HOW TO WRITE A SCREENPLAY

HOLLYWOOD – The Studio Exec is sick and tired of the bull crap that passes for screenplays in this town.

Not to mention all the messages and emails about screenplays that assholes have written and they have the audacity to ask the Exec to put on his bifocals and actually ingest this sopping filth. So he – in his fifteen percent wisdom – has decided to give all you aspiring Barton Finks some simple rules for you to follow.
  1. Have a story to tell you really don’t care about. Horrible things are going to happen to that story so it’s better you ain’t too invested. Never write about something that happened to you. You are really boring. Don’t make me fucking tell you. Use the Glen L Larson approach, copy something you like from film for a TV show or you like on television and put it in a feature format.
  2. Remember the three act structure and the character arc and denouements and stuff. Not for when you’re writing but for when you’re talking about writing.
  3. Originality is a cancer. Stamp it out from the very get go. Clichés are your bread and butter. Traffic cops only stop cars with bodies in the trunk. Funerals happen in the rain. Couples walk and talk in parks. When your protagonist is undecided have him sit in view of a bridge. Anger should be expressed by trashing a desk or punching the steering wheel. If someone’s a recovering alcoholic in Act One, they have to go on a bender in Act Three (that’s Chekov!)
  4. Give up on your dreams. Accept that statistically you’re never going to make it. All that bull crap about persistence and never giving up on your dream is horse shit. 99% don’t make it regardless of persistence and never giving up on your dreams. If you enjoy the process, good for you, otherwise it ain’t worth the butt ache.
  5. Finally, don’t send it to me. Believe me, we tolerate agents because they’re only slightly less odious pits of scum than writers. They’re filters. They man the barricades. Get yourself a good one and he can break my balls so you don’t have to.
Oh and put a colon in the middle of your title so we think you’re on to a franchise. Now, get out of my Goddam face!

TIPS FOR SCREENWRITERS: PART 1









The Studio Exec has acquired a wealth of movie making experience and for the first time has decided to share it with young lucky screenwriters. Please send your questions to editor@thestudioexec.com and the Studio Exec will take a break from Hudson Hawk 2 development talks to answer your queries on this site.
But to get you going here’s a few gems from the man who said to Kubrick: ‘I like the elevator shots, the doors opening and revealing the elevator to be empty, it’s creepy but what if something came out of them, like… I don’t know … blood?’

  • Always remember to put a number in your title, for example Toy Story 3. If you don’t have a number use a colon for example Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. If you’re thinking yeah but Chris Nolan didn’t have numbers, my answer is go ahead be Chris Nolan. See how that works out for you. 
  • Make sure you keep women to a minimum. There should never be more than one with a name. If you have more, make sure they don’t talk to each other. If you can’t help them sharing a scene, make sure they only talk to men. I called that little sugar tits, the Bechdel Rule. Write it down. IN PEN.
  • When choosing a lead character always write a description of their physical appearance, such as they looked like ‘Brad Pitt/George Clooney/Al Pacino/Rob Schnieder. This will give you some leeway.
  • Your film should never be longer than 100 mins. The director will add another thirty minutes of needless bullshit. Don’t worry.
  • Try to get one character to saying something about movies/films/the cinema. This way it’ll stand a good chance of appearing in the Oscar clip reel. 
  • If you have a car chase, always make sure they drive the wrong way down a highway: that shit never gets old and it adds ‘character’.