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Character Fireworks

There was a lively discussion on Scriptchat two days ago with guest Scott Myers. The topic was character-driven screenwriting. I joined in with the other busily-tweeting screenwriters near the end of the chat and was amazed at the great info flying around. On a related note, I have recently been discovering how a minor scene […]

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Scene Transitions and The Wedding Planner

John August and Craig Mazin took on the topic of scene transitions recently in Scriptnotes Ep. 61. They were inspired upon noticing a Terry Rossio-led discussion in the Austin Film Festival (AFF) listings. (To learn about Terry Rossio’s other AFF session, see my previous post.) While Terry Rossio calls the scene transition “the throw,”  John […]

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Considering the Actor

I was fortunate to attend a “Revisions” session with screenwriter Terry Rossio at the recent Austin Film Festival. Since then, I’ve been eagerly using my new found wisdom. One idea from Terry that really resonated with me is how to take the actor into consideration when writing. Here are a few of Terry Rossio’s tips […]

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Four Comedians Talk Writing Process

Jumping jacks to facilitate blood flow to the brain? A rigorous daily writing ritual? Sometimes it’s hard to know what the best process is for writing. Four comedy writers shared their own writing processes at a recent Austin Film Festival panel. Larry Doyle, former writer/director for The Simpsons and writer of I Love You, Beth […]

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Pro Tips on Scripts

There were some interesting tips today at the Austin Film Festival session on “Writing a Script That Will Stick.” Black List creator Franklin Leonard moderated, interviewing several industry pros.  He asked each panelist to elaborate on what they look for in a script and what catches their attention. Sharing their expertise were panelists Matthew Gross […]

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Throw Out the Buttons

It happened to me after my youngest daughter came into our lives.  A re-awakening of sorts.  Up until then, I was pretty good at maintaining my façade of perfection.  Some might argue with this, but I felt like things were pretty darn orderly and organized with two kids around.  I initially expected the status-quo to […]

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Notes and Rewrites

Thanks to my local screenwriting group, I recently had the privilege to sit through a table read for my comedy screenplay.  It was an incredibly useful experience.  I got some extremely helpful feedback.  A lot of the recommendations were things I would have told myself – if I were coming to the screenplay fresh as […]

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Traveling Solo

Usually I travel with three kids in tow. But a few days ago, I ventured alone for the funeral of a close family member. In many ways, it was a melancholy, introspective sort of trip. However, the silver lining for me was being on my own. Unaccompanied, I found many moments to observe and study […]

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Comedy Timing and James Burrows

I heard an interesting NPR interview in the car this morning, Making A Comedy Pilot? You Might Want To Call James Burrows by Neda Ulaby. The new CBS sitcom which James Burrows directs, Partners, airs tonight.  But Burrows is a veteran of sitcom writing and directing.  He has directed more than 50 pilots, including Cheers, […]

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What Have We Got Here?

I’ve been looking over someone’s screenplay for ideas on how to re-work it.  As I was tossing around concepts, I began to realize that the simplest solution would be the best.  Simplest is usually best, right? My dinner plans this evening brought this home to me again.  It’s a Sunday night, and I always seem […]

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