Screenwriting

From structure to content to representation to industry trends, this is the place to discuss, share content and offer tips and advice on the craft and business of screenwriting

Liked by Harri-Pekka Virkki and one other

Erin Dwyer
Screenwriting programs

What is your preference of program you use to write our screenplays?

Nelson Christian Amador

Amazon Story Writer

David Timber

Final Draft, can't get around it. Adobe Story held a lot of promise, then they stopped supporting it. You can go with Woody Allen's preference https://youtu.be/uK6ip4Lvyns

Laura Scheiner

David Timber I don't know if I'd be a writer if I had to Woody Allen's product of choice. I make so many changes - not to mention typos on every page,

A. S. Templeton

"FD...can't get around it." Funny. Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi), Craig Mazin (Identity Thief, The Huntsman: Winter’s War), Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball, Skyscrape...

Expand comment
Natalie Farst

I only use Final Draft. Have tried others, but none of them compare.

Steven Harris Anzelowitz
CRAFT question:In your screenplay what do you develop first CHARACTER or STORY

Every "Happy Writer" is unique and has different approaches. According to the book: FADE-IN:THE SCREENWRITING PROCESS by Robert A. Berman there are seven primary components-- story, plot, scenes, character, dialogue, emotional action and physical action. Most writers begin with CHARACTER or STORY. What do you start with. On your marks. Get set. SHARE.

Laura Scheiner

I don'r see a script as those seven primary components. I start out with premise, character and theme and am initially sparked by one of the three. So I start there and then turn my attention to the o...

Expand comment
A. S. Templeton

Start with an interesting premise: "What if Martian amazons arrived, just wanting to get along, but after using our men to reproduce, the men were ruined for human women?" or "What if a biowarfare chl...

Expand comment
Natalie Farst

My stories are usually based on experiences I have had so I take those people, turn them into characters and build a story around them.

Liked by Lauran Childs and 15 others

Richard "RB" Botto
Our Comedy Screenwriting Champion Signs With The Cartel

Some cool news to share regarding our most recent Comedy Screenwriting Contest Winner, Diana Wright. Through her successes here on Stage 32, Diana has signed with The Cartel Management. Diana's winning script, ROSWELL ADJACENT, is getting some major looks around town as a result. And last week, she...

Expand post

James Pappoe Jr

Congratulations!

Lauran Childs

Congratulations!

Amanda Toney - Stage 32 Next Level Education

Diana's been getting a great response and we couldn't be happier for her! She's meeting with the VP of Panay Films as I type this!

James Pappoe Jr

I want to be like Diana when I grow up. Go get 'em!

Natalie Farst

This is awesome news!!!!

Liked by Lauran Childs and 6 others

Paul Zeidman
Austin 2018

Although my script didn't advance in Austin, a very hearty congrats to all the writers who did. Hoping to be in that group next year.

James Drago

That's right Heidi Nyburg. My point is that usually you'll see a contest where the drop-off from quarters to semis is maybe half the list or 1/3rd or 1/4. In this case it drops from 2000 to 30 or on t...

Expand comment
James Drago

John Iannucci I'm sorry but I was a reader and I received an email asking to refer people. That's it. I'm not trying to bust a bubble. I'm just speaking facts. I don't enter the contest for obvious re...

Expand comment
Heidi Nyburg

Oh I agree, of course they want their second rounders to attend. They put together a program and they need people to attend the writers portion of the events. People who are invested in some way are m...

Expand comment
James Drago

I have nothing against the conference Heidi Nyburg. I've been to it and it's fun. I wouldn't go again, but once was fun. I just think that writers should be aware that with so many script submissions,...

Expand comment
Heidi Nyburg

I agree on all counts. And I'm not surprised about the person who wrote you. I know kids who've barely got one screenwriting class under their belts that have been asked to read for contests.. I just...

Expand comment

Liked by Tayrone Straughter and 4 others

Robert Rosenbaum
Did it take me four hours or three weeks?

I just finished a new script for a short film. It took me about four hours to write it down, after three weeks of writing it in my head. Fits the under ten-minute drama category. It was written with the restriction that I have immediate access to all the locations and set pieces I need to shoot the film. I'm already in pre-production in my mind!

Willem Lodewijk Elzenga

I've shot all my short no-budget films in one day, and it still was pretty hard to get it done. They all got finished and distributed excluding one. I had a day full of rain - and that didn;t work out unfortuneately.

Bill Costantini

"I'm already in pre-production in my mind!"...........I guess that explains why us crafty schleps aren't getting lunch! Where's Dan MaxXx's lawyer when I need him?

Laura Scheiner

You were pregnant with the idea for three weeks and in labor for four hours.

Robert Rosenbaum

UPDATE: I am NOW in pre-production irl! I have two producing partners who will also play the leads and I will be directing. If all goes well we will be shooting in November.

James Drago

Congratulations!

Liked by Harri-Pekka Virkki and one other

Dan Guardino
Slated

Has anyone here tried this website. I was thinking of trying it but it isn't cheap so I wanted to check it out and see if anyone else has tried it. https://welcome.slated.com/

Mary Goldman

Wondering if anyone has had any success with Slated.com recently? Thinking of using their eval service for a script of mine. I don't have a team or a director attached. If a script scores high, does it attract producers and directors as well as financing? Thoughts, anyone?

Robert Rosenbaum

Mary Goldman This is an older thread. I too am curious after two years if Dan Guardino, M L. or Mark Vincent Kelly have had any success with them. I didn't use Slated and am still working on the finan...

Expand comment
Felix Boahen

..

John Iannucci

I am confused by this site. (Okay I'm a dumb newbie) So i put a script up for analysis. (The one I would has his coverage and contest evaluations - wouldn't do one cold) After the analysis - what happ...

Expand comment
Dan MaxXx

Scam

Liked by James Drago and 3 others

Phil Parker
Favorite soundtracks when screenwriting

Like many screenwriters I like listening to soundtracks, from film or TV, when I'm writing. I'm always eager to expand my playlist so I thought I'd ask you folks what some of your favorites are.  Great soundtracks can sometimes belong to mediocre productions so this could be illuminating for all of...

Expand post

Matthew Barker

Love me some musicals!

Bill Costantini

Interesting to note - I was watching Mean Streets on TCM last night, and when Martin Scorsese was talking about music, he referred to it as a "character in the film." I've also heard many of the compo...

Expand comment
Bill Costantini

Lee: great choice with Riz. One of my fave songs is Oh My Love, which was used in the film Drive. And what a voice his wife Katyna Rani had, who sadly passed away a couple weeks ago. Rest in Peace, Ka...

Expand comment
Willem Lodewijk Elzenga

I've taught myself to not listen to music while writing, for being more into the things I write myself instead of the music I am listening to. Is this sound advice or am I just very different from you..

James Drago

Your #1 is a great choice!

Liked by Ryan Martinez and 4 others

Phillip "The Man Who Can'" Hardy
Websites that offer peer reviews for screenwriters

I’m posting this because I’ve seen several folks looking to exchange screenplays with other writers to receive peer reviews for their work. There are several websites that have been doing this for years, as well as a new website that has thrown their hat into this ring. I will preface the rest of th...

Expand post

James Drago

I've traded scripts with people right here. Peer sites worry me because you could be getting notes from someone who deems themselves to be better or more advanced then they are. They could be amateurs...

Expand comment
Chad Stroman

Script Revolution is another place. Zoetrope is another one.

Kevin Carothers

scriptmother has some excellent readers. But it's hit or miss.

Peter Roach

I prefer reviews from people who know more than I do. It is like my mechanic; he knows, 1000% more than I do. Peer reviews seem iffy to me.

Sam Borowski

Peter Roach, excellent observation. Many people have come to me for everything from reviews, notes, detailed feedback, polish or full-blown rewrites. Personally I've written more than 40 scripts, whic...

Expand comment

Liked by Mitch Bechtold and 2 others

Peter Roach
Letting the main character in on the 'secret.'

I just watched a Korean drama fourteen episodes long. Fantastic creative idea for dramedy.

By episode six, I (screenwriting bias) could see what is coming.

By episode ten, every character is in on the “secret” except the main character.

That killed it the drama for me. Cuz the killer moment has to be...

Expand post

Bill Costantini

Peter: you hate that? Man.....you must have not listened to me when I told you not to go in that basement that night, right?

Laura Scheiner

Pamela Bolinder I published a couple articles when I was a script consultant and edited a book on writing shorts but I prefer to write rather than write about writing..

Peter Roach

Pamela, Laura will give us a private class just because she is a nice person.I agree "Dramatic Irony" works in comedy or when the killer is in the closet.In a thriller I want to be along for the ride....

Expand comment
A. S. Templeton

The simplest way to create suspense in the minds of the readers/viewers is to give them knowledge superior to the character(s) in dramatic focus. The audience being "ahead" of the protagonist is the whole point, at least in thrillers.

James Drago

Good post A.S.

Liked by James Drago and 7 others

Chad Stroman
Just for fun. Complete the thought...

Writing a new screenplay is like...

Chad Stroman

Stanley N. Lozowski Not sure if this was intended for me. I don't write any music. I very much enjoy music however.

Ray Norman

Writing a new script is like constructing a new home. Brick by brick.

Stephen Olson

Writing a new screenplay is getting a monkey off your back.

Kevin Carothers

Is a three month period where all you ask yourself is "...what happens next..."

Bill Costantini

....one of the most enjoyable experiences in the world.

Mitch Bechtold
Thoughts on screenwriting content libraries?

I'm specifically referring to TSL 360 (The Script Lab), since they offer masterclasses, interviews, lectures, etc. but also I guess you include Stage32's "The Writers' Room".I'm doing fine with everything i'm finding online, but just curious if the resources are worth it? Has anybody paid for either...

Expand post

Laura Scheiner

With so many great resources available online for free (I highly recommend Scott Myers https://gointothestory.blcklst.com and John August & Craig Mazin's weekly scrip notes podcast download from iTune...

Expand comment
Dan MaxXx

My friend raves about roadmaps online courses.

Doug Nelson

I'm with Laura on this - there is LOTS of free stuff available on-line. Just look around.

Chad Stroman

Indiefilm Podcast and videos. There is a ton of free resources online. I don't mean to knock anything S32 is doing but many of the webinars they are charging for (pre-recorded ones) in many cases are...

Expand comment
Frank Shank
Writing agent/talent manager

Just got done typing out and uploading all photos, awards, and log lines and stuff to my page, feel free to check it out! does anyone know how to contact any writing agents or anything? if so please let me know...new here but not new to business...take care

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

Hi Frank, we work with a number of executives when it comes to pitching, coverage, logline reviews, and so on. If you have any specific projects you'd like to get in front of the right person, shoot m...

Expand comment
Tamara R. Hudson

Thank you for the dialogue Frank and Nick! I plan to email you as well Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

register for stage 32 Register / Log In