Archive for 2009

30.12.2009 Glossary No Comments

Copyright

You can copyright your screenplay or novel with the U.S. Copyrights office in Washington, D.C. Download the proper forms at their website.

30.12.2009 Glossary Comments Off

Coverage

Script Coverage/Screenplay Coverage is a 3-5 page report evaluating the quality and potential of a written submission to be a successful film for that particular production company. Final judgment is a Recommend, Consider, or Pass. Most scripts are given a Pass (at least 85% of all submissions). This can be for story or commercial reasons. Recommends are very rarely given; this is an extremely high grade and basically means the script is ready to shoot. Thus, a Consider is considered to be positive, and should make a writer very happy! There are many factors involved in passing this test. A script must not only be well-written but must also appeal to the company’s commercial and thematic sensibilities. For example, it could be a wonderful fresh romantic comedy, but if that producer or executive is not looking to make a romantic comedy, then they will Pass.

09.12.2009 Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Disney’s Tangled re-imagines Grimm’s Fairy Tale Page 2

Back to Page One

Story Map beats for Rapunzel (original Grimm’s Fairy Tale, source material for Tangled):

Opening: A WIFE convinces her HUSBAND to steal the delicious rampion from the garden of the powerful WITCH that lives next door.

Inciting Incident: The Husband goes back for more rampion and he is caught by the Witch. She puts a curse on him — he must give her his first-born child. RAPUNZEL, a beautiful, golden-haired girl is born and given to the Witch.

Strong Movement Forward: When Rapunzel is 12, the Witch locks her in a cell at the top of a tower with no stairs or door, only a single window. Rapunzel’s only visitor is the Witch, who climbs up Rapunzel’s long hair to reach her cell and bring her food.

End of Act One TURN and DECISION: The PRINCE is riding by one day and he hears Rapunzel’s lonely singing coming from the top of the tower. He can’t find a way into the tower so he rides by every day listening to her song.

First Trial/First Casualty: The Prince observes the Witch call out “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,” and climb up the hair. The Prince does the same, tricking Rapunzel and putting them both in danger.

Midpoint: They fall in love, get engaged and come up with a plan. The Prince will bring a piece of silk rope each time he visits, and over time Rapunzel will sew a ladder from the rope that she may climb down to escape.

Declaration of War: Just as the escape ladder is almost ready, The Witch learns of Rapunzel’s engagement to the Prince and she cuts off the girl’s hair and casts her into a desert.

End of Act Two TURN and DECISION: The Witch tricks the Prince into climbing up the cut hair to the top of the tower — she tells him Rapunzel is dead and he leaps from the tower in grief. He survives the fall but blinds himself on thorns.

True Point of No Return: The Prince wanders blind, for years, as Rapunzel bears two twin children in exile.

Climax: The Prince hears her voice and reunites with Rapunzel and their two children. Her tears cure his blindness.

Epilogue: They return to the Prince’s kingdom and live “long and happily.”

Like many of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, it’s got some pretty dark moments.  There’s a lot of people dying “miserable deaths” in Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Not exactly the stuff of Disney, huh?

You’ll notice, however, that Rapunzel is almost completely passive.  No wonder they’ve given her SUPER-HAIR in this movie!

The trailer suggests that the Prince is the protagonist of the movie, but we all know that Disney’s princess line generates billions of dollars so it would seem to behoove their bottom line to appoint Rapunzel as the character who drives the story with her active decisions. But what’s better for the story? We’ll see. (sound off in the Comments below)

The original fairy tale also says nothing of the fate of the Witch. (If anyone needs to die a miserable death, it’s that bitch.) We all know that if the villain goes unpunished in a movie, we tend to leave the theater unsatisfied, so I’m guessing they’ll make sure she gets hers.

I look forward to this new take on the classic tale.

Good Luck and Happy Writing!

-Dan Calvisi

Related: Story Maps

Where are you at in the screenwriting process?

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07.12.2009 How To Screenplay, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

How To Write A Screen Play

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

08.11.2009 Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Script Coverage

I don’t offer script coverage as one of my consulting services; I prepare detailed story notes that identify narrative problems and offer specific suggestions on how to fix them. However, I wrote coverage on scripts and books for years as a professional movie studio Reader. So I’m very familiar with it. You will find a number of services online that offer screenplay coverage, but in my opinion it’s not the best thing to spend your money on. Here’s why…

read more

06.11.2009 How To Screenplay, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Tips

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

05.11.2009 Screenplay Analysis, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Consultation

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

03.11.2009 Screenplay Analysis, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Consultants

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

02.11.2009 Screenplay Analysis, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Consultant

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

01.11.2009 Screenplay Analysis, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Analysis

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

01.11.2009 How To Screenplay, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

How to Write a Script

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

01.11.2009 Screenplay Analysis, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Coach



Do you want a screenplay analysis from a Script Doctor with major movie studio credentials?


Are you looking for a screenplay coach to give you the best script consultation you can get and to mentor you through the process of how to write screenplays?

I am a screenplay teacher and script doctor with over 14 years experience in the craft and business of screenplays. I have worked for major movie studios and I live in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the movie and TV capital of the world.

I can give you the TOOLS — a professional screenwriting consultation to blow away all other script services — to take your script to the next level. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood.

  • 95% of great movies follow the Story Map

Let’s look at a few examples from popular movies: The Matrix, a Science Fiction action thriller and As Good as it Gets, a Dramatic Comedy. Both movies are blockbuster hit films and employ strong Story Maps. They are very different stories in completely different genres, but employ the same storytelling structure.

As an example, I will highlight one of the unique beats found in my Story Maps structure.

The INCITING INCIDENT is an event of HIGH CONFLICT that…

  1. Upsets the established ORDER
  2. Ups the STAKES for the Protagonist
  3. Acts as a crucial CATALYST for the story.
  4. Occurs in the range of page 8 – 10 of the screenplay, or 8 – 10 minutes into the movie.

The Matrix

Exactly 10 minutes into the movie, NEO (Keanu Reeves) meets TRINITY (Carrie-Anne Moss), who tells Neo that the answer to the question “What is the Matrix?” will find him, but only if he wants it to. This introduces the LOVE INTEREST (Trinity), the THEME (Free Will vs. Destiny) and the main STORY ENGINE for Act One (Neo searches for “the Matrix.”).

As Good As It Gets

Exactly 10 minutes into the movie, MELVIN (Jack Nicholson) meets CAROL the waitress (Helen Hunt) for his daily meal. As they talk, Melvin makes a horrible remark about how her sick son will die just like the rest of us. This introduces Melvin’s LOVE INTEREST, the powerful CONFLICT between them (negative vs. positive), the THEME (Don’t let pessimism rule you) and Melvin’s central GOAL: to learn to love.

There are 9 other crucial story beats in the Story Maps structure,as well as 4 story engines and 9 main dramatic elements. These are the BUILDING BLOCKS of your story, and once you understand that I can teach you about proper screenplay format, how to write a screenplay treatment or synopsis and how to sell a screenplay.

Where are you at in the screenwriting process?

No matter if you’re just starting out or have written several scripts, I can help you achieve your goals.

Good luck and happy writing!

Dan Calvisi

01.11.2009 How To Screenplay, Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Writing

Would you like to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional screenwriter and Script Doctor who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the TOOLS — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most simple, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial concept all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to agents, managers and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood. read more

07.10.2009 Screenwriting Blog No Comments

Screenplay Coverage

I don’t offer script coverage as one of my consulting services; I prepare detailed story notes that identify narrative problems and offer specific suggestions on how to fix them. However, I wrote coverage on scripts and books for years as a professional movie studio Reader. So I’m very familiar with it. You will find a number of services online that offer screenplay coverage, but in my opinion it’s not the best thing to spend your money on. Here’s why…

read more