From the introduction to my book:
"We're just coming out of an era when--and this seems especially true for scriptwriters--the rigorous teaching of craft has not been considered a logical and necessary first step. Instead, from the start of a writer's training, personal exploration and complete liberation from all time-honored "rules" of dramatic writing have been the norm. To me, therefore, it's not surprising that the majority of new plays and screenplays being written today never see production. Several decades of an anti-craft mentality have flooded the market with scripts that simply do not work. Sadly, thousands of these failed works keep on being written every year.
The fact is that there are a few simple principles of the craft which in one way or another need to be respected in all dramatic writing, principles which have been in place and functioning beautifully for twenty-five hundred years. A scriptwriter ignores them at his or her peril. Without exception, every good script I've read or play or film I've seen--whether written by an established, successful writer or a student in a beginning course--has somehow incorporated the basic tenets successfully. There simply is no way around them if you hope to write successfully for the stage or screen."
So why do I think you might find it worthwhile to work with me on a project?
Here are a few reasons:
· My experience working with the script writing process spans over three decades as a professional dramaturg, script doctor, and scriptwriting professor.
· I’ve worked with hundreds of writers—both playwrights and screenwriters—from beginners to established professionals, both in the university classroom, in workshops, and in hands-on professional production settings (in both theatre and film) with scripts of all shapes and sizes.
· I hold a Ph.D degree in dramatic literature from the University of Wisconsin.
· I founded Writers Theatre of New Jersey, a professional theatre currently in its 25th year dedicated to developing new scripts by both established and emerging writers.
· I conducted a four-year, in-depth interview series at the Dramatists Guild in NYC with many of the most successful scriptwriters of the last half century (winners of Academy Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, and Tonys), mining their secrets, how they work, what process they use—including Arthur Miller, Edward Albee, John Patrick Shanley, Lanford Wilson, Horton Foote, and many others.
· I’ve written a best selling book on the subject called The Playwright’s Process and have written a number of screenplays and award-winning plays including Sister Calling My Name, winner of the National Play Award.
· I’m currently the Director of a low residency MFA program in Writing for Stage and Screen offered by the New Hampshire Institute of Art, as well as an independent feature film producer and partner in the production company Either/Or Films, maker of the award-winning feature film The Sensation of Sight starring Academy Award nominee David Strathairn.
Buzz McLaughlin / On Scriptwriting
Where I share tips, news, and ideas about scriptwriting--both plays and screenplays--and muse about the place of the writer in the rapidly evolving entertainment industry
The Sensation of Sight blog
Where I tell the step-by-step saga of producing our first feature film
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