For work this afternoon, I needed to read a screenplay written in the early 1970s. I think it’s the earliest-dated script I’ve read that wasn’t reprinted in a book.
Comparing Archer’s actual script to my transcript-y approximation shows a little bit more about how Adam Reed’s show works.
Archer does a strange thing I haven’t seen in many shows: the final line of a scene often serves as the first line of the next scene.
A new browser extension points out an interesting and esoteric problem in English: “her” functions as both an objective pronounce and a possessive one.
Pronunciation jokes have a tendency to feel cheap and hoary. But when they work, they work — and it’s easy enough to show them on the page.
In a screenplay, you’re not going to write every punch. Rather, you need to get specific about what makes this fight unique to this moment and this movie.
The Tiny Protagonist has a good interview with Javier Grillo-Marxuach (a writer/producer on LOST and many other shows), talking about how he got started and the craft of television.
If you’re staying in one location — or a series of similar locations — you don’t need individual sluglines.
College was the first time I started writing how I speak. Or, more accurately, college was when I stopped trying to write the way I thought I should write.
As a screenwriter, with no aspirations of getting behind the camera, how hard is it, or would it be to sell a spec script, that could possibly be a 100-110 min movie, but only a 65-70 page script? Understanding that execution is key, is it even possible to get your screenplay looked at, with it being so short?
I’m reading more network pilot scripts this year than in years past, so I can’t say whether this is a new trend or just something I was unaware of: What’s with all the swearing?
Movie characters hang up the phone earlier than actual people would.
You have several choices for situations in which one character interrupts another.
Eric Heisserer offers a good example of why you need to make sure to read dialogue aloud.
A helpful tutorial on apostrophes.
Last night, I struggled with a scene that went on too long without really accomplishing its aims. The solution ended up being pretty simple: get rid of a character.
One hyphen, two hyphens or none at all?
What’s the accepted tolerance for parentheticals in screenplay dialogue?
Three quick answers on writing camera angles, formatting TV scripts and choosing a pen name.
If you have a line that only makes sense one way — and it’s not the first way someone would read it — you have a couple of choices.
Today’s scriptcast is nominally about dialogue, but I ended up switching a lot of stuff around in the scene in order to accommodate new — and less — dialogue.
It’s okay to refer to emotions in character descriptions, even beyond what the character is experience at the moment we meet him.
How you arrange the words can determine whether a line is rim-shot funny or thrown-away funny.
Jane Espenson makes the case for finding the essence before writing the jokes.
If it would be obvious to the viewer, make it obvious to the reader.