of the equation: the industry is desperately hungryfor marketable material and writers. And it always has been and will be.

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March 6, 2012

How Professional Screenwriters Work

John Buchanan of Script Magazine recently laid out the work habits that writers need to have to be successful in the film industry:

Screenwriting is unlike any other professional endeavor. To survive its unique pressures and peculiarities and have a career, you’ll have to master a few fundamental disciplines.

It’s one thing to sell a spec script or complete a first paid assignment for a studio. It’s another thing entirely to establish a reputation as a reliable professional and enjoy a long career as an in-demand Hollywood screenwriter. After the glow of initial success fades out, new writers learn—often painfully—that the requisite capabilities for a working scribe reach far beyond the ability to write crackling dialogue or craft a nifty plot twist. Too often, it’s assumed that talent trumps disciplined, hard work.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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November 30, 2011

Hitting a Wall in Your Writing: How to Break Through

This article out of Script Magazine by Pen Densham offers practical advice for getting past that wall standing between you and your next great scene:

Harnessing your creativity can be both deliciously mysterious and overwhelmingly frustrating. It often will NOT run on rails.

Whether you react to a blockage by cursing and kicking a hole in the landlord’s wall or retreating to a dark cupboard with a pint of Dreyer’s best frozen sugar bomb, remember …

Have faith that ideas are going to come to you.

I often run into an apparent dead-end. Especially if I am writing a new piece without all my elements and structure figured out. One technique I have learned is to commit the problem to my subconscious and move on to another area. Even quit and take a break altogether. The phrase “sleep on it” is more than just folk wisdom – it works!

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October 28, 2011

15 Films to Watch this Halloween

Script Magazine has posted this list of their editors’ top fifteen picks for Halloween horrors. Watch a few this weekend and get inspired to write your next horror script:

The Exorcist

Obviously. If you put anything else as your number-one scary movie, you’re just plain wrong. The Exorcist taps into such universal feelings about children and parents and coming of age; it terrified me when I first saw it as a kid, and now it terrifies me in whole new ways as a parent.

 

Rosemary’s Baby

Every time I go to a doctor … or take my car to a mechanic … or drop my computer at the fix-it store, I wonder: How do I know I can really trust these people? I mean, they could just tell me whatever they want about things that are valuable to me — I need to take these pills, fix this drive, pay them that — and I’d believe them. Rosemary’s Baby does an amazing job of capitalizing on how we trust those closest to us — our spouse, our doctors, our friends and neighbors — especially regarding matters that are most important, like our unborn children.

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August 24, 2011

When it Comes to Your Characters, Reveal & Complicate

This article by the superb writer and script consultant, Erik Bork discusses how to write characters that will keep your audinece engaged and entertained:

A writer I work with as a consultant recently shared a phrase with me that came from her friend Craig Hammill (thanks, Craig!), which perfectly encapsulates a point that I often make with writers: “Don’t withhold; reveal, and complicate.”

What that means is this: withholding information — especially information about your main character and what they think, feel, want, plan, and are trying to achieve — tends to distance readers and audiences from your material, rather than drawing them in.

It’s a very common issue I come across in scripts, especially ones that are saving some sort of big reveal or twist for late in the movie.

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