Not All Comedy Films Are Equal


Comedy is one of the hardest screenplay genres for screenwriters to master. This is because comedy movies are so broad, so personal and so nuanced.  The writing style ranges from jokes so subliminal they barely register with the audience, to laugh out loud slapstick humor. Writing comedy movie and TV scripts is serious business, so…

A Rough Guide To Independent Film Finance


I’ve previously written posts on financing movies in the studio arena. The principals of raising independent film finance are similar. The main difference lies in the extended patchwork of funding sources to get an indie film made. Each piece of the budget pie also tends to be smaller. There is no hard and fast rule…

Do You Know The Difference Between Screenplay OPTION and SHOPPING Agreements?


If you’re one of those screenwriters who’ve had their film scripts purchased outright, on the spot, in pitch meetings, you’ve conquered the virtually impossible. Congratulations, it is the pinnacle of your screenwriting career. For most writers, they are typically offered one of two types of screenplay agreements, an option agreement or a shopping agreement. Option…

10 Ways To Define Your Characters By Their Speech Patterns


Screenwriters often define their characters in two key ways; via their dramatic function such as protagonist or antagonist. and by their personality traits such as kindness, selfishness or generosity. However, we can also enhance our screenwriting by paying attention to character speech patterns. This is not just their dialog (actual words spoken), but more the way…

We Don’t Need Another Hero (Or Do We?)


The main character in screenwriting is often referred to as the hero. They differ from the main characters or protagonist in a film, because they must display great strength and courage to battle intense danger. They are more than fighters who battle the bad guys. They are selfless warriors who play the long game. Traditional Heroes…

13 Types Of Screenplay Endings


The first and last pages of your screenplay should arguably be the most memorable. They represent the first taste of your film which draws the reader and in, and the final impression. Here are some different types of endings you may consider: BOOK END ENDING This is an unusual type of ending where the final scene…

How To Plan A Live Read Of Your Screenplay In A Few Simple Steps


You’ve finished your screenplay and you’re ready to organize a table read. Good for you. You’re taking your screenwriting to the next level. What do you need to do to organize a live table read? FIND A SPACE Don’t do this in a public space like a cafe or a train station. Find a quiet…

8 Types Of Scripts Every Self Respecting Screenwriter Needs To Know


Screenwriters are told to have two key types of screenplays in their arsenal. Spec scripts and original screenplays. Hands up if you know the difference between the two. For those of you who didn’t raise their hands, here are the answers: 1) ORIGINAL SCRIPT I’m sure you can guess what this means. Any screenplay that…

Why Do Flawed Characters Self Sabotage?


It is a screenwriter’s duty to explore the characters in their screenplays in depth. Especially if they’re flawed, because they make more interesting characters with potentially stronger character arcs. Character flaws are limitations or imperfections that prevent characters from achieving their story goals. A character becoming aware of their flaws forms the basis of their…