The Blog, aka —
The sometimes suspect musings of screenwriter Max Adams
THE SCREENWRITER’S LOOKBOOK
The key word in “lookbook” is “look.” For an artist (“artist” means you, writers) that means something someone may look at that conveys a sense of the film. Imagery, tone, big story moments that will be powerful on a screen — the entire purpose of a lookbook is to...
It’s The Concept, Stupid
Studios might be more inclined to take a look at a Thanksgiving script if something about the story concept stood out. Like, location and genre —
I get into trouble sometimes with students. I will tell a student something doesn’t work. The student will say, “Gotcha.” I will think all is well —
HIGH CONCEPT WRITING: THE CRICHTON MODEL
If there is one writer who regularly nailed high concept [and did it over and over again] it was Michael Crichton.
The Logline; Or, Contortions of the Modern Day Screenwriter
In every pitch, the short pitch, the medium pitch, the long pitch, the phone pitch, the lunch pitch, the elevator pitch, the wow nice to see you in line at the store pitch — in every pitch — you have to be able to —
A Rose by Any Other Name
One of my most consistent comments on scripts is, I have difficulty differentiating between characters because characters have similar names.
ONE SCRIPT is your break in script, your calling card script, your sample script, possibly your get signed and get sold and get produced and get a screen credit script.
Talking heads is a term that, as I was told in the film school trenches, relates back to the early days of television when news was delivered by a solitary news announcer sitting behind a desk reading news reports to the camera off a sheet of paper.
I enjoy Mark Wildman’s clips and I’ve always believed this particular clip, about becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable, has a lot of carry over into writing.
GOAL VS TASK
One thing to keep in mind plotting a story is that there is a difference between a primary story goal and tasks protagonists undertake to achieve the primary story goal.
FIVE KICK ASS FEMALE CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS
There is a real problem out there with female character introductions. Well, with character introductions in general — but especially female characters. Take a look at how a few of the masters did it right —
SOUTH PARK WRITERS SHARE THEIR WRITING RULE #1
This is a great presentation from South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker on plotting using the key words “but” and “therefore.” It’s brilliant. Watch it.
RETURN OF THE SCREENWRITER’S UNIFORM
The original screenwriter’s uniform blog post is lost in the interwebs somewhere (how does this happen?) but it keeps coming up in conversation.
RECOMMENDED SCREENWRITING BOOKS
Screenwriting books you should have on your shelf according to author and award winning screenwriter Max Adams.
There’s a great anecdote in the book “Your Screenplay Sucks: 100 Ways to Make It Great.”It’s the year 2000 and William Akers, the author, is standing in line at a movie theater to see Finding Forrester. Two guys are in front of him and one says, “What’s it about?” And the other says, “Sean Connery.”