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Screenwriting Myths & Facts: Part 5

By Steve Kaire

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True or False

  1. The first five pages of a screenplay should be devoted to giving exposition and the character’s back story

    That’s false. The back story should be layered in gradually throughout your screenplay.

  2. Your logline should tell what’s happening in your story almost like an unfolding of your scenes in order

    That is false. Tell what your story is about, not what happens in your story.

  3. The bible of the entertainment industry is the Hollywood Creative Directory

    That is true.

  4. Dialogue should be overwritten in order to give the actors more than they need and be able to discard what they decide not to use

    That’s false. Dialogue should be minimalistic.

  5. Unintended consequences are usually found in science fiction films

    That's true.

  6. You should always memorize your pitch

    That is false. If you memorize it and forget a few words, the pitch may not sound right and you’ll have to start again. Your pitch should sound like "practiced spontaneity".

  7. To file a litigation case for theft of material, you have to prove 2 things: similarity of the material and provable access to the company you’re suing

    That is true.

  8. The length of most options is 6 months to a year

    That’s false. Most options are from 1 to 2 years in length.

  9. A typical rewrite deal has half the money paid upfront and the other half paid when the material is turned in


  10. Getting an option renewed is the best scenario a writer can expect from an option deal

    False. While getting it renewed is good, the best scenario is exercising the option. That means the option reverts into a sale.

About Steve Kaire

Steve Kaire is a screenwriter and "Pitchman" who has sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. The last project he sold, he’s Co-Producing for Walden Media. A screenwriter for over 30 years, he holds a Masters in Dramatic Writing and has taught writing classes at the American Film Institute. Steve was featured on the Tonight Show’s, "Pitching to America" and was voted a Star Speaker at Screenwriters Expo three years in a row. His unique CD & Ebook, "High Concept - How to Create, Pitch & Sell to Hollywood" is a best seller. His website is:
Screenwriting Article by Steve Kaire

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