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Notes From Script Magazine for Screenwriters by Bob-1

TIPS FROM REAL WRITERS                   My Notes From Study Articles


1. Script:V6#6, P. 56
“In the Room” (Pitch room)
1. Be ready to pitch your project on the spot
2. Research the company you think should produce
3. Prepare a 3,15,30 minute presentation
4. Pitch in present tense ….use characters names
5. Pitches must be memorized
6. Exc. Are trained not to react, keep cool and going
7. Write out your pitch on cards if need be
8. Pitch meeting is a job interview, be professional, punctual
9. Sell yourself and the script…Award Winning!
10. No real rules in Pitch meeting, do what best fits you
11. It’s imperative that you don’t waste the listener’s time
12. Answer their questions directly and succinctly
13. They want to know what makes your story and characters unique
14. Only compare your script with box office hits
15. Avoid suggesting a specific talent-unless asked to
16. Entice them to read it, but don’t give away the ending
17. However, don’t be coy about answering any questions
18. Listen-take comments seriously-don’t argue point
19. Exc. know what they are doing- thank them for their time
20. Doubts expressed mean the end of the pitch
21. Be ready to pitch another project
22. Afterwards-celebrate-send thank you card

2. Script: V6#6,p.58,”The Boring First Page”
1. Don’t have one
2. Establish mood, atmosphere,  and characters
3. Have action right away, but not too much
4. Not too many characters at once, get to know each
5. Start with a bang but with dramatic conflict
6. Scenes are more effective when audience/reader is asking questions about what is going to happen
7. Don’t have one

3. Script: V6#6, p.26 “Ten Things Agents Wish Writers Knew”
1.You probably don’t need an agent as much as you think you do
2.You need talent…have a talented pitch
3.Do your research on text. points
4.Don’t expect the big dollars right out
5.Don’t call your agent to just check in
6.Never interfere with a deal
7.Become a member of the community
8.Form a relationship with your kind
9.Play up your value
10.Your script needs to be good enough for someone to risk their job!

4. Script: V6#6, p.16 “Making the A-List”
Simply put: Write a script that makes the studio a lot of money
p.26 “Cutting Class”(make film proper length)
1. Don’t repeat same information
2. Trim sentences, have real conversations, compact information
3. Two good examples are in column 3 page 26 on compacting
4. Start the story early, not of page 30

10. Script,v6n5 “Avoid Screen Writing Clichés”
1 .re-invent sterotypes
2. don’t  write about a serial killer
1. cliché is he was abused as a child, has secret weapons, showing up anywhere he wants, is the hero,ets.
3 .Scripts about making it in Hollywood
4.Write about what you know, not about people going nowhere
5.Cop Cliches…getting chewed out by his boss, wife threatening divorce, etc
6. Comic Cliches: Wacky Script: wacky characters( not real)
a. tons of refererences to other movies and bad puns
b. don’t do Austin Powers 3

11. Script,v6n5 “Ageless Dialogue”
1. Age of short dialogues
a. does not build the character well
b. Hawkeye is an example, Mash
2.secret: writers ask the world to “listen”
3. Point: build you character’s and entertain with good dialogue

12. Contests:
1. Santa Barbara int. film festival- March 8-18 805-963-0023
Contests: (continued)
2.Black and Blu Ent.-10-30,
3.Cinestory Screenwritinng Comp. 9-15
4.Hollywood Screenplay Discovery Awards- Monthly
5.Klasky Csupo Script Writing Comp.-11-17, short script
6.Daily Script’s Get A Life Screenwriting Comp.-12-1,
7.Archer Prize for the Screenplay,($25) Dec.30th,, Paris Belletric,   264 S. La Cienega Blvd. #1242, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
      8 .Monterey County Film Commission Screenwriting Competition, 12-31, $40, sub. Must be accompanied by synopsis info., P.O box 111, Monterey, CA 93942-0111,
1.  Script Mag. , contests@s,SASE to Script Mkag. 5638 Sweet Air Road, Baldwin, MD,21013
2.  Nicholl Fellowship Competition, Academo of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences., sase to 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills CA 90211
3. . Hollywood 27:, 1035 Hannah Ave., Forest Park Il. 60130
4.  American Cinema Foundation., 911 W. Pico Blvd. Suite 510, Los Angeles CA 90035-2715
5.  New Century Writer,
6.  FilmContest,, filmmakers Collective, 1328 Broadway, Suite 1024 PMB 98, New York, NY 10001
7.. Open Door.
8. Scriptapalooza,
9. Write Movies,
11. American Accolades screenwriting,
12. Slamdance:
13. Writer’s Digest:
14. Igottascript:
15. Screen Credit:
16. Alliance:
17. Unique Television:

13. Writer’s Digest, Jan 2001 Is.
“You Can Do It!”…Cynthia Whitcomb
1. Wrote ten scripts before her break, even then, they had her write one of their choice, but she stuck with it and has made her living at it ever since. Following are her tips.
a. . Winners never quit………The only way you’ll know that you’ve failed is if you quit.  It took her years and 120 rejections.
b. . Make it a dozen….sent it out to 12 different people.
c. . Twenty things I can do to push my career forward……they can be big or small but get 20 things on your list. “Amateurs hope, professionals work.”
d.  Fifteen minutes a day……..wheel and deal 15 minutes a day, five days a week, make it happen
e.  Don’t stop writing…..start a new one, then a new one. When rejected on the first one you say “this “ is the big one.
f. No deadlines. No alternatives. …….do not program your subconscious mind to fail……no failure in five years attitude….
g.  A thousand people. ……started out when I did, but gave it up. I beat the competition!
h.  This road leads only to success……….just keep moving forward, one step at a  time……a failure is like stepping in dog do-do, wipe it off and keep going.
i. . Don’t let the business get you down…it is what it is.

14. Script. V7, #3, p.28 “When creativity Counts”
(learn from this girls mistakes)(Summer Houston)
1. Sending scripts did not work
2. Calls did not work
3. Letters did not work
4. Switch board and secretaties did not work
5. E-mails did not work at first
5. Went to taco bell outside Warner studios and gave

15.  Script:V 8, #1 p.52- Susan Kouguell- Query Letters
1. Professionals view query letters as a reflection of the writer’s screenplay and writing skills
2. enthusiasm, passion about project must shine- stand out- be original!
3. one page- business letter form- content that is important- not design
4. use short paragraphs-
5. call ahead to get right persons name- type letters
6. express confidence in your work
7. don’t talk about actors or millions of dollars as a lure
8. include background- Robert McGee grad.-
9. did it place in a national contest?- include this
10. if you compare your film- do so only with  box office success
11. don’t mention too much about other scripts- why haven’t they sold?
12. do not send a synopsis along with your material unless asked
13. never send a script that has not been invited
14.  follow same format as in past- your name at top, followed by date, followed by name at production company, executives name, title, address, dear Mr. Or Ms followed by:
15. begin with attention grabber- logline
16. like to submit for your consideration
17. project may match your company
18. describe your script in the present tense
19. three or four sentences
20. genre- actual character names-
21. what their major obstacle is
22. how they plan to overcome it
23. avoid using too much plot description
24. entice the reader- don’t give away the ending-
25. brief  bio of experience- film background
26. credits-awards
27. always be honest
28. can enclose a self addressed, stamped envelope for reply
29. “I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
30. reach out to all companies-not just big ones
31. read trade mags- Variety and Hollywood Reporter
34. After your letter is sent:
35. exe. Assistant reads script, may recommend it, ask for synopsis, make ask for pitch
36. If months pass- probably not interested- do not call after only weeks-
37. never pay a reading fee
38. abide by WGA rules
39. generally they will send a release letter
40. if from reputable company- do not be afraid to sign it
41. you don’t have to get in bed with the first person that is interested-

16. Script: Jan/Feb 2002- p. 46 “Writing for the Stars- dialogue”
1. stars bring intense focus to what they do
2. a stellar actor brings his single mindedness to his reading
3. they look at the good role instead of structure
4. shape characters into roles and then into plot points
5. a role is a succession of opportunities for the actor to make character points
6. these are “strokes” or “juicy moments”
7. a striking change of mood, a display of passion, exertions of willpower
8. actors must, must, must have these moments!!!!
9. Sudden shift: Rick in Casablanca finals scene- cool command to tenderness to murderous rage to numb resignation to wry humor.
10. each was set up and therefore is believable
11. passion: surround your character with restraints and then let them build to an explosion
12. Chariots of Fire- passion emerges only when he runs
13. willpower: Witness- John Book-Harrison Ford- drives to Amish country wounded- defeats the bad guys-
14. juicy dialogue: actors love good dialogue-sparkling, speak able, playable lines
15. almost all speeches in a screen play are speakable in a single breathe
16. one speech-one breathe
17. one speech-one subject
18. catch and pitch: play ball with words- “Scarlett, I don’t give a damn what you do in your future……vs…….”Frankly, my dear, I  don’t give a damn.”
19. actors want concrete, not abstracts

17. Script- J/f-2002. 20 William Martel,“ jump start your career”
1. Make a plan: real/unreal
2. One page a day script- one good page- 3 scripts a year
3. send out five query letters a week- cost 1.70
4. don’t need an agent to make a sale- need a good script
5. send out five query letters a week to producers- list of fifty- each will see your name 5 times a year…
6. read trades on line for free at Yahoo!- read them!
7. know what sold- go to web at Done Deal- keep a record
8. Start Idea book- already got it! Dialogue ideas! An idea a day!
9. Make producer flash cards from the trades
10. see a movie a week- be part of an audience-
11. send directors fan mail-new movie- Yeah! New deal-Yeah!
12. Go to a film festival- meet people
13. Discover an image that fits me- a logo?
14. Greeting cards-send to your favorite producers-
15. make a film or a picture film
16. find a…

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