The Craft, Business and Software of Screenwriting


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Ulitzer Screenwriting Authors: Matthew Marturano

Related Topics: Screenwriting

Ulitzer Screenwriting: Book Review

Write Screenplays That Sell

Write Screenplays That Sell by Hal Ackerman (2003)

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A screenplay is not a shooting script. A Screenplay is an instrument for telling a story. A Shooting Script is a blueprint for the production of a motion picture.


Golden Rule of Character: Who we are is revealed in what we do.


(Definition of story) Footprints in the sand left by a character in quest of his or her heart’s desire against impossible odds.


As conflict is argument between characters, plot is argument between events.


It is far more interesting when a character needs to HAVE information than when a character needs to GIVE it.


The inciting event establishes the stake of the story.


The single most important structural event in your screenplay is the event that ends act two.


(The Snowplow method of writing) (1) Do not start where you left off. Start at the beginning. (2) Do not look back at what you did the previous day.


(Conflict Agreement) I solemnly swear that in every screenplay I write, every scene will have woven into its architecture the element of CONFLICT.


Every scene you ever write is an arena for the characters doing everything in their power to get what they most want in that moment.


(Writing Character Descriptions) Age range and body type are usually all we need to supply.


Whatever in your script doesn’t move the story forward does not belong in the script.


We are not told about the characters. We experience them.


This continually moving intersection of plot and character is called the story.


Take the time necessary to really know your act breaks.


A short film is almost always about one thing. One moment. One event. One punchline. One revelation. One life-changing or illuminating occurrence.

More Stories By Stewart McKie

Stewart McKie has 25 years of IT industry experience. His education includes a MSc in Organization Consulting and a MA in Screenwriting. I was the Technology Editor of Business Finance magazine during 1995-2000 and also wrote regular features for Intelligent Enterprise magazine. I am the author of six books on accounting software and over 50 technology white papers. My current focus is my screenwriting 2.0 app called Scenepad and my supply-chain auditing app. I have managed many ERP selections and implementations of SunSystems all over the world. Currently I am engaged as the Implementation Oversight consultant for a global AX2009 rollout for a manufacturing client and as the selection consultant for pan-European ERP solution.