The Query Letter

You’ve brainstormed a concept, you’ve outlined and rearranged, you’ve written, rewritten, and then rewritten again, and you’ve got yourself a daggum screenplay. Congratulations! First, take a second to pat yourself on the back. Everyone’s got an idea for a movie, but very few people actually finish what they start. Once you’re done being proud of yourself, that sinking feeling sets in and you ask yourself this horrifying question: “what do I do now?”

There are countless ways to “break into the business” which can somehow make it seem more difficult to accomplish. But if you’re starting from scratch, the next best step is to get your query letter together.

A query letter in today’s world is an email with a casual introduction, a killer logline, and a polite sign off. That’s it. Take a look at this helpful article from ScreenCraft about how to construct the perfect query letter.

Scripts vs. Novels

Scott Myers discusses the difference between writing scripts and writing screenplays, and what to do when your more familiar with one but want to switch to the other. His answer: do both. He also discusses the challenges and advantages of each side of the writing spectrum.

Have thoughts about this or have additional insight on the subject? Feel free to comment and discuss in the comments 🙂

Read the full article here: Reader Question: What’s the biggest challenge novelists face when switching to screenwriting?

How to Trick Yourself Into Writing Your Screenplay

Naomi Beaty with ScreenCraft offers three tricks to help you get your screenplay done. Time and motivation are hard to come by sometimes, so you have to be creative about how you keep yourself from getting jaded.

Read the full article here: Trick Yourself Into Writing Your Screenplay

6 Filmmaking Tips from Ben Wheatley

Christopher Campbell from Film School Rejects gathers and shares six pieces of filmmaking advice from British filmmaker Ben Wheatley. As creatives, we find inspiration from many people, places, events, and things. Here’s more insight into how one successful filmmaker gets work done. Use your inspiration wisely 🙂

Read the full article here: 6 Filmmaking Tips from Ben Wheatley

Are Locations a Character?

The folks at ScreenCraft discuss the location of a screenplay and how it works as a character to a story. Films such as Fatal Attraction, The Fugitive, In the War of the Roses, and The Woodsman are used as examples to explain just how location plays a role in bringing your story to life and how it completes your story onscreen.

Read the full article here: Do Your Locations Have Character?

Happy Birthday, Tim!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

On behalf of everyone at Hollins University, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to Tim Albaugh*, the director of the Hollins University Summer Graduate Screenwriting and Film Studies program.

For over a decade, Tim has worked tirelessly as a champion for not only the program but for every single student who joins the Hollins University family. Running a graduate program based in Virginia from the opposite end of the country in California is no easy task, and Tim does so willingly with enthusiasm, diligence, good humor, and love. Whether students are gathered in Texas, California, or Virginia, Tim has made genuine efforts to build a strong community of creatives, artists, and storytellers.

Thank you for all your hard work, encouragement, and support. Here’s to your next lap around the sun. May there be many more.

 

*Link to biography

 

Is My Screenplay Terrible? Here’s How to Find Out

Lisa Waugh with ScreenwritingU offers writers insight on how to determine whether or not your screenplay is good. With wit and humor, she offers six guidelines to think about as you evaluate your work and prepare to release it into the wild as well as warnings as to what can happen if you share your work too soon.

Read the Full Article Here: How to Know If Your Script Doesn’t Suck

Helpful Infographics for Screenwriters

Screenwriting is an inspiring, creative, amazing profession with seemingly endless opportunities. However, it can be daunting, especially for the newcomers. There’s a lot to take into account when writing out your movie: the setting, the time period, the genre, which actors will play which characters. The movie business has a lot of moving parts, but unlike writing novels where the novel is the finished product, the screenplay is where the whole journey begins. And that process is often very long and arduous. Stephanie Palmer, author of Good In a Room, provides several infographics to help decipher the screenwriting and process and movie business.

Read the Full Article Here: Screenplay Writing Explained In 7 Infographics

SCRIPT HACKS: 3 Kick-Ass Methods To Fix A Broken Screenplay Scene

Have you been staring at your computer screen at the blank page as the cursor taunts you with your inability to make it move? Caught yourself doodling on the blank notebook page because the words just. won’t. come. out. Is there a scene you’ve already written but, let’s face it, it’s pure fertilizer. If you have something on the page, you are halfway there. Give yourself a big high five. Don’t worry. Help is on the way! Alex Bloom with Script Magazine offers three “script hacks” on how to fix a broken scene so you can finish the story successfully and be on your way to winning your Oscar.

Read the full article here: SCRIPT HACKS: 3 Kick-Ass Methods To Fix A Broken Screenplay Scene

Advice and Inspiration from Greta Gerwig

Ken Miyamoto shares some morsels of inspiration from the brilliant mind of Greta Gerwig, the writer and director of Lady Bird. He shares her insight through a series of interviews with the actress turn writer/director. Here are a few highlights:

  • Writing Words that Don’t Look Like They’ve Been Written
  • Taking the Time to Prepare Yourself
  • Story Structure Is Embedded Within Us All
  • You Have to Take the Leap
  • Don’t Judge and Dismiss Your Own Writing
  • Listen to Your Characters
  • Treat Each Character as If They Could Have Their Own Movie About Them
  • Great Screenplays Should Be Like Poetry

Read the full article here: Screenwriting Advice From LADY BIRD Writer/Director Greta Gerwig