Telling stories for free or profit

How do you make money telling stories? Thousands of MFA students ask themselves that question, usually starting a few weeks after graduation when reality sets in and you find out the world isn’t really that much different than it was when you were sitting in a circle reading from a fistful of laser paper. You’veContinue reading “Telling stories for free or profit”

Astrakan’s new film, An American Affair, opens this week in select cities

For more information: OPENING FEBRUARY 27 New York City Landmark Sunshine 143 East Houston St. New York, NY (212) 330-8182 Washington, DC Landmark E Street 555 11th Street NW Washington, DC 20004 (202) 452-7672 OPENING MARCH 6 Los Angeles Laemmle Sunset 5 8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, 90046 323-848-3500 OPENING MARCH 13 Boston LandmarkContinue reading “Astrakan’s new film, An American Affair, opens this week in select cities”

Thoreau, iPhones and moving pictures

“We are the tools of our tools,” or so Henry David Thoreau famously said. It’s true. As a species, our single greatest flaw is our obsession with inanimate objects. How many folks died for the shiny yellow metal stuff? What about blood diamonds? How many newspapers did we deliver so we could buy that RedContinue reading “Thoreau, iPhones and moving pictures”

Tension, context and subtext in dialog

A friend once told me that every conversation that takes place in a screenplay should be an argument. It’s advice he heard from a writing teacher, and I think it’s basically sound. I’d replace the concept of an argument with the more general notion of tension. It doesn’t have to be direct confrontation, but thereContinue reading “Tension, context and subtext in dialog”

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.Continue reading “Writing for the budget”