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How to Write a Screenplay

February 21st, 2010 · No Comments

Making movies is a collaborative process, which means the blueprint (screenplay) must be produced in a particular format so that everyone involved can work from it. The good news is writing in proper screenplay format is easier than ever due to advances in screenwriting software. Instead of spending hours learning how to write a professional Hollywood formatted screenplay, writers can invest in software that will allow them to focus their time and creative energy on developing their story.

The average feature length screenplay is between 95 and 125 pages long. In today’s market, scripts generally don’t run longer than 114 pages. Comedy screenplays are typically on the shorter end, while dramas are longer.

When competing for a producer’s attention, your story needs to jump off the page. Which really means, your screenplay needs to be a “quick read.” No matter how intriguing your story is, if it doesn’t have a nice clip to its pace it may never get read past the first few pages. The trick is to include as much visual information as possible in as few words as possible. This is the ultimate secret of a good screenplay, and any other literary achievement for that matter.

Choose cool adjectives and replace typical, ordinary verbs with something that adds color and action. Your thesaurus is king. When you’re done with your story, go back and polish it by replacing mundane adjectives and verbs with some juicy ones, but make sure they still serve the scene and don’t sound silly. For example, instead of “Jack runs down the street”, you could write “Jack races down the street”. If Jack were fleeing something, it would be better to say “Jack escapes down the street.” By changing the word “run” to “escape” it packs more information into the scene without adding any additional words – hence, the quick read.

Screenplays should be written in present tense, which is the opposite of past tense. For example, instead of “Jack ran down the street”, you could write “Jack runs down the street.”

So what makes a good story? You do. Make your characters interesting, throw some goals and conflicts in the mix, add a little twist at the end, and you’re off to developing your craft as a screenwriter.

FYI – there are lots of great screenplays available on this site, so start reading!

Is there a current list of Producers to submit query letters to?

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Stop Wasting Your Sex Drive On Sex!

February 7th, 2010 · Comments Off on Stop Wasting Your Sex Drive On Sex!

A paragraph from Napoleon Hill’s famous book “Think and Grow Rich.

“Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. When driven by this desire, men develop keenness of imagination, courage, will-power, persistence, and creative ability unknown to them at other times. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it. When harnessed, and redirected along other lines, this motivating force maintains all of its attributes of keenness of imagination, courage, etc., which may be used as powerful creative forces in literature, art, or in any other profession or calling, including, of course, the accumulation of riches.”

Exercise will-power and “transmute” your sex energy into untapped creative genius!

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Writing Screenplays and Dreams

May 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on Writing Screenplays and Dreams

By Raisy Roo

No one really knows where dreams come from. There are lots of differing books and theories on the subject, but one idea they all seem to agree on is that dreams are made up of symbols. Every character, item and detail in your dream represents something, and if it didn’t, it could not exist. It must serve purpose, and then be intricately linked and interwoven into every aspect of the plot that’s playing out.

You know that dream where you’re wandering the school hall in your underwear? Well, down the corridor, past all the leering students, beyond the mortified teacher and beside that kid holding the raccoon, is a locker. And on that locker is a number. That number cannot exist in your dream unless it has significant meaning and purpose. Talk about back story!

Your dream can’t simply write ‘INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY – DAY’. Instead it must account for every minute detail in order to pull the story off. Can you imagine the processing power needed to structure a scene like that? God forbid you’re shooting outside! Every blade of grass would need to be written, rewrote, polished and tweaked – instantaneously.

I personally don’t believe that sort of processing power exists anywhere in the universe. I have a sneaking suspicion that dreams are not “processed” at all, but rather emanated. Like mist spraying from a waterfall, dreams emanate from your very essence, spawning a story about you. After all, every person in your dream is actually you.

I have a challenge. As you lay your weary head down after a long day of writing, try to pay attention to the images that continue to flash across your mind’s eye. They are always there; it just takes some practice to become aware of them. Some say it’s just the dream cycle ramping up for the nights show, others believe it’s a form of remote viewing.

I believe it’s the place where screenplays come from.

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