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Film Industry

Why must we have board-game movies?

Reader Logan is dispirited by Hollywood’s zeal to turn every toy and board game into a franchise.

Producers, managers and deals

How much should a first-time writer expect to make on a sale?

Women in film

The Bechdel test points out how rarely women characters in movies talk about anything other than men.

Do you tip studio valets?

I follow the keys rule: only if they take possession of my car keys.

Writing for 3-D

In the short term, yes, the rush towards 3-D may affect the kinds of movies that get greenlit. But the underlying “nature of cinematic storytelling” doesn’t tend to change much even in the face of tremendous technical innovations.

On Golden Handcuffs

Paul spent 29 years in a job too good to leave, and regrets it.

Unpaid internships in the crosshairs

NYT on unpaid internships, which are common and often illegal.

Reading scripts on the iPad

The iPad makes a terrific device for reading screenplays as .pdfs, particularly with third-party apps.

How to leave an agent

The job of an agent or manager is to put your work in the hands of people who might like it, then get you into rooms to meet with them. If they can’t do that, you need someone new.

Free ebooks correlated with increased print-book sales

In books and in movies, increased sampling usually generates more sales than it costs.

On Alice in Wonderland

I’ve not written Alice in Wonderland three times. It’s a recurring motif, dating back to 1995 and the very start of my career.

Should I mention the script was optioned?

Producers and production companies aren’t necessarily going to be excited that someone else had the project before them. Yes, it validates their taste a bit, but they may worry that the script has already been burned out around town. If everyone has read it and passed, what are they going to do with it, exactly?

Are online film classes worth it?

Scott wonders if his online filmmaking classes are teaching him what he needs to know.

Writing while at a studio

Chris works as an assistant at a studio? Do they own anything he writes?

Why the Netflix/WB deal isn’t a bad thing

Netflix announced that it wouldn’t be shipping new releases from Warner Bros. until 28 days after street date.

Seven writer’s rules for survival in animation

Useful suggestions for screenwriters working on their first animated feature

How ScriptShadow hurts screenwriters

ScriptShadow reviews scripts to upcoming movies. And that hurts screenwriters more than anyone.

Startups and slippery facts

Since I was name-checked twice this interview from the top-ranked Wharton School of Business, I feel some responsibility to point out a few fallacies and follies.

WGAw screenwriter survey

WGAw screenwriters should have received an email yesterday about an online survey the Guild is conducting. Please find the email — it might get stuck in your spam filter — and click the link.

How to handle a meeting

For newcomers, I can offer a bit of a summary

Hulu is not dead to me

I have little sympathy for users outraged that Hulu is going to start charging.

Making Christian movies

Is it a good idea to focus on making a movie for Christian audiences?

What’s wrong with the business

Writers are making less money, and it’s part of a bigger shift in the industry.

Is it fair use to perform one scene?

A reader asks if a planned DVD crosses into dangerous copyright territory.

Subtitled success stories

Somewhat remarkably, the top two movies in America have subtitles. Lots and lots of subtitles.