by Fin Wheeler No agent? No manager? No choice but to send endless query letters to producers and agents who stopped accepting unsolicited scripts more than a decade ago, right? After all, you heard that this guy from film school knows this barista who knows this spa attendant whose spec got picked up that way.... Continue Reading →
by Fin Wheeler When you first roll your sleeves up and decide to be a screenwriter, every man and his dog is ready to pronounce what you absolutely must do and avoid in terms of formatting. But frustratingly few will tell you why. It’s counter-intuitive for a curious mind to just accept without question all the unwritten... Continue Reading →
Every rule is made to be (and has been successfully) broken. But I would say every script has to have a “reason to be” — a vague but helpful rudder that has kept me on track during long, frustrating projects.
E.B. White wrote that there are “no inflexible rules by which the young writer may steer his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.” With this in mind, we’ve asked working screenwriters to share a list of the “un-rules” that they find most helpful in their writing careers. We... Continue Reading →
The Bechdel Test actually comes from the above comic strip (Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel), which was originally published in 1985. It has become an unofficial standard for whether or not female characters are represented as whole, complex people in any work of fiction. As the cartoon states, for a movie (or... Continue Reading →
Joe Eszterhas was once the highest paid screenwriter in the business.
If this exact script had been written by an unknown writer, there is about a zero percent chance that it would have been made.
Screenwriters are supposed to be neither seen nor heard. I certainly violated that rule. Among others.
There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rules by which the young writer may steer his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.
There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.