Journey of a Movie Script & the Evolution of Dramatic Storytelling

We think we live in a very edgy time in which you can do anything on film, but we don’t. Yes, we put blood and sex and gore on screen but to pose a genuinely deep, humane, moral dilemma – people don’t want to be brought to difficult places

John Romano – talks about American Pastoral in an Interview with Final Draft

The thing about this interview that inspired me, was how it affirmed my own dilemma – the doubt that can creep in and paralyze my efforts through fear of failure. I aspire to write stories that deal with existential, moral dilemma. One story-arch which I continue to work deals with an ancient battle for the occupation of Earth. While this may seem like just another alien invasion tale, the story-arch of this one can be traced back to ancient history and writings that go as far back as the oldest Sanskrit.

I will post a follow-up to the progress of this spec-script as soon as there’s a significant update.

The script started going around, you would not believe this, in the year 2000. In other words it was being read about the time that 9/11 happened and that was really not good for us for a lot of reasons… And no one was in that mood post-9/11, and I mean for several years. We were in Iraq and Afghanistan and no one was in the mood to hear that story…that was part of the obstacle. And I think the 60’s had to get a little further away. It had to become a little more of a period piece. And then, you know, the tides of movie making shift, what’s in and what’s out…I’m particularly proud of my producers for bucking every possible tide.

The other thing about this movie that should inspire any writer trying to sell a spec-script, is that this script had its own set of challenges before it got green-lit.

Read the entire Interview article [ ]

Screenwriters: the Modern Day Prophets + All Voters take Heed

If you were an undecided voter and you hoped to avoid a ‘Trumpocalypse’, you should have taken heed to the ‘New Rule’ from HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher.

 CLICK THIS and take heed, particularly, to the evidence he presents which supports what I learned long ago, when I began my journey into screenwriting. Maher said, “movies predict the future”. But that’s somewhat of a pollyannaish way of putting it. Another writer has revealed that Hollywood has a symbiotic relationship with persons who occupy or have occupied positions at the highest level of organizations, some of which include branches of the U.S. military and private contractors, governing and controlling the world, whereby covert information is leaked to researchers’ sources or officially released to the news media or via social media.


Update: Watch the episode of Real Time that sounded the alarm on a Fascist Right-Wing Coup taking America and their Manchurian Candidate, Donald Trump

Is this a fascists, right-wing coup taking America? 

Is Donald Trump the fascists’ manchurian candidate?

Was there a ‘silent Trump vote’ faction that remained doormant until election day in order to feed false data to the media and Clinton’s campaign?

The panelists sounded the alarm the weekend leading up to election day.


That’s why I say that screenwriters have become the modern-day prophets. Screenwriters, along with any number of assistants who help in the research of material and those involved in acquiring the production budgets, inevitably become enlightened. And like many prophets from the past, they too, deliver the messages through writing. The only difference is that now it can be adapted to other forms of multimedia.

In the ‘New Rules’ video, Bill Maher mentioned several movies that foretold the future. I can name a few myself. Can you?


Movies and other works of fiction that Foretold the Future

Who is this profile describing?

 A power-mad American billionaire, business magnate, investor, philanthropist to the city of…

Is this describing the President elect? Mythology and reality inter-wind once again as fiction becomes prophecy.


A Better WorldJustice League episode 37

Lex Luthor becomes the President of the United States

The symbolism of a megalomaniac [Lex Luthor] with his finger on a red button illustrates the fear-mongering that was an integral part of the Clinton campaign.

A power-mad American billionaire, business magnate, investor, philanthropist to the city of Metropolis {a.k.a. New York), and one of the most intelligent people in the world. A charismatic and well-known public figure, he is intent on ridding the world of alien superhero Superman, who Lex Luthor views as an obstacle to his megalomaniacal plans and as a threat to the very existence of humanity.



The Kid Who Ran for President

The Kid Who Became President

John Oliver on how life imitates art, as in the case of this book, which can be a manual for President-elect Trump





Executive Decision (1996)

It’s not clear whether the writers of this action thriller foretold the tragedy of 9/11 or inspired the idea of using a commercial airplane as a missile to “strike at the heart of the infidel“.

The tragic events of 9/11 were a watershed moment that changed life in America. When you watch this trailer, you can’t help but feel like it was a by-gone era when movie trailers revealed way too much and used the voice of god to narrate and over-explain everything.




What movies or other works of fiction can you think of that foretold the future? Leave your selections as a comment

Expert Advice for screenwriters about Passion

Screenwriting Advice from Dustin Lance Black on VICE GUIDE TO FILM

The writer of ‘Milk’ gave his best advice to young screenwriters.

Watch the Video Interview

I agree wholeheartedly with that advice.

For as long as I’ve been in tune with my instinct, a voice has told me to follow my passion, and that’s what I’ve done when choosing projects or faced with other career related decisions. I would hardly describe it as an epiphany; it’s not clear at the time you make a choice, how it will turn out for the best, but somehow it feels right when you go with your gut. 

Your passion is the one thing that propels you through any kind of resistance that you’ll encounter on your journey. Curiosity can spark your interest, but it’s your passion that gets you to the finish line (any milestone). It drives you past any  sort of doubt, particularly, self-doubt. and fuels your faith despite any of the noise from naysayers.

It’s my experience that those who have lived through their mistakes are best qualified to dispense advice. Advice is most valuable when it’s dispensed by persons who have made the mistakes that lead to the hard lessons learned. In this interview, Dustin Black dispenses advice that comes from lessons he learned while dispensing orange juice.

Traverse through the stages of production for a video intro

You can go about producing a Branding Intro video by designing on the fly, but this approach can drag you through pitfalls you hoped to avoid, and before you know it, the happy Hollywood ending you expected to create in spectacular cinematic style ends with an unexpected plot twist – and not the edge-of-your-seat suspenseful kind of ending that you go raving about to your friends. If you’re not careful, your Act III will be more like a bad horror film you watch that makes you wish you could get back that time. What can be worse than that? If you don’t plan your production properly, it can all go wrong fast, before you realize it’s happening. That Grand Finale you imagined can quickly become the Final time your client hires you to do a job.

If you don’t write exactly what you want to express, that lack of precise direction will result in your drifting, like a ship without a rudder, subject to every shift in the ocean’s tide. This will alter the results in ways you did not anticipate, which can effect the delivery [of the message] and even the story itself. In fact, if you seek out a freelancer to do work for a project, on marketplace portals like fiverr or upwork (formerly elance), chances are their process is likely to be sort of * helter-skelter

* Learn more about the music origins of the term helter skelter and its use in American vernacular.


View Intro


Stage 1 | Story Structure

Whether it is a new concept that requires a story or a script outline which has already been established, the first stage in my process starts with the structure of the story. Rewriting a script that has already been provided to me may seem redundant, but there is a purpose for doing this. The rewriting of a script is not necessarily meant to change the story or message (unless it is specifically requested). It an effective way for me to describe to the client precisely how I will portray the story including the logic and the intended response of the viewers to each scene of the intro.

Don’t get it twisted.  I am not suggesting that anyone go and write a technical manual. That’s the last thing anyone wants to read. I prefer to write my version of the story in cinematic fashion – that is, in screenplay format, using all of the screenwriting techniques i have adopted from my training and experience. In my opinion, this is the most efficient way to convey what I am able to produce with the resources available to the project, and in such a way that is engaging and even enjoyable for the client to read, and not at all technical, so it’s easy for anyone to understand…And who among us doesn’t understand and enjoy movies?

Read the script I wrote to pitch a video intro for Honor Code High Precision BBs. The data specifications, features and benefits that needed to be emphasized as selling points in the extended version of their intro were based on their company Brand Book – a design style guide which had been prepared by another company that designed their logo and corporate identity.

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