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    ‘Nightingale’ writer Frederick Mensch discusses the fast-paced ramp up into production

    ‘Nightingale’ writer Frederick Mensch discusses the fast-paced ramp up into production

    Frederick Mensch, founder of the online screenwriting database MovieBytes, can now add working screenwriter to his resume. His uncompromising screenplay, 'Nightingale', was recently made into a movie by HBO, starring Golden-Globe nominee David Oyelowo. 'Nightingale' is the first movie to be made from a script uploaded to the Black List, and has launched Mensch’s career many years after he began writing. Mensch discusses his long journey from film school to Hollywood, how to write a film with one character and one location, and the importance of writing a “splashy role” that will attract a movie star to your project.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Better Call Saul writer Gennifer Hutchison on how she learned to be an asset to the writers' room in any role

    Better Call Saul writer Gennifer Hutchison on how she learned to be an asset to the writers' room in any role

    Television writer Gennifer Hutchison has spent time in some of the most famous writers' rooms of recent years.  Her roles have spanned everything from producer’s assistant to supervising producer on the wildly popular and critically acclaimed Better Call Saul.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Jason Dean Hall writes the controversial true story of Chris Kyle’s life in ‘American Sniper’

    Jason Dean Hall writes the controversial true story of Chris Kyle’s life in ‘American Sniper’

    Jason Dean Hall discusses what it was like to tell the story of Chris Kyle in 'American Sniper', a polarizing figure whose controversial and disturbing story broke box-office records. The writer's deeply personal connection to the story is filling the trades and garnering awards attention while, in a world far away from Hollywood, the trial for Kyle's tragic murder is taking place.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Final Draft Insider View With Comedian-Screenwriter Jim Jefferies

    Final Draft Insider View With Comedian-Screenwriter Jim Jefferies

    Comedian-screenwriter-actor Jim Jefferies bares all about his writing process, getting a series on the air, and killing off characters - even disabled ones.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    'Truth’ writer-director James Vanderbilt talks film school, researching true stories, and landing Robert Redford

    'Truth’ writer-director James Vanderbilt talks film school, researching true stories, and landing Robert Redford

    James Vanderbilt talks about researching 'Truth,' the controversial courtroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS '60 Minutes' report that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Professional Script Reader Kelly Boruff discusses the do's and don't of Screenwriting

    Professional Script Reader Kelly Boruff discusses the do's and don't of Screenwriting

    Professional script reader Kelly Boruff talks about the most important qualities your script should have, how to deal with the notes process, and what rules she likes to see broken on the page. 

    Original author: Final Draft
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    ‘Jim Gaffigan Show’ co-writer Jeannie Gaffigan talks collaboration, balance, and Jim’s appetite

    ‘Jim Gaffigan Show’ co-writer Jeannie Gaffigan talks collaboration, balance, and Jim’s appetite

    Final Draft chats with Jeannie Gaffigan about The Jim Gaffigan Show, her latest series with comedian husband Jim. Jeannie and Jim Gaffigan’s writing/producing credits include such shows as Mr. Universe, Obsessed, King Baby, Beyond the Pale, and My Boys. Now they are sharing their real and chaotic life with fans on the new TV Land series which explores one man’s struggle to find a balance between fatherhood, stand-up comedy and an insatiable appetite. Jeannie discusses her theater background, as well as her collaboration with husband Jim Gaffigan as they became a comedy power couple, and the challenges they faced while balancing a large family with a successful comedy career.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    'Blackish' creator Kenya Barris and show runner Jonathan Groff

    'Blackish' creator Kenya Barris and show runner Jonathan Groff

    ‘Black-ish’ co-showrunners, Kenya Barris and Jonathan Groff, discuss the road to creating hit shows Talented television creators Kenya Barris and Jonathan Groff have teamed up on the new hit ABC television show 'Black-ish'.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    ‘Brooklyn’ writer Nick Hornby talks influences, the joy of collaboration and finding beauty in the ordinary

    ‘Brooklyn’ writer Nick Hornby talks influences, the joy of collaboration and finding beauty in the ordinary

    Nick Hornby talks about adapting ‘Brooklyn,’ the dramatic romance about an Irish immigrant (Saoire Ronan) who finds love and must choose between two countries.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, from USC to 'Big Eyes'

    Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, from USC to 'Big Eyes'

    Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski walk us through their first meeting as students at USC, to their latest project, 'Big Eyes'.

    Original author: Final Draft
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    Kay Cannon talks going from ‘30 Rock’ to ‘Pitch Perfect’

    Kay Cannon talks going from ‘30 Rock’ to ‘Pitch Perfect’

    Kay Cannon talks about her beginnings at Second City, what it was like to work in the Writer's Room of '30 Rock', her hit movie franchise 'Pitch Perfect', and the difference between writing for film and television. 

    Original author: Final Draft
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    From June to September

    Publication Date

    4-25-2008

    Disciplines

    Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Women's Studies

    Recommended Citation

    Fisk, Brent A., "From June to September" (2008). Annual Writing Contest. Paper 2.https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ws_contest/2

    Original author: A.
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    Joan of Arc Swaps Scissors for a Sword

    Publication Date

    4-25-2008

    Disciplines

    Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing | Women's Studies

    Recommended Citation

    Reynolds, Kimberly J., "Joan of Arc Swaps Scissors for a Sword" (2008). Annual Writing Contest. Paper 1.https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ws_contest/1

    Original author: J.
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    A Conversation with Elaine Bossik, Author of The Last Victim

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    A Conversation with Elaine Bossik, Author of The Last Victim

    Scriptologist.com spoke with Elaine Bossik about her new novel, The Last Victim. Scriptologist.com (Q): Where did the idea for The Last Victim come from?

    Elaine Bossik (EB): I was in a writing workshop where writers share their writing and offer critiques and suggestions. I wrote what I thought was a short story, but it was really a vignette. The group encouraged me to continue the story and develop the characters. This vignette turned out to be the first chapter of my novel.

    Q: Did you plot your entire story before you started writing?

    EB: I had to know the beginning, the middle, and the end before I started writing. For me, I have to know my ending so I know where the story is leading. Read more....

    Recommend Scriptologist.com      

      

    Read the Latest Film Industry News:American Cinema Editors (ACE) To Honor J.J. Abrams UNIVERSAL CITY, California, December 30, 2016 ­ Award-winning producer, writer and director J.J. Abrams has been selected by the Board of Directors of American Cinema Editors (ACE) to be honored with the organization¹s prestigious ACE Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year Award. The award will be presented at the 67th Annual ACE Eddie Awards black-tie ceremony on Friday, January 27, 2017 in the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

    "J.J. Abrams is a once-in-a-generation artist who has been making his mark in cinema and television for over twenty years," stated the ACE Board of Directors. Read more...   

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    How To Sell Your Screenplay: An Interview With Film Insider Laurie Scheer

    Q: Was there a working methodology you had for choosing screenplays and teleplays that were worthy of production?

    LS: Essentially, it would be whoever I was reading for at the time. When you do reading, you are told by whoever you are reading the script for what it is that you're looking for. Working at ABC, you were looking for stuff to develop into series. Working at Viacom, you were looking for movie series. I worked for Meg Ryan for a while on a freelance basis.

    I had to keep in mind [that] obviously a script about a James Bond character traveling around the world would not be perfect for her. You had to tailor what you were reading. Could Meg Ryan either act in this or would she be interested in producing this herself? The [question] is, why are you reading? Everyone wants a script that's going to open up with a huge blockbuster opening weekend.

    Q: So, they didn't really lay down any specific guidelines?

    LS: No.

    Q: Would you use your instincts to determine what would be best for them?

    LS: For the specific company or the actor. Unless you've been given a specific. Otherwise, it's just, 'Is this a good script?'

    Q: Was there a submission process at the various companies you worked for that people had to go through? 

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    How To Format Flashbacks In A Screenplay

    Here is an example of formatting a transition to a flashback and a flashback scene:

    INT. SAIGON HOTEL ROOM – DAY (1983)

    Kim gets up from the sofa. Crosses the room to the window. Gazes down at people walking along the street. She stares at a mother and a young girl about herown age.

                                                                                                           FLASHBACK TO:

    INT. SAIGON HOSPITAL – DAY (1981)

    Kim's mother is in a hospital bed. Kim is holding her hand, squeezing hard.

                                                    KIM                           Mother, mother open your eyes.

    Kim drops her mother's lifeless hand. She stares with unbelieving eyes.A voice calls her name, "Kim! Kim!"

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    How To Write A Screenplay About Factual Events

    JFK

    How To Write A Screenplay About Factual Events

    Writing about factual events is both appealing and challenging for screenwriters. Many films have been promoted with the tag line, based on fact.

    Oliver Stone based the script for his film, JFK, on two non-fiction books: Jim Garrison's On The Trail Of The Assassins and Jim Marrs's Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. The mainstream news media tried to discredit the film before it had even been released. But the media only succeeded in drawing attention to the film, ensuring its success. When Stone published the script for JFK in book form, he included 340 research notes with supporting facts for the story, as well as news articles written by high-profile journalists who chose to attack the film.

    In writing the script for JFK, Stone condensed a large number of events and characters from the Kennedy assassination. He chose New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as the protagonist (hero) and businessman Clay Shaw as the antagonist (villain). Garrison was the only person to ever charge and prosecute anyone for involvement in the Kennedy assassination. He charged Clay Shaw for conspiring with other people to murder President Kennedy. Shaw was the director of the International Trade Mart—a business organization—and worked for the CIA.

    Oliver Stone uses Jim Garrison's investigation of Clay Shaw as the main focus of JFK. In the film, Garrison determines that Shaw planned the Kennedy assassination with David Ferrie, a CIA agent who knew Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused by the U.S. Government of being the lone gunman in the assassination.

    Stone uses the trial of Clay Shaw in the film to show that multiple gunmen were involved in the assassination. In the court room scenes, Jim Garrison tells the jury that the assassination was carried out through the use of assassins firing guns at President Kennedy from three different locations in Dealey Plaza. Garrison explains the actions of the assassins by showing and analyzing the Zapruder film, a real-life 8mm film in which President Kennedy is shot to death.

    By focusing on Jim Garrison's investigation and the trial of Clay Shaw, Oliver Stone clarifies and dramatizes factual events from the Kennedy assassination. By choosing Garrison as the protagonist and Shaw as the antagonist, Stone avoided using too many characters. The result is a film that shapes facts into a riveting story. 

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    How To Introduce A Character In A Screenplay

    In a character introduction, the name of the character is stated first. The description of the character follows the name. The character's name is written in capital letters the first time it appears and before the character speaks for the first time.

    Example:

    KELLY BRANDT clutches her camera as she pushes through a crowd of people who are gaping with shocked expressions at flames leaping from a nearby building. KELLY's  stark beauty and intense blue eyes are illuminated in the firelight as she presses forward, determined to get her first story assignment on the front page of tomorrow's Daily Gazette.

    In the character description of Kelly, her age isn't specified. But the description of her beauty, her eyes, the way she  moves with determination, and the fact that this is her first story assignment provide clues that she's young. When Kelly "pushes through a crowd," we learn that she's assertive and ambitious. Kelly's personality characteristics are defined by her actions here, as well as by the physical description of her.

    It takes only a few sentences to describe a character. But keep in mind that you need to carefully choose the descriptive words that best define the character and his or her personality.

    Example:

    Down the street, ALLEN  MARSHALL steps out of his jeep. ALLEN is thirty-two years old, unshaven, dressed in faded jeans, T-shirt, boots, and a cap emblazoned with WBBD Radio. He moves with long, confident steps toward the crowd and the burning building.

    In the description of Allen, his age is stated. The way Allen is dressed and the fact that he is unshaven tells us a great deal about him. Also, he's driving a jeep—another expression  of personality. We can see that Allen is defiant, cares little about what others think of his appearance, and is very confident, which he expresses in the way he walks. The cap he's wearing provides clues about his job and complements his personality. The jeep fits in well with Allen's unshaven face, his faded jeans, and his boots.

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