Archive | Subject Matter

Political Thrillers & Sci-Fi: Track the World

It is a common mistake for political thrillers and sci-fi screenplays to dump too many characters in the openings. This gets very confusing quickly. As a reader, I always feel the strongest choice is to introduce the protagonist alone, so that he/she stands out and is clearly identified in the mind of the reader. Once […]

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The Script Reader’s Top 10 Screenplay “Dos”

The following is a very basic list of items that get my attention as a script reader. If your script addresses each of these points, you’re probably doing a good job. I will be excited to read your script. So, here we go, a list of my top 10 screenplay “dos” when reading: DO keep […]

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The Script Reader’s Top 5 Screenplay “Do Nots”

The following is a very basic list of items that do not impress me as a script reader and, more often than not, will get your script a resounding pass. If your script contains any of these points, consider rewriting before sending out. So, here we go, a list of my top 5 screenplay peeves […]

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Example of How To Introduce Your Protagonist (Erin Brockovich)

One of my favorite scripts is “Erin Brockovich,” because I love the writing. It is abundantly clear, sparsely written, and dense with meaning. This script captures worlds of information with just a few simple, extremely well chosen words. To my mind, that is excellence in screenwriting. Please read this excerpt of the opening of the […]

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Introduce Your Character to the Reader

Now that we’re heading back into competition season for 2010, I am going to revisit the most important aspects of the screenplay, and in some cases I will try to link to examples of how they’re done correctly. I just read a pile of scripts and only one of the writers bothered to introduce me […]

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Subject Matter: The Legal Thriller

You might not like it, but I just have to say it: My advice with legal thrillers is “just say no.” Legal thrillers can be completely amazing, but this genre is pretty well tapped out. We’ve now birthed three solid generations of “Law and Order” and franchise viewers, as well as two strong generations of […]

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Subject Matter: Be Fresh

Let’s take a fresh look at writing “fresh” subject matter. Subject matter is key, because there is a tremendous amount of material out there that doesn’t bring something that feels new or unique to the table. There is no fresh take on the material. Hollywood doesn’t really want something totally new. This is for a […]

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