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They are malking a movie based on TETRIS.

Actually, they are making a *trilogy* of movies based on TETRIS.


One of the most important talents a screenwriter can have is the ability to see a situation from every character's point of view - to make the decisions your character would make. These skills can be put to use on the business side by putting ourselves in the shoes of the potential buyers for our screenplays. If we can imagine what it's like to be the villain of our script, it shouldn't be all that difficult to imagine ourselves as a motion picture producer.

Where we might be attracted to the story and characters and those great lines of dialogue, a producer is going to be investing MILLIONS of dollars to put this script on screen and what they are most interested in is making their money back. Sure, they like a good story - but they also know that people lined up to see TRANSFORMERS 4... so story isn't everything. And TRANSFORMERS 4 was a huge hit (over $1 billion with a B worldwide), so next year we get TRANSFORMERS 5: THE LAST KNIGHT, and TRANSFORMERS 6 & 7 are already in the pipeline.

Don't worry - I'm not doing a tip on crass exploitation. This tip is about diversity.

I wish it were a tip on how Hollywood is hiring more women and minorities, but not that kind of diversity.

Diversity, as in: Viacom-Paramount-CBS-MTV-Six Flags is a diversified corporation that owns almost every kind of business that you can imagine. A screenwriter friend of mine was complaining about a recent meeting where the merchandising guys gave him script notes - Could you make a drastic change to this character so that we can sell a toy version of him? Is there a way that we can lighten up this aspect of the story so that we can get a PG-13 and do a Happy Meal promotion with McDonalds? My friend was complaining that he has rewritten the script for the producer, the director, the star... and now he's doing a rewrite for Hasbro.

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But that is the reality of the business side of film making. Movies cost so much to make that they need to find ways to use the film to sell everything from plush toys to sound tracks. You might complain that merchandising is going to destroy Hollywood, but I'd ask: When you were a kid, what was on your lunch box? Did you own any STAR WARS toys? This merchandising thing has been around since the beginning of Hollywood (on my bookshelf I have a 1940s novel tie-in... hardback!). So instead of fighting the Happy Meal reality, let's think like a producer and see if we can make our scripts more attractive to one of those big conglomerates that own everything including a movie studio.

Franchises and toys and tie ins are a basic part of the film business. and if a company has a choice between a great screenplay that has potential toy tie ins and a great screenplay that doesn't - they will probably go for the toys. Extra income plus extra promotion for the movie - synergy. We used to live in the STAR WARS era where they made toys and games from a hit movie... now we live in the TRANSFORMERS and TETRIS era where they try to make a hit movie from a toy or game! From an interview in The Los Angeles Times: "I like franchises, not necessarily because they fit the corporate model, but because that's what I was a fan of when I was a kid," said Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, who produces the company's films. "Toys simply extend the experience that people had so much fun with for two hours in the theaters. And if it feeds other divisions, that's awesome." Here is the rest of the article.

A few years ago MGM got itself into major financial trouble (again) by making three big, expensive, event movies. Let's look at their choices and see if we can figure out where they went wrong:

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What you are looking for is a story that has mass audience appeal and possibilities for ancillary deals or tie ins or something another division of your company might be interested in... and MGM made two World War 2 movies and a sci-fi remake? Even though ROLLERBALL seems to make the most sense of the three, it's not the kind of sci-fi movie that could spawn a sequel, or action figures, or a TV series... It's also not a typical sci-fi action flick - it's about roller derby (was popular on TV in the 60s & 70s, almost nowhere to be seen today) - a game that takes place on a very small track. It's a big budget movie without scope or scale - they have to manufacture action scenes because the story doesn't naturally create any action scenes except people skating in a circle! The action figures woulde basically be Ken dolls wearing rollerblades - booooring!

All three films were major flops - both critically and financially.

If any of these three were a big hit, could it spin into a series of films like CAPTAIN AMERICA or FAST & FURIOUS or INSIDIOUS or PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN or ICE AGE or... well, just about any other big summer tent-pole film from any other studio. These were SHORT SIGHTED choices! What would HART'S WAR 2 be about? What is the HART'S WAR Happy Meal toy? What are the WINDTALKERS plush toys? Can you imagine a WINDTALKERS cartoon on Saturday morning? How about the TV series spin off? None of these three films had any franchise potential, any merchandising potential, and spin-off potential, and that means it's all up to the film's box office potential to make the money back. These are bad ideas for your studio's one big chance to turn their finances around! Even if they were major hits, they'd be dead ends! We don't want dead ends, we want franchises and ancillary deals.

Who made these decisions?

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A major studio like MGM should have only done expensive tent-pole movies if they find the RIGHT movie to do, and concentrate on making $15 million genre films - comedies, thrillers, horror films. Cast WB teen actors, minority actors, older actresses - people who they can get for less money but still have a name value. Instead of blowing $100 million (or more) on one WINDTALKERS blow it on ten INSIDIOUS / AMERICAN PIE / SAW / BARBERSHOP type flicks. Even if that $15 million genre film sucks, it can make back its money on cable, video, etc. It keeps the lights on while they try to find the GREAT tent-pole movie.

When I updated this tip a couple of years ago, MacGRUBER had just opened and did not do well - it opened at #6 with just over $4 million. Now, the rule of thumb is that a film's opening weekend times 4 equals it's total domestic box office... which means MacGRUBER should have made about $16 million... but stalled out big time making only $8.5 million on a budget of $10 million... which is less than some direct to DVD films! (those Van Damme, Seagal, and Snipes movies end up around $15m and make around $30m in DVD sales). So MacGRUBER was close to break even in cinemas and probably made a bunch of money on DVD / BluRay. DVD / BluRay is really where it belonged in the first place - it's a one joke film, and we've already seen the joke a million times. But MacGRUBER has all kinds of odd toy and game potential, too. And if it did well enough on DVD / BluRay there may be some direct-to-video sequels. The great thing about a film like MacGRUBER is that there are 2 or 3 commercials for it every Saturday night that the distributor doesn't have to pay for. That's an element of synergy, too.

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If you take a look at INSIDIOUS or SAW or even BARBERSHOP - all three had sequel potential! These were not big blockbusters, they were teh sort of small film that a new writer might have written (the guy who wrote BARBERSHOP lived in the same apartment complex as I did). How many AMERICAN PIE theatrical sequels did we get? How many DVD sequels did we get? After those DVD sequels we got AMERICAN REUNION with the whole cast back... but not the writers. This summer we have at least a dozen franchise flicks, we've already had our fill of SHREKs - #4 was the last one, and PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4 may have flopped here... but made a ton of money everywhere else (which is why we're getting #5 next year, followed by #6!). I can easily imagine an INSIDIOUS TV series - we follow the ghost buster woman and her crew of slackers from haunted house to haunted house, and I'm sure there's merchandising for AMERICAN PIE and SAW and BARBERSHOP that I'm not aware of. Probably not Happy Meals (Would you like a hot apple pie with that?) but all of those sequels more than made up for that. Fun genre films are designed for sequels, and as Kevin Feige from Marvel says - we *like* seeing the next chapter in some series we love. Yes, the studio loves a franchise because it's a money machine... but the audience loves a franchise, too. How many women were excited by SEX AND THE CITY 2? Next year we get the next 50 SHADES OF GRAY movie, and I *know* that film had merchandising because I tweeted a picture of the boardgame once. I was curious what the boardgame might be, just not curious enough to spend $25 to buy it. We all stood in line to see that lame INDIANA JONES movie - because we love the character and want to see his next adventure. We will all stand in line to see the next one, too (2019). A screenplay that can be a film franchise is good for the studio and the audience.

And, as Feige says, we like to buy the toys, too. Do you think it's only kids who buy STAR WARS toys? Um, I have some.

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Every studio *other than MGM* made their story decisions not only on the film... but the ancillary rights and franchise possibilities, too. If we think like a producer, and chose a story idea that has sequel and merchandising potential, our script will be more attractive to the buyers. Look at your script - is there potential for several sequels? Could there be a TV series or cartoon spin off? What about a video game - is the CONCEPT something that translates into a game? Plush toys? Action figures? Board games? Lunch boxes? Is the story something that includes music so that they can sell a soundtrack by the artists they have signed in their music division? Is their product placement possibilities? (That reality show RESTAURANT from a couple years ago was entirely paid for by product placement! Because it's a restaurant, they had AMEX as a credit card sponsor, Coors was a beer sponsor, etc. They things they serve in the restaurant are stealth commercials!) What are the toys in the Happy Meal? Can you imagine a hundred different comic books featuring your protagonist? What does the theme park ride look like?

Okay - some of you think this is the destruction of cinema... what are the SEVENTH SEAL Happy Meal toys? Have you played the PERSONA video game? How about THE GODFATHER video game... oh, wait, there *is* one of those! We can gripe about studios only wanting scripts that can spawn products for other divisions... but that isn't going to change anything. The guys at Paramount and Disney are still going to wonder if they can turn this script into a theme park ride and toys and games and all of that other stuff. Studios are owned by big congloms with their fingers in a lot of pies - and nothing we say or do will change that. It is reality. We ignore reality at our own peril.

You may think of your script *only* as a movie, but the people you sell it to think of it as a chance to market dozens of products. Though no one is going to buy a bad script because there are Happy Meal toys and sequel potential... no one is going to buy a bad script in the first place. So that leaves good scripts - and somewhere in the back of their minds they may be looking for something like SAW or THE PURGE or BARBERSHOP that will end up a franchise, or something like DISPICABLE ME or PREDATOR that might have toys and game potential. Selling your script to them will be easier if you put yourself in their shoes.

You have a great screenplay... but can it be more than that?


Want To Look Like An Expert?



Does this gun fire 6 shots or only 5? In all of the excitement of writing your action scene, you might not have done the research... and your hero could be out of ammo! Whether you are writing a novel or screenplay, you can save your hero, and your story, by doing a little research first! This book looks at Why you should research, Whether you should research First or Later, PLUS the importance of World Building in Science Fiction, Fantasy... and the worlds you explore in every other genre. Movies like JOHN WICK and THE GODFATHER take place in their own unique worlds... and writers must create them! YOU are the technical advisor on your Screenplay or Novel.

Using movie examples like TOP GUN, HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER, BLUE CRUSH, ADVENTURE LAND, several of my produced films, JOHN WICK, the novels of Donald E. Westlake and Thomas B. Dewey, SPY KIDS, the LORD OF THE RINGS movies, SOYLENT GREEN (which takes place in the far off future of 2022), and many others we will look at researching stories and creating worlds. The 8 Types Of Research, the 10 Types Of Information To Look For, 12 Important Elements Of World Building. Plus chapters on How To Rob A Bank and Commit Murder And Get Away With It for those of you interested in crime fiction, and Researching The Future for those writing science fiction, and Levels Of Reality if you are writing about a version of the real world.

No matter what you are writing, this book will help you find the facts... or make them up in a convincing way!



Can You Make It bigger?



Writing something EPIC?

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Thinking about writing a big Disaster Movie? An Historical Epic? An Epic Adventure Film? Or maybe you like Gladiator Movies? This book looks at writing Blockbusters and those Big Fat Beach Read novels - anything epic! Usng movies like JAWS, POSEIDON ADVENTURE, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, and those MARVEL and FAST & FURIOUS flicks as examples. What *is* a Blockbuster? 107 years of Blockbuster history! Blockbuster Characters. Blockbuster Story Types! Why modern Blockbusters are soap operas! Social Issues in Blcokbusters? Big Emotions! Keeping All Of Those Characters Distinctive! How to avoid the Big problems found in Big Movies and books! More! If you are writing a Big Event Movie or a Big Fat Novel, there are tips and techniques to help you!

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Making Your Own Movie?


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.

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"The Presidential Suite of the Hollywood Hoover Hotel looked like a bloody battlefield: bodies everywhere, furniture broken, red liquid dripping from the walls, dead soldiers littering the elegant Berber rug as clouds of smoke overhead bounced between two air conditioning vents.

Mitch Robertson stepped over the body of an ex-child star turned sex tape star turned pop star and entered the room, spotted a gun on the floor and picked it up... careful not to spill his coffee with three pumps of mocha syrup from Penny’s Coffee Shop. That coffee was gold, the only thing keeping him going in this dazed state of wakefulness. The gun felt light. Holding it, he saw the silhouette of an 80s action star sitting sideways on a tipped over chair. Motionless. Was he dead? Mitch was still hung over from the Awards Party the night before, and wondered whether this was all some sort of crazy nightmare that he would wake up from... but when he tripped over the brown legs of a bottomless Superhero, flaccid junk encased in a condom but still wearing his mask, and hit the edge of the sofa, gun skittering and coffee spilling, he realized that it was all very real. What the hell had happened here?"

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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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Tips FAQ

My New Script Secrets Newsletter!




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!

THE MISSION IMPOSSIBLE MOVIES - 347 Pages - Only $3.99 !




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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Strange Structures!



Contained Thrillers like "Buried"? Serial Protagonists like "Place Beyond The Pines"? Multiple Connecting Stories like "Pulp Fiction"? Same Story Multiple Times like "Run, Lola, Run"?

This book focuses on 18 of Hitchcock's 52 films with wild cinema and story experiments which paved the way for modern films. Almost one hundred different experiments that you may think are recent cinema or story inventions... but some date back to Hitchcock's *silent* films! We'll examine these experiments and how they work. Great for film makers, screenwriters, film fans, producers and directors.

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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 CDs are available now!


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!


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!




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


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!

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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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*** 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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*** 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!

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*** HOOK 'EM IN TEN *** - For Kindle!

Your story doesn't get a second chance to make a great first impression, and this book shows you a bunch of techniques on how to do that. From the 12 Basic Ways To Begin Your Story, to the 3 Stars Of Your First Scene (at least one must be present) to World Building, Title Crawls, Backstory, Starting Late, Teasers and Pre Title Sequences, Establishing Theme & Motifs (using GODFATHER PART 2), Five Critical Elements, Setting Up The Rest Of The Story (with GODFATHER), and much more! With hundreds of examples ranging from Oscar winners to classic films like CASABLANCA to some of my produced films (because I know exactly why I wrote the scripts that way). Biggest Blue Book yet! Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is over 100,000 words - 312 pages!

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





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


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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*** SCENE SECRETS *** - For Kindle!


What is a scene and how many you will need? The difference between scenes and sluglines. Put your scenes on trial for their lives! Using "Jaws" we'll look at beats within a scene. Scene DNA. Creating set pieces and high concept scenes. A famous director talks about creating memorable scenes. 12 ways to create new scenes. Creating unexpected scenes. Use dramatic tension to supercharge your scenes. Plants and payoffs in scenes. Plus transitions and buttons and the all important "flow"... and more! Over 65,000 words! Print version was 48 pages, Kindle version is around 210 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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*** 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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All About Rewrites!


Rewriting In Waves?

*** REWRITES Blue Book! - For Kindle!

The end is just the beginning! You’ve finished your story, but now the rewriting begins! This 405 page book shows you how to rewrite your screenplay or novel to perfection. Everything from Character Consistency to Shoeboxing to How To Give And Receive Notes to 15 Solutions If Your Script’s Too Long! and 15 Solutions If Your Script’s Too Short! to Finding The Cause Of A Story Problem to Good Notes Vs. Bad Notes to Finding Beta Readers to Avoiding Predictability to Learning To Be Objective About Your Work to Script Killer Notes and Notes From Idiots to Production Rewrites and What The Page Colors Mean? and a Complete Rewrite Checklist! The complete book on Rewriting Your Story!

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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!

Only: $4.99

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




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!

272 Pages - ONLY $4.99!



*** 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!



Movie Magic Screenwriter is the best selling screenplay formatting software and the choice of Hollywood professionals. Screenwriter automatically formats while you write so you can focus on what you're writing, not where it goes on the page. It also formats for television, stage, novels and comic book scripts so you've got an all in one package for any story you want to write. Academy Award Tech Winner!

* * * Buy It!

copyright 2023 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 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!


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


Take classes on CD!