Every great writer must start somewhere. Begin by pouring $156,000 into an undergraduate degree.

Your screenplay should address a central unifying question, such as “How do we as humans transcend the tragedy of loss?” or “What have those Smurfs been up to lately?”


Shatter the conventional expectations for female leads by developing a protagonist who is both intelligent and attractive—but who knows how to crack a joke, too.

Consider including at least one character named Big Jeff.

Anytime you use “FADE OUT” at the end of a scene, remember that the audience can’t see anything that’s happening until you fade back in.


Indicate clearly at the beginning of each scene how VFX will make it worth watching.

Take an occasional step back to review your script and double-check that a sense of artistic validation isn’t obstructing its commercial viability.


Once your first draft is finished, scan for spelling errors, then crack open a pack of brass fasteners.