The Words on the Page

Writing for film, television, and the stage is, in my opinion, one of the most difficult - and most rewarding - art forms. The language needs to be visual and evocative as each script must achieve two important tasks. First, it must be an easy read. On paper, it should tell a compelling story and flow as easily as a novel as, if it doesn't past the first test of being read and enjoyed, it will never amount to anything more than a pile of pages in a drawer. But being an easy read isn't enough. Scripts also have to serve as a blueprint for the finished product and need to tell the story in a manner that allows the reader to picture it in his or her mind's eye. The characters need to be memorable and leap off the page; the story must come to life.


In addition to writing scripts of their own, I believe all writers can learn and benefit from studying scripts that have launched successful movies, television shows, and plays. For the next year, on each Tuesday, I'll be posting my thoughts on a piece.

July 25, 2017

Hidden Figures

by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi based on the book by Margot Shetterly

Shooting Draft - May 2016

Drama, 121 pages

"New assignment. The Space Task Group." - Katherine

When I saw Hidden Figures last year, I absolutely loved it. I was a bit wary to read t...

July 18, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale

by Ilene Chaiken, revised by Bruce Miller, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood

Writer's Draft - November 2015

Pilot, 49 Pages

"Nothing can change. Someone is watching. It all has to look the same. Because I intend to survive." - June

I recently read At...

July 11, 2017

Wonder Woman

By Joss Whedon

Unspecified Draft - August 2006

Comedy/Action, 115 pages

"An Amazon kills in battle, not in a bloodless negotiation." - Diana

In 2006, Joss Whedon wrote a screenplay for a Wonder Woman film. This is not the same movie that was released this past...

July 4, 2017

Wonder Woman

by David E. Kelley

Writer's First Draft - December 2010

Drama Pilot, 66 pages

"Come on. For me to look for a real relationship in my line of work --" - Diana

The pilot for Wonder Woman, which, as Kelley noted in all caps, was "to be aired without commercial int...

July 1, 2017

In honor of Wonder Woman finally coming out this summer, I decided to look at adaptations with a strong, female protagonist this July.

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