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Allen James Roughton is the Stage 32 Script Services Coordinator, a screenwriter, reader and development researcher who has consulted on over 100 projects, scripts, books, comics and films and conducted research on life stories, exposés, professions and locations for development at major production companies. Full Bio »
Writers can't rely on jump-scares and creepy music, so how do screenwriters create tension on the page? We'll take a look at needling suspense of THE BABADOOK, the tension just below the surface in GET OUT, the apocalyptic horror of “The Walking Dead”, and the creeps and chills of IT.
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Love is in the air in the Writers' Room! We are kicking off a brand new month this week with the Breakdown Webcast: Writing Romantic Comedies! Jason was speaking with a Senior Vice President of Development at an A-List production company who said, "Every studio executive is asking me for Rom Coms!" If you look at recent trends, it is clear they are on a come back. We will break down the beats of a Romantic Comedy so that you as a writer approach writing without falling into the trap of tired cliches. We will also explore how to take the storytelling conventions and turn them on their head. We will examine films and series including When Harry Met Sally, 500 Days of Summer, The Apartment, Knocked Up, What Women Want and more to find out what makes these projects work and how we can apply those same principles to our writing!
We're back in the Writers' Room for the first Breakdown Webcast of 2021! At some point we have heard a note that “your story feels flat" or "your second act is weak" or "this won’t sustain for 100 minutes." If that is the case, there is a good chance that you have an underdeveloped (or perhaps no) B-Stories or Subplots. That is why we will be breaking down story structure to find out exactly what B-Stories and a Subplots are, and how we can incorporate them into our writing. Using clips from INCEPTION, BACK TO THE FUTURE, and DIE HARD, we'll examine how the B-Stories and Subplots of these narratives help drive the second act and create a more impactful story. After the webcast, make sure to head on over to the Private Lounge to discuss your thoughts on the best B-Stories and Subplots.
We're back in the Writers' Room for the Breakdown Webcast: The First 10 Pages! The first 10 pages - or the opening sequence of the script - is so important and a good "First 10" will establish the tone and genre, introduce the main character, clarify the world of the story and the status quo, indicate the theme, and above all set up the dramatic question. That is why we will be breaking down some of the most memorable scenes and sequences found with the first 10 pages of our favorite film and TV series. We will also explore 7 types of openings and how they can launch your narrative - without falling into the trap of being cliche or derivative. As part of the webcast, you can download the complete scripts we discuss by clicking here. Once you have wrapped up the webcast, make sure to head on over to the Private Writers' Room Lounge to discuss your favorite opening scenes from film and television. And let us know why!
Flashbacks are not meant to be a storytelling crutch, but rather a tool used to reveal additional backstory or subvert the audiences expectation of a character or situation. We will examine Casablanca, The Usual Suspects & Casino Royale.
We're back in the Writers' Room for the Breakdown Webcast: Writing Ensembles! An ensemble film is different from most lone protagonist-driven movies because it has a lot of main protagonists (some who are depicted as supporting characters though) that have roughly the same amount of "screen time" and importance in the screenplay. During this webcast, we discuss the challenge of giving every character in your ensemble a human turn while placing them in the context of the narrative. We examine some of our favorite projects including PRINCESS BRIDE, PARENTHOOD, "BRIDGERTON", THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE USUAL SUSPECTS, and more to see how the characters - and their goals - come together. We also discuss tips on how you can balance all of the characters in your ensemble piece while crafting compelling obstacles for them to overcome (either together or separately).