Robert McKee is a screenwriting guru whose book (and seminar series), Story, is one of the most popular and polarizing how-to screenwriting books on the market. McKee, a Fulbright Scholar, developed his seminar while a professor at the University of Southern California, and began offering it to the public in 1984. It has been attended […]
If I am adapting a classic work that is in the public domain, should I credit the original writer?
When adapting and updating a well known property in the public domain, it is a bit of a judgement call as to whether or not the original work needs a “based on” credit. If it feels dishonest not to note it, note it. If not, it’s up to you. For a case like West Side […]
What is sweepstakes pitching?
Sweepstakes pitching (also know as a “bake-off”) is when a studio or producer brings in many different screenwriters to pitch on the same project before deciding which one to hire (“the winner”). In most cases, sweepstakes pitching occurs when the studio owns a licensed property — such as a character or board game — for […]
What is the hero’s journey?
The hero’s journey is the epic structure defined by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell argues that the great enduring myths from around the world all share an underlying structure he calls the “monomyth.” In the introduction to his book, Campbell breaks it down: A hero ventures forth from the world […]
What does a screenplay title page look like?
All title pages should include following, centered on the page: the title (in uppercase) written by the writer’s name(s) based on (if any) The date goes in the lower right-hand corner. For a spec script, the title page should include contact info for the writer or her representation on the left margin opposite the date. […]
What is an option?
An option is an agreement that gives someone (usually a producer or a studio) the exclusive rights to buy something for a set amount of time and a pre-determined price. Options are common in the film and television industry, because they allow producers to control the rights to a piece of material without spending the […]