Posts

The Ticking Script…Building A Bomb

We’d all like to forget the bombs but they’re here to remind us of something important — the problems can almost always be found in the script. It’s easy to blame a bomb on the acting ‘talent’ of Ashton Kutcher or the further contributions to the art of cinema of director Paul W.S. Anderson, but sometimes the horror is in the shooting script or even the original spec.  Maybe the screenwriter was to blame, or maybe it was the producer that didn’t recognize the obvious structural issues or the director who only cared about their paycheck, but the point is: the script sucked and there was no way this movie was going to work.

Last summer, I led a reader training course in which we read several scripts that were in development or production in Hollywood. Since then, a few of those movies have been released and I can’t help but say: we saw it comin’!

Wes Craven, the horror legend behind A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream, recently roared back to the big screen with a big ol’ thud when he delivered unto us My Soul to Take, which was based on his original screenplay named 25/8 (a.k.a. Bug. Note: When a movie goes through three titles, it’s probably not a good sign.).

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Screenplay Teacher



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

Script Doctor



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

Screenwriting Help



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

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

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

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

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

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