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Screenwriting

Clyde Phillips to Aspiring Screenwriters: ‘Don’t fall in love with your first script too much’

During NYC Television Week MediabistroTV talked to Clyde Phillips, bestselling crime novelist and current showrunner for Nurse Jackie. He shares some advice for aspiring writers, and tells why novel writing is not that different from TV writing:

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Apply for Universal Pictures Writers Fellowship

Screenwriters can apply for Universal Pictures’ new one-year Emerging Writers Fellowship. Through the program, the movie studio will hire up to five screenwriters “who have the potential to thrive, but don’t have access to or visibility within the industry.”

The movie studio opened this application link on September 3rd, but will only accept 500 applications.

Along with the application, you can submit one original feature length script, a resume and “two letters of recommendation from industry professionals.”

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The 24-Hour Screenplay

Screenwriter David Skaufjord wrote a long, unedited but quite practical post about how he wrote a script in 24 hours.

After exploring his unorthodox method, you can read The Karate Kid-themed script he produced during the writing marathon. The post includes some invaluable advice about screenwriting structure:

One of the questions that get tossed around the most when it comes to screenwriting, is how long it takes to write a screenplay. Speaking from my own experience, I´ll say that it takes somewhere between 24 hours and 3.5 years. Now, how long it takes to make a good one is a whole other scenario. But most “writers” you´ll run into never actually finish one. Here´s how I wrote a screenplay in 24 hours. I´m gonna make a habit of forwarding this to every person I run into who claim to carry around a great story, yet don´t have time to write it.

Dan Harmon Shares Story-Breaking Advice

How do you map out ideas before starting a story?

One reader asked Community creator Dan Harmon to explain his personal process of “story-breaking,” or how he brainstorms his way into a script. Harmon’s long and idiosyncratic explanation of his creative process might help you chart out your next story, novel or script. Check it out:

Start with random IDEAS.  Ideas can be anything – Poop is an idea, America, pickles, the number six, a raccoon, anything. Some ideas will reveal related ideas, i.e. you may think, upon thinking about raccoons, that you have more than one thought about raccoons.  Clouds of related ideas that your mind recognizes as related in any way are potential story AREAS.  Look for areas that make you laugh and cry. Draw a circle to symbolize your area, because your story will take the “reader” through related ideas in a path around a central idea.

(Link via; photo via)

WriterDuet Helps You Collaborate Online

Ever wish you could work together online with your writing buddy?

WriterDuet lets you write at the same time, giving you many common word processor features like pagination, notes, headers and footers, spell check and auto-save. You can test the free software at this link and export your work after a writing session. Check it out:

WriterDuet is a real-time collaborative screenwriting app that allows any number of writers to (privately) work together on a screenplay … WriterDuet offers video chat when you’re both online, and text chat is always available .. We import/export Final Draft, Celtx, Fountain and PDF files. 

Joan Rivers Faces Charges from Writers Guild of America, East

The Council of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) will hold a three-person trial board hearing over charges filed against author and comedian Joan Rivers.

Guild members have been on strike against E! Network’s Fashion Police since April 17, 2013. The union called the strike since the show reportedly “paid a fraction of industry-standard compensation and receive no health or pension benefits.”

According to the WGAE allegations, Rivers violated the strike by serving as a writer and showrunner for that show.

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Writing & Screenwriting Advice from Maria Semple

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In this vintage edition of the Morning Media Menu, we interviewed Where’d You Go, Bernadette author Maria Semple. Press play below to listen on SoundCloud.

She talked about her transition from television scriptwriter to novelist. Semple wrote for shows that included Beverly Hills 90210Saturday Night LiveMad About You, and Arrested Development.

During the interview, Semple (pictured, via) delivered some tough and timeless advice for writers considering moving into scriptwriting.

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Video Game Writing Advice from an Industry Veteran

Ever wish you could write for the video game industry?

A veteran video game writer shared some advice and experience with an aspiring writer on Reddit. We’ve collected some useful bits below, but you should read the complete post.  Here’s an excerpt about finding jobs:

All my jobs have been through contacts I’ve picked up as I’ve worked – a sound designer moves on to a different studio, and calls when he finds himself wading through bad dialogue, or a producer I’ve worked with refers me to a colleague. I’ve never once gotten a cold call, or made one.

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Amazon Storyteller Helps Writers Visualize a Script

Are you working on a film script?

Amazon has created a new tool to help screenwriters visualize their work. AppNewser has more about the new service:

Amazon’s film production arm, Amazon Studios, has released a new tool that lets writers and filmmakers create their own storyboards. Amazon Storyteller, which is currently available for free in beta, will visually map characters and dialog from a script. They can use these mockups to share with others and make changes based on feedback.

Joss Whedon: ‘What you cut out becomes part of the story you tell’

Last night, filmmaker Joss Whedon appeared in New York City to promote his upcoming film, Much Ado About Nothing. He answered questions, showed the trailer, and shared a clip from the film.

Whedon’s interest in adapting William Shakespeare‘s “mother of all romantic comedies” came from a lifelong admiration for the famed English playwright. In the past, he would often invite actors, writers, and loved ones to come to his house and act out the plays.

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