Do You Know The Difference Between A Blockbuster And A Tentpole Movie?


These are film industry terms used to designate a film’s box office actual and predicted success. Both terms refer to large-scale studio movies designed to generate maximum profit. Low budget movies that return a profit are often referred to  “breakout hits”. BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES These refer to studio movies that are often large in scope, budget…

Personal Aspects Of Pitching


Jacob Krueger, writer for Script Magazine discuss the planning and purpose of pitch meetings, rather than actual mechanics. 1) TARGET THE RIGHT PRODUCERS  It’s astounding how many writers disregard this vital principal. In fact, Hollywood is clogged with half-baked pitches, flung haphazardly and repeatedly at any producer willing to listen, without any thought about what…

Why Solid Loglines Are So Important


Script analyst, Erik Bork discusses the importance of well executed loglines. Loglines describe a movie (or series) idea in a quick sentence or two that provide enough of an idea of what it’s about to (hopefully) seem like a grabby, fresh and commercially viable concept. They present an emotionally compelling situation for characters one can…

Self Distributing Your Film


Jason Brubaker has been helping independent filmmakers take control of selling their films. With the advent of numerous VOD and online platforms, you can now reasonably earn a living without the use of sales agents or traditional distributors. Consider the resources available to you at any given time. This should be your guide in terms…

Break Your Screenwriting Career Into Manageable Chunks


The path to screenwriting superstardom is a frustrating paradox. You represent your own unique writing voice, so technically you don’t have any competition. You are also in competition with other screenwriters to nail a voice the audience responds to. Once you establish a voice, you must crush it to write in a certain tone. ARGH!!…

Nine Elements Of Great Films


According to John Truby: 1) They tend to have strong single through line – with one overriding problem or goal for the hero – to give the story drive, momentum, and a sense of priorities, or in the extreme, a sense of the first cause. 2) They occasionally digress from that strong line to allow…

Deep Structure Of Hollywood Movies


John Truby discusses various secrets of blockbuster movies. Writing for Hollywood requires more than a good premise and strong storytelling ability. If the buyers don’t think your script will appeal to a massive worldwide audience, they won’t buy it. DESIRE LINE One element essential to good storytelling is a strong desire line (goal). The main…

Is Your Story Movie Worthy?


There is more to screenwriting than a great screenplay. Does it service a need in the film or TV industry? There is ample discussion about whether your story concept is actually a feature length movie or better served in another format. Moreover, there is subsequent discussion about whether your novel, short story, blog, poem or…

Should I Self-Produce My Screenplay?


American Screenwriters Association discusses this hot topic. Are you a writer or a writer/producer? Have you got any interest in your script or are you waiting for validation? Many screenwriters contemplate producing their their screenplay as a viable alternative to traditional selling/optioning. Self-production offers a quicker path to see your screenplay become a film. But…

Three Steps to a Killer Query Letter


Marvin Acuna from the Business Of Show Institute lists three basic guidelines to consider when crafting your next query letter: 1) KNOW YOUR MARKET Targeting CAA or any of the top-tier literary representatives as an emerging writer is simply the wrong strategy. They are shaping careers, not inventing them. They are elevating a career, not…

The Second Draft


Anne Norda is a creativity coach who helps unlock your storytelling power. After completing the first draft, the real work begins to hone and tighten your story. It is a distinct process requiring different parts of the brain. The terms may not immediately make sense, but ultimately they relate to the difference between the first…

Secrets to Writing a Low-Budget Screenplay


The average budget for a Hollywood movie is well over 8o million dollars according to David Santo. But if you’re waiting for a producer with a Scrooge McDuck sized jack to come along and finance your film you’re begging. A bigshot producer that doesn’t personally know you is not going to trust you to write…