Hard and the Action Movie
Martell. Martell does his usual probing analysis of the film "Die
Hard," along with the most entertaining history of how the
movie got to be made. Real insight into the clockworks of the
Hollywood movie machine, but the best part is Martell's analysis
of what makes an action movie tick.
Terry Rossio. Witty and insightful column on doing adaptations.
Also threads in a riff about getting your script in on time. Or
Petrie Jr. Guest Wordplay (Terry Rossio) column. Delightfully
entertaining and informative article on the subject. Gives verbatim
responses from Agents who appeared at a Hollywood symposium. Extremely
worthwhile, honest advice.
You Always Wanted to Know About an Agent but were Afraid to Ask.
Wendy Moon. From a column on Hollywoodnet. The hard facts about
breaking into the Castle of Hollywood. Also a cornucopia of other
articles on this page. Good visit. Recommended
Rossio. Whimsical Multiple choice self-test, which sugar coats
good hard facts about the animated feature business in Jollywood.
Audience is Listening.
Rossio. Highly readable column by the always entertaining Terry
Rossio. He details one of the most important, and often overlooked
principles of screenplay writing--the writer's sense of his or
her audience, how to understand, please, excite, and not offend
or patronize people who lay down their bucks at the box-office.
of a Screenplay
Siegel. Siegel boils the art of the screenplay down to "Premise,
People, and Plot." He has a website on which he promotes his paradigm
of the "Nine-Act Structure." Enthusiastic and genuine, but the
concepts still tend to feel like a retread of Syd Field. Siegel's
website, for its design and energy, is a recommended stop on your
tour of the Web.
a Plot Is
Bill Johnson (Lawrence Booth, Ed.). Solid, accessible attempt
to define the essential nature of a story. Of particular interest
is Johnson's take on what an audience desires of a story. A Must-Read.
Idea of Structure
Deemer. Short article on laying out basic structure of a story
idea by the well-nown internet Guru. Deemer's website, although
heavily commercial, is well worth a visit.
the Foundations of Storytelling
Bill Johnson. Seven page essay detailing 15 principles Johnson
suggests are necessary for a screenwriter to understand.
Rossio. " Task" is a four-letter word you OUGHT to use, according
Rossio. He's right, and he deftly distinguishes (with examples)
the differences between Hero's oal and Hero's Task.
Toscan. Potpourri of articles from this unique site. Toscan is
allied with Amazon books. The site is a maze, and if you want
to get the full benefit, you have to visit it.
Becoming a Screenwriter
Don't Have to Live in Hollywood to Sell Your First Script
Andrea Leigh Wolf. Wolf should know. She did it. And she's on
her 34th screenplay as of this writing.
From the Trenches
Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption). Essay on the essence of
being a screenwriter and director. This is what Oz is like, Dorothy.
In The Towel
Rossio. Rossio tells it like it is, but you feel good at the end,
like you do after a two hour session with your Rolf specialist,
after a 12K, after a day at the beach with your three preschoolers
and their six little friends, or after diving into Lake Muskoka
in April. Yeah!
Five Types of Openings
Hauge. Concise column from Hauge's site which describes, in summary
form, five types of openings for features.
First Ten Pages
York Screenwriters Monthly. A cautionary tale for beginning writers,
and other denizens of the movie world.
In Magazine. "The burdens of success can burn out even the brightest
young stars." Having it tough in Tinseltown.
3 Steps to a Feature Film Sale
Terry Rossio. Rossio writes a letter to his friend Steve, and
shares it with us. Down-to-earth, practical, and as usual laced
engaging ironic wit.
Rossio. Do you have to move to L.A. to be successful? An anecdotal
feast on the topic with just the right soupçon of wisdom.
Rossio. The best article on the net about naming characters. Must
Great Villain With a Great Plan
William Martell (Hard Evidence) as interviewed by Eric Lilleor.
The good gritty from Martell on to create powerful believable
bad guys. Specific examples. Practical tips.
Rossio. How heroes and failure work ogether in stories. Appealing
anecdote about Superman.
350 BC. The famous Greek's codifying of the art of storytelling.
Academic in its tone, but brimming with clarity and careful thought
about fundamental principles that still have application today.
Quote by one screenwriter, "There are three types of people in
the world, those who take Aristotle too seriously, those who don't
take him seriously enough, and those who don't take him at all."
Find out which type you are.
What Is The Good For Plato?
Suzanne. Excerpt from an online site on Plato. Somewhat dense
for those of us who are not philosophers, but offers insight into
the eternal question of what virtue is and why a human being should
strive for it.
Campbell Tribute Page
David Siegel. Thumbnail of an interview with the great mythologist
conducted by Bill Moyer. Score: Campbell 10, Moyer 0.
Campbell: Hero With a Thousand Faces
David Siegel. Short summary of Campbell's thesis on the commonality
of heroes. For those who prefer to discover what Campbell is all
about in the time it takes to sip a cappuccino.
Steal This Column
Rossio. When your paranoiac alter ego akes possession of you and
you're plagued by fears that someone may "steal your script,"
here's the remedy--for both the real and unreal fears. Practical
advice about how to protect your work, and an entertaining real
life story that underscores the human frailties that cause some
people to fail at trying to write. Get your sense of balance here.
Rossio. Copyright information re screenplay titles, plus mini
lesson on the importance of care in naming your script.