NONE OF THE FOLLOWING IS GOING TO MAKE YOU A WRITE A GREAT SCREENPLAY but hopefully it will make you better. If you read, pay attention, and practice they will help you understand screenplays and screenwriting better.
For more experienced screenwriters reading this, please let me know if there is something I should add.
Scriptnotes – A great resource for aspiring screenwriters and current discussions on what effects the screenwriting community.
Children of Tendu – Everything an aspiring TV writer needs to know.
Nerdists Writer’s Panel – Interviews with writer’s (mostly TV) about the beginning of their career, their process, and their projects.
On Story – Interviews with brilliant writers at the Austin Film Festival.
Hollywood Breakthrough – Interviews with people from all areas of Hollywood.
http://screenwriting.io/ is a search engine just for basic questions about screenwriting.
www.Wordplayer.com – Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio’s blessing to the screenwriting world.
http://johnaugust.com/ has a ton of information about screenwriting from a current working screenwriter’s perspective.
http://www.deadline.com/hollywood/ is an online news magazine on what’s happening in the business of film and television.
http://www.scriptmag.com/ has information, advice, news and listings of events, all geared toward screenwriters.
http://www.wga.org/ to learn about the union you will have to join if you become successful.
http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/ By far my favorite internet resource is Go Into the Story which is the official blog of The Black List. (If you don’t know what The Black List is you must go to their website and click the about button.) Lessons on everything from dialogue to taking meetings can be found in the archives of this blog. Start with this post and go on from there.
One of the greatest things I ever did for my screenwriting career is taking Jeanne Veillette Bowerman’s Breaking in Outside of Hollywood webinar. She opened the world of internet networking to me.
http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/ Go to the Free and Legal Downloads section.
https://www.wgfoundation.org/screenwriting-library for info on visiting the Writer’s Guild Foundation script library
Networking on Twitter
On twitter, I would recommend following a mix of established screenwriters and struggling artists like yourself. Also screenwriting information feeds are great.
Here is a short list of @’s that regularly post advice or news to follow.
@Gointothestory @Jeannevb @Stage32online @johnaugust @clmazin @thescriptlab @screenwritingU @theblcklst @scriptshadow
@scriptquack @LaFamiliaFilm @FluideyeFilms @onthepage @networkISA @writersguildF @scriptmag @bittrscrptreadr
@dannymanus @unkscreenwriter @MyTrackingBoard @JeffLieber @mysteryexec @jwillis81 @TheBlackBoard @byDougRich
Books to Read
These books are commonly talked about in the screenwriting community.
The Save the Cat books focus on making marketable Hollywood movies. Personally, I think Save the Cat is interesting but it doesn’t give the specificity and practical applications of its two sequels.
The Syd Field books are older but still talked about because of their focus on three act structure. The Screenwriter’s Workbook was my very first screenwriting book and did help me understand what all the other books were talking about.
Robert McKee’s Story is another staple in the industry. Though most of the examples in the book are from movies Story is a book that does not focus on screenwriting exclusively but storytelling of every kind. There is a lot of controversy over Robert McKee’s Story Seminar. It’s a very expensive four day lecture with some audience participation. I say if you have the money go. I have attended and liked it very much. The first day is a review of the concepts in the book and the following days are lots of knowledge.
Final Draft – Current industry standard for movie production.
Fade In – Does everything Final Draft does at less than half the price.
Highland – If you have a Mac this is a good option as well.
The Austin Film Festival – One of the greatest screenwriting experiences of my life. The above podcasts and websites will give you all the information a film school would and Austin Film Festival will give you all the contacts. Your peers from all around the country are waiting to connect with you.
Danny Manus at No Bullscript is the best person I’ve run across for notes. He and Scott Meyers at Go Into The Story are the two people I know of who have a wonderful talent for note giving.