Screenplayground Podcast – What If? “Jedi Weed”

In this episode of What if? Thomas Cunningham & Patrick Guera break a story about an ex-Jedi and his gardener who want to grow a plant that when ingested gives a normal person Jedi powers. Something so powerful is not without danger and potential conflict. 

Mr. Roboto our AI Producer has somehow gotten the rights to this Star Wars stand-alone idea and as always given roughly 30mins to break into a usable foundation for a screenplay.  Enjoy! Please share, rate and review on iTunes and/or your favorite podcast app. We’re on Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn, Spotify and more. Just search “Screenplayground”. 

Screenplayground podcast – What If? “Kat & Mouse”

In this episode of What if? Thomas Cunningham & Patrick Guera break a story about a Dancing Virgin vs. an angry, scuppering mouse!

We are given a ridiculous premise by Robot Producer (a random generated plot via the internet) and we must break the story and have a basic, workable plot upon which a script could be written… in roughly 30 mins to do this. Robot Producer is a maniac. Let us know what you think! If you love the show please share it and subscribe on iTunes & give it 5 stars & a review. This will really help us get the show heard. Thanks!

ITunes link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/screenplayground/id1459769431

Screenplayground podcast – What if? “Zombies4Change”

In the latest episode of the “What If?” podcast, we break a story randomly generated and given to us by our robot producer featuring zombies! We try to make it all make sense and offer a fresh take on the zombie story. Enjoy it and share it! Let us know what you think and what you’d like to see in future podcasts and please subscribe to the Screenplayground podcast on iTunes & if you love it & you love us like we love you, please give it a 5 star rating and a good review. This helps more people find the show.

Screenplayground Podcast – What If? “Pie School Graduate”

Thomas Cunningham & Patrick Guera are given a ridiculous premise by Robot Producer (a random generated plot via the internet) and they must break the story and have a basic, workable plot upon which a script could be written… they have roughly 30 mins to do this. Robot Producer is a maniac. Let us know what you think!
Future “What If” episodes on Wednesday. “What If? Wednesday!”

Don’t Save the Cat!

I’m sure many of you have read Blake Snyder’s screenwriting book “Save the Cat!” and in fairness, I haven’t but personally, I think that these sorts of shortcuts and “tricks” are counter to good screenwriting. Now, I certainly don’t want to speak ill of the dead and perhaps there is a lot of good solid advice in the book but I’ve witnessed the “Save the Cat!” fallout in many scripts of late.

Continue reading “Don’t Save the Cat!”

What Time is It?

There are certain people that will tell you with Draconian intolerance that when writing a scene slug, you should write Day or Night. No Evening, no Dawn, no 4AM, No Later, Moments Later, Continuous or Same.

These people need to chill the fuck out. There are times when it is appropriate to use something other than Day or Night. “When” You ask? When it’s necessary. Okay… bye. Okay, fine, I’ll clarify.

It’s acceptable to use a more specific time of day when it matters. If your character is doing his laundry does it have to be at dusk? If he’s a Vampire Hunter and he’s suddenly going to realize that it’s dusk and he locked himself out of his apartment, then maybe it’s relevant. Otherwise, pick Day or Night. Does it matter that it’s 2 PM as opposed to 1 or 3? If your character has until 5PM to come up with some ransom money or his girlfriend will be murdered, then it probably does. In short, use very specific times sparingly when they matter to the story.

Continue reading “What Time is It?”

The Economy of Words

So, I’m gonna try and start off this here blog with some free advice. See, man? It ain’t all about you hiring me to give you script notes. I mean, brother’s gotta earn a living but I wanna help. Y’know… out of the goodness of my heart or whatever.

So, my first topic is on what I think is the most overlooked element of a screenplay: The action and descriptives. Now, you can have a script that can be turned into a great film without being good at or paying a lot of attention to these things but the chances are it won’t get made for one reason: It’s what makes your screenplay read like a movie rather than a book.

And, without making that good, your great story with amazing characters and expertly crafted dialogue will be bogged down in clunky, extraneous shit. It’s like a really hot girl with a beard like Fidel Castro. I don’t care how stunningly beautiful she is, you won’t be able to see past the beard. Okay, maybe that’s a bit much but still the point is valid… Moving on…

Screenwriting is the art of writing as concisely as possible. That means the more you can pack into a word or phrase and the less words you can use, the better. Now, with dialogue maybe that’s not always true. It depends on the character and the situation. However, with the action/descriptives it is ALWAYS true.

And overwhelmingly, this is the element I find lacking in screenplays I read. Such care is paid to story, structure, dialogue and character development but almost none to the descriptives and action and how the script reads and, ultimately, how effective it is at letting the reader see it in their mind.

Continue reading “The Economy of Words”