Writing
Script Production: How to Express your Notes to the Writer

Script Production: How to Express your Notes to the Writer

So you’ve finished reading your writer’s script and have prepared your notes and questions. In a way, that was the easy part of the job: now you need to relay your notes to your writer in such a way that he or she accepts them willingly and without feeling defensive. It is not uncommon for...
Script Production: How to Write Useful Notes

Script Production: How to Write Useful Notes

It can feel easy at times to recognize when something isn’t working in a script. After all, we live in a highly literate society and, as such, are exposed to good and bad narratives throughout our lives. This constant exposure to narrative has honed in us the ability to identify fairly quickly when a story...
How To Make The Protagonist And Antagonist One And The Same

How To Make The Protagonist And Antagonist One And The Same

When it comes to effective story writing, there must always be a conflict in the plot. That’s a dead given.  No conflict? No purpose. As soon as the conflict is resolved, the story is practically over. As an example, imagine a fairy tale where the hero must save the princess. Once the princess is rescued,...
Know Your Audience Better

Know Your Audience Better

Producers need to understand the consumer terms used by the advertising and product placement industry when working with distributors, product placement and premium placement representatives, advertising agencies, and public relations and promotion companies. These terms are from reporting agencies like Nielsen Media Research, or Arbitron. Nielsen and Arbitron research consumer behaviour  and categorize consumers by age,...
Know Your Audience

Know Your Audience

There are ten major participant categories in the motion picture industry.  All ten play a part in the success of any picture. A producer has inter-relationships with each of them and to be successful, must consider how each component contributes to the failure and success of the bottom line of a project. We begin with...
Story is Still King

Story is Still King

If the creative categories were listed in priority of relationship as the participant categories have been, the creative category at the top of the list would be  the story. The story, or in the case of film the screenplay, is the foundation for the picture, where it was first produced. It is the creative genius...
Character Development: Dig Deep

Character Development: Dig Deep

Just as stories are the brainchild of the one who wrote them, so good characters are reflections of some facet of the writer who brings them to life. A truly well-rounded character cannot exist unless the person who crafts them digs deep and exposes some part of themselves. Unless they do, the result is a...
Problem Protagonists

Problem Protagonists

It is a little known secret that the driving force behind any story—regardless of the genre—is conflict. Without conflict and the interplay of emotions that arises with it, great stories would not happen. Heroes do not overcome their obstacles on the very first attempt. They struggle with their internal demons while trying to conquer external...
Characters Development: Characters In Conflict

Characters Development: Characters In Conflict

You need conflict in a good screenplay. Conflict arises when there are obstacles that stand in the way of our protagonist, whether those obstacles lie within because of some character flaw, or in the people and situations around them. The greatest conflict occurs when inner obstacles make us hesitant, afraid even, to confront external obstacles...
The Naked Character: Building Characters

The Naked Character: Building Characters

Be detailed when creating your character so that your reader can imagine them. Describe their height and build; the color of their skin, eyes and hair and provide detailed biographies. In doing so the reader can actually see a vivid image of the character before them, allowing the audience to live by your character as...
How to Create Engaging Leads and Avoid Bland Heroes

How to Create Engaging Leads and Avoid Bland Heroes

The X-Men franchise can teach us a few things about creating fascinating characters that people want to see again and again. After all the X-Men movie series was hugely popular with X2: X-Men United bringing in $155.2 million in its opening weekend and X-Men Origins: Wolverine making $85 million on its opening weekend. Hollywood knows...
Creating an Ensemble Cast

Creating an Ensemble Cast

Creating a story with more than one protagonist can be difficult. The story can become crowded and there may not be enough time to cover each character fully. There is also a well rooted tradition of having only one lead. After all the Greeks developed the word protagonist 2,400 years ago while the French only...
Linking Story Strands Together

Linking Story Strands Together

Any one story is usually composed of many different characters each with his or her own personal story. Using location, event, and theme can bring the multiple stories together into an even greater narrative. Returning to Stagecoach, each character is distinct with strong personalities, vocabularies, and attitudes. The characters are made more complex by having...
Character Development: Dig Deep Within

Character Development: Dig Deep Within

There is a capacity within us to feel, and while some are more honest about those feelings than others, write to draw an audience in. To do so, first place yourself in whatever plot you are crafting for the protagonists, and be ready to explore your own thoughts and emotions, expressing them as honestly as...
Creating Strong Protagonist: Pick Your Theme

Creating Strong Protagonist: Pick Your Theme

Theme is central to any coherent story, and it defines the nature of your character, the conflicts they endure, and the resolution they experience. Without a theme, the protagonist has no direction, and therefore, no goal to achieve. Are they looking for love? Or are they perhaps attempting to get over a failed relationship? Perhaps...
Creating Strong Protagonists: One Character Only

Creating Strong Protagonists: One Character Only

A protagonist is the lead character, and in film, there can only be one. Your protagonist does not have to be likeable or even good, but they have to be your story’s focus. Dexter’s eponymous  role in the television series is a perfect example of this. He’s a heartless murderer, but the protagonist all the...
Creating Strong Protagonist: The Value of Emotion

Creating Strong Protagonist: The Value of Emotion

A major element of a good story is the emotional factor involved. The more emotional it becomes, the more we can get caught up in it, and the better it becomes. This is because we all need catharsis, which is a tool that provides us with a safe and controlled outlet for our pent up...
Creating Strong Protagonists: Character Flaws

Creating Strong Protagonists: Character Flaws

To make a story more engaging, subject your character to struggle. In Speed, Sandra Bullock plays a character whose flaw lies in her perfect ordinariness as a bus driver. Unlike an accountant in a war zone, the fact that a bomb was strapped on her bus is arguably believable, considering current events. Her rise to...