Secrets of Successful Screenwriters Commitment 1000x400

 

Secrets of Screenwriting #29 - Commitment

Screenwriting is not an easy game. You will be tested every step of the way. It is not a sprint but a marathon, and you must recognize the long game and be in it for the long haul. There are too many distractions, too many exits along the way, for those who get easily distracted to make a quick escape. These opportunities exist to tease and divert us all along away.

To succeed as a screenwriter, you must have a laser-like-focus on your goals and inner-strength to keep going until you exceed them.


Productive Feedback vs Negative Criticism 1000x400

By Arik Cohen

I have an actor friend (in Los Angeles? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!)  Let’s call him Fred.  Now Fred was in a small play in the area, though it was big enough to attract a review from an online LA theater site.  He read the review, and it was positive for the show, but not for him.  Poor Fred got a critical review.  It wasn’t angry, it wasn’t worded as “Fred sucks” or anything like that.  It was all legitimate criticism.  As expected, Fred didn’t take it well.  Fred is a man with a big, delicate ego (in Los Angeles? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!)  He dismissed the fair criticism entirely.  He passed it off as jealousy or envy.  “He’s probably just pissed he didn’t make it as an actor,” Fred claimed, “And he’s taking it out on us actors with the guts to go for what we want.”


Priscilla Davies' "The Power of Three" Takes Gold

Grand Prize Winner Priscilla Davies

HOLLYWOOD, CA.

Priscilla Davies’ Romantic-Comedy THE POWER OF THREE took top honors at the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition it was announced this week, scooping up the 1st place in the Comedy/ Romantic-Comedy Genre and the Grand Prize Award.  

A graduate of the New Jersey School of Dramatic Arts acting program, Priscilla toiled as an elementary school teacher in New Jersey before chasing her dreams as an actress and moving to Los Angeles nearly ten years ago.

It was a daring move that proved prescient. Priscilla has worked on several TV series including HBO’s EUPHORIA and the Netflix show THE FIX, as well as national commercials for McDonalds, Uber and Volkswagon. She is currently recognized for her comedy improv work at Hollywood’s Second City and Upright Citizen’s Brigade. 

Selected from nearly 1,400 screenplays, THE POWER THREE is a timely tale of millennial dating in the 21st century. When Lexi can’t get the man of her dreams to commit to their relationship, her close friend introduces her to a dating technique called the Power of Three. Armed with a newfound confidence in her dating life, Lexi ventures out into the dating world to discover that love is not always in the shape that you want or are expecting, but will sometimes find you in less expected forms.


World Building Defining the Rules

By Armaan Uplekar

One of the most foundational elements of any story has to do with the nature of the world that your script takes place within. Whether your screenplay is set on a lunar space colony or on a 17th century pirate ship, it’s your job as a writer to establish the “rules” that make your story possible. On the outset, this might seem like a daunting task — the very term “world building” can sound enormous. And while, yes, world building can sometimes be a sizable undertaking, it will undoubtedly make you a stronger, more confident writer, and equally important, it will make your script feel more cohesive and accessible.


5 Characters Traits of An Awesome Action Hero 2

By Armaan Uplekar

Sarah Connor. Ethan Hunt. James Bond. There’s a deep bench of iconic characters that have helped define and exemplify action cinema for decades. Between preventing nuclear annihilation, rescuing hostages and restoring balance to the universe, these characters have proven themselves to be larger than life while also capturing the imaginations of generations of moviegoers.


Setting Matters

by Armaan Uplekar

“The setting felt like a character.” You might have heard these words before – maybe reading a movie review, or through a conversation with friends, walking out of a movie theater. It’s a high compliment meant to convey that the setting that the story takes place is just as iconic, important and indispensable as the actual antagonist or protagonist of that story. Sure – maybe you can look at that as an exaggeration, but some of the most classic and memorable films and television series of all time are tied irrevocably to the locations they take place in. Try imagining Taxi Driver taking place somewhere besides New York City or Batman being set anywhere other than Gotham City. The same goes for TV as well. Breaking Bad and CSI (Miami/ Las Vegas) masterfully used their respective cities as integral “characters” in each iteration.

Sometimes the ultimate setting of movies and TV series are determined by production particulars such available tax incentives or talent scheduling. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying to prioritize how you use setting to elevate your screenplay. You’ll want to use every tool at your disposal when writing a script, and setting is one of the most important aspects of any story; it can influence your story in a variety of ways. In the following sections, we’ll dive into how you can make your script’s setting feel not just necessary, but essential to the story you are telling.


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