THE COFFEE BREAK SCREENWRITER PDF

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Coffee Break Screenwriter 2nd edition - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Sample PDF. The Coffee Break Screenwriter Pilar Alessandra - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. The Coffee Break. PDF Sample Coffee Break Screenwriter Sample - Free download as PDF File . pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free.


The Coffee Break Screenwriter Pdf

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Read and Download PDF Ebook the coffee break screenwriter writing your script ten minutes at a time at Online Ebook Library. Get the coffee break screenwriter. In less time than it took to watch the Oscars, The Coffee Break Screenwriter class will give you tools to start and finish your screenplay. Coffee Break Screenwriter: Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time - site edition by Pilar Alessandra. Download it once and read it on your site device, .

Suddenly, writers saw TV as a place they could build a world, stretch their character arcs, and potentially find a long-term career. Managers and agents increasingly asked for original pilots as both potential script sales and as writing samples.

As a huge fan of TV myself theres a Breaking Bad Heisenberg decal on the front of my laptop , I began teaching television writing out of my writers studio in L. I used and added to the screenwriting tools I taught in my feature classes and was happy to discover that most of the writing tools in the original Coffee Break translated seamlessly.

The only major change was letting go of a slavishness to feature act breaks. Beginning, Middle part 1 , Middle part 2 , and End.

These four parts apply to any scripted medium including webseries. Ive also.

Ive additionally provided new exercises that bring dimension to character relationship. Toward the end of the book, Ive updated pitch templates and story examples. I even updated the pronouns to reflect what is beginning to be a more even playing field of male and female writers and main characters. Since the first edition, Ive met and heard from hundreds of writers both beginning and professional who said The Coffee Break Screenwriter streamlined their process, helped them finish their scripts, and made them better writers.

This edition intends to build on that success, making the writing tools accessible for all mediums: I hope youll enjoy this second edition as much as I enjoyed writingit. Each chapter focuses on a different phase of the writing process: This second edition has also allowed me to incorporate new and additional television-writing tools.

So, it doesnt matter if youre writing a feature script or a television pilot, the chapters will help you each step of the way. Within these chapters there are subsections to help you work through each phase.

As you move through, youll also see Take Ten writing tools and exercises. These have been created to help you move through the writing process quickly and efficiently, ten minutes at a time.

When a Take Ten exercise comes up, try it out. Not every tool is going to work for every writer. But you should be able to find at least one new thing that will help you to brainstorm, outline, expand, or polish your script. This should remind you that you actually have moved forward in your story despite the short amount of time in which youve worked.

Youve finished something, theyll. So dont go back and make it perfect. Turn the page and do somethingelse! And, from time to time, youll also come across a Ten-Minute Lecture.

These are meant to quickly distill and demystify current screenplay theory or common screenwriting language. If youre just beginning a new project, Id suggest following along chronologically, using the book to build your story from concept to finished script.

Even if youve already written a screenplay or pilot, youll find outlining tools and writing tips that will streamline your process. If youre a writer who only needs help with certain areas of your script, feel free to jump from chapter to chapter.

Even skipping around, you should find a writing tool that will work for you. Its up to you. All I can tell you is that time is wasting, so start writing!

Youve only got well, you know! Were going to build from character flaw, nail the hook of your movie or TV pilot, make decisions about the middle, experiment with the ending, and then see what happens when we put it all together.

Not every brainstorming tool will be the one that cracks your story open. But at least one of them will.

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And when it does, keep working from there! Getting Past Brain Freeze So youve carved out that ten minutes, but now your brain is frozen.

What was it you were going to write again? It was about that guy who did that thing in that place, right? Well, believe it or not, thats a start! While you have ten minutes, lets put these elements in order and see what you come up with. Add a couple of other ideas into the mix and youll see it take a clearer shape. Emotion Tells the Story Every screenwriting teacher has a theory about story.

Coffee Break Screenwriter 2nd edition

Heres mine: Action triggers emotion. Emotion triggers action. Honestly, thats it.

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In screenplays, you cant have one without the other. And its important, as you go through these tools and build your screenplay, that you keep in mind how married these two things are.

After all, who cares about a major event in a movie like a bomb going off or a car chase or a haunting or a wedding unless we get a chance to see how that bomb, chase, haunting, or wedding affects a character? And how can we invest in what a character is actually feeling if we havent been privy to an event that drove her to that emotional place?

Action shows us the story. Emotion pushes the story forward. In the beginning of my story, this event occurs: It makes my main character MC feel this way: So he does this: But that makes someone else do this: That event makes MC feel: So MC does this: Keep asking these questions and see how much story you can invent in your ten minutes.

Character Flaw Tells the Story Dont you wish you had someone who could just tell you what your script is going to be about? Someone who could come up with plot points and scenes and save you all of that planning work?

Fortunately, you do.

The Coffee Break Screenwriter Pilar Alessandra

Youve got your main character who well call the MC. With the right questions and exploration, that main character can often reveal his or her own movie story.

Thats why were going to start the writing process by taking a hard look at the person you think may be your main character. Were going to figure out what that person is like before he or she hits page one, what his or her flaws are, how those flaws can launch a story, and how personal rules might pay off in interesting plotting and scenes. So, lets start with your main character that guy who did that thing.

If that guy is at all interesting, its because he is human, fallible flawed. Oh, your character doesnt have a flaw? Well, mess him up. Get his hands dirty. Perfect characters are boring. Flawed characters are like us, and thats what viewers respond to. Flaws dont have to be fatal they can simply be human. Anger, arrogance, and selfishness are flaws that often start a.

But sweetness, humbleness, and charity carried out to the extreme can also be flaws. What would the movie Whiplash have been like if the MC wasnt obsessed with his goal? What kind of a journey would Sophies Choice have taken if the MC wasnt in denial? What would Sideways have been like if the MC wasnt a drinker? He even gave the man a flaw-related job: FedEx supervisor. Then he simply stranded this man on an island, an island where he had all the time in the world.

Instant movie. Lets see what trouble your flawed main character can get into and out of. Answer the following questions and see what movie develops. Then, discover his story by asking the following questions: Character-Driven Structure How did you structure your entire script by answering a few questions about your characters flaw? Questions 13 In a movie, Act 1 usually ends when a character creates a problem or makes an existing one worse. Its not just that something terrible happens to him or her.

The way that flawed person takes action as a result of that event is usually the more interesting act break. He or she makes the wrong choice and, ultimately, the adventures within the movie lead to a better one. In a TV pilot, a main character has the same tendency, though that bad choice might launch an entire series such as Breaking Bad. Question 4 In the first part of Act 2 for a movie, or Acts 2 through 4 for a TV drama, the main character often works directly or indirectly with a supporting character.

This builds a relationship, creates a B-story, and gives the MC someone to interact with. Making that character the least likely choice builds tension. Will these two characters be able to achieve a goal while also managing their personal conflict? Question 5 The supporting character in a movie, or the ensemble of characters in a TV show, are often the outside influence that causes the main character to take a new action or begin to change.

Supporting characters arent there just to support; theyre there to change the game. They push; they come up with new ideas, they influence. By the end of a movie, or by the end of a series, these new actions may also force your character to confront his or her flaw and start thinking differently. Question 6 In the second part of Act 2 for a movie, or Acts 3 through 5 for a TV drama, an opposing force often shakes things up by trying to prevent the main character from achieving a goal.

This is the. But sometimes its a force of nature, or even the MCs own flaw. Sometimes its a mixture of all three! The key to this section is remembering to use the antagonistic force to create a challenge for the MC. Keep us worrying and wondering! So, how will your character ever get out of this situation? Well, your character always had a distinguishing characteristic: Perhaps that could actually be of use and translate into a skill.

The goal in a movie is not to abandon what makes your MC interesting, but to use those traits to help.

Looking for a key to character development? There it is. The character of Don Draper from Mad Men is a hard-drinking womanizer who also happens to be a great ad-man. Rarely do we imagine that he could be one without theother. Question 8 By scripts end, your MC has learned from his or her journey not to make the same mistakes as the first time.

In short, to do the least likely thing he or she would originally have done. In a movie, we see the MC make the correct choice instead of the wrong one made at the Act 1 break. With this new approach, he or she finally solves his or her problem. In TV, a procedural uses this same tactic to solve problems all the time. By making a new choice, a character loses his or her blind spot with a suspect, and the real killer is revealed.

In a half-hour comedy, a character usually has to fix a mess he or she has made as well, and making the right choice is one way to do it. But dont be quick to completely solve the problem if this is an episodic or serialized drama. You might need an entire series to get there! Premise Tells the Story So, now that you know who your character is and what trouble he or she gets into exactly what is your movie about?

PDF Sample Coffee Break Screenwriter Sample

Most writers try to reach for the stars when asked this question. Its about mans inhumanity to man, they answer. Its about the universal search for love.

Its about the need to put others first. No, really, what is it about? Whats the big idea? In short whats the log line? Whats that perfect, one-line synopsis that will make studios throw money at the movie and have audiences lining up at the theaters? Drawing a blank?

Heres a trick, and its actually going to take less than ten minutes. Just ask yourself one question: Whats the what if question of my movie? What if an ordinary man fell in love with a computer operating system? What if an out-of-work actor gets the gig of his life as a female soap star? What if a high school girl is forced to choose between her love for a vampire and her friendship with a werewolf?

What if a man ages backward, growing younger as the love of his life grows older? Of course Her, Tootsie , Twilight, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are high-concept movies, meaning that they can often stand on concept alone to bring in the big bucks. But the what if can be found in smaller character-driven and slice-of-life movies as well. If its really a movie, theres a big idea in there somewhere. In fact, you probably began this project because you imagined something that no one else has imagined.

What if a respected mathematicians top-secret government project is really a schizophrenic delusion? What if the midlife crisis of a suburban father leads to murder? Yet, in each case, the writer has found the big idea within the story and exploited it. A Beautiful Mind, for example, could have just been about a noble mathematician who struggles against a mental illness. But would it have gripped audiences?

By focusing on the imagined top-secret project, the writer creates both a suspense movie and a character play. American Beauty was also wise to frame its story as a thriller.

A midlife crisis movie on its own, but pitch it as only that and youre going to have a producer falling asleep in his sushi. Add the twist that this crisis actually leads to the characters untimely death, and youll start a bidding war. In The Kings Speech it was the high stakes that helped turn up the dial on its premise: What if a future king must overcome his stutter in order to give a rousing speech that will convince his country to fight Nazi oppression? So, lets find your big idea, the special premise that makes this story worthy of being on screen.

Its there! Come up with your own what if? Remember to focus on the hook. What makes your story unique? Is it the clash of two opposite characters? Is it the unconventional approach the character uses toward solving a problem?

Or is it the problem itself a situation never before seen on the big screen? You may be dwelling on Act 1 when you try to find your hook. But you should also feel free to explore other areas of your script. I see dead people, for example, wasnt revealed until the midpoint of The Sixth Sense. And that was the hook, without question. Got it? Here goes:. See the big idea in that one sentence? Didnt think you could boil it down like that, did you?

Now, scratch off the what if? By defining the big idea the hook youve given yourself something to build on. From here, you can take your idea and run with it. Secondary Characters Tell the Story Its been said that every character in a movie thinks the movie is about them.

The first time I heard that, I thought, Of course! Why should characters in movies or TV shows be any less self-centered than we are? A villain doesnt know hes the villain he thinks hes the hero.

He believes some good-looking guy with more screen time is simply getting in his way. A romantic interest doesnt know shes just the girl she thinks shes running the show.

Modern-day kids movies are often based on this idea. Turn the typical bad guy in a childrens story into a hero by looking at the story from his point of view, and youve got an instant hit. Shrek follows the Ogres point of view in a princess story; Monsters, Inc. And Despicable Me is literally about the trials and tribulations of the worlds greatest villain. Pixar, in particular, has a great way of building entire worlds from even the most seemingly minor characters point of view.

It thinks: What if the toys in childrens rooms came alive? Toy Story. What if insects had a society of their own where humans and birds were obstacles? A Bugs Life What if the inner feelings of a young girl had feelings of their own? Inside Out Turning a story around from a secondary characters point of view makes for great grown-up films as well.

Bridesmaids is told from the point of view of a maid of honor. Its not just that something terrible happens to him or her. The way that flawed person takes action as a result of that event is usually the more interesting act break. He or she makes the wrong choice and, ultimately, the adventures within the movie lead to a better one. In a TV pilot, a main character has the same tendency, though that bad choice might launch an entire series such as Breaking Bad.

Question 4 In the first part of Act 2 for a movie, or Acts 2 through 4 for a TV drama, the main character often works directly or indirectly with a supporting character. This builds a relationship, creates a B-story, and gives the MC someone to interact with.

Making that character the least likely choice builds tension. Will these two characters be able to achieve a goal while also managing their personal conflict? Question 5 The supporting character in a movie, or the ensemble of characters in a TV show, are often the outside influence that causes the main character to take a new action or begin to change.

Supporting characters arent there just to support; theyre there to change the game. They push; they come up with new ideas, they influence. By the end of a movie, or by the end of a series, these new actions may also force your character to confront his or her flaw and start thinking differently. Question 6 In the second part of Act 2 for a movie, or Acts 3 through 5 for a TV drama, an opposing force often shakes things up by trying to prevent the main character from achieving a goal.

But sometimes its a force of nature, or even the MCs own flaw. Sometimes its a mixture of all three! The key to this section is remembering to use the antagonistic force to create a challenge for the MC. Keep us worrying and wondering! So, how will your character ever get out of this situation?How does this scene move the story forward? Looking for no one.

Its up to you. I said linear. Whats the what if question of my movie? Not necessarily. Problems oc- cur when an evil witch sabotages her and her new friends:

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