That’s Not How It Works

As many of you know, Bob Saenz is a good friend of mine, a sometimes writing partner, and one heck of a good screenwriter. He has over a dozen writing credits on IMDb, including Extracurricular Activities (based on his spec Orphans) which is still one of my all-time favorite scripts.

He recently published a book about screenwriting. Here’s why you should check it out (just as soon as you finish streaming Extracurricular Activities on Amazon Prime, of course)!

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reddit AMA

This past Friday, I ran an Ask Me Anything (AMA) over on the Screenwriting subreddit. A good friend of mine is one of the moderators over there and encouraged me to answer questions for their members. It was originally scheduled to run for a couple hours, but I ended up going back a few times and making sure I responded to everything I could.

I’m posting a link to it here on my blog as well, in case any of my readers finds it of interest. Enjoy!

Working For Free

Working without compensation is one of those issues that a lot of people have really strong feelings about, regardless of what side of the spectrum those feelings fall.

In general, support for the idea of working for free is something along the lines of, “You never know what opportunities will pan out, so you should take chances, even if there’s no money involved.”

Conversely, opposition to the idea of working for free is usually based on the argument that working for free establishes no value for your work, and can very quickly lead to getting taken advantage of.

So which one of these positions is correct?

Best of 2017

I’m not big on ranked lists. I think they tend to invite argument more than they facilitate healthy discussion and conversation.

“How is X only at #10?”

“You don’t honestly think A was better than B?”

“Where’s C?”

But I do believe in giving credit where credit is due, so this is my list of favorite movies from 2017. In alphabetical order and without any qualifications, these are the great movies, guilty pleasures, and good times I had at the theater last year.

Additional Writing By

This is going to be a bit of a departure from my usual blog posts. Rather than writing up a relatively objective explanation of a concept, I’m going to get a little theoretical and propose an idea I’ve had rattling around in my head about how writers are credited, particularly as it relates to the Writers Guild of America and its rules.

In particular, I want to explore possible ways to maintain the integrity of the WGA’s existing credit structure while also addressing the problem of so many Guild writers being excluded from receiving credit.

Profit Participation

Profit participation is a very complex topic that is the subject of a great many accounting disputes, legal claims, and general ill-will between companies and the people to whom they’re supposed to be paying participations.

This post is an attempt to give as simple a picture as possible. Even so, this is your fair warning that this is going to be a very long post, and I will be generalizing or simplifying a lot of really complex concepts for the sake of providing a clearer, broader overview.

Also, please keep my disclaimer in mind. I am by no means an undisputed authority on this topic and in trying to distill a complex process down, there will likely be some details that you’ll want to consult an attorney and/or accountant about before diving into profit participation on your own deals.

For everyone else, I hope this overview helps to demystify this complicated concept a bit.


An individual who serves in more than one professional capacity is informally called a “hyphenate.” Some people, for example, are writer/directors, writer/producers, actor/producers, author/entrepreneurs, etc.

Let’s take a look at what it means to be a hyphenate, and the pros and cons of calling yourself one.

Title Pages

Title pages are important. They’re a reader’s first impression of your script and, as such, are the first indication of whether you’re a professional or amateur. Since there are a lot of opinions on this topic, let’s talk a little about what’s necessary and what’s not.