It seems like just yesterday that we were announcing the third WriteMovies genre prize: the Romance and Comedy Award 2020. But the final deadline is already here – you’ve got until the end of this Sunday, February 9th, to submit your scripts!
If you’re feeling in a funny mood or a romantic one with Valentine’s Day coming up – or even a bit of both – then this is the contest for you. We’ll be accepting scripts in the romance, comedy, and rom-com genres – so if you think you’ve got what we’re looking for, make sure you submit by the deadline!
There are great prizes to be won, too. Our winner will receive two sets of Development Notes from our expert script analysts, further advice to fine-tune their work, and guaranteed pitching to industry. Plus, all submissions receive FREE, automatic entry to the Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest!
The winner of our last genre prize, the Horror Award 2019, was MONGER by David Axe, and he also walked away with the Grand Prize in the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest: $2000! If you’d like to follow in his footsteps, then this is your chance.
WriteMovies has been helping writers succeed since 1999, and we’d love to help you, too. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to get your script out there. Click here to submit to the Romance and Comedy Award 2020 by this Sunday, February 9th!
To reflect changes to other roles in the business, we and our agency partner TalentScout International Management are looking to recruit a new Industry Liaison based in Los Angeles, initially in a part-time role with potential to grow into a full-time role in future.
The aim is to hire someone already based in Los Angeles with a demonstrable track record of engaging with industry and promoting high quality scripts, who will support the company’s ongoing talent pipeline and film production activities – opening new doors every day to help writers get their scripts optioned and produced, get their films made, and provide dynamic ongoing content for the company’s marketing platforms in the process.
The appointment is intended to be the first in a series of steps to expand the company’s Los Angeles presence as both a promoter of exciting new talent and a production company: the right candidate should be ambitious, can-do and proactive to make every aspect of this a reality, including through working in film production, budgeting and packaging as well as marketing, pitching and script development.
At the heart of our business is solving problems with scripts and proposals, to enable them to fulfil their potential without compromising the writer’s vision; championing them to industry; and doing what it takes to get them produced to the right standards. We’ve been doing it for over 20 years, working with Elite Mentors including Tom Craig (RAIN MAN, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE etc) throughout that time and getting films made including THE LIST (with Wayne Brady and Sydney Tamiia Poitier, 2007).
Candidates should be able to prove their successful track record of working in person in LA to promote great writing and promote their activities on digital platforms. Industry references will be needed and interviews will be held in LA on March 2nd – 6th.
This is a freelance ongoing position, on potentially flexible terms but with monthly minimums required and guaranteed, plus additional responsibilities and additional profitshare available to incentivize growing our client base and productivity.
To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some aspects of the role may be negotiable subject to guaranteed minimums.
In Part 1 of this Writing Insights series, we discussed how exposition is often a necessary evil in scriptwriting for conveying information that your audience needs to know, and how sometimes it’s better to use the visual medium of film instead.
But what happens when visuals aren’t enough? What do you do when you have to use dialogue instead? The answer is to make exposition so interesting that the audience doesn’t notice that it’s there – they’re too engrossed to get bored by the dreaded “info-dump” or feel that the characters are speaking in a way that might otherwise seem unnatural.
There are quite a few different ways to make exposition interesting, though. Here are a few of our hints and tips on how to go about it…
- Ignite the audience’s curiosity about what you’re about to reveal. Pose it as a question – for example, THE MATRIX‘s famous: “What is The Matrix?” – and make the audience want to know the answer. Then, when the answer is given, they’ll already be interested!
- Another trick used by THE MATRIX is including exposition in situations that are exciting – containing striking visuals and action – so that the dialogue is enhanced by what’s going on around it. Morpheus could have explained the rules of The Matrix to Neo over a nice cup of coffee – but instead, he does it through a demonstration of kung-fu.
- Make your protagonist be an outsider. As mentioned in Part 1, we don’t tell people things that they already know – but if there’s someone who doesn’t know the world or situation, then you’ve got a good excuse. And that means that it no longer feels unnatural!
- Think about what else you might be able to convey through the exposition itself. Character is best revealed through action – the things we choose to do, the decisions we make – so consider what you might be revealing about the character who is talking. The titular character of the TV show SHERLOCK comes out with huge amounts of exposition, but it feels fine because it’s in character to show off and it tells us a lot about who he is.
So there are our hints and tips to make exposition interesting. Keep these in mind the next time you’re writing a script, and make sure that your dialogue shines!
When you need to convey information in your script – about characters’ backstories, their relationships, the setting or story – it’s a natural instinct to turn straight to exposition, telling the audience what they need to know through dialogue.
And there’s no doubt that exposition is a necessary evil in scriptwriting. There are always going to be things that need to be established for the audience to understand what’s going on in your story!
Exposition is almost always a problem, though. Firstly, people don’t really talk in an expositional manner – stating a whole load of facts, one after the other – and they don’t tell people things they already know. So exposition often feels fake or forced, seeming to be there just for the audience’s sake.
The other problem is that it often has a negative effect on the story. An “info-dump”, as it’s often known, slows the narrative, putting the story on hold so the audience can learn things. But, overwhelmed by the amount of information being thrown at them, they’ll often just switch off!
So how do you get around this problem? How do you communicate the information the audience needs without boring them, overwhelming them, or making your characters talk like aliens trying (and failing) to impersonate human beings?
Well, the first thing you can do is to fully utilize the visual medium of film, and forget about dialogue entirely…
As a screenwriter, looking at the page all day, it can be easy to get stuck in a world of words. “Surely,” you think to yourself, “if I want to get some information across, someone has to state it out loud.”
But sight is the sense that human beings use the most, and it’s possible to communicate a huge amount about all kinds of things through nothing but visuals. An actor can tell us a lot about a character’s feelings with just a glance or an expression – or even by doing nothing at all!
The famous “Married Life” segment from UP is a great example of how to use visuals well. Decades of marriage are summarised – complete with information about the characters, their relationship, their families, and the things they go through – in four short minutes, and without a single word being spoken.
The power of visuals applies to world-building, too. The famous opening shot of STAR WARS sees Princess Leia’s tiny ship being pursued by the massive Star Destroyer of Darth Vader, and the difference of scale immediately tells us a lot about the two sides. Darth Vader and the Empire are powerful and dominant, while Princess Leia and the Rebel Alliance are the underdogs.
So whenever you think you need to use exposition to get some information across, stop for just a minute and think. Maybe there’s a way to get things across without anyone having to speak a single word. Try to picture things instead. Don’t forget – fundamentally, you’re not just writing a screenplay, you’re writing a film as well!
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this article, where we’ll be talking about those times when you can’t use visuals – and how to make exposition interesting, so that the audience won’t even notice it’s there!
The WriteMovies Horror Award 2019 is almost over! With just two days until the contest closes, your chance to submit – and to become the first ever winner of this brand new prize – is fading fast. We’re saying goodbye to it with one final article celebrating the genre: our insights into zombie films!
Our pick of the web for January & February 2017 – @WriteMovies Twitter!
Our @WriteMovies Twitter feed has been sharing lots of exciting things giving our tips of the best new articles, insights and offers for screenwriters and producers on the web. And in case you’ve missed anything there, here is our pick for January and February 2017… (more…)
Here’s our 2017 Oscars reaction… by John Sullivan
Well, that was unexpected… Another Oscars night to remember, but this time for all the wrong reasons. The glitz and the glamor of the awards became overshadowed by a massive screw up during the Best Picture announcement. But we’ll come back to that. Now that the results are in (unless I have the wrong card, too…) we can take a look at how the night went… I think we all know how it went. (more…)