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

J G Blodgett
Faith-based Filmmakers

I posted this same question on another section and received no response... thought I'd try here: How many Christian, faith-based screenwriters on here? I would love to network with you!!

Dan Herman

I think you have to ask yourself a couple of questions when writing a faith-based screenplay. Who is your audience going to be? Just believers or non-believers as well. You also have to ask yourself,...

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Linda Bradshaw Rogers

David, the only "interactions" I've had with S32's script consultants was with a producer, Kelly Hayes. And yes, Higher Purpose Entertainment is another house one can approach BUT I have not had the p...

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Jadon Fitzpatrick

Here! @JadonCal all socials and website JadonCal.com :)

Derek Reid

Finally am at the outline stage of my faith-based project! For people pitching these, etc. I would personally stick with producers / companies that are in the faith-based space already or advertise as...

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Moriel Randolph

Hey, J.G. Everything I write is sprinkled with some type of faith-based element. I market myself as a screenwriter of both family and faith-based drama. I'm actually on a mission where the genre is co...

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DMaria Woods
DMaria Woods - Screenwriter / Visual Artist

I am still rewriting and have a question. I don't want to use another flashback, but want to overlap a scene from the past with the present. My question is, how do I indicate this in my script. Suggestions are appreciated, happy writing.

Doug Nelson

I'd have to know the story and see the script first but I think CJ's 'FLASH FORWARD' would be worth looking into. A Director may use a cross fade with maybe a stop at white or black - but I'd need to see the script.

Jenna H

FLASH TO: 1981: (as an example) Write it in the body of the scene you want to overlap....

Jenna H

In one of my pilots I tell the story in 2 timelines and I use THEN and NOW at the end of the header when I change from one time to the other...but also within scenes use FLASH TO and then indicate whe...

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E. Lamoreaux

For the script I'm currently working on, I don't do a transition with "FLASHBACK" in it. I just go right into the scene and point out in the action description that the character is a younger version...

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DMaria Woods

Great feedback, thank you

William Menke Thompson
Need information regarding screen play idea protection

I am currently producing a synopsis for a screen play.

Once this is done, I will have it copyrighted. Then I will submit it to the two security institutions that I vaguely remember. And this is why I am making this post. I recall that there is an added layer of security that screen play writers hav...

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Craig D Griffiths

Your synopsis if it represents a “unique artistic expression in a fixed form” has copyright attached once you create it.

The idea itself is not protected. Hence so many detectives that act like Sherloc...

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Doug Nelson

Protect your idea? Never tell anyone about it. If you've already written it down - burn that document before you let anybody see it. You can not protect an idea. Sorry 'bout that but that's the plain & simple truth.

William Martell

Copyright is the best form of protection for your finished screenplay.

The best way to protect your idea is to write the very best possible version of it in that screenplay that you copyright... because you can not copyright an idea.

Wally Wu

WGAE

Dan Guardino

Craig. Even a story can’t be protected. A thousand people can write the same story. Only the author’s expression is protected. How they tell their story is the only thing that is protected under copyright.

Barry John Terblanche
:-))

What a great Monday morning... One script sold (no biggie... a short for $2,000) and another in option. This over the weekend. :-). :-)

Jim Boston

Barry, way to go! All the VERY BEST to you...especially on the script you've just sold!

Chaun Lee

That's awesome, Barry. I just read the script and love it. I could see how it can be developed into a feature.

Wally Wu

CONGRATULATIONS BARRY!

Barry John Terblanche

Thanks all! Chaun, I still tear-jerk every time I read STAY AWAKE MARY.

Anthony Moore

Congratulations.

Stephen Foster
I won an award for my screenplay My Missing Year!

It took me 1 year to live it, 10 years to write it and now I'm winning awards. I always tell writers & actors, "write/act the truth!" coz it is your "vein of gold!" I am living proof of my own teaching I am happy to report. I'm honored to now be winning awards for my screenplay based on my life!

I think I will be selling this script!

Chaun Lee

Wonderful and inspiring news!!! Congratulations!!!!

Stephen Foster

Vanessa Chamberlain thank you!

Stephen Foster

Chaun Lee thank you, too

Wally Wu

Congratulations sir!

Barry John Terblanche

Well done Stephen!

Edward Dorsey
Breaks between scripts?

Hey, guys. Out of curiosity, does anyone take breaks in between scripts and if so how long of a break? Personally, I try to give myself a week or two in between to kinda wind down as I receive feedback, but a lot of times I play it by what's going on in life at the moment. I know recently, it's been...

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Dan Guardino

I only write or work on screenplays if there is a reason to so sometimes I take long breaks.

Evelyne Gauthier

I'm a bit like Craig. Either I have several projects at the same time, or as soon I finish one, there's another one already waiting for me.

John Day

This is a really great question, and it probably differs for everyone. The only thing I'll add is some great advice from John Zaozirny -- that all too often screenwriters will jump from one project in...

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Edward Dorsey

That's a good point, John. I usually try to write down my ideas when they come to me and just kinda play with them over time. Sometimes the ideas naturally grow into the story, but there are some that...

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CJ Walley

Honestly, it depends and, for me, it's subject to motivation. Before I turned pro, I tended to have a set number of scripts I wanted to write within a year and I'd to try to work to a schedule. If I w...

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Cara Rogers
Keep Pitching

Don’t give up, adjust! Received a “read request” after so many positive pitch responses followed by “pass.” The written pitch that got results was a third draft that closely followed the sample provided to me by Stage 32. Why did I waste so much time thinking I was too creative to follow their advice!?!

Edward Dorsey

Thanks for sharing! I'm new to Stage 32 and this helps my confidence in joining this pretty cool community.

Wally Wu

Great advice!

Steven M. Cross
What now?

I have finished a new screenplay. It is family-friendly, low-budget with an ensemble cast, four-quadrant characters, and a Hallmarkian feel which I say with the utmost respect. I've tried Inktip, Network ISA.org, Blacklist, virtual-pitchfest, contests, coverage -- etc. I think I'm going to go the ol...

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Adam Jestin

Keep is short and to the point. The subject line should indicate the genre and format of your script. Introduce yourself right off the hop with a one-sentence description of yourself and your backgrou...

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Kiril Maksimoski

Promote it every way you can. If it's good as you say, it will get noticed sooner or later...meantime meet people of importance and don't forget to leave a good impression

Wally Wu

Me too! And thank goodness I found Stage 32.

Co-authorship question

Hello everyone, do you know if co-authorship (two writers) for the script is accepted? Does it have any disadvantages for selling/pitching the script to industry? I mean, if no trying to get staffed on the show, but selling the script itself, could two scriptwriters instead of one represent the script? Thanks!

Pete Conrad

Sure, but I would advise against it unless your relationship is rock solid. Even then... the one time I did it turned into a horror show.

Dan Guardino

I don’t think it is a disadvantages for selling/pitching the script. If one of the screenwriters has a WGA Agent and or some good credits it could be an advantage. Two scriptwriters can represent the script.

GW Allison

Communicate all standards and practices before hand, as well as financial expectations (splits, bottom lines, etc.), credit, and expenses. Put it all in writing, a contract between you and your writin...

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William Martell

There are many writing partnerships. No problem - but it's best to have a partnership agreement.

Since most of the work of a screenwriter will be assignments, selling the script isn't as important as working together on a deadline.

Mirela Tea

Thanks everyone for responding!

Doug Nelson
Need a little help from a woman writer

I'm writing a character driven, fate structured short. The male hero & female antihero meet in the opening scene. She is attracted to him. How would she show her interest in him by action?

The story morphs into a 'Cinderella' like structure in Act II in which she becomes the hero by her actions. He...

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Barry John Terblanche

Doug, this may help? I wrote one such female role-play script, A QUIET NIGHT - It's open on my profile/logline page. PS: Extreme sexual content! No under 90 years, but you good for that ~ LOL :-))

Marion Brownlie

by her body language-flick hair, smile, look him in the eyes, touch him if she speaks.

Doug Nelson

The storyline has the two characters switching roles - she's becoming the A character (hero) but needs him to move forward; I've got them touching and eye locked. Now she just needs to lead him into t...

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Karen "Kay" Ross

So much more information is needed. What exactly is she interested in? As an anti-hero, would she be all about the physical encounter and not interested in sentiment? How do they know each other - wor...

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Chelsea Regenold

I'd recommend reading/watching Fleabag. She's an anti-hero who shows attraction towards several men throughout the series. Although she breaks the fourth wall and shares her inner thoughts with the audience, she also uses a lot of body language and expression. Plus, it's just a great show!

Kristina Smith
How do I get Representation?

I have written several scripts that are in a box of totes from short film, to feature length to now my first 2 episodes of TV show. I’ve shot a couple many years ago but made no money, one of them ended up on Amazon which I never got paid for. My actors got big jobs from some of my shoots. Then it d...

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Michael LaVoie

Representation as what? A screenwriter or a director? Directors get repped for either commercial work or narrative. Sometimes both. Depends. You're more likely to find a rep if you do a lot of commerc...

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Doug Nelson

Representation as a screenwriter? Write a damn good script.

Dan Guardino

Find one who has a valuable horse and watch the Godfather. I am just joking so don't try that. I got my agent by calling different agencies every time I finished a screenplay. The more screenplays I h...

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William Martell

It sounds like what you need is a lawyer. If you didn't get paid for your work, that's contracts. I don't have an agent or manager, but I have a bunch of credits that I was paid for, plus a bunch of s...

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Maurice Vaughan
Writing Tension in Screenplays: Learn from 10 NAIL-BITING Scenes
Writing Tension in Screenplays: Learn from 10 NAIL-BITING Scenes
Writing Tension in Screenplays: Learn from 10 NAIL-BITING Scenes
Take an ordinary scene where for five minutes three people are sitting around a table talking about their day. Suddenly, BOOM! A bomb is detonated that destroys the entire building and the audience is…
Dan Guardino

Thanks for posting that.

Cherelynn Baker

That's a great read - thank you! Because, who doesn't love suspense?

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Dan.

You're welcome, Cherelynn. A well-written suspense scene can really draw in a reader or an audience.

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