The Blog, aka —

The sometimes suspect musings of screenwriter Max Adams
THE SCREENWRITER’S LOOKBOOK

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

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 —

Passive VOICE

Passive VOICE

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 —

A Rose by Any Other Name

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

One Script

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

Talking Heads

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.

DISCOMFORT

DISCOMFORT

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

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

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 —

ACTOR BAIT

ACTOR BAIT

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.”

That Cute Dog & Photo Credits

That Cute Dog & Photo Credits

That Cute Dog & Photo Credits: You are totally wondering who that cute dog in the photo is, right? That is Pumpkin. Pumpkin is a celebrity dog.