Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category


Writing Log Week 06 – 13. February, 2017

A terrible cold knocked me out this week, so I was like…

Which means my writing was like…

Did you see The LEGO Batman Movie this weekend? Wasn’t his opening song the best! My other movie of the week was Gareth Edwards‘ debut, Monsters. I salute his hard work — he wrote, directed, shot and did the effects for his feature — but my inner editor wanted to cut at least 10 minutes out of his 94-minute movie.

Hummingbird was on the most recent Blacklist and it’s a super-slick read. When a executive tells you that “the read needs to be sexier,” use this as a reference.

Ugh, time to take another DayQuil.

Posted in Writing

Writing Log Week 05 – 7. February, 2017

That’s me.

This is why.

My excuse: it was a hell of a week.

But let’s talk about what I did do. I watched two great features this week. Sleepwalk with Me is the assured directorial debut of Mike Birbiglia. Man Up is an awesome romantic-comedy written by friend-of-the-Scriptnotes-Podcast Tess Morris. Both are on Netflix, each is under 90 minutes (YES!), and you should absolutely watch them ASAP.

I also read two pilots that I’m not supposed to say anything about: Life Sentence and Reverie. Still, I think it’s safe to say that both were excellently written.

Next week I promise to get more writing done.


Posted in Writing

Writing Log Week 3 2017 – 23. January, 2017

Guess who had a better writing week?

Check it!

Last week I completed a 2-page beat sheet for my Blindspot spec. This week I’m turning that into a 3-5 page outline.

I’ll also return to brainstorming my pilot this week.

As for the movies I watched, I found myself underwhelmed by both A Monster Calls and Prisoners (but for entirely different reasons). The direction for each was impressive but they didn’t hook me emotionally. Why? It’s entirely possible that I’m dead inside but I’m thinking that’s not it. I might flip through their respective scripts to solve that mystery.

Do you know about The Wall? It’s another Blacklist contained thriller that’s “contained” to an outdoor area (think of The Shallows) rather than a single interior (think Buried).  It’s a great read and soon to be a Doug Liman movie…

Gotta get back to writing. See ya next week.

Posted in Writing

Writing Log Week 2 2017 – 17. January, 2017

Two weeks into 2017 and I’m already a sad failure.

Here’s my writing log for proof.

I didn’t write any pages, I didn’t read any scripts and I only worked on one project. Man, I blew it.

But I did see two interesting movies. Zootopia is a great noir staring fluffy animals. John Wick is a good action film, not great by any means, but good.

Hey, next week is a new chance to be awesome, right?

Posted in Writing

Writing Log Week 1 2017 – 9. January, 2017

A new year means new ways to push myself to get more writing done.

Therefore, I’m taking Scott Myer‘s advice. Every week I will read 1 script, watch 2 movies, write 7 pages and spend 14 hours prepping to write. Here’s how I did this week:

Yeah, so I didn’t write any pages this week but I am preparing to dive head first into my Blindspot spec this month, with the hope of wrapping a first draft by mid February.

For those wondering about IN THE DEEP, it is the 2014 Blacklist script that became this summer’s THE SHALLOWS. The script is a much leaner version of the movie despite the script only being 81 pages versus the movie’s 87-minute run time.

Wish me luck, and luck to all my fellow writers.

Posted in Writing

What’s the Best Action Movie Script? – 17. November, 2016

What are the best written action movie scripts out there? Many will say Die Hard


… or Aliens


… or — if you require a contemporary example — Gravity.


What do you think is a terrifically written action movie script?

Posted in Writing

A Personal ZD30: Week 1 – 3. November, 2016

On November 1, I (along with my friend Sylvia) started a personal Zero Draft 30. I’m rewriting a pilot but I’m going back to basics. This week I have to bash out a beat sheet. Can someone give me a beat?


What is a beat sheet? For me, it’s a bullet point list of scenes and sequences. How many beats do I need? I was taught that I should aim for roughly half the number of pages in my script. If I were writing a feature, I’d be aiming for 60 beats (which is half of 120 pages). If it were a sitcom, then 15 beats (half of 30 pages). As I’m writing an hour-long drama, the goal is 30 beats.

Normally I would just find 30 “things” that I want to happen, make sure it roughly resembles a story (beginning, middle, ending), spilt the beats into acts (I usually write a teaser and five acts), and then I’d move onto a treatment.

This time around, I’m being a bit more methodical. After every 5 beats I go back and figure out…

-What’s at stake for each major characters (there are two major characters).
-What is each character’s goal in the scene.
-What is the goal of the scene (for me).

I also ask “is this the laziest version of this scene or can I think of something better?”

So far I’m at 21 beats and it’s already better than the draft I pounded out last November.

Next week: the treatment.

Posted in Writing

A Personal Zero Draft 30 – 27. October, 2016

Short and sweet: I will rewrite my pilot in November and want to run my own Zero Draft 30 (like a National Novel Writing Month but for screenwriters). I have one friend that’s interested (thanks, Sylvia) and one friend that’s tepid (come one, Angela).


Who else will join me?

Posted in Writing

Hitting The 2016 Austin Film Fest Like Godzilla – 13. October, 2016

Today I’m at the Austin Film Festival and I’m THIS excited to meet you!


This is me…


This is my bio…


Come find me!

2016 Austin Film Festival Half Hour Spec Competition – 6. October, 2016


And to prove that I am, in deed, bipartisan, here are the half-hour specs that placed in the second round (or better) at this year’s Austin Film Festival.

TV Sitcom Specs 2016
Create your own infographics

What can we take away from this gorgeous infographic?

-Everyone and their mother wrote a Broad City spec (and they were mostly good).

-Comedy thrives on Fox.

-Second and third season shows rule (just like in the one-hour competition).

That’s all for now. See you in Austin real soon!

Posted in Festivals, Writing