Today on the show we have screenwriter and author Jeff Schimmel. Jeff wrote Maximum Screenwriting: 25 Commonly Asked Questions and Straight Answers.
Jeff Schimmel began his Writing/Producing career in the 1980s while attending law school in Los Angeles. When not studying for the bar exam, Jeff wrote and sold his original Cold War spy thriller, Archangel, to Phoenix Entertainment Group. Soon after, Jeff was chosen by comedy legend Rodney Dangerfield and award-winning Writer/Director Harold Ramis to co-write the full-length Warner Brothers animated film, Rover Dangerfield. This led to a sports comedy screenplay assignment from Orion Pictures and 20th Century Fox, and Jeff’s first TV writing job as Story Editor on ABC’s top ten sitcoms, Full House.
Next, Jeff co-wrote and produced The Schimmel Papers, a series of several short films for Fox TV’s Sunday Comics, then went on to write for the groundbreaking, Emmy Award-winning sketch comedy series, In Living Color, worked as Story Editor on the WB network’s first-ever sitcom, then served as Writer and Producer on Laughing With The Presidents, NBC TV’s final comedy special starring Bob Hope, with appearances by Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, actors Tom Selleck, Don Johnson, Tony Danza, Ann-Margret, Naomi Judd, and many more.
In 2016, Jeff took over as Executive Producer of Fuse network’s music intensive Skee TV series, working with hip hop artists like Snoop Dogg, Tyler the Creator, Post Malone, and T.I. Also in the rap world, Jeff was credited as a producer on three multi-platinum selling CDs by Busta Rhymes. In 2017, Jeff’s book, “Maximum Screenwriting,” was released and has earned Amazon’s five-star rating. Jeff has appeared as a guest lecturer at L.A.’s famed Screenwriting Expo, is a popular speaker at prestigious universities and film schools, and has worked closely with the Writers Guild of America to protect the best interests of writers.
25 COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND STRAIGHT ANSWERS
The entertainment industry is the toughest business around. To achieve success as a professional screenwriter, you will need every advantage you can get. A writer who faces readers, agents, producers, and creative executives are no different than a soldier going into combat. To have the best chance of survival, both would be wise to bring every weapon they can carry into the fight.
This book is ammunition for the battles every screenwriter will face as it teaches: How to create a bulletproof outline, How to build and breathe life into compelling characters, How to defeat crippling procrastination, How to avoid being ripped off, and How to deal with a myriad of situations other books never mention.
The one thing this book will not do is tell you what the proper margins are for a screenplay, where to place a parenthetical in dialogue or what is supposed to happen on page 30. There are dozens of books and free online lectures for that. Maximum Screenwriting was written for one reason only: to teach you what other books don’t and to tell you what other writers won’t.
Enjoy my conversation with Jeff Schimmel.