Monday, July 11, 2011

(More) Test Your Screenwriting IQ by Steve Kaire


by Steve Kaire

Here we go again with more q's to tickle your brain stem. A couple of these are gimmes, but a few of them may stump you. Good luck!

Projects that go into turnaround are often purchased by other studios and have a better chance of being produced.

That’s false. Turnaround projects have heavy costs that have accrued and which the new buyers have to pay before acquiring them. They have no better chance of getting produced.

Public domain properties never require the acquisition of rights from the original owner of the material.

That is true.

Residuals are checks sent to the writer for TV runs and DVD sales and are tracked by the Writers Guild.

That is true.

Dramas are well known for their “set pieces.”

That’s false. Action movies are famous for their “set pieces” which are big action scenes or sequences.

An attachment is either a star or director who’s interested in doing a particular project that makes it easier to set up and produce.


The first five pages of a screenplay should be devoted to giving exposition and the character’s back story. 

That’s false. The back story should be layered in gradually throughout your screenplay.

Your logline should tell what’s happening in your story almost like an unfolding of your scenes in order.

That is false. Tell what your story is about, not what happens in your story.

The bible of the entertainment industry is the Hollywood Creative Directory.

That is true. Although imdb pro is gaining ground.

Dialogue should be overwritten in order to give the actors more than they need and be able to discard what they decide not to use. 

That’s false. Dialogue should be minimalistic.

You should always memorize your pitch.

That is false. If you memorize it and forget a few words, the pitch may not sound right and you’ll have to start again. Your pitch should sound like“practiced spontaneity.”


How did you all do? If you got every one right, then pat yourseklf on the back and go get 'em, tiger. If you knew several, then way to go -- you are a savvy student of the business. Keep up the good work, and I'll see you all back here in 30.

Steve Kaire ( is a Screenwriter/Pitchman who’s sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. His top-rated CD, “High Concept--How to Create, Pitch and Sell to Hollywood” is available on his website along with original articles and national screenwriting contests.

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