Thirteen Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Brad Schreiber discusses thirteen common mistakes that screenwriters make, offers insight on how writers can spot those mistakes and provides advice on how to fix them.

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Cinderella Stories Still Happen. Just Ask Liz Hannah

Still don’t believe in Cinderella stories? Still don’t think crazy dreams come true? Well, think again. Liz Hannah’s first screenplay, The Post, was directed by Spielberg, starred Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, was nominated for Golden Globes, and now is nominated for Academy Awards. Amy Nicholson of the Washington Post discusses the story behind the film’s birth.

read the full article here: How a writer defied ‘one in a million’ odds to get her first movie made by Steven Spielberg

The Actor’s Ultimate Reading List

Jamie Irvine at Backstage provides an expansive reading list of books and plays to help actors perfect their technique and craft. Whether you’re a writer or an actor, reading preexisting material such as books, plays or screenplays, is essential to your development and growth as an artist and these books and plays listed are worthy of adding to your current list.

Read the full article here: The Ultimate Reading List for Actors

*Music for Your Screenplays

Ken Miyamoto at ScreenCraft shares his thoughts on how to use music to enhance your screenplays and stories. He uses several films as examples to illustrate the power of music and how it can add that extra layer to the story for the audience.

Full article here: How to Use Music to Write Better Screenplays


*In other news, this is our 200th post!! Thanks for tagging along. Here’s to the next 200 🙂

Time for New Tests

Right now Hollywood is going through a massive shift in recognizing its lack of diversity both in front of and behind the camera, and efforts are being made to make stories where people of frequently underrepresented demographics such as women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community are represented as strong, human characters and not merely personifications of stereotypes.


Read the full article here: The Next Bechdel Test

Story tricks from Spielberg’s BFG

Spielberg is an icon and a legend for good reason. Shanee Edwards with ScreenwritingU Magazine dissects the film to study seven story tricks screenwriters can use when creating children’s films.

Read the full article here: Spielberg gets all Spielbergian on The BFG: 7 great story tricks we learned from the cinematic giant

Hollins Grads at Work: Anna Fahr

One of our recent alumnae, Anna Fahr, has just released a teaser trailer for her newest project Places in Between. Anna began her script in our 507 level workshop (our intermediate level workshop), rewrote it in our advanced tutorial class (a one-on-one rewrite class with a professor), and pitched it during our annual pitch night. The teaser can be viewed on Vimeo now.

We are so proud of you, Anna!! This looks absolutely dazzling. We can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

View the teaser trailer here: Now on Vimeo: Teaser Trailer Places in Between by Hollins Grad, Anna Fahr

Lessons from Disney’s Zootopia

Ken Miyamoto from ScreenCraft breaks down the Disney film Zootopia to extract and discuss three big lessons for screenwriters to use in their stories.

Read full article here: Three Screenwriting Lessons that Disney’s “Zootopia” Can Teach Screenwriters

Watch: “The Godfather: Solozzo’s Death – Script to Screen Analysis”

Filmmaker Magazine provides and incredible script to screen analysis that uses commentary from an interview with Francis Ford Coppola. It is definitely worth watching.

Full video here: Watch: “The Godfather: Solozzo’s Death – Script to Screen Analysis”

Learn How to Take Creative Risk

Lauren Sapala with Screenwriting U Magazine discusses the importance of taking a creative risk. She includes an activity that writers can use to help them overcome fears and anxieties about the possible outcome of their work. Once you can overcome those, then the magic can happen 🙂

Read the full article here: Want to Be the Next Big Screenwriter? Why You’ve Got to Learn How to Take Creative Risk