Through-lines and “The Empire Strikes Back”

Through-lines and “The Empire Strikes Back”

I never heard the term “through-line” before I became a professional screenwriter. After I sold my first script, however, and started working with producers and studio execs on various projects, I started to hear it all the time. “What’s the through-line of the...
Music Cues In Your Screenplay?

Music Cues In Your Screenplay?

Conventional wisdom says don’t. But this same wisdom also tells you never to direct in your script, nor telegraph what a character is feeling, etc. I respectfully disagree with this. George Lucas wrote American Graffiti around soundtrack cues. Tarantino often cites...
Hiding Plot Points

Hiding Plot Points

Billy Wilder was nominated for the Best Screenplay Oscar® eight times and won the award three times. He was a top screenwriter in his native home of Germany until he fled to the United States after the Nazi’s came to power … and ended up sleeping on Peter...
Bad Words

Bad Words

Bad words. Not the Jason Bateman movie (You guys saw that one, right? …just me?) I’m talking about those bad words that you put in your script that makes an amazing concept turn into a BLAH execution. They’re sneaky and destructive. These bad words separate a novice...