Hitchcock said, the better the villain, the better the movie.

Matrix DVD - Buy it!

The most important character in most scripts is the antagonist - they get the ball rolling. In MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING Julia Roberts is happy knowing that if she ever wants to get married Dermot Mulroney will always be there... until she gets the phone call inviting her to his wedding. Cameron Diaz is the antagonist - the woman who is stealing Julia's fall-back husband. Without Cameron Diaz, Mulroney would still be available and Julia wouldn't have a wedding to break up. In my book Secrets Of Action Screenwriting I point out that the villain is the most important character in your screenplay, and the villain's plan is the most important element of your script. This is especially true in action and thriller films like SNAKES ON A PLANE or LAKEVIEW TERRACE.

In SNAKES, Samuel L. Jackson plays FBI Agent Neville Flynn, assigned to protect surfer dude witness Sean Jones (some guy named Nathan Phillips with a strange hairline) on the flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, where he will testify against violent crime boss Eddie Kim. Though the FBI does a fake-out with another plane, Eddie Kim's evil minions still manage to load about a million snakes in the cargo hold of the plane they're on. Oh, and they spray the leihs with some sort of snake attracting stuff, to make sure the snakes attack. The plane is filled with all of the folks who couldn't book passage on the Poseidon - a bunch of 70s disaster movie cliches. There's the horny honeymooning couple, the germaphobe Rap Star with his entourage, a Paris Hilton-like socialite (couldn't they have hired the real thing?), a pro kickboxer (couldn't they have hired Don "The Dragon" Wilson?), two kids flying alone (neither seemed to like Gladiator movies), a mom with her newborn baby... and a snotty British dude who you hope will be the first victim. Where was the preacher with the crisis of faith?

Snakes DVD - Buy it!

So, they get in the air and the snakes attack. They don't just go after the witness - in fact, he's that farthest from the cargo area where the snakes come from - these snakes attack everyone. The three flight attendants, females played by Julianna Margulies and the always amazing Lin Shaye... plus the standard obviously gay male flight attendant, do their best to calm passengers and fight snakes - but once the pilot is killed and horny co-pilot bitten, they need to find someone who can land this plane (and didn't have the fish for dinner).

One odd problem is that the snakes are always plural - they are never individuals. So they have no real "personality" as a villain. Some are pretty colors. Some strike people's naughty parts. But they are just *snakes* and not given any character. The tornadoes in TWISTER were all given personalities as part of the story - the twins, the water spout, etc. They were made *individuals* - because that makes them more menacing than generic tornadoes. Snakes would have been even easier to give a character to, since different snakes look and act differently. But no real thought went into the antagonists in this film.

Which is kind of the same problem with Eddie Kim, the mobster. Sure, he's brutal... but aren't all mobsters in movies? Plus, once he's introduced killing the witness, we never see Eddie Kim again - he's not on the plane, he's back in Los Angeles. When we get out of the plane long enough to follow junior FBI Agent Bobby Cannavale as he tracks down one of those responsible... it's not Kim, it's some dude on a snake farm. This is that scene in SPEED where Jeff Daniels goes to capture villain Dennis Hopper... but Hopper has set a trap and Daniels is blown to bits. That scene was all about the villain. In SOAP we get a scene about some dude in the desert with snakes. Who cares?


Snakes DVD - Buy it!

The other unsatisfying part of SNAKES ON A PLANE is also something mentioned in my book - vanquishing the villain. Just as the better the villain's plan, the better the movie - the better the villain's death the more satisfying the ending. In a film like SNAKES ON A PLANE the villain has put the hero through about 75 minutes of pure hell. The reason why they even made this film is because it deals with two big phobias - flying and snakes. So about the time Samuel L. Jackson reaches his breaking point and hollers that he wants these M*****F***ing snakes of this M*****F***ing plane, we all understand his anger. Now we need a scene where Jackson gets to do 75 minutes worth of damage to those M*****F***ing snakes compressed into one big explosive scene. The audience wants revenge!

But we don't really get it.

Though the film is really good at having the snakes attack and kill annoying characters, it's terrible when it comes to Samuel L. Jackson attacking and killing the snakes. All of the snakes are in the lower cabin... so he blows a hole in the upper cabin window that manages to suck out the snakes (as well as almost sucking out everyone else in the cast, and at least one passenger exits before the plane touches down).

1) Samuel L. Jackson does not kill the snakes personally.
2) We don't get to see the snakes die.
3) For all we know, the snakes are okay - I have no idea whether a snake can withstand a 20k foot fall into the ocean - maybe they can.

No satisfaction when it comes to the snakes. No revenge. No blood. No battle. Nothing!

Now let's take a look at the other villain, Eddie Kim....

1) Samuel L. Jackson doesn't not kill Eddie Kim.
2) Eddie Kim is alive at the end of the movie!

So neither the snakes nor Eddie Kim get their just desserts! We want to see them die... but no bad guys die in this film... not even the snakes (they may or may not die off screen, but there's no thrill in that). I think the best villain deaths are the ones where they explode. I know that sounds funny, but we've seen so many Michael Myers pop up after being stabbed a million times, and so many other villains manage to get up after being shot a million times; that exploding them seems final. Plus, exploding them seems to payback all of the hurt they have caused others in one single act. But even if they didn't explode Eddie Kim and the snakes, they needed to show them die in some way that we could cheer... just as we cheered the annoying passenger deaths.

As it is, we have a story without an ending. And that's not satisfying at all. I think this blah ending is the reason why the film topped off at $15 million. If you were to ask me if I liked the film, I'd say it was "okay". You want the audience to leave the cinema ready to tell anyone who asks how great the film was. The villain's death is the big end scene that will help form their opinion of the entire film. Make it the best scene you can come up with! Leave them satisfied!


Matrix DVD - Buy it!

The same antagonist issues sunk Larry Cohen's PHONE BOOTH when it hit the screens. Colin Farrell plays a sleazy public relations guy named Stu who lies to everyone - he tells his intern that some day he'll pay him, he tells one magazine that their competitor wants to run a cover story on one of his clients to get them to run a story, and he makes a phone call to a young actress he's trying to bed (Katie Holmes) from a pay phone so that his wife (Radha Mitchell) won't see the number on his cell phone bill. After he hangs up the phone rings and Stu answers... it's a sniper with a high powered rifle. if Stu hangs up the phone, the sniper (Kiefer Sutherland) will kill him. Stu thinks it's a gag, until the sniper blows away a peep show barker who is harassing Stu for hogging the phone.

Stu is stuck talking to this madman for the rest of the movie - stuck in the phone booth. It's an interesting gimmick, but the longer the sniper threatens him, the more you want to know WHY? What does the sniper want? How come he knows everything about Stu - from where his wife works to the actress' day job to details about Stu's clients that only someone close to Stu could know. Since Stu lies to everybody, even those close to him probably don't know half of this stuff.

After stretching our curiosity to the breaking point, they finally tell us what the sniper wants from Stu about three quarters of the way into the film. He wants Stu to tell the truth about his life. Though the sniper wants Stu to tell the truth we never really learn WHY he wants him to do this. It's revealed that the sniper has no personal connection to Stu - he's just some lunatic who stalks people, learns about their big personal flaw, then forces them to deal with the flaw or die. Kind of "or else therapy". But I'm not sure that the truth really sets Stu free, so what was the point? In fact, what was the point of the film? By the end, it seems almost like more of a stunt than a story. The sniper exists only as an excuse for the movie, and his plan is just to get Stu to admit he's a liar... but who cares? Everyone knew Stu was a liar to begin with - and why would the sniper risk arrest and capture to get Stu to realize his lies have hurt people? What's in it for the sniper? He's making the world a more honest place one person at a time? Hey - there are eight million people in the naked city... is he going to call them all? Why is a very low level PR guy at the top of the list?

The villain's plan is the most important part of any thriller or action flick, and we don't really know what the villain's plan is, here. I think it would have been nice to find out what the sniper was really up to... what his plan was, and how Stu became a part of that plan. Because the villain's plan makes no sense, the entire film makes no sense. When the time comes to explain why the sniper has kept Stu talking on the phone all this time... there is no reason! This makes the film unsatisfying - it's a big build up... to nothing.


Matrix DVD - Buy it!

And the Villain's Plan & Motivations are also an big issue with LAKEVIEW TERRACE. Samuel L. Jackson switches sides to play the Eddie Kim character this time around - the villain who does things that make little or no sense, just to be villainous. The movie makes the strange choice of *opening* with Jackson and showing his point of view - he's a single dad trying to raise two kids in a peaceful suburban neighborhood after his wife died... and a police officer. When a young interracial couple moves in next door, he goes ballistic and torments them in various ways. Of course, by now we've switched POVs and see the story from the young couple's point of view. They have the next door neighbor from hell.

We have no idea why Jackson hates them so much - other than they are an interracial couple. Though prejudice is a serious thing, and a reasonable motivation; what Jackson's character does is not reasonable considering who he is - a policeman. He does incredibly stupid things - and he's intelligent enough to know he could be arrested for these things. He does not behave as a policeman would - and that's an interesting little lesson on creating a powerful antagonist. Give them interesting skills and knowledge - then let them use those skills and knowledge. In CAPE FEAR (either version) one of the great things about Max Cady's character is that he knows the law, and knows how far he can go without going over the line. He can camp out on the city street in front of the Bowden house - watching them - and there's not a damn thing Bowden (Gregory Peck or Nick Nolte) can do. He's within his legal rights to be there. But if Bowden shoves him or even touches him, well, Cady can call the police and have Bowden arrested. Cady knows he can kill the Bowden's dog and even if he's caught - it's not a felony, it's a *fine*. You pay it off down at the courthouse. Cady is a great antagonist, because he taunts Bowden and his family without ever doing anything illegal... and this drives Bowden crazy, which leads to *Bowden* breaking the law and getting in trouble.

They had to drop in a line that Cady learned all about the law while he was in prison - you don't need to do that with Jackson's character in LAKEVIEW because he's a cop. He already knows how far he can push things... except he never does! There's a scene where he finds a discarded cigarette butt on the street, tossed there by our protagonist Chris Mattson (Patrick Wilson) and could have threatened him with a $1,000 fine and 6 months in prison for littering... but doesn't say anything. Instead of *using the law* (Jackson's character's special skill and knowledge) he does crazy things that he should know will break the law - he vandalizes their house, their car, and comes at them with a chainsaw in one scene. This is one stupid villain! You get arrested for things like that!

Eventually - near the end of the film - we find out why Jackson gets pissed off by interracial couples, but it's too little and too late. He's already a stupid cartoon of a villain, and not frightening at all. Because he's so dumb, and his plan makes so little sense, that there is nothing to fear here. By the time we get to the end, where Jackson just goes crazy violent - that motivation no longer covers his actions. The punishment doesn't fit the crime - it's completely out of balance. If your villain's actions don't make sense, your *story* doesn't make sense.


Matrix DVD - Buy it!

The other unsatisfying part of PHONE BOOTH is also something mentioned in my book - vanquishing the villain. Just as the better the villain's plan, the better the movie - the better the villain's death the more satisfying the ending. In an action or thriller film like PHONE BOOTH, the villain has put the hero through hell on earth for the entire film, and now it's the hero's turn. After 80 minutes of being caught in the sniper's scope, we expect an ending with 80 minutes worth of hell condensed into one big explosive scene. You want this guy to get his just deserts... but PHONE BOOTH makes three big mistakes in vanquishing the villain. One - the hero doesn't vanquish the villain... the Police sent in a SWAT Team. The means the hero doesn't resolve the problem himself - which makes him passive. Two - when the SWAT Team gets there, there is no big confrontation. No 80 minutes worth of hell compressed into one big explosive scene for our villain... it's over in the blink of an eye. No big confrontation scene - nothing! Three - the police don't bring about the death of the villain... He kills himself rather than be captured. That makes the police passive! Not only is the protagonist passive, but so are the cops! Everyone is passive by the end of the movie! It's act three - I expect ACTION instead of things just sort of falling into place on their own. I would rather have had a big confrontation with the police, at least we would have had the feeling that SOMEONE was solving the problem instead of having major parts of the resolution happen off screen by themselves. (I'm purposely being vague about some of the ending - some people will be reading this even with the spoiler warning).

So after an unsatisfying reveal of the villain's plan (there really isn't one) we get an unsatisfying ending (no action, and the protagonist and police don't resolve the problem, it resolves itself). How disappointing can you get?

In an action or thriller movie like LAKEVIEW TERRACE or SNAKES ON A PLANE or PHONE BOOTH, the villain is the most important character, the villain's plan is the most important element of the script, and the villain's death or capture is the most important part of the ending. Make it the biggest, greatest, most satisfying ending that you can come up with!

No wimpy villains. No wimpy endings.
No silly villains. No silly endings.


All About Endings!



The Perfect Ending For Your Story!

The First Ten Pages Of Your Screenplay Are Critical,
But What About The Last 10 Pages?

Creating the perfect ending to your story! This 100,000 word book shows you how to end your story with a bang, rather than a whimper. Everything from Resolution Order to Act Three Tools to Happy or Sad Endings? to How The Beginning Of Your Story Has Clues To The Ending (in case you were having trouble figuring out how the story should end) to Falling Action to How To Avoid Bad Endings to Writing The Perfect Twist Ending to Setting Up Sequels & Series to Emotional Resolutions to How To Write Post Credit Sequences to Avoiding Deus Ex Machinas, to 20 Different Types Of Ends (and how to write them) and much more! Everything about endings for your screenplay or novel!

ON SALE $2.99





Distilling Your Screenplay!

Loglines, Treatments, Pitching, Look Books, Pitch Decks, One Pagers, Rip-O-Matics?

You have written a brilliant 110 page screenplay, but how do you get anyone to read it? You need to distill it down into some form of verbal moonshine or story rocket fuel that will ignite that bored development executive or manager or agent and get them to request your screenplay. But how do you shrink those 110 pages into a 25 word logline or a 2 minute elevator pitch or a one page synopsis or a short paragraph? This 100,000 word book shows you how! Everything you need to know! From common logline mistakes (and how to solve them) to how your pitch can reveal story problems to the 4 types of pitches!

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Making Your Own Movie?
Writing An Indie Film?
Writing A Low Budget Genre Script To Sell?
Writing A Made For TV Holiday Movie?

You will be writing for BUDGET. On a standard spec screenplay, you don’t have to think about budget, but these types of screenplays writing with budget in mind is critical!

If you are making your own movie, budget, is even more important - and you need to think about budget *before* you write your screenplay... or you will end up with a script that you can’t afford to make (or is a struggle to make). Everyone is making their own films these days, and even if you have done it before there are lots of great techniques in this book to get more money on screen - for less money! You can make a film that looks like it cost millions for pocket change.

344 Pages - ONLY: $9.99!




NEW: Updates On Films 7 & 8 Casting!

All Six Movies analyzed! All of the mission tapes, all of the “that’s impossible!” set pieces and stunts, the cons and capers - and how these scenes work, the twists and double crosses, the tension and suspense (and how to generate it), the concept of each film as a stand alone with a different director calling the shots (broken in the sixth film), the gadgets, the masks, the stories, the co-stars and team members (one team member has been in every film), the stunts Tom Cruise actually did (and the ones he didn’t), and so much more! Over 120,000 words of fun info!

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NEW: Updates on TREADSTONE TV show!

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.

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Over 240 pages!

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

He's back! The release of "Terminator: Dark Fate" is set to begin a new trilogy in the Terminator story... 35 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.

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Tips FAQ

My New Script Secrets Newsletter!







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.

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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?

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*** 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!

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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!

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The new MP3s are available now!


NOIR & MYSTERY80 minute MP3 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 $10!


IDEAS AND CREATIVITY - 80 minute MP3 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!

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 MP3 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 MP3 is $10.00!

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 MP3 is $10.00!

Click here for more information on CLASS MP3s!





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.)

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*** 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!



*** 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!





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!

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*** 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!

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*** 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!

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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.

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*** 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!

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*** 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!



*** 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!

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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 2020 by William C. Martell

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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.

Furious Action Class

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

Producing my own scripts, investment possibilities, pipe dreams.


Naked Class The NAKED SCREENWRITING CLASS ON MP3! The 2001 London Class on 8 MP3s! Recorded *live* the morning after the Raindance Film Festival wrapped. The two day class on 8 MP3s,
The 2 Day Class on MP3!


Every screenwriting book in the world!
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From the latest screenwriting book to guides for finding agents and producers... all with at the discount!


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!


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

Available Scripts


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