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5 Tips For Writing Period Movies

I love being transported by movies, not just entertained, but transported, moved up the ladder to a different reality. I love walking out of the cinema with a story and storyworld still sticking to me, like napalm in the morning. This explains why I’m attracted to period pieces (and “period piece” also includes science fiction films, which are period pieces that look forward rather than backward). A lot of my screenwriting – paid gigs and spec work both – has focused on slips up or down the timeline. So here are a few guideposts that have been helpful to me… Read More »5 Tips For Writing Period Movies

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Pitch Me … Full Reads

NB. PITCH ME IS NOW CLOSED  If you recall, back in November 2012 I ran Pitch Me, where I invited writers to send me their loglines for their features, TV pilots and sitcoms, according to a list of what I was and wasn’t looking for. It was an interesting script call, with over 100 writers submitting. Here’s a run down of how I found the first round. No B2W-led script call would be complete without my announcing who made it all the way … Here’s the 5 lucky writers/teams who have made it through to a full read: 1) Dan &… Read More »Pitch Me … Full Reads

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Your Book Is Movie …

… I heard this advice at a seminar at London Book Fair 2010. It was a real watershed moment for me. It was quite literally the best advice I ever heard, because it finally unlocked the idea in my head that had been percolating for about five years, which enabled me to craft my novel so that it sold. But what does it mean? Seems to me there’s two ways of thinking about “your book is a movie”: Your book will want to “unlock” all possible markets … In other words, if your book can be easily adapted INTO a… Read More »Your Book Is Movie …

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How to Find a Great Title to your Screenplay by Gordy Hoffman

How exactly does one work on the title of their screenplay? I recently came up with such a wonderful idea for a movie, one of those miraculous moments, like finding money on the sidewalk. I told somebody, and they said, “Great. What’s the title?” Suddenly, and rather horrifyingly, my beauty of an idea is crippled. Instant orphaned bastard! You wanna strangle the person. You feel insulted. What’s the title!? Why would you even ask that, like, right after I told you this incredible gem? Well, of course they would ask that. Every movie needs a name. But unlike nearly every… Read More »How to Find a Great Title to your Screenplay by Gordy Hoffman

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Genre & Tone, A Case Study: BEETLEJUICE

This post is inspired by  two separate Twitter conversations over the last two weeks between myself and Michelle Goode & Claire Yeowart and then Hina Malik – so stand by for some serious musing. Years ago I attended a conference held by The British Board of Film Classifcation (BBFC). It was a very interesting  – and of course the notion of film censorship reared its head. Since the majority of us in the room were students, many of us expressed outrage that censorship existed at all; we claimed that as artists we should be “trusted” to make the “right” stuff.… Read More »Genre & Tone, A Case Study: BEETLEJUICE

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Welcome To Rom Com Hell: 8 Awful Ways To Write Romantic Comedy

Rom Com / Real Life Hell Rom Com was always one of those genres I avoided through my teens and early twenties. Being a Goth, I was way too cool for boy-meets-girl, obviously. Besides which, by 18 I was a total cynic … I had after all been the girl who’d met the boy, then got knocked up and ripped off by him! I’d been left with a broken heart, a wailing baby and a man-hating attitude problem for approximately five years.  I was also of the (not unreasonable) belief that post-FOUR WEDDINGS in the late 90’s/early noughties that all… Read More »Welcome To Rom Com Hell: 8 Awful Ways To Write Romantic Comedy

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Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

You should do your preparation! Bang2writers often ask me what is the “best” way to go about writing a screenplay or novel. My answer? There is no “best” way. But it’s definitely going to help if you’ve done your preparation first in the form of an outline, beat sheet and/or treatment. Here’s why preparation work helps you get rid of all the obvious pitfalls and crap FIRST, as it … GIVES your brain time to “breathe” and work out all the machinations of the plot and the character motivations and themes etc concurrently STOPS you writing a load of junk… Read More »Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

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How To Use Plot Devices – Voiceover, Flashback, Montage, Intercut and Dream Sequence

Plot Devices With A Bad Name … There are lots of plot devices in scriptwriting we hear are “frowned on”. We shouldn’t use voiceover or flashback is the usual (or voiceover WITH flashback!). I’ve also heard montage maligned in a similar fashion, as well as intercut and dream sequence. This is a load of rot as far as I’m concerned. You can use what you like. These accusations we see levied like “flashback is a lazy way of telling a story” is just another generalisation. Flashback can be an amazingly dramatic way to tell a story. … For A REASON!!… Read More »How To Use Plot Devices – Voiceover, Flashback, Montage, Intercut and Dream Sequence

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