Wanted: Great Screenplays ‘There must be LOADS of great screenplays in the pile just waiting to be made!!!’ I hear this, constantly. It’s a lament from wannabe screenwriters that NEVER goes away, it seems. But I can tell you, as a script reader & editor, IT’S NOT TRUE. Here’s why … First off, define ‘great screenplay’ Do you mean WRITTEN WELL? Hah, good luck. Finding well-written screenplays in the pile is harder than you think, especially when what constitutes ‘good writing’ means different things to different people. ‘Great screenplays’ #2 Do you mean a KILLER CONCEPT? Yeah, this shit is… Read More »No, There Are NOT ‘Loads’ Of Great Screenplays Waiting to Be Made. Here’s Why
Female Archers in Fiction You don’t have to look far to find female archers in fiction. Though male archers obviously do exist too, this is often part of their specific characterisation (Arrow and Hawkeye are the most obvious here). In contrast, female archers in fiction frequently use the bow and arrow as their weapon of choice as a warrior: nothing more, nothing less. In fact, female archer warriors use the bow and arrow so often, it’s become a trope of its own. Tropes are those recurrent ideas or motifs we see in novels, movies or TV. Whilst many internet commentators believe… Read More »Top 10 Fearless Female Archers In Movies And TV
You Need A Producer Put simply, a good producer will be the backbone of your project. Now, I may be a little biased saying that, as I am a producer. But this key role is the person who will spend months – even years – overseeing every aspect of the project to make sure it becomes as successful as possible. How to Screw Up Working With A Producer Producers, like all filmmakers, are busy people. Because of this, they can be stingy with their time. Meaning if you start off on the wrong foot, they’re unlikely to give you a… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With A Producer
Want to write this holiday season? If you want to write this holiday season, you’re not alone. Lots of writers dream of time off to write their screenplays or novels — and the festive period can offer writers time to get writing done. However, not everyone will be able – or even want – to write over the holidays … and that’s okay too! In this short video (under 15 mins) I break down 5 reminders for writers this Christmas. They will hopefully help you either get writing done … or help you let yourself off the hook!! Enjoy and… Read More »5 Reminders If You Want To Write This Holiday Season
The Pain of Remakes And Reboots Whenever I teach a screenwriting class, it won’t be long before someone brings up remakes and reboots. This person will most often* be a middle-aged white man at the beginning of his screenwriting journey. (*But obviously doesn’t have to be). Anyway, he will confess that remakes and reboots make him very angry … Hell, he may even GET angry just talking about them. Then he will insist that remakes and reboots are enemies of creativity and that Hollywood shouldn”t be so ‘risk averse’. When I ask him how many movies he’s watched this year… Read More »Why Remakes And Reboots Are Here To Stay (And No, It’s Not A Bad Thing)
Help! What If My Story Is A ‘Hard Sell’? Every week I hear from Bang2writers who say their stories are a ‘hard sell’ and they don’t know what to do. That’s right … EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK! With this in mind, I broke down the process into steps to help. Ready? Let’s go … STEP 1: Get REAL First things first, what makes your story a ‘hard sell’? Do you know for certain … Or are you just guessing? I always find it very interesting (but not surprising) that lots of new writers pretend to themselves their story is a ‘hard… Read More »What Do I Do If My Book or Script Is A ‘Hard Sell’?
All About Script Editors A colleague of mine told me that their friend thinks all script editors do is fix commas … if only! With this in mind, I thought it would be good to shed some light on this very complicated, frustrating, but also wonderful and rewarding job! Here’s 5 BIG mistakes to avoid when working with script editors … ready? Let’s go! 1) Stay Silent I have seen a lot of writers (especially new ones) in rooms too reluctant to ‘put up their hand’ … and that’s understandable. We’re all scared our idea will sink, right? But a… Read More »Top 5 Mistakes Writers Make Working With Script Editors
Iconic Teachers In media, teachers are often relegated to secondary character status. They may appear onstage to inspire their students, drop a pearl of wisdom, and disappear from whence they came. And while this can be an accurate of the fleeting presence of teachers in our own lives, it doesn’t do justice to the impact a good (or bad!) teacher can have on us. With that in mind, I wanted to pay homage to the most iconic teachers from movies, TV, and literature in true Bang2Write fashion. Consider this a star-studded teacher’s lounge, featuring some of the most memorable mentor… Read More »The 10 Most Iconic Teachers in Movies, TV and Literature
See on Apple TV So, See on AppleTV concluded last week. Written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Dirty Pretty Things, Locke), it’s been one of my favourite TV series of recent years. Though unpopular with the critics, the show has been a big hit with audiences. This means I believe See has plenty to teach us as writers. Here’s eight powerful reminders from the show I picked out … Ready? Let’s go! 1) Old story, new telling Post-apocalyptic worlds set in the future are not new. In the past ten years, they’ve been exceptionally popular. We’ve seen such dystopian storyworlds in… Read More »8 Powerful Reminders For Writers From SEE On Apple TV
The Witcher On Netflix The Witcher is an epic fantasy adventure filled with magic, monsters, and romance. It is based on books written by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowskiare, as well as a video game series. It’s an excellent example of how to adapt an original source. Here are 7 adaptation lessons from The Witcher … Enjoy! (SPOILER ALERT – If you have not watched or read the books, be aware there may be some in this post). LESSON #1: Add more PoVs to Make It More Interesting Geralt of Rivia is the main character of The Witcher, both in… Read More »The Witcher: 7 Important Lessons In Adaptation
If You Love Something, Let It Go When should we let go of a draft? Well, like so many writing-related things, this can be a real ‘piece of string’ question. That said, there are some best practices to consider that will help you know when to let go. Ready? Let’s go … 1) Have THE GUTS To Finish! To often, writers can’t let go of drafts. They will tinker with them endlessly, making submissions alongside these endless edits. This frequently leads to them trying to make multiple resubmissions. This is a bad idea, because industry pros want to see fresh… Read More »How Do I Know When It’s Time To Let Go Of A Draft?
All About Kelly Marcel Kelly Marcel is a British screenwriter and producer. She co-wrote one of my favourite dramas Saving Mr Banks (eagle-eyed Bangers will remember it is a case study in my Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays book!). She also received a BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for it. In addition, Kelly is the screenwriter of Fifty Shades of Grey, Venom, Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, plus she created and was exec producer on TV series Terra Nova. A fabulously eclectic mix there! But how does a writer who started her working life in a video… Read More »VENOM and SAVING MR BANK’s Kelly Marcel: ‘So much of writing is luck’