[scrippet] INT. CLASSROOM Mr. SMITH walks into the room and lays his briefcase on the desk. He sighs. SMITH Okay class. Today we’re going to talk about the Reagan Revolution. The students yawn. He writes the words on the board. SMITH Have any of you ever heard of this? The students look around. They’re bored. Read Full

04 Nov 2008

Writing for the budget

When you first start writing scripts, one of the great liberating experiences is the ability to start a scene with something like this: [scrippet] EXT. PARIS STREET – AFTERNOON Smith steps to the curb and hails a cab… [/scrippet] And then, you can follow up with the next scene, with a quantum leap: [scrippet] EXT. Read Full

04 Nov 2008

Valley Film Festival

One of my scripts took “best screenplay” honors at the SF Valley International Film Festival last night. It was a nice cap to my first trip to LA. Writing isn’t exactly lonely work, as much as it is isolating. Even when you’re working in the coffee shops with other presumptuous writers (where I am right Read Full

27 Oct 2008

Food in film

I’m in the fog that creeps in after I finish a script, when you wonder what to do next. Of course rewriting is a good idea, but then it also makes sense to get a little distance. I guess I could clean the garage and change the oil before starting the second draft. But instead Read Full

19 Oct 2008

Spec season

Regular as fireflies on the Fourth, October is the time of year that Nicholl inquiries begin to roll in. I’ve had the good fortune of placing spec scripts high in that contest two years in a row. Once they release the list of quarterfinalists and above, production companies and a few agencies will reach out Read Full

11 Oct 2008


This video is kind of freaky. Like someone’s been watching me. Read Full

08 Oct 2008

Top screenplay contests

A couple years ago when I finished my first script, I had no idea what to do next. Unlike fiction, you can’t just send queries to agents and expect any kind of response, even rejections. Screenwriting contests and script competitions are one avenue to get industry attention. These are the best options based on my Read Full

07 Sep 2008

Do you read your stuff out loud?

I don’t know how many times over the years that I’ve recommended to writer friends and fiction writing students to read their work out loud. Not only will you catch every typo and grammar glitch, but you’ll be able to hear the ring and rattle of the words in your head. Now that a tiny Read Full

19 Jul 2008

The hearth is your friend

This is the only truth. As much as writers might be in love with the romance in Dylan Thomas’s notion of the hearth killing the writer, a working stiff life can be your greatest ally. A full-time job requires punctuality. It requires a schedule. And when you start to wedge moments into that schedule for Read Full

17 Jul 2008

Morning dialog

Cats that wake you at first light are useful. Suddenly you’re stumbling to the garage with a cup of cat food, bleary eyed, wondering where you are. You walk past where the Mac is charging on the counter, and suddenly you’re sitting on the front porch typing (or more likely deleting) dialog on your script Read Full

13 Jul 2008
David Baker by teslathemes