» Posts Tagged ‘rules’

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Tony Gilroy BAFTA Screenwriting Lecture 5 Simple Rules for Writing an Original ScreenplayNarrative film is certainly a collaborative medium, but almost always it begins with a writer putting words on a page. The blank page, unfortunately, isn’t the most collaborative partner. So, how do you write an original screenplay? Every writer has his or her own methods, and I think we can learn a great deal from the methods of a successful screenwriter. A few days ago, writer/director Tony Gilroy tackled this most basic question of how to write an original screenplay in his talk at the BAFTA Screenwriting Lecture series, which essentially boils down to five simple rules. More »

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Elmore LeonardWhen I heard about Elmore Leonard’s passing earlier this week, I’m sure I had the same thought many writers had: “I need to read more Elmore Leonard novels.” A few months ago, I read Road Dogs, Leonard’s follow-up to Out of Sight, and realized as much as I have enjoyed Leonard’s characters and stories, I’ve consumed most of them as movies. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have this experience as over 40 film and television projects have adapted Leonard’s work since the late 1950s. Thankfully for writers, Leonard gave us more than his novels and short stories. The prolific author also distilled his habits into the book Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, and you can watch Leonard talk about these rules in the video below. More »

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Jim JarmuschThe last person I’d ever expect to give a list of golden rules of moviemaking would be independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. It isn’t because he’s not brilliant — I’m sure we’ve all seen Broken Flowers and Dead Man – it’s because he’s a maverick — a non-conformist. His narratives deviate from the traditional form, instead following a more experimental approach. So, it sounds insane for, and so unlike Jim Jarmusch to have compiled a handful of rules on moviemaking, but once you read them, you’ll realize they’re not so much rules as they are — anti-rules. Check them out after the jump More »

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As aspiring screenwriters, we tend to look for tips, tricks, or shortcuts to improve our screenwriting, but inevitably we have to do the hard work of writing the story. Moreover, we want our unique voices to pop off the page, engaging and surprising our readers, and someone else’s rules for screenwriting (beyond the basics of story structure and screenplay format) may mute our unique voices. So, with this in mind, screenwriter Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Minority Report, The Lookout) shared his rules for screenwriting during his recent BAFTA Screenwriting Lecture. Note: these rules only pertain to Scott Frank, not to you. More »