Show Don’t Tell

Show Don’t Tell

In my recent short-form screenwriting class, a student asked about the ‘show don’t tell’ technique/rule/commandment. I think the easiest way to explain it, isn’t. Instead, let me show you. First pass: There is a knock on the door. Louise answers, Mr. Harbinger has returned. He 

Most Glaring Screenplay Problem: Lesson 1

Most Glaring Screenplay Problem: Lesson 1

LESSON 1: UNDERDEVELOPED PLOTS   I love this visual. In fact, I love it so much I thought I would spend 10 articles writing about each category. I came across this image in an email recently (you may have gotten too). Maybe it was the 

Based On or Inspired By… Who Cares!

Based On or Inspired By… Who Cares!

The terms “based on” and “inspired by” suggest very different standards of adherence to the facts providing the ideas for a film and the degree of fictionalization used to enhance the story, change the narrative, or make the film more marketable. A film that was “inspired 

Place Called Sacramento Script Deadline: March

Place Called Sacramento Script Deadline: March

Call for Film Scripts – Take a Class to Help

Short-Form Screenwriting Class Begins…

Short-Form Screenwriting Class Begins…

Screenwriting Competition — Now Accepting Screenplays Is your script ready?  Writing screenplays is a beast, so shouldn’t a short screenplay be easier.YES. And I believe they are – if you know what you’re doing.Most people try to do too much in short screenplays. The key 

Embracing Criticism or Stop Being Right

Embracing Criticism or Stop Being Right

There’s a reason I like to call it feedback instead of criticism. First, feedback doesn’t sound so harsh, and second, most people (even writers) don’t know how to properly give constructive criticism. But let’s look at the word criticism before we decide how to deal 

Screenwriting Competition Strategies

Screenwriting Competition Strategies

Screenwriting competitions require strategies;   You’ve worked hard on your script. Plotting. Crafting. Writing. Rewriting. Reading. Rewriting. Basically, you’ve done everything you can to make your script, YOUR STORY, the absolute best it can be. Now what?  There are literally hundreds of screenwriting competitions, and while 

My Students Take 50% of the Wins!

My Students Take 50% of the Wins!

Of the ten winners from a Place Called Sacramento Screenwriting competition, half of them came from my recent screenwriting class. The winners were announced last week, and though I knew of two, I hadn’t heard about the rest. I was floored. Several students that I 

Take the Easterseals Disability 2018 Film Challenge!

Take the Easterseals Disability 2018 Film Challenge!

Ready to put your film maker and writer skills to use? Th 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is right around the corner. It’s a 3-day challenge, starting Friday, April 13. In order to participate, you’ll need to enter (minimal cost) and clear your calendar for 

Build Your Film Resume

Build Your Film Resume

A PLACE CALLED SACRAMENTO — Short Film Competition Access Sacramento hosts this awesome opportunity for film-makers. Each year, Access Sacramento accepts short screenplays (under 10 pages). The scripts are read by a panel of judges and after much consideration, ten finalists are selected to represent! 

Structure is Power

Structure is Power

Structure = Power The formula to life — wake up everyday and breathe.  Yet, I hear people talk about creative writing structure like it’s the kiss of death. Quiet the opposite. Structure is life. We live by structure. But I think the word gets a 

In A Heartbeat: Under 5

In A Heartbeat: Under 5

In A Heartbeat is a wonderful little short film, about 4 minutes long, that is both impactful and entertaining. It’s a great study in how to deliver a compelling story in a short amount of time.  Check out the full structural breakdown here.