Film analysis

The Godfather movie poster - Marlon Brando as Don Corleone

Here I identify five characteristics of the Transcendent Story that can touch both broad audiences and tough critics.

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Post image for How to win audiences and Oscars – introducing the Transcendent Story

Here I introduce the very special sort of story that can reunite the disparate Hollywood and Indie audiences and achieve the filmmaking Holy Grail: critical and commercial success.

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Mexican stand-off Reservoir Dogs Harvey Keitel vs Steve Buscemi

Sick of soul-less Hollywood blockbusters? Me too. But I’ve also had a gutful of two-act, too-cool-for-school indie pics. I’m proposing a crazy idea – a rapprochement between Character and Story. No, really, I think it can work.

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Old-fashioned typewriter

Here I illustrate the Hero’s Emotional Journey with examples from my own torturous but ultimately rewarding life as a screenwriter.

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Juno Ellen Page Chair Pipe

The ending of Juno’s screenplay is much more powerful the film – and it holds a valuable dramatic lesson for screenwriters.

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The Social Network Opening Scene Mark Zuckerberg Erica Allbright Jesse Eisenberge Rooney Mara

Here I unveil a very special type of subplot – one that can help you deliver an emotionally powerful ending.

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40 year old virgin movie poster Steve Carell

If you liked my earlier article on how to write a logline, here’s a follow-up piece on the most common weaknesses I see.

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Golden Globe nominations under the magnifying glass

By analysing the categories in which films have (and have not) been nominated, you can tell what worked – and didn’t work – in this year’s crop of screenplays.

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The Social Network Movie Poster

The Social Network breaks a bunch of screenwriting “rules” but gets away with it. How?

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The Town Movie Poster Ben Affleck

The Town is an intelligent heist flick but the ending is disappointing – and instructive for students of screenwriting.

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