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

David Abrookin
WINNER ANNOUNCED: 10th Annual Search for New Blood Contest

Congratulations to the winners of our Search for New Blood Contest, James Cirile and Tanya Klein, with their winning script PSYCHOPATHY!

And thank you to all the amazing writers that participated in this year's contest and made it the most competitive edition yet!

Check out all the placements here: ht...

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Maurice Vaughan

Congratulations on winning, James and Tanya!

John Metzner

Hey Jim and Tanya, congrats on the win.

Martin Reese

Congrats. So happy for you. What an outstanding opportunity and it shows the power of collaboration. Gonna love hearing the story.

Pat Alexander

Congrats Jim and Tanya! Awesome awesome script. Like THE INVITATION meets MY DINNER WITH ANDRE!

Maurice Vaughan
Using Empathy to Create a Better Villain

The most memorable characters are those we empathize with — even villains.

Here’s five ways to create empathy for your villains.

https://screencraft.org/blog/using-empathy-to-create-a-better-villain...

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Using Empathy to Create a Better Villain - ScreenCraft
Using Empathy to Create a Better Villain - ScreenCraft
A good villain can be the best part of the movie. How can you write one? Use empathy to craft a villain your audience will remember.
Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Kelly E. Keough. I've heard of "Peaky Blinders," but I haven't had the chance to watch it yet. It's on my watchlist.

Maurice Vaughan

You're right, Marcel Nault Jr. The same for other characters. Other characters in our scripts can relate to a character's motives without excusing the behavior/etc. I wrote a script a while back. At t...

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Ewan Dunbar

Great topic to discuss. Some of the most complex villains are ones that have their own logic behind what they do and have a backstory that supports their worldview. Moral ambiguity and grey areas are a great way to engage and challenge and audience.

Maurice Vaughan

"Moral ambiguity and grey areas are a great way to engage and challenge and audience." I'm saving that tip, Ewan Dunbar. Thanks!

Pat Alexander

It's like Heath Ledger's Joker with those gruesome scars. Or Lyutsifer Safin's family being killed in chemical attacks in No Time to Die. Or the bully with a tragic home life. Those little things help us understand the villain's jaded reaction to horrific events pushed them from good to evil

Sydney Summers
Webinar soon! How to Nail the Second Draft of Your Film or Television Script

Stage 32 is eager to welcome Brian H for his upcoming webinar. Learn how to nail the all important second draft of your film or television script with a prolific film and television writer and producer who has worked on over 25 film and television projects! In this detailed webinar, Brian will teach...

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Brian Herskowitz

I am really looking forward to seeing you all there. You CANNOT overestimate the importance of a strong rewrite!

Brian Herskowitz

"When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done." - Stephen King

Brian Herskowitz

"Writing is a marathon, not a sprint." - Robert McKee

Pat Alexander

You gotta cut, cut, cut as you move through drafts. Pacing is so important, you want your writing to read lean and feel very compact!

Dianne Janis
DIY Sizzle Reel

Hello everyone! I would appreciate any tips/recommendations for what software to use for a sizzle reel. I would love to hear what apps others are using to create an awesome reel. Thanks!

Dianne Janis

Thanks Scott & Miquiel! No, I don't have any footage shot so I have to purchase clips and intersperse that/them with stills that I have. Then figure out a sound track. Piece by piece!

Mike Boas

If you’re not already editing in Premiere or Resolve, you might try Shotcut, which is free.

if you’re looking for free royalty free images and video, try Pixabay.

if you want to pay for select images...

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Dianne Janis

Hi Mike! This is really helpful! This is my first such effort so FREE is good! :) Thank you!

Pat Alexander

I use Premiere Pro but that's just what I was raised on with video editing :)

Dianne Janis

Hi Pat! Thank you for the recommendation but I suspect that my skill level is closer to "Video Editing for Dummies" since this will be my first one! :)

Miquiel Banks
Pondering the Process and Frameworks...

Now that we are entering a new era of Storytelling, isn't it time we upgraded our thinking from the Micro to the Macro? Anyone else pondering a Checklist or Infographic or Mind Map to navigating the entire Process of Screenwriting and Novel Writing? This idea has been pushing me for a few decades, now it's time to take action....

Craig D Griffiths

I write out my story till I hit a “why”.

“why would they?’

“why did they?”

That sort of thing. Then I start using tools to work it out,

I have a good collect of tools I learnt as an intelligence analyst and in business.

Pat Alexander

I dunno about templates. Generally when i outline, it doesn't work in a simple format just sitting down and figuring it out in one sitting via a template. There's no real magic bullet to great storyte...

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Anthony McBride
Happy Awards Season!!

Well, it's that time of year again. Oscars. Golden Globes. Critics Choice. Emmys. Yada, Yada Yada. It's the time of year when we all get too gush over the stars we wish we could write for, hang out with and drink their bath water (disgusting, but true). We all dream of being on the big stage, right?...

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Jenean McBrearty

Time, talent, energy, and hard work. They're what counts when it comes to success.

Matthew Kelcourse

Not a thing, Anthony. For me, it's a feed someone a fish... teach them to fish kinda thing. Cheers.

Michael Elliott

I'd be willing to sacrifice either of my two ex-wives.

Pat Alexander

I would give up Xbox. I love gaming but I would pack up the sticks if it meant winning an Oscar

Miquiel Banks
Drama Queen App

What up,

Is anyone using the Drama Queen App? It has a Modular Approach (akin to Modular Synths) and this approach provides a unique environment for Creativity. Does anyone know the value?

Pat Alexander

I haven't heard of this app. I'll have to check it out!

Quick question about the industry

Hello, quick question to people in the know -

If you have a degree or certificate in filmmaking courses or schools are you more likely to succeed in something like having a tv show or movie picked up? For example if you pitched a good well written concept, having no education in film, but had the sam...

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Mario Leone

In the world of film and television, the question of whether a formal education in filmmaking increases one's likelihood of success is a complex one, with both subjective and objective factors at play...

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CJ Walley

Credentials aren't everything but they certainly can't hurt. It really depends on how far an interested industry member wants to go with a writer. Most just want the material itself and don't require...

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Christopher Phillips

In general, there is no relation to degrees to pitching your work. The minor difference would be if you have some professional or experience background related to the story, like being a cop and your...

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Neal Howard

Degrees don't hurt, the prestige of the school helps and the insider connections that exist between the more influential entities and various circles of alumni and players within the industry can be e...

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Pat Alexander

Degrees can help you meet fellow industry people easier and make connections as you rise up together through the industry. But if you are a naturally great networker, you can meet equally great people...

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Mario Leone
Status

Cold hard data.... Adventure is the highest. Check image.

CJ Walley

The taxonomy of genre is all a bit of a mess at pretty much every level. I wouldn't read too much into it. My films are more like drama-thrillers but always get classed as action-adventures because th...

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Stephen Folker

It's interesting, but for independent works, the genres that stand a chance to make money are horror, thriller and action. Depends on what level of production one is doing.

Dan MaxXx

Must be awesome to have your film playing at multiple theaters, in multiple states & countries.

David Abrookin

Interesting data. I'd love to see a per-film average for each genre. Curious if that shifts the numbers much.

Pat Alexander

It makes me think. I love documentaries but can't think of the last one I saw in the theaters... maybe Free Solo? There are so many awesome docs on streaming, I'm always scouring for the next great one!

Kelly E. Keough
Add Pain. Step and Repeat.

A mini-post from my Story Waves Substack on top storytelling and screenwriting techniques. 

It's about where to add PAIN as COMEDY throughout the story structure. 

What's a comedy you've seen lately that you'd recommend? Thanks! 

Kelly

https://open.substack.com/pub/storywaves/p/4-add-pain-step-and-repea...

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Ewan Dunbar

Its interesting hearing comedy performers and writers talking about where they source their comedy from. In one conversation on the podcast Smartless, Jason Bateman says that a lot of his comes from vulnerability.

Jenean McBrearty

Jed Power: Substack is another communication site. Basic is free but, as usual, they want you to upgrade. It takes a lot of work to get it going, and you have to promote it to get paying subscribers (...

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Jed Power

Thank you, Jason. i put my short stories up on Patreon. Is substack like tgis?Any good? Not much money but it is a great motivator to write because I promised 1 a month. Best, Jed.

Kelly E. Keough

I write my substack and offer my stuff for free, and it's my author platform, like an author's website. Researching screenwriting techniques has only made me a better writer. Thank you for your feedback!

Pat Alexander

I recently rewatched Date Night! What a great comedy :)

Emily J
Don't miss these pitch sessions this week! (2/12/24)

Hey everyone! We have some awesome pitch sessions coming up this week and I didn't want you to miss them! If you're having trouble choosing who to pitch to, shoot me and the Success Team an email at success@stage32.com! And you can see all of our available pitch sessions by clicking here -- https://...

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Pat Alexander

Woo! These should be fun :)

Lori K. Richard
Congratulations to my fellow quarterfinalists!

I'm pleased to announce my screenplay Imitation Art was chosen as a quarterfinalist in Stage 32's 2nd Annual Feature Screenwriting Fellowship Competition!

My experiences working in the art world inspired me to write this screenplay. A lawyer by training, I worked in the NYC art world for over a decad...

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Maurice Vaughan

Woo-hoo! Congratulations on "Imitation Art" being a quarterfinalist, Lori K. Richard! Great feedback!

Lori K. Richard

Thank you, Maurice!

Maurice Vaughan

You're welcome, Lori K. Richard.

Asmaa Jamil

Congratulations everyone.

Pat Alexander

Great job Lori!

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