First 10 Pages: 5 Major Rules

When it comes to the beginning of your screenplay, I’m a firm believer in letting the ending dictate the correct beginning.  If you know your character dies in the end, it makes sense to use that profound piece of knowledge to...
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The Voice Over Value

Voice Over. Does it really improve your screenplay? Is it really the best way to bring out backstory? Does it really maximize how to reveal crucial information? No. Not really. Not really at all. As a rule, Voice Over should be a last resort. Because it’s almost always a mistake,
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Screenplay Evolution: Story or Character

Screenplays evolve essentially two ways: plot driven (often called High Concept), when a writer plugs original characters into a tailor-made plot, or Character Driven, in which the plot is born organically from the characters, usually an unforgettable main protagonist. Character Driven Screenplays With this approach, if you take away...
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Make Us See It: Writing With Personality

Okay, so you’ve written a screenplay. It’s clear and concise, it flows well, it's easy on the reader - which is no small feat - but it's almost too clinical because it’s lacking any style. You tell your reader things are happening visually, but you fail to engage us – to MAKE...
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Exposition: A Little Crazy Goes A Long Way

You’ve heard it before: “Crazy is what crazy does.” True. Forrest Gump was a lot brighter than people gave him credit for. It’s also true that film is a visual medium. Action does speak louder than words; it’s what a character does that reveals the most to the viewer. But...
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