Great Endings Step 1: Hero shouldn’t get what they wanted

November 18, 2013
Casablanca Ending Rick Says Goodbye Ilsa

Think your hero needs to triumph at the climax to satisfy the audience? That’s a rookie mistake. Here’s why …

Read more →

10 steps to a great movie ending

November 18, 2013
Dead Poets Society Climax - Boys stand on their desks -

The films we love tend to have profoundly moving climaxes. In my next 10 posts I’ll explore how to craft a truly transcendent ending.

Read more →

10 parting words of advice

November 12, 2013
Thumbnail image for 10 parting words of advice

My final tips to the departing AFTRS Grad Cert Screenwriting cohort of 2013.

Read more →

One of the best days of my life

November 10, 2013
Allen Palmer on the final day of AFTRS Grad Cert Screenwriting 2013 - They're called moving pictures. So move me.

Last Saturday I farewelled the outstanding AFTRS Grad Cert Screenwriting cohort of 2013 and I have to say it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Read more →

What’s better than a happy ending or a weepie? Ecstatic Agony

August 28, 2013
Thumbnail image for What’s better than a happy ending or a weepie? Ecstatic Agony

If you want to write a Transcendent Story, don’t think happy or sad ending. Think “Ecstatic Agony”. Here I explore what that means and why it’s so powerful.

Read more →

Transcendent Story Pt 2 – 5 qualities that lift the great above the good

August 26, 2013
The Godfather movie poster - Marlon Brando

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

Read more →

How to win audiences and Oscars – introducing the Transcendent Story

August 24, 2013
Thumbnail 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.

Read more →

Radical solution to Hollywood-Indie standoff: Character and Story in same screenplay

August 13, 2013
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.

Read more →

Best way to improve your screenwriting in 2012

October 25, 2011
AFTRS logo

If you like the Cracking Yarns blog and are committed to becoming a screenwriter, you need to apply for the new AFTRS Grad Cert Screenwriting Fundamentals by Nov 1.

Read more →

Proof of the Hero’s Journey: my life as a screenwriter

April 5, 2011
Old-fashioned typewriter

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

Read more →