5 Key Differences Between Spec and Shooting Scripts

5 Key Differences Between Spec and Shooting Scripts

Some Definitions A spec script is a screenplay that’s written “on speculation.” That is, you, the screenwriter, write the script without any development contract or promise of payment in place, in the hopes of getting it optioned, sold, or gaining...
Reaction shots for maximum humor

Reaction shots for maximum humor

There’s a real joy that comes with learning an inside trick of the trade. In film school, one of the first such screenwriting secrets I remember learning was that funny things are made ten times funnier by showing reactions to them — reaction shots1. Show...

Don’t get progressive with your tense

Simple is Better I’m sure you already know that your scene descriptions should only be written in the present tense, right? Riiiiight? Okay good. But are you using the simple present tense or the progressive present tense? Whuh? That’s a fancy way of...
Show, Don’t Tell

Show, Don’t Tell

There’s an old adage in screenwriting — show, don’t tell. If there’s a key character trait, event, or setting that the audience needs to know about, provide that information visually. Why? Humans are visual — we learn things more quickly...
Are you my density?

Are you my density?

“I’m your density.” – George McFly Are you still writing dense paragraphs of description in your script? You know what I mean. Those paragraphs that keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny. If so, it may be working against you. How long...