The writer that probably first comes to mind when you think about the modern classic film Tootsie is Larry Gilbert. But the co-writer of the script was Murray Schisgal. The Oscar and Tony-nominated Schisgal was born in Brooklyn and turns 90 in November. He had his Broadway debut in 1965 with a play he’d written called […]

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“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Steve Martin Getting an agent is easy. The actual process I mean;  Script read. Phone call made. After you written a screenplay that captures the attention of someone influential in the film business. (BTW-That’s the hard part. The part that took Oscar winning screenwriter  Michael Arndt ten years […]

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Jamaica’s six gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games matched what its athletes did at the 2008 Beijing Games. That made me think of a post I wrote in 2008 on Jamaica and I thought it was worth reposting today as a reminder of how small places foster talent that can perform on a […]

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The 2016 Rio Olympics closing ceremony ended yesterday with many memorable moments over the past two weeks including three more gold medals for Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. So I thought it would be fitting to re-post what I wrote about Bolt after he won three gold medals four years ago: “I would say I’m the […]

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“To do any kind of creative work well, you have to run at stuff knowing that it’s usually going to fail. You have to take that into account and you have to make peace with it. We spend a lot of money and time on stuff that goes nowhere. It’s not unusual for us to […]

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“In a well-made drama, I want to feel:  ‘Of course—that’s where it was heading all along.’ And yet the inevitability mustn’t eliminate surprise. There’s not much point in spending two hours on something that became clear in the first five minutes. Inevitability doesn’t mean predictability. The script must still keep you off balance, keep you […]

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“I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” Elon Musk Over the weekend I was on the Space Coast of Florida, but was asleep when the SpaceX Falcon 9 took off from Cape Canaveral at 1:26 a.m. Sunday. But a photographer […]

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“When I first meet with the scriptwriter, I never tell him anything, even if I feel there’s a lot to be done. Instead I ask him the same questions I’ve asked myself: What is the story about? What did you see? What was your intention? Ideally, if we do this well, what do you hope […]

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“A successful focus sentence is the most basic, bare-bones version of your narrative arc.” Jessica Able Out on the Wire, Episode 4 A focus sentence is what screenwriters call a logline. The essential elements of your story. In the podcast Out on a Wire, Jessica Abel explains how some narrative & non-narrative radio/podcast producers use […]

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“The key to writing fiction and screenplays in terms of character is conflict, just like it is in non-fiction. And you have to come up with what is the thing that’s going to test that character. And how are you going to make evident what they’re all about? If you can’t make it evident through […]

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