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Screenplay ideas: How 9 Pro Screenwriters Got Their Story Ideas

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Curious how professional screenwriters get their screenplay ideas? Here are 9 pros - and the process they used to crack the code on their stories.

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Screenplay ideas: How 9 Pro Screenwriters Got Their Story Ideas

  1. 1. SCREENPLAY IDEAS: HOW 9 PROS GOT THEIR SCRIPT IDEAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY…
  2. 2. #1: WOODY ALLEN Start with a strong title, and go from there Woody Allen loved the title “Midnight in Paris” but he couldn't DECIDE what would happen to his character at midnight. Once he FIGURED that out, the rest came easily. You have to lay the groundwork first, and then the fun begins.
  3. 3. #2: DIABLO CODY Use flashbacks sparingly, but correctly When Diablo Cody set out to WRITE “Juno,” she had just one scene in mind -- one where a pregnant teenager interviews parents who might adopt her baby. She took that one scene and CREATED a whole story around it.
  4. 4. #3: J.J. ABRAMS Take a great "What if" question & explore answers to it Lloyd Braun, the chairman of ABC, was on vacation watching “CastAway” when he came up with an idea for “Lost.” It started with a series of questions: What if a group of strangers survived a plane crash? How would you REINVENT yourself in a world where your past didn't matter? He got JJ Abrams to WRITE a pilot and the process took off from there.
  5. 5. #4: CAMERON CROWE Write what you know Cameron Crowe PENNED two screenplays by writing about his real life experiences. His tales of the rock world while working for “Rolling Stone” would inspire “Almost Famous” and his social-experiment posing as a high school student for a second senior year would become “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
  6. 6. #5: QUENTIN TARANTINO Borrow and be inspired by other's work Quentin Tarantino is known for REFERENCING and playing homage to the films that inspire his later work. Tarantino GIVES credit to approximately 80 different films that INSPIRED his classic film, Kill Bill. (Including most of the Bruce Lee canon.)
  7. 7. #6: CHARLIE KAUFMAN Write everything down and see what you get Spike Jonze was inspired by Charlie Kaufman's approach to writing Synecdoche, New York: "On Synecdoche, New York, which I was originally going to direct, [Kaufman] said he wanted to try to write everything he was thinking about in that moment – all the ideas and feelings at that time – and put it into the script."
  8. 8. #7: SPIKE JONZE Use flashbacks sparingly, but correctly Spike Jonze got the idea for “Her” when he READ an article about a website that allowed users to chat-online with an A.I. He BOUNCED the idea around for many years and eventually came up with the story that would become “Her.”
  9. 9. #8: AARON SORKIN Wing it and see what you come up with under pressure Aaron Sorkin THOUGHT he was just having lunch with a TV producer but when he got there, realized the group of producers and agents were expecting a full-fledged show pitch. BORROWING from ideas he'd explored in “The American President,” he blurted out an idea that would become “The West Wing.”
  10. 10. #9: SHONDA RHIMES Use flashbacks sparingly, but correctly Shonda Rhimes SUMMED it up best in her Dartmouth Commencement Address, "Perfect is boring and dreams are not real. So you think, 'I wish I could travel.' Great. SELL your crappy car, BUY a ticket to Bangkok, and go. Right now. I’m serious. You want to be a writer? A writer is someone who WRITES every day, so start writing."
  11. 11. NEED A SCRIPT IDEA? GRAB YOUR SEAT TO THE (TOTALLY-FREE) SEMINAR: “5 SECRETS TO A MOVIE IDEA THAT DOESN’T SUCK (AND WILL ACTUALLY SELL)” Did we mention it’s FREE?!!
  12. 12. CONNECT WITH US! https://youtube.com/scriptbully https://pinterest.com/scriptbully https://facebook.com/scriptbully https://twitter.com/scriptbully
  13. 13. “Logic will get you from A to Z. Imagination will get you everywhere.” –Albert Einstein

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