Monday, May 31, 2010

Here are a couple of PDF transcripts from the first season of Community, the breakout NBC single camera sitcom. Formatted with time code, scene and act breaks.

Community, "Introduction to Film" S01E03

Community, "The Science of Illusion" S01E20


Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Don't just survive Sundance, make the most of it with the help of this excellent guide from independent stalwart Jacques Thelmaque: Tip Sheet for Sundance Filmmakers.

Most of the tips apply to any major film festival. Let's not forget that film festivals can be a great place to make connections, and find representation.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Horror novelist and veteran scribe, Alex Sokoloff, reminds us to always finish what we start. Even though it sucks. At first. The more work we put into it, the less it will suck, until the day we can read it all the way through without cringing.

Also check out her primer on screenwriting, a fine series of articles linked in the sidebar. Structure, character, high concept, agents, and just about everything else. Nothing on dialog yet, but I bet there's something on the way.

Friday, January 02, 2009


E. W. Sargent's The Technique of the Photoplay, an early classic of the screenwriting instruction genre circa 1913, is available as a googlebook and downloadable PDF. Apparently film storytelling works pretty much the way it did a century ago. Thanks to Alex Epstein for the tip.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I discovered Bernard Grebanier's Playwriting in the best possible way, at a thriftshop. Just two quarters bought me an introduction to some great insights on dramatic writing.

The Grumpy Old Bookman digs Grebanier too, and he gives us a nice thumbnail history of dramatic writing gurus. McKee ain't the first one, not by a long shot.

If you're looking to write killer loglines, and pitch perfectly, Grebanier's Proposition is worth studying at length.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

John August talks money management for screenwriters. Really smart stuff. Just what you'd expect from a graduate of USC's Peter Stark Producing Program.

In short, keep your day job.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Great post over at Chad Gervich's Script Notes on the job progression for entry level TV writers.

I know there are other ways in besides the ones that Chad describes. Fellowships like Disney. Workshops like WB. Playwriting. Comics. Gaming. Crossovers from features.

Still, every working TV writer I've met has broken in via the PA - writer's assistant route. It's tried and true, but it's tougher than ever in these lean times.

It's been years since I've worked in production, and the prospect of living in a closet sized apartment isn't nearly as appealing as it was in my twenties. Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, but I do sort of like living someplace without regular gun play and rampant vermin.

I'm keeping the day job. Not just that, I'm thrilled to have a half way decent job with halfway decent pay and halfway decent benefits and half way decent working conditions when so many people are losing theirs.

I'll just have to figure out what I can do to network nights and weekends. That and working the phones. Maybe Shonda Rhimes needs a pool boy.

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