Film Industry

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.

Are studios open on Saturdays?

It’s the wrong kind of question, but you don’t know that at the start.

Setting is not story

An LA Times article about the island of Pagasa makes a great case study in the difference between an interesting setting and an actual movie idea.

Playing to the core

Brian Lowry cautions against [taking Comic-Con buzz too seriously.

Cablevision and the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on the Cablevision case, allowing the Second Circuit Court’s decision to stand. Cablevision can begin introducing its service.

Per-screen average

Indies have high per-screen averages because they’re on so few screens, not despite it.

When is it brown-nosing?

Any sort of application, whether it’s for a grant, for college or for a job, needs to do exactly three things.

Learning story as a director

Film is a hundred different skills and disciplines, and no one person is going to be great at all of them.

The only one who has seen the movie

At a screenwriting panel last week, Robin Swicord said something that reframed the issue in a very helpful way.

What does a showrunner’s assistant do?

Jonny Sommers has a job many readers want — or at least, think they want: the assistant to a successful and busy TV showrunner.


I flew up to Oakland yesterday for lunchtime lecture and Q&A at Pixar. And wow. It’s really nice up there.

Kurtzman and Orci on Trek and writing together

Story lessons from Star Trek, from the mouths and minds of the writers.

What does “execution dependent” mean?

What makes one high-concept idea more execution-dependent than another?