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scriptmag.com

The Case of The Incredible Shrinking Story Department...

Written by Scott Foster on April 5th, 2024

Enter the Gauntlet

Written by Brian Austin on February 27th, 2024

I'm excited to announce a new product that the ScriptHop team has been working very hard on over the last 17 months. We painstakingly fixated on every possible detail.

Our goal was to solve the problem most screenwriters face: getting their script read by someone who matters — someone who can make something happen for that script. Adding to that, there's also the great Hollywood conundrum: how many reps, execs, and producers does it take to read a script? None — their assistants do it.

ScriptHop's new product is a gateway into the industry that works with this dynamic. It grants screenwriters access to a pool of professional readers that also work for well-known agencies, studios, and production companies. These are the analysts who matter — the true gatekeepers o...

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Keep Your Readers Reading with the Packet's Highlights

Written by Steve Smith on August 28th, 2023

Sit down, good screenwriter. We need to talk about your packet's Highlights section.

Remember that a major challenge for writers (especially those seeking to charm Hollywood) is keeping a reader's attention. Whether a script analyst, an agent, or a high-ranking exec, your reader is most likely distracted, time-starved, and so overburdened that they're looking for reasons to dismiss your project so they can turn to the next prospect. Don't let them. Keep them intrigued, keep them curious, keep them reading.

Okay, but how? Apart from obvious boons like solid writing and presentation skills, you might have an underused tool in your arsenal: the Packet's Highlights.

...

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the screenwriter vs. FEAR

Written by J.R. Jarrod on May 25th, 2023

"Worldview." Simply put: a fundamental perception. Not a new concept by any means, yet when applied to the art of screenwriting it can lead to a previously untapped mastery of theme and subtext in the tales we writers craft. To undertake this journey, first we are tasked with harnessing the most primal potentially debilitating emotion there is: Fear. Yes: capital 'f.'

We draw subconsciously from certain elements of worldview when we craft our characters' journeys in a screenplay. We chart their course, drawing from our life's own treasured belief systems. The worst examples of this type of writing can often elicit dreaded phrases like: "it was a little too on the nose." When we dare to dig deeper into the themes that reappear in our work, Fear begins stalking us — dissuading us from pressing on, keeping the necessary the...

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WGA Strike

Written by Olivia Hummel on May 10th, 2023

Writers are the nucleus of Hollywood — they're where everything in movies and tv starts.

Without writers, storytelling becomes bland, repetitive, and soulless. They are the backbone of the film and television industry. For their integral role in modern-day storytelling, writers should be fairly compensated.

It is time to value writers.

In the wake of the WGA strike, ScriptHop fully supports and stands in solidarity with the writers who tirelessly and passionately create films and television shows for all of us to enjoy.

We also support the WGA's pause on pitching during this time. Due to ScriptHop being a pitching platform through our product The Packet, we will not be charg...

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You Have a Script, But Do You Have a Story?

Written by Scott Foster on March 31st, 2023

You know that series bible or pitch deck you've been on the fence about creating because you think your script is brilliant enough on its own to get Hollywood biting? Countless writers are now discovering that if you build it, it won't just ride shotgun as a marketing booster of your project's business life. It provides a major fringe benefit. Whether you've made an artifact in the form of a minimalist pdf-pamphlet or a more in-depth or interactive deck, the act of doing so performs a litmus test on your script itself. It determines whether your script is supported by the skeletal structure of an actual story or whether you've merely been spray-tanning dialogue and random events in a hundred page sprawl.

In fact, series bibles and pitch decks can b...

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Your Favorite Show Just Got Cancelled

Written by Brian Austin on January 30th, 2023

One of the best aspects of running ScriptHop is that I get to work with incredibly talented people bringing amazing content to life. It's exciting to hear about a new film or series concept and see it crawl its way, despite enormous odds, to production. There's a positive energy behind it, passionate people making it all happen, and an audience that awaits.

Today I feel compelled to write about the other side of the coin — the unfortunate, untimely demise of a GOOD television series... via an algorithm. Whether it's a show that we looked forward to watching before it even aired or it grabbed our hearts when we discovered it later, a bond was formed. And then, we get the abrupt news, either from a headline or a WTF text from our friends, that it's now gone. There will be no memorial service and resurrections are ...

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moviemaker.com

Can Emma Thompson Save Harrow Alley, the Most Legendary Unproduced Script of All?

Written by Scott Foster on January 5th, 2023

C.J. Walley's Turn & Burn Review

Written by Scott Foster on June 2nd, 2022

Like the work of some ninja-philosopher hyphenate, C.J. Walley's Turn & Burn sneaks up on you from its cover, distracting you with its bombastic title, then it reveals itself to be one of the deeper manuals on screenwriting out there. Turn & Burn may sound more like the title of a potboiler thriller than it does a screenwriting how-to. But it makes sense that Walley, a screenwriter who writes with confessional honesty about his own challenges in the business, would reflect on the testosterone-fueled movies that fomented his career and informed his own self-described evolution. Like a plot twist, the title proves to fit neatly into one of his deceptively simple maxims — one that's as surprisingly useful as the rest of the book.

Turn & Burn starts from an unorthodox p...

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Exhibition For Your Script

Written by Olivia Hummel on April 22nd, 2022

An exhibition, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "a public showing (as of works of art, objects of manufacture, or athletic skill)." We associate an art exhibition with paintings, photography, sculptures, and we interact with their presentation by walking through a museum space — looking (sometimes gawking), discussing, and connecting with these various mediums. Art is influential, multidimensional, and personal.

Film is all of this and more, and it depends on a similar exhibition space. Scripts may be written, but they're the culmination of text for a visual medium, and whether they have the good fortune to make it through Hollywood's filters to the screen shouldn't be the only thing determining their value; the Hollywood lottery shouldn't be a script's only opportunity for consumption and appreciation. It's time s...

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Is Your Script Naked? (Do you really need a series bible or pitch deck?)

Written by Scott Foster on March 22nd, 2022

Debate seems to roil writers over what supplemental materials, if any, should be sent along with their scripts. Being both a writer and someone who has worked "on the other side" in the agency world, I've seen the issue from the trenches and through the lens of the middleman. For those short on time, let me cut to the chase and respond to the question: Should you have a pitch deck (a.k.a. "lookbook") or series bible ready to send with your script? The answer is: yes.

I don't have to look far for evidence of this necessity. Just a week ago, an employee at my company was signed at CAA and went out with one of her projects to a big production company. This company was excited about her project but immediately requested a series bible. (Disclaimer: She used ScriptHop to create her series bible and it resulted in a more impressi...

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Script Entropy: How Sharing Screenplay Revisions is About to Change

Written by Scott Foster on February 18th, 2022

It's hard to think of a task more daunting and thankless than deciding when and whether to send screenplay revisions to an agent or rep. Here's what the coming "live-link era" could soon mean for screenwriters.

It's no secret. Even writers lucky enough to have representation face a formidable obstacle course when going out with original content. Even if you're on the A-list — literally on fire — you'll never escape the first law of thermodynamics: "Hot things always cool unless you do something to stop them."

There are numerous complex reasons for this daunting cooling process — or entropy — that have to do with the quality of the work, as we...

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ScriptHop 2.0 Now Available!

Written by Brian Austin on February 10th, 2022

Myself, and the entire ScriptHop team, are happy to announce the release of version 2.0! Almost an entire year in the making, v2.0 is 2X what the previous version was. For this release, we focussed on 3 things:

Television

While it worked for a series, the original version of ScriptHop's Packet was mostly suited for pitching a feature. Considering that bibles are still somewhat undefined, we brought together A-list writers and industry decision makers to determine what really works and baked that directly into the Packet. This includes new sections like 'What It Is', 'The World', 'Series Outline', and more, all with sub-sections that expand so readers can dive in to learn more where they are interested, rather tha...

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ScriptHop Packet Reviews

Written by Brian Austin on February 22nd, 2021

We at ScriptHop quietly started something a couple months ago as an experiment. Even though our platform helps writers craft their pitch and bundles everything that agencies, studios, and production companies need, that doesn't always mean that every Packet is perfect. Even A-list writers struggle with their pitches at times or can overlook errors that a new set of eyes might quickly see.

That's why we implemented a FREE review feature within ScriptHop. It's a very simple process. Once your Packet has progressed far enough, an option to request a review of your Packet will appear. Clicking that link and agreeing to the process will have our team reviewing it usually within 48 hours. WE DON'T READ THE SCRIPT or make any judgements about your story. Our team simply makes sure that you don't have any major errors and that the ma...

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scriptmag.com

Speed-the-Read: Using White Space and Typography to Make Your Script a Map for the Eye

Written by Peter Hanrahan on November 7th, 2020

scriptmag.com

Summoning "Scenario": The Ghost that Conjured ScriptHop

Written by Scott Foster on September 15th, 2020

Aren't You That AI Company?

Written by Brian Austin on August 19th, 2020

There are a handful of script reading AI companies out there that claim to be able to find the best scripts or the big Box Office performers. Each year, a new article in either tech or entertainment news seems to introduce a new company that claims to be able to do this, so the list grows. All I'll simply say about them is... that isn't us.

However, starting out, we did create an impressive AI that can read a screenplay and tell us something of the story and its characters. I'd actually put it up against any of the Box Office predictor guys for doing that. In less than 5 seconds it can read a script and give us a lot of info. It could even generate a very simple logline, something like "A father and son struggle to survive against an alien invasion." Pretty slick, right?

In 2016, ...

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Even Christopher Nolan Gets Distilled

Written by Scott Foster on August 19th, 2020

TIME. That's the iceberg facing every screenwriter steering a titanic dream. It confronts your intended reader, too, in the form of an insurmountable stack of scripts melting away the attention they can afford to pay your piece of their content glacier.

While I was managing UTA's Story Department, I can't count the number of times an aspiring writer friend held forth that some bigwig they'd met at a party would read their script and beknight it for its quirky charm, or taut craft, "especially when they get to the twist in act three!" The hopeless faith they had in that shark's devotion to literacy — that it would drive executive curiosity to stray to a random non-client, and focus long enough to get to act 3 — is a lovely conc...

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