fbpx

Top 25 Must Listen to Screenwriting Podcasts (Oscar® Winners)

Finding a great Screenwriting Podcast is a treasure trove of knowledge for the aspiring or professional screenwriter. We have put together the Top twenty five must listen to screenwriting podcasts from the archives of the Indie Film Hustle Podcast and the Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast.

The list below is definitely has  podcasts for screenwriters with a who’s who in the screenwriting world. From Oscar® and Emmy® winners like Eric Roth, Edward Zwick, Richard Linklater, David Chase to screenwriting coaches like Robert McKee, John Truby and Chris Vogler.

These episodes are the best podcasts for screenwriters wanting to learn more about the craft and business of screenwriting. Be sure to take notes because there are a ton of knowledge bombs that are dropped in these screenwriting podcasts.

This list will be updated every few months so keep checking back.

Click here to subscribe to the Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Youtube.


1. Eric Roth

This week, I sat down with one of the most legendary and successful screenwriters/producers in Hollywood, Oscar® Winner Eric Roth. Over a 50+ years career, he’s well-known for writing or producing films like Forrest Gump, A Star is Born, Mank, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Munich, Ali, and the list goes on.

2. Oliver Stone

Today on the show I bring you one of the most influential and iconic writer/directors in the history of cinema, three-time Oscar® winner Oliver Stone. Throughout his legendary career, Stone has served as writer, director, and producer on a variety of films, documentaries, and television movies. His films have been nominated for forty two Oscars® and have won twelve.

3. Richard Linklater

We are joined by indie film icon and Oscar® nominated writer/director Richard Linklater. Richard was one of the filmmakers who helped to launch the independent film movement that we know today with his classic 1991 indie film Slacker. As a bonus, we will not only dive into the extraordinary career of Richard Linklater but also that of collaborator and longtime friend writer/director Katie Cokinos, the filmmaker behind the film I Dream Too Much. 

4. David Chase

The legacy of the crime drama television series, The Sopranos remains a defining art of storytelling for mob TV shows. We have the genius behind this hit TV series, David Chase as our guest today.

As expected, Chase is a twenty-five-time Emmy Awards-winner, seven times Golden Globes winner, and highly acclaimed producer, writer, and director. His forty-year career in Hollywood has contributed immensely to the experience of quality TV.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of Chase, let’s do a brief of the HBO 1999 hit show, The Sopranos: Produced by HBO, Chase Films, and Brad Grey Television, the story ran for six seasons, revolving around Tony Soprano, played by James Gandolfini, a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organization.

5. John August

Today on the show we have Hollywood screenwriter, director, producer, podcaster and novelist John August. He is known for writing the hit Hollywood films Go, Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Big Fish, Charlie, and the Chocolate Factory and Frankenweenie, the Disney live-action adaptation of Aladdin and the novel Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire.

6. Edward Zwick 

We have been on a major roll lately on the podcast and this episode keep that going in a big way. Our guest on the show today is Oscar® Winning screenwriter, producer, and director Edward Zwick. Edward made his big shift from his childhood passion of theater to filmmaking after working as a PA for Woody Allen in France on the set of Love and Death.

7. James V. Hart

I’m so excited to bring this episode to the BPS Tribe. Today we have legendary screenwriter James V. Hart. James is the screenwriter behind some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters like HOOK, directed by Steven Spielberg based on an idea by Hart’s then 6-year-old son, Jake, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, directed by Brian Henson, and CONTACT, directed by Robert Zemeckis. MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN, TUCK EVERLASTING, AUGUST RUSH, SAHARA, LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER: THE CRADLE OF LIFE, AUGUST RUSH and many more.

“No one has a job in our business until you type ‘the end’.” — James V. Hart

8. Jordan Peele

Get ready to have your mind blown! I’ll be releasing a 3-Part Limited Series of conversations between the legendary screenwriter James V. Hart, the writer of Hook, Contact, Bram Stroker’s Dracula, and Tomb Raider just to name a few, and some of the top screenwriters in the game.

First up is the screenwriter that took the world by storm with his Oscar-Winning screenplay Get Out, Jordan Peele. If you have been living under a rock for the past few years here is what the film is about.

This was recorded before Jordan’s next hit film Us was released. Listening to these two masters discuss character, plot, theme, and more is a rare treat. It’s like being a fly on the wall. When you are done listening to this conversation you can read some of Jordan’s screenplay here.

9. Damien Chazelle

Today on the show we have Damien Chazelle, the Oscar® Winning director and screenwriter of La La Land. He bursted on the scene with his debut film Whiplash. The film is about a young musician (Teller) struggles to become a top jazz drummer under the tutelage of a ruthless band conductor (Simmons).

James and Damien discuss how he wrote and structured La La Land and much more. Enjoy this rare conversation between James V. Hart and Damien Chazelle.

10. Joe Cornish

Have you ever  wondered what it is like screenwriting inside the Marvel and Studio machine? Wonder no further, today we have screenwriter and director Joe Cornish. Joe was one of the writer’s on Marvel’s Ant-Man.

Joe honestly, was extremely forthcoming and transparent about a lot of things; like what really happened behind the scenes on Ant-Man and what it’s like to write inside the Marvel machine, having Edgar Wright as a writing partner, working with filmmaking legends like Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. And we also discuss his craft, how he approaches screenwriting and directing, and much more.

11. Joe Carnahan

It’s been a hell of a year so far. I’ve been blessed to have had the honor of speaking to some amazing filmmakers and man today’s guest is high on that list. On the show we have writer/director Joe Carnahan. Joe directed his first-feature length film Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane. which was screened at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, and won some acclaim.

12. Troy Duffy

I’m always looking for success stories in the film business to study and analyze. Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullan) Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi), Kevin Smith (Clerks), and Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) come to mind. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the cult indie film classic The Boondock Saints but many of you might not know the crazy story of its writer and director Troy Duffy.

Well, prepare to get your mind BLOWN. I had an EXCLUSIVE discussion with Troy this week, and let’s say, he did not hold back. Nothing was off-limits – from his instant rise to fame to the brutal fate he met – getting blacklisted, all of it. He wanted to set the record straight because there is always another side to the story, and what better side to hear than that of the man who lived this brutal Hollywood adventure?

13. Sacha Gervasi

Being a podcaster now for over 600 episodes I’ve heard all sorts of stories on how people make it in the film business. From Sundance darlings to blind luck. Now today’s guest story is easily one of the most incredible and entertaining origin stories I’ve ever heard. We have on the show today award-winning director, producer, and screenwriter, Sacha Gervasi.

Sacha won the screenwriter lottery with his first-ever screenplay, which was a un-produceable short film script, caught the eye of the legendary Steven Spielberg. That script, My Dinner with Herve would eventually be expanded and released in 2018 by HBO. The film stars the incomparable, Peter Dinklage.

Sasha is such an interesting human being, I had such a ball talking with him.  We talk about the film business, his origin stories, his screenwriting craft, what he’s doing now, and so much more.

Enjoy my entertaining conversation with Sacha Gervasi.

14. Edward Burns

Today’s guest is a writer, director, producer, actor, and indie filmmaking legend, Edward Burns. Many of you might have heard of the Sundance Film Festival-winning film called The Brothers McMullen, his iconic first film that tells the story of three Irish Catholic brothers from Long Island who struggle to deal with love, marriage, and infidelity.

His Cinderella story of making the film, getting into Sundance, and launching his career is the stuff of legend. The Brothers McMullen was sold to Fox Searchlight and went on to make over $10 million at the box office on a $27,000 budget, making it one of the most successful indie films of the decade.

15. Mark L. Smith

I’ve spoken to many people in the film business over the years but today’s guest is one of the hardest working craftman I’ve had the pleasure of sitting down with. Today on the show we have screenwriter, producer and director, Mark L. Smith.

If you look at his IMDB you’ll see a list of 15 projects at various stages of development. He’s come a long way from entering the Hollywood scene some 15 years ago with his fear-striking horror screenwriting and directorial debut, Séance in 2006.

I had an absolute ball speaking to Mark. He’s one of the hardest working screenwriters in Hollywood. We discuss everything from The Revenant, genius-level tips on how to adapt a book to the screen to what it was like work with Quentin Tarantino on the Star Trek script that has yet to be made.

If you pray, please pray to the Hollywood Gods that Mark and Quentin’s Star Trek gangster film sees the light of day.

16. Diane Drake

Today on the show we have million-dollar screenwriter Diane Drake. Her produced original scripts include ONLY YOU, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei, and WHAT WOMEN WANT, starring Mel Gibson.

Her original script for ONLY YOU sold for $1 million, and WHAT WOMEN WANT is the second highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time (Box Office Mojo). In addition, both films have recently been remade in China featuring major Chinese stars. And WHAT WOMEN WANT has recently been remade by Paramount Pictures as WHAT MEN WANT, with Taraji Henson starring in the Mel Gibson role.

17. Boaz Yakin

We have for you on the show today screenwriter and director, Boaz Yakin, The writer behind The Punisher, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, The Rookie, & Safe and directing, The Fresh, Remember the Titans and the comedy-drama, Uptown Girl among others.

Boaz and I chatted about his creative process, the business side and political side of screenwriting and directing in Hollywood during this conversation. He was extremely raw and honest about what it really is like working inside the Hollywood machine.

18. Jeffrey Reddick

Today on the show we have screenwriter and director Jeffrey Reddick, who is best known for creating the highly successful Final Destination horror film franchise. The franchise has grossed over $650 Million world-wide. Not bad for an idea that was first conceived for an X-Files episode.

Jeffrey has had an amazing career so far and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

19. Billy Crystal 

There are performers that impact your life without you even knowing it and today’s guest fits that bill. On the show, we have comedic genius, multi-award-winning actor, writer, producer, director, and television host, Billy Crystal. We’ve seen Billy’s versatile work across all areas in the entertainment world, stand-up, improv, Broadway, behind and in front of the camera, feature films, television, live stages like SNL, and animated movies.

20. Larry Wilson

If you were a kid of the late 80s or early 90s then today’s guest definitely had an impact on your life. Larry Wilson is the co-creator of the cult classic Beetlejuice (directed by Tim Burton), writer of Addams Family and worked on the legendary television show Tales from the Crypt.

Larry wasn’t always a screenwriter, he worked on the studio side of things as well as an executive. In this interview, he tells the story of how he championed a young and pre-Terminator James Cameron to be the writer/director of Aliens. Great story!

21. Robert McKee

Our guest today is the well-regarded screenwriting lecturer, story consultant, and eminent author, Robert McKee. Reputable for his globally-renowned ‘Story Seminars’ that cover the principles and styles of storytelling.

I read his book years ago and refer to it often. I discovered McKee after watching the brilliant film Adaptation by the remarkable Charlie Kaufman. Kaufman literally wrote him into the script as a character. McKee’s character was portrayed by the Emmy Award-winning actor Brian Cox.

If you haven’t heard of Robert McKee then you’re in for treat. Robert McKee is what is considered a “guru of gurus” in the screenwriting and storytelling world.

He has lectured on storytelling for three decades, and his book Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting (FREE AUDIO BOOK VERSIONS HERE) is a “screenwriters’ bible“. It’s also become the bible for TV writers, and entertainment executives, and their assistants.

McKee’s former students include 67 Academy Award winners, 200+ Emmy Award winners, 100+ Writers Guild of America Award winners, and 52 Directors Guild of America Award winners.

Some of his “Story Seminar” alumnae including Oscar® Winners Peter Jackson, Julia Roberts, John Cleese,  Geoffrey Rush, Paul Haggis, Akiva Goldsman, William Goldman, and Jane Capon, among many others.

22. John Truby

Today on the show we have one of the most popular guests to ever be on the Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast, the legendary John Truby. John is the author of The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller.

John Truby is one of the most respected and sought-after story consultants in the film industry, and his students have gone on to pen some of Hollywood’s most successful films. The Anatomy of Story shares all his secrets for writing a compelling script.

Based on the lessons in his award-winning class, Great Screenwriting, The Anatomy of Story draws on a broad range of philosophy and mythology, offering fresh techniques and insightful anecdotes alongside Truby’s own unique approach to building an effective, multifaceted narrative.

His is former students’ work has earned more than $15 billion at the box office, and include the writers, directors, and producers of such film blockbusters as Ratatouille, In Treatment, Pirates of the Caribbean, X-Men I/II/III, Shrek, Mother Mary of Chris, Breaking Bad, House, Lost, Planet of the Apes, Scream, The Fantastic Four, The Negotiator, Star Wars, Sleepless in Seattle, Outbreak, African Cats (which Truby co-wrote for Disney) and more.

23. Chris Vogler

Today on the show we bring the legendary story analyst and best-selling author Chris Vogler. Chris wrote the game-changing book  The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers. I read this book over 25 years ago and it changed the way I look at “story.” Chris studied the work and principles of the late master Joseph Campbell.

His book The Hero with a Thousand Faces was the basis for Star Wars as well as almost every other Hollywood feature film in the past 60 years using what Campbell called the monomyth.

24. Pen Densham

Today on the show we Pen Densham. Pen is a successful award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director, with an extensive track record in film and television. He is responsible for writing and producing some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Backdraft, Blown Awayalong with some of its longest-running television series including The Outer Limits.

I had a ball speaking to Pen about his time in Hollywood, what it was like to screenwriter/producer monster hits and his screenwriting philosophy on how to make it in Hollywood.

25. Marshall Herskovitz

Our guest today is producer, director and screenwriter Marshall Herskovitz. Many of his production projects have been in partnership with his long-time filmmaking collaborator, Edward Zwick whose films, he’s produced and written half of. Their decades-long filmmaking partnership was launched as co-creators of the 1987 TV show, ThirtySomething.

SaveSaveSaveSave

Francis Ford Coppola’s Legendary Short Film: Captain EO

Captain EO was a 1986 American 3D science fiction film that was shown at Disney theme parks from 1986 through 1998. The movie stars Michael Jackson was written by George Lucas and directed by Francis Ford Coppola(who came up with the name “Captain EO” from the Greek, cf. Eos, the Greek goddess of dawn). The film was shown as part of an attraction with in-theater effects. The attraction returned to the Disney Parks in 2010 as a tribute after Jackson’s death. The film was shown for the final time at Epcot on December 6, 2015.

The film’s executive producer was George Lucas. It was choreographed by Jeffrey Hornaday and Michael Jackson, photographed by Peter Anderson, produced by Rusty Lemorande and written by Lemorande, Lucas, and Coppola, from a story idea by the artists of Walt Disney Imagineering. Lemorande also initially designed and created two of the creatures, and was an editor of the film. The score was written by James Horner and featured two songs (“We Are Here to Change the World” and “Another Part of Me”), both written and performed by Michael Jackson.

The Supreme Leader was played by Anjelica Huston. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro was the lighting director during much of the principal photography. Captain EO is regarded as one of the first “4D” films (4D being the name given to a 3D film that incorporates in-theater effects, such as lasers, smoke, etc., synchronized to the film). Wikipedia

Download Francis Ford Coppola’s Screenplay Collection in PDF

SHORTCODE - SHORTS

Want to watch more short films by legendary filmmakers?

Our collection has short films by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Chris Nolan, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg & more.

Quentin Tarantino’s Micro-Budget First Film: My Best Friend’s Birthday

We all have to start somewhere and Quentin Tarantino is no exception. Unlike popular lore, Tarantino did not come bursting through the indie film gates with Reservoir Dogs as his first film. Before you go out and see any of Tarantino’s films you should watch his first little ditty which was an unreleased feature film called “My Best Friend’s Birthday.”

“My Best Friend’s Birthday” is a black-and-white amateur film written by Craig Hamann and Quentin Tarantino. This was also the first film the Quentin Tarantino directed. It was shot while he was working at the now sadly closed down indie film shrine Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, CA.

The project started in 1984, when Hamann wrote a short 40-page script about a young man who continually tries to do something nice for his friend’s birthday, only to have his efforts fail miserably.

Tarantino and Hamann expanded the short script into a full-length feature film screenplay. Some of the dialogue and characters would eventually find a home in Tarantino’s classic screenplay True Romance.

Actor Allen Garfield (from Beverly Hills Cop fame) was teaching Quentin Tarantino acting at the time, and that is how he also became involved in the project.

The budget was an estimated $5,000, which was tiny considering they shot the indie film on 16mm over the next three years. Quentin Tarantino acting bug was in full effect so he also starred in the indie film, along with several video store and acting class pals.

Tarantino worked on the crew, which included fellow Video Archives employees Rand Vossler and future Oscar® winner and Pulp Fiction co-writer Roger Avary, who also acted as cinematographer on the film. It’s the most overtly comedic film that Quentin Tarantino has ever made.

The original cut was about 70 minutes long but the final reel was destroyed in a lab fire that broke out during editing. The surviving 36 minutes of the film has been shown at several film festivals around the world. It has never been officially released.

When watching this short you can see early seeds of Quentin Tarantino‘s genius for dialog and character. It’s a fun watch and a must for all aspiring filmmakers. Enjoy the rare indie film oddity “My Best Friend’s Birthday.”

Download the Quentin Tarantino’s Screenplay Collection in PDF

“My Best Friend’s Birthday”
Initial release: 1987
Director: Quentin Tarantino
Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino
Story:  Craig Hamann & Quentin Tarantino
CinematographyRoger Avary
ProducerQuentin Tarantino
Cast: Quentin Tarantino, Allen Garfield, Brenda Hillhouse

SHORTCODE - SHORTS

Want to watch more short films by legendary filmmakers?

Our collection has short films by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Chris Nolan, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg & more.

James Cameron’s Micro-Budget Short Film: Xenogenesis

Before James Cameron was breaking every box office record he was a struggling indie filmmaker. We all started somewhere and before The TerminatorAliens or hell even Pirana II: The Spawning, James Cameron had been inspired by George Lucas’, Star Wars.

Enough so that, in 1978, James Cameron raised the budget from a group of local dentists to fund his sci-fi short film, Xenogenesis. Shot in his living room and with majority self-taught film knowledge, Xenogenesis was a masterclass in indie filmmaking.

Xenogenesis Summary: A woman and an engineered man are sent in a gigantic sentient starship to search space for a place to start a new life cycle. Raj decides to take a look around the ship. He comes across a gigantic robotic cleaner. Combat ensues.

Download James Cameron’s Screenplay Collection in PDF

SHORTCODE - SHORTS

Want to watch more short films by legendary filmmakers?

Our collection has short films by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Chris Nolan, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg & more.

James Cameron MasterClass: Learn Filmmaking from the Legend

From The Terminator and Titanic to Avatar, James Cameron has directed some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. Now, for the first time in his 40-year career, he opens up about his process. Through behind-the-scenes breakdowns, James shares his approach to developing ideas, storylines, and characters; harnessing technology; and world-building on any budget. Explore the innovation and imagination behind epic moviemaking.

“Every filmmaker stands on the shoulders of the filmmakers who came before them, and I hope that my MasterClass will allow members to filter and develop my techniques through their own subjective lens and experiences.”

Using specific scene breakdowns from his renowned films, including Aliens, The Terminator, Titanic and Avatar, Cameron teaches members how to identify stories that demand telling, build tension, create compelling characters—whether man, machine or alien—and harness technology to fully immerse audiences in imagined worlds. Cameron also offers practical advice that applies to all levels of film production, no matter the budget, big or small. Interlaced with intimate insights from his storied career, from how dreams inspire his work to lessons on leadership, Cameron’s class will leave members inspired to share the insider knowledge they’ve learned with others and empowered to make their own movies.

“I’ve been directing films for almost four decades, and if there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s that learning is a constant process,”

Cameron’s prominent filmmaking career has given the world many cinematic gifts, starting with the breakthrough box-office success of The Terminator in 1984. Following the mainstream hit with a string of celebrated science fiction action films, including Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Cameron wrote and directed the epic blockbuster film Titanic, which shattered all box-office records, nabbed 11 Academy Awards and became the highest-grossing movie of all time.

You can ENROLL in James Cameron’s MasterClass now and join this game-changing course. Click here to gain access

Cameron then surpassed his own record with the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster hit Avatar, which blended live-action sequences with digitally captured performances in a 3D-generated world that blazed a trail for innovation in film technology and visual effects. As a three-time Academy Award winner and a six-time nominee, he’s earned the rare achievement of having directed the first two of the five films in history to gross more than $2 billion worldwide.

Cameron most recently executive-produced the National Geographic docu-series Secrets of the Whales, and will release the long-awaited sequel Avatar 2 in December 2022.

James Cameron’s MasterClass includes: 

  • 15 video lessons
  • Over 3 hours
  • Lifetime access, with classes that never expires
  • Learning materials and workbooks
  • Accessible from any device
  • Watch, listen and learn as James Cameron teaches her most comprehensive filmmaking class ever

To ENROLL in the course now to get access to this game-changing course. Click here to gain access


Screenplays: FREE Download 2021-2022 Oscar Contenders UPDATED

UPDATED January 2022: If you want to be a screenwriter you need to read a lot of screenplays. And if you are going to read film scripts might as well read some of this year’s best. Below is an active running list of 2021-2022 Oscar Contending Screenplays. I’ll be adding new screenplays as they become available so check back often.

PLEASE NOTE: These Screenplays Are FREE And LEGAL To Download For Educational Purposes. The Studios Will Only Keep Them Online Throughout The Awards Season So The Clock Is Ticking. Enjoy. 

When you are done reading take a listen to Apple’s #1 Screenwriting Podcast The Bulletproof Screenwriting Podcast, with guests like Oscar Winner Eric Roth, James V. HartDavid ChaseJohn AugustOliver Stone and more.

2021-2022 Oscar Contending Screenplays


2020-2021 Oscar Contending Screenplays

The Father – (Sony Classics) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Original Screenplay)
Promising Young Woman – (Focus Features) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Adapted Screenplay)

2020-2021 Oscar Contending Screenplays

WEBINAR INSTRUCTOR - DIALOGUE1

Want To Learn From Oscar® Winning & Blockbuster Screenwriters?

Learn from some the best screenwriters working in Hollywood today in this FREE three day video series.

2020 Oscar-Winning Screenplays

Parasite – (NEON) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Original Screenplay)
Jo Jo Rabbit – (Fox Searchlight) – OSCAR WINNER (Best Adapted Screenplay)

2020 Oscar Contending Screenplays

2019 Oscar Contending Screenplays

Netflix has removed its scripts, though some of the links work. I will keep you updated…

2018 Oscar Contending Screenplays

SHORTCODE - SCREENPLAYS

Want to read more screenplays by the best screenwriters working in Hollywod today?

The Bulletproof Screenwriting collection of screenplays are organized by screenwriter's & filmmaker's career for easy access.

Screenwriter’s Screenplay Collections

We started a new weekly series where we highlight a screenwriter and post a collection of most if not all of their work in one online resource. Sign up for our weekly newsletter above to get weekly updates sent to your inbox. Here are a few recent screenwriter collections:

I also decided to include a bonus area where you can download some of the best screenplays of the last few years. Over 175 screenplays in all. Happy reading!

Best of 2016 Screenplays

Best of 2015 Screenplays

Best of 2014 Screenplays

Best of 2013 Screenplays


BONUS: Oscar Nominated and Winning Screenplays

The Rule Of Thirds – Definition and Examples

Beauty has a lot to do with math, and physical attraction depends on a ratio; a golden ratio. Everything in nature has this ratio in one form of the other. When we talk about the aesthetic of beauty we are referring to symmetry, proportion, and a recognizable pattern or method to the arrangement of the element.

Composition refers to the arrangement of the element that makes up an image. If a composition is aesthetically appealing it is because those elements have been arranged in some sort of detectable method. If the elements of an image are thrown together at random without any sort of method, it is not a composition it is chaos. It won’t be pleasing to look at and we would not recognize any pattern.

However, if those same elements are arranged with some sort of method we end up with a composition that is aesthetic. You can use contrasting colors or sizes of the element to draw attention to certain parts of the image, but there has to be a sort of method to the arrangement.


Credit: D4Darious

Composition in film, similarly, talks about the visual aesthetic of a shot; the lightning, the color, everything within a frame you see. It’s all about arranging the elements within a scene to guide the eye or draw attention to certain things. It’s about intent and method.

The Rule of Thirds is one method of arranging the elements within the composition. If you divide a frame with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines what you are left with is nine boxes. The idea is if you align your subject or point of interest along the two vertical lines or where the lines intercept you will end up with a more pleasing or balanced composition.

When setting up a shot or composition using the rule of thirds the most common question you should ask is; what is the main point of interest and where am I putting it? Putting an image in the dead center of a frame makes it feel flat and dull, but if it was moved to one of the vertical thirds, then a big improvement is created. Our eyes will still be drawn to the image despite not being at the center of the frame. You can also put your point of interest along the incepting line.

This method is also applicable in a landscape shot. If the horizon is filmed dead center of the frame it feels flat. But if it was moved to the upper or lower third we end up with a more powerful image. If there are two subjects you can frame them such each falls on the two vertical thirds. If you have two subjects that are very close to one another, you can treat them as one and place them at one of the intercepting thirds or along with one of the vertical thirds.

The Rule of Thirds can be applied to anything, even shadows. In a lot of movies, the visual interest is easy to follow because most of the time the subject falls on one of the vertical thirds and the background falls on top of the upper or lower third.

In the practice of the law, you can be slightly off and still create a powerful shot.


Credit: FiveMinuteFilmSchool

SaveSave

Top Ten BEST Filmmaking Courses Online

I’m always asked what the top filmmaking courses online I’d recommend to filmmakers. As Jack Nicolson says:

“If you don’t keep learning, you die.”

I am a HUGE consumer of online courses of all types. I’m a visual learner and online courses help me keep my skills sharp. Below I’ve put together a list of some of the best Filmmaking Courses Online I’ve personally taken and recommend. Some I even teach = ) Keep on hustlin’ and learning.

Light and Face: The Art of Cinematography

This workshop will walk you through how to light the most important and emotional subject you could put in front of your lens, the enigmatic face on a low budget. This workshop is unique in that it will literally guide you through the entire process of making your film. Taught by award-winning cinematographer Suki Medencevic A.S.C.

Suki has been lighting Hollywood films and television for over 25 years. Some of his work includes American Horror Story, Stuck in the Middle, and several high profile documentaries for Pixar, ILM, andDisney+ including The History of Imagineering for Disney Studios. Suki has taught around the world to sold-out crowds as well at USC Film School and New York Film Academy. He is also a member of the prestigious American Society of Cinematographers

Some of the things you’ll learn from this course:

  • Single Source Lighting
  • Single Light Bulb
  • LED Lighting / Fresnel Light
  • Small Paper Lantern
  • Ring Light / Kino Flo
  • Flashlight / iPad
  • Christmas Light
  • Open Face Source + Umbrella
  • Diffusing the Light
  • Hampshire / Opal
  • 251, 250, 216, 129 Diffusion
  • Chimera Diffusion
  • 1K Chimera
  • Color Temperature Breakdowns
  • Three-Point Lighting
  • Film Noir Look
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Glamour Lighting
  • Horror Look
  • Fantasy Look
  • Old Hollywood Look
  • Warm Period Look
  • BONUS: Detail Diagrams of Each Lighting Setup

Click Here for more info.


The Complete Film Distribution Blueprint

Taught by Indie Film Hustle Founder Alex Ferrari, this course is an insider’s look at how the film distribution side of the business works. It will teach you how to avoid predatory film distributors and aggregators, what to look for in distribution agreements, VOD myths, film deliverables, working with sales agents, and much more. Don’t become a statistic. Educate yourself and thrive.

  • What is Film Distribution?
  • Producers Rep and Sales Agents
  • Film Markets
  • Video-On-Demand Ecosystem
  • DVD, Blu-Rays, and Physical Media
  • Television Syndication
  • Selling to Airlines  Hotels and Cruise Lines
  • Educational Rights
  • Theatrical Distribution & Deliverables 
  • Film Distribution Agreements and Pitfalls to Avoid
  • Film Deliverables (Physical Masters)
  • Film Deliverables (Paperwork)
  • Film Deliverables (Marketing)
  • Marketing Your Film
  • Film Aggregators
  • How to Secretly Track International Sales of Your Film
  • Keeping Your Film Distributor Honest
  • Latest COVID-19 Film Distribution Updates
  • Plus Hours of Bonus Interviews

Learn how to protect yourself from predatory film distributors and sales agents. Don’t become a statistic.

Click Here for more info


The Complete Indie Film Producing Workshop

Award-winning film producer Suzanne Lyons is about to take you from script to screen and beyond in this Mastermind workshop. After producing a number of bigger budget features Suzanne thought producing the SAG ultra-low and modified budget films would be a piece of cake. Boy, was she wrong? Wearing 100 different hats was a challenge and she learned so much. And now she will be sharing all that great info with you. This workshop is unique in that it will literally guide you through the entire process of making your film.

Included in this course:

  • Learn How to Sell Yourself
  • The Script: Option and Development
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Setting Up Your Company and Opening a Bank Account
  • Sales Presentations and Finding Investors
  • Soft Prep
  • The Casting Process
  • Pre-Production
  • Principle Photography
  • Post Production and Deliverables
  • Delivery and Sales Agents
  • BONUS PACK: Paperwork, Contracts, and Examples (Word & PDF Versions)

Click Here for more info


Screenwriting Foundations: Story Development

This course shows you how to build your script from the bottom up. We will cover concept development, creating a meaningful theme, building a central character who strikes an emotional chord with the audience, and we will even learn how to develop supporting characters and antagonists. We don’t just stop there, we break down how to write a logline, mind mapping your concept, and even how to conquer writer’s block.

Included in this course:

  • Concept Development
  • Understanding Theme
  • Mind Mapping
  • Defeating Writer’s Block
  • Constructing a Logline
  • Character Development
  • The Character Sheet
  • Tips for Great Characters 
  • Internal vs External Conflict
  • Sympathy vs Empathy
  • The Query Letter

Click Here for more info


Crowdfunding for Filmmaking Masterclass

This course will guide you through every stage of planning, creating, and running your film crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunding is the only method of film finance open to all filmmakers, anywhere in the world and over $250 million has already been raised for films on Kickstarter. It’s based on research on over 50,000 film crowdfunding campaigns, interviews with over 50 filmmakers who have run a crowdfunding campaign, and interviews with some of the top people at major crowdfunding platforms and services.

This course includes:

  • Introduction to Crowdfunding 
  • Reward-Based Crowdfunding
  • History of Crowdfunding
  • Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding
  • Hosting Your Campaign
  • Creating Your Crowdfunding Strategy
  • Ideal Campaign Length
  • Budget for Campaign 
  • Defining Your Audience
  • Building a Team
  • Crafting Your Pitch Video
  • Writing the Pitch
  • Setting Rewards
  • Services and Hacks to Help Your Campaign
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Launching Your Campaign
  • Fulfilling Your Extras
  • Interviews with Successful Crowdfunding Filmmakers

Click Here for more info


Hollywood Filmmaking & Television Directing Masterclass

Veteran film and television director Gil Bettman teaches you how to enhance the drama in a scene, heighten the action by using different lenses and how to move the camera in your next film and video production. The key here is that camera movement must be invisible. It should serve the story without calling attention to itself.

Next, learn How To Move the Camera most effectively by systematically fulfilling Five Tasks when designing each moving master shot. Finally, learn how a master of visual design like Zemeckis customizes his application of these Five Tasks to the unique demands of each scene.

Click Here for more info


Storytelling Blueprint: The Hero’s Two Journeys

Experience two of Hollywood’s most sought-after story experts, authors, and lecturers with Screenwriting and Story Secrets: The Hero’s Two Journeys. If you’re a screenwriter, novelist, filmmaker, game developer, or storyteller in any arena, this course will empower you to captivate your readers and audiences to achieve both artistic AND commercial success. Modeling what works is the philosophy at the heart of this course. Taught bu Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler.

Click Here for more info


The Dialogue: Learn from the Masters

The Dialogue is a groundbreaking interview series that goes behind the scenes of the fascinating craft of screenwriting. In these 70-90 minute in-depth discussions (over 37 hours in all), more than two-dozen of today’s most successful screenwriters share their work habits, methods, and inspirations, secrets of the trade, business advice, and eye-opening stories from life in the trenches of the film industry. Each screenwriter discusses his or her filmography in great detail and breaks down the mechanics of one favorite scene from their produced work.

Click Here for more info


Filmmaker in a Box: Learn How to Make a Low Budget Feature Film

FILMMAKER IN A BOX is the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at the making of a micro-budget (meaning REALISTIC BUDGET!) feature film production. This is a look into how a professional near-no-budget film is made – with EVERY DETAIL available at your fingertips!

FIB examines the EVERY detail (Over 18+ Hours) of the making of an independent movie called 2 Million Stupid Women (a comedy written by a woman!), which was made for only $100,000, made within the “Hollywood” system. If you want to make a feature, you need to take this course.

Click Here for more info

 

SaveSave

Alex Proyas’ Short Film: Strange Residues

Alex Proyas, Vidiverse

This is what Alex Proyas had to say about one of his early short films Strange Residues.

I was a teenager when I made this film in the second year of film school. Even so there’s plenty of ideas I would keep coming back to. And “STRANGE RESIDUES” is possibly the silliest title for a film I ever came up with…

Subscribe to Alex Proyas YouTube Channel

We had the honor of speaking to Alex Proyas about his creative process and his new streaming service Vidiverse.

SHORTCODE - SHORTS

Want to watch more short films by legendary filmmakers?

Our collection has short films by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Chris Nolan, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg & more.

Richard Linklater’s Short Film: Woodshock ’85

Woodshock '85, Woodshock '85 short film, Richard Linklater, Richard Linklater short film

Richard Linklater’s Short Film: Woodshock ’85

This short documentary chronicles the chaos of the Austin, Texas music festival, “Woodshock ’85.” Directed by a young Richard Linklater.

Read Richard Linklater’s Screenplay Collection in PDF

Alex had the pleasure of speaking to Richard and discussed his philosophy, filmmaking and creative process.

SHORTCODE - SHORTS

Want to watch more short films by legendary filmmakers?

Our collection has short films by Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen Brothers, Chris Nolan, Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg & more.