Friday, December 28, 2012

it's not just cats and pornography

Kids these days like to say (to be funny... or maybe not) that the internet is primarily for cat videos and pornography; and while that's probably where most of the traffic does go, I gotta say I've been pretty impressed with what's available online for education.

Once-upon-a-time, a guy like me who wanted to learn screenwriting would've had to shell out big bucks buying scripts to study. He would've had to sift through mountains of hackey, predatory books purporting to have the answer to life's persistent screenwriting questions. He might even have had to go to (ick) school.

The internet changes all that.

Now you can find hundreds of scripts with a few quick clicks. And instead of reading books written by some possibly well-meaning chap who for some reason never learned how to write a script himself, you can find a number of brilliant, working screenwriters willing to offer up the tricks-of-their-trade, absolutely free!

Why? I don't know, maybe they feel guilty for the stupid money they're making. Maybe they know they're so far out front you'll never catch up. Or perhaps they're just tired of all the truly awful scripts that people like me keep trying to get them to read.

Whatever the case, here are a couple you might should check out, if you're interested in growing your chops: is mostly the brainchild of Terry Rossio, a writer who worked on Aladdin, Shrek,  The Mask of Zorro, Pirates of the Caribbean, Deja Vu, and the upcoming Lone Ranger movie. He's funny, smart, and giving it away. There are also articles by other people on there. Check it. is the work of John August (go figure), who wrote the screenplays for Go, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Frankenweenie, among others.  His website is also chock-full of superb screenwriting education, as well as mini-bios of other writers, and the immensely popular podcast he does with Craig Mazin, writer of The Hangover movies.

There've been others that have helped me out, but read every last scrap of info on those two sites, and presto! you'll know how to write movies.

Then all you'll have to do is write them.

Which is the actual hard part.


  1. the wordplay link takes me to a spanish learning game.

  2. Thanks, Mark. Stupid google autoformatting - it stands corrected.


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