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Films, plays, and documentaries

For screenwriters, playwrights,
documentary filmmakers, critics, fans

   Links, in alphabetical order
Best movies (and tv) lists
Books on screenwriting, playwriting, radio and video production, and documentary-making
Entertainment and industry news
The fight between Hollywood’s writers and agents
Film and screenwriting blogs
Film festivals
Formatting resources, including software for screenplays
How to write a treatment
Instant streaming options, compared (Amazon Plus, Netflix, Hulu, BritBox, Acorn, etc.)
Interviews about film, drama, documentaries, and television
Life story rights: 'Based on a true story'
Movie mistakes, plot holes
Movie reviews and film criticism, sites and databases (and some TV)
Organizations for screenwriters, playwrights, documentary filmmakers, and critics
Paris Review interviews about the art of screenwriting
Paris Review interviews about theater and musical comedy
Screenwriting competitions
Script libraries
Selling your work to Hollywood
Story structure, films
Television, cable, and Hollywood's changing business models (e.g., ads vs. product placement)
Television (for cable and TV fans, critics and students)
Useful links, miscellaneous (some gems here!)
Where to watch documentaries, movies, and TV online, free
Workshops, fellowships, and other learning venues
Fair use, copyright, social media, and multimedia

Addictive and wonderful TV and cable shows
 'Based on a true story' Fictionalizing true stories and people
Do you own the 'life rights' to your own story?

Selling your work to Hollywood
The fight between Hollywood’s writers and agents
Life story rights: 'Based on a true story'
Story structure, films
Screenwriting competitions
How to write a treatment
Formatting resources, including software for screenplays
Workshops and other learning venues
Film festivals
Where to watch documentaries, movies, and TV online, free
Television (for cable and TV fans, critics and students)
Television, cable, and Hollywood's changing business models (e.g., ads vs. product placement)
Instant streaming options, compared
(Amazon Plus, Netflix, Hulu, BritBox, Acorn, etc.)
Interviews about film, drama, documentaries, and television
Paris Review interviews about theater and musical comedy
Paris Review interviews about the art of screenwriting
Organizations for screenwriters, playwrights, documentary filmmakers, and critics
Script libraries
Movie reviews and film criticism, sites and databases (and some TV)
Best movies (and tv) lists
Movie mistakes, plot holes
Entertainment and industry news
Film and screenwriting blogs
Books on screenwriting, playwriting, radio and video production, and documentary-making
Useful links, miscellaneous (some gems here!)
Fair use, copyright, social media, and multimedia

Addictive and wonderful TV and cable shows
'Based on a true story' Fictionalizing true stories and people
Do you own the 'life rights' to your own story?

Selling your work to Hollywood

And adapting books to the screen


 Plus: Understand how an option works


See also, below The current fight between Hollywood’s writers and agents

How to Pitch Like a Hollywood Pro (Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-17-22) An excerpt from their book Pitch Like Hollywood: What You Can Learn from the High-Stakes Film Industry They show you how to up your game substantially--no matter what business you're in--by incorporating elements of a classic Hollywood pitch: driving emotion, piquing curiosity, and ultimately winning over decision makers with powerful persuasion and performance. They take you on an insider's tour of the process. Meanwhile, more invaluable advice below:
J.P. Smith (author/screenwriter) posted on an Authors Guild discussion about agents and screenplays (quoted here with permission): "As noted, it is exceedingly difficult to sign on with a screenwriting agent. A manager, however, is a different story, and it's always best to start there. Managers can't actually negotiate a deal, but they can advise on your work, and the best ones know the market, have deep connections to production companies and studios, and will try hard to earn their 10%. I've had a few different managers (my last one left the business, so currently I rely on my entertainment attorney who can, in fact, negotiate deals), and my work has always been well-represented (though I'm primarily a novelist). Once you're with a manager you'll sign a retainer with an attorney, and your team is complete. With success you'll add that agent, and you're on your way!" (reposted here by permission).
     Further collective advice from several members of the Authors Guild: No matter who publishes your book, when you are negotiating that book contract, hold on to your dramatic rights. Indeed, hold on to as many of the ancillary rights as you can, including audio rights (increasingly important these days--do not GIVE them away!).

       Learn how to turn your own book into a screenplay and peddle that.

       Hire a publicist who reps to Hollywood. They have a better chance of being heard than you and the million other authors trying to sell their books. (H/T Geri Spieler, whose book Taking Aim at the President has been optioned for a movie.)

      Hollywood and the L.A. film world are full of both sharks and hopefuls "who tend to exaggerate everything...talking about their last deal, present deal, next deal (you) and who they know (half of who counts)." If someone approaches you about working on a screenplay as a joint venture, find out everything you can about the person, verify what they've done and their supposed "connections." Be clear in writing that you are the initiator and who owns what, and have a fair termination date when the work and all rights return to you.
      Keep the number of lawyers negotiating a production deal down to two: your intellectual property lawyer and the production company's lawyer--you don't want a book publisher's lawyer also involved, because for one thing  they are probably not savvy about film and tv rights. As one writer explains, "The rights to prequels, sequels, remakes, live stage rights, graphic novel adaptations, etc., all have to be worked through ... along with reversion of rights, if someone exercises the option and never makes the movie." Have an experienced media attorney (seasoned in film adaptations) negotiate for those rights; there are agencies that handle only film and TV sales. (If you belong to the AG, get a name from someone on the AG discussion group. A media agent is unlikely to handle those rights if you don't already have a literary agent.)

     Should a screenwriter offer to adapt your book to the screen, check their credits to make sure they're a legitimate screenwriter (that their work has been produced). If a screenwriter has the money to option your rights, know that options run in 18-month increments and there should be money on the table before you sign anything (or renew the option). The late Murray Teigh Bloom made tens of thousands of dollars for his wonderfully titled nonfiction book The Trouble With Lawyers over the years, one option check at a time, and the movie never got made.

      Finally, On Ask a Book Editor, for novelists who wondered if they would also be asked to write the film script for their novel, Dinah Forbes observed: "It is rare for an author to be involved in any aspect of a movie or TV series based on their novel(s). If your hope is to have film or TV rights picked up, your task is to make your novel dramatic, emotionally engaging, visually interesting, and well characterized. Also bear in mind that a great many more novels are optioned for film and TV than are ever produced. If yours is optioned, you can laugh all the way to the bank. You've accomplished all you can."

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What Do Movie Makers Pay to Option a Book for Film Rights? (Beverly Boy) "So, what do movie makers pay to option a book for film rights? They will pay somewhere between $500 and $50,000 most of the time. And this is generally in accordance with what would be approximately 10% of the estimated purchase price for the final rights to the book. But the author has the right to ask for more and is never obligated to sell their book rights to a filmmaker."
Books to Film: The Option Versus The Shopping Agreement (Matt Knight on Jane Friedman's blog, 7-1-2020) If your goal is to see your book become a movie, it’s important to understand the rights you grant—and the money you earn—during initial development. The two agreements used in motion picture or TV deals are The Option and The Shopping Agreement (explained in this article). Most movies do not get made. The option gives you a little cash in hand.
Shopping Agreements: The Pros and Cons as Compared to Option Agreements (Alex Eckler, Entertainment Media Law Signal, 1-10-2020)
From Book to Screen: Current Trends in Adaptation (The Hot Sheet, 4-3-19) "The ravenous film market seeks books with big themes for adaptation—just don’t ask buyers to read your book.... One of the initial challenges for film and TV insiders is discovering stories that can sell and that are ripe for adaptation, without someone having to read hundreds or thousands of manuscripts....So what are buyers seeking? In a word, thrillers....For a book to be adaptable, it needs a couple key ingredients...a combination of eventfulnesssomething that can be photographed—and good character development." And more.
How the Publishing World Is Muscling In on Hollywood Deals: For Authors, “The Future Is Multihyphenate”(Seija Rankin, Hollywood Reporter, 5-25-22) Books and magazine articles have long provided the IP Hollywood depends on, but until recently, authors played little role in the process. Now, lit agencies and publishers are changing the rules and shortening the page-to-screen pipeline....Yet the magazine writer's place in such option deals remains murky, because staff and freelance contracts often give publishers first dibs to option the work in their pages on terms advantageous to the publication. The next step? Getting magazine writers the same kind of autonomy book agents have carved out for novelists and nonfiction authors."

     The Hot Sheet sums up: "Authors are playing a more meaningful role in page-to-screen adaptations. Devoted literary fan bases seek authenticity in the film or TV version."
From Book to Screen – How Dramatic Rights Are Sold (Matt Knight, Sidebar Saturdays, 1-20-18) Once over lightly vocabulary lesson for beginners. Options (term, price, dramatic rights optioned, termination and reversion), Purchase agreement (price, net profits vs. gross profits options), Creative control, Agents.

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Hollywood: The Oral History ed. Jeanine Basinger and Sam Wasson. "A gold mine of production details, backroom deals, and inside gossip." “Surely the most comprehensive portrait of America’s dream factory ever committed to paper.”~ The Guardian

What Hollywood’s Ultimate Oral History Reveals (Adam Gopnik, New Yorker, 12-5-22) For all the clouds of publicity, the dream machine is actually a craft business. Have we asked too much of it? Billed as “the only comprehensive first-hand history of Hollywood,” Basinger and Wasson’s book is firsthand history in its Sunday best, with all the witnesses speaking formally to a public eager to have the shiniest face put on things...it is not nearly as enlivened by tales of sexual and professional jealousy as one suspects a comprehensively accurate history of Hollywood would have to be. Most stories here are positive, most people decorous, most collaborations happy. Nonetheless, it is, as people used to say before books were turned on rather than picked up, a hard book to put down."
Hollywood Loves Books And authors are cashing in big-time. (Kate Dwyer, Marie Claire,11-12-21) There's more opportunity than ever for authors who wish to adapt their work for film or television.The streaming industry is hungry for intellectual property to adapt.

****• Hollywood vs. The Author ed. by Stephen Jay Schwartz, fascinating reading ("inside Hollywood") with 19 authors writing about the joys and woes, angst and regret and humor of selling your book to Hollywood. Contributors include Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, T. Jefferson Parker, Tess Gerritsen, Jonathan Kellerman, Naomi Hirahara, and Alexandra Sokoloff. A 'must read' if you fantasize selling your book to Hollywood, but interesting also for film buffs and people curious about dealmaking, especially Hollywood style (not for the optimistic or faint-hearted).
How Are Books Adapted for the Screen? Two Agents Demystify the Process (Sangeeta Mehta on Jane Friedman's blog, 8-10-22) Agents Allison Hunter and Jennifer Weltz on the importance of retaining film rights, option types, author involvement in adaptations, and more. In this streaming era there are "many more buyers than there used to be. Authors have more choices and can thus make better deals."
How a Book Becomes a Movie (Jane Friedman, 7-27-15) Unlike book publishing—which is a fairly predictable process from contract to release date—the movie-making process is filled with U-turns, dead-ends, and uncertainty (with several examples). What authors need to know about the process of getting to the big screen, explained in four parts: The Pitch (which almost always requires an existing “in” or connection. ), The Option (few result in movies, meaning the option payment is rather like free money), Development Hell (writing the script), and Production.
How to Sell Your Screenplay (for Absolute Beginners) (Jane Friedman, 6-16-15)
Writers Guild of America Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement

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Must-Watch, Must-Read series Book Net Canada's (@BookNet_Canada) blog series on book-to-screen adaptations and how they have impacted book sales and library circulation in Canada. When a book is adapted into a film or television series, the book sells.
---The Maid effect (Aline Zara, Must-watch, must-read, 6-1-22)A series of research and analysis --in this case, insights into how the adaptation of Maid has impacted sales and library circulation. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land
---The Dune effect (6-9-22) The Dune series by Frank Herbert includes six books published between 1965 and 1983. Library holds, rather than library loans, can show a clearer picture of library book borrowers' interest in a particular title.
---The Bridgerton effect (5-25-22)The Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn includes eight books published between 2000 and 2006.
---The Handmaid's Tale and the Emmys (10-25-17)
---The Queen's Gambit
---Book adaptations on the big screen 5-3-22) What difference do feature films make for their books source material? A long list of books and movie or TV adaptations. The power of a page turner.
---Television adaptations (8-29-17) Data on several book-to-TV series.
They Made a Movie Out of It (James Pogue, The Baffler No. 49, Jan 2020 --long, but interesting). America’s higher echelon of long-form journalists can now expect to make more money from Hollywood than they do from the publications that print their stories....We are now in the mature stage of a book-to-film boom that is quietly transforming how Americans read and tell stories, and not for the better.

     "Hollywood and big tech have not yet entirely merged, and there are interesting and original producers, screenwriters, and directors who do good work in the film system. But it’s true that in the last ten years, Hollywood has begun to morph into a business designed to develop content that fits easily into delivery systems designed by Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and Google, and that it was their entry into the market for IP that kicked off the book-to-film buying frenzy. They run the market, and from my desk, it looks like it is the same people who wrecked American writing—by colonizing the ad dollars, by seizing control of how books get delivered, by deliberately designing highly addictive devices and streaming services that pulled our attention away from writing and toward phones and forgettable, mass-produced Netflix shows—whose tastes and desire for palatable content I now get told my writing ought to be serving."

     See also Not a Movie to His Name, But That's Hollywood (Mark Landler, NY Times, 10-6-96) Just as an engineer at Chrysler might spend his career developing a product that never makes it into a LeBaron, Mr. Pogue could have a profitable career in Hollywood without ever having a film made....'Mr. Pogue's ''quote,'' the going rate for one of his screenplays, is $500,000, plus $400,000 more if it gets made. He charges $100,000 a week for rewriting assignments, which often necessitate parachuting onto a set and retooling the script while filming is under way....Mr. Pogue's earnings put him in the upper ranks of the 2,000 or so people who make their living writing for the movies, according to the Writers Guild of America, West. But Mr. Pogue is not yet a marquee name like Joe Eszterhas or William Goldman, who can earn $1 million to $3 million per screenplay and $250,000 for a week of rewriting.

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What to Know About the Fight Between Hollywood’s Writers and Agents (John Koblin, NY Times, 4-14-19) "The unions representing television and film writers have taken on the talent agencies, rather than the studios that employ them," in a major dispute over what the Writers Guild of America considers a conflict of interest: agents are supposed to represent their clients the writers, not the studios' interests, as they do with packaging deals. Koblin outlines who is fighting whom and how the writers are caught in the middle. (See more about this fight in the next section.)
What You Need to Know About Agents, Managers, and Lawyers in the Film Industry (Lights Film School) Learn about the connectors between the creative and business sides of your career.
"But I’m not a lawyer. I’m an agent.” (David Simon, The Audacity of Despair, 3-18-19) The writer David Simon (The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street) shares his experience with the movie- and television-industry practice of agencies packaging movies and television deals--forgoing their commission from their client (David Simon, in this case) as they assemble teams of talent a studio might need for a show (in this case for his book: Homicide: Life on the Street) and being paid directly by the studio. David Simon suggested Barry Levinson to produce the show, and he wrote the book, but the agency, whose fiduciary duty should be to their client Simon, instead got paid a lot of money from the studio for getting the deal for the studio--got paid a lot more than Simon did. And wanted to do the same thing for Simon's other writing product: The Wire. Read Simon's piece to get the full story and be warned: Packaging does NOT favor the author. Studios are paying the agents for bringing together the talent in a package, but the practice is systematically depressing the writers' income and enriching the agents. And agents and agencies who represent writers have a fiduciary duty NOT to increase their profits at the expense of the authors they represent.
Screenwriters' Guide to Navigating theWorld of Agents and Managers (download free from ScriptMag.com, a PDF full of advice on (and stories about) getting and working with screenwriting agents and managers)
DIY Marketing for Screenwriters: Three Screenwriting Websites That Appeal to Writers at Every Level (John Weidner, MovieMaker, 5-7-15) "Last year, with a healthy dose of skepticism, I set out to learn how screenwriting websites like InkTip, Virtual Pitch Fest, and The Black List have leveled the playing field by offering writers greater access to the inner sanctum of Hollywood success....After months of sending my scripts out and getting lots of rejections and lots of reads, I finally managed to option two screenplays. Yep, these sites work. And I’m living proof of it."

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Inktip vs. The Black List – Should I use one, both, or neither? (B O'Malley, ScreenplayReaders, 8-5-15)

Taleflick (a searchable library of published books, short stories and other written works that are available as adaptable materials for film, TV and other media). See 'Marjorie Prime' Producer, Former Netflix Exec Launch Book Database TaleFlick . 'There is a $88 fee to submit materials to TaleFlick. The content is available for one year on the website, with authors retaining all rights to their books but giving TaleFlick the chance to bid on their dramatic rights and present the stories to studios and production companies. TaleFlick was started as a response to the industry's demands for original intellectual property...“By applying the right balance of technology and human experience, TaleFlick can find those stories that are the ‘needles in the haystack,' both efficiently and at scale.”'
What accounting lesson Winston Groom learned from the movie Forrest Gump? (Konvexity, 1-12-13) Be aware of Hollywood accounting practices -- which Steven Spielberg clearly was in basing his percentage share on movie tickets sold. Groom learned from his experience: Paramount Finds Author of 'Gump' Is No Bonehead (Deseret News, 6-16-15) 'The author of the book "Forrest Gump" has settled his lawsuit threat over profits from the movie starring Tom Hanks and cut a seven-figure deal for his newly completed sequel, "Gump & Co.," updating Forrest's life from 1980 to the present.This time, Groom gets a share of the film's profits before expenses. For the first movie, Groom got $350,000 for the rights to his novel plus 3 percent of the net profit of the movie. Groom threatened to sue after Paramount said that the fourth-highest grossing film in history, with worldwide ticket sales of $661 million, was $62 million in the red as of Dec. 31.'
The Sex Scene Is Dead. Long Live the Sex Scene (The New Yorker Interview, 2-15-22)

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Turn your book into a movie: 16 treatment tips (Kenneth Atchity, on BuildBookBuzz, 5-10-17) Atchity is author of the book Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer's Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business
Done Deal Professional (about the business and craft of screenwriting -- e.g., tracks film and television script sales & deals made in Hollywood each day)
Is Your Novel a Screenplay? (sign up for Final Draft's free newsletter and get a copy of this ebook).
7 secrets to selling your TV show and movie ideas to Hollywood, according to a successful producer (Jethro Nededog, Business Insider, 8-11-17) Advice from Jaime Primak Sullivan, the star of the Bravo reality series "Jersey Belle," who transitioned from a career in publicity to producing content. "To anybody who is looking at content creation as a business model, I'd want to let them know it is a seller's market," she told Business Insider. "Everybody is buying. You just have to sell them what they're looking for."
Writers on the Verge: Your Screenwriting Agent or Manager is NOT Your Friend (Lee Jessup, Script, 12-17-14)
The A, B, Cs of TV Writing: How to Write a TV Pilot (Script download).
‘The Lost Supreme’ and a Classic Hollywood Con (Peter Benjaminson, Rolling Stone). Peter's book The Lost Supreme: The Life of Dreamgirl Florence Ballard was optioned for the movies. Contracts were signed, scripts written and rewritten, shooting schedules produced, actors hired. But it as all a scam.
Selling Your Book’s Movie and TV Rights – What You Need to Know (Fred Rosen, Writer's Digest, 9-25-12)

"Storytellers have been getting us through the night for centuries. Hollywood is the current campfire."~Gloria Steinem, quoted by William Goldman, in "Screenwriting Seminar," a long wonderful dialogue between John Cleese and Bill Goldman in Professor at Large: The Cornell Years by John Cleese

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The current fight between Hollywood’s writers and agents

Writers allege that a standard entertainment-industry practice harms their earnings

Writers and Agents Confront the New Normal: "Hypocrisy All Over the Place" (Bryn Elise Sandberg, Hollywood Reporter, 9-19-19) Clandestine calls, secret rehires, "psychological warfare," hidden money and lots of hurt feelings. Six months into their historic standoff, both talent and reps are testing the rules of engagement.

****• Hollywood vs. The Author ed. by Stephen Jay Schwartz, fascinating reading ("inside Hollywood") with 19 authors writing about the joys and woes, angst and regret and humor of selling your book to Hollywood. Contributors include Michael Connelly, Lawrence Block, T. Jefferson Parker, Tess Gerritsen, Jonathan Kellerman, Naomi Hirahara, and Alexandra Sokoloff. A 'must read' if you fantasize selling your book to Hollywood, but interesting also for film buffs and people curious about dealmaking, especially Hollywood style (not for the optimistic or faint-hearted).
• The Hot Sheet had a great roundup (4-17-19): Writers and Agents Face Off in a Bitter Hollywood Dispute. Writers allege that a standard entertainment-industry practice harms their earnings. "In packaging, agencies bring writers together with other clients they represent, assembling teams of talent a studio might need for a show. The agents forgo their commission from their clients in these cases and are paid directly by the studios....
      "As David Simon notes, agents who engage in packaging may have a conflict of interest that works against writers while enriching the agents. Packaging, argues Simon, systemically depresses writers’ earnings. Agents counter that packaging makes them work all the harder for good gigs for their clients because they make money when the studios make hits, a win-win-win. So far, the agencies have offered to share 1 percent of their packaging fees with the writers, but they appear unwilling to give up packaging altogether....
     "As writers see it, agencies in affiliate arrangements of this kind are basically now in the production side of the business, unable to fairly represent writers and other artists. The agents say these affiliations create more jobs for their writer clients." Thanks to The Hot Sheet for the following links:
•  “But I’m not a lawyer. I’m an agent.” (David Simon, The Audacity of Despair, 3-18-19) The fight about packaging: At its core, the argument over packaging between film and television writers and their agents is effectively an argument over an embarrassment of riches. "Packaging is a racket. It’s corrupt. It is without any basis in either integrity or honor." David Simon wrote the book “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” about the year he spent writing about homicide detectives in Baltimore. From there, his work went on to become Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, The Wire, and more recently, The Deuce. And he got screwed.
Writer Jon Robin Baitz Breaks Ranks, Explains Why He Won't Fire His Agents (Jonathan Handel, Hollywood Reporter, 4-15-19) Baitz comes to the defense of his agents at CAA, saying that the WGA has “betrayed the interests of the membership” in pushing things to such a dramatic point."
Television Packaging Deals: All the Confusing Questions Answered (Jonathan Handel, Hollywood Reporter, 4-3-19) From a three-part payment structure to Modified Adjusted Gross Receipts, it's complicated, so The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the Writers Guild's most contentious issue. "What are package fees? Agencies are paid three-part fees (called "3/3/10") by the studio instead of commissioning their clients. The package fee model dates back more than 50 years, although the percentages have changed.... Why do the Writers Guild and many writers object to package fees? If agents aren't commissioned, the WGA says they have no incentive to negotiate for higher writer salaries. The guild also argues that agents being paid by their clients' employers is a conflict of interest — and that agents sometimes make more than their clients."
What to Know About the Fight Between Hollywood’s Writers and Agents (John Koblin, NY Times, 4-14-19) "An unusual labor fight is shaking up Hollywood. The unions representing television and film writers have taken on the talent agencies, rather than the studios that employ them, as they did in previous disputes. Before the two sides can make peace, the entertainment industry may have to undergo structural changes....The Writers Guild of America believes that talent agents are putting their own interests ahead of those of their clients. In the writers’ view, the agents are not fulfilling their legally bound fiduciary duties."
ICM Partners Signs Deal With WGA (Joe Otterson, Variety, 5-5-2020) Variety has several stories about deals done during the coronavirus pandemic. See also Studios Wrestle With Dual Guild Talks and Plans for Reopening Hollywood (Dave McNary, Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 4-29-2020) SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America are simultaneously launching into master TV and film contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. "The WGA is seen as a volatile player this time around in part because so many of its members have already been mobilized in the guild’s separate battle over packaging fees with the town’s largest talent agencies, WME, CAA and UTA. (In a setback to the guild, on April 27 a federal judge dismissed most of the WGA’s lawsuit against the agencies, including claims that packaging fees amount to illegal kickbacks and are a form of racketeering.)"..."The conventional wisdom emerging in the creative community is that with more than 26 million Americans out of work, the threat of a strike, while already slim for SAG-AFTRA, is effectively disabled for the WGA as well. “There is no way” the WGA would generate broad-based support for a work stoppage in this moment, says a veteran showrunner and active guild member."

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Life story rights ('Based on a true story')

The five scariest words in cinema: “Based on a true story.” (Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 12-28-07) What are the ethics of portraying actual lives and historical events on screen? "Accuracy is the great bugaboo of biopics and historical dramas, whose standards of success lie in how well they tell a story, not how closely they adhere to the facts.
Do you own the rights to your life story? (George Thomas Jr., Avvo Stories, 11-21-16) Famous or not, exactly how much of your life story is within your control? You may think you solely control the right to publicity to your own life—the right to control and profit from your name, likeness, image or persona—but it’s not quite that simple. Barring libel or invasion of privacy, you have no recourse if you disagree with how you are depicted on screen or in a book. How do you think the phrase “unauthorized biography” originated? Public officials and public figures have the fewest privacy rights. Living private citizens have the greatest privacy rights.
Life story rights: What’s possible and what’s not (Stephen Rodner, AP, Hollywood Reporter, 1-24-08) While permissions from subjects can go a long way in clearing the way for life story rights, they don't cover representations of other persons or stop rival productions.
Whose Story Is It, Anyway? Obtaining a Subject's Life-Story Rights (Tom Isler, Documentary Magazine, 3-24-08) More and more, documentary filmmakers are obtaining life-story rights from their subjects so that they will hold all of the cards when producers come calling. "In typical life-story rights agreements, subjects grant producers permission to fictionalize certain elements of their stories. They also agree to consult with producers, furnish them with materials that could be helpful in the writing process, and help promote the film. In return, subjects receive a payment when the deal is signed-anywhere from $1 to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the situation--with more promised if the project goes into production, typically a percentage point or two of the film's total budget."
How true-life films like “Spotlight” avoid legal trouble
Purchasing Life Story Rights (Mark Litwak, Entertainment Law) If the subject of the life story is deceased, much of the rationale for buying these rights disappears, since defamation and invasion of privacy actions protect personal rights that do not descend to the estate. Public officials and figures have opened more of their lives to public scrutiny, and consequently more of their lives can be portrayed without invading their privacy. Moreover, public officials and figures must meet a much higher burden of proof in order to establish defamation or invasion of privacy. They must prove that a defamer intentionally spread a falsehood or acted with reckless disregard of the truth.
‘Hustlers’: When Does a Film Based on True Events Need Its Subject’s Life Rights? (Chris O'Falt, IndieWire, 9-25-19) The main issue here is the concept of “life rights,” which Hollywood studios commonly acquire prior to making any form of biopic. “The general rule, nationwide, is that the first amendment is going to control for narrative fiction,” said attorney John L. Geiger, who has written countless life Rights agreements for his film and TV clients. “The concept of life rights is really something of a misnomer, because no one owns the facts that make up the narrative of their life.” A writer is free to use any publicly known facts about an event or person.
Life story rights: What’s possible and what’s not (Stephen Rodner, AP, Hollywood Reporter, 1-24-08) While permissions from subjects can go a long way in clearing the way for life story rights, they don't cover representations of other persons or stop rival productions. The law is clear, and has been for many years, that non-commercial speech, (and a biographical film constitutes non-commercial speech) has First Amendment protection and that releases are not necessary to depict public figures. The only causes of action a celebrity or public figure has against the use of his/her name, likeness or life story in non-commercial speech is for false light or libel.

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Instant streaming options

Comparisons and reviews of, and stories about
(Amazon Plus, Netflix, Hulu Plus, BritBox, Acorn, etc.)

As cable bills escalate (think "price-gouging"), services that provide alternatives are increasingly tempting. These articles may help you plan your escape.
How Netflix Is Changing the TV Industry (Investopedia, 11-3-15) "Netflix is currently the dominant company in the relatively young and hugely expensive on-demand media industry. By providing on-demand content, creating compelling original shows, using user data to better serve customers and letting customers consume content in the way that they prefer, Netflix is forcing cable companies to change the way they do business. In the long-run, Netflix's success may be viewed as the first step in the unbundling of cable."
Kanopy. With this free streaming service, says Pam Pacelli, "You have access to 5 videos per month and the collection is superb--everything from " Moonlight" to Nosferatu. All you need to sign up is a library card (not available at all libraries)." Says Kanopy: "Watch over 30,000 documentaries, classic and indie films. On desktop, mobile, and Roku, for students, professors, and library patrons." Libraries pay for this service and usage is particularly heavy over holidays, so when a library meets its "cap" the service may shut down.

(Pat: Through our library subscription, we get 11 movies a month.)
Guide to Streaming Video Services (Consumer Reports)
Guide to Free Streaming Video Services (Consumer Reports) Hundreds of TV shows and films, free, but you'll probably have to watch commercials. Like Netflix and Hulu, these free services are available on most streaming devices, making it easy to watch on your smart TV, streaming media player, laptop, or tablet. See descriptions for
---Haystack TV
---Kanopy (requires a library card for a participating library).
---Watch TV Shows Online (TV-Movie) Links to online venues.

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Amazon’s Streaming Service, David Pogue's comparison of Netflix Streaming and Amazon Streaming ("Potluck for the Eyeballs: Amazon's Streaming Service," NY Times, 8-29-12). A very helpful comparison of features, costs, and variety and extent of selections. ("[F]or both services, for years to come, it will be safer to say 'I’m sure I can find something I like' than 'I’m sure I can find that one movie.'”
Is Netflix quietly removing content and changing its model? (Simon Vella, Pulse, LinkedIn, 3-31-16) Netflix now has 2,571 fewer titles; that is a 33% drop in the number of movies and 25% fall in TV shows. ...It does feel that consumers are being herded into an existence of binge style viewing, where they sign in and out of subscriptions based on the latest release of hit content."
Can Netflix survive in the new world it created? (Joe Nocera, NY Times Magazine, 6-15-16) What started as a DVD-mailing service has changed the way we watch TV. Now Netflix has to do it again. (And again. And again.) "One of the most prominent Netflix skeptics is Michael Pachter, a research analyst at Wedbush Securities, a Los Angeles-based investment bank. In his view, Netflix’s true advantage in the beginning was that it had the entire game to itself, and the networks, not realizing how valuable streaming rights would be, practically gave them away. He had a 'buy' on the stock from 2007 to 2010, he told me. But, he added, referring to those years when Netflix had streaming all to itself, 'If it’s too good to be true, then it will attract competition.'...'Netflix,' Pachter concluded, 'is caught in an arms race they invented.'”
How are HBO, Amazon and Google working to overtake Netflix? (Investopedia)
Netflix Instant vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Instant Video (Mike Flacy, Digital Trends review, 3-9-13) Hulu Plus may be best bet for catching recent TV shows.
BritBox vs. Acorn TV: Which Is Better for British TV? (Dan Price, MakeUseOf, or MUO, 6-6-17) BritBox is a joint venture between BBC and ITV, the two largest UK networks (which carry the highest quality content). It went live in U.S. in March 2017. "It offers a single point of access to an extensive collection of outstanding British programs. Acorn TV went live in 2013; it also carries programming from Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (broadly categorized as mysteries, dramas, comedies, documentaries, feature films, and foreign language shows). Acorn costs slightly less a month; BritBox, which Dan Price likes better, has an easier interface (is easier to navigate). Read article for names of series carried.
Virtual private networks (VPNs). Articles and reviews about VPNs. A virtual private network is the best way to stay anonymous online.
Netflix vs. Amazon Instant Video: Who streams supreme? (Russell Holly, Geek.com, 12-13-12) Netflix best for kid-friendly fare.
Netflix vs. Hulu Plus: Who best fits your video streaming needs? (Russell Holly, Geek.com, 5-31-13) Includes information on which devices you need to "get" streaming.
Netflix Instant vs. Amazon Prime(Jill Duffy, PC Magazine, 9-26-12) Includes comments on their recommendations and interface. selections, parental controls.
Netflix vs. Hulu Plus vs. Amazon Prime: Which streaming service is best (uploaded by GoBankingRates.com YouTube review, 6-21-12). Netflix best for quality movies; Hulu Plus best for current TV (but there are ads); Amazon Prime good if you also order books and other goods from Amazon--you get free shipping).
3 Ways for Movie Buffs to Snag Free Tickets to Advance Movie Screenings (Althea Clarke, Penny Hoarder,2-27-20)
GoFoBo Movie studios and public relations firms offer advance movie screening passes directly to members of the general public.
Amazon-hosted customer discussion forum on Amazon streaming vs Netflix (plus Hulu, Roku, and various practical considerations)
Amazon Prime Streaming vs Netflix (comparison) (Kristie Bertucci, Gadget Review, 11-9-11). Dated, but an interesting series of comparisons.
What's the Deal with Acorn TV? (Meghan O'Keefe, Decider, 3-27-15) A "a paid streaming subscription service that touts itself as an Anglophile’s dream...offering British television nerds

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Why Acorn TV is worth your hard-earned cash >
(David Wharton, The Daily Dot, 7-3-16) A subscription service specializing in TV programming from the United Kingdom, as well as Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. $4.99 a month.
Network Effects Are Overrated (Jonathan A. Knee, Dealbook, NY Times, 9-4-21) Netflix provides a stark example of the tendency to exaggerate the role of network effects and AI. 'Sometimes also referred to as the “flywheel effect,” network effects occur when every new user increases the value of the network to existing users. In a digital environment, it is argued, not only do new users attract still more new users ad infinitum, but the continuous improvements facilitated by A.I. make the prospect of successful competitive attack ever more remote, leading inexorably to a world dominated by impregnable winner-take-all markets. The problem with this narrative is that it ignores the numerous ways in which the new digital platforms actually make businesses more vulnerable to competitive attack compared with the analog models that they have disrupted."

    Or as Simon Owens puts it, more clearly: "Tech pundits have long overestimated the extent to which user data can guide Netflix's creative decisions. It's just as capable of producing flops as any traditional TV network."

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Workshops, fellowships, and other learning venues

Robert McKee's Story Seminar Resources (outstanding page of links to resources, from the best-known trainer in screenwriting)
Fellowship Programs for Screenwriters (Writers Guild Foundation). Details about the Academy Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Film Festival Screenplay and Teleplay Competition, Black List / Women in Film Episodic Lab, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment New Writers Fellowship, Disney/ABC Writing Program, Film Independent Screenwriting or Episodic Lab, Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest, 1497 Features Lab (for writers of Asian descent), Fox Entertainment Writers Incubator, Fox Entertainment Writers Incubator, Inevitable Foundation Screenwriting Fellowship (for disabled screenwriters), National Hispanic Media Coalition Series Scriptwriters Program, NBC Late Night Writers Workshop, NBCUniversal Launch TV Writers Program, Nickelodeon Writing Program, The Ojalá Ignition Lab (empowering Latine creators), Paramount Writers Mentoring Program, ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship, Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room, Sundance Episodic Storytelling Lab, Tribeca All Access, Universal Writers Lab, Warner Bros. Discovery Access Comedic Voices Program, Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop, WarnerMedia Access Writing Fellowship (formerly HBO Access), The Writers Lab NYC.
How Star Wars was saved in the edit (YouTube, Rocket Jump Film School, 18 minutes and worth the watch). A video essay exploring how Star Wars' editors recut and rearranged 'Star Wars: A New Hope' to create the cinematic classic it became. Produced by the Rocket Jump Film School (free online film education -- tutorials, podcasts, interviews, commentary, live streams behind the scenes). To get subtitles, hover over bottom right and click on 4th gizmo from the left. To get full screen, click on gizmo on far right.
Writers Boot Camp Fellowship (intense work on screenwriting for Hollywood and television, in NY and LA). See A Review by Franco Barbeite et al. and outline of Basic Training course. Requires 10 hours of writing a week. Read 12 Commonly Held Fallacies about Writing for Film and Television by Jeffrey Gordon, founder of Writers Boot Camp. For the Professional Membership Program, "Though your commitment does not require quitting your day job or investing in school full-time, you need ten hours for writing outside of class, and we recommend that for at least 40 weeks out of the 52-week calendar year to scale the true learning curve and sustain a professional pace. " According to messages on the NYC Screenwriters Collective meetup message board, in the 22 month program participants produce "2-3 screenplays or 4-5 TV Spec scripts at a PROFESSIONAL level (i.e. done and ready for sale, not first drafts) by the end of the program." The fee for the 22-month program is $6900.
Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting (competitive, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
Nickelodeon Writing Program (competitive)
Atlanta Film Festival worksbops
Film Education (helpful articles on Film Independent). See also Short Fix, Independent POV , and Screen Shot.
How to Write a Screenplay ScreenwritingInfo.com, screenwriting for dummies -- a step-by-step guide from the mechanics of writing to style-- a good resource for an overview and explanations of terms, etc. -- I can't figure out whose website this is!)
American Widescreen Museum ( cyber museum of motion picture history, especially widescreen processes, early color cinematography, and the technical development of sound film)
The Basics of Video Editing: The Complete Guide (Adam Dachis, Lifehacker Night School). "Last week we learned the basics of video editing, covering everything from the general workflow to special effects and color correction to a primer on encoding and delivery. Here's the complete guide with all the videos and notes in one convenient location."
ScriptNotes (Screenwriters John August and Craig Mazin discuss screenwriting and related topics in the film and television industry, everything from getting stuff written to the vagaries of copyright and work-for-hire law--with podcasts and notes)
Craig Mazin Talks Shop at WGAW Screenwriters Workshop (Writers Guild of America, West)
Cinema history (Robert E. Yahnke's links, a personal history of cinema through the decades)
Writing for Episodic TV (download free handbook, Writers Guild of America)
ScreenCraft’s screenwriting competitions, fellowship and film fund. Several writers have mentioned entering short stories into ScreenCraft competitions (check them out--there are many of them), getting excellent feedback, revising their story, and coming out with a better story. You can pay to work more with ScreenCraft experts. After paying the $39 entry fee, one writer then paid a $60 fee for feedback, which was detailed and helpful, so he revised the story and made it to the finals. He didn't win but got a better story, so he felt it was worth it. See also the ScreenCraft blog.

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Film festivals
Screenwriting competitions
Film and TV awards


15 Best Film Festivals (Film Lifestyle) A paragraph or more about the main film festivals.
50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee (MovieMaker, 4-6-16)
Festivals & Awards (RogerEbert.com)
FilmFestivals.com (4,000 film festivals)
First Amendment film festival (American Library Association) Organize a First Amendment Film Festival or simply share the link to this ALA page on film and video productions that vividly depict the impact of censorship on individuals and society.
Film Festival (Wikipedia list of international festivals)
Documentary Film Festivals POV's excellent links to documentary film festivals, domestic and international, places to screen your documentary. "We've compiled a list of domestic and international film festivals that feature documentaries in their lineup, and highlighted the ones with the most clout."
Documentary film festivals (Wikipedia's list and links)

Major film festivals
Berlin Film Festival (The Berlinale)
BFI London Film Festival (British Film Festival) 
Cannes Film Festival (Wikipedia entry)
Dubai Film Festival (Facebook page) A platform for Arab filmmakers and talent.
Edinburgh International Film Festival (Scotland)
Hong Kong International Film Festival (Wikipedia entry)
Melbourne International Film Festival
Raindance Film Festival
Sundance Film Festival
SXSW Film Festival (March, Texas) See SXSW History Timeline
Telluride Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival (New York City, June)
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
Venice International Film Festival (La Biennale)

New and lesser-known film festivals:
Healthy Skepticism Film Festival (new) for a reconsideration of health care.


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Screenwriting competitions


Be sure when you enter that the competition does not retain rights to your work.
MovieBytes directory of screenwriting contests, which can be viewed through different filters. Particularly useful may be Most Significant Screenwriting Contests (user-ranked through MovieBytes "Report Card" system) Check out the Comments on each contest.
Choosing the Best Scriptwriting Contest for You (FilmScripting.Com)
International Screenwriters' Association (ISA) rolling list of competitions.

Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists established this international screenwriting competition to identify and encourage talented new screenwriters. Up to five $35,000 fellowships (plus meetings with studios, producers, ad agents) are awarded annually, to screenwriters who have not earned more than $5,000 writing fictional work for film or television.
Austin Film Festival Competitions
Big Break Screenwriting Contest (Final Draft). More info here.
Blue Cat Screenwriting Competition and online screenwriting workshop and blog and articles.

Creative Screenwriting Screenplay Competition
Ojai Film Festival Screenwriting Competition
Page International Screenwriting Awards
Script Pipeline screenwriting contest See also Success Stories and Book Pipeline, which runs annual contests soliciting published and unpublished works for movie and TV adaptation.
Save the Cat: The Best Screenwriting Competitions
Which Screenplay Contests Should You Enter (Moviebytes.com)
Screenplay Contests (Careful, 72% of Them Are Scams. The Best 10 Are…) (Dov S-S Simens, WebFilmSchool.com, 3-10-16)


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Tips for Screenwriters: How to Write a Script in 6 Basic Steps (MasterClass, 9-28-22)
The Three-Act Structure in Screenwriting (Arc Studio, 3-9-22)
Screenwriting How-To Articles (Script Magazine)
Fiction Writing and Screenwriting: What’s the Difference? (Lauren Harkawik, Catapult, 8-23-21) For the fiction writer who is looking to dive into the deep end of writing their first film script, here are some things to keep in mind.
9 Best Screenwriting Software Tools to Use (AJ Detisch, Studio Binder) Evaluations of StudioBinder, Final Draft 10, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Celtx, WriterDuet, Highland, Fade In, Scrivener, and KIT Scenarist.
Notes from the Margins: Every Article on Screenwriting You Never Have to Read Again (Script Magazine) Danny Manus boils down every article on screenwriting that ever existed into one, no-nonsense post. Informative and beyond entertaining!
I write movies for Lifetime. I broke in when I was in my 30s by cold-emailing screenwriters — here's how, and the formula I use to sell scripts. ( PollyAnna Brown, Business Insider, 9-30-22) An as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Melissa Cassera, a 43-year-old independent screenwriter from Washington state, about how she creates Lifetime movie scripts. "I began pursuing screenwriting when I was 35 years old, after working as a publicity and content strategist for nine years. In the beginning, I bought a book called The Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra and wrote a script using that book. I contacted her after I had a first draft and asked if I could hire her for a consultation to tell me where I might improve." I worked with Alessandra for the next year or so on several sample scripts and took classes at a wonderful place called Script Anatomy in LA that employs working screenwriters as teachers. Christine Conradt had written many of my favorite Lifetime movies, so I looked her up online. I saw she was teaching a workshop at a writer's conference, and I signed up....We kept in touch over time and I hired her for some help with a spec I was writing called "Bad News"...There's a bit of a formula that needs to happen with any television movie..."
I wrote 'Hocus Pocus 2' without knowing whether Sarah Jessica Parker and the original cast would return. So I pitched the version I wanted to see and won them over. (Eboni Boykin-Patterson, Business Insider, 9-29-22) Jen D'Angelo is a self-proclaimed superfan of the original 'Hocus Pocus.'She says writing the sequel and being on set during filming was a dream come true. D'Angelo shares her career journey and the pressure she felt to write a sequel fans would love.
Done Deal Professional (about the business and craft of screenwriting -- e.g., tracks film and television script sales & deals made in Hollywood each day)
Is Your Novel a Screenplay? (sign up for Final Draft's free newsletter and get a copy of this ebook).
Screenwriters' Guide to Navigating theWorld of Agents and Managers (download free from ScriptMag.com, a PDF full of advice on (and stories about) getting and working with screenwriting agents and managers)
DIY Marketing for Screenwriters: Three Screenwriting Websites That Appeal to Writers at Every Level (John Weidner, MovieMaker, 5-7-15) "Last year, with a healthy dose of skepticism, I set out to learn how screenwriting websites like InkTip, Virtual Pitch Fest, and The Black List have leveled the playing field by offering writers greater access to the inner sanctum of Hollywood success....After months of sending my scripts out and getting lots of rejections and lots of reads, I finally managed to option two screenplays. Yep, these sites work. And I’m living proof of it."
Is Your Novel a Screenplay? (sign up for Final Draft's free newsletter and get a copy of this ebook).
Writers on the Verge: Your Screenwriting Agent or Manager is NOT Your Friend (Lee Jessup, Script, 12-17-14)
I Will Not Read Your F--king Script by Josh Olson, screenwriter for A History of Violence (Village Voice 9-9-09). And I quote: "...an ugly truth about many aspiring screenwriters: They think that screenwriting doesn't actually require the ability to write, just the ability to come up with a cool story that would make a cool movie. Screenwriting is widely regarded as the easiest way to break into the movie business, because it doesn't require any kind of training, skill or equipment. Everybody can write, right? And because they believe that, they don't regard working screenwriters with any kind of real respect. They will hand you a piece of inept writing without a second thought, because you do not have to be a writer to be a screenwriter."
"Storytellers have been getting us through the night for centuries. Hollywood is the current campfire."~Gloria Steinem, quoted by William Goldman, in "Screenwriting Seminar," a long wonderful dialogue between John Cleese and Bill Goldman in Professor at Large: The Cornell Years by John Cleese

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Hollyood: Film and TV Awards

The big annual awards programs in the entertainment industry


EGOT: Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys.
What's an EGOT? The most coveted achievement in Hollywood explained (Olivia Singh, Insider, 7-28-2020) Only a select few stars have reached EGOT status by earning one of all four of these: Emmys, Grammys, Oscars, and Tonys. Only 16 people are on the list of EGOT winners, including Whoopi Goldberg, Mel Brooks, Audrey Hepburn, John Legend, and Rita Moreno. Included: photos of all EGOT winners.
---Wikipedia list of EGOT winners
Awards Season Calendar – Dates For The Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, Guilds, Festivals & More (Tom Tapp, Erik Pedersen, Deadline)
British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards (Wikipedia) Awards of an independent trade association and charity that supports, develops, and promotes the arts of film, television and video games in the United Kingdom.
Critics' Choice Awards An awards show presented annually by the American-Canadian Critics' Choice Association to honor the finest in cinematic achievement.
The Emmys (Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, ) are awarded for achievements in particular sectors of the television industry. See Wikipedia entry.
The Golden Globe Awards (Hollywood Foreign Press Association, 105 voting members) recognize excellence in both American and international film and television. Awarded in January, they often seem to foreshadow how the Academy Awards will go.
The Gotham Awards (Film & Media Institute; formerly Independent Filmmaker Project, or IFP) American film awards, presented annually to the makers of independent films at a ceremony in New York City (voted on by juries of 34 collective writers, critics, and programmers).
The Grammys (originally called Gramophone Award). The Grammy Award, or just Grammy, is presented by the Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. See Wikipedia entry.
The Oscars (Academy Awards, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 9000 voting members) are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry.

Academy Awards (The Oscars) for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Actress (Wikipedia list)
---Actors with Academy Award Nominations (Wikipedia list)
---Movies, directors, and actors with most nominations and awards (Wikipedia list)
The Oscars always get it wrong. Here are the real best pictures of the past 47 years. (Dan Zak and Amy Argetsinger, Washington Post, 2-6-20, updated 3-9-23) With the perspective of time, we can now discern what movie was actually the best.
Why Do the Oscars Keep Falling for Racial Reconciliation Fantasies? (Wesley Morris, NY Times, 1-23-19) In many Oscar bait movies, interracial friendships come with a paycheck, and follow the white character’s journey to enlightenment.
The Best and Worst Moments of the 2022 Oscars (NY Times, 3-28-22) So a search and you'll find one of these for most years.

See Wikipedia entry.
Peabody Awards, or Peabodys honor the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media. Programs are recognized in seven categories: news, entertainment, documentaries, children's programming, education, interactive programming, and public service. See Wikipedia entry.
Tony Awards The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. See Wikipedia entry and FAQs about the Tonys.

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International list of movie awards (Wikipedia's excellent list and links)

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Festivals & Awards (RogerEbert.com)
Award Annals (ranks creative works honored by more than 180 book awards, film awards, and music awards). Here is information about the 69 award organizations represented on Award Annals.
Awards Calendar (Awards Watch)
AFI Awards (American Film Institute)
Film Awards (Wikipedia)

Cannes Film Festival Awards  Click on Archives for winners over time.

Golden Globe Awards (Hollywood Foreign Press Association) Known worldwide for its glittering awards ceremony held every January and its multi-million dollar donations to charity, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had humble origins that stemmed solely from a group of journalists' desire to efficiently and accurately cover all aspects of the world of entertainment. See its current winners and nominees and its awards database and click around the website for more.
The Writers Guild Awards (Adapted and Original Screenplay, Drama, Comedy and New TV Series, TV-Radio Writing Award Script, Paul Selvin Award, Documentary Screenplay Award, New Media Writing Awards, Videogame Writing Award)
Film award ceremonies and festivals (Internet Movie Database, IMDb).


Critics awards, United States

Austin Film Critics Association (AFCA)
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards
Critics Choice Awards, formerly the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), an association of television, radio and online critics. Awards for movies, television programs, and documentaries.
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards
Critics Choice Super Awards honoring the most popular, fan-obsessed genres across both television and movies, including Superhero, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Horror, Action and Animation.
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association (DFWDCA)
Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS) (Wikipedia entry, with winners over the years)
Florida Film Critics Circle (FFCC)
Georgia Film Critics Association (GAFCA)
Golden Raspberry Awards (also known as the Razzies and Razzie Awards), a parody award show honoring the worst of cinematic under-achievements. See winners over the years (Wikipedia)
Gotham Awards (The Gotham Film & Media Institute, aka The Gotham, formerly known as the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP). Awards for independent films.
Houston Film Critics Society Awards<
Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards (LAFCA) (IMDb)
Maverick Movie Awards ("We look for the Maverick in your films. The actor in the background. The moment of dedication a sole cameraman put into adjusting the light in a dark scene. A camera angle that’s unusual and part of a director’s vision.") Scroll down for Maverick alumni
National Society of Film Critics
National Board of Review (NBR) Supports film, domestic and foreign, as both art and entertainment.
New York Film Critics Circle Awards (NYFCC) honors excellence in U.S. and world cinema
Nollywood and African Film Critics Awards (NAFCA) (Wikipedia entry) rewards film practitioners in the African continent, with awards presented in U.S.
Online Film Critics Society recognizes the best films each year with awards in various categories. Awards listed on IMDb
San Diego Film Critics Society (SDFCS) (Wikipedia entry lists winners)
San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle (SFBAFCC) (Wikipedia entry lists winners)
Seattle Film Critics Society (SFCS) (Wikipedia entry lists winners)
St. Louis Film Critics Association (SLFCA) (Wikipedia entry lists winners)
SXSW Film Awards The SXSW Film & TV Festival Narrative Feature Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Design Awards, and Special Awards
Village Voice Film Poll Kaput in 2018 but winners listed on Wikipedia for the years before that.
The Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA)
X-Rated Critics Organization(XRCO Awards


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Story Structure

“The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost." ~ Arthur Miller

9 Ways To Write Strong Screenplay Hooks (Dan Hoffman, Creative Screenwriting, 8-20-18) The good screenplays "will grab your attention within the first 10 pages and won't let you go." How nine techniques commonly used are used in specific movies, as examples.
10 excellent storytelling tips for writers from How I Met Your Mother. (Katie Yee, LitHub, 9-17-21) Written for TV, but useful for novelists.1. Be really, really specific with dates and locations. (Know your timeline.)
What Journalists Need to Know About Writing Screenplays (Nieman Storyboard, from Nieman Reports, 2-28-18) Narrative writers on the similarities—and crucial differences—between journalism and screenwriting. Turning real-life events into screenplays requires an understanding of a simple truth: Film focuses on the “intimate world,’’ as opposed to the “public world’’ of journalism. Screenwriting offers a special blend of art and commerce that can be both exhilarating and frustrating for journalistsJournalistic skills can both help and hinder the screenwriter. Unlike a piece of journalism, which is usually static once it has been edited, a screenplay is a living document.
Plot Patterns in Screenwriting (Creative Screenwriting, 10-18-16) Michael Welles Schock explores plot patterns in films, and explains why the 3 act structure is so successful. "Large collections of films which outwardly appear to have nothing in common will in fact share a nearly identical structure of plot. The premise may be different. The genre may be different. Style, tone, settings, and characters may be different. Yet when all superficial details are stripped away, the course of the plot is essentially the same....structure is about shape, not content."
The Building Blocks of Story (Creative Screenwriting, 6-28-16) Joe Gilford explains how to organize your ideas into an effective screenplay structure. "This is not a beat sheet—that’s when you list actual, specific scenes in your story. Instead, the action structure is a way to define major arcs and human value."
Writing Songs with Narrative Gaps (Robert Lagueux , TakeNote). How do we get things to hang together? We take advantage of the human tendency to create cause and effect wherever we can (and often without knowing we’re doing it). We provide narrative gaps that the reader/listener/viewer must fill in -- which is what gives narrative its dynamic quality: it propels the narrative forward because it calls on us to actively participate in the text itself. And we each fill in the gaps in our own way, leading to many different realizations of the text.
How to Build the Perfect Musical (Kurt Anderson with Jack Viertel, Studio 360, WNYC, 4-21-16)

Robert McKee
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee. The bible on film, say many.
McKee Story Seminars
Storylogue (subscribe to daily McKee lessons and get access to backlog)
Story Seminar Resources (McKee's excellent links)
McKee Story Structure (Kenny Kemp's notes, PDF)
Syd Field
• Syd Field, Syd. The Screenwriter's Workbook
• Field, Syd. The Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How to Recognize, Identify, and Define Screenwriting Problems. In her book review, Suzie Quint applies plot problem-solving to novels.
Blake Snyder
Blake's Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. Popular book on structure and storytelling, and if Snyder's Beat Sheet (a list of points in a film script) helps you, look also at Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told (discussed in terms of concept, logline, and treatment) and Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get into ... and Out of (more on finding the spine of the story, with examples from popular films -- read Suzie Quint's review, for romance writers.
Peter Suderman, in Slate, writes Save the Movie! "The 2005 screenwriting book that’s taken over Hollywood—and made every movie feel the same." He blames its formula for scripts for the cookie cutter nature of studio films.
The Save the Cat! Beat Sheet
Dara Marks
Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc by Dara Marks. The Secret to Crafting Extraordinary Screenplays.
Transform Your Story: Expert advice from script consultant Dara Marks (part 1, Kelly Calabrese, NY Castings). Excellent three-part discussion of the relationship between the movement of the plot and the internal development of character, which is the foundation for the transformational arc. The transformational arc is the deeper line of structure found inside the story. See also part 2 (explaining the benefit of making conscious choices and having the character's old consciousness giving way to new consciousness -- a standard part of the character arc, "that a story is more powerful when there is an internal movement of character,") and part 3.
Three-act structure
Three-act structure (Wikipedia)
What's wrong with the three-act structure (James Bonnet)
What's right with the three-act structure (by Yves Lavandier). See also Excerpt from "Structure" chapter (Yves Lavandier's Writing Drama)

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Documentary Film Festivals POV's excellent links to documentary film festivals, domestic and international, places to screen your documentary. "We've compiled a list of domestic and international film festivals that feature documentaries in their lineup, and highlighted the ones with the most clout."
Lights, Camera, Interview: Getting the Most out of a Video Interview (Madison Pobis, The Open Notebook, 4-21-20) Best practices for shooting an interview on camera and strategies to help interviewers come away with usable material regardless of tech setup.
How to Make a Documentary (J Miller, Jen Reviews). For beginners, with useful links.
POV's blog on documentaries (PBS, WETA)
Michael Moore's 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films (Michael Moore, IndieWire, 9-10-14)
‘Based on a True Story’ (Except the Parts That Aren’t) (Jeremy W. Peters and Nicole Sperling, NY Times, 1-14-23) The entertainment genre of historical drama is flourishing — and riddled with inaccuracies. The untrue parts are leading to more public spats and lawsuits. The millions of people who watched three of the most popular historical dramas of the last year — “The Crown” and “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” on Netflix and HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” — were left to separate fact from fiction on their own.

    'The First Amendment offers broad protections for expressive works like film and television productions that depict real people by their real names. But if someone can convincingly claim that he or she was harmed by what screenwriters made up, that is grounds for a strong defamation suit, said Jean-Paul Jassy, a lawyer who works on media and First Amendment cases in Los Angeles.'(Read the story and then the comments for more details.)
How to Light a Documentary Interview (Lights Film School)
Pro Tips: Run and Gun Video Production (Adorama Learning Center)
Sound Editing vs. Sound Mixing: What Is the Difference? (Adorama Learning Center)
How Greek Journalists Use Digital Media to Cover the Financial Crisis (Elina Makri, Media Shift, 11-20-12, on Web radio, audio documentaries, crowdfunded crisis-related documentaries, Web TV, opinion portals)
Camera, laptop, action: the new golden age of documentary (Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, 11-6-10). From Kevin MacDonald's examination of the YouTube phenomenon to a cab ride with Osama bin Laden's former bodyguard, cheap technology is allowing film-makers to stretch the form as never before.
10 Documentary Essentials (Student Resources, New York Film Academy, 1-9-18) Flashlight, hat, glove clip, a First AC pouch, etc.)
6 American Documentary Film Funding Programs to Consider (Student Resources, New York Film Academy, 8-25-17)
POV's 2013 Documentary Filmmaking Equipment Survey
POV's resources (PBS, WETA). Free and comprehensive resources to get your project made and seen. Find grant information, public television initiatives, engagement strategists, film festivals, new media funding and more.

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These Are the 78 Best Documentaries of All Time (Vogue, 10-6-21)
9 of the Best Documentaries About Writers (Julia Rittenberg, BookRiot, 3-17-23) The best documentaries about writers follow the extraordinary stories of their lives that informed their work.
The best science documentaries (New Scientist)
Why Documentaries Matter Now More Than Ever (Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the International Documentary Association, for Hollywood Reporter, 2-15-17) There is "urgent need for the stories of people’s real-world experiences," as this year's Oscar contenders tell stories that explore timely issues amid political churn and "alternative facts." "Documentary film is essential to a healthy and democratic society — that is why it is feared by autocrats.... is a form that allows us to walk in another’s shoes, to build a sense of shared humanity, that gives voice to the marginalized and the scorned, that strives to hold those in power to account."
The Future of Documentary Filmmaking Is Bright, but It Remains a High-Risk Endeavor (Chris Lindahl, IndieWire, 12-11-21) 'Non-fiction production requires risks that streamers are unwilling to take on themselves, while the commodification of truth presents risks to the independent soul of documentary filmmaking. Responding to the rise of truth-adjacent formats like reality TV, those working in the documentary ecosystem began distinguishing their work as “premium non-fiction.”
With the documentary boom came the idea that non-fiction has an endless capacity for compelling storytelling. But that comes with a risk. “There is a danger that we are so hooked on story,” said Tabitha Jackson, director of the Sundance Film Festival. '
Boatlift: An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience (12-minute video, narrated by Tom Hanks) "One of the most notable acts of valor that occurred on September 11, 2001 was the maritime evacuation of Lower Manhattan – the largest water evacuation in American history. 500,000 people were transported to safety in approximately nine hours by hundreds of vessels that answered a call from the U.S. Coast Guard to converge on New York Harbor to aid in the evacuation. This extraordinary rescue was memorialized in the 2011 short documentary film Boatlift." (There's also a children's book: Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman.
Why Global Supply Chains May Never Be the Same - A WSJ Documentary (Wall Street Journal, 3-23-22) The pandemic exposed breaking points in the system that would fundamentally alter consumer expectations of getting anything we want whenever we want it. This Wall Street Journal documentary follows the monthslong, 14,000-mile journey of a typical consumer good from factory to front door to reveal the vulnerabilities of the global supply chain.
I cast my mom in a film — and learned about our family history along the way (Jackie Batsinduka, CBC Radio, 11-11-21) Jackie Batsinduka convinced her mother, as well as her uncle and members of the Rwandan community in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, to star opposite her in Geni. "As a community, we don’t often talk about the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
62 Films That Shaped the Art of Documentary Filmmaking (Richard Brody, New Yorker, 10-14-2020) The idea of what a documentary is has shifted according to what has—and hasn’t—been possible during the past hundred years. But the artistic preoccupations of their creators have not changed radically in that time.
A Film Captures Jewish Life in a Polish Town Before the Nazis Arrived (Nina Siegal, NY Times,1-3-22) A brief documentary based on a home movie shot by an American in 1938 provides a look at the vibrancy of a Jewish community in Europe just before the Holocaust. The film: Jewish quarter in Poland (U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2min39sec).
27 Movie Documentaries You Absolutely Must See (Filmmaking Lifestyle)
The D-Word (The leading community for documentary professionals worldwide, online discussions of the art, craft, business, and social impact of documentary film).

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How Documentary Film Became Entertainment (Josh S. Rose, Medium, 2-28-18) "Intrepid storytellers...trained in the art of capturing humanity at its most extreme, are bringing forward stories with all the impact and emotion of a high budget Hollywood movie or independent film—but with no script, actors, or caterer....More and more, people are seeking out realism, authenticity, and truth… a territory owned by non-fiction....In features, there’s a pressure to rely on what works, to reject risk. The lack of all that in documentary means that the surrounding communities of the medium work more holistically, collaboratively, and supportively. And risk is encouraged....Non-fiction projects don’t just have audiences, they have supporters. And they aren’t just stories, they are agents of change." Includes a basic watch-list of documentaries.
Rejecting the simplified news narrative (Kristen Chin, StrictlyQ&A, Nieman Storyboard, 7-2-2020) Documentary filmmaker Erin Lee Carr probes the complexity of the human psyche in well-known criminal cases. She rejects convenient narratives to peel away layers of human complexities, often reaching into dark corners we would rather deny. We spoke about how she did it, her interview style, and how she has achieved continual commercial success as a documentary filmmaker.
Doing Documentary Work by Robert Coles. "A challenging exploration of documentary writing and photography, focusing on the ways in which researchers can affect, reshape, or misrepresent what they see." Read a chapter online.

Frederick Wiseman, The Art of Documentary No. 1 (Lola Peploe interviewing, Paris Review, Issue 226, Fall 2018)
Documentary (Magazine of the International Documentary Association)
DocuClub (International Documentary Association, or IDA) A work-in-progress screening series offering the public and members of the documentary film community advance access to new projects, and the opportunity to provide feedback and participate in intimate behind-the-scenes conversations with filmmakers and creators.
Retro Report a nonprofit news organization that produces mini documentaries looking at today's news stories through the lens of history and context, as a counterweight to the 24-hour news cycle.

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American Graffiti, The Making of (YouTube, Part 12 Ron Howard Harrison Ford, 50 minutes) and Part 2 (Ron Howard Richard Dreyfuss, 27 minutes). Fascinating.
AFIDOCS (formerly SilverDocs--a documentary film festival known for showcasing the best in documentary filmmaking from the US and around the world: June, Silver Spring, MD--just outside Washington DC) Buy tickets here.
AFI DOCS FILM SERIES (year-round documentary screening program in Washington, DC that supplements the annual AFI DOCS Film Festival in June)
Good Docs Documentaries that do GOOD in the world.

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RealScreen (the best in nonfiction, is about the global business of factual entertainment). There's an interesting passage about it in the LA Times Magazine story The Hollywood Exec and the Hand Transplant That Changed His Life (Amy Wallace, 3-20-17) 'dubbed “The Reality Prom” by some of the agents, network and cable execs, and content creators who attend each year" and ...as the 2015 Realscreen Summit kicked off, the movers and shakers of the unscripted television business arrived in Washington, D.C., a bit more sober than they had been the year before. Reality TV—once a guaranteed hit factory—was starting to struggle in an increasingly fragmented media landscape... conference attendees listened to presentations titled “Amping Up Unscripted” and “Pitch Perfect: What Works, What Doesn’t, What’s Real and What’s Not"...)
Creatively Connected Online Film Festival (Foundation for Art & Healing) Short docs in various categories: Older adults & caregivers; Veterans and their families; In the minority and On the margin; Everyday life; Major illness and disability.
Investigative Film Festival (100 Reporters, INNovation). 100Reporters will experiment with a two- to three-day Investigative Film Festival that showcases new releases of documentaries and feature films inspired by investigative journalism or about investigative journalists.
The 51 best documentaries of all time (David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich, Time Out, 4-6-19) Time Out's ranked list of the best documentaries of all time, from groundbreaking political exposés to culture-changing concerts.
25 Best Documentaries of All Time (Tyler Coates, Esquire, 4-18-18)
The 50 Best Music Documentaries of All Time (Noel Murray, Vulture, 4-17-19)

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Top Documentary Films About Health
Top Documentary Films About Technology
Top Documentary Films About Nature
Top Documentary Films About Society
Tp[ Documentary Films About Sports
Top Documentary Films About Science
(and so on. See Lists for categories)

Association of Independents in Radio (AIR) (a social and professional network of 750+ producers – independent or employed by media organizations – from NPR news journalists and reporters, to sound artists, station-based producers, podcasters, gearheads, media activists, etc. "We find, curate, and write about innovation, R&D, and thought leadership for AIR’s network of storymakers and the public media system." Resources page links to articles, guides and publications, productions, public media
Center for Independent Documentary (CID)
Association for Documentary EditingOpen Culture (265 free documentaries online)
Crowdfunding Journalistic and Photojournalistic Projects (Amanda Lin Costas, MediaShift, 7-9-12, writing about Spot.us (community-funded reporting), KickStarter (a funding platform for creative projects) IndieGoGo (an international crowdfunding site), emphas.is (now insolvent, photojournalists were to pitch their projects to the public), and FundedByME. Another funder of photography-centered campaigns: GoGetFunded.
Can 'fake' documentaries still tell the truth? (Guardian, 9-30-10). Films that use lip synching, staged scenes and other truth-massaging techniques are making our old definitions of 'documentary' look decidedly – well, artificial. Xan Brooks goes after the facts
Michael Moore's 13 Rules for Making Documentary Films (Michael Moore, IndieWire, 9-10-14)

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Does Who You Are at 7 Determine Who You Are at 63? (Gideon Lewis-Kraus, NY Times Magazine, 11-27-19) In 1964, with “Seven Up!” Michael Apted stumbled into making what has become the most profound documentary series in the history of cinema. Fifty-five years later, the project is reaching its conclusion. 'As the British social historian Joe Moran noted, in 2002, the series “did not foresee the decline of the British economy’s manufacturing base, the fragmentation of the working class, the rising number of white-collar jobs and Thatcherism’s destruction of union power.” It also didn’t foresee the expansion of middle-class consumerism or the rise of the predatory gig economy.'<br/>

    "The narrative center of gravity of the "Up" films hovers somewhere between the stiff-necked documentarian and the unruly subjects to whom he is yoked. Apted, like a social scientist, emphasizes the role of big, obstinate forces; his participants almost invariably take the opposing side of agency and self-determination. What we get, as the show goes on, is an ever-fuller picture of how particular individuals at times shrink to inhabit the givens of an inheritance and at times spill over the sides of those constraints. What emerges are the countervailing qualities of structure and dignity....Apted...gets right up to the line of the unacceptable without crossing it. His perennial gambits, as he once acknowledged to an interviewer, are "Why?" and "What do you mean?" He recognizes that "why" is an aggressive question, yet he is perfectly happy to ask it and then sit in silence, to the point of sadism. "I never want to take advantage of them or be too soft on them"...a program that has drawn its energy from the unfairness of class and its tenderness from the unfairness of flesh....(Hundreds of comments.)
They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson, 2018) and the Elephant in the Room (Lawrence Napper, King’s College London, The International Association for Media and History, 10-23-18) Negative criticism of a sacred cow, Peter Jackson’s film They Shall Not Grow Old , and interesting generalizations about distortions in documentaries about soldiers at war in general.
Making a Living as a Documentary Filmmaker Is Harder Than Ever. Here's Why. ( Paula Bernstein, Indiewire, 6-11-14)
6 Filmmakers Talk About Documentary Films in the Digital Age (Amanda Lin Costa, MediaShift, 1-9-12)
The Hollywood Exec and the Hand Transplant That Changed His Life (Amy Walker, Los Angeles Magazine, 3-20-17) In just 30 hours, a superfit reality TV producer went from the top of his game to the precipice of death. What happened next would teach him everything about grace, resolve, and the power of love.
Localore Winners Gear Up to Transform Public Media (Jessica Clark, MediaShift, 1-30-12)

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Short Documentary Oscar Nominees on Earning Trust, Telling Life and Death Stories (Jeremy Fuster, The Wrap, 2-8-17) This year's Oscar contenders talked to TheWrap about how they got their subjects to allow them to share their stories with the world“You have to imagine approaching people on what may be the worst day of their life and ask them if you can film it,” says Dan Krauss, producer-director of "Extremis." “I approached it very gingerly, always without a camera, and always with the introduction of a physician."
A (Revised!) Introduction to Documentary Budgeting (Robert Bahar, Documentary, International Documentary Association, 1-9-19) This is a fully revised look at documentary budgeting, and updates the 2006 article Don't Fudge on Your Budget: Toeing the Line Items (Robert Bahar, Documentary Magazine, International Documentary Association, June 2006). A rich source of helpful articles.
How to Win an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature (or At Least Have a Shot at It) (Paula Bernstein, IndieWire, 6-10-14)
Documentaries that won Academy Awards (Wikipedia list)
Do documentaries need to be fair to both sides of an issue? (Noel Murray, AV Club, 10-1. The A.V. Club covers film, tv, video, music, books, comedy)
The Atlantic Selects' excellent showcase of cinematic short documentary films.

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Starvation As “Weapon Of War”: Oscar Contender ‘Hunger Ward’ Shows How Children Bear Brunt In Yemen Conflict (Deadline: Breaking Hollywood News Since 2006)
Unbound: The Story of the Romero Theater Troupe (about Jim Walsh's wonderful social justice project, as described on IndieGoGo.
New Yorker documentaries
Times documentaries (New York Times)
Best Netflix documentaries (New York Times)
Steven Spielberg-Backed Jewish Story Partners’ First Grantees Include Docs by Joey Soloway, Maxim Pozdorovkin (Jill Goldsmith, Deadline, 4-28-21) Jewish Story Partners is a new Los Angeles-based film foundation with initial funding from the Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw’s Righteous Persons Foundation aiming to “tell stories about a diverse spectrum of Jewish experiences, histories and cultures”. "This year it will provide $500,000 in grants to U.S.-based feature length documentaries — to be selected by jury panels."

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Formatting resources

There is a right way and a wrong way to format for stage directions, dialogue, etc.
How to Format a Stage Play (Script Frenzy)
Formatting do's and don'ts for screenplays (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
Most common script formats
Two-column shooting script (Capuchino High School)


Software to format screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays

Includes Celtx, DreamaScript, Movie Magic Screenwriter, Scrivener, Final Draft, Movie Outline 3.0, FiveSprockets, and Montage.
Best Screenwriting Software (ranked, Top Ten Reviews)
Final Draft (top-selling screenwriting software, recommended by Robert McKee)
Scrivener (inexpensive and can be used for formatting fiction and screen and stage plays. "You can even mix up script formatting with regular text for writing treatments.")
Screenwriting Pro software
Movie Magic Screenwriter Version 6

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Television (for cable and TV fans, critics and students)

"I used to be such a snob about television. But more and more, that’s where people are getting their narrative fix. I just realize that people want their narrative." ~ novelist Bill Roorbach

"The woods are lovely, dark and thick. But I have many butts to kick and some to poke and just one stick." ~ Garrison Keillor, 2006

TV We're Watching (TVWW) (David Bianculli and team)
Ken Burns excellent Country Music series (watch online)
Bianculli's Best Bets, by the author of The Platinum Age of Television: From I Love Lucy to The Walking Dead, How TV Became Terrific
Watching (NY Times, tips for TV watchers, in various categories, plus movies on Netflix, etc.)
Addictive and wonderful TV and cable shows (Pat McNees's list for friends)
Renewed and Canceled TV Shows 2018 (Rotten Tomatoes)
Netflix’s Most Popular Original Shows—Ranked (Clint Davis, Simplemost, 12-7-18) 35 top shows, in reverse order.
The Classic TV History Blog (Stephen Bowie, a film and television historian, calls a spade a spade and provides lots of interesting background for us TV junkies). See Bowie's The 100 Greatest Television Episodes of All Time: An Ongoing List but explore his many pieces on classic TV series, specials, etc.
The Real Rules for Sharing Passwords at HBO Now, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu (Brad Tuttle, Money, Time, 9-21-15) HBO CEO Richard Pepler has said that he doesn’t mind that people share their log-ins to watching HBO shows online. “It’s not that we’re unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business,” Pepler said at a 2014 event sponsored by BuzzFeed. In fact, the practice of sharing usernames and passwords serves as a “terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers,” he said.'
I Heart British TV: British TV & Movie Discussion Group on Facebook
British TV Crime & Mysteries Timothy J. Barron's super categorizing and characterization of all the great Brit. shows, by type, with year dates: Police detectives; private detectives; citizen sleuths; forensics; profilers; policing; legal; journalists; espionage, terrorism & political; heists & organized crime; general mysteries & crime. Now I need to find someone with a coded map of the British Isles to help me identify the different accents and locations for various detectives/series.
The Cord-Cutter’s Guide to Streaming TV Services (Jacob Davidson, Technology and Your Money, Money, 7-17-15) These days it's easy to slice the connection, along with the monthly bill.
7 CSI Fails (Judy Melinek, author of a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GEEB8GQ/ref=nosim?tag=writandedit-20"target="_blank">Working Stiff, on DyingWords.net, 10-13-14) Potential jurors are now being asked if they watch NCIS, CSI, Bones, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and a other shows that depict police and other forensic professionals doing their jobs. So how close are these shows to reality?...Here are 7 things these shows consistently get wrong.
The 30 best TV shows on BBC Store (Michael Hogan, Telegraph, 7-15-16). From classic comedies to pioneering documentaries and high-quality dramas.
The 10 Best TV Shows of 2014 (Andy Greenwald, Grantland, 12-17-14)
My Top 10 Best (Favorite) TV Shows of 2013 (Andy Greenwald, Grantland, 12-18-13) Some of these continue into 2014 favorites. In today's world, it doesn't matter which year it is; you can get them digitally.
TVWorthWatching (Fresh Air Faves)
Helpful blogroll and links to other TV facts, news, criticism, etc.
Best TV Show Releases by Score (Metacritic), which in late March 2015 has The Americans, Justified, and Broad City with top votes)
Al Jazeera News America (which bought Current News, which Al Gore started)
Archive of American Television Interviews (Emmy TV legends)
Script libraries
TV.com (current shows and classics -- a reference guide to episodes, photos, videos, cast and crew information, forums, reviews and more)
TV Worth Watching (David Bianculli and friends, whose reviews on NPR are archived here.
101 Best-Written TV Series (Writers Guild of America) Top 20: 1. The Sopranos, 2. Seinfeld, 3. The Twilight Zone (1959), 4. All in the Family, 5. M*A*S*H, 6. The Mary Tyler Moore Show, 7. Mad Men, 8. Cheers, 9. The Wire, 10. The West Wing, 11. The Simpsons, 12. I Love Lucy, 13. Breaking Bad, 14. The Dick Van Dyke Show, 15. Hill Street Blues, 16. Arrested Development, 17. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, 18. Six Feet Under, 19. Taxi, 20. The Larry Sanders Show
BFI TV 100, a list compiled in 2000 by the British Film Institute (BFI) of the 100 greatest British television programmes of any genre ever screened, as chosen in poll of industry professionals.
The 10 best sci-fi TV shows ever written (Dan Roth, Blastr.com, pulls top 10 from WGA's list of 101 best TV shows). 3. The Twilight Zone, 26. The X-Files, 27. Lost, 33. Star Trek, 35. Twin Peaks, 38. Battlestar Galactica (2005), 40. Game of Thrones, 49. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 79. Star Trek: The Next Generation, 90. The Prisoner.
Top 10 Sci-fi Shows (Blair Marnell, Craveonline, 6-1-10). Taking exception to those who consider "Lost" to be sci-fi, Marnell lists top 10 shows that explored the concepts of space travel and aliens on other worlds. His top 10 are 1. Doctor Who, 2. Farscape (" the true successor to the original "Star Trek" series"), 3. Star Trek 4. Babylon 5, 5. Battlestar Galactica, 6. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 7. Star Trek: The Next Generation, 8. Firefly, 9. Blake’s 7, 10. Stargate SG-1. He writes, " If the original 27 year run of "Doctor Who" was under consideration by itself, it still would have made the top ten. But not at number one. It’s the current series that puts "Doctor Who" over the top."
Television Without Pity "ceased operations on April 4, 2014, but our archives will stay up"
Television terminology (Alex Epstein's working glossary)
TVTropes. A wiki/catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction. "Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations."
Writing for Episodic TV (download free handbook, Writers Guild of America)
Shtick, stereotypes, and self-parody: How ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ gets Jewish culture wrong (Paul Brownfield, LA Times, 1-5-19) On the other hand, Amazon's entertaining and timely 'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' is a bit too whimsical but resonates with the times (Lorraine Ali, LA Times, 11-29-17)
A Vaster Wasteland (Newton N. Minow, The Atlantic, April 2011). Fifty years after his landmark speech declaring television programming a “vast wasteland,” the author surveys the reshaped media landscape and lays out a plan to keep television and the Internet vibrant, democratic forces for the next half century. Most important: "if over-the-air television is to survive as a licensed service operating in the public interest, we must make better use of it in our politics. It is simply unconscionable that candidates for public office have to buy access to the airwaves—something the public itself owns—to talk to the public, unlike in most other major democratic countries.... If broadcasters are to continue as the lone beneficiaries of their valuable spectrum assignments, it is not too much to require that, as a public service, they provide time to candidates for public office. That time is not for the candidates. It is for the voters."
Kevin Spacey urges TV channels to give control to viewers. In his speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival (2013, captured on YouTube), Spacey talks about House of Cards and the difference between the Netflix model and the more traditional pilot season model. "Clearly the success of the Netflix model, releasing the entire season of House of Cards at once, proved one thing: the audience wants the control. They want the freedom. If they want to binge... we should let them binge.... And through this new form of distribution, we have demonstrated that we have learned the lesson that the music industry didn't learn: give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price and they'll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it, but I think we can take a bite out of piracy."
Dr. Who at 50 (Hank Stuever, Washington Post, 11-15-13) "In television’s vast universe, there is perhaps no acquired taste that is more difficult to acquire than the taste for “Doctor Who,” BBC’s long-running sci-fi series about an alien dandy who navigates the time-space continuum in a phone-booth-style British police box (the TARDIS)." Stuever's story explains a few things that have puzzled many of us.
Mad for "Mad Men" (Nathan Bransford, 8-18-09)
‘Mad Men’ Has Its Moment (Alex Witchel, NY Times Magazine, 6-22-08)

•  Losing All My Children (Joanna Cohen, NY Times blog, 2-16-12, on writing for the soaps--and then saying goodbye, for now, to "All My Children")

Video worth watching:
Smithsonian in Motion video contest winners (watch online -- slow loading).
The Coffinmaker

Video tutorials

Knight Digital Media Center video tutorials, including tutorial on Editing in Final Cut Pro.
The Basics of Video Editing: The Complete Guide (Adam Dachis, Lifehacker Night School)
Multimedia Shooter's tutorials
How to fail at online video (Glen Canning's tongue-in-cheek guide to how to do it wrong)
Media College Video Camera Tutorials
Apple tutorials
GeniusDV tutorials, including Learning to Use Modifier [shortcut] Keys in Final Cut Pro (GeniusDV.com)
(These recommendations courtesy of Alan Haburchak, who spoke on a panel at the ASJA 2011 conference, together with Michael Cervieri and Dave Cullen (Lindsey O'Connor moderated).

Scripts and Script Libraries

Finding the Spell of the Stage on the Page With ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ (Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal, 8-10-16) Whenever you’re going to read a play you’ve never seen, follow this one simple rule
Awesome Film (scripts for well-known films)
BBC Writers Room, Script Library (read BBC TV, radio, and film scripts)
The Blacklist. For Budding Screenwriters, a Way Past the Studio Gates (Rachel Dodes, Wall Street Journal, 12-13-12). The Black List, compiled by Franklin Leonard, is an elite compendium of unproduced scripts, many of which don't stay that way long after appearing on the list. "If the model succeeds, it could help more aspiring screenwriters get their work past Hollywood's gatekeepers and into the hands of people who actually make movies." See The Black List.
The Daily Script (screenplay and TV scripts you can read online, plus links)
Drew's Script-O-Rama (free movie scripts and screenplays)
Ink Tip's FAQs page InkTip is a screenplay listing service that qualified producers use to find good scripts and great screenwriters at no cost to the producer. Lots of useful info here.
Movie Page
John August's script library
Science Fiction and Fantasy scripts
Script University
Shakespeare, The complete works of
The Weekly Script (every week a script to read)
10 Great Websites to Download Movie Scripts (Student Resources, New York Film Academy)
Tom McCormack's plays (a playwright makes his plays available--so they'll be produced!)
Where to Download Scripts (Alex Epstein, author of Crafty TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box and Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made)
WGAWest Script Registry When you register your script prior to submitting it to agents, managers, or producers, you document your authorship on a given date should there be unauthorized usage.

"A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God."

~ Sidney Sheldon

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Learning to Be "Good in a Room" (part 1) by Scott W. Smith (Screenwriting from Iowa and Other Unlikely Places, 4-2-08) and part 2.
The Black List (Where Filmmakers and Writers Meet) "We're a network of script writers, buyers, and representatives making it easier to connect." The What, The How, and The Why of the Black List
• These are only some of the resources I found on the excellent Good in a Room blog (Scott W. Smith, Screenwriting from Iowa...and Other Unlikely Places) and The Black Board (the official online community of the Black List and Go Into the Story)
The Art of the Pitch (Agents and Book Proposals, Writers and Editors)
Examples of Successful TV Series Bibles (Carole Kirschner, 10-10-18) A series bible, she writes, is "an in-depth extension of your pitch. A series bible can explain and clarify a number of elements in your project, and there isn’t just one way to craft it. However, most bibles include details about the tone of the show, character descriptions, the show format, ideas for future episodes and season arcs as well as the visual elements that bring your story to life. Your physical (or digital) bible should reflect the tone of your show: if it’s comedy, it should be humorous; if it’s a drama, create some suspense. This is where the flexibility on the structure comes into play and where you demonstrate how your show is different from the hundreds of others that are being pitched."
How to Create the Perfect Show Bible (Valerie Kalfrin,, Screencraft, 5-8-17)
This Is Vince Gilligan’s Series Bible for ‘Breaking Bad’ (Clickhole, 7-27-15) The series bible that sold AMC on the show.
Submitting your written pitch (Phillip E Hardy, Stage 32 blog)
Doug Eboch's full series on pitching (Let's Schmooze, Doug Eboch on Screenwriting, 2012 and 2013)
The Playwright's Guide to Submitting Smarter: A Baker's Dozen Tips to Maximize Your Chances and Minimize Your Aggravation (Jonathan Dorf,Writers Store)
TV Series Bibles (Shore Scripts) and What is a TV Series Bible?
Good in a Room (Stephanie Palmer's blog). For example: Pitch Your Project At American Film Market 2013. More about American Film Market.
InkTip Pitch & Networking Summit
5 Ways To Pitch Like Ron Howard by Stephanie Palmer, Good in a Room (learn how to pitch, persuade, and sell), 8-23-12. See also her entry How Screenwriter Evan Daugherty Scored a $3.2M Payday for “Snow White and the Huntsman” (6-26-12)
Screenwriter/Salesman Pete Jones (Scott W. Smith)
The Blackboard: Blog entries on pitching (these and others)
What David Simon’s Pitch for “The Wire” Can Teach Us About How to Sell An Original Idea (Stephanie Palmer, Good in a Room, 7-31-12)
The Pitch Bible (Jan Nagel, Animation World Network, 12-27-04) In pitching animation, not only do you need the passion, have a thorough understanding about your property and know the broadcaster and their needs, you need to demonstrate what your story it about.
TV Writers Vault (a website for pitching (and scouting for) ideas for TV shows, including reality TV shows)

New Play Exchange (National New Play Network) For a minimal fee, playwrights can post information about their plays as well as the play itself and producers and artistic directors can find the type of play or author they want through the attached search engine. [Back to Top]

How to write a treatment

What is a Film Treatment? Examples From E.T. and The Shining ( Kyle DeGuzman, Studio Binder, 12-2-20) "A film treatment is a summary of a film or television show. It should communicate all of the essential scenes, themes, and tone of the project to entice or pitch to buyers and producers into reading, developing, or even purchasing your idea. Film treatments are also referred to as story treatments, script treatments, and movie treatments."
How to Write a Film Treatment ( AJ Detisch, Studio Binder, 9-26-19) A free film treatment template.
How to Write a TV Treatment (with Examples) (Studio Binder) Part of a TV Writing & Development Master Class, 7 episodes.
Turn your book into a movie: 16 treatment tips (Kenneth Atchity, on BuildBookBuzz, 5-10-17) Atchity is author of the book Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer's Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business

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Entertainment and industry news

‘Based on a True Story’ (Except the Parts That Aren’t) (Jeremy W. Peters and Nicole Sperling, NY Times, 1-14-23) The entertainment genre of historical drama is flourishing — and riddled with inaccuracies. The untrue parts are leading to more public spats and lawsuits. The millions of people who watched three of the most popular historical dramas of the last year — “The Crown” and “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” on Netflix and HBO’s “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” — were left to separate fact from fiction on their own. (Read the story and then the comments for more details.)
The Streaming Death Spiral Must End (David Sims, The Atlantic, 11-22-22) The former Disney CEO is back at a time when the company desperately needs a new direction. Since the pandemic began, Disenchanted is the latest in a long line of major family titles to largely skip theaters and go directly to TV: Hocus Pocus 2, a Pinocchio remake, and excellent Pixar films such as Luca and Turning Red. Disney+ lost $1.5 billion over the past quarter, more than double what it had lost the year before...The pivot to streaming, which accelerated early in the pandemic before the availability of vaccines, was understandable, but now a lot of good money is being thrown after bad. Disenchanted could've pulled in tens of millions of dollars at the box office before debuting on Disney+ just a few weeks later.
Ain't It Cool News (movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news)
Box Office Mojo Daily box office figures (pick your title)
Box Office Guru Database of box office statistics on motion pictures released from 1989 to the present, plus weekend preview and reviews, international grosses, monthly averages, release schedule for coming four months.
Broadcasting and Cable (industry news covering local TV; FCC regulation; HD, DTV and 3D technology; programming; syndication; and advertising)
How Hollywood Activists Took Center Stage at the Oscars (Clyde Haberman, Retro Report, 2-6-2020) By the mid-1970s, the awards show had become a dependable forum for political expression.
Putting It in Writing: The Return of The Morality Clause in the Age of #MeToo and Time’s Up (Part II) (David E. Fink and Sarah Diamond, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Lexology, 4-17-18) The #MeToo and Time’s Up Movements are playing an important role in forcing a number of industries, including Hollywood, to recognize and be accountable for conduct. In the meantime, film studios, networks, and producers have begun reconsidering the use of morality clauses both as a way to deter misconduct and to provide them with some means to protect their investments. (I couldn't get access to Part 1)
With a la Carte Cable, Pay for What You Watch (Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, 5-1-12) A la carte is certainly no panacea, but giving citizens some say over what kind of media they’re getting—and what they’re paying for it—should be a priority.
New Challenges Chip Away at Cable’s Pillar of Profit (David Carr, The Media, NY Times, ). "No less than Steve Jobs once reminded me that change happens slowly and then it happens all at once."
Cable Companies Urged to Make Public Access Television Shows More Accessible (Democracy Now). "For years now, established cable companies along with new video service providers like AT&T & Verizon, have been downgrading the capacity of PEG TV channels, including the elimination of detailed, on-screen program descriptions from these noncommercial, community media institutions, effectively marginalizing the channels & the content they provide." "Many cable companies refuse to list the titles of shows that air on public access television stations in their on-screen guides. Now media activists are pushing for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to intervene."
Comingsoon.net (cinema and DVD retail release dates, trailers, reviews and news.
Deadline Hollywood ( an online magazine founded and edited by Nikki Finke, who began writing an LA Weekly column, Deadline Hollywood, in 2002, and began her Deadline Hollywood Daily blog in 2006--a candid, informed and authoritative source for breaking news in the infotainment industry. Part of Jay Penske's PMC.)
Done Deal Pro (the business and craft of screenwriting)
Entertainment Weekly (EW, entertainment news on celebrities, news, reviews, and recaps on TV shows, movies, music and books)
E! Online (daily entertainment news, celebrities, celeb news, and celebrity gossip)
FilmFestivals.com (database of 4,000 international film and television festivals)
The Futon Critic (the Web's best resource about primetime television)
Hollywood.com (entertainment website for fans of movies, television, and celebrities, with news of movies and Hollywood, movie reviews, and movie times)
The Hollywood Reporter
IMDbPro Find contact info, get representation, search up-and-coming talent, and browse job opportunities. Where to find people.
Inside Film Magazine (lists film festivals around the world and posts articles about independent films and filmmakers)
••• Internet Movie Database (IMDb) (wonderful, huge searchable database of information about films, TV, and celebrities, with info about current and upcoming movie releases, recent box office numbers, links to reviews and user ratings about each movie, which movies are showing near a particular zip code, entertainment news, and so on
LA Weekly (on Movies) (section in top alternative Los Angeles newspaper)
LA Times (entertainment section, online)
Movie City News
Movie Mom (Nell Minow's Movie Mom blog on Belief.net)
MovieMaker Magazine (about the art and business of filmmaking, with a special emphasis on independent film)
Movies.com ("all things movies")
New York Times Arts section online
Thompson on Hollywood (Anne Thompson's blog on IndieWire, which Writers Guild West calls "an insider’s clear-eyed analysis of the business")
TMZ.com (celebrity news and gossip and entertainment news)
Vanderbilt Television News Archive (recording, preserving and providing access to television news broadcasts of the national networks since August 5, 1968--abstracts only, but show the first time something appeared on a broadcast)
Vanity Fair (section on Hollywood)
Variety (an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine)
The Wrap (covering Hollywood)
That's a wrap for movie magazines (Anne Thompson, Variety, 4-5-07). Long-form entertainment journalism pushed aside the movie magazines.

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Interviews and talks about film, drama, documentaries, and television

Some of these are audio or video; some are oral histories; some are transcripts. Almost all are interesting and enlightening.
James Corden's strategy to take a late night show viral (Episode 2 of Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan, PBS video, 10-12-2020) James Corden knew that in order to find success in late night he would have to approach it differently. At the center of his strategy: a broadcast optimized to spread virally across the internet. Hear how Corden executed his plan in his Tell Me More conversation with PBS’ Kelly Corrigan.
Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro, interviewed by Dave Letterman (video, 24 delightful minutes, 12-17-10) Three pros talking about movies: funny, admirable, and interesting.
Rosie O’Donnell Is Still a Fan (Rachel Syme, New Yorker, 9-7-22) The actress and former talk-show personality discusses Madonna, “A League of Their Own,” knowing when to make a public apology, and life after feel-good daytime TV. 'In my private life, everyone knew I was gay because I was the mother of children at a school that I would go to with my wife. And I sat next to her at every Emmy Awards when I won, and she was with me all the time. And it was a common, very unkept secret in the industry, but you have to understand: no journalist asked me about that. No journalist—and I did a lot of press—ever said to me, “Are you gay?”'
Production and Writing of a Long Series (45-minute YouTube video popular talk from 20Books Vegas 2021 Day 1, 11-10-21). In one of the most inspiring sessions from this great conference, Bestselling author Sarah Noffke offers tips on developing an extended series. Key points for avoiding burnout and staying productive, developing a disciplined work style, showing up, being consistent, etc.
Who Was Mike Nichols When He Wasn’t Playing Mike Nichols? (Louis Menand, New Yorker, 2-8-21) An intuitive storyteller, the director perfected narratives—including his own. About the man as well as the industry.
The Accent Whisperers of Hollywood (Ryan Bradley, NY Times Magazine, 7-20-17) Peak TV has brought in a flood of global acting talent. It’s the job of dialect coaches like Samara Bay to help them all sound right.
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Couldn't Lose: An oral history of Friday Night Lights (Robert Mays, Grantland, and the cast of the fabulous TV series Friday Night Lights). Based on the narrative nonfiction book Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream by H.G. Bissinger. (Hate football? Watch and read it anyway. Great work!)
More oral histories from Grantland
NY Times Oral Histories. Learn the back stories of your favorite films.
Rotten Tomatoes oral histories
260 Pop-Culture Oral Histories (Kristin Hunt, Thrillist, 2015)
Maggie Smith (YouTube, "I led a perfectly normal life until Downton Abbey." Dame Maggie Smith in Conversation was part of the BFI + Radio Times TV festival, which took place in April 2017.
The Wonder Years: An Oral History (Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste, 8-5-14)
When Orson Welles Crossed Paths With Hitler and Churchill (The Dick Cavett Show, 12-minute video, on YouTube) Delightful anecdote at end.
Wikipedia on Emily Nussbaum (long list of links to essays and reporting)
Illuminating Insight: Ann Hornaday on "Talking Pictures (Nell Minor, RogerEbert.com, 3-27-17) Insights that will interest movie fans.
Laurence Olivier Talks About Marilyn Monroe (Marmar, YouTube) Several fascinating interviews with Marilyn Monroe were available and are fascinating.
Scott Myers (Go Into the Story) interviews Anthony Grieco, Part 1. Grieco wrote the original screenplay “Best Sellers” which won a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Part 2. Anthony discusses the inspiration for “Best Sellers” and talks about how he would have made a key change to the movie Spotlight. In Part 3 describes what he was thinking in working with the two lead characters in Best Sellers.
Willie Harris and Alex Brown talk about breaking into the film industry (StoryCorps interview). They became members of The Black Stuntmen's Association (BSA)
Behind 'The New Black': The Real Piper's Prison Story (Terry Gross's interview with Piper Kerman, whose memoir of her year in prison was the basis for the cable series Orange Is the New Black)
Prisoners: They’re Just Like Us. ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Asks Questions We’re Afraid To Answer (Carimah Townes, ThinkProgress, 6-20-14)
Tracy Letts Is Still Haunted by His Past (Alex Witchel, NY Times 3-14-14). An excellent interview with the actor-writer who won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony award for his play "August: Osage County."
The Family Hour: An Oral History of "The Sopranos" ( Sam Kashner, Vanity Fair, April 2012)
Woody Allen: What I've Learned (Cal Fussman's interview, Esquire, Sept. 2013)
Woody Allen: Blending Real Life With Fiction (Terry Gross's interview, Fresh Air, 6-15-09, rebroadcast 1-27-12) "People always look for clues [about me] in my movies no matter how many times I've told them over the years I make this stuff up," he says. There's a different writeup for the 2009 interview, about which Gross wrote How to Ask a Tough Question (Business Week, 4-12-12).
With Friends Like These, Warren Littlefield, an oral history of Friends, Vanity Fair, Summer 2012
Cheers: The Best TV Show That's Ever Been (Brian Rafferty, oral history, GQ, summer 2012). Featured in The 10 Best Oral Histories from 2012 That You Haven't Had Time to Read Yet (The Atlantic)
2 Good 2 Be 4Gotten: An Oral History of 'Freaks and Geeks" (Vanity Fair, January 2013)
The Art of Documentary No. 1: Frederick Wiseman (Lola Peploe interviewing, Paris Review, Issue 226, Fall 2018) First in a new Paris Review category, in Writers at Work series. "A reader might scratch her head at first—a filmmaker in the Writers at Work series?—until she begins to read, and sees how integral narrative construction is to Wiseman’s editing process, how much literature has influenced his films, and how story does carry from one medium to another. “I think that my films are more novelistic than journalistic,” Wiseman says. “When I first went to Paris, after college, I thought I was going to write a novel, like thousands and thousands of others before me. I didn’t write a single paragraph, but I had fantasies. In the end, I transferred those aspirations to movies.”
Charlie Rose interview with John Lasseter (12-2-11, Lasseter being director and chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studies). Wonderful interview.
Conversations with Filmmakers series (University Press of Mississippi , a huge series, with complete list here. Among the many collections of interviews with individuals, often available used on Amazon, are these: Roman Polanski (ed. Paul Cronin); Jean-Luc Godard (ed. David Sterritt); The Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan, ed. by William Rodney Allen); Stanley Kubrick, ed. Gene D. Phillips; Steven Spielberg (ed. Lester D. Friedman and Brent Notbohm); Quentin Tarantino (ed. Gerald Peary); Ingmar Bergman (ed. Raphael Shargel); Buster Keaton (ed. Kevin W. Sweeney); David Lean (ed. Steven Organ); John Waters (ed. John Egan); Elia Kazan (ed. William Baer); Francis Ford Coppola (ed. Gene D. Phillips and Rodney Hill); Oliver Stone (ed. Charles L. P. Silet); Spike Lee (ed. Cynthia Fuchs); Woody Allen (ed. Robert E. Kapsis and Kathie Coblentz); Ridley Scott (ed. Laurence F. Knapp and Andrea F. Kulas); Howard Hawks (ed. Scott Breivold); George Cukor (ed. Robert Emmet Long); Federico Fellini (ed. Bert Cardullo); Charlie Chaplin (ed. Kevin J. Hayes); John Woo (ed. Robert K. Elder); Francois Truffaut (ed. Ronald Bergan); Brian De Palma/a> (ed. Laurence F. Knapp), among others.

The Craft of Writing for Film and Television 2012 (Writers Guild of America, West -- transcripts of many interviews in the industry). Here's a page of interviews from 2011 . Scroll to bottom of each page to find a link to the archive from the year before.
Archive of American Television Interviews (Emmy TV legends)

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Paris Review Interviews:

Paris Review Interviews, The Art of Theater

(and of the Musical)
Lillian Hellman, The Art of Theater No. 1 (interviewed by Anne Hollander, John Marquand)
Arthur Miller, The Art of Theater No. 2 (interviewed by Olga Carlisle and Rose Styron)
Harold Pinter, The Art of Theater No. 3 (interviewed by Larry Bensky)
Edward Albee, The Art of Theater No. 4 (interviewed by William Flanagan)
Tennessee Williams, The Art of Theater No. 5 (interviewed by Dotson Rader)
Eugene Ionesco, The Art of Theater No. 6 (interviewed by Shusha Guppy)
Tom Stoppard, The Art of Theater No. 7 (Interviewed by Shusha Guppy)
Athol Fugard, The Art of Theater No. 8 (Interviewed by Lloyd Richards)
Neil Simon, The Art of Theater No. 10 (interviewed by James Lipton)
David Mamet, The Art of Theater No. 11 (interviewed by John Lahr)
Sam Shepard, The Art of Theater No. 12 (interviewed by Benjamin Ryder Howe, Jeanne McCulloch, Mona Simpson)
Wendy Wasserstein, The Art of Theater No. 13 (interviewed by Laurie Winer)
August Wilson, The Art of Theater No. 14 (interviewed by Bonnie Lyons, George Plimpton)
Tony Kushner, The Art of Theater No. 16 (interviewed by Catherine Steindler, for Paris Review)
Wallace Shawn, The Art of Theater No. 17 (interviewed by Hilton Als)
Stephen Sondheim, The Art of the Musical (interviewed by James Lipton)

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Paris Review Interviews, The Art of Screenwriting

Billy Wilder, The Art of Screenwriting No. 1 (interviewed by James Linville, Spring '96)
John Gregory Dunne, The Art of Screenwriting No. 2 (interviewed by George Plimpton, Spring '96)
Terry Southern, The Art of Screenwriting No. 3 (interviewed by Maggie Paley, Spring 2012)
Matthew Weiner, The Art of Screenwriting No. 4 (interviewed by Semi Chellas, Spring '14)
Michael Haneke, The Art of Screenwriting No. 5 (interviewed by Luisa Zielinski, Winter '14)

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Movie and entertainment reviews, online film criticism, and movie databases

"Critics? I love every bone in their heads." ~ Eugene O'Neill

To check out reviews, review-score average, or "consensus at a glance" and often to learn where (if) a film is playing locally:
Internet Movie Database (IMDB) (great for for when you know the name of the actor but not the film, or only the name of one of the films one of the actors played in; you can retrace your steps and fill in the blanks -- for reviews, look at "external reviews"; plug in zip code at "showtimes & tickets" and see where it's playing near you)
Rotten Tomatoes (scores movies as fresh or rotten) See also How Rotten Tomatoes became Hollywood's most influential — and feared — website (Ryan Faughnder, LA Times, 7-21-17)
Watching (NY Times). Let’s find you something to watch (on cable, TV). Start your own Watchlist. Recommendations for what to watch on TV (including movies and programs made for TV and cable), and where to watch (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc., if it's a movie or an old show). You can save your picks to a Watchlist with a single click, to come back and watch later.
AARP Movies for Grownups
AV. Club and AV/TB Club, which seems to give away the whole plot, but in one case helped clarify a couple of plot points for me: Better Call Saul pulls out all the stops for an epic Wexler-McGill legal team-up (9-24-18, about an episode I loved).
Balder & Dash (RogerEbert.com, with guest reviews)
David Bordwell (film criticism)
Cahiers du cinéma (film criticism)
Cineaste (on the art and politics of the cinema). Check the archives.
Edward Copeland on Film (film criticism)
Commonsense Media (advising parents if movies are okay for kids)
Film Comment (academically oriented)
The Guardian
Roger Ebert.com (a great back catalogue from the late Chicago reviewer)
Stanley Kauffman, New Republic
Anthony Lane, New Yorker
Movie Mom (Nell Minow, Belief.Net, reviewing movies for kids and families)
National Public Radio reviews (Ian Buckwalter, David Edelstein, Mark Jenkins, Andrew Lapin, Bob Mondello , Kenneth Turan, etc. )
Richard Roeper & the Movies (watch and listen)
A.O. Scott, New York Times
The Village Voice (New York City's alternative newspaper, online)

Notable journalistic critics and Notable academic critics (Wikipedia list, but it doesn't link to their criticism)
Musings by film commentators from around the world (SunTimes blog, edited by the late Roger Ebert)
Network TV Is Broken. So How Does Shonda Rhimes Keep Making Hits? (Willa Paskin, NY Times Magazine 5-9-13). In a fairly unfavorable review of 'The Killing" Paskin writes about "creator Veena Sud’s faith that being a bad version of 'The Sopranos' is somehow better than being a great version of 'CSI'.
New Yorker videos (includes thoughtful reviews of classic old movies as well as series like Mary Norris, Comma Queen--on video)
Movie Review Intelligence (monitors and scores reviews of dozens of critics, indicates % favorable reviews, shows if widely or narrowly released)
Metacritic.com (review aggregator for movies, video/DVDs, TV, music, and games).
Movie Review Query Engine (MRQE)
Yahoo! Movies
A.V. Club film reviews
How to Watch a Movie Like a Film Critic (Allie Volpe, 2-13-19) Advice from the pros.
Box Office Hit or Best Picture at the Oscars? You Can Rarely Have Both (K.K. Rebecca Lai and Jasmine C. Lee, NY Times, 3-3-18) Hit movies rarely go on to become Oscar best picture winners, reflecting a difference in taste between moviegoers and film industry professionals. Instead of mass appeal, the best picture award recognizes intangible qualities such as originality, technical innovation, cultural significance and artistic value.

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Movie mistakes, plot holes, goofs in continuity

Mistakes, plot holes, anachronisms, and other goofs in movie continuity, etc.
In Movies, to Err Is Human, to Nitpick Is Even More So (Barry Newman, WSJ, 3-25-10) A Committed Cadre of Carpers Catches Flubs in Flicks; Rikki Rosen's Watching
Movie Mistakes (founded by Jon Sandys in 1996 when he listed some mistakes and asked others to send more)
Mistakes in the IMDb top 250 . Just because a movie's great, doesn't mean it's entirely without flaws - on these pages you'll find some classic bloopers (slow loading). Among movies in which goofs are listed: Inception (2010), Grease (1978), Titanic (1997, 210 items!). Google IMDb and goofs to see more.
Continuity is boring (IFC, 2010)
Movie Plot Holes
"That's not a plot hole. Allow me to explain." Scott Nye, 7-23-13, on ridiculous mid-production efforts to cover over plot holes in hastily put-together movies)
50 Movie Plotholes That Could Easily Have Been Fixed (Catherine Collins, Total Film, 5-24-13)
10 Annoying Anachronisms in Modern Movies (Film Babble Blog) There are many more of these!

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Best films, movies, TV series, lists of

"Films are movies that can be judged artistically, rising above mere entertainment."--Sight and Sound

Academy Awards for Best Pictures (Filmsite's list, with trivia). See also Academy Awards searchable database (nominees, winners, year, etc.) and Academy Awards for Best Picture (Wikipedia)
Addictive and wonderful TV and cable shows (Pat McNees's list for friends)
The 30 Movies Every Grownup Should Know (Chris Nashawaty, AARP, 7-9-21) Films from the 1930s through today that are essential viewing for every adult. From Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to Get Out (2017). Great list for film clubs.
The Best 'Best Picture' Oscar Winners of All Time (Ranked) (Lisa Kennedy, AARP, 4-20-21)
    1. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (1972, 1974)
    2. Casablanca (1943)
    3. Schindler's List (1993)
    4. All About Eve (1950)
    5. Rebecca (1940)
    6. Moonlight (2016)
    7. The Hurt Locker (2008)
    8. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
    9. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
   10. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
17 Essential Films About the Black Experience (Lisa Kennedy, AARP, 8-19-20)
The Greatest Films of All Time (Sight and Sound, BFI) Sight and Sound, published by the British Film Institute, has conducted a poll of the greatest films every 10 years since 1952. They publish a critics' list, based on 1,639 participating critics, programmers, curators, archivists and academics, and a directors' list, based on 480 directors and filmmakers.Wikipedia posts the ten best for each of these decades:
---Sight and Sound Critics’ Poll: Greatest Films of All Time
---Sight and Sound Directors' Polls: Directors’ 100 Greatest Films of All Time

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The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time (British Film Institute, Sight & Sound)) Vertigo replaces Citizen Cane as #1. But the Directors' Poll selects Tokyo Story and director Ozu Yasujirô as the best of all time.
Highest grossing films Wikipedia posts lots of these lists, by year, by category, etc.
The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century (So Far) (Manohla Dargis, A.O. Scott, and others, NY Times, 11-25-20) Chameleons or beauties, star turns or character roles — these are the performers who have outshone all others on the big screen in the last 20 years.
Top 250 Movies as voted by IMDB users (Internet Movie DataBase chart)
The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far. (Manohla Dargis, A.O. Scott and others,NY Times, 6-9-17)
What was the best year in movie history? (Washington Post staff, 12-28-18) Favorites (with explanations and great lists of best-loved films) include 1939, 1946, 1955, 1974, 1982, 1999, 2007
The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time, according to statistics (ReelStats, via Letterboxd) and its predecessors, Reel Stats’ Statistical Top 250 Movies of All Time and Reel Stats' Statistical Top 100 Movies of All Time
The American Latino Experience: 20 Essential Films Since 2000 (Carlos Aguilar, NY Times, 10-1-2020) In Hollywood, Hispanic stories usually mean ones from other countries. The features and documentaries on this list explore U.S. lives that deserve the spotlight, too.
The 45 Best Prison Escape Movies, Ranked (Olivia Rutigliano, Crime Reads, 2-5-21) Chases and escapes, from POW camps, maximum security prisons, and chain gangs.
The Best TV Shows of 2020 (Doreen St. Félix, New Yorker, 12-10-2020)
Films About Aging and Elders
Films About Death and Dying, Loss and Grief
100 Best Sitcoms of All Time ( Alan Sepinwall & Maria Fontoura & David Fear & Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone, 5-4-21)
The Best Movies of 2020 (Richard Brody, New Yorker, 12-2-2020) Actually 36 movies. See also Here are the movies that wowed Washington Post critics in 2020. Who went to the movies???

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The Best Movies and TV Shows Coming to Amazon, HBO Max, Hulu and More in January (Noel Murray, NY Times, 12-31-2020)
The 20 Best Dramas Since ‘The Sopranos’ (NY Times, 1-10-19)
Best Movies on Netflix (New York Times)
What to Stream: Forty of the Best Movies on Netflix Right Now (Richard Brody, New Yorker, 4-4-2020)
If You're Obsessed With "Virgin River," Here Are 17 Underrated Shows You'll Love Too (Lauren Garafano, Buzzfeed, 12-4-2020) Good shows on cable.
The 50 Best TV Shows on Netflix Right Now (Noel Murray, NY Times, 11-20-2020)
The 18 best documentaries of 2020 (Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, 12-28-2020) Revealing, inspiring, and mind-bending nonfiction films from an unreal year.
The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now (Noel Murray, NY Times, 11-20-2020)

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What's Lorraine Watching Looking for something interesting and maybe a little offbeat? Not your typical review column.
David Sims's reviews and roundup reviews for the Atlantic
The Twenty-Seven Best Movies of the Decade (Richard Brody, New Yorker, 11-26-19)
Five films about parents and their children to stream this weekend (Richard Brody, New Yorker, 5-4-18) “Columbus,” “Wichita,” “Imperial Dreams,” “Boy,” and “No Home Movie.”
American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Movies lists (scroll left side to find 100 best thrillers, 100 best heroes and villains, 100 best film scores, 100 best musicals, etc. See also 100 Greatest Movies, a PDF document)
Top 100 Movies of All Time (Rotten Tomatoes) And on this page you can find Top 100 Movies by Genre.
All-Time 100 Best Films (picks of Time critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel)
The best 100 films of the 21st century, according to 177 film critics around the world (Quartz)
The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made (New York Times critics' list, with links to the reviews, which in some cases come years after the movie was released)
Documentaries that won Academy Awards (Wikipedia list)
Entertainment Weekly's 100 Greatest Films of All Time
50 Greatest Chick Flicks (O Magazine, posted on AMC website)

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Werner Herzog on five best films about football (1-1: Cinema of The Pitch, Game of Our Lives, 3-15-18)
Greatest Black Movies (nonso1990, Internet Movie DataBase)
Greatest Guy Movies
101 Greatest Screenplays (Writers Guild of America, West)
101 Best-Written TV Series of All Time (Writers Guild of America, posted by Deadline Hollywood, 6-2-13)
25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years (Entertainment Weekly, IMDB, 2012, updated 5-30-15). See also 25 Greatest Cult TV Shows Ever (EW, 9-15-09) and 23 of the Best Cult TV Shows of All Time: ‘Mystery Science Theater’ to ‘Twin Peaks’ (Joe Otterson, The Wrap, 7-4-17) Search for "cult TV shows" and give dates and get even more items for your to-watch list.
101 Funniest Screenplays (WGA, West) See also Paul Brownfield about the Funniest list.
10 Best Films of All Time (Sight & Sound Magazine, selected by film critics. Films are movies that can be judged artistically, rising above mere entertainment,) Posted on Filmsite. "Rules of the Game" appears on list most.

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Best Films About the Troubles (Northern Island) (The Movie Gourmet)
Top 25 films on memory (The Arts & Faith, Image Journal) Interesting commentary on such films as The Manchurian Candidate, Blade Runner, The Remains of the Day, 8 1/2, Memento, Rashôman -- on different ways of viewing memory's influence, aspects.
Top Rated Documentary Films (IMDb chart).
The 34 best political movies ever made (Ann Hornaday, Washinton Post, 1-23-2020)
The 50 Best Movies on Netflix Instant (Josh Jackson, Paste, 5-23-12). Just to be practical--if you're looking for something to watch tonight, at home.

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Blogs about film and screenwriting

100 Best Blogs for Film and Theater Students (Best University)
Top 10 Screenwriting Blogs (Stephanie Palmer, Good in a Room)
Ten Screenwriting Sites Every Screenwriter Should Bookmark (The Backstory, Screenwriting Staff)
The Top Film Criticism Sites, Annotated blog, Part 1 (Paul Brunick & Staff, Slant Magazine)
The Artful Writer (Craig Mazin and Ted Elliott's blog: information, theory and debate for the professional screenwriter)
Balls of Steel (Jeanne Veillette Bowerman's published clips for Script)
The Bitter Script Reader (BSR) "The advice and rantings of a Hollywood script reader tired of seeing screenwriters make the same mistakes, saving the world from bad writing one screenplay at a time. Learn what it takes to get your script past one of these mythical Gatekeepers."
The Black List (blog for The Black List, an annual list of the most popular unproduced screenplays as voted on by Hollywood insiders). You can see previous releases of the Black List here.
By Ken Levine ("The World As Seen by a TV Comedy Writer")
Commencement (John August and Craig Mazin)
Doug Richardson's blog
Film (blogging the reel world)
Flying Wrestler (thoughts on screenwriting from writer-producer erik bork)
Cinematical (good writing for film lovers)
Complications Ensue: The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog (Alex Epstein on the craft of screenwriting for tv and movies)
Deadline Hollywood Daily (Hollywood news)
The Film Experience (cinephile Nathaniel R. Gemini)
A Filmmaker's Life (Jacques Thelemaque, on being an indie filmmaker)
Films Gone Wild
Filmmaker Magazine blog (good magazine and blog for learning about indie films, filmmakers, filmmaking, and film festivals)
Go Into the Story (Scott Myers, official blog of The Blacklist)
Greencine Daily (from highbrow and avant garde to blockbuster movies)
HD for Indies (High Definition Video for Independent Filmmakers, Mike Curtis's how-to blog for digital filmmakers)
Hope for Film blog (Ted Hope, an indie film producer)
The Hot Blog (Ray Pride's blog Movie City News)
The Hotlist (keeps members of Writers Guild of America West abreast of the latest New Media trends by featuring some of the most cutting edge content on the Web)
indieWire Blog Network (several blogs)
io9 (blog about science fiction films)
Jane Espenson's blog about writing scripts on spec
Jen Grisanti, her blog (including Being Story), her podcasts, her Tell and Sell Your Story subscription.
John August (blog for writers by a veteran screenwriter--with much useful information about screenwriting)
Movie Mom (Nell Minow, Belief.Net, on good movies for kids and families)
Playblog (Playbill's blog)
Roger Ebert
Running with My Eyes Closed (Jill Gollick's blog on television writing for screenwriters)
Script Magazine's screenwriting bloggers and posts
Slashfilm.com (blogging the reel world)
• Stage 32. Here: Maximize Viewer Engagement In Your Film: Resolving Filmmakers' Blind Spots (Dennis Kitainik)
Steven Pressfield's blog
Thompson on Hollywood (Anne Thompson, IndieWire.com, a mix of Hollywood and Indie news)
Word Play (Terry Rossio's screenwriting columns). For example, see 23 Steps to a Feature Film Sale
"The thing about the movie business is this: Hollywood has always seduced into silence by overpaying us. The fact is, you have no control. No screenwriter has ever had control. If you want to become a writer-producer or a writer-director, it would be different." ~William Goldman, "Screenwriting Seminar"

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Podcasts about the film and TV business:

AwardsWatch podcast

Talking Sopranos Podcast Sopranos co-stars Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa host the definitive Sopranos re-watch podcast. Michael and Steve follow the Sopranos series episode by episode giving fans all the inside info, behind the scenes stories and little-known facts that could only come from someone on the inside.
Talking Sopranos #68 w/Ricky Gervais "Join the Club" (68th episode of the Talking Sopranos podcast, 7-12-21) Ricky Gervais joins Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa on Talking Sopranos. Ricky is a huge fan of the Sopranos, a show which he calls “A Masterpiece”. He tells Michael and Steve why he believes the show was so successful, and of course his take on the ending. He talks about his career, The Office, and his latest show After Life. Ricky also talks about hosting the Golden Globes and what people thought about his performance afterwards. Then Michael and Steve break down what could be one of the most complicated episodes of the entire Sopranos series.

HBO Paid James Gandolfini $3 Million Not to Replace Steve Carell on The Office (Savannah Walsh, Vanity Fair, 7-15-21) To hear his Sopranos costars tell it, Gandolfini was allegedly lured away from the sitcom with a major payout.

The Best Filmmaking Podcasts: Our List of Essential Listening (MusicBed) Filmspotting. What it is: Hosted by Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen, Filmspotting is a movie-lover's podcast. Scriptnotes, The Director's Cut, Fiolm Riot, The Treatment, The Business, Indiewire: Screen Talk, Indiewire: Filmmaker Toolkit
25 Best Filmmaking Podcasts (Phillip Paquette, Wrapbook)
‘What Happened in Skinner’ and the Art of Podcast World-Building (Julian Sancton, Hollywood Reporter, 3-8-22) How the scrappy indie makers of the Ambie-nominated fiction series expanded the show’s creepy alternate universe in real life.

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Fair use, copyright, social media, and multimedia

in film, documentaries, and video

WGAWest Script Registry When you register your script prior to submitting it to agents, managers, or producers, you document your authorship on a given date should there be unauthorized usage.
The Center for Social Media at American University has posted excellent resources, especially on best practices in fair use of various multimedia, including the following documents:
Statement of Best Practice in Fair Use of Dance-Related Materials
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare
Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video
The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education
Fair Use in Media Literacy Education FAQ
Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User-Generated Video
Frequently asked questions about fair use, based on these statements of practice
The Cost of Copyright Confusion for Media Literacy
Unauthorized: The Copyright Conundrum in Participatory Video
The Good, The Bad and the Confusing: User-Generated Video Creators on Copyright
Documentary Filmmakers’ Statement of Best Practices in Fair Use
Success of the Statement of Best Practices
Digital Futures: A Need-to-Know Policy Guide for Independent Filmmakers.
John August posts on rights and copyright
Documentary Filmmakers Win Exemption From Digital Millennium Copyright Act (PRWeb, 7-28-10). "Documentary Filmmakers Granted Access to Previously Off Limits DVD Content, Restoring Their Fair Use Rights" -- From the Library of Congress: Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Technological Measures that Control Access to Copyrighted Works.
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, DMCA Takedown Notices, and Related Issues (on the Copyright page of Writers and Editors website

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Miscellaneous useful links (films, docs, video, etc.)

"You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart." ~Fred Allen

Don't expect script approval. Advises one novelist,"Cash the check, walk away, and forget about it. It's the best way to keep your sanity."

Act Like a Writer (Molly Ringwald, Opinionator, NY Times, 8-18-12). "The appeal of diving into a character has always been the back story: everything that my character has been through up to the point when the audience first encounters her. "
After Criticism, Film Museum Will Highlight Hollywood’s Jewish History (Adam Nagourney, NY Times, 3-21-22) When the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opened in Los Angeles, it was lauded for honoring, in an industry historically dominated by white men, the contributions that women, artists of color and people from many backgrounds have made to film. But one group was conspicuously absent in this initial celebration of diversity and inclusivity: the Jewish immigrants — white men all — who were central to founding the Hollywood studio system. Now, museum officials say, that is going to change.
AFI catalog of feature films
Agents, packaging deals with the studios, and screwing the writer. “But I’m not a lawyer. I’m an agent.” (David Simon, The Audacity of Despair, 3-18-19) The writer David Simon (The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street) shares his experience with the movie- and television-industry practice of packaging -- of agents forgoing their commission from their client (David Simon, in this case) in assembling teams of talent a studio might need for a show (in this case for his book: Homicide: Life on the Street) and are paid directly by the studio. David Simon suggested Barry Levinson to produce the show, and he wrote the book, but the agent, whose fiduciary duty should be to his client Simon, instead got paid a lot of money from the studio for getting the deal for the studio--he got paid a lot more than Simon did. And he wanted to do the same thing for Simon's other project: The Wire. Read Simon's piece to get the full story and be warned: Packaging does NOT favor the author. And agents who do this packaging are not honoring the rules of the game for agents.

Amazon's Bad Deal. Craig Mazin (The Artful Writer, 11-20-10) writes: "Recently, Amazon launched 'Amazon Studios,' a strange mashup of contest/development/crowd-sourcing designed to help filmmakers 'break in' by getting noticed, winning money and even having their movies released by Warner Brothers. It’s a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad deal," especially if your script is good." Screenwriter John August also weighs in against the idea: On the Amazon film thing.
Array a film collective dedicated to the amplification of images by people of color and women directors Founded in 2010 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a grassroots distribution, arts and advocacy collective focused on films by people of color and women.
ArtAge Publications, the Senior Theatre Resource Center (Facebook page). See especially Senior Theatre (PDF, ArtAge catalog, Vol. 10, 2007) or download a more recent catalog.
The Art of the Adaptation (Authors Guild webinar, 1 hour) Novelist and screenwriter Richard Vetere and Authors Guild general counsel Cheryl Davis answer important questions about adapting your work for the screen. Does your contract with your publisher allow you to do it? If so, how do you approach the adaptation process? What creative questions should you ask yourself first? What characters do you keep, which do you lose? What locations should be in the movie? Can you create new characters, new events? If you’re writing a series of books, can you then use those new characters in the series? If you work with another writer, what are your rights in the screenplay? There is an art to adaptation, as well as the business of making sure your rights are protected. New rules for ‘based on a true story’


The Basics of Video Editing: The Complete Guide (Adam Dachis, Lifehacker Night School). "Last week we learned the basics of video editing, covering everything from the general workflow to special effects and color correction to a primer on encoding and delivery. Here's the complete guide with all the videos and notes in one convenient location."
The Black List (where filmmakers and scriptwriters meet--a network of script writers, buyers, and representatives making it easier to connect).
---The Hollywood List Everyone Wants to Be On (Alex Wagner, The Atlantic, March 2017) Franklin Leonard’s anonymous survey has launched careers, recognized four of the past eight Best Picture winners, and pushed movie studios to think beyond sequels and action flicks. Movies that have come out of Black List scripts comprise a Murderers’ Row of critics’ picks: Spotlight, The Revenant, Whiplash, Argo, The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Juno, There Will Be Blood, The Imitation Game.
---The Black List podcast
---The Black List interviews

Black Film Center/Archive (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Bookshops: Theatre and Film (most of them use the British "theatre" instead of the American "theater")
Samuel French Bookshops (Los Angeles), amazing source for books, plays, screenplays, cast recordings, dialects, etc. (associated with , play publishers and representatives.
E-script Online Film and Theatre Bookstore (wide selection of contemporary plays, screenplays, and other theatre and film publications and recordings)
Drama Book Shop, Inc. (New York, phone: 212-944-0595, tollfree from US and Canada: 800 322-0595, info@dramabookishop.com)
Tell me if I have omitted anyone useful.

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Candide (a good Scottish production)This BBC telecast represents the world premiere of the 1988 Scottish Opera version of Leonard Bernstein’s comic operetta Candide, based on Voltaire's satire, directed by Jonathan Miller and John Wells. Bernstein attends and John Mauceri conducts this most complete version of the score ever seen on the stage. It is my favorite musical, and I am so happy to find this excellent performance available online. It's worth buying the CD version of the music (only) from the original Broadway production, in which Cunegonde was played by Barbara Cook, who sang the delightful Glitter and Be Gay:


Glitter and be gay,
That's the part I play.
Here I am in Paris, France.
Born to higher things,
Here I drop my wings,
Victimized by bitter,
Bitter circumstance.
Can the brightest broach
Shield me from reproach?
Can the purest diamond
Purify my name?

And yet, of course, these trinkets are endearing,
I'm awful glad my sapphire is a star,
I rather like these twenty-carat earrings,
If I'm not pure, at least my jewels are!
Enough, enough,
I'll take that diamond necklace.
And show my noble stuff,
By being gay and reckless...


Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Couldn't Lose: An oral history of Friday Night Lights (Robert Mays, Grantland, and the cast of the fabulous TV series Friday Night Lights, based on the narrative nonfiction book Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And a Dream by H.G. Bissinger. (Hate football? Watch and read it anyway. Great work!)

Collaboration agreement forms for authors and screenwriters (James A. Conrad). You may find section on collaboration agreements helpful, though its main focus is book collaborations. At Writers Guild of America you can download a Writer's Collaboration Agreement (PDF) with blanks to be filled in.

Creating Character Web (John Truby, Raindance).
Creative Screenwriting (a magazine for screenwriters). Look for articles by broad topic (craft, career, business, interviews, reviews, columns, contest)

Credits Manuals (Writers Guild of America West)
---Credits Survival Guide (WGA)
---Screen Credits Manual (WGA)
---Television Credits Manual

Danish filmwriters' vow of chastity. On Poynter online, Roy Peter Clark (in "Why nonfiction writers should take a vow of chastity") comments on a public manifesto Danish screenwriters Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg propose, because so many film makers had abandoned cinematic artistic integrity. Among ten points listed: 1. Shooting must be done on location. Props and sets must not be brought in (if a particular prop is necessary for the story, a location must be chosen where this prop is to be found). Clark proposes a parallel vow of chastity for nonfiction writers.
The death of Hollywood’s middle class (fascinating long read by Nicole LaPorte, Fast Company, 10-25-18) How Netflix and the streaming wars are creating massive income inequality in the entertainment industry. “People talk about this Golden Age of TV—there are so many shows, so many opportunities,” Jack Allison says. “But there are only so many shows staffing at any given time. And there are so many people going up for those jobs, because the jobs are shorter and there’s an influx of people who want to do this.”
"The growth of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and now Apple and Facebook’s video ambitions have meant an explosion of content buyers in Hollywood....On the one hand, name-brand stars like Rhimes receive jaw-dropping deals that the networks can’t match. On the other, less prominent talent is finding that streaming companies can be quite creative in being thrifty....Because companies like Netflix don’t release viewing numbers, the payments aren’t based on ratings. So if a show is a big hit, the residual payment won’t reflect that. The secrecy around viewership “absolutely affects your residuals,” says actress Allison Becker. “That’s one of the things Netflix is being sneaky about, and that’s greatly hurting our residuals.” "
Digital vs. film. At the Summer Box Office, a Battle Between Two Ways of Filming (Govindini Murty and Jason Apuzzo, The Atlantic, 5-14-12). Digital moviemaking is on the rise, but some high-profile directors still shoot popcorn flicks the old way. A review of, and essay drawn from, Side by Side: The Science, Art, and Impact of Digital Cinema, a documentary that examines "the intensified, late-stage competition between film and digital." The digital process makes it easier for everyone to make a movie--it democratizes the process. But there are many digital formats and down the road we may not be able to share and preserve those digital movies.

Done Deal Professional (about the business and craft of screenwriting -- e.g., tracks film and television script sales & deals made in Hollywood each day)

EarthCam view of Times Square, New York (and click on links to go to other parts of the city)

Everybody in Hollywood Needs an eBook Strategy (Mike Shatzkin, The Shatzkin Files 5-14-12). "A Big Six CEO told me last week that the two core skills and competencies that publishers require are 'editorial,' picking the books and developing them, and 'marketing,' letting the interested public know the book is there." Shatzkin tells Hollywood its opportunity is here: Make eBooks of all the Seinfeld scripts, for example....

First drafts. "When I"m writing the first draft I'm constantly reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into the sandbox so that later I can build castles." ~ Jordan Peele @Outstanding.Screenplays


For Budding Screenwriters, a Way Past the Studio Gates (Rachel Dodes, Wall Street Journal, 12-13-12). The Black List, compiled by Franklin Leonard, is an elite compendium of unproduced scripts, many of which don't stay that way long after appearing on the list. "If the model succeeds, it could help more aspiring screenwriters get their work past Hollywood's gatekeepers and into the hands of people who actually make movies."See The Black List

Free documentaries and movies online
---Documentary Lovers Top Documentaries (watch great documentaries free online)
---Documentary 24 (watch free documentaries online)
---11 Sites and Apps for Watching Documentaries Free Online (Emma Moley, POV's Documentary Blog, 8-28-14)
---Top Documentary Films
---265 Free Documentaries Online (Open Culture)
---Where to watch free movies online (Kris Wouk, Digital Trends, 8-7-18)
---Free Movies Cinema
---Moving Image Archive
---,150 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc. (Open Culture)

Frequently asked questions about screenwriting and the movie industry (Alex Epstein, author of the book Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made

Games for Change (real world video games, real world impact)
From Author To Screenwriter: Tips for Taking your Books to Hollywood with Huss McClain (Joanna Penn hosts J.A.Huss and Johnathan McClain telling the story of how they worked together to turn Julie's books into a successful TV pitch). The story behind the story, with one tip, such as Getting a good entertainment lawyer is important, leading to another: "Here's something that I don't think a lot of people know about the Hollywood entertainment lawyers, is they don't charge you by the hour. They take a percentage of your contract. They take 5% or whatever. ...They're commissionable. They commission off of the deal. And the other thing is, of course, if you negotiate a deal in television a lot, on the acting side specifically, they negotiate the deal before you get an acting job, if it's a big job....They prenegotiate the deals so that they can't desperately want you and then you're in the position to have the bargaining power. If they desperately want you and then they negotiate the deal, they lose the power position. So things are prenegotiated."

Field Guide to Sponsored Films by Rick Prelinger (PDF about the Prelinger Archives of 51,000 advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur films, acquired by the Library of Congress in 2002). Also available from third-party sellers as a book
The 15 Best Documentaries About Making a Film (The Film Stage, 2-15-15)
Film Criticism Is Dying? Not Online Thanks to the Internet, there is more and better writing about movies than ever before, says Roger Ebert (WSJ, 1-22-11). Some of the main sites for film criticism:
---David Bordwell
---Edward Copeland on Film
---Musings by film commentators from around the world (SunTimes blog, edited by Ebert)
---Cahiers du cinéma

Film Preservation Links (Center for Home Movies)
Final Draft (the top-selling screenwriting software)
Footage.net A comprehensive collection of commercial stock and archival footage. Need help finding the perfect clip? Send a Zap or ask for a concierge search.
From Playwright to Publishing Company Chief, Then Back Again (Mervyn Rothstein, NY Times, 8-28-02) Thomas McCormack is the former chairman, chief executive and editorial director of St. Martin's Press. Mr. McCormack is also a playwright. He wrote his first play more than 30 years ago, and now he has written his second, a comic drama about what he knows best, the publishing business and, to use his words, ''what it takes'' to be a C.E.O., ''and what it takes away.'' An interesting profile of one of the most interesting people in book publishing, whom I had the pleasure to work with.

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Go Into the Story archives (Scott Myers) Pure gold here. See, for example:
---100 Archive Links (by topic, including Spec Script Deals Analysis, Screenwriting Skills You Need, A Story Idea Each Day for a Month, Classic Movies by Decade, Dialogue Writing Exercises, Go Into the Story, Studies in Flashbacks, Studies in Voice-Over Narration,
---Go Into The Story (Scott Myers interview with the successful scriptwriter Craig Mazin.
Goodreads Listopia > Book To Film Book Lists. Love the categories: The BOOK was BETTER than the MOVIE. The MOVIE was BETTER than the BOOK. Both the book and the movie are good! Book To Movie Adaptations You're Most Excited About. Books That Should Be Made Into BETTER Movies.  American Literature at the Movies. Short stories that became films.  And so on!
Go Into the Story (Scott Myers on screenwriting) -- check the links down right for some interesting pages, including A story idea each day for a month (click on them).


Harlan Ellison, the Great Ranter, writer of "speculative fiction"
---Harlan Ellison: A Kind of Twisted Fantasy, Kurt Andersen's interview with Ellison on Studio 360 radio program (and check out the Bonus Track: "Harlan Ellison uncut") Most ranters get boring; Ellison's rants are as verbally creative as his "speculative fiction."
---"I have never written science fiction...What I write is a kind of twisted fantasy." ~ Harlan Ellison
The Hero's Journey (PDF, Liz Warren's summary of the steps Joseph Campbell writes about) and the Movie Outline version ("This is essentially a more detailed Character Arc for your story's hero which is overlaid onto the more traditional three-act structure that many successful Hollywood movies such as Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz appear to follow.")
Hiccups in Writing for the Theater (Susan Shafer, ASJA Word, 9-23-15) "I enjoy writing for the theater. But I hate submitting my scripts."
Hollywood Blacklist (United States History) See also The Hollywood Ten.
Hollywood's Copyright Wars: From Edison to the Internet by Peter Decherney. U.S. book publishers started as pirates, using British novels, such as those by Dickens, without paying for rights; in the 1930s they waged an unsuccessful PR campaign to criminalize library borrowing. Changes in copyright law made recorded music, radio, and cable legitimate, when they had been considered piracy (from live entertainment). We have a pervasive "permissions culture" now, that is strangling documentary-makers.
Hollywood Ten, The (History Channel's overview). See also The Hollywood Ten: The Men Who Refused to Name Names (Hollywood Reporter, with profiles of the ten)
Home Movie Day (Center for Home Movies) An annual celebration of amateur films and filmmaking.

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How a new generation of black playwrights is taking on race and privilege in the age of Trump (Peter Marks, WaPo, 4-2-19) "Driven partly by a recognition that artists of color often possess unique understandings of resistance to reactionary forces, the invigorated attention to this group of gifted writers has led to some remarkable productions, especially on the inexhaustibly charged subject of race."
How Hollywood Gets the Publishing Industry Wrong (Sloane Crosley, NY Times, 1-1-19) "Despite decades of sending emissaries back and forth from coast to coast, swapping mediums, one side looking for money, the other for legitimacy, we remain strangers to our cousins in storytelling."
How to Crack the Film World's Glass Ceiling (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones, Sept./Oct.2013) Chicken & Egg Pictures incubates women filmmakers—and has Oscars to show for it.
How to find a writer's assistant job and an earlier version of the post by Amanda Pendolino (@amandapendo). See also The Writers' Assistant Life: How to Get In and The Writers' Assistant Life: How to Not Find a Job by Ariel, Industry Nexus.
How to Get Your Book Adapted into a Screenplay (Scott Lorenz, Westwind Book Marketing, 10-11-22)
How to Soundproof a Room (Wired How-to Wiki)
How to Write the "Screenwriter's Résumé " (Jacob Stuart, Screenwriting Staffing)

Image professionals, resources for . Webpage for media pros and allied professionals (translators, indexers, designers, photographers, artists, illustrators, animators, cartoonists, image professionals, composers)
IMDbPro (paid-subscription version of Internet Movie Database, designed for people in the entertainment industry, searchable for contacts in entertainment companies--free 14-day trial available, then $12.95 a month). Check filmographies & credits, find industry contacts & talent representation, access in-development & production titles, showcase yourself on IMDb & Amazon, etc.
IMDb and IMDbPro services compared (by site itself)
In Conversation About Diversity In Hollywood, Where Does Sundance Fit In? (Monica Castillo, NPR, 2-4-16) Conversations with several filmmakers and critics of color during the Sundance film festival suggest that while Sundance could never be a silver bullet in fixing Hollywood's diversity problems, it indeed has an important role to play.
InkTip (script matchmaker: entertainment professionals can find scripts, screenwriters can list their screenplays for sale)
Inside Film Magazine (online), providing coverage of film festivals, includingfilm festivals, by month
Internet Encyclopedia of Cinematographers (Albert Steeman Productions in The Netherlands)
Internet Movie Database (IMDb, superb movie database, great for for when you know the name of the actor but not the film, or only the name of one of the films one of the actors played in--you can retrace your steps and fill in the blanks)
Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb)
Internet Theatre Database

Ken Burns on storytelling:
Ken Burns on the Power of History and Creativity (short video)
Ken Burns on the Art of Storytelling: “It’s Lying Twenty-Four Times a Second” (Colin Marshall, Open Culture, 5-17-12)
Ken Burns on Storytelling: 'All Story is Manipulation' (Joe Marine, No Film School, May 2015) Imbedded in story is a short documentary: Ken Burns: On Story, directed by Sarah Klein and Tom Mason. See also ‘Star Wars,’ if it were directed by Ken Burns (Alyssa Rosenberg, WaPo, 12-18-15). As Joe Marine says, "On a serious note, it's worth taking a look at the style that Burns has consistently incorporated into his documentaries and why it works. The biggest reason they've become so popular is because the stories unfold in a very natural way — nothing is hitting you over the head — and the storytelling creates a very real and tangible texture of the time period they are talking about."
Ken Burns on Why His Formula for a Great Story Is 1+1=3 (Sarah Klein and Tom Mason on the making of Ken Burns: On Story, The Atlantic, 5-17-12)
How 1 and 1 makes 3 and more lessons in storytelling from Ken Burns (watch this 5-minute video of Burns explaining the mysteries of storytelling, but Adam Westbrook also summaries the main points, which include: "The good guys have very serious flaws and the bad guys are very compelling. "
and Ken Burns on the practicalities of public television production:
Ken Burns on PBS Funding, Being a "Yellow-Dog Democrat," & Missing Walter Cronkite (Meredith Bragg & Nick Gillespie, Hit & Run, reason.com, 10-3-11) Do listen to this one!

Learning from The Wire (Nathan Bransford, 3-10-08)
“Learn to love all forms of storytelling.” Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir (Heather Hale, Creative Screenwriting, 4-27-15) Writers and screenwriting teachers Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir share their insights on the importance of writing with partners, developing scripts for television, adaptations, plotting, studio vs. independent pitches, taking notes, writing video games.

Library of Congress catalog (search for film info, etc.)
Links to resources on screenwriting and playwriting (Internet-Resources.com) Some of the links no longer work, but some do. Links are for topics ranging from Screenwriting/Scriptwriting and Playwriting to Comics, Cartooning, & Animation. A page on The Electric Editors says "We will be redesigning and refreshing this website in 2009." But the names are a clue to look for X, Y, or Z.

Literary devices, defined (LiteraryDevices.net)

Luna: A Whale to Watch. (Michael Parfit, Smithsonian magazine, 8-11). "The true story of a lonely orca leaps from printed page to silver screen, with a boost from new technology." The streamlining (even the physical lightening, in weight) of technology has put film-making into more hands, so the studio system doesn't have the tight control over distribution it once had. The studios said 'No' to this film about Luna, but it got made anyway.

Mapping Public Radio’s Independent Landscape (AIR)
Mastering Multimedia (links to resources for learning the art and craft of various aspects of multimedia)
Margaret Atwood says Handmaid's Tale TV show profits went to MGM, not her (Sian Cain, The Guardian, 2-1-18) Margaret Atwood says Handmaid's Tale TV show profits went to MGM, not her. Author says she ‘did not have a negotiating position’, after selling the rights of her novel to MGM for a 1990 film, which the studio retained.

Matte paintings
---The 50 greatest matte paintings of all time. The art of the glass shot or matte painting originated in the early ‘teens’ of the silent era. The matte process is one whereby a limited film set may be extended to whatever, or wherever the director’s imagination dictates with the employment of a matte artist.
---50 Best Matte Paintings Tutorials (Bunty Pundir, PSD Stack)

9 Elements of Great Films John Truby (Raindance)
Nonny de la Peña on “Gone Gitmo,” Stroome and the future of interactive storytelling Ernesto Pirego (Nieman Storyboard 1-30-11) interviews one of the co-founders of Stroome.com, a community that allows online collaborative remixing of visual journalism

101 Greatest Screenplays (Writers Guild of America West)
Online Media Resources Center ((UC Berkeley Media Resource Center's links to sources of audio and video resources on the Web)
Online Resources for Moving Image Related Subjects & Materials (Moving Image Research Center, Library of Congress)
Online Storyboard Creator (Milanote) A good place to organize your notes, scene ideas, and rough sketches in one place before production begins--to replace your notebook--a companion to your editing tool (Final Cut Pro, Avid, etc.).
On screen and on stage, disability continues to be depicted in outdated, cliched ways (Magda Romanska, The Conversation, 11-2-2020) Despite an increased sensitivity to gender and race representation in popular culture, disabled Americans are still awaiting their national (and international) movement....Typically, the disabled characters are limited to four types: the “magical cripple,” the “evil cripple,” the “inspirational cripple” and the “redemptive cripple.” ...What if their disability weren’t the thing to overcome but merely one element of one’s identity?This would require deconstructing the conceptual pyramid of past hierarchies, one that has long used disabled characters as props to illuminate conventional heroes."
An oral history of Godspell (Toronto, 1972) (Zachary Pincus-Roth, Arts & Entertainment, WaPo, 5-19-22) They all starred in ‘Godspell.’ Then they became comedy legends. An oral history of the improbable 1972 Toronto production, featuring Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Gilda Radner, Andrea Martin, Victor Garber, and Paul Shaffer.
Organization/hierarchy structure of The Wire (the excellent HBO series about druglords in Baltimore), plus other great online info on the series

The Portrayal of the American Legal System in Prime Time Television Crime Dramas (PDF, Samantha Parker, Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, Spring 2013). Worth a read, if only for the discussion and conclusion.

Production Designer Reviews Movie Mansions, from ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ to ‘Clueless’ YouTube, Vanity Fair, 4-23-2020) Jon Hutman takes us through the set designs of famous movie homes from ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ ‘Clueless,’ ‘Practical Magic,’ ‘Something’s Gotta Give,’ ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith,’ ’10 Things I Hate About You,’ ‘Gone Girl,’ ‘The Holiday,’ ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ ‘Love Actually,’ ‘The Family Stone’ and Alfred Hitchcock’s ’North by Northwest'

PUMA Creative Catalyst Award (PUMA and BRITDOC, for an international documentary filmmaker with a story to tell, but not necessarily the resources to do it -- developed to give filmmakers the funds to develop trailers for their films). Apply at BRITDOC. See finalist trailers.

**Readers, Streamers, and Watchers A private Facebook group (started by Marcy Davis) that you can ask to join. Book, movie, TV, theater and art exhibit recommendations by lovers of same. I like it for movie and book recommendations--for new and old books, movies, and TV titles.

Realistic Budgeting for Documentaries by David L. Brown. Written for Release Print, Film Arts Foundation, January 2005. Posted by Tony Levelle

Reel Classics

Rightscenter Rightscenter's Film Rights Directory (FRD) A database of over 125,000 literary adaptation rights. The FRD allows Film/TV rights buyers to quickly find agent and availability information for books, short stories, graphic novels, plays, and magazine articles. Material included spans pre-1900 all the way to upcoming releases, even books that have just sold to publishers. New tracking and notification features make it easy for users to keep tabs on their favorite titles and authors.

Robert McKee's links to resources And do check out McKee SeminarsRotten Tomatoes (a website and film review aggregator devoted to reviews, previews, trailers, information, and news of films, reviewed and rated on the tomatometer)

The Rules of the Game: A Century of Hollywood Publicity (Anne Helen Petersen, Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2013, pp. 46-59)

Saving the Story (the Film Version) (Michael Cieply, NY Times 11-17-08) "A common gripe is that gamelike, open-ended series like “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Spider-Man” have eroded filmmakers’ ability to wrap up their movies in the third act. Another is that a preference for proven, outside stories like the Harry Potter books is killing Hollywood’s appetite for original storytelling."

Screaming in movies. My scream is famous (Ashley Peldon, The Guardian, 4-8-22) First person piece from a professional scream artist. Her shrieks are used in film and TV when the onscreen actors can't, or won't, give a character's terror the vocal oomph that the director requires. "You’ve heard me in Paranormal Activity, Free Guy and Scream. We are like stunt people, doing stuff that could damage an actor’s voice."

Screen Credits Manual (Writers Guild of America)

Script Frenzy, an April challenge to write 100 pages of original scripted material in 30 days (screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, and graphic novels all welcome). From the people who brought you National Novel Writing Month (NaNo), in which you write 50,000 words of fiction in a month(November).

Secrets from Voiceover School (Karen Melgar, Narratively, "You may never know their names or see their faces, but becoming a go-to voice in Hollywood requires just as much hard work and hustle as making it on the big screen."

Senior Theatre (PDF, ArtAge catalog, Vol. 10, 2007.

The Setup-Payoff Model of Storytelling (Bryan Keithley, Ascentive Blog 6-1-11). Essentially, as Chekhov said, " if a gun appears prominently in the first act of the play, it had better play some role by the final act, or else the audience will feel cheated." This has to do " with the literary real estate you give to an item, theme, character, etc."
Setups and Payoffs (Steven Pressfield, 10-31-12). Beginning writers often fail to provide a payoff for a setup or a setup for a payoff. You need both, whether you're writing a novel, screenplay, short story, or op ed, says Pressfield.
Setups, Payoffs, MacGuffins and Red Herrings (Anton Mueller's syllabus at UCLA, Spring 2010, PDF).
Setup & Payoffs in Mean Girls (Scribe Meets World)

Shakespeare: The Complete Works (free, online--plays and poems)

The Sideways Publishing Saga -- Part I: Rejection by Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, on Huffington Post, 1-21-12). Followed by Part II: Part II: Exultation (2-3-12) and Part III: Whiplash; Dismay! (2-8-12). Also, see the movie Sideways.

Spielbergs Curriculum. It may not actually be Spielberg's list of the movies you MUST see to learn about film, but it's a pretty good list!

StageGrade (reporting the critical consensus for New York City plays and musicals (formerly Critic-o-Meter)

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) (mission: to strengthen, nurture and promote professional not-for-profit American theatre)

Thanks to Brave, Each Pixar Movie Is a Chapter in One Huge Story (Doug Barry, Jezebel, 7-13-13)

The Theology of Screenwriting, Part 1: Sin (Scott Myers, Go Into the Story, The Black List blog, 9-17-12) • Part 2: ConversionPart 3: Predestination Part 4: SalvationPart 5: Doubt Part 6: Guilt Part 7: Forgiveness Part 8: Incarnation Part 9: HellPart 10: Redemption Part 11: Revelation Part 12: Baptism Part 13: CongregationPart 14: DoubtPart 15: Grace Part 16: Faith Part 17: Despair Part 18: RighteousnessPart 19: Evil Part 20: Kingdom of God (12-14-12)

13 Literary Writers Who Have Adapted Other People’s Books for the Screen. Or: When Aldous Huxley Wrote Pride and Prejudice (Emily Temple, Lit Hub, 7-26-18) What other literary texts (besides their own) literary writers had ushered towards the big screen.

Television, cable, and Hollywood's changing business models
(e.g., ads vs. product placement)

The Price Is Right (Emily Nussbaum, New Yorker, 10-12-15) Her "My essay on advertising & TV & an industry in chaos (fortified with frustration at product integration)." What advertising does to TV. "The question of how television fits together with advertising—and whether we should resist that relationship or embrace it—has haunted the medium since its origins. Advertising is TV’s original sin." Now, how integrated product placement fuels storylines. On this theme, follow @emilynussbaum on Twitter.

The Changing Business Model of Television and the Impact of IPTV (Todd Mason, Broadcast Management Group, Sept 2013) In 1992, John Malone, then president of the largest cable company, made a bold prediction: “In not too many years, TV viewers will have 500 channels to choose from.” Not only do we have more content options to choose from, but we can view it when we want it, where we want it, and how we want it...even on our smartphones and tablets...One of the most powerful marketing tools for building an audience is social media.
The Future of The TV Business Model (Dina Zipin, Investopedia, 9-7-15) Third-party site like Netflix, Inc., Amazon.com, and Hulu let viewers watch what they want, whenever they want, for a fraction of the cost of most cable subscriptions. It’s no wonder that people are moving to Over-the-top technology (OTT) at a rapid clip, and original shows on these streaming channels—offerings like House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black and The Mindy Project (which jumped to Hulu when Fox canceled the series)—are only getting better. The TV business has weathered major disruptions already, from cable and VCRs to DVD and streaming video...."When broadcast TV was king, programmers made money via advertising and syndication. Big shows had to appeal to broad audiences. Stories had to contain discreet narratives so that each, individual episode could serve as a stand-alone, syndication-friendly unit. Cable made it possible for niche programs to find a home. And now, with streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, characters and plot lines are becoming much more complex....As more and more customers cut the cable cord and log onto online streaming platforms, the TV industry we've known will change. In the future, television executives will worry more and more about niche bundling, autonomy and the quality of their individual offerings. Traditional revenue streams will shift as well and companies like Netflix—which are already seeing profits from subscriptions rather than ads—are expected to lead the way."
Negatives of Changing the Broadcast Industry Business Model (Jonathan Lister, Chron, "the notion of programs appearing at single times on certain days is becoming "quaint" to consumers with schedules that don't line up with traditional TV programming slots....The cheap monthly fees charged by Internet TV websites are undermining the larger monthly fees charged by traditional cable outlets. Many of these websites offer programs available for viewing for free, but viewers have to accept as much as a week delay in programming availability. Many viewers are willing to accept this trade-off in exchange for shedding a high cable or satellite television bill each month....Moving towards more digital television programming leads to an increase in illegal downloading of TV shows."
Advertisers Under Siege Try Jokes About Ads — That Are Ads (Gerry Smith, Bloomberg, 10-6-15)
What TV Does To Itself (John Herman, The Awl, 10-6-15).
12 Excellent Examples Of How Apple Product Placements Rule Hollywood (Laura Stampler, Business Insider, 8-7-12) "“Apple won’t pay to have their products featured, but they are more than willing to hand out an endless amount of computers, iPads, and iPhones,” Gavin Polone, who produced Zombieland, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and more, told Businessweek. “It’s kind of a graft situation.”
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Books and video on screenwriting,
radio and video production, and documentary-making

Scroll down for books on playwriting

Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: The Epic Story of the Making of The Godfather by Mark Seal.“Rollicking and entertaining, Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli lays bare not only the massive executive egos at war during The Godfather’s journey to the screen, and the artistic struggles of the young and despairing Francis Coppola who thought he had a failure on his hands, but also the fascinating tales of how the mob muscled in and protected its production. Mark Seal has chronicled a classic cinematic history that conjures all the alchemy of The Godfather’s magic.” ~ Maureen Orth
I Will Not Read Your F--king Script by Josh Olson, screenwriter for A History of Violence (Village Voice 9-9-09). And I quote: "...an ugly truth about many aspiring screenwriters: They think that screenwriting doesn't actually require the ability to write, just the ability to come up with a cool story that would make a cool movie. Screenwriting is widely regarded as the easiest way to break into the movie business, because it doesn't require any kind of training, skill or equipment. Everybody can write, right? And because they believe that, they don't regard working screenwriters with any kind of real respect. They will hand you a piece of inept writing without a second thought, because you do not have to be a writer to be a screenwriter."
• Akers, William M.. Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great
• Artis, Anthony Q.. The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide: A Down & Dirty DV Production
• Biewen, John. Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound (Documentary Arts and Culture). Biewen is audio program director for Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies; includes essays by Ira Glass, Jay Allison, the Kitchen Sisters, and more)
• Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces
• Chamberlin, Jill. The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting . "It goes way beyond tired old beat sheet formulas and instead guides you to organically write the story you want to tell."~ Callum Greene, Producer
• Chandler, Gael. Cut by Cut: Editing Your Film or Video
• Chitlik, Paul. Rewrite: A Step-by-Step Guide to Strengthen Structure, Characters, and Drama in Your Screenplay
• Cleese, John. Professor at Large: The Cornell Years Read pages 19-78, "Screenwriting Seminar," a wonderfully informative dialogue for the novice between John Cleese and Bill Goldman.
• Crowell, Thomas A. The Pocket Lawyer for Filmmakers: A Legal Toolkit for Independent Producers
• Douglas, Pamela. Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV
• Dunne, Peter. Emotional Structure: Creating the Story Beneath the Plot
• Epstein, Alex. Crafty Screenwriting: Writing Movies That Get Made
• Field, Syd. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting
• Field, Syd. The Screenwriter's Problem Solver: How to Recognize, Identify, and Define Screenwriting Problems. In her book review, Suzie Quint applies plot problem-solving to novels.
• Field, Syd. The Screenwriter's Workbook This is very helpful. Buy one of the more recent editions.
• Field, Syd. Four Screenplays: Studies in the American Screenplay
• Flynn, Danny Martin. How Not to Write a Screenplay: 101 Common Mistakes Most Screenwriters Make
• Glebas, Francis. Directing the Story: Professional Storytelling and Storyboarding Techniques for Live Action and Animation
• Goldberg, Eric. Character Animation Crash Course
• Goldman, William. Adventures in the Screen Trade: A Personal View of Hollywood and Screenwriting. Particularly good on adapting a book or story to the screen, but also just interesting about on the business of Hollywood.
---William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays (Marathon Man, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Princess Bride, and Misery, by William Goldman. (The screenplay for Butch Cassidy could be used as a teaching device for "How to Write a Great Screenplay," says Bonnie Remsberg.)  On this video, Goldman talks about filming Butch Cassidy.
• Hamlett, Christina. Screenwriting for Teens: The 100 Principles of Screenwriting Every Budding Writer Must Know
• Hampe, Barry. Video Scriptwriting: How to Write for the $4 Billion Commercial Video Market (for corporate and instructional script writers)
• Hampe, Barry. Making Documentary Films and Videos: A Practical Guide to Planning, Filming, and Editing Documentaries
• Hart, Moss. Act One: An Autobiography “Moss Hart's Act One is not only the best book ever written about the American theater, but one of the great American autobiographies, by turns gripping, hilarious and searing.” ―Frank Rich
• Hunter, Lew. Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434: The Industry's Premier Teacher Reveals the Secrets of the Successful Screenplay (the one the Miller Bros used)
• Iglesias, Karl. The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters: Insiders' Secrets from Hollywood's Top Writers
• Keane, Christopher. How to Write a Selling Screenplay
• Kennedy, Harold J. No pickle, no performance: An irreverent theatrical excursion from Tallulah to Travolta "Hands down the most entertaining theatrical memoir," full of back-stage tales from Broadway and touring companies--Steve Taravella. Out of print but you can find used copies on Amazon.
The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene.
• Kern, Jonathan. Sound Reporting: The NPR Guide to Audio Journalism and Production
• King, Viki. How to Write a Movie in 21 Days
• King, Scott. Finish The Script! A College Screenwriting Course in Book Form
• Lake, Diane. The Screenwriter's Path: From Idea to Script to Sale
• Laybourne, Kit. The Animation Book: A Complete Guide to Animated Filmmaking--From Flip-Books to Sound Cartoons to 3- D Animation
• Luckie, Mark S. The Digital Journalist's Handbook
• Marks, Dara. Inside Story: The Power of the Transformational Arc. The Secret to Crafting Extraordinary Screenplays.
• Maschwitz, Stu. The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap
• McKee, Robert. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
• Rabiger, Michael Directing the Documentary
• Riley, Christopher. The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style
• Rosenblum, Ralph and Robert Karen. When the Shooting Stops, the Cutting Begins: A Film Editor's Story
• Rosenthal, Alan. Writing, Directing, and Producing Documentary Films and Videos (4th edition)
• Seger, Linda. Making a Good Script Great
• Snyder, Blake. Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. Popular book on structure and storytelling, and if Snyder's Beat Sheet (a list of points in a film script) helps you, look also at Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter's Guide to Every Story Ever Told (discussed in terms of concept, logline, and treatment) and Save the Cat! Strikes Back: More Trouble for Screenwriters to Get into ... and Out of (more on finding the spine of the story, with examples from popular films -- read Suzie Quint's review, for romance writers. However, Peter Suderman, in Slate, writes Save the Movie! "The 2005 screenwriting book that’s taken over Hollywood—and made every movie feel the same." He blames its formula for scripts for the cookie cutter nature of studio films (thanks, Nell Minow).
• Schellhardt, Laura. Screenwriting For Dummies (A to Z, for absolute beginners)
• Thurlow, Clifford. Making Short Films: The Complete Guide from Script to Screen
• Trottier, David. The Screenwriters' Bible: A Complete Guide to Writing, Formatting, and Selling Your Script. This standard reference will help you with the mechanics of the trade -- structure, format, and style.
• Truby, John. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller
• Vachon, Christine. Shooting to Kill
• Van Sijll, Jennifer. Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know
• Vogler, Christopher. The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers
• Whitcomb, Cynthia. The Writer's Guide to Writing Your Screenplay: How to Write Great Screenplays for Movies and Television>

Books on playwriting

• Ball, David.
Backwards & Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays
• Dramatists Guild. The Dramatists Guild Resource Directory 2013: The Writers Guide to the Theatrical Marketplace (a guide to resources for playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists, for everything from submission opportunities--theaters that accept scripts-- to practical advice on securing an agent or a template for formatting your script).
• Egri, Lajos. The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis In The Creative Interpretation Of Human Motives
• Garrison, Gary. A More Perfect Ten: Writing and Producing the Ten-Minute Play
• Hatcher, Jeffrey. The Art and Craft of Playwriting
• Sweet, Jeffrey. Dramatists Toolkit,The Craft of the Working Playwright
• Sweet, Jeffrey. Solving Your Script: Tools and Techniques for the Playwright
• Thomas, James. Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers
• Venis, Linda. Cut to the Chase: Writing Feature Films with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers' Program
• Venis, Linda. Inside the Room: Writing Television with the Pros at UCLA Extension Writers' Program

Memoirs and Biography

• Fisher, Antwone Quenton. Finding Fish: A Memoir
• Goldman, William. Adventures in the Screen Trade; Which Lie Did I Tell: More Adventures in the Screen Trade
• Lardner, Ring, Jr. I'd Hate Myself in the Morning: A Memoir (intro by Victor Navasky). A two-time Academy Award winner, Lardner won the best original screenplay award for "Woman of the Year" and best adapted screenplay award for M*A*S*H. He was also a member of the "Hollywood Ten," the group of writers and directors who went to jail rather than name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).
• Laurents, Arthur. Original Story By: A Memoir of Broadway and Hollywood See also Mainly on Directing: Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other Musicals
• Lumet, Sidney. Making Movies
• Meyer, Nicholas. The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood
• Miller, Logan and Noah Miller. Either You're In or You're In the Way: Two Brothers, Twelve Months, and One Filmmaking Hell-Ride to Keep a Promise to Their Father
• Sprengnether, Madelon. Crying at the Movies: A Film Memoir, about which Library Journal writes: "By exploring her extreme reactions over the years to a range of films, including Pather Panchali, The Piano, and Shadowlands, and trying to place them in the context of her own life, Sprengnether has created a vivid, passionate description of the therapeutic value of cinema."
• Taravella, Steve. Mary Wickes: I Know I've Seen That Face Before. See Nell Minow's interview with Steve on MovieMom, especially on how he tracked down obscure and long-retired child actors.
You'll find reviews of these books at the Amazon links imbedded in the titles . For purchases made after linking to Amazon.com through Writers and Editors, I get a small percentage, which helps support the site. Thanks!

Bookshops: Theatre and Film

(most of them use the British "theatre" instead of the American "theater")

Samuel French Bookshops (Los Angeles), amazing source for books, plays, screenplays, cast recordings, dialects, etc. (associated with , play publishers and representatives.
E-script Online Film and Theatre Bookstore (wide selection of contemporary plays, screenplays, and other theatre and film publications and recordings)
Drama Book Shop, Inc. (New York, phone: 212-944-0595, tollfree from US and Canada: 800 322-0595, info@dramabookishop.com)
Tell me if I have omitted anyone useful.

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Organizations for screenwriters, playwrights,
documentary filmmakers, and critics

Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (which produces the Oscars)
Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (produces the Emmys)
African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)
Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ)
American Cinema Editors ((ACE Film Editors)
American Screenwriters Association (ASA)
American Theatre ("the nation’s only general-circulation magazine devoted to theatre," with much information about organizations, the theatre, etc.)
American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA)
Animation Writers Caucus (part of Writers Guild of America, West). See also its Facebook page
Artists' Rights Organization (WGA list)
The Association for Documentary Editing (ADE), dedicated to the highest professional standards of accuracy of transcription, editorial method, and conceptual indexing. Publishes Scholarly Editing.
Association of Independents in Radio (AIR), a social and professional network of 750+ producers – both independent and those employed by media organizations – representing a range of disciplines, from NPR news journalists and reporters, to sound artists, station-based producers, podcasters, gearheads, media activists, and more. Provide resources to help independent producers navigate the public media industry and talent directory. Check out AIR's week-long Sounds Elemental producer intensives.
Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA, individuals and organizations concerned with the acquisition, description, preservation, exhibition and use of moving image materials)
Association of Personal Historians (APH, recording the lives of ordinary people)
Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) (a nonprofit media arts center founded by a coalition of media makers and activists who wanted to find alternative, civic-minded applications for a new technology - PortaPak video)
The Black List (where filmmakers and scriptwriters meet--a network of script writers, buyers, and representatives making it easier to connect).
Black Theatre Network (dedicated to the exploration and preservation of the theatrical visions of the African Diaspora)
Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) (producers of the Critics' Choice movie awards)
Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) (representing professional interests of those who regularly cover television for TV viewers, radio listeners and online audiences)
Center for Independent Documentary (great links, among other resources)
Cine Story (www.cinestory.org) (nonprofit screenwriter's organization that helps emerging screenwriters hone their craft and find alternative access to the screen)
Dallas Screenwriters Association (DSA)
Directors Guild of America (DGA)
DirectorsNet, the home of creative professionals focused on Motion Picture, Television, Music Videos, Corporate Video and Commercial production
Docs in Progress (nonprofit dedicated to empowering independent documentary filmmakers and educating the public about documentary as an art form -- through programs and services, including work-in-progress screenings, training classes, professional development workshops and webinars, private consultations, online resources and a blog. Based in Silver Spring, MD)
Dramatists Guild (professional association of playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists, which serves over 7,000)
The D-Word (online discussions about the art, craft, business, and social impact of documentary film)
En Avant Playwrights
European Documentary Network (EDN), member-based organization for documentary film and TV professionals
Film Freeway Enter the world's best film festivals and screenplay contests. Discover, submit and get tickets to thousands of events.
Film Independent (membership organization for independent filmmakers--produces Independent Spirit Awards)
IFP Independent Feature Project, independent filmmakers organization that sponsors annual independent filmmaker labs)
Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), trade association of independent producers and distributors of motion picture and television programming worldwide
International Academy of Web Television (IAWT, independent nonprofit organization founded to promote and recognize excellence in original online programming)
International Center for Women Playwrights
International Cinematographers Guild (ICG)
International Documentary Association (IDA) (watch great video docs online and read helpful articles, too)
International Game Developers Association (IGDA, for developers of interactive entertainment)
International Screenwriters' Association (ISA)
Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA)
Motion Picture Association of America
National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC), focused on independent film, video, audio and online/multimedia arts
National Audio Theatre Festivals (NATF, the audio equivalent of a film festival for contemporary audio story-telling in all its forms: live and scripted solo performances, multi-voiced, classic radio drama, experimental narrative, and more)
National Society of Film Critics ("The Truth, Once Every 12 Months")
New Dramatists (New York City, to give playwrights time and space in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre)
New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC)
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Nonprofit that supports emerging artists--partly with info on awards, jobs, and opportunities in the arts.
New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT) Connects, educates, and advocates for women to accelerate diversity in media

911 Media Arts Center (an independent film, video and multimedia resource in Seattle, WA)
Online Film Critics Society (OFCS)
Organization of Black Screenwriters
Playwrights Center
Playwrights Horizons (New York City)
Playwrights' Platform (helping you go from the page to the stage)
Primary Stages (an off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwrighting)
The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies trains aspiring writers, radio producers, and photographers in the art of documentary storytelling. Listen to their excellent Saltcast podcasts (the backstory on great radio storytelling)
San Francisco Film Society
Scriptwriters Network
Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE, whose 10,000 members include engineers, technical directors, cameramen, editors, technicians, manufacturers, educators and consultants)
Stage 32 connects creatives and professionals in film, television and digital content worldwide (800,000 members).
StageSource (links for playwrights)
Sundance Collab Sundance Institute’s digital space for artists from all over the world to ignite their creativity, learn from experts & build community
Sundance Institute Dedicated to discovering and developing independent artists and audiences.
Thriller Writers Association (TWA)
The Washington DC Area Film Critics (WAFCA)
Women Arts (info on funding resources, film reviews, building community). See blog and Tips For Artists Starting Out, among other things.
University Film & Video Association (UFVA)
Wedding & Event Videographers Association (WEVA)
Women in Film (WIF), Los Angeles
Women in Film and Video (WIFV), Washington DC. See their excellent links to industry information (film schools, DC film festivals, screenwriting resources, government archives, television & film archives and research centers, unions and guilds, anti-piracy web campaigns, and accessibility & film)
Writers Guild of America (WGA), East
Writers Guild of America (WGA), West
WGA West Registry ( the official script and screenplay registration service of the Writers Guild of America, West)
Writers Guild of America, West, WGA Schedule of Minimums (PDF), part of the 2014 Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement (updated thru May 2015). Download PDF See also Contracts, Compensation, and Other Rights (the collective bargaining agreement that covers most of the work done by WGA writers -- links on this page lead to a rich supply of information). See also List of Franchised Agencies (agents who have signed the Agency Code of Conduct with the Guild)
Writers Guild links to organizations related to the film industry
The Writers Lab A four-day writers workshop that gives women screenwriters over the age of 40 the opportunity to work intensively on their feature film scripts with the support of established film professionals).


Extra credit:
EarthCam views of Times Square, New York City