Get Over 100 Award-Nominated Screenplays!

Posted on September 7, 2018 at 8:00 am

Screenwriting Magazine is making available links to 100 Academy contender screenplays.  Whether you’re thinking of writing one yourself or just want to know your favorites a little better, this treasure trove is worth checking out.

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Not specified Understanding Media and Pop Culture Writers

Read 2015’s Best Screenplays — For Free

Posted on January 24, 2016 at 3:33 pm

You can read some of the best screenplays of 2015 for free on the great Go Into the Story website. Even if I have seen the movie several times, I always learn more from reading the script, and especially enjoy the writers’ directions and commentary. It’s a fabulous selection, from “The Big Short” to “Danny Collins,” “Ex Machina,” “I Smile Back,” “Inside Out,” “Room,” to “The Hateful Eight.”

These wonderful videos from the New York Times series “Anatomy of a Scene” let the directors explain what they do to tell the story.

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Behind the Scenes Understanding Media and Pop Culture Writers

What Happened to All the Great Quotable Movie Lines?

Posted on December 20, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Michael Cieply has a fascinating piece in the New York Times about the movie lines we love to quote and why there don’t seem to be any new ones. Look through all of the top ten lists of the year, and see if you can think of one quotable line from any of them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t well written, even literary. But it has been a long time since we’ve seen a movie like “The Princess Bride,” where any reference to it will inspire a flurry of well-loved lines. Where are the “You had me at hello” moments?

Sticky movie lines were everywhere as recently as the 1990s. But they appear to be evaporating from a film world in which the memorable one-liner — a brilliant epigram, a quirky mantra, a moment in a bottle — is in danger of becoming a lost art.

Life was like a box of chocolates, per “Forrest Gump,” released in 1994 and written by Eric Roth, based on the novel by Winston Groom. “Show me the money!” howled mimics of “Jerry Maguire,” written by Cameron Crowe in 1996. Two years later, after watching “The Big Lebowski,” written by Ethan and Joel Coen, we told one another that “the Dude abides.”

But lately, “not so much” — to steal a few words from “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” Released in 2006, that film was written by Sacha Baron Cohen and others and is one of a very few in the last five years to have left some lines behind.

Maybe it’s that filmmaking is more visual, or that other cultural noise is drowning out the zingers…. it may be that a Web-driven culture of irony latches onto the movie lines for something other than brilliance, or is downright allergic to the kind of polish that was once applied to the best bits of dialogue.

I have heard that the real reason is that when movies started making more money outside the United States than they do domestically, there was less call for wit or quips or catch-phrases. Maybe the rise of social media will create a whole new market for tweet-able dialog.

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Understanding Media and Pop Culture Writers

Download This Year’s Best Screenplays for Free

Posted on December 3, 2014 at 8:16 am

For a limited time only (and for educational purposes only) this year’s best screenplays are available for free download. This is a chance to read the work of greats like Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”), Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”), Alejandro Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (“Birdman”), Steve Knight (“Locke”), and Anthony McCarten (“The Theory of Everything”). It is a lot of fun to read screenplays because you get to see inside the writer’s imagination as he or she describes the characters and settings. Be sure to grab these while you can.

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Behind the Scenes Understanding Media and Pop Culture Writers

Abandoned Screenplays by Famous Writers

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 8:00 am

Flavorwire has a very intriguing list of “abandoned screenplays” by famous writers like Robert Towne (“Chinatown”), the Coen brothers (“Fargo,” “Inside Llewyn Davis”), Orson Welles (“Citizen Kane”), and Kevin Smith (“Clerks”).  The one I most wish had actually been made is the film written by Roger Ebert for the Sex Pistols, to be directed by Russ Meyer.  I’d say I could only imagine, but I am sure my imagination cannot do justice to what that combination of talent would have produced.  The script is here, so you can imagine for yourself.

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