How To Find A Mentor In Hollywood

The first rule about finding a mentor is it’s all about them.  At first.  You want to build a relationship that works for both of you --not a one way street.   If they're not getting anything out of the relationship, it's not going to work.

It will help if you two hit it off over something other than writing.  You can find out if your mentor gives to certain charities, or if he’s interested in race...
Continue Reading


How To Find Time To Write

One of the most difficult challenges writers face is finding time to write. Most writers have a day job, and some have spouses and children. You can’t ignore your family, or your job, but you do have to make time to write.

How do you find the blocks of time you’ll need?    You're going to have to get organized.  Create a schedule and stick with it.  You may have to tell your family and friends you...
Continue Reading


How Writers Survive In Hollywood

Hollywood is full of larger than life characters – actors, agents, directors and producers --who bark out orders at their petrified assistants, and one up each other with faster cars, gazillion dollar homes, exotic vacation homes, gorgeous trophy wives, and mistresses, throw wild drug-fueled parties on their yachts.   And then we have the screenwriters.

In a town full of extroverts, egomaniacs and narcissists -- the lowly screenwriters who dream and create larger than life characters in...
Continue Reading


Man vs Self – Writing Screenplays About Life Transitions

The plot of most films involves the hero overcoming obstacles thrown at him by the bad guy(s). The more badass the antagonist, generally the stronger the film.   What happens when the story is basically about Man vs. Self?

A lot of writers who set out to write films like that have a huge problem.  How do you show sustained inner conflict without characters opposing one another?  The answer, in my opinion, is that you can't.  Even...
Continue Reading


Blocks & Fixes – Writing The Screenplay

You’ve managed to overcome the blocks that got in the way while breaking the story for your screenplay. This next phase, the actual writing part, will feel like running a marathon. It’s more of a mind game. You have to pace yourself, and try not to get hung up on constantly producing perfection.

You need to be aware that this next stage generally it can take three to six months to get through. Some of the blocks...
Continue Reading

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Creative Blocks & Fixes – Breaking the Story

We sometimes forget how important it is to start out with a great idea for a screenplay.  The concept has to grab the reader from the start and keep them turning pages.   It has to feel familiar, yet original, and at the same time commercial.

If the idea’s not right, writing the script will be a mere exercise.  There’s a lot of pressure to “get it right” in the early stages of storytelling.  Let’s look at some...
Continue Reading


Do You Have A Writer’s Personality?

Some themes that seem to run in writer’s lives are, in varying degrees; introversion, shyness, a tendency toward solitude, a studious nature, a strong goal and productivity orientation, ability to empathize, an intuitive thought process, perseverance, and traits of what psychologist Dr. Elaine Aron calls “highly sensitive people” (HSPs).

Ironically, most writers have to take bold steps to promote themselves, and break out of their shells at times to do so. So at times they may appear...
Continue Reading


How To Survive Rejection In Hollywood

"Rejection just motivates me to keep trying and to try and get better." Sasha Grey.   If it were only that simple. The truth is, rejection in Hollywood can really crush your soul.

And it hurts more if you've invested months and years in a project and then it gets rejected over and over again. Add to that the struggle to pay rent, to keep a relationship together while you pour your soul into your work. So...
Continue Reading


Famous Screenwriters Get Rejected Too

It’s important for rookie writers to keep in mind that all screenwriters, even the most successful, get rejected. It happens to everybody –it’s normal. It’s something you try to get used to, and something you never really get over.

Let’s look at some of the most famous examples where film projects written by very successful writers stalled out at points in development or production.

1. True Romance, Natural Born Killers. These two early Tarantino original spec scripts were both rejected...
Continue Reading


4 Action Screenplay Genres That Still Sell

All four of these action screenplay genres share the script characteristics studios look for when buying any screenplay.  They're more likely to spawn prequels or sequels than other genres  Perhaps more importantly, they all play well in the international markets, because of their emphasis on visual displays of violence or combat.

Of all the  genres you could chose to write as an original spec screenplays these four appear to have the best chance of being purchased by...
Continue Reading