March 10, 2014
February 25, 2014
*For all my students who come out of :::classes:::
looking at old scripts with new eyes.
February 20, 2014
February 1, 2014
January 7, 2014
Was just asking about screenwriting, which she’s interested in, and getting up and running learning the basics. I threw some advice at her and here it is again for anyone out there looking to start and not knowing where to start, screenwriting:
I sometimes teach beginning classes through Gotham Writers, but I don’t have any on the schedule right now and they aren’t cheap. The bulk of my classes are through The Academy of Film Writing [AFW] and are master classes, you have to have the basics to get into those.
Screenwriting U advertises free classes from time to time which might be a good place to start. They have a Facebook page. I don’t know how good they are, but free is free.
A book I highly recommend is David Trottier’s The Screenwriter’s Bible, which is a good place to start. That’s on Amazon.
Also, hit Terry Rossio’s Wordplay and read everything in the archives, all of Terry’s articles on writing are really educational, I make a lot of my students read those.
Read scripts. Scripts, scripts, and more scripts.
This is a good source site for screenplays online: MovieScriptSource.com
Not all of these titles will be on there but some really great scripts in no particular order are When Harry Met Sally, Moonstruck, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Romancing the Stone, The Terminator, Fabulous Baker Boys, Blade Runner, Accidental Tourist, Last Boy Scout, Jaws, Shawshank Redemption, John Carpenter’s The Thing, American Beauty, and The Fugitive.
Don’t get thrown by format. Format has five parts: scene headers, scene description, dialogue cues, parentheticals, and dialogue. That’s it. Five parts. People get all whacked out by format like it’s this big complex math equation but it isn’t, script format has five very simple parts, the end, and some people don’t even use the parentheticals.
Pay attention to verbs in scene description, reading scripts, that’s where motion comes from. And to the details given in character descriptions when they are introduced, that’s character work and the first impression a reader gets of a character. Character intro’s are especially strong in Shawshank Redemption and in The Fugitive.
There you have it. Max’s down and dirty screenwriting primer for beginners.
December 31, 2013
December 29, 2013
I’m speaking online tonight in USA #Scriptchat on the do’s and dont’s to get your screenplay read, sold, and produced. Stop by and say hi.
*Congratulations to @Alexander_A_J who was the #Scriptchat winner of the random drawing for a free copy of The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide yay! #tnssg
December 26, 2013
Know what that is? Ohyez, that is Minot North Dakota going Banksy.
I did not think we were going to get North Dakota but that baby came in at the last minute, just was we were wrapping up the Stripes count for Christmas. And you know what that means, right?
[No? You so need to get out more.*]
We got every state by Christmas. Yay yay yay!
*Don’t know what Going Banksy is? Wow where have you been hiding?
December 24, 2013
At the risk of being grossly commercial here [hey it is Christmas, never say I do not understand the Christmas spirit o' commerce] if you are still running about and have not found that perfect gift for the screenwriter on your list [well diamonds would work too but let's say you are thrifty and want to keep it under thirty bucks] The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide is available at these retail stores:
That only works if you are in Austin, Hollywood, Seattle, or Boston, but hey, we are doing our best here and you ARE the one who waited until Christmas Eve to shop, jeez.
*The book is also available on :::AMAZON.COM:::. In case you get any pesky gift certificates and do not know what to do with them.