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Career Strategy

Inspiring Films About Filmmaking

Whenever I see an amazing film, it makes me want to write a great film script myself. It reminds me of why I got interested in writing for film in the first place.  It makes me want to be a better writer. I doubt if a single screenwriter has not had this experience.

Filmmakers and screenwriters often find inspiration in their heroes’ best work. I’ve found that watching films about the filmmaking process can be inspiring, too....


Career Strategy

Inspiring Books For Screenwriters

Inspiration, defined; "A breathing in or infusion of some idea, purpose, etc. in the mind: the suggestion, awakening, or creation of some feeling or impulse, especially of the exalted kind."
In any career path, we tend to look to the people who came before us, our heroes. As a writer or filmmaker in Hollywood, our heroes created films that resonated with us. For me it was Woody Allen, Kevin Smith, Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, John...


General

Stop Procrastinating: Finish Your Script

What happens when you procrastinate? You might feel tired, or lost. You might  feel unsure about your writing choices.  You might have doubts  or fears of not being good enough. You might have a fear of being judged.

How do you deal with these fears?

During the first draft you can get away with a “good enough’ version. However, when you write your next few drafts, your script has to get better. The process gets harder the closer...


Career Strategy

Mindset: Look For Movie Ideas In Public Domain

One way to come up with an idea for a screenplay is take a classic story that’s proven to be relevant over time and retell it in current day.

Why choose to adapt a literary classic instead of creating your own original screenplay? There are many reasons;

Films based on the classics, (including Shakespear, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Bram Stoker, Lewis Caroll, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Wells) are generally considered to have a very...


Career Strategy

Screenwriter’s Mindset: Adapt An Article

True stories are a great place to look for movie ideas.  People love true stories.  And the rights to  newspaper or magazine articles are generally affordable.

Unlike books and plays, newspaper and magazine articles don't get the attention of producers like Scott Rudin or Jerry Bruckheimer. If you find an article that you think will make a great film, you have a chance of getting the rights.

Fortunately for the screenwriters who wrote the following films, the articles...


General

Movie Ideas: Adapting Book and Plays

The Godfather. Terms of Endearment. Casablanca. On The Waterfront. Chicago. Harry Potter. The Exorcist. Jaws.

They’re all examples of novels or plays that were successfully adapted into screenplays. Lately, a lot of successful movies have been adapted from comic books.

As long as movies have been made, stories have been adapted from original source materials.

Let’s look at an example.  One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest started as a novel written by Ken Kesey in 1962. Kesey wrote...


General

Where Movie Ideas Come From: Mashups

The movie Outland is basically High Noon, with Sean Connery in the Gary Cooper role, and it takes place on one of Jupiter’s moons. Alien was pitched as Jaws in space by Ridley Scott. The Coen brothers came up with the idea for Oh Brother Where Art Thou, using the plot from Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey. They just changed the characters, the tone, and the setting-- to the rural south during the 1930’s.

Notice how...