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Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays

What’s The Difference Between Thriller And Horror?

Thriller Vs. Horror Thriller and Horror … They’re practically the same genre, right? NOPE. Not by a long shot. Whilst they may share certain characteristics, Thriller and Horror are two definitive genres and this post will attempt to explain why in more detail. It’s A ‘Thriller / Horror’ Though I touch on this issue in my book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, I think it’s worthwhile to go into more detail on this element. I see LOTS of spec screenplays that call themselves “Thriller / Horrors” and this is nearly always a mistake. Not only does it wind up the… Read More »What’s The Difference Between Thriller And Horror?

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Script To Screen: BASIC INSTINCT

Understanding the changes that invariably happen “script to screen” (and why) is a paramount part of learning to be a writer. NO screenplay ever makes it off the page and into production without changes, whether they are significant for logistical reasons or subtle due to the process of collaboration. In short, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a screenwriter’s “absolute” original vision to be realised as a produced film, EVEN IF that screenwriter is also its director. This is why reading scripts, then seeing the movie is absolutely essential if you want to work in the industry and why London Screenwriters Festival… Read More »Script To Screen: BASIC INSTINCT

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#LondonSWF 2013 – On My Way!

So I’m off on my travels all day today to London for the fourth annual London Screenwriters’ Festival! Tonight I’ll be at the networking and registration drinks. Come and find me and practice your networking skills or pitches on me. That’s right – I ASKED FOR IT, C’MON! But before you do, watch out for these pitch killers or I’ll blast a klaxon in your face! FRIDAY Tomorrow, in the morning I will be in the Final Draft Marquee, ready to answer delegates’ questions as an LSF Roving Expert. There is a whole fleet of us, you can’t miss us:… Read More »#LondonSWF 2013 – On My Way!

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5 Reasons I Got Involved In ASSASSIN

  1. It has not one, but TWO savvy female characters … As regular Bang2writers know, my passion is for female characters who have agency of their own and pull their weight in the narrative. Unlike many gangster films where females are purely there for decoration, Chloe and Alex both contribute to the story and are absolutely essential to the plot beats. As writer/director JK Amalou says, “The female characters play a bigger part in our story than is usual in films of this type.” 2. … But there are no patronising gender politics. I obviously read a lot of… Read More »5 Reasons I Got Involved In ASSASSIN

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Writing, Selling & MAKING Thriller Screenplays

Delighted to say our next movie, ASSASSIN goes into production TODAY so to celebrate, I talked to its writer, director and producer (not to mention my ol’ mucker) JK Amalou about our fave genre. Enjoy … What are your three favourite produced Thrillers and why? The granddaddy of the modern thriller: PSYCHO (1960). Many people classify it as a horror but it’s first and foremost a thriller. Look at the first half: Marion Crane steals the money, goes on the run, avoids the police or detection. Then this unreal plot twist happens: she is killed. The hunter (Norman Bates) now becomes… Read More »Writing, Selling & MAKING Thriller Screenplays

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Blog Hop: My Next Book – Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays (Sept 2013)

Many thanks to Natasha aka Script Smart for tagging me in this Blog Hop, which consists of   ten questions and then tagging other authors/writers. So here’s mine: 1. What is the working title of your next book? I’m currently editing WRITING AND SELLING THRILLER SCREENPLAYS. It’s a non-fiction book about, oh – you can probably guess. At the moment I’m contacting all the industry peeps I can think of to contribute quotes on either writing or selling Thriller screenplays, so readers can have as many great insights as possible from the industry. 2. Where did the idea come from… Read More »Blog Hop: My Next Book – Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays (Sept 2013)

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Want To Get Noticed? Then Don’t Write These Type Of Screenplays

Updated Previously titled, ‘Want To Get Noticed? Don’t Write Low Budget Depressing Drama or High Budget Science Fiction/Fantasy Spec Scripts‘, this post will outline why trying to get out of the submissions pile with a low budget drama or a high budget sci fi TV pilot like a gazilion other writers (probably) ain’t gonna work for you. Strap yourself in and suck it up, peeps … Cliches + Stereotypes = BORING When I started script reading, everyone was writing very “worthy”, very personal psychological dramas where generally everybody died or was at least miserable as Hell and in the grip of addiction,… Read More »Want To Get Noticed? Then Don’t Write These Type Of Screenplays

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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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