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Eunice N. Smith
Professional Screenwriting Consultant I teach screenwriters how to develop the screenplays that lead to $$$ and Career Opportunities you deserve. #WriteOn

3 Things To Do Instead of Killing Your Characters (and your storyline)

Writers are some of the world’s most merciless killers (of character). It’s legal, safe, and can be fun but does it always serve your story long term? If you’re not sure, check out these three tried and true alternatives to offing your characters. And, if in the end you still feel they need to meet their maker, at least you’ve thought through your decision and how your story will be better for their unwilling sacrifice.

Maim Them Instead

Car accidents, shooting, self-harm, the possibilities are endless. Choose the method that best…


How to Write Anyway

Every writer I know, professional or otherwise, has been afflicted with a lack of motivation to write. Sometimes, it’s a simple concern that can be addressed by taking a quick break from the screen. At other times though, it’s full blown writer’s block — the kind that causes your story to screech to a halt — the sinking fear that makes you wonder if you’re really a writer at all. So, how do you write when you’ve lost your mojo? …


Get readers hooked on your screenplay

A logline, or log line, is a brief summary of a feature, pilot, or short script that hooks the reader and describes the central conflict of your screenplay. Loglines are concise and usually run between 24–27 words. Yes, two sentences.

Though 25 words is not a lot of runway to summarize all the excitement that unfolds in a full script, once I became a producer, I quickly understood the reason for this limitation. I only have a few seconds to read and analyze a logline to see if it works for the specific goals of the festival producer or screenwriting…


It takes more than a Screenplay to Script Your Success!

Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

Many screenwriters struggle with feeling boxed in when they’re told to choose a lane and stick to it. When you’re talented and enjoy exploring multiple genres, it’s fair that you don’t want ANYONE limiting your vision and telling you what you can’t do — and that’s fair. The reality though is that business is about making money and mitigating risks so, you have to help people understand what they’re getting if they bring you on board in their writer’s room or even decide to pitch your project to get your screenplay greenlit.

What am I saying? If you love to…


The Differences of Short, Feature and Pilot Screenplays

Screenplays come in all lengths and genres but here we’re going to explore the difference between short films, feature films, pilot scripts and web series. For starters, pilots and short films are NOT mini feature films. Each type of screenplay is an art form of its own with specific guidelines, audience expectations and purposes in a screenwriter’s career. I’ll cover the top distinctions of each but before I do, here’s a general rule you’ll need to keep in mind.

Written Page to Screen Time


Film Funding 101

Screenwriters have many questions. After writing, rewriting and finalizing their script, the number one question — especially from the Indie filmmaker — is HOW DO I GET FUNDING? So I’m covering the basics: the difference between funders and investors, three sources of film funding and what to do before you approach either.

Investors vs. Sponsors

The first thing I want to clear up is what an investor is versus a sponsor both are defined below in great detail. For starters though, the simple difference:

graphic: investors want their money back

Investors

An individual or organization that loans money to a filmmaker with the expectation of getting that money back —…


How Screenwriters Can Secure the Bag

You may have heard the terms “first-look deal”, first right of refusal, overall deal and more. In this post, I give you an easy to follow breakdown in layman's terms then help you understand what a first look deal is and what it means for you as a screenwriter.

First Look Deal Defined

According to Wikipedia, A first-look deal is any contract containing a clause granting, usually for a fee or other consideration that covers a specified period of time, a pre-emption right, right of first refusal, or right of first offer (also called a right of first negotiation) to another party, who then…


Is it Time Out or Just Poor Timing (opinion piece)

Black trauma/pain stories are defined as movies and television shows that tackle topics like police brutality (American Skin from Nate Parker), the impact of racism in housing (Them), slavery, Jim Crow and pretty much any narrative that focuses directly on the painful history of African Americans in America. I get it. That’s some pretty heavy stuff to watch on the screen, whether we’re at home or in theaters. So the question is: Is it time for a moratorium on black pain stories or is it all about the timing?

One popular TikTocker (is that even a word?) Chinyelu (@chinforshort on…


So you did a thing… and the result is a whole screenplay. This is kinda like a big deal for most new screenwriters who often ask “What Next?” and many come to the realization that working with a script consultant would support their goals of selling, producing or submitting their spec script as a writing sample to get staffed in a writer’s room. These are all goals a script consultant can help you attain.

woman typing

A Script Consultant provides feedback and in-depth analysis on your screenplay. We work primarily with aspiring screenwriters who are seeking feedback on their work and production…


You may be hearing a lot of buzz about the overall deals lately. Issa Rae (Insecure) signed an 8-figure, multi-year deal with Warner Brothers, while Donald Glover (Atlanta) did the same with Amazon in February 2021, and Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip) is making it happen with Apple TV.

Though you’re likely excited (as the rest of us) you might secretly be asking the one question I’ve seen in my DM since this wonderful news broke:

What Is An Overall Deal

Let’s start at the top. An overall deal is an agreement between a creator and a studio where the studio pays the creator (Issa, Donald…

Eunice N. Smith

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