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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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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

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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