The Root of Rootability

How to Make your Protagonist Engaging I don’t think I’m the only screenwriter to be frustrated when I’m given the note “Couldn’t the main character be… just a bit more likeable?” My frustration comes partly from the fact that a lot of my protagonists are intentionally not conventionally likeable, and partly from the note having […]

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Conversations with the Invisible Man

Writing Movies Within Your Means, pt. 3 ☛ Previously I’ve looked at how locations can bring down your budget and how to justify shooting on cheaper cameras, but you can also save money through clever use of writing itself. Dialogue When asked why his movies were so dialogue–heavy, indie auteur Hal Hartley quipped “Talk’s cheap”. […]

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Film Themes

The importance of theme ☛ I wrote a piece a little time back about the essential elements of any cinematic story, where I claimed that one of the basic building blocks is ‘theme’. At the time discussion of theme got drowned out by arguments about act structure, but I think that there’s more to say […]

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Rule of Thumbnail

Screenwriting tip #1: How to Introduce Characters in your Script   For an unknown screenwriter it’s always a struggle getting a person of influence – an agent, a development executive, a producer  – to read your script. There’s a reason for this. When these readers do turn the title page bearing an unfamiliar name, all too […]

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Left Hanging

The Art of the Open Ending ☛ Nothing guarantees a good post-movie discussion like an open ending. Some of us love up-in-the-air endings, others hate them, but what are they there for? What do they say? Given this subject matter, be warned: there will be spoilers, but I’ll try to keep them to a minimum. […]

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Breaking the Mould

The raw ingredients of a story ☛ “Not rules, principles. McKee writes that a rule says you must do it this way. A principle says, this works and has through all remembered time.” – from ‘Adaptation’, Charlie Kaufmann I recently attended a talk given by John Yorke at the BBC Drama Writers’ Festival where he […]

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