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 […]

Can I use “CUT TO:” when moving between scenes? Do I have to?

“CUT TO:” can be a useful transition when you need to be extra-clear we’re moving to a new place and/or time. However, with the presence of scene headers, it is by no means necessary, and in modern screenplays it is often not used at all. In a 2003 blog post, John August names three situations […]

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 […]

Who is Robert McKee?

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 […]

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 […]