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How To Start A Screenplay

Nothing makes people more superstitious than talking about working methods.  I had a student who told me she was fearful of “analysis blowing away the magic.”  I can understand what she meant.  It’s like asking where inspiration comes from – surely it’s something...

A Good Read

How do you earn that rarest of compliments: that your script is a ‘good read’?  Not just by having a good story, or good characters – many scripts have both, and are as dead as a dodo – but by ensuring your script is truly cinematic. Screenwriting is a...

Characters To Die For

What makes a great script?  A riveting story – or memorable characters?  You may say, both.  But for the star whom you want to attract to your script, only one thing matters: a great role. Seen from that point of view, you might want to ask yourself whether your...

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea

Why every script needs a cracking Crisis. In a satisfying film, the hero grows and learns along the way.  They may stubbornly pursue the wrong path, but there comes a point when they hit rock bottom, and realise things have to change.  Usually, this means digging deep...

A Long Slow Finish

Movie mogul Sam Goldwyn once demanded of a writer: “What we want is a story that starts with an earthquake and works its way up to a climax…”  Talk about raising expectations! Endings are the hardest thing in the world.  Nothing creates so much angst on the set, or...