Structure: The Lives of Others

A loyal agent for the Stasi spies on a playwright and his actress girlfriend. Intent on revealing their disloyalty to the GDR, the agent becomes involved in – and transformed by – their lives. [box]The Lives of Others (Das leben der anderen) (Germany, 2006) Written and Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck[/box] -by Stuart Voytilla … Read more

First, Break All the Rules

When I asked this student which one thing she remembered above anything else, she replied: “That you can break the rules, and get away with it.” She was not my student. In itself there’s nothing wrong with trying, but it saddens me that Heath Ledger’s last Australian film, Candy, was an example of a film … Read more

Glossary

The following is a basic list of terms I believe you should have an understanding of. To be a professional, it is crucial you can communicate with others to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your work. It is not enough to know and understand Syd Field’s set of phrases, as some hot shots may … Read more

Learn from other people’s mistakes

When the Australian Writers Guild NSW organised a night with prominent script editors, one of the questions to the panel was about the most common mistakes. From the answers I have compiled the list below, together with ten common problems from my own experience. These are not just issues with scripts of my clients, but … Read more

Plot Point: Brainstorming Plot Points

Writing a first draft is in essence brainstorming plot points and writing them down in a more or less chronological order. It sounds as if I am simplifying things, but once you have cracked the essence of drama, it really is that simple. To understand what follows, it is useful to read the word action … Read more