Category Archives: screen writing

Screenplay Class-6 Parts  by Durga Prasad(Kinosappi)

Screenplay Class-6 Parts  by Durga Prasad(Kinosappi)

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Posted by on December 29, 2016 in screen writing


About Screen Writing:An useful stuff to read 

image31 Must-Read Screenwriting Lessons From The Twilight Zone Creator Rod Serling

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Posted by on September 9, 2016 in screen writing


202 Writing Tips From Screenwriter Brian Koppelman

202 Writing Tips From Screenwriter Brian Koppelman

202 Practical Writing Tips From Hollywood Screenwriter Brian Koppelman

202 Practical Writing Tips From Hollywood Screenwriter Brian Koppelman


Screenwriter Brian Koppelman Uses Vine to Give Pro Tips

Brian Koppelman

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Posted by on May 12, 2016 in screen writing


Articles on Screen Writing

10 things filmmakers should know about screenwriting

10 Things Filmmakers Should Know About Screenwriting

8 characters of comedy

8 Characters of Comedy

The idea is everything 


Jeanne’s Tuesday Screenwriting Tip: 7 Brainstorming Techniques:

Character type warrior

Character Type: Warrior

Character type addict

Character Type: Addict


1, 2, 7, 14

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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in screen writing


Collected quotes on films and writing:

Collected quotes on films and writing:
If you are directing, you have the opportunity to put your signature on the bottom of the frame. You have the opportunity to say, “This is what I believe. That is my credo. That is what I wish to state.” ~ Richard Attenborough

The dance that happens, between actor and director, is a very delicate thing…it’s why people tend to work together on many films over and over. ~ Sydney Pollack

Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners. ~ Jimmy Stewart (ACTOR)

The length of the film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder. ~ Alfred Hitchcock

I think tripods, cranes, and dollies are really artificial. Handheld, when it’s well-operated and well-used, not an MTV kind of thing, it creates and immediacy, a reality, it’s natural. ~ Alejandro González Iñárritu (MEXICAN DIRECTOR)

Once you find the right idea, then go ahead and embellish it. ~ Vincente Minnelli

Your own ego is the only trap that I think you can fall into. ~ Robert Altman

The picture is in your head, in your imagination, everything. ~ Fredrico Fellini(ITALIAN DIRECTOR)

We, as film-makers, are privileged. We can make people cry or laugh. We can make them think and feel. It is a great privilege and a great responsibility. ~ Haskell Wexler-CINEMATOGRAPHER

For me, movies should be visual. If you want dialogue, you should read a book. ~ Vilmos Zsigmond(cinematographer)

No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough. ~ Roger Ebert(critic)

Art depends on luck and talent.
Francis Ford Coppola

Interior liberty is universal.
Krzysztof Kieslowski(POLISH DIRECTOR)

Here are the Three Golden Rules all
Directors Must Know To Survive in the
Film and Television Business Today!
Rule # 1
Have a sense of humour!
Rule # 2
Change your socks and shoes at lunchtime!
Rule # 3
“There are no rules in film making, only sins.
And the cardinal sin is Dullness.”
Frank Capra

For me, light has become a passion dominating my life,
and given my life new meaning, not just as a cinematographer.
Light gives me a feeling of spiritual atmosphere.
Light is with you.
You do not have to feel you are alone.
—Sven Nykvist(Cinematographer)

“Film is your liberation, it’s your demon, it’s your nemesis, it’s everything. It’s your life.”
-Oliver Stone

The cinema is not an art which films life: the cinema is something between art and life. Unlike painting and literature, the cinema both gives to life and takes from it, and I try to render this concept in my films. Literature and painting both exist as art from the very start; the cinema doesn’t.

Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.
Cinema is truth at twenty-four frames a second
A good opening and a good ending make for a good film provide they come close together.
~Federico Fellini(ITALIAN DIRECTOR)

A movie should be as long as one can hold their bladder” ~ Alfred Hitchcock

“On a movie set, it’s better to make a bad decision than no decision at all”
~ Steven Spielberg

“The best way to study directing is to watch a movie with the sound off.”
~ Steven Spielberg

The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.
~Alfred Hitchcock

Akira Kurosawa(JAPANESE DIRECTOR) quotes:
“With a good script, a good director can produce a masterpiece. With the same script, a mediocre director can produce a passable film. But with a bad script even a good director can’t possibly make a good film. For truly cinematic expression, the camera and the microphone must be able to cross both fire and water. The script must be something that has the power to do this”
“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”
“In a mad world, only the mad are sane.”
“Movie directors, or should I say people who create things, are very greedy and they can never be satisfied, … That’s why they can keep on working. I’ve been able to work for so long because I think next time, I’ll make something good.”

Hong Kong Director Wong Kar-wai:
The best approach is to let the film make itself, to let it grow organically, day by day. To find the rhythm of the director. To match a script to its space. To gain the confidence of the actors. To regulate the mood (good or bad) of the cast and crew.
It’s not that easy. We all have habits and tastes and references that get in the way. It takes the same energy, the same time and money to make a great film as it does to make a piece of shit!

Cinematographer Christopher Doyle:
The clouds moving across the road in random patterns, the traffic, what’s going on by the roadside – all affect the shot. So you have to think just a little ahead, beyond your mundane self. Why fall back on old habits and other people’s ways? Why not trust your eyes and intuition? Why not use taste instead of training? Try to find what best expresses what’s going on, what’s exciting to your eye. What you end up with may not be “new”, it may not be brilliant, but at least you can say it’s you.
If only film was jazz, if only we could “jam”…We get closer to this with each film; my camera becomes more and more of a musical instrument. On and off, different film speeds, frame changes in shot…these are my key and register shifts. I riff, you solo, we jam towards a free form that we believe a film can be.

A film director is not a creator, but a midwife. His business is to deliver the actor of a child that he did not know he had inside him.

All technical refinements discourage me. Perfect photography, larger screens, hi-fi sound, all make it possible for mediocrities slavishly to reproduce nature; and this reproduction bores me. What interests me is the interpretation of life by an artist. The personality of the film maker interests me more than the copy of an object.

For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.
Alfred Hitchcock

I have often thought it was very arrogant to suppose you could make a film for anybody but yourself.
Peter Greenaway

We all steal, but if we’re smart we steal from great directors. Then, we can call it influence.
Krzysztof Kieslowski((POLISH DIRECTOR)

We live in a society that has no adequate images anymore, and if we do not find adequate images and an adequate language for our civilization with which to express them, we will die out like the dinosaurs.

The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.
Alfred Hitchcock

A good film is also a documentary

Love stories that are too simple don’t deserve to have films made about them.
Patrice Leconte(FRENCH DIRECTOR)

Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.

Film lovers are sick people
Francois Truffaut(FRENCH DIRECTOR)

Make visible what, without you, might never have been seen.

The things one can express with the hand, with the head, with the shoulders!… How many useless and encumbering words then disappear! What economy!

All you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.

A director makes only one movie in his life. Then he breaks it into pieces and makes it again.

Movies which set out to be ‘commercial’ usually have an artificial look about them-a certain waxlike quality. They allow for no failure, no moment of mistake.
Nicholas Roeg

There is no formula for success. But there is a formula for failure and that is to try to please everybody.
Nicholas Ray

Collaboration is like the sex of creativity.
Francis Ford Coppola

I didn’t throw myself off my balcony only because I knew people would photograph me lying dead.
Brigitte Bardot on the pressures of her fame

A team effort is a lot of people doing what I say.
Michael Winner

Now I absolutely despise the murderer Werner Herzog. I tell him to his face that I want to see him perish like the llama he executed. He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn’t slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!
Klaus Kinski – On The Importance Of Maintaining A Good Actor/Director Relationship

A film is never really good unless the camera is an eye in the head of a poet.
Orson Welles

Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out
Martin Scorsese

Keep it out of focus – I want to win the foreign picture award.
Billy Wilder to his cinematographer shooting ‘Sunset Boulevard’

Pain is temporary.
Film is eternal.”
The words `Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,’ which I saw on an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest statement imaginable on the basic appeal of movies.
Pauline Kael(CRITIC)

Working in film is like making love to a gorilla. You don’t stop when you want to stop; you stop when the gorilla wants to stop.
David Janssen

Everyone criticises the movies. Yet everyone seems to continue to go to them.
James M. Gillis

Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union.
Samuel Goldwyn

Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
Edmund Burke

Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending ourself that one becomes rich.
Sarah Bernhardt

To bring a film to the screen is to wrestle with monsters dressed as clowns.
David Thomson

There are directors who desire to be artistic. It is pathetic to compare the seriousness of their aim with the absurdity of their attainment.
W. Somerset Maugham

If Hitler’s still alive, I hope he’s out of town with a musical.
Larry Gelbart

I’m not a movie person. They’re collaborations of the worst kind. You must compromise yourself to many interests that are venal and crass and do not have your best interests at heart.
John Irving

Television–a medium. So called because it is neither rare nor well done.
Fred Allen

That’s the trouble with directors–always biting the hand that lays the golden egg.
Sam Goldwyn

The director is the most overrated artist in the world. He is the only artist who, with no talent whatsoever, can be a success for 50 years without his lack of talent ever being discovered.
Orson Welles

Has anybody ever seen a dramatic critic in the daytime? Of course not. They come out after dark, up to no good.
P. G. Wodehouse

I have just read your lousy review. You sound like a frustrated old man who never made a success, an eight ulcer man on a four ulcer job…I have never met you but if I do, you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and a supporter below.
Harry S. Truman
(to critic Paul Hume after his unflattering review of daughter Margaret’s singing recital)

Coughing in the theatre is not a respiratory ailment. It is a criticism.
Alan Jay Lerner

Imitation is the sincerest form of television.
Fred Allen

Quotes on Screenwriting & Writing
Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.
Rod Serling

…talents such as Kipling had… the discipline of Flaubert. …the conception of what it can be and an absolute conscience as unchanging as the standard metre in Paris, to prevent faking… intelligent, disinterested and, above all, he must survive.
Ernest Hemingway – On what it takes to be a writer – from “Green Hills in Africa”

I wanted to see her laugh, to see how her face would respond to what I said, to watch her eyes, to study her gestures.
Paul Auster – On seeing a woman reading one of his books

Writing is a solitary business. It takes over your life. In some sense, a writer has no life of his own. Even when he’s there, he’s not really there.
Paul Auster

And when he dreams he does not want to write, he does not have the power to dream he wants to write; and when he dreams he wants to write, he does not have the power to dream he does not want to write.
Benedictus de Spinoza

I believe books will never disappear. It is impossible for it to happen. Of all man’s diverse tools, undoubtably the most astounding are his books… If books were to disappear, history would disappear. So would man.
Jorge Luis Borges

Journalism is the first rough draft of history.

A great work must be novel without being far-fetched, frequently sublime, but always natural. The author must know the human heart, and how to make it speak; he must be a poet, without letting any of his characters speak like poets; and he must be a master of his language, using it purely and harmoniously and not letting the rhyme interfere with the sense.
Voltaire – from “Candide”

I began to write, and the past lost some of it’s power – I wrote it out of me.
Graham Greene – from “A Sort of Life”

I suppose that every novelist has something in common with a spy: he watches, he overhears, he seeks motives and analyses characters, and in his attempt to serve literature he is unscrupulous.
Graham Greene – from “A Sort of Life”

A writer’s knowledge of himself, realistic and unromantic, is like a store of energy on which he must draw for a lifetime: one volt of it properly directed will bring a character alive.
Graham Greene – from “A Sort of Life”

It is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee – From “Inherit the Wind”
It begins with a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is never a thought to begin with.
Robert Frost – on poetry

Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the tiem we are longing to move the stars to pity.

This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.
Winnie the Pooh (A.A. Milne)

I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.
Toni Morrison

Do not appear so scholarly, I pray you. Humanize your talk, and speak to be understood. Do you think a Greek name gives more weight to your reasons?
Molière The Critique of the School for Wives, 1663

The writer who wants to learn how to use dialogue in the motion picture should try to make his story understandable without the spoken word.
Eugene Vale

“When an old man dies in Africa, a whole library is burned down.”
African saying

You sell a screenplay like you sell a car. If somebody drives it off a cliff, that’s it.
Rita Mae Brown

“Screenwriting,” she once said, “is like writing in the sand with the wind blowing.”
Frances Marion

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
Anaïs Nin

I loved Feydeau’s one rule of playwriting: Character A: My life is perfect as long as I don’t see Character B. Knock Knock. Enter Character B.
John Guare

Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.
Rod Serling

Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.
Norman Mailer

Writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painfull illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon one can neither resist nor understand.
George Orwell

I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I write and I understand.
Chinese proverb

I shall live bad if I do not write and I shall write bad if I do not live.
Francoise Sagan

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.
Robert Frost

Writing is so difficult that I often feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment thereafter
Jessamyn West

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, in Wilhelm Meister’s “Lehrjahre”

The role of the writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.
Anais Nin

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the yard and shot it.
Truman Capote

The first draft of everything is shit.
Ernest Hemingway

How can you write if you can’t cry?
Ring Lardner

If you have someone on the set for the hair, why would you not have someone for the words?
Louis Malle – telling producers why he wanted John Guare around during the filming of ”Atlantic City”

When you start writing you’re 98% pure writer and 2% critic. After you’ve written for a length of time, you’ve learned a great deal about your craft, and you’ve become 2% pure writer and 98% critic. It’s like writing uphill.
David Westheimer

As a writer, I need an enormous amount of time alone. Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials. It’s a matter of doing everything you can to avoid writing, until it is about four in the morning and you reach the point where you have to write. Having anybody watching that or attempting to share it with me would be grisly.
Paul Rudnick

Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
Gene Fowler

Lindsay Doran (producer), James Schamus (co-producer), Ang Lee (director) and I had met previously this month to discuss the latest draft of the script, which is what we’re all here to work through… Lindsay goes round the table and introduces everyone — making it clear that I am present in the capacity of “writer” rather than actress, therefore no one has to be nice to me.
Emma Thompson

A movie is not a book. If the source material is a book, you cannot be too respectful of the book. All you owe to the book is the spirit. Everything else– just tear that motherfucker apart.
Richard Price

Most playwrights go wrong on the fifth word. When you start a play and you type ‘Act one, scene one,’ your writing is every bit as good as Arthur Miller or Eugene O’Neill or anyone. It’s that fifth word where amateurs start to go wrong.
Meredith Willson

There was a time when making ‘Barney Miller’ a hit on the air was my life. I cared about nothing else. That was all I was concerned with. And I told my wife and I told my children if it costs me my relationship with my family, I’m committing five years of my life to making the best television show I can possibly make. Whatever it costs, under any circumstance. And I hocked my house, and I gave up my salary and I did everything to give the show a chance to start going. And that’s what you have to do.
Danny Arnold

They have followed their usual procedure and handed my treatment over to several other people to make a screenplay out of it. By the time they are ready to shoot it may have been through 20 pairs of hands. What will be left? One shudders to think. Meanwhile, they have paid me a lot of money…
Aldous Huxley

They scowled at dialogue, shuddered at jokes, and wrestled with a script until they had shaken out of it all the verbal glitter and bright plotting. Thus they were able to bring to the screen evidence only of their own ‘genius.’
Ben Hecht
on working with some directors

Todd interfered in every conceivable department of the production, not excluding my own; indeed, so far as I know, he is now rewriting the picture as he goes along, grinding the crank, building the sets, unnerving the actors, and generally qualifying as an up-to-date Leonardo da Vinci. It’s inaccurate to describe his cyclonic conduct as energy or vitality– it’s much more a violent frenzy I’m sure the head-shrinkers could classify.
S.J. Perelman
on Mike Todd, during the making of “Around the World in 80 Days”

My chief memory of movieland is of asking in the producer’s office why I must change the script, eviscerate it, cripple and hamstring it? Why must I strip the hero of his few semi-intelligent remarks and why must I tack on a corny ending that makes the stomach shudder? Half of all the movie writers argue in this fashion. The other half writhe in silence, and the psychoanalysts couch or the liquor bottle claim them both.
Ben Hecht

Listen carefully, shake your head thoughtfully, then leave them in the dark… where you found them.
Jack Sowards

on listening to the meanderings of studio development executives
Writers are lucky. Whatever the mood, no matter the longing, the writer can use his words to connect himself to any world he wishes to visit.
Alan Zweibel
from “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner: A Sort of Love Story.”

Don’t you know the finest things in the world have been written on an empty stomach?”
Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D.M. Marshman, Jr., “Sunset Boulevard”

To me, that’s disaster. Who’s the authority in that case? I’ve seen that, and I think it’s utterly unendurable, and usually the actor’s wrong. Generally speaking, actors are not writers. I try not to change the script because I think you get into a funny area there. If you start opposing the writer, you lose any sense of discipline, and half the time you’re opposed because you aren’t actually prepared to face the problem. You can fool yourself so easily that way. I mean, if you’ve taken the part because the writing is good, then it’s your business to find a way to play it, not change it because it suits your whim. To me, there’s nothing to take the place of good dramatic writing. Nothing.
John Hurt

replying to the question ”How do you feel about American stars’ power to change the script?”
A writer’s inspiration is not just to create. He must eat three times a day.”
Pierre Beaumarchais

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Thomas Mann

Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.
Mark Twain

Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.
Norman Mailer

It is the writer’s business not to accuse and not to prosecute, but to champion the guilty, once they are condemned and suffer punishment.
Anton Chekhov

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.
Karl Kraus 1874-1936

To write simply is as difficult as to be good.
Somerset Maugham

A little inaccuracy sometimes saves tons of explanation.
Saki (H.H. Munro)

People do not deserve to have good writing, they are so pleased with bad.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought; there is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
Victor Hugo

The only certainty about writing and trying to be a writer is that it has to be done, not dreamed of or planned and never written, or talked about (the ego eventually falls apart like a soaked sponge), but simply written; it’s a dreadful, awful fact that writing is like any other work.
Janet Frame

Today is a dawdly day. They do seem to alternate. I do a whole of a day’s work and then the next day, flushed with triumph, I dawdle….The crazy thing is that I get about the same number of words down either way.
John Steinbeck

Writers write about what obsesses them.
Anne Rice

Anybody can become a writer, but the trick is to STAY a writer.
Harlan Ellison

I’ve only written a tenth of what I know– and they’re already screaming.
Albert Camus

It is the task of the scenarist to invent little pieces of business that are so characteristic and give so deep an insight into his creatures, that their personalities clearly and organically unfold before the eyes of the audience so that the latter feel that the actions of these people are contingent upon their characters, that there exists some kind of a logical fate, and that nothing is left to mere accident or coincidence….
Ernst Lubitsch

I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I write and I understand.
Chinese proverb

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are gone, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.
Benjamin Franklin

Writing is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living.
Catherine Drinker Bowen

The writer is by nature a dreamer– a conscious dreamer.
Carson McCullers

A writer lives, at best, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all.
William Sansom

I shall live bad if I do not write and I shall write bad if I do not live.
Francoise Sagan

First get your facts; then you may distort them at your leisure.
Mark Twain

The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those who have not got it.
George Bernard Shaw

Writers have an island, a center of refuge, within themselves. It is the mind’s anchorage, the soul’s Great Good Place.
Wright Morris

…I had decided that the only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any
Russell Baker

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.
Robert Frost

I loathe writing. On the other hand I’m a great believer in money.
S.J. Perelman

Against the disease of writing one must take special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious disease.
Peter Abelard, in “Letter S, Abelard to Heloise”

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Robert Benchley

A writer is always admired most, not by those who have read him, but by those who have merely heard of him.
H.L. Mencken

Little presses write to me for manuscripts and when I write back that I haven’t any, they write to ask if they can print the letter saying I haven’t any.
John Steinbeck

No poet or novelist wishes he was the only one who had ever lived, but most of them wish they were the only one alive, and quite a number fondly believe their wish has been granted.
W.H. Auden

Every author really wants to have letters printed in the papers. Unable to make the grade, he drops down a rung of the ladder and writes books.
P.G. Wodehouse

There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second, that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can’t think what to do with the long winter evenings.
Quentin Crisp

I write because I hate. A lot. Hard.
William Gass

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can’t help it.
Leo Rosten

Writers are only rarely likable.
Joan Didion

A writer is a controlled schizophrenic.
Edward Albee

The whole world can be divided into those who write and those who do not write.
Soren Kierkegaard

Writing is the hardest way of earning a living with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.
William Saroyan

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.
Jules Renard

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
Jules Renard

Fifty years old and still only a writer!
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
Groucho Marx

I think that the fact that I’ve been pretty successful and don’t have too many really terrible shows, and have a reasonable amount of good ones around is that I’ve always thought that I was as good as the material and no better. And I once wrote for Peter Sellers and I saw how that poor man was preyed upon by film producers who’d say ”Ah, don’t worry about the script, Peter. You’re so funny, you’d be funny without the script.” The moment that you start believing that you can be funny in a situation that isn’t any good…
John Cleese

My work is at a typewriter. It always will be.
Garrison Keillor

In the afternoons, Gertrude Stein and I used to go antique hunting in the local shops, and I remember once asking her if she thought I should become a writer. In the typically cryptic way we were all so enchanted with, she said, ”No.” I took that to mean yes and sailed for Italy the next day.
Woody Allen

I type in one place, but I write all over the house.
Toni Morrison

After being turned down by numerous publishers, he decided to write for posterity.
George Ade

Nothing is less sacrosanct than a mediocre book.
Helene Hanff

It’s much more important to write than to be written about.
Gabriel Maria Marquez

Life is too noisy. Reading is a quiet time for the soul.
William Bennett

How can you write if you can’t cry?
Ring Lardner

The writer’s way is rough and lonely and who would choose it while there are vacancies in more gracious professions, such as, say cleaning ferryboats?
Dorothy Parker

Getting even is one reason for writing.
William Gass

To me, writing is a horseback ride into heaven and hell and back. I am grateful if I can crawl back alive.
Thomas Sanchez

Every great man has his disciples, and it is always Judas who writes the biography.
Oscar Wilde

Writing is the hardest work in the world not involving heavy lifting.
Pete Hamill

Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all.
Franklin P. Adams, Half a Loaf (1927)

It is the glory and the merit of some men to write well, and of others not to write at all.
La Bruyere, Characters (1688) tr. Henri Van Laun

I always do the first line well, but I have trouble doing the others.
Moliere, The Ridiculous Precieuses (1659) tr. Donald M. Frame

Your manuscript is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
Samuel Johnson

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
Mark Twain

No wonder the really powerful men in our society, whether politicians or scientists, hold writers and poets in contempt. They do it because they get no evidence from modern literature that anybody is thinking about any significant question.
Saul Bellow

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.
Oscar Wilde

An editor is one who separates the wheat from the chaff and prints the chaff.
Adlai E. Stevenson

There are no dull subjects. There are only dull writers.
H. L. Mencken

Americans like fat books and thin women.
W.H. Auden

I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that is too adorable, I’d rather have the money.
Dorothy Parker

If writers were good businessmen, they’d have too much sense to be writers.
Irvin S. Cobb

The dubious privilege of a freelance writer is he’s given the freedom to starve anywhere.
S.J. Perelman

The artists who want to be writers, read the reviews; the artists who want to write, don’t.
William Faulkner

Critics sometimes appear to be addressing themselves to works other than those I remember writing.
Joyce Carol Oates

If you have someone on the set for the hair, why would you not have someone for the words?
Louis Malle

telling producers why he wanted John Guare around during the filming of ”Atlantic City”
I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.
Peter De Vries

If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves.
Don Marquis

Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
Jules Renard

I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as the keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse.
William Faulkner

…write when there is something that you know; and not before; and not too damned much after.
Ernest Hemingway

You have all the scenes. Just go home and word it in.
Samuel Goldwyn

to Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.
Flannery O’Connor

I don’t know whether or not Bacon wrote Shakespeare’s plays. But if he didn’t, he missed the chance of a lifetime.
Samuel Johnson

I’m a Hollywood writer, so I put on a sports jacket and take off my brain.
Ben Hecht

What’s all this business of being a writer? It’s just putting one word after another.
Irving Thalberg

You gotta take the sour with the bitter.
Sam Goldwyn – giving Billy Wilder his philosophy on life

Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Gustave Flaubert

We work in the dark–we do what we can–we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion, and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art.
Henry James

This means something. This is important.
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain

Art is a moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.
Rita Mae Brown

In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? The cuckoo clock.
Graham Greene

Hollywood is the only town where you cannot fail. You can only quit trying.
Dennis Foley

Millions are to be grabbed out here and your only competition is idiots. Don’t let this get around.
Herman Mankiewicz telling Ben Hecht about Hollywood

We could live like counts… If all that money is out there, I might as well hack a little on the side and put the novel off.
William Faulkner, considering an offer to write for Hollywood

I can’t talk about Hollywood. It was a horror to me when I was there and it’s a horror to look back on. I can’t imagine how I did it. When I got away from it I couldn’t even refer to the place by name. ‘Out there’ I called it. You want to know what ‘out there’ means to me? Once I was coming down a street in Beverly Hills and I saw a Cadillac about a block long, and out of the side window was a wonderfully slinky mink, and an arm, and at the end of the arm a hand in a white suede glove wrinkled around the wrist, and in the hand was a bagel with a bite out of it.
Dorothy Parker

MGM bores me when I see them, but I don’t see them much. They have been a help in getting me introductions to morticians, who are the only people worth knowing.
Evelyn Waugh

Satires which the censor can understand are justly forbidden.
Karl Kraus

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
Edgar Allen Poe

If you’re an artist, you’ve got to prove it.
Laurence Olivier

To escape criticism – say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.
Elbert Hubbard

Don’t be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.
Arthur Miller

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer’s heart.
Fred Allen

Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you’ll find the real tinsel underneath.
Oscar Levant

I love criticism just so long as it’s unqualified praise.
Noel Coward

A director and an actor cannot save a bad script, like no unity.
Actors like to be sympathetic, they want to be loved by the audience, director has to watch out for that.
Actors tried to make every scene the big one, actors act to be liked by audience. Director has to watch this. Director has to keep things in proportion.
A director should not put actors on marks per say.
Director has to make scene seem actual, rather than theatrical.
Director is an observer.
Director’s job is to make a scene work. If it works, it works. Don’t worry about the logic.
Director must have wisdom and street smarts.
Director must understand people.
Director to actors: “Show me what I don’t expect”.
Director wants people behavior, like people.
Director get hold of the audiences pulse and their heart string. And play on it like a fiddler. With great sensitivity and great understanding people’s romanticizism. The audience is extremely romantic.
Good Director will turn the actors loose to see what they come up with.
It is good for a director to know all the elements of movie making.
Never argue with actors, get them to do what you want.
A film editor is looking at the picture with complete objectivity… they should try very hard to pretend they’re the audience
Oliver stone tries to remain as flexible as possible and considers the editing process itself “the last rewrite.”
The editor needs to have a rigorous discipline, to know why you’re doing the picture; it’s about sensitivity and selectivity
Editing is the movement and manipulation of frames, within which more movement takes place
you can learn more from looking at a shadow than you can by looking at the light. You can tell the direction, the softness, the intensity, and the fill-to-key ratio by looking into the shadows… Shadow is what gives you contrast and contrast is what gives you shape and drama

Film editing is now something almost everyone can do at a simple level and enjoy it, but to take it to a higher level requires the same dedication and persistence that any art form does.
Walter Murch

This applies to many film jobs, not just editing: half the job is doing the job, and the other half is finding ways to get along with people and tuning yourself in to the delicacy of the situation.
Walter Murch

The essence of cinema is editing. It’s the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy.
Francis Ford Coppola

Particularly in the final stages I always find that I’m rushed. It’s dangerous when you’re rushed in the editing stage, most of my early films are flawed in the cutting.
Satyajit Ray

“Art is a marriage of the conscious and the unconscious.”Jean Cocteau

“An original artist is unable to copy. So he has only to copy in order to be original.”Jean Cocteau

“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”alfred hitchcock
“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”alfred hitchcock

There’s nothing more important in making movies than the screenplay.
Richard Attenborough

A film director has to get a shot, no matter what he does. We’re desperate people.
Elia Kazan

“Camera moves should reflect the chaotic mental state of the character.”
Woody Allen

“The script is not everything. It’s the interpretation that’s everything.”
Martin Scorcese

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Posted by on September 11, 2015 in Film Club, screen writing


Introducing Characters – First Impressions

Introducing Characters – First Impressions

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in screen writing


The Archetypal Characters: Protagonist and Antagonist

The Archetypal Characters: Protagonist and Antagonist

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in screen writing