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I'd buy that for a dollar...

"If you want to predict the future, just think about how bad it could be and make a joke out of it, and there you go."
Ed Neumeier on the writing of the original RoboCop.
posted by mokin on Feb 14, 2014 - 73 comments

The 2013 Black List

The 2013 Black List has been released.  For those unfamiliar, the “Black List” is a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays circulating around Hollywood, as voted on by over 250 film executives, and past Black List scripts include The Social Network, Saving Mr. Banks, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2013 - 124 comments

"Two drafts later somebody would say, ‘Does he have to die?’ ”

Damon Lindelof uses the story of American folk hero John Henry as an illustrative example of the market pressures on blockbuster screenwriting.
posted by Uncle Ira on Aug 12, 2013 - 66 comments

Schmucks with Underwoods

Vanity fair on the rise and fall and possible rise again of the spec script.
posted by Artw on Feb 11, 2013 - 44 comments

Screenwriters on screenwriting

The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith is an irregularly released podcast where Mr. Goldsmith interviews, at length (each episode runs an hour or more), working Hollywood and foreign screenwriters. The most recent episode is a panel conversation with the year's Oscar-nominated screenwriters. You can listen to the podcasts on his site or subscribe in iTunes or on Android.

Goldsmith is also the publisher of the terrific screenwriting magazine Backstory--currently only available for the iPad but coming (eventually) to the web and Android. You can download the first issue (which is wonderful, and contains full length scripts along with the interviews and stories) for free.
posted by dobbs on Feb 7, 2013 - 5 comments

30 Screenplays for 2012 Flicks

Links to 30 Screenplays from films released in 2012, including Django Unchained, The Master, Looper, Lincoln, Amour...
posted by dobbs on Jan 19, 2013 - 21 comments

"You might not have the talent you need. Success may no longer be available to you. Time will bury everything you care about."

Movie critic Matthew Dessem (previously) considers Edward Ford to be the greatest unproduced screenplay in Hollywood.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 5, 2013 - 11 comments

The idea of hiding behind a secret identity was something I found terribly attractive.

A very long interview with screenwriter Lem Dobbs. Single link to text on a page but it's a wonderful interview and those who love film, culture, the arts... will dig it I think.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on May 4, 2012 - 8 comments

HULK SMASHES THE PUNY PARADIGMS OF FILM CRITICISM

Loudly and with much smashing, FilmCritHulk has become a major presence in the world of online film criticism with his semiotical essays on storytelling, cinematic principles, and media theory. Starting first on his personal blog, Hulk now writes for Badass Digest [previously] (the lifestyle blog corner of the Alamo Drafthouse empire [previously, previously]) [more inside]
posted by kcalder on Jan 26, 2012 - 24 comments

Well, sure, it's all downhill that way

"Storytelling is inherently dangerous. Consider a traumatic event in your life. Think about how you experienced it. Now think about how you told it to someone a year later. Now think about how you told it for the hundredth time. It's not the same thing. Most people think perspective is a good thing: you can figure out characters arcs, you can apply a moral, you can tell it with understanding and context. But this perspective is a misrepresentation: it's a reconstruction with meaning, and as such bears little resemblance to the event." Charlie Kaufman: Why I Wrote Being John Malkovich. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Oct 7, 2011 - 47 comments

"All have one thing in common - their delight in the taste of somebody's failure and it is here tonight."

The first 15 pages of Sam Peckinpah’s long-buried script for The Texans. Via CHUD.com
posted by brundlefly on Jan 20, 2011 - 8 comments

The Black List was published today...

Zombie Baby, Fucking Jane Austen, The Last Witch Hunter, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, American Bullshit, Better Living Through Chemistry... just some of the titles that made this year's Black List, a list of the best unproduced screenplays of the year as voted on by industry insiders. LA Times and Deadline Hollywood have pieces on it and here's an October audio interview with Franklin Leonard, creator of the Black List. In past years, aspiring screenwriters could find PDFs of the scripts online. It's gonna be a lot harder now.
posted by dobbs on Dec 13, 2010 - 42 comments

Once Upon A Time On The Internet

Todd Alcott has written in-depth analyses of Inglourious Basterds (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and Death Proof (1, 2, 3) that are pretty nifty. [more inside]
posted by Toby Dammit X on Feb 11, 2010 - 102 comments

Not THAT Kind of Black List

Patrick Sauriol's Corona Coming Attractions, the comprehensive insider film news site of the late-'90s (resurrected in December 2008), presents the top unproduced screenplays for 2009 as selected by film professionals (Part 1 | Part 2). "Over 300 film professionals were asked to submit the titles of up to ten of their favorite screenplays. The only condition for the picks were that the projects would not be released in theaters this year." Some sound fascinating, others cringe-inducingly tired.
posted by AugieAugustus on Feb 4, 2010 - 21 comments

FADE IN: INT. THE BLUE -- DAY

PDF screenplays of most of the scripts that will probably pick up Oscar nods this year. And the Public Enemies and Funny People scripts, too.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Dec 11, 2009 - 3 comments

a href = fade in

Simply Scripts is a repository of screenplays. Sort of a collection of links to scripts hosted on other sites (like official studio or screenwriter sites). There's some neat stuff there. For instance, I found a Coen brothers script (pdf), based on a James Dickey novel, I'd never heard of before.
posted by Manhasset on Dec 7, 2008 - 14 comments

How Godzilla and Sinbad were lost, and other tales

After a lengthy hiatus, Terry Rossio is once again writing columns on screenwriting and other aspects of the film trade for Wordplayer (previously). New articles include a dissertation on the use of dramatic irony, a fascinating story about a single vacation photo and the strange twists of life, and an insider's look into how good stories get killed, and which battles are worth fighting. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 7, 2008 - 18 comments

Essays on writing by various tv and movie writers

An essay by Bill Lawrence, creator of "Scrubs," on why he writes. It's part of a series: "Why We Write." [more inside]
posted by Tehanu on Mar 16, 2008 - 28 comments

Writers on Screenwriting

Word Into Image: Writers on Screenwriting {youtube}
William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) (1 2 3)
Robert Towne (Chinatown) (1 2 3)
Carl Foreman (High Noon) (1 2 3)
Neil Simon (The Odd Couple) (1 2 3)
Paul Mazursky (An Unmarried Woman) (1 2 3)
Eleanor Perry (The Swimmer) (1 2 3)
posted by dobbs on Feb 22, 2008 - 9 comments

Screenwriting Expo

How I Ended Up In Big Pitches - article in London Times about last weekend's Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles. Features Warren Hsu Leonard, William Goldman, Brian Watanabe, David Freeman, Michael Hauge.
posted by nromanek on Nov 17, 2005 - 10 comments

Snakes on the motherfucking plane

I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing is the new blog by screenwriter Josh Friedman. Not much there yet but what is is fun, especially parts one and two of his adventures with arbitration on War of the Worlds. (Of note: Friedman is the writer who adapted James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia for David Fincher Brian De Palma.) {via The Screenwriting Life}
posted by dobbs on Aug 21, 2005 - 9 comments

I loved the screenplay, so I fired the writer

From Pitch to Premiere LA-based radio show The Business decided to track a film project from its earliest stages. Host Claude Brodesser began with an interview with the producer, the original screenwriter, and her agent, just after they had sold the project as a pitch.(RealAudio stream; interview starts at 11:08) Then he followed up with them as they were beginning their hunt for a director (RealAudio stream; interview starts at 2:51). And when they found a director, the director did an interview as well (RealAudio stream; interview starts at 9:20). It's an interesting look into how movies actually get made. (Via John August, who is the current writer on the project.)
posted by yankeefog on May 5, 2005 - 2 comments

Schmucks With Underwoods

Tired of having to go through directors and producers, more and more screenwriters have their own websites to speak directly to the public (and to speak privately to each other.) Craig Mazin (screenwriter of the upcoming Opus the Penguin film) talks about why the hero aims low and how the screenwriter is like the Director of Photography. John Rogers worked on Catwoman and says "The one tiny shred of my artistic integrity I can take out of that process is that I've never actually seen the movie". Max Adams (whose Excess Baggage is reputed to be one of the best scripts ever made into a crappy movie) talks about how scripts get ruined. William Martell (the Robert Towne of made-for-cable movies) thinks it's a mistake to be too original. Terry Rossio (co-author of Pirates of the Caribbean reveals the physics of the story molecule. (Terry Rossio's site was mentioned in this thread on screenwriter John August's website but is worthy of a front page post of its own.)
posted by yankeefog on Feb 8, 2005 - 19 comments

Script-O-Rama!

Script-O-Rama! Hundreds and hundreds of film scripts, film transcripts, tv show scripts, and anime scripts.
posted by crunchland on Jul 18, 2003 - 5 comments

Sad Clown

"The Day The Clown Cried." Even unfinished, the breathtaking scope of it's...awfulness has for thirty years both attracted and repelled would-be producers and distributors. (script, zipped Word doc) Just the concept is startling, like some kind of hellish Sad Lib -- Jerry Lewis plays a clown in Auschwitz who leads children to the gas chambers. Harry Shearer, one of the few to see the film: "You are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object. This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is. 'Oh my God!' -- that's all you can say." Can this movie ever be made?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jul 16, 2003 - 39 comments

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