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The Black List 2011 highlights the best spec screenplays of the year

The 2011 Black List is here! Congratulations to all of the writers who made the list.

For those who don’t know, the Black List compiles the “most liked” unproduced (as of voting time) screenplays of the year, as voted on by studio, agency and production company executives in Hollywood. What began as an underground project has become a major announcement for the development community that is reported on by sources such as The Hollywood Reporter.

Past winners like Juno and The Social Network have proven the list as a prescient judge of quality film storytelling. Read more

script screenplay

Are you writing a “script” or a “screenplay?” Is there a difference between the terms script and screenplay?

Screenplay vs. script. Which is it?

Exhibit A: “Script”

Exhibit B:”Screenplay”

Read more

Billion dollar screenwriters Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon

A clunky first draft is a million times more valuable than a perfect 10 pages or only 3/4 of a script that that never gets finished.

Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon are a very successful screenwriting team whose films have grossed $1.4 billion worldwide (with the Night at the Museum franchise, their creation, being the heavy lifters in their filmography). Garant and Lennon met in 1988 while at NYU film school and joined with other students to form the comedy group, “The State,” which would later become an MTV sketch comedy series and land them a movie deal. Garant and Lennon were the only two members of the group with the discipline to sit down and write a feature-length screenplay, but they were newcomers and the deal fell through (in their words, they “would go out to L.A. and people would yell at us” because their ideas were just too weird for mainstream producers). Read more

Emmy nominations 2011

Louis C.K. in FX channel's "Louie"

The Emmy Nominations are in. Major categories listed below; for the full list, see The Hollywood Reporter.

Writing noms are at bottom, highlighted in blue.

There’s some great choices this year. I’m most excited about these noms… Read more

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” cast interview part 1 (video)

I had the opportunity to visit the set of one of my favorite shows on television: the sitcom “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” which shoots on the Fox lot. A group of us observed the shooting of a very funny scene in Paddy’s pub (I wish I could tell you the premise, but I can’t reveal any spoilers), toured the set and interviewed the cast. Read more

Spider Man movie directed by James Cameron coming soon! (Stan Lee’s Soapbox from 1991)

This was a very funny discovery.

I bought some old comics from a used book store over Christmas for nostalgia’s sake (and hoping the Wolverine guest appearances might be worth something) and I came across this gem in a John Byrne Namor comic from 1991:  Stan Lee announces the upcoming Spider Man movie directed by James Cameron!


Here’s the text, the bolds are mine: Read more

83rd Academy Award Nominations 2011

Here are the nomations for the 83rd Academy Awards, to be broadcast live on February 27, 2011. Read more

Screenwriting Career Goals for the New Year

Continued from Page One: Screenwriting Resolutions: Craft Goals

If you aspire to get paid for your writing, you will need to balance your craft development with marketing efforts.  We writers are often most comfortable alone in front of our laptops, so it’s tough to put ourselves and our work out there. But you have to do it. There’s no way around it. Read more

Screenwriting Resolutions for the New Year


It’s that time of year again and we’re all making our New Year’s Resolutions.

Or are you avoiding them, like me? (In my defense, I’m just now finishing up a writing assignment and I wanted to maintain my focus on that, so suck on that, haters.)

Ahem. So…let’s give each other a kick in the pants, shall we? Here’s some advice, take it or leave it… Read more

Harry Potter and the Deadly Cash Grab?

As I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I I became upset by two increasingly clear aspects…

  • The film was obviously stretched out.  Each scene played much slower than it needed to, and in my estimation was cut slower than the previous films have been paced.
  • The film was obviously shot with 3d in mind, and perhaps even with 3D cameras, although the studio denies this, as there were so many frickin’ things flying at the screen! Even the blocking of actors in the static shots and the resolution of the images, in general, looked composed for 3D.

Add these two things up and you have a huge commercial cash grab that, in my opinion, cheapens one of the great fantasy sagas of our time. Read more

The A-Team: please don’t call them if you’re in trouble

Because this A-Team does not help people in trouble.  They’re only out for revenge.

This A-Team did not serve time in the same military unit and then escape from a prison camp, thus bonding them together for life. In fact…

The B-team.

This A-Team doesn’t make any sense, whatsoever.

And it just got pitied like a fool by The Karate Kid, which made DOUBLE its gross in their mutual opening weekend.

At this time last year, “The Hangover” and “Up” were going gangbusters at the box-office — both ORIGINAL scripts.


But, wait, The Karate Kid is also a remake of a piece of campy 80s material. So why did it fare so much better?

Read more