Marcel Proust wrote a story called REMEMBRANCES OF THINGS PAST that took up seven full-length books (almost 3,500 pages!)... you may have read it in college (or just read the cliff notes). The story is really several different stories all concerning the same character... they pulled out one of the stories several years ago and made a movie called SWANN'S WAY.

A couple of years ago we had our final chapter of THE HOBBIT, the prequel to the massive hit LORD OF THE RINGS movies... in the case of those films, Tolkien's story was so long (1,216 pages) and so dense the publisher cut it into thirds and turned it into a trilogy. If that wasn't enough, they have decided to cut the prequel (THE HOBBIT) in half and make it into three epic length films... and now that they're done with that, there's a sequel to the RINGS trilogy!

Stephen King writes big fat books... THE STAND is 1,168 pages long and contains a huge cast - each one becomes the hero for a section of the book. It's one of my favorite books, probably took me a month to read. Dude gets a bit wordy, and loves his subplots - some of his more recent novels seem like a bunch of subplots tied together.

William Goldman may be most famous as a screenwriter, but he began his career as a best selling novelist. His 704 page book BOYS & GIRLS TOGETHER has about a dozen characters who are connected in odd ways - kind of a six degrees of separation thing.

In a novel you can have as many characters, as many story lines and as many pages as you want... but in a script we have 110 pages to tell our story (less than 1/30th of what Proust had to tell his story). That means we need to focus on one story, one central conflict and one protagonist (two if you're writing a rom-com or buddy movie). We just don't have enough pages to successfully pull off a sprawling multi-story cast of thousands tale. When William Goldman writes a screenplay, he usually has a single protagonist (like GREAT WALDO PEPPER) or a pair of buddies (BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID) involved in a straight forward story (in THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS Val Kilmer has to kill a pair of lions before they eat all of the workers trying to build a railroad in Africa). A screenplay has to be FOCUSED - a novel can be sprawling.

One conflict. Focused. So JAWS is about an ocean-phobic Sheriff tracking down the shark who is eating his townspeople. The book has a swell romantic subplot between Brody's wife and the Shark Expert character Richard Dreyfus played in the film... but that has nothing to do with the shark eating people, so it's not in the film. Like a shark, a film script is streamlined.

CITIZEN KANE is all about the search for the meaning of Kane's last words "Rosebud". While interviewing ex-wives and ex-friends, we dig into Kane's past, looking for "Rosebud"... finding out what the words mean at the end. Are there any characters in KANE who didn't know Kane? Only the reporter who is searching for the answer to the "Rosebud" question. Every character in the film is *connected* to the story.

GARDEN STATE is about a guy who returns home for his mother's funeral and has to make peace with his stern father... who blames him for her death. It may seem whimsical and scattershot, but the film is a journey with a definate destination. One story, one central conflict. A novel has room for a million subplots, but a screenplay has *one* central conflict, and every subplot grows directly from that central conflict. When you only have 110 pages, you don't have enough room for anything that doesn't directly relate to that streamlined story.

One conflict, usually one lead character... and all of the characters need to be connected to the central conflict... and the story. If the story is about a boy who comes home from college for his father's funeral only to discover that his father was murdered by his uncle... and his mother was an accomplice, you have three main characters that the conflict revolves around. The bulk of the story will be about those three characters, with the college boy probably in almost every scene because he's the protagonist. Any scene that includes two of the three will contain conflict and drama (because you have protagonist and antagonist). Since conflict is fuel for drama, every supporting character will be connected to the conflict in some way. By focusing on the conflict, you automatically remove extraneous characters and give yourself more time with the important characters. Less characters means more time spent on developing each of them. If your script has 30 characters, that's only about 3 minutes spent on each character... how well can you get to know someone in 3 minutes? More time for the audience to get to know the character means less confusion between characters ("Is that Karl or Sam? Her husband or the gardener?") Every character has to count!

The more removed your character is from that conflict the less important they are to the story. The Mother's hairdresser's boyfriend is a completely extraneous character. They may be the funniest character in your script, but they have nothing to do with the story you are trying to tell. The Mother's hairdresser is an important character only if the Mother gives him story information. Then the character has a connection to the story. If the Mother just gossips with the hairdresser, that character is completely unimportant - cut him! Save that character for your novelization... they take up too much time for the script version.

Stage plays usually have limited casts. I can't find my copy of THE FRONT PAGE, but there are three main characters, plus the escaped convict and the other guys in the press room... that's a limited cast. GLASS MENAGERIE also has a limited cast. SLEUTH has two characters (or maybe 3, if you count the fake cop). The fewer the number of characters, the closer you get to the conflict. The deeper your characters become. The more focused the story. The better your script. The characters need to be connected to the conflict.


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Every thing in your screenplay is connected to that main story strand, or it's unnecessary. Your story is focused - streamlined - for a screenplay. All of the characters have some connection to the conflict or are maybe one level removed. A few weeks ago I was at the Three Rivers Screenwriting Conference with Christoper Lockhart from WME, and one of the things he sees as a major problem with people's *pitches* is that they are often all over the place and have elements that don't seem to fit the story - a problem of unity. Some of the characters or scenes or subplots seem like they belong to some other story. The example that he uses is a Tod Browning silent film called THE UNKNOWN which stars Lon Chaney - and I haven't heard him talk about the film is years... I *have* seen the film recently, so here's my version...

THE UNKNOWN is about a carnival sideshow performer known as The Armless Man (Lon Chaney) because he has no arms. Obvious, right? But it's actually amazing. He eats, plays the guitar, smokes, and everything else *with his feet*. His sideshow act has him *throwing knives* at a Hot Carnival Chick in a sexy spangled bathing suit... with his feet! She stands against a wall, just like any Hot Carnival Chick in a knife throwing act, and he grabs the knives *with his feet* and throws them at her - doing the usual balloon popping and cigarette slicking. It's amazing! (Lon Chaney was an actor who puts DeNiro's weight gain and Christian Bale's weight losses for roles to shame. Chaney did *crazy* things in roles - like learning how to use his feet for everything so that he could play this role. Chaney was the ultimate actor - and no one else has ever topped his odd physical performances.)

The Armless Man is secretly in love with the Hot Carnival Chick (an impossibly young Joan Crawford). The Hot Chick confides in him - she tells him she hates men because they always put their *hands* all over her, grabbing her ass and tits, but the Armless Man doesn't do this... that's why she can confide in him. She spends much of her time in his trailer at the carnival, complaining about those handsy men - as if he's a eunuch.

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The Armless Man's #1 rival for the Hot Chick is the carnivals' Strong Man - who has massive arms. He's always flirting with her - but when he tries to put his big arms around her she always pulls away. When he comes to the Armless Man for advice on how to approach the Hot Chick, the Armless Man (jealous and devious) tells him that she loves having men put their hands all over her. Even if she doesn't seem like it, that's really what she wants. So if she pulls away? Just keep trying to put your arms around her!

The police come to the carnival to interrogate everyone because there have been a series of burglaries - a master safe cracker - and the towns these crimes have occurred in are the same towns the carnival has been to. But the master safe cracker has made a mistake - left behind his fingerprints. The police are fingerprinting *everyone* at the carnival. When they come to the Armless Man he waves with his feet and asks if they want his prints. The police laugh and say no. But no one in the Carnival has prints that match - and the police move on, looking for other suspects.

The Armless Man shares his trailer at the carnival with the Dwarf - they are best friends.

He trusts the Dwarf to undress him every night... takeing off his truss... exposing his *arms*! The Armless Man has arms - and is the master safe cracker! Clever! The perfect cover - the police never suspect a man with no arms of being the master safe cracker.

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He tells the Dwarf that he loves the Hot Chick, and wants to hold her in his arms. The Dwarf tells him that can never happen - the minute the Hot Chick finds out he has arms, she'll hate him for lying to her. He can never marry the Hot Chick because when he takes off all of his clothes - she will see his arms. You can't exactly hide that from your wife. He wants to hold her in his arms... but can never do that. The love he has for her must remain unknown - hidden like his arms.

Okay - just from that part of the story, do you see how the armless element is connected to the story - is critical to the story. Every part of the story connects to it. The safe cracking? Hey - this is the perfect disguise! The romance? The reason why she confides in him is that he isn't trying to put his hands all over her! But he wants to put his arms around her! His rival - a man with huge arms! Those arms make him ultra-masculine. Everything in this movie from the safe cracking to the romance is about the *arms*. The idea has *unity*. The pieces all connect logically, no explaining to do and no confusion as to why *this* character and not *that* character. Every piece relates to every other piece. Every character and subplot and scene is connected.

In THE UNKNOWN the Armless Man realizes the only way he can marry the Hot Chick (and share his fortune from all of these safe cracking jobs) is to have his arms surgically removed. But then, he will *never* be able to put his arms around her. Is it worth it? This is one twisted love story! Bring on the bone saws!

Look at your story idea and the characters - are all of the pieces part of a whole? Are the elements all connected naturally and logically? Does it add up? Is there *unity*? Are each of the characters connected to the conflict?


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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All About Rewrites!



Rewriting In Waves?

When You Finish Your Screenplay Or Novel...
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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!

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NEW in 2020!




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?


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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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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"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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My New Script Secrets Newsletter!




*** 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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*** 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!

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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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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  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.
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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).

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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 2022 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, plus a workbook, plus a bonus MP3 with PDFs.
The 2 Day Class on MP3!


A Whole Week Of Programming!
(no actual sex is involved)
From Trailer Tuesday to Film Courage Plus to THRILLER Thursday to Fridays With Hitchcock and more! My blog has all kinds of great stuff! Check it out! Lots of cool stuff every day!


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 MP3!