BIZ TIP TUESDAY:

PRECISION MANUFACTURING


Buy the DVD

The next FAST & FURIOUS movie will be released on April 10, 2020... so here is some car stuff to tide you over.

Every Friday night at the Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake, they have a custom car show. People from all over Los Angeles bring their hot rods, antiques and self-customized street cars to the parking lot in back and pop the hoods to better show off the beautiful custom built engines. There's no admission to get in, most people go to the show after they've finished their burgers and fries... some just wander in off the street. Because the Big Boy is only a couple of blocks from NBC, you may run into Jay Leno either looking at cars or showing off one of his own. You might also run into David Lynch, he's written some of his weirdest stuff in that restaurant. Some of the people who wander over for the car show are screenwriters who work out of Priscilla's Coffee Shop - you might even see me.

The cars are amazing. Some have chopped tops and channeled bodies. Some sport custom body panels - transforming a street car into a concept car. There are a bunch of those Volkswagen kit cars - the Rolls Royce Bug and other strange hybrids. There are usually a couple of strange hemi-powered hearses, hoods open to display sparkling chrome parts. Even if you aren't a car nut and have never had a subscription to Hot Rod Magazine, the engines are amazingly beautiful. Works of art. And when the event is over and it's time for the space to revert back to a parking lot... the car owners just get into their works of art and drive away. All of these vehicles are street legal...

All of them are functioning *cars*. The engines are beautiful to look at - real works of art - and they *work*. They are functional. The primary purpose of the engine is to power the car. It would make absolutely no sense at all to build an engine that looks great but doesn't work. Because the engine compartment in a car is only so big, it would also make no sense to add anything to the engine that's pretty and pointless. There are some cars with superchargers bursting through their hoods - but a supercharger is all about function. Weight is also an issue when we're dealing with things that are pretty but pointless - these cars are not just beautiful, they're *fast*! You don't want to weigh down your street rod with a bunch of heavy metal that serves no purpose. So you may find stabilizers that look sporty - but they serve a specific need.

Buy the DVD

Those chrome headers? Like every other part of these cars, they are created to be functional *first*, then beautiful. The part has to fit the car, has to do its job... or the doesn't run. What do you call a car that doesn't run? Junk! It may be *pretty* junk, but it's still junk. If you created a beautiful chrome header that didn't fit any car - that's also junk. Pretty junk, but still junk. The parts have to fit the car, or they make no sense.

When I pop the hood on my little red sports car and look at the engine (seldom - I'm a writer) what I see is a greasy ugly dirty engine... but it works great and gets me from here to there. This engine has lots of miles on it, looks ugly, but works fine. It's all function... and that's a good thing when I have a meeting all the way on the other side of town at Sony.

Which brings us to screenplays. Although *you* may think of screenplay as finished (or not finished... but I'll have it done by the end of the month), everyone else in the world thinks of a screenplay as just a *part*. It's one of the parts that are needed to make a movie. Because we're screenwriters, we believe that it's the most important part - the engine. But we're alone in that. Producers tend to think that the movie star is the most important part - that's what really gets the project going. A screenplay? Kind of like a chassis. It's the part that holds everything else together. It's down there under the car where mud splatters on it. Directors are the next important part - can't make a movie without one! Even an unscripted documentary has a director, right?

Buy the DVD

But since we're all screenwriters, here, let's say the script is the engine.

Like the engine, your script is just a part of the car. And it has to work. And it has to *fit*. All parts have to be functional first and they have to fit... beauty isn't required (like my car's engine - it just has to work). Now, as screenwriters, we often focus on the beauty aspects. We made this beautiful part - interestingly shaped and colorful and like nothing you have ever seen before! Everyone who looks at the part thinks it should be in a museum somewhere.

Only one problem - it doesn't fit any known car.

We have created part without thinking about function.

Which makes that part... junk. Pretty junk, but still junk.

Now, it's possible for some do-it-yourselfer to build his own car around our part - but not likely. And how would that do-it-yourselfer ever know about our part? And it he or she is a do-it-yourselfer... wouldn't they be more likely to do it themselves and build their own engine? That's the part that runs the car! The most important part!

That means (unless we are do-it-yourselfers) we probably need to make sure our scripts fit. The better our scripts fit, the better the car will run. This is *precision* manufacturing. We need to think of the functionality of the part before its beauty. I'm sure you've seen some purely functional movie and wondered why they decided to spend the money to make *that* script when there are more beautiful screenplays out there. Like a car, it doesn't have to be beautiful, it just has to run. Function comes first. That beautiful screenplay may not have fit as well - it may not have been as *functional* as the plain screenplay.

Buy the DVD

Though you can cheaply make a part that fits, they tend to wear out. You've seen movies that provide laughs or a scare or some cool action scenes... but are instantly forgettable. Disposable films. The studio exec who greenlights a movie only cares about how it performs in the near future (before he gets fired). He thinks short term... so the disposable part is just as good as the well crafted part. But the film business is changing - and BluRay and streaming have created a market for movies that people buy because they want to see them again and again. Those forgettable movies won't be part of that market. Another shift in the business has made the studio's *library* more valuable. A library is all of the films the studio has made - the movies they own. If these movies are valuable, they can sell them to someone else or use them as collateral in order to make new movies. If the library is full of disposable films? We want to make a part that fits, is functional, and won't have to be replaced in a couple of years.

Just because something is functional doesn't mean it has to be ugly. When I pop the hood on my car, I'd really rather see one of those pretty chrome engines like the ones on display at Bob's Big Boy on Friday night. Your script NEEDS to be functional, it needs to FIT; but it can still be beautifully written. It's BETTER if it's both functional and beautiful. When someone is buying a car and they pop the hood, they don't want to see an ugly dirty mess. Though they may never look at that engine again, they want it to look good. If it looks *beautiful* they're even more likely to buy the car.

SCREENWRITING ISN'T LIKE OTHER WRITING

Buy the DVD

When an painter finishes with a canvas - it's done! It can now be viewed in a gallery. It has reached its final form.

When a novelist finished writing a novel, it's done! It can be read in finished form on the 8.5x11 typing paper... or typeset and bound and published. A novel is the final form.

When a playwright finished a play... it must be performed by actors before it reaches it's final form. A play usually goes through a series of try-outs where it is rewritten. It's not uncommon for a play to be completely different by the time it reaches Broadway... and even then, no one reads a play but actors... the final form is what happens on the stage. It's the play and the actors and the lighting and the director and the costumes and the set design... all of those things make a contribution to the final form.. If you buy a play at Sam French, they have original cast list, set design notes, and all kinds of other information BESIDES the play itself.

Same thing with a screenplay. It's NOT a final form. No one in the world reads screenplays except producers, readers, and other folks whose job is to MAKE A MOVIE. The entire purpose of a screenplay is to be made into a movie. A finished screenplay is one step in the making of a movie... but the movie is the final form. Just a part. The movie is what people will see - that's where it can be art (or not - it may just be a functional comedy). An unproduced script is just a part - the engine that runs that machine.. but if it doesn't fit any known machine? It's junk.

A screenplay is not art, it is a part. It can look pretty (best if it does) but what matters most is - Does the part fit the machine?

Our job is percision manufacturing... a work of art.


BRAND NEW

OUTLINES & THE THEMATIC!

bluebook

OUTLINES & THE THEMATIC Blue Book.

ARE YOUR SCENES IN THE RIGHT ORDER?
AND ARE THEY THE RIGHT SCENES?

Your story is like a road trip... but where are you going? What's the best route to get there? What are the best sights to see along the way? Just as you plan a vacation instead of just jump in the car and start driving, it's a good idea to plan your story. An artist does sketches before breaking out the oils, so why shouldn't a writer do the same? This Blue Book looks at various outlining methods used by professional screenwriters like Wesley Strick, Paul Schrader, John August, and others... as well as a guest chapter on novel outlines. Plus a whole section on the Thematic Method of generating scenes and characters and other elements that will be part of your outline. The three stages of writing are: Pre-writing, Writing, and Rewriting... this book looks at that first stage and how to use it to improve your screenplays and novels.

Only $3.99!


ALSO NEW!

DESCRIPTION & VOICE Blue Book!

bluebook

DESCRIPTION & VOICE Blue Book.

IS HALF OF YOUR STORY IN TROUBLE?

Most screenplays are about a 50/50 split between dialogue and description - which means your description is just as important as your dialogue. It just gets less press because the audience never sees it, the same reason why screenwriters get less press than movie stars. But your story will never get to the audience until readers and development executives read your script... so it is a very important factor. Until the movie is made the screenplay is the movie and must be just as exciting as the movie. So how do you make your screenplay exciting to read? Description is important in a novel as well, and the “audience” does read it... how do we write riveting description?

Only $3.99!


Tips FAQ

My New Script Secrets Newsletter!


NEW BOOKS!

bluebook

NEW AND HOT!

*** STRUCTURING YOUR STORY *** - For Kindle!


William Goldman says the most important single element of any screenplay is structure. It’s the skeleton under the flesh and blood of your story. Without it, you have a spineless, formless, mess... a slug! How do you make sure your structure is strong enough to support your story? How do you prevent your story from becoming a slug? This Blue Book explores different types of popular structures from the basic three act structure to more obscure methods like leap-frogging. We also look at structure as a verb as well as a noun, and techniques for structuring your story for maximum emotional impact. Most of the other books just look at *structure* and ignore the art of *structuring* your story. Techniques to make your story a page turner... instead of a slug!

Only $3.99 - and no postage!


NO KINDLE REQUIRED! Get the *free* app (any device, except your Mr. Coffee) on the order page on Amazon!


LEARN SUSPENSE FROM THE MASTER!

*** HITCHCOCK: MASTERING SUSPENSE *** - For Kindle!

Alfred Hitchcock, who directed 52 movies, was known as the *Master Of Suspense*; but what exactly is suspense and how can *we* master it? How does suspense work? How can *we* create “Hitchcockian” suspense scenes in our screenplays, novels, stories and films?

This book uses seventeen of Hitchcock’s films to show the difference between suspense and surprise, how to use “focus objects” to create suspense, the 20 iconic suspense scenes and situations, how plot twists work, using secrets for suspense, how to use Dread (the cousin of suspense) in horror stories, and dozens of other amazing storytelling lessons. From classics like “Strangers On A Train” and “The Birds” and “Vertigo” and “To Catch A Thief” to older films from the British period like “The 39 Steps” and “The Man Who Knew Too Much” to his hits from the silent era like “The Lodger” (about Jack The Ripper), we’ll look at all of the techniques to create suspense!

Only $5.99


bourne

BRAND NEW!

*** THE BOURNE MOVIES

All five "Bourne" movies (including "Legacy" and it's potential sequels) - what are the techniques used to keep the characters and scenes exciting and involving? Reinventing the thriller genre... or following the "formula"? Five films - each with an interesting experiment! A detailed analysis of each of the films, the way these thrillers work... as well as a complete list of box office and critical statistics for each film. This book is great for writers, directors, and just fans of the series.

Only $3.99 - and no postage!





The new CDs are available now!

AUDIO CLASS!

NOIR & MYSTERY80 minute CD packed with information on writing Film Noir and Mystery scripts. Using examples from CHINATOWN to OUT OF THE PAST to DOUBLE INDEMNITY you'll learn how to create stories in this dark, twisted genre. How to plant clues, red herrings, suspects, victims, spider women, fallen heroes, the funhouse mirror world of noir supporting characters... and the origins of Film Noir in literature Noir dialogue and how noir endings are different than any other genre. All of the critical elements necessary to write in this critically popular genre.
The Noir & Mystery Class is only $15 (plus $5 S&H). First 20 on Limited Black Disk!

RECESSION SALE! $5 OFF!

IDEAS AND CREATIVITY - 80 minute CD packed with information. Tools to find ideas that are both personal *and* commercial. Hollywood wants scripts with High Concept stories... but not stupid scripts. Developing *intelligent* high concept ideas. How to turn your personal story into a blockbuster - or find your personal story in a high concept idea. Brainstorming and being creative. Ideas and Creativity is $10.00 (plus $5 S&H)

WRITING INDIES - Writing an Indie film? This class covers everything you need to know - from Central Locations to Confined Cameos. Using examples from SWINGERS, THE COOLER, STATION AGENT and others, this 80 minute CD is packed with information. How Indoe films challenge the audience (while mainstream films reassure the audience). Structures, using BOYS DON'T CRY, RUN LOLA RUN, HILARY & JACKIE, and others as example. Writing for a budget, writing for non-actors, getting the most production value out of your budget. Writing Indies is $10.00 (plus $5 S&H)

WRITING HORROR - The essentials of a horror screenplay - what do ROSEMARY'S BABY, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE EXORCIST, BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, THE OTHERS and OPEN WATER have in common? This class will tell you! All of the critical elements necessary to write a script that scares the pants off the audience. Writing Horror is $10.00 (plus $5 S&H).

Click here for more information on CLASS CDs!



bluebook

THE BOOK THAT STARTED IT ALL!

*** THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING *** - For Kindle!

*** THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING *** - For Nook!

Why pay $510 for a used version of the 240 page 2000 version that used to retail for $21.95? (check it out!) when you can get the NEW EXPANDED VERSION - over 500 pages - for just $9.99? New chapters, New examples, New techniques!

"SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING is the best book on the practical nuts-and-bolts mechanics of writing a screenplay I've ever read." - Ted Elliott, co-writer of MASK OF ZORRO, SHREK, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and the sequels (with Terry Rossio). (ie; 4 of the top 20 Box Office Hits Of ALL TIME.)

Only $9.99 - and no postage!


READY TO BREAK IN?

bluebook

NEW!

*** BREAKING IN BLUE BOOK *** - For Kindle!


Should really be called the BUSINESS BLUE BOOK because it covers almost everything you will need to know for your screenwriting career: from thinking like a producer and learning to speak their language, to query letters and finding a manager or agent, to making connections (at home and in Hollywood) and networking, to the different kinds of meetings you are will have at Studios, to the difference between a producer and a studio, to landing an assignment at that meeting and what is required of you when you are working under contract, to contracts and options and lawyers and... when to run from a deal! Information you can use *now* to move your career forward! It's all here in the Biggest Blue Book yet!

Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 400 pages!

$3.99 - and no postage!

NO KINDLE REQUIRED! Get the *free* app (any device, except your Mr. Coffee) on the order page on Amazon!


bluebook

STORY: WELL TOLD!

*** STORY: WELL TOLD *** - For Kindle!


This book takes you step-by-step through the construction of a story... and how to tell a story well, why Story always starts with character... but ISN'T character, Breaking Your Story, Irony, Planting Information, Evolving Story, Leaving No Dramatic Stone Unturned, The Three Greek Unities, The Importance Of Stakes, The Thematic Method, and how to create personal stories with blockbuster potential. Ready to tell a story? Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 85,000 words - 251 pages!

Only $3.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

MOVIES ARE CHARACTERS!

*** CREATING STRONG PROTAGONISTS *** - For Kindle!

*** CREATING STRONG PROTAGONISTS *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to create interesting protagonists! A step-by-step guide to creating "take charge" protagonists. Screenplays are about characters in conflict... characters in emotional turmoil... Strong three dimensional protagonists who can find solutions to their problems in 110 pages. But how do you create characters like this? How do you turn words into flesh and blood? Character issues, Knowing Who Is The Boss, Tapping into YOUR fears, The Naked Character, Pulp Friction, Man With A Plan, Character Arcs, Avoiding Cliche People, Deep Characterization, Problem Protagonists, 12 Ways To Create Likable Protagonists (even if they are criminals), Active vs. Reactive, The Third Dimension In Character, Relationships, Ensemble Scripts, and much, much more. Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is once again around 205 pages!

ONLY $3.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

ACT TWO SOLUTIONS!

*** ACT TWO SECRETS *** - For Kindle!


Expanded version with more techniques to help you through the desert of Act Two! Subjects Include: What Is Act Two? Inside Moves, The 2 Ps: Purpose & Pacing, The 4Ds: Dilemma, Denial, Drama and Decision, Momentum, the Two Act Twos, Subplot Prisms, Deadlines, Drive, Levels Of Conflict, Escalation, When Act Two Begins and When Act Two Ends, Scene Order, Bite Sized Pieces, Common Act Two Issues, Plot Devices For Act Two, and dozens of others. Over 67,000 words (that’s well over 200 pages) of tools and techniques to get you through the desert of Act Two alive! Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is well over 200 pages!

ONLY $3.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

SUBPLOTS?

*** SUPPORTING CHARACTER SECRETS *** - For Kindle! (Exclusive)


Expanded version with more techniques to flesh out your Supporting Characters and make them individuals. Using the hit movie BRIDESMAIDS as well as other comedies like THE HANGOVER and TED and HIGH FIDELITY and 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN and many other examples we look at ways to make your Supporting Characters come alive on the page. Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is around 170 pages!

ONLY $3.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

Over 240 pages!

*** THE TERMINATOR MOVIES *** - For Kindle!


He's back! The release of "Terminator: Genisys" (now on BluRay) is set to begin a new trilogy in the Terminator story... 31 years after the first film was released. What draws us to these films about a cybernetic organism from the future sent back in time? Why is there a new proposed trilogy every few years? This book looks at all five Terminator movies from a story standpoint - what makes them work (or not)? What are the techniques used to keep the characters and scenes exciting and involving? How about those secret story details you may not have noticed? Containing a detailed analysis of each of the five films so far, this book delves into the way these stories work... as well as a complete list of box office and critical statistics for each film. This book is great for writers, directors, and just fans of the series.

ONLY $3.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

ADVICE FROM 1920!

*** VINTAGE #1: HOW TO WRITE PHOTOPLAYS *** - For Kindle!

***

Screenwriting books have been around as long as films have. This series reprints vintage screenwriting books with a new introduction and history, plus new articles which look at how these lessons from almost 100 years ago apply to today’s screenplays. Anita Loos book is filled with information which still applies. In addition to the full text of the original book, you get the full screenplay to Miss Loos' hit THE LOVE EXPERT, plus several new articles on the time period and women in Hollywood.

ONLY $2.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

I WRITE PICTURES!

*** VISUAL STORYTELLING *** - For Kindle! (exclusive)


Show Don't Tell - but *how* do you do that? Here are techniques to tell stories visually! Using Oscar Winning Films and Oscar Nominated Films as our primary examples: from the first Best Picture Winner "Sunrise" (1927) to the Oscar Nominated "The Artist" (which takes place in 1927) with stops along the way Pixar's "Up" and Best Original Screenplay Winner "Breaking Away" (a small indie style drama - told visually) as well as "Witness" and other Oscar Winners as examples... plus RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 200 pages!

ONLY $3.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

BEST SELLER!

*** YOUR IDEA MACHINE *** - For Kindle!

*** YOUR IDEA MACHINE *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to find great ideas! Your screenplay is going to begin with an idea. There are good ideas and bad ideas and commercial ideas and personal ideas. But where do you find ideas in the first place? This handbook explores different methods for finding or generating ideas, and combining those ideas into concepts that sell. The Idea Bank, Fifteen Places To Find Ideas, Good Ideas And Bad Ideas, Ideas From Locations And Elements, Keeping Track Of Your Ideas, Idea Theft - What Can You Do? Weird Ways To Connect Ideas, Combing Ideas To Create Concepts, High Concepts - What Are They? Creating The Killer Concept, Substitution - Lion Tamers & Hitmen, Creating Blockbuster Concepts, Magnification And The Matrix, Conflict Within Concept, Concepts With Visual Conflict, Avoiding Episodic Concepts, much more! Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 175 pages!

Only $3.99 - and no postage!


bluebook

PRO DIALOGUE TECHNIQUES!

*** DIALOGUE SECRETS *** - For Kindle!

*** DIALOGUE SECRETS *** - For Nook!

Expanded version with more ways to create interesting dialogue! How to remove bad dialogue (and what *is* bad dialogue), First Hand Dialogue, Awful Exposition, Realism, 50 Professional Dialogue Techniques you can use *today*, Subtext, Subtitles, Humor, Sizzling Banter, *Anti-Dialogue*, Speeches, and more. Tools you can use to make your dialogue sizzle! Special sections that use dialogue examples from movies as diverse as "Bringing Up Baby", "Psycho", "Double Indemnity", "Notorious", the Oscar nominated "You Can Count On Me", "His Girl Friday", and many more! Print version is 48 pages, Kindle version is over 175 pages!

Only $3.99 - and no postage!



hcd

FINAL DRAFT SOFTWARE

Use your creative energy to focus on the content; let Final Draft take care of the style. Final Draft is the number-one selling application specifically designed for writing movie scripts, television episodics and stage plays. Its ease-of-use and time-saving features have attracted writers for almost two decades positioning Final Draft as the Professional Screenwriters Choice. Final Draft power users include Academy, Emmy and BAFTA award winning writers like Oliver Stone, Tom Hanks, Alan Ball, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron and more. * * * Buy It!

copyright 2018 by William C. Martell


eXTReMe Tracker
SCRIPT SECRETS STORE

Script Secret Store SCRIPT SECRETS STORE From Typing Monkey coffee cups to messenger bags to T shirts - everything a screenwriter needs to look sharp while working on that Oscar nomination! Get your Script Secrets Coffee Cup today!

E BOOKS PAGE

bluebook E BOOKS: New Blue Books and Novelettes!
I am expanding all of the Blue Books from around 44 pages of text to around 200 pages! Some are over 250 pages! See what is availabale and what is coming soon!Also, I've been writing Novelletes and there will soon be novels.
E BOOKS: BLUE BOOKS & NOVELLETES

ONLINE CLASSES
Furious Action Class
MY OTHER SITES

B MOVIE WORLD
Cult Films, Exploitation, Bikers & Women In Prison, Monster Movies.

FIRST STRIKE PRODUCTIONS
Producing my own scripts, investment possibilities, pipe dreams.

NAKED SCREENWRITING CDs

Naked Class The NAKED SCREENWRITING CLASS ON CD! The 2001 London Class on 8 CDs! Recorded *live* the morning after the Raindance Film Festival wrapped. The two day class on 8CDs, plus a workbook, plus a bonus CD with PDFs.
The 2 Day Class on CD!

BOOKSTORE

Every screenwriting book in the world!
SCREENWRITER'S BOOKSTORE
In Association With Amazon.com
From the latest screenwriting book to guides for finding agents and producers... all with at the Amazon.com discount!

BOOKLETS & PRODUCTS

bluebook FIRST STRIKE BLUE BOOKS
Each Blue Book is 48 pages and focuses on a different aspect of screenwriting. Dialogue. Visual Storytelling. Your First Ten Pages. Act 2 Booster. Protagonists. Great Endings.
Seventeen Blue Books now available!

THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING The Best Nuts & Bolts Screenwriting Book On The Market!

BILL'S CORNER

My nineteen produced films, interviews with me in magazines, several sample scripts, my available scripts list... And MORE!
...............................BILL'S CORNER


Available Scripts

CLASSES ON CD

Class CDs CLASSES ON CD! Take a class on CD! GUERRILLA MARKETING - NO AGENT? NO PROBLEM! and WRITING THRILLERS (2 CDs). Full length classes on CD. Now Available: IDEAS & CREATIVITY, WRITING HORROR, WRITING INDIE FILMS, more!
Take classes on CD!