I'm writing a series of articles on improv for screenwriters. Previously I posted a list of bits on HOW to improv, this Ted talk is more aobut the whys of improv. Bear with me on these, I'm going somewhere with them. My favorite line from the video: "Listening is the willingness to change."
The premise test is simple, useful, and much harder to fill out than you'd think. Its brevity glosses over a lot of complexity and theory. In practice, it's a powerful and merciless tool that exposes flawed or incomplete thinking. Used correctly, it will save you from false starts. The premise test will tell you if... Continue Reading →
I believe that the one rule of screenwriting is be entertaining. It doesn't matter if a movie uses explosions or conversation to entertain, so long as it does. A movie may be more highbrow, but the emotions it creates come from the same reptile brain. (1) I believe in three act structure . We could have an... Continue Reading →
Blake Snyder died in 2009. I'm not here to disrespect the man, I just want to deconstruct his book.This guide is written for people who might have to quote anything about it to someone who's taking it way too seriously. Chapter Three - It's About A Guy Who... SECTION: Introduction Blake Snyder had a bunch... Continue Reading →
* Premise and conversation posted with permission. ORIGINAL PREMISE A lonely speech pathologist getting over her sons death, a nervous ticked chemist and an escaped, young alien must break into a research facility to free captive aliens or else he will never be reunited with his family. They do this by planning to break in... Continue Reading →
Here's a good series on introductory improv techniques created by Jayne Entwistle for ExpertVillage. There's a youtube playlist of it, but they were uploaded out of order, so I've arranged them in a way that makes them more accessible for beginners. I recommend you check out the full series. This is the first in a... Continue Reading →
This has been floating around the internet for years, but you might find it useful. http://www.pixartouchbook.com/blog/2011/5/15/pixar-story-rules-one-version.html Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
People occasionally cite Film Critic Hulk's indictment of the three act structure to me. I've always hated it. Film Critic Hulk's original post. My version with more standard and readable grammar. I translated it into plain English because I've always suspected that Film Critic Hulk uses his style to obfuscate poorly thought-out ideas and an extremely tenuous... Continue Reading →
So you've finished a first draft, but you've come to hate it. Maybe it's similar to a movie that just bombed. Maybe you realize you've bit off more than you can chew. Maybe it's conceptually bankrupt. Maybe it's something you've just plain come to dislike. People send me scripts that they've burnt out on all... Continue Reading →