Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Armchair Film School: Guest Blog

By Richard Walter
Among my favorite movies is Sweet Smell of Success, screenplay by legendary playwright Clifford Odets collaborating with Oscar-winning screenwriter (North by Northwest among many splendid films) Ernest Lehman. Tony Curtis, in the most brilliant performance of his career, plays NYC publicist Sid Falco, who is always sucking up to the unethical publicity power broker, newspaper columnist J.J. Hunsecker (did these writers know how to name characters or what?) played by Burt Lancaster.
Falco’s posture is always hunched against the cold of the New York winter night; he never wears a coat because this enables him forever to avoid tipping the coat room girls in the nightclubs where he plies his trade.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

FYI For Fellow Screenwriters

I was forwarded the following information that may be of interest to screenwriters looking to get professional feedback on their scripts:

Is your screenplay ready to sell? Enter the Richard Walter Online Review Program to win a chance to find out!

UCLA Professor Richard Walter asserts that one of the biggest mistakes writers make is to market their scripts before they’re truly ready. If you read Richard’s new book, Essentials of Screenwriting, and post an online review of it on, your own blog, Facebook page or favorite user review site (and send the full review and the link to where it appears online to ), you will be entered into a weekly drawing to win a free read of your script by Richard. If he deems it ready, he’ll refer it to a potential representative or directly to a production company. If he feels it is not ready, he’ll send you a letter in which he cites its essential strengths and identifies those issues that in his view require further consideration.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Richard Walter to Guest Blog

Imagine my shock when I discovered that someone was actually reading this blog. A few weeks ago, I was approached about the possibility of having UCLA Professor Richard Walter featured on It Is What It Is. Well, that was a no-brainer.

In keeping with my Armchair Film School Review, I asked Richard to discuss which films he felt were essential viewing for writers and filmmakers. In the next day or two, I will be posting his guest blog. To the loyal five readers, please check back here in a few days.

Also, I will be spending the next few weeks poring over the pages of Richard’s new book, Essentials of Screenwriting. Anyone who has followed this blog from the beginning (no, really, anyone?) knows that I truly believe in gathering an arsenal of tools when it comes to the writing process and filmmaking. I consider myself a life-long learner, and will never pass up an opportunity to learn something new (or spend some quiet time alone with a book - I LOVE books).

So, check back in a few days for Richard Walter’s guest blog, and be on the lookout for my review of his new book, Essentials of Screenwriting.