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THE COFFEE BREAK SCREENWRITER PDF

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Read and Download PDF Ebook the coffee break screenwriter writing your script ten minutes at a time at Online Ebook Library. Get the coffee break screenwriter. In less time than it took to watch the Oscars, The Coffee Break Screenwriter class will give you tools to start and finish your screenplay. Coffee Break Screenwriter: Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time - Kindle edition by Pilar Alessandra. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, .

Question 4 In the first part of Act 2, the main character often works directly or indirectly with a sup- porting character. This builds a relationship, creates a B-story, and gives the MC someone to interact with.

Will these two characters be able to achieve a goal, while also managing their personal conflict? Question 5 The supporting character is often the outside influence that causes the main character to take a new action or begin to change. Shes not there just to support; shes there to change the game.

She pushes, she comes up with new ideas, she influences. The new action may also force your character to confront his flaw and start thinking differently. Question 6 In the second part of Act 2, an opposing force often shakes things up by trying to prevent the main character from achieving a goal.

This is the antagonist But some- times its a force of nature, or even the MCs own flaw. Sometimes its a mixture of all three! The key to this act is remembering to use the antagonistic force to create a chal- lenge for the MC.

Keep us worrying and wondering! Now were in Act 3. So, how will your charac- ter ever get out of this situation? Perhaps that could actually be of use and translate into a skill. The goal in a movie is not to abandon what makes your MC interesting, but to use those traits to help. Looking for a key to character development? There it is.

Question 8 By movies end, your MC has learned from his journey not to make the same mistakes he made the first time. In short, to do the least- likely thing he would originally have done. Here, we see him make the correct choice, in- stead of the wrong one he made at the Act 1 break.

With this new approach, he finally solves his problem.

Coffee Break Screenwriter 2nd edition

So, now that you know who your character is and what trouble he gets into Most writers try to reach for the stars when asked this question. Its about mans inhumanity to man, they answer. Its about the universal search for love. Its about the need to put others first. No, really, what is it about? If youre just beginning a new project, Id suggest following along chronologically, using the book to build your story from concept to finished script. Even if youve already written a screenplay or pilot, youll find outlining tools and writing tips that will streamline your process.

If youre a writer who only needs help with certain areas of your script, feel free to jump from chapter to chapter.

Even skipping around, you should find a writing tool that will work for you. Its up to you. All I can tell you is that time is wasting, so start writing!

Youve only got well, you know!

Were going to build from character flaw, nail the hook of your movie or TV pilot, make decisions about the middle, experiment with the ending, and then see what happens when we put it all together.

Not every brainstorming tool will be the one that cracks your story open. But at least one of them will. And when it does, keep working from there!

Getting Past Brain Freeze So youve carved out that ten minutes, but now your brain is frozen. What was it you were going to write again? It was about that guy who did that thing in that place, right?

Well, believe it or not, thats a start! While you have ten minutes, lets put these elements in order and see what you come up with. Add a couple of other ideas into the mix and youll see it take a clearer shape. Emotion Tells the Story Every screenwriting teacher has a theory about story.

Heres mine: Action triggers emotion. Emotion triggers action. Honestly, thats it. In screenplays, you cant have one without the other. And its important, as you go through these tools and build your screenplay, that you keep in mind how married these two things are. After all, who cares about a major event in a movie like a bomb going off or a car chase or a haunting or a wedding unless we get a chance to see how that bomb, chase, haunting, or wedding affects a character?

And how can we invest in what a character is actually feeling if we havent been privy to an event that drove her to that emotional place? Action shows us the story. Emotion pushes the story forward. In the beginning of my story, this event occurs: It makes my main character MC feel this way: So he does this: But that makes someone else do this: That event makes MC feel: So MC does this: Keep asking these questions and see how much story you can invent in your ten minutes.

Character Flaw Tells the Story Dont you wish you had someone who could just tell you what your script is going to be about? Someone who could come up with plot points and scenes and save you all of that planning work? Fortunately, you do. Youve got your main character who well call the MC. With the right questions and exploration, that main character can often reveal his or her own movie story. Thats why were going to start the writing process by taking a hard look at the person you think may be your main character.

Were going to figure out what that person is like before he or she hits page one, what his or her flaws are, how those flaws can launch a story, and how personal rules might pay off in interesting plotting and scenes. So, lets start with your main character that guy who did that thing. If that guy is at all interesting, its because he is human, fallible flawed. Oh, your character doesnt have a flaw?

Well, mess him up.

Other books: THE MAGIC BOOK PDF

Get his hands dirty. Perfect characters are boring. Flawed characters are like us, and thats what viewers respond to.

Related Post: BREAKOUT NATIONS PDF

Flaws dont have to be fatal they can simply be human. Anger, arrogance, and selfishness are flaws that often start a. But sweetness, humbleness, and charity carried out to the extreme can also be flaws.

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What would the movie Whiplash have been like if the MC wasnt obsessed with his goal? What kind of a journey would Sophies Choice have taken if the MC wasnt in denial?

What would Sideways have been like if the MC wasnt a drinker? He even gave the man a flaw-related job: FedEx supervisor. Then he simply stranded this man on an island, an island where he had all the time in the world. Instant movie. Lets see what trouble your flawed main character can get into and out of. Answer the following questions and see what movie develops. Then, discover his story by asking the following questions: Character-Driven Structure How did you structure your entire script by answering a few questions about your characters flaw?

Questions 13 In a movie, Act 1 usually ends when a character creates a problem or makes an existing one worse. Its not just that something terrible happens to him or her. The way that flawed person takes action as a result of that event is usually the more interesting act break.

He or she makes the wrong choice and, ultimately, the adventures within the movie lead to a better one. In a TV pilot, a main character has the same tendency, though that bad choice might launch an entire series such as Breaking Bad.

Question 4 In the first part of Act 2 for a movie, or Acts 2 through 4 for a TV drama, the main character often works directly or indirectly with a supporting character.

This builds a relationship, creates a B-story, and gives the MC someone to interact with. Making that character the least likely choice builds tension.

Will these two characters be able to achieve a goal while also managing their personal conflict? Question 5 The supporting character in a movie, or the ensemble of characters in a TV show, are often the outside influence that causes the main character to take a new action or begin to change.

Coffee break screenwriter ebook

Supporting characters arent there just to support; theyre there to change the game. They push; they come up with new ideas, they influence. By the end of a movie, or by the end of a series, these new actions may also force your character to confront his or her flaw and start thinking differently. Question 6 In the second part of Act 2 for a movie, or Acts 3 through 5 for a TV drama, an opposing force often shakes things up by trying to prevent the main character from achieving a goal.

This is the.

But sometimes its a force of nature, or even the MCs own flaw. Sometimes its a mixture of all three! The key to this section is remembering to use the antagonistic force to create a challenge for the MC. Keep us worrying and wondering! So, how will your character ever get out of this situation?

Well, your character always had a distinguishing characteristic: Perhaps that could actually be of use and translate into a skill. The goal in a movie is not to abandon what makes your MC interesting, but to use those traits to help. Looking for a key to character development? There it is. The character of Don Draper from Mad Men is a hard-drinking womanizer who also happens to be a great ad-man. Rarely do we imagine that he could be one without theother.

Question 8 By scripts end, your MC has learned from his or her journey not to make the same mistakes as the first time. In short, to do the least likely thing he or she would originally have done. In a movie, we see the MC make the correct choice instead of the wrong one made at the Act 1 break.

With this new approach, he or she finally solves his or her problem. In TV, a procedural uses this same tactic to solve problems all the time.

By making a new choice, a character loses his or her blind spot with a suspect, and the real killer is revealed. In a half-hour comedy, a character usually has to fix a mess he or she has made as well, and making the right choice is one way to do it. But dont be quick to completely solve the problem if this is an episodic or serialized drama.

You might need an entire series to get there! Premise Tells the Story So, now that you know who your character is and what trouble he or she gets into exactly what is your movie about?

Most writers try to reach for the stars when asked this question. Its about mans inhumanity to man, they answer. Its about the universal search for love. Its about the need to put others first.

No, really, what is it about? Whats the big idea? In short whats the log line? Whats that perfect, one-line synopsis that will make studios throw money at the movie and have audiences lining up at the theaters?

Drawing a blank? Heres a trick, and its actually going to take less than ten minutes. Just ask yourself one question: Whats the what if question of my movie? What if an ordinary man fell in love with a computer operating system? What if an out-of-work actor gets the gig of his life as a female soap star? What if a high school girl is forced to choose between her love for a vampire and her friendship with a werewolf?

What if a man ages backward, growing younger as the love of his life grows older? Of course Her, Tootsie , Twilight, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are high-concept movies, meaning that they can often stand on concept alone to bring in the big bucks.

But the what if can be found in smaller character-driven and slice-of-life movies as well. If its really a movie, theres a big idea in there somewhere. In fact, you probably began this project because you imagined something that no one else has imagined. What if a respected mathematicians top-secret government project is really a schizophrenic delusion?

What if the midlife crisis of a suburban father leads to murder? Yet, in each case, the writer has found the big idea within the story and exploited it. A Beautiful Mind, for example, could have just been about a noble mathematician who struggles against a mental illness.

But would it have gripped audiences? By focusing on the imagined top-secret project, the writer creates both a suspense movie and a character play. American Beauty was also wise to frame its story as a thriller. A midlife crisis movie on its own, but pitch it as only that and youre going to have a producer falling asleep in his sushi. Add the twist that this crisis actually leads to the characters untimely death, and youll start a bidding war.

In The Kings Speech it was the high stakes that helped turn up the dial on its premise: What if a future king must overcome his stutter in order to give a rousing speech that will convince his country to fight Nazi oppression? Or is it the problem itself — a situation never before seen on the big screen? You may be dwelling on Act 1 when you try to find your hook. But you should also feel free to explore other areas of your script. And that was the hook, without question. Got it? Here goes:. See the big movie in that one sentence?

From here, you can take your idea and run with it. Why should char- acters in movies be any less self-centered than we are? He believes some good-looking guy with more screen time is simply get- ting in his way. It thinks: The Queen looks at the story of. The Departed is so rich because it focuses equally on the lives of two men on opposite sides of an undercover mob sting. You may even find a better screenplay idea.

Antagonist log line. Complication Tells the Story A well-written log line pushes the reader or listener to want to know more about your script. So, the inevitable follow-up question is: Where do you take the story from here? So, I put it to you: And then what? Time to brainstorm the major complication of your story. Who might want to prevent your hero from doing what he wants to do? What villainous steps would he take? In When Harry Met Sally, problems occur when Harry sleeps with Sally, then panics, causing her to cancel their friendship altogether.

In Juno, complications occur when Juno becomes attached to the couple that intends to adopt her baby. Sometimes, problems occur because of the flaw of your main char- acter. That flaw is only really useful if it comes back from time to time to shake things up. In The Silence of the Lambs, problems occur when Hannibal Lecter forces Clarice to confront her psychological demons, causing her to weaken in the face of the serial killer.

Now heighten it. List two more complications. By dealing with clever complications, characters earn their happy endings. Synopsizing Tells the Story Thanks to your brainstorming from character, you have a sense of your story. Creating a log line has helped you find the hook and creating complication has expanded that idea into a movie.

Now, we want to see how the story feels when we describe it briefly with a simple beginning, middle, and end. Use the Brief Synopsis template to get you there. Feel free to use one or more of these.

Use descriptive, active language to help you see your movie. Use verbs! Fortunately, the therapist learns that the ghosts simply need attention from the boy. Tragically, he learns that he himself is dead. The Wizard of Oz what if A restless girl is hurled by a tornado into a magical world and discovers that the only way she can get home is to seek help from a powerful wizard. Problems occur when an evil witch sabotages her and her new friends: Fortunately, the group melts the witch, proving that they have the brains, courage, and heart to solve their own problems.

In movie terms, those are your first, second and third acts. Resolution Tells the Story In your screenplay, you know that your sweethearts get married, your cop gets the robber, and your good guy defeats the bad guy. Now you just need to figure out how all that happens.

Remember that audiences invest their interest and their money in a movie in order to discover how a character will solve a big problem. Often, the answer can be. His act of honesty triggers the third-act reward. In Casino Royale, James Bond is asked about funds he was sup- posed to transfer, triggering his realization that the love of his life has betrayed him. In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, main character Joel Barish is given the cassette tape that talks about his former girlfriend, triggering him to reclaim his memories.

Start with the final reveal: What does the character discover that is most painful, shocking, surprising, or delightful? Where did that person discover it? What physical clue led her to that place? What was said that triggered the character to search for that clue?A48 Her shrink. Maya leads the way toward the Saab. Chris Sparling, writer, Buried. Put two characters together with contrasting rules.

You had to get to that meeting. You may find that doing so cuts the fat and helps you to hit the ground running. A Beautiful Mind, for example, could have just been about a noble mathematician who struggles against a mental illness.

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