Category Archives: IN THE TRENCHES

[IN THE TRENCHES] When Art Requires Craft

There’s an aspect – the glamourous aspect – of writing that’s all about the magical alchemy of creation. Tapping into your muse and dreaming up rich characters, dynamic relationships, and deep dramatic conflict. Sure that’s part of it. But there’s … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] Get it Down

I have a million ideas. Most writers do. But unless you’re already a sought-after creator with a track record of success, an idea itself isn’t going to get you very far. In other words, you can’t sell a spec that … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] Shameless Self-Promotion

As a writer, self promotion didn’t used to be important. Most writers are more of the self-doubting introvert types as it is. Who would we promote ourselves to? The dog? Well, things have changed. A lot. Thanks in a large … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] Noted

If you hope to work professionally as a screenwriter, you’re going to become very familiar with notes. I was very familiar very early on and I was not a fan. As we went through the notes process for the first … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] Adapt or Die

During an email discussion a few weeks ago, regarding some form of chaos or another, my mom remarked about her and my dad that, “We adapt.” In a year where nothing is the same as it was before, this ability … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] False Endings

False endings come in many shapes and sizes. They’re in songs, like Helter Skelter, All by Myself, and Sabotage. They’re in movies – mostly horror – often to elicit a last-minute jump scare. Although they can provide a bit of … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] What’s in a Name?

What’s in a name? A whole lot, it turns out. Maybe even too much. From the front cover of a spec script to a marquee on a movie theater, the title has been, and always will be, a critical task … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] The Day Job and DreamWorks “Wizards”

Like a lot of screenwriters, my freelance gigs have infrequently provided enough income to make a living. To be able to do fun things like eat and pay health insurance, requires one to have an additional source of income… aka … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] Chris Cluess – A Man for All Formats

Emmy-winning screenwriter, Chris Cluess, is not easily pigeonholed. Does he do sketches? Sitcoms? Hour-long? Features? How about animation? Novels? Yes. Yes, he does. If a format exists, Chris has more than likely written for it at one point or another. … Continue reading

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[IN THE TRENCHES] Tech vs. Spec

In the never-ending war of tech vs. spec, tech wins almost every time. Not too long ago, a production company liked a script Rhonda Smiley and I wrote, but the scale was a little too small for them. They asked … Continue reading

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