I have many friends who are screenwriters. Often, they want me to read their work. I’m sorry to say that I don’t do that anymore. There are a number of reasons why which I won’t go into here. But to all students of screenwriting I will tell you that the most important way to understand how to write screenplays is to read screenplays, not just watch films. After you read a screenplay, analyze it, which means creating a “beat sheet”. There should be a single beat for every three or four pages of script. In this way, you will see the structure that the writer used, including logical act breaks. Screenwriting is a highly structural activity. You don’t just sit down and start writing a script. You create your story with a beat sheet, then you do a treatment in prose form. In this way, you work out as many problems as possible before you type Fade In: Novices and bad writers do not do this.
Several years ago, my son Cole and I decided to write a script that would encapsulate all that we have learned about screenwriting over the decades. Also it would communicate what we believe on important subjects. I hate the words “Faith Based”. They are nothing but a marketing ploy that creates its own ghetto. Are there marketing categories for films? Of course there are, but “Faith Based” should not be one of them. Almost always “Faith Based” films are poorly written pieces of treacle designed to please an audience that accepts such sticky drek and sucks it down. That is not what Magnificent! is. This is a script with a message and an edge. So if you want to understand how we write screenplays we offer this to you.