The Last Word: Definitive Answers to All Your Screenwriting Questions

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The Last Word: Definitive Answers to All Your Screenwriting Questions

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615931194
  • Publisher: Wiese, Michael Productions
  • Publication date: 8/1/2012
  • Pages: 230
  • Sales rank: 1,468,127
  • Product dimensions: 14.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Lazarus’ feature credits include the original story for the George Burns/Brooke Shields motion picture Just You and Me, Kid, and the #1 film in America upon its release, Stigmata. He has had nine feature films made from his original screenplays, and has directed five feature films. Additionally, he has written over 100 hours of television programming (Jake and the Fat Man, Star Man, and Mike Hammer). Lazarus preaches the Last Word: Definitive Answers to All Your Screenwriting Questions at UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and various speaking engagements throughout the country.

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Table of Contents




‘A’ Story 

Acts of God


Adapting Novels 

A Kick in the Ass 


Appropriate Language 

Army Takes the Town 


Being a Screenwriter 

Be Specific


Calling Shots 

Camera Geography




Coincidences and Accidents

Computers, Phone Calls and Letters 

Common Screenwriting Misteaks 

Communicating What You Want To 

Crank It Up!

Default Positions as a Writer 



Disclosure of Information 



Establishing Scenes 


Every Scene Must Move The Story Forward



For God’s Sake, Hurry! 

Genre Expectations

Giving Script Notes 

How We Access Your Script 

How Long Should my Script Be?

How Long Should My Scenes Be?

Internal Processes

It’s A Process

It’s Not About Your Writing

Let Your Actors Act 

Less is More 

Log Line and Scene Lists

Main Characters

Metaphors and Similes 


Morris The Explainer 

Movie Recommendations 

My Script Feels Familiar – What Do I do?


Narrative Pull 

Non-linear Storytelling

Novelistic Writing

On The Nose Writing 

Open Story versus Closed Stories 






Breaking News – The Author Pitches

Play the Joke 

Positive Reinforcement 

Questions to Ask 



Rhythms of Your Script

Rising Action 

Road Movies 


Scene Description

Scene List 

Scenes You Don’t Write

Script Consultants 

Script Notes 

Sell it

Set Up


Showing Rather than Telling 

Slow Motion 

Smash Cut 

Speaking Out Loud 

Splintering Time 

Starting Your Screenplay Fast


The Deal 

The Journey 


The Scene – Format 

Time Clocks

Trailer Scenes

Transcending Yourself 


Three Act Structure

Twists and Turns 


Voice Over


Weighting Your Writing 

We See, We Hear 

We Write Movies About

What Do You Want Us To Feel?

What Hooks Them?

What Should You Be Writing About

Writer’s Block 

Writer’s Mantra

Writing a Page Turner

Wrong Words in Write Places


Tom Lazarus – Script Consultant

Tom Lazarus Biography

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