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Showing posts with label screenplays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label screenplays. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Screenwriting Techniques

Movie scripts are documents. They function as a blueprint to turn an idea into a film. Directors rely on scripts to shoot scenes that are eventually edited together and packaged into films. There are so many useful screenwriting techniques that writers can use to narrate their stories.

Some stories can benefit being told from beginning to end without any disruptions. Writers enter a conflict, show the fire starting and resolve the conflict with a simple message. But if you want to get creative, you can enhance your script to create page turners. 

Flashbacks give us backstory. The proper method of using a flashback is to build enough value into characters so that we understand the significance of their past. Writers can open with a partial scene of a narrative they want to tell. Throughout the story, they can revisit this scene to move this key moment further along. The character may reflect back to this moment in their dream, in the middle of a conversation, in a coma and/or while they are driving.

We see a glimpse of the protagonist hanging on a moment that motivates their choices. We enter their mind through these flashbacks. We watch moments that already happened to explain backstory.

Series of shots and montages can turn dull moments into spectacular events. Have fun being creative in your storytelling!!!   

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Write What You Already Know

It is no secret that writing about what you know will increase your excitement to create. Many people assume they have a story to tell, so they try to become that person who will convince writers their lives can make a fortune. When writers ask them to help with the writing process, they say they don't have time. What these people really want is to ride the wave of success without doing any work. Write what you know, not what others want you to do.

We don't have any time to waste. 

Reflect back to all the moments you could have completed screenplays. I'm sure there are many lost opportunities. The past is a common psychological tool that prevents us from living life with peace and happiness. Talking about screenwriting as if we are already working writers in Hollywood will make us appear as faking it until we make it. Don't be one of these people in real life. Writing about someone who is fake in public to protect their true identity in their private life is a good story. Sharing your personal experiences with these fake people, which I have had many in my past, will bring life to your screenwriting to create a compelling screenplay.

Just imagine every situation your dream has created in your life.

Write about the life you lived over the dream you want. Without your dream, you would be living a different life. Maybe this normal life will give you a less stressful lifestyle. However, you would never know what it's like to accomplish a dream. The trap of viewing success as easy instead of understanding the hardship it takes is something to consider in your future scripts.

What events happened along the way? Did you laugh? Get sad? Get angry? Did you lose love? There are so many events in your life that can make good storytelling. We don't have to write these events as is. We all know that true life stories are modified for creative impact.

Get creative with your life stories.

We don't have to write our screenplays as real life experiences. We should use our life as inspiration to create fictional character who maneuver through our life. Teach people important lessons that you learned about your life.

Instead of looking at negative outcomes, focus on what you learned to grow into a better human being.

Tell people about your life. What are you about? Who are you as a screenwriter? What type of stories do you like to tell? What is your message to the world? Write these stories. Share your creative energy. If you learn something new about yourself after writing a script, you did your job perfectly right. Make screenwriting a transformation process. Writing what you already know will light a flame that can help your creativity burn brighter.

Please share your screenwriting experiences in the comment section below. 

Happy screenwriting!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Write for television

Screenwriting is a challenging dream to pursue. It is highly likely that most screenwriters will never master the art of writing for film. However, don't let this moral deflater we hear from most Hollywood insiders discourage you from chasing after this screenwriting dream. We just want you to know there are potential risks involved, so plan this dream accordingly.

In a PsychCentral.com article, an author shares the most common genres where novice writers fail to advance their screenwriting goals. Of these two genres, most writers overlook storytelling in favor of being overly creative. The mistake here is investing all this energy into writing that perfect script. We can't be perfect writers. Even the most prolific screenwriters have failed at writing. They don't quit. They pick up the broken pieces and rebuild. Criticism and constructive criticism are two opposing forces. Learn to deal with both.

There is no right or wrong way to break into Hollywood screenwriting. This dream to succeed at all cost may block writers from achieving the greatness they desire most. They want to get noticed really bad. For the most part, these writers refuse to make adjustments.

In the end, these screenwriters may write a terrible movie ending like The Devil Inside - the worst exorcism movie ever made. It violates the traditional exorcism structure. Watch the movie and see for yourself, how miserable this movie really is. We feel sorry for the unidentified demons who never got to reveal their names. It really sucks to not get noticed!

Use the co-screenwriters of this exorcism movie as an example that perfection is unnecessary. Write a bad, bad, bad movie about unidentified demons convincing a fictitious woman to murder fake church staffers and trick people into believing this is the scariest movie since The Exorcist, and you may have a real winner. It can make you into an instant millionaire, especially if you choose profit participation rather than accept a low 6-figure option.

Writing a terrible script on a sub-genre that has a built-in market can open the right doors. Go small now, then go big later. We're sure of it, that writing a less than perfect script can get your foot into the door. If not, squeeze through the window and make your case known; that you have what it takes to write movies.

Screenwriters have big dreams. It just so happens that only a few of these screenwriters reach them. Bad movies won't hurt your screenwriting career. Just look at Showgirls. Watch Speed 2: Cruise Control. Look at all the scripts that M. Night Shyamalan butchered after his breakthrough movies, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Nothing is happening in The Happening, except a disaster premise and poor writing.

You have time to develop into an award-winning screenwriter the next time around. You need money to keep this dream afloat. It is that first bad script that will make this happen. As time goes on, you meet important and established people. Soon enough, your screenwriting will evolve. Ask Leigh Whannell and James Wan. Look at the brilliant award-winning screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy, and his Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours screenplays.

How can we reach this screenwriting dream without wasting valuable time? According to this author, he believes that television writing is an avenue worth walking down. In television writing, these writers can make a good living and develop scriptwriting skills in the process. It is possible that this paid television writing work may guide them into screenwriting.

Do you want to become a paid Hollywood writer? Or do you want to become a starving screenwriter? Pick your poison. Write for television and invest your off-time into writing a good spec script. Now that's a good plan to reach your screenwriting dream.

Check out the PsychCentral.com article here.




Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Every page is money in the Bank

I connected with another screenwriter, who is on the verge of optioning his series to a cable network. Because this writer was under an NDA, he couldn't share the name of the project and this cable network involved in the potential deal. That's cool, I understand that he must abide by the legal terms set aside in this contract. This cool writer shared a really awesome moddo to follow.

Several times during this conservation, this writer reiterated that we all must keep finishing pages because every page is money in the bank. I really like this phrase. The mindset of this writer explores how he attaches value to his writing, especially since many writers focus too much on developing multiple ideas rather than complete movie scripts in their entirety. 

It is all about finishing writing projects, instead of devoting endless days and nights discussing screenwriting and television writing on forums and never working toward a finished script. One completed spec script holds more value than several working scripts stuck in the First Act. 

It is true. Every completed page is money in the bank. Whereas ideas are a dime a dozen, completed screenplays have a shot at potentially selling if the execution of this writing and the storyline capture the essence of their intended purpose - whether the concept is highly commercial and/or this original spec script is salable under a popular genre. This screenplay may represent an artistic montage of the screenwriter's brainchild, their creative expression that is ready to divulge top secret ideas into an all-out silver screen mission to capture moviegoers.  

Write script pages to build value into an overall movie project. Writing outweighs talking. Talkers are not walkers. Writers are movers. They move every scene forward, closer to a completion. 

Indeed, every completed page is money in the bank. When the final page of this script is completed, now the writer has something to discuss with the right people. They can revise this script, as well. 

Keep writing. Focus on the main goal. Finish the script. Then, option this script to put money in the bank. 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Original Scripts are going to make a return

Original Scripts

Original scripts reached their height in the 80's. However, originality has taken a backseat to comic book movies. Batman, The Avengers, Spiderman, Hulk, Iron Man, Superman, X-Men, and other superhero movies are generating billions of dollars in the worldwide box office. Artistic expression, as we see in Interstellar, is impossible without the credentials to back up such a large budget.

In Hollywood, writers must pay their dues to get a movie made. Writing a movie that appeals to a mass audience will win future projects. Would a great writer sacrifice creativity for longevity? Breaking into Hollywood requires a screenwriter to sell a spec script, write uncredited scenes, and/or hold writing experience in the television space.

There are several other strategies to get into Hollywood, such as winning screenwriting contests, film festivals, writing fellowships, writing programs, industry connections, and old-fashioned luck.

Why are comic book movies dominating the movie box office? One screenwriter, who is on the verge of selling his show, shared that comic book movies already have a built-in audience. It doesn't take much endless marketing to convince fans to watch these types of movies. Young children and adolescents, even adults, enjoy watching comic book movies.

Nonetheless, Hollywood is not ready to accept original movies quite yet. Soon enough, there will be a renaissance, a new movement, a resurgence where demand for original movies will outweigh remakes, reboots, comic books, books, sequels, and other movie types. For the most part, original movies take more effort to build a new market.

It seems movie studios are reluctant to gamble on new screenwriters and original screenplays. Past original movies nearly bankrupted studios, also resulting in executives getting pink slips for these lackluster duds.

Get ready for renewed demand in original scripts. In a few short years, Hollywood may be calling out for your original screenplays. Your hard work and dedication will pay off soon enough. Stay patient and never lose sight of the screenwriting dream. Originality is on the verge of making a comeback.

Keep writing original movies. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Most of the Top 10 Highest Spec Scripts are Box Office Bombs

Writing a movie script takes passion, persistence, and skill. Good screenwriters know how to write screenplays, plus they understand formatting protocols that drive the movie industry. Writing a spec script to sell in the open market requires luck and major talent. It is not impossible to sell a screenplay, but the odds are against most screenwriters to make this happen.

Box office bombs may cost studio executives their jobs. It seems optioning the wrong screenplay or losing out on a great script can also cause internal issues. As a screenwriter, the goal is to write a screenplay that makes money and brings notoriety to studios. If this script happens to garnish film awards, this enables the screenwriter to make their mark in Hollywood.

The top 10 highest paid spec scripts are some of the worst performing movies in the box office. The box office counts because movie studios are not in the game of losing money. No film studio wishes to overpay for a spec script that ends up on their shelf for years. Maybe this script is never developed into a movie, so paying millions for an unmade project is bad for business.

What are the 10 Highest Paid Spec Scripts:
  1. Deja Vu - $5 million
  2. The Long Kiss Goodnight - $4 million
  3. Panic Room - $4 million
  4. Talladega Nights - The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - $4 million
  5. Basic Instinct - $3 million
  6. Medicine Man - $3 million
  7. Euro Trip - $4 million
  8. The Pink Panther - $3 million
  9. Mozart and the Whale - $2.75 million
  10. A Knight's Tale - $2.5 million 

The most profitable movies on this list are Basic Instinct, Panic Room, and Talladega Nights. The worst performing movies are Mozart and the Whale, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Euro Trip.

Want to sell the next spec script to a movie studio? Here is your shot. Write an original movie that sells to the highest paying studio. Dream big on this script and maybe you will find success in Hollywood.

Source: Listverse

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Inject screenplays with real life

How many times have you heard that Hollywood is losing their grip on making movies? If you write movie scripts, then you know good writing goes a long way. Writing compelling screenplays based on real-life scenarios will capture a large fan base. This is your time to shine. Inject screenplays with your life experiences.

Original movies are in high demand. In the past three decades, original movies have quickly declined. Hollywood is viewed as a recycling platform focused on making movies that earn massive revenue. As a result of this, remakes, comic book movies, reboots, and books are leading the film circuit. Original movies are almost nonexistent.

Screenwriters should use their life experiences to shape movie characters. Movie characters thrive on conflict because the central theme depends on introducing tense situations and events.

Great writers know how to shape their characters. If you want to become successful in Hollywood, write original screenplays using your real life experiences. Good luck!