What is a two-hander?

A two-hander is a movie where there are two main characters of roughly equal importance to the story, and whose arcs are given roughly equal screen-time. Romantic comedies and buddy cop movies are often two-handers, but almost all genres have their examples. The Sixth Sense is a thriller two-hander, for instance. More from johnaugust.com Two-hander […]

How do I write a screenplay?

Writing a screenplay is a large undertaking. In not much more than 100 pages, a screenwriter must clearly and succinctly present a coherent and gripping story, complete with rich characters and interesting dialogue and action, all while following standard screenplay format. Get a feel for how they work. Screenplays are not stand-alone pieces of literary […]

How do screenwriters use index cards?

Many screenwriters find index cards (aka notecards, note cards, or flash cards) valuable in both the outlining and pitching processes. They are a great way for visualizing story, and they are non-linear, so they can be moved and shuffled easily. Plus they come in different colors, which can be a big help with organization. When […]

What does it mean to “break story” on a screenplay?

Breaking story basically means figuring out the screenplay’s blueprint — mapping out a story and coming up with a logically and dramatically consistent beginning, middle, and end, and the major checkpoints therein. ROBIN I finally broke story on that period family-horror-comedy idea I’ve been wrestling with. BRAD Nice! It’s cause for a small celebration. More […]

What is a treatment?

A treatment is essentially a prose version of your screenplay, although its exact definition can vary from person to person. Usually, treatments differ from outlines in that they look more like short stories where outlines look more like breakdowns or bulleted lists, but this is a bit of a generalization. Most feature treatments are around […]