TUESDAY'S BIZ TIP:

PROJECTORS


greek- Buy it!

I have a friend who has been writing scripts for the past five years without much success. He had seen a bunch of really bad movies, realized he could write better than that, and began turning out scripts. He expected a sale from the first producer or agent he sent a script to... and five years later is an angry, bitter, frustrated writer. After a couple of years of rejections, he decided that audiences LIKE crap, so he's just going to write crap. He thought he would instantly sell his crappy scripts... but that didn't work either. He became even more bitter, more frustrated by the business. He is so angry, he's uncomfortable to be around. When we have coffee, he does nothing but rant about how much he hates Hollywood and hates Hollywood movies... but he's still writing scripts, trying to break into Hollywood. This makes no sense to me.

Last time we had coffee he told me about his new script. It's a crass, commercial teen comedy filled with bodily fluid jokes... with some shocking twists. His characters are mean spirited, they do nasty things, and he described scenes where the nicest characters in the script are subjected to cruel random acts of senseless violence. The script "craps on the audience" - it treats them with anger and contempt. After pitching me this story, he asked me what I thought... and I stumbled for an answer.

I told him I didn't think it would sell. People don't go to the movies for abuse (that's next door), they want to be entertained or maybe enlightened. The problem is, his personal attitude is coming through on the page. His stories reflect his anger and frustration and bitterness. No one wants to pay $11 to be crapped on... or $250k for a script that craps on them. The reason why Apatow movies like GET HIM TO THE GREEK work is because they have heart - that is their secret weapon. GREEK may have more vomit jokes than you have ever seen on screen before, and no shortage of gags about other bodily fluids; but underneath that it is a real emotional story of a Rock Star who has screwed up his life and alienated the people he loves... and the fan who is charged with getting him to a concert and realizes that his idol has feet of clay and maybe he himself has some problems that need to be addressed. It's a real story with real characters and real emotions... and bodily fluid jokes. It doesn't crap on the audience, it takes them along on a journey. It bring them into a world. It confides in them. GET HIM TO THE GREEK loves the audience, and makes them love these characters. Though the reason they made it might be to cash in on the success of FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, once they got to the script stage they had to put their actual heart and soul into the writing and not just hack out another piece of crap that will make money. Sure, there *are* hack projects that only exist to make money - but those films usually fail. The audience knows when a film is a hollow rip off.

porkys - Buy it!

People who write teen comedies usually do it because they *love* teen comedies - they are writing the type of movies they regularly pay to see. I remember reading an interview with Adam Herz who wrote AMERICAN PIE (which was sold under the title UNTITLED TEENAGE SEX COMEDY THAT CAN BE MADE FOR UNDER $10 MILLION THAT MOST READERS WILL PROBABLY HATE BUT I THINK YOU WILL LOVE). He explained why he wrote the script: he and his manager had been discussing movies, and both had fond memories of PORKYS, and missed those R rated teen movies of their youth. His manager thought that if the two of them would pay to see a movie like PORKYS today, maybe a bunch of other people might... and encouraged him to write a script. That script sold for $750k and spawned a couple of sequels and a whole bunch of imitators and now a successful string of direct to DVD movies.

code of silence - Buy it!

As a guy who writes action films, I can tell you I don't do it because I think it'll be a fast buck. I write the same kind of movies I pay to see. I love action movies. Though I'd rather be writing the next DIE HARD, I'm also a fan of those low budget, down and dirty action flicks like THREE THE HARD WAY (one of my favorites) and GOOD GUYS WEAR BLACK and car wreck movies like CANNONBALL* (I saw that one at the Pleasant Hill Motor Movies... which is now a Safeway grocery store... I lost my virginity in the frozen food section... I know TMI). So writing "exploitation" action movies is still something I can put my heart into. I'm still writing the kinds of movies I love to see (maybe not the ones I'd admit to liking in public, though). If Chuck Norris ever makes another movie, I'll probably see it. I love Chuck Norris movies. If Chuck Norris is smart he'll make a sequel to his best film, CODE OF SILENCE... And I would love to write that! The great thing about CODE OF SILENCE is that it's a Chuck Norris movie with heart that has a real point to make and is about something. It's a really good Chuck Norris movie... But, um, I also enjoy the ones that are not really good. If he makes a sequel to BREAKER BREAKER (Steve Zailian's first film) I would even like to write that... and I'd try to make it the best kung fu trucker red neck car crash movie ever made!

A big part of the screenwriting biz is: You've gotta love movies. Today's movies. The ones that are playing in the cinema right now. And you have to want to write those movies. You can't "fake it" any more than you can fake love in a long term relationship. Your partner will eventually see through you, and you'll be miserable every day until they do.

network - Buy it!

Whether you know it or not, you project your attitude on the page. Your choice of material and the way you present it are going to be influenced by your current emotional state. If you are desperate, your script will scream desperation. If you are angry, no matter how hard you try to hide it that will show up on the page. We are our screenplays, and our screenplays are us. We can use this to our advantage by exploring the issues and emotions that haunt us, or this can be a disadvantage if we are filled with anger and bitterness and self loathing and just want to strike out at others. If you can find a way to HARNESS that anger to create a story that ISN'T angry at the audience or the business, you can create an entertaining story that explores (and exorcizes) your emotions.

NETWORK is a movie that is angry at the TV business (note it's not a TV show angry at TV, nor is it a movie angry at the film business) and it appeals to the AUDIENCE'S anger and frustration. NETWORK isn't a movie that is mad at the audience, it's a movie that allows the audience to open their windows and yell "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" The movie FALLING DOWN is great when it allows the audience to vent their rage at a world where you can't order an Egg McMuffin after 10:30am, but stumbles when it tries to turn the audience identification character into a crazed lunatic killer. That craps on us... and that's why that film didn't become a huge box office hit. It's one of those films that I like but also understand why most people didn't like it. And when I think about what I like about the movie - it's the movie up until DFENS becomes the villain. If you dislike yourself, you'll probably dislike your protagonist, and the audience will know that you dislike them.

You are your script!

I'm not saying "Don't worry, be happy", but I a saying you can't get revenge against producers and the audience by writing a script that insults and abuses them... and then expect them to buy it. If you are angry at the business, you should just step away and calm down. Get yourself under control before you unleash yourself on the world. Remember that your scripts project your attitude - do you really want to see a bad attitude on the big screen?

And you can't just write some commercial crap you don't care about and expect it to sell - it won't. You need to write something that you are passionate about, something that you love... the kind of film you regularly pay to see. The kind of film you stand in line on opening night to see in the cinema.

If writing is no longer fun for you, why are you doing it?

If you're a movie lover, make sure that love is on every page of your script.

Write the type of movies you are first in line for on opening day. Remember, your script projects your attitude... They can tell when you hate your own work... and tell when you hate *them*.

You know what would be really cool to write? GET HIM TO THE GREEK 2 - with Chuck Norris!
Am I kidding? I'm really not sure...

* not CANNONBALL RUN, the original CANNONBALL starring David Carradine.



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 $4.99!


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 $4.99!


Tips FAQ

My New Script Secrets Newsletter!


NEW BOOKS!

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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 $4.99 - 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!

$4.99 - 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 $4.99 - 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 $4.99 - and no postage!


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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 $4.99 - 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 $4.99 - and no postage!


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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!


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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 $4.99 - 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 $4.99 - 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 $4.99 - 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


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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
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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!