Writing For Ensemble Casts

Writing For Ensemble Casts

Writing a story with an ensemble cast is like serving a pie with equal slices. You might start with an idea delicious enough for five or more characters, but if you don’t balance them just right during the writing process, one or two of the characters will draw your...
“Westworld” and the Power of Repetition

“Westworld” and the Power of Repetition

A serene blonde woman walks in a cornflower blue dress that sweeps along the dusty streets of a Western town. As she reaches her horse, she drops a can of milk from her bag. A gallant cowboy, her sweetheart who’s been away, picks it up for her. Or does he? Another...
Creating Setups and Payoffs That Stick

Creating Setups and Payoffs That Stick

Creating setups and payoffs can feel a bit like courting your audience. When they’re heavy-handed and obvious, they’re like the hopeful beau who goes overboard to impress someone with concert tickets and a limo, only to hear crickets. But find the right combination of...
When Narration Works

When Narration Works

Bad narration is like watching a movie with someone chatting in the seat behind you, except you can’t turn around and tell him or her to be quiet. Narration, or voice-over, seems counterintuitive to film, which ideally speaks to us in action, images and dialogue....