the max rules

October 9, 2010


I go to this party. I am talking to my friends Richard and Patrick. My essay contest for a Nicholl date comes up. They think it is funny as hell.

Later Richard is talking. [Richard and Patrick are both also Nicholl fellows.] He says, You know, if I heard just that a Nicholl fellow was running a competition for a date to the Nicholl awards I would be appalled. But if I hear it is Max, it is perfect and makes sense.

It occurs to me somehow I have made a life in which there are Max rules for me that only apply to me and no one else.



the winners!

October 1, 2010


On this day of —

October 1st, on or about the strike of Cinderella midnight, I hereby unveil the winners of the great date essay competition. Yay!

:::the winners:::


where the art work comes from :
that is from john carroll doyle


September 30, 2010


The —


Stay tuned to meet the winners.


where the art work comes from :
that is from black math


Submissions continue to—

Pour in to the Best Date Competition as the September 29th deadline approaches.

What lucky bastard will win a chance to accompany the accomplished Ms. Adams to the Academy’s Nicholl extravaganza?

Will any lucky bastard win a chance to accompany the accomplished Ms. Adams to the Academy’s Nicholl extravaganza?

As the deadline approaches, competition frenzy mounts….


:::best date competition:::
:::the lovely ms adams:::
:::nicholl fellowships in screenwriting:::



where the art work comes from :
that is from john carroll doyle

the geat date essay

September 22, 2010


Okay, the Essay Date Contest.

I am not sure whether this is the result of the writing community being one of the most bloodless passionless communities in the Stripes [holy fuck are you people even related to me?] or there just being way too many wannabe writers out there who should cast their nets wider, like, um, IRS agent or accountant maybe —

[Just kidding IRS agents, you rock, please do not audit me.]

[Just kidding accountants, please do not burn my tax docs.]

[Not really kidding writers, wtf?]

But, the date essays are problematic.

A few high points so far —



“I don’t do essays but I’m a fun guy.”

[Whoa, I am convinced. Where is the fun part again?]

“You’re a much better and more successful writer than I am, so you’d feel good about yourself all night.”

[Um. I’d like to feel good about my date.]

“My dear sweet Mama, now departed, always hoped ….”

[When did bringing up your mother become a good approach to getting a date?]

“Max, pick me and I’ll wear the school girl uniform!”

[This is an awards banquet not a bondage party.]

“Was on twitter for only a few days when I read you had gotten some porn, so I immediately cancelled my account and my Droid so the ‘powers that be’ would not make it look like I sent it.”

[I do not sit up nights trying to figure out who porned me on Twitter — who are you again? — but porn sure is the first subject I mention when looking for a date.]

“I entered a couple of screenplays in the Nicholl contest this year but didn’t have much luck (chuckling).”

[What a coincidence. I entered a script in Nicholl and won. Clearly we have a lot in common.]

“As awesome as it would to attend the ceremony, it’d also be invaluable to talk to YOU.”

[Wow I am so useful to you. I totally feel pretty now.]

“I bcc’d my work address, the attachments work fine.”

[Nice. Um. What about essay and photo was not clear?]

“I’m on really good anti-depressents these days.”

[Cool. Do you have a safe word in case you turn into a Summer Glau killing machine?]


Nothing personal gentlemen but Mom, porn, anti-depressants and cross dressing? Seriously?


where the art work comes from :
that is by cinema cowgirl


Ooh la la —

It is a competition of another kind. It is the Plus One Competition. Yay!

This is not my fault. It was Donna’s idea. Really. I was saying on FB that it is tragic I have this plus one to the Nicholl Fellowships Awards Banquet and all my single guy friends have gone and gotten themselves married off so now what do I do? And Donna said, Oh it is obvious essay contest! Yay! And the “WHY I WOULD BE YOUR BEST DATE FOR THE 2010 NICHOLL FELLOWSHIPS IN SCREENWRITING AWARDS AND BANQUET” essay contest was born.


Enter at your own peril.


*note, no entry fee is required this is a not for profit competition


where the art work comes from :
that is from john carroll doyle

genre writing

June 26, 2010


brokenI read —

A lot of scripts.

Not as many scripts as industry suits read.

Those poor bastards read scripts year in, year out, 24/7.

I just read a lot of scripts over the summer.

Reading scripts over the summer though, I see mistakes continually in genre writing. It kind of makes me crazy. I wonder, reading a script that obviously falls into a definite genre, what someone was thinking abandoning the genre mid-game or, worse, pre-game?

This doesn’t just apply to scripts either. Sometimes I see it in actually produced films. The mind boggles. What were these people thinking? I try to mental block those out though. There are not that many of them and usually group frat boy stupid doesn’t get as far as the million dollar mark. Anyway —



Max’s Top Five “You Just Blew Genre” Faves —

Comedies are supposed to be funny. Opening them with a funeral and five consecutive scenes containing people sobbing inconsolably by coffins and gravestones might not be the way to go.

Action Adventure kind of depends on action. Stalling a Raiders wannabe flick in the second act with 20 pages in which characters sit in a hotel room while it rains might not play so well for the genre.

The keyword in Romantic Comedy is “romantic.” It might be wise to reconsider that plethora of fart jokes. Also, this is a date film, people. Do you really think a half hour watching a guy on screen fucking different women is going to work out on date night?

Children/Family Films are supposed to be fun for kids. Generally speaking, that means the kid should get the fun action, not the mid-life crisis dad. Another thing to think about with kid films: Little kids are going to watch these films. Are people playing with severed body parts really the way to go there?

Serial Killers have been fascinating audiences for years. What is supposed to be fascinating and freaky about serial killers however is the serial killer – not the script writer who refers to decomposed bodies and evisceration as “sexy” in scene description. Rule to the wise: What characters say? Is the character talking. What scene description says? Is the writer talking. And every reader knows the difference.


where the art work comes from :
that is broken from arab queen

script consults

February 15, 2010


photo_shootI am —

Doing :::script consults::: now through March. After March, things get spotty because I will be reading for Nicholl. That does not leave a lot of free time for individual consults.


:::script consults:::


where the art work comes from :
that is from sherry

the structure course

October 9, 2009


legs_iiNovember 7 —

November 7 SeeMaxRun Structure Workshop :

Beating the Second Act Slump : 6 Week Workshop begins Saturday November 7th. This is an online 6 week advanced course on screenplay structure taught by yours truly Max Adams. Subjects include breaking the first 30 pages into two acts; Understanding set up; The 15 page escalation model; Achieving a real story climax; Deconstructing & fixing the 60 page Field second act model; Beating the second act slump.


Course fee is $240. Course length is 6 weeks. Seating is limited. Send email for course sign up info to : courses @

[You must type out the above email address without the spaces — we are trying to outwit spam bandits.]


:::more info:::


why i love greg

July 16, 2009


greg: i guess you got on those max

me: sometimes i am the ninja, sometimes i am the goat

greg: to me you are always the ninja max


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