Martin Brody is terrified of open water and faces a man-eating shark. Damien Karris is a priest without faith and has to exorcise a demon. Ellen Ripley is a by-the-book engineer to a fault and must break rules in order to kil...read more
Landing a meeting in this town isn’t easy, especially when you desperately want to fit the mold - you know, the one that gets you hired. That said, perfecting the art of the meeting once you actually manage to get one i...read more
Author Richard Wright once said, “The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.”
So too, shall your readers.
And if you scare them correctly, they won't simply bow. They’ll run for cover.
In ...read more
If you want to be a working screenwriter in Hollywood, you must learn the craft of executing a producer’s notes quickly and effectively.
You’ll usually get one crack at your second draft, and if you haven’t...read more
Boo! It’s that time of year again - when demons and unearthly creatures emerge to scare the bejesus out of us. And, no, I’m not talking about receiving notes from a producer or agent.
I speak of my favorite genre...read more
Posted at 04 Oct, 2014 |
By: Colin Costello | Categories: Writing Tips
"What are you prepared to do?" was Sean Connery's oft-repeated line to Kevin Costner in De Palma’s classic gangster pastiche, "The Untouchables.” To me, it perfectly sums up the screenwriter's dilemma, vis-à...read more
Once again I didn't listen to my girlfriend’s sage advice. It bit me in the ass. I broke her rule of not reading Internet reviews for my family film, “The Stream.”
I was feeling pretty good after seeing a f...read more
Posted at 09 Sep, 2014 |
By: Colin Costello | Categories: The Biz
I had a bad experience with a heavyweight producer two weeks ago. He started reading a spec of mine and called me after 40 pages to praise it. He went on to say that he never gets past page five. He then said he hoped I didn&...read more
It was a Tuesday. Who starts a class on Tuesday? This guy does, David Milch. I sort of knew who he was. Kind of. Not really. But I went anyway.
It was a long drive from Pasadena to the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills. My air co...read more
So last time we talked a little bit about meaning and how religion and movies have this in common: both try to explain and thereby, give meaning, to life. Let’s talk a little bit today about the natural enemy of meaning...read more
Posted at 11 Aug, 2014 |
By: Chris Soth | Categories: Writing Tips
I love summer movies. Why? I’m a geek. More importantly, I’m a SUPERHERO GEEK. So with Marvel dominating our multiplexes, I got to thinking about writing a superhero spec and wondering what really separates "The A...read more
Movies are a new religion. Is that sacrilege? Bear with me. What does religion, or any heartfelt code mean to do? What do movies DO?
For that matter, what does all ART do? What should every work of art, or craft (as I prefer...read more
Once upon a time, writers could live in isolation, bang away on typewriters, drink, smoke...and then poke their heads out like groundhogs and turn in their scripts.
But as the Bob Dylan song goes, “The times, they are ...read more
Years ago while finishing my first screenplay, I happened across a quote from Terry Southern that gave me pause. In it, he describes screenwriters as “completely incompetent in any other form of writing, and, of course,...read more
Imagine you’re a producer. I’ve just entered your office, sporting a baseball cap, a superhero t-shirt and shorts. I sit down, overly excited, to tell pitch my new spec.
I call it, "The Ride.” It’s a ...read more
Orson Welles once said, “A poet needs a pen, a painter needs a brush, but a filmmaker needs an army.”
Hands down, filmmaking is the most collaborative art form you'll ever work in as a writer. The screenplay is o...read more
Jen and I broke up on a Tuesday. Or was it a Wednesday? I’m not sure as it was so long ago, but I do remember we decided to call it quits at a Starbucks via email and cell. See, we had a long distance relationship. We h...read more
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