Author Archives: Jamie Stein

The Nice Guys. Shane Black. 2016.

There is something undeniably brilliant about Shane Black’s filmmaking voice. His action sequences unfold with a vitality and an unpredictable energy that is so undeniably his own; just when you think the scene is going one way, it goes an … Continue reading

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20 Feet From Stardom & What We Can Learn About Storytelling Principles From Great Documentaries

I love documentaries because they so often illustrate the simplest and most profound principles of storytelling. Take the Oscar-winning 20 Feet From Stardom as an example. This movie couldn’t be any clearer what it’s about: back-up singers. That’s it. That … Continue reading

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Mala Noche. Gus Van Sant. 1986.

Gus Van San’ts directorial debut (he also wrote it). There is a real sweetness to this movie. Ostensibly, it’s about two people who are using each other: gay convenience store clerk Walt (Tim Streeter) uses money and lodging to manipulate … Continue reading

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Drinking Buddies. Joe Swanberg. 2013.

What Drinking Buddies does, it does well. Namely, it captures the way that romantic partners casually lie to themselves about their true feelings and remain content to skirt the edges of major issues like infidelity, long-term commitment and authentic connection. … Continue reading

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Shotgun Stories. Jeff Nichols. 2007.

“You raised us to hate them and now we do, and this is where it has gotten us.” Writer/director Jeff Nichols rightfully came to prominence last year with the deceptively sophisticated Mud (the first major piece of the Matthew McConaughey … Continue reading

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Notes from November – Procrastination & Why It’s Good for You

I had major resistance to writing these notes today. In fact, my whole body shut down when it came time to sit in front of my computer. My arms ached, and something went numb inside me. So, you know what … Continue reading

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What It Means To Work on Your Script & Work On Your Life

Two weeks ago, I got a call from from Wesleyan University asking me to expand my previous one-semester screenwriting course into a full-year mentorship program for the seniors writing thesis scripts. The second I received the call, I knew exactly … Continue reading

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Lessons From Jane Campion’s “The Piano”: Why Your Uncompromising Dramatic Voice is Ultimately Your Most Viable Business Commodity

I was recently browsing Netflix for streaming movies and decided to revisit Jane Campion’s 1993 art-house hit The Piano as I had not seen it since it was originally out in theaters. I really enjoyed the movie and proceeded to … Continue reading

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“I Know Structure” – Why These Three Words Make Me Concerned for My Clients, and What They Mean for Your Script

I often talk to perspective clients on the phone to get a sense of where they’re at in the writing process and to give them a better sense of what I’m all about as a script consultant. And there’s one … Continue reading

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We Write the Scripts that Want to Kill Us

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably aware that I work as a script consultant who specializes in connecting writers to the deep story they’re passionate about telling. What you may not know, however, is that I have additionally almost … Continue reading

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