• Wondering which camera, gear, computer, or software to buy? Ask in our Gear Guide.

Ask Us Anything About Screenwriting

*DISCLAIMER: I use CAPITALIZATION for EMPHASIS - not shouting.

As @indietalk pointed out in another thread, we have some extremely knowledgable members here that I think can answer ANY question about screenwriting that any of you may have. I think it would be great if we kept the thread going with all those questions. If this isn't allowed? I apologize and please delete the thread. It just seems like we should have an ONGOING place to answer all these questions.

There are NO stupid questions. Ask away!
 
Last edited:
A double hyphen is correct as there in no pause.
And since there is no pause, you must use CON'T to weld the broken sentence. Whoever told you otherwise was wrong. It needs to be in there for post.
Ask yourself, what will it mean to the editor? "..." might mean he needs to snip the dialogue and squeeze in a few frames extra frames to fit the pause. CON'T enables him to see instantly that the dialogue slips seamlessly from scene to scene.
And HERE YOU GO AGAIN. I'm not wrong IF this is a spec. POST? That's putting the cart before the horse a bit, don't you think? LOL. If this is something that somebody is going to shoot WITHOUT being marketed then I stand by what I said -- WRITE IT ANY WAY YOU WANT.

But if this is to be a spec? Nobody is WORRIED about POST in a spec script. LOLOLOLOL. That's what SHOOTING SCRIPTS are for.
 
Last edited:
Hi Creative Screenwriters,

I just joined this community, and i was wondering about culture here, how as screenwriter can share their works for review and feedback, what are policies or regulations need to be considered? is there special format followed or topic of interests?

Thank you for this supporting community, I am glad I found you :)

Kind Regards
Essa
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Hi Creative Screenwriters,

I just joined this community, and i was wondering about culture here, how as screenwriter can share their works for review and feedback, what are policies or regulations need to be considered? is there special format followed or topic of interests?

Thank you for this supporting community, I am glad I found you :)

Kind Regards
Essa
Post in this subforum

If you post 10 pagers or less you have better odds of getting feedback.
Post a link to a PDF in screenplay format.
 
Last edited:
What makes a great blockbuster story/film?:)
In my humble opinion... A real blockbuster? One that makes a shit-ton of MONEY?

1) It's gotta be HUGE. The bigger the better. Why? Because the more a studio spends on a movie? The more publicity it gets. The more discussion it gets online. The more anticipation is developed. In fact? I honestly believe this can easily become part of your marketing protocol.

2) You need both famous actors and extremely talented actors but in reality? I don't actually think you need to have the MOST FAMOUS or the most expensive. In fact? I would find a happy medium here... A famous actor but one who's rate is reasonable. Not a $25 Million Dollar behemoth with net points. I actually hate this but I do think it's absolutely true. Great character actors make famous actors look great. I believe combining the correct mixture of both in a movie is another piece of the formula.

3) Keep the story simple. Unless you're a Christopher Nolan? Probably best to keep the story simple so anyone and everyone across the globe understands it. They used to call them FOUR QUADRANT FILMS -- maybe they still do. But today? An audience in China needs to be able to understand the story as easily as a an audience member here in America. I think to do that is not that difficult as long as you stick to the basics of humanity that resonate with ALL OF US. LOVE. HATE. REVENGE. Yada yada. You know the drill.

4) Your characters need to have flaws... At least the MAIN characters. Anyone and everyone can identify with an EVERY MAN or EVERY WOMAN. They should not be perfect. You want your audience to immediately be able to jump on their train and ride with them all the way through the story.

5) Great music. Exciting music. Music that goes WITH the story and the action of the story.

6) I can't say I know WHEN to actually release a film but I am damn sure that a film you want to become a BLOCKBUSTER needs to be released at JUST THE RIGHT TIME. Unfortunately, for us mere mortals? All we can do is what we can do. Studios however, have access to data that they can crunch for weeks on end to nail down a profitable release date.

Of course these are just broad strokes... But in my humble opinion? You need all of this to really generate a BLOCKBUSTER.

Worth reading...
 
Last edited:
In my humble opinion... A real blockbuster? One that makes a shit-ton of MONEY?

1) It's gotta be HUGE. The bigger the better. Why? Because the more a studio spends on a movie? The more publicity it gets. The more discussion it gets online. The more anticipation is developed. In fact? I honestly believe this can easily become part of your marketing protocol.

2) You need both famous actors and extremely talented actors but in reality? I don't actually think you need to have the MOST FAMOUS or the most expensive. In fact? I would find a happy medium here... A famous actor but one who's rate is reasonable. Not a $25 Million Dollar behemoth with net points. I actually hate this but I do think it's absolutely true. Great character actors make famous actors look great. I believe combining the correct mixture of both in a movie is another piece of the formula.

3) Keep the story simple. Unless you're a Christopher Nolan? Probably best to keep the story simple so anyone and everyone across the globe understands it. They used to call them FOUR QUADRANT FILMS -- maybe they still do. But today? An audience in China needs to be able to understand the story as easily as a an audience member here in America. I think to do that is not that difficult as long as you stick to the basics of humanity that resonate with ALL OF US. LOVE. HATE. REVENGE. Yada yada. You know the drill.

4) Your characters need to have flaws... At least the MAIN characters. Anyone and everyone can identify with an EVERY MAN or EVERY WOMAN. They should not be perfect. You want your audience to immediately be able to jump on their train and ride with them all the way through the story.

5) Great music. Exciting music. Music that goes WITH the story and the action of the story.

6) I can't say I know WHEN to actually release a film but I am damn sure that a film you want to become a BLOCKBUSTER needs to be released at JUST THE RIGHT TIME. Unfortunately, for us mere mortals? All we can do is what we can do. Studios however, have access to data that they can crunch for weeks on end to nail down a profitable release date.

Of course these are just broad strokes... But in my humble opinion? You need all of this to really generate a BLOCKBUSTER.

Worth reading...
I remember reading about "Jaws" being the first "Blockbuster" because it was the first to go outside of the 'studio system', (this is just off my memory) so correct me if I am wrong and am definitely not trying to spread mis-information etc if I am wrong.... What did Jaws do, that made it such a blockbuster? Would Jaws now be a blockbuster? or something like it? Not trying to get off topic and into film theory etc, but just really curious about the whole blockbuster writing aspect etc and again, sorry if I am getting off topic, it is just interesting:)
 
Last edited:
I remember reading about "Jaws" being the first "Blockbuster" because it was the first to go outside of the 'studio system', (this is just off my memory) so correct me if I am wrong and am definitely not trying to spread mis-information etc if I am wrong.... What did Jaws do, that made it such a blockbuster? Would Jaws now be a blockbuster? or something like it? Not trying to get off topic and into film theory etc, but just really curious about the whole blockbuster writing aspect etc and again, sorry if I am getting off topic, it is just interesting:)
Well just take a look at JAWS...

High concept. Outside the studio system? I don't think that's correct. It was definitely a studio movie although I think it can safely be said that it was probably the first modern BLOCKBUSTER where MANY of its elements were repeated again and again... Almost becoming a blockbuster template of sorts.

In other words? It was NOT the typical studio movie being made at that time.

As for WHY it was a blockbuster? Well right off the top of my head although I was a kid at the time? It was a bestselling book. I know that because a friend's parents had a copy of it and let me read it. I was 14 or 15 at the time.

As I recall, just like THE EXORCIST, it spent a LONG TIME on the New York Times Bestseller List. I have to believe that was a very important element of it becoming a blockbuster.

There was LOTS of publicity for the upcoming movie. Lots of television ads. The book kept selling. That would explain a LOT of WHY it became and stayed a blockbuster too.

Unlike blockbusters today? Audiences who'd read the book couldn't wait to see it transcribed into a movie. As a kid, I remember people on talkshows saying they'd seen the movie over a hundred times. In those days? That was INCREDIBLE word of mouth advertising -- the best kind in my humble opinion.

And unlike movies adapted from books today? The majority of audiences LOVED the adaptation. LOVED IT. Told their family, friends, neighbors, and associates all about it. I remember hearing about it damn near every day for a very long time because if I remember correctly? It stayed in theaters for a very long time.

I think JAWS proved -- at least back then -- that a movie could appeal to audiences all over the world in addition to the United States and still make a ton of money and? Be well made -- high quality filmmaking. Seems to me that many films back then and today sacrifice one over the other and this was one of the first movies that didn't make that kind of sacrifice.

Would JAWS be a blockbuster NOW?

I doubt it unless of course you UPPED THE ANTE with the story and the special effects. Then? Possibly. But think about all the shark movies JAWS has inspired over the years... Take the best of the best of those -- not like SHARKNADO or films of that ilk, but good films. I don't have the time nor the inclination to look them up but they do exist... Take those and compare them to JAWS and you'll see in some of them a story and special effects that work with modern audiences. So if one were to make JAWS today? The envelope would certainly have to be PUSHED beyond what we've seen AFTER JAWS in order for it to become a blockbuster today.

But even having said that? Unless the book that preceded it was a bestseller that got millions of people talking about it and anticipating an adapted film? It would very likely just be another film. So much would depend on what I believe are the broad stroke elements I mentioned in my first reply to your post.
 
What I remember most about "Jaws" was going with my girlfriend. She was clutching my arm during all the violent parts. As we were walking out of the theater, I noticed that my arm was a bit wet. Beverly had gripped my arm so hard her long nails broke my skin, and I had streaks of blood running down my arm.
lol I am not trying to de-rail the thread but here is a funny concept in Texas for watching JAWS
 
lol I am not trying to de-rail the thread but here is a funny concept in Texas for watching JAWS

Too bad they don't have anyone with scuba or snorkel gear wearing shark fins swimming around the lake. Then they could reach out and grab legs when "Bruce" attacks. I'm sure some people would freak and fall off of their inner tube. A truly immersive experience. (Bud-ump--chah! I was going for the groan...)
 
The movie, Jaws, was amazing. The book, although on the best seller list at the time, really wasn't that good. The focus of the book wasn't on the shark, it was on town politics and Matt Hooper having an affair with Mrs. Brody.

I think the thing that made Jaws great is the fact that the mechanical shark never worked! Bruce was always breaking down, so Spielberg had to come up with creative ways of letting the audience know he was there; the music, the barrels that Quint harpooned to the sharks body to bring him to the surface, the dorsal fin cruising through the water, the girl being dragged thru the water. Fantastic, but it was not planned that way. Spielberg planned on showing much more of the shark. If he had, our imaginations would not have had to fill in the blanks, and you know, there is nothing as scary as what we imagine. Plus, timing. Audience in the 70's were still innocent. We had never seen anything like Jaws before... Today, we've seen everything. Much harder to truly wow people when we've seen it all.
 
Last edited:
I remember reading about "Jaws" being the first "Blockbuster" because it was the first to go outside of the 'studio system', (this is just off my memory) so correct me if I am wrong and am definitely not trying to spread mis-information etc if I am wrong.... What did Jaws do, that made it such a blockbuster? Would Jaws now be a blockbuster? or something like it? Not trying to get off topic and into film theory etc, but just really curious about the whole blockbuster writing aspect etc and again, sorry if I am getting off topic, it is just interesting:)
One of the main things that made it a blockbuster was that it was released in summer and lots of young adults/teens went to see the movie multiple times. Up until that point, most movies were aimed at adults and there was never an expectation that money could be made through multiple viewings.
 
Top