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Writing Plays/Screenwriting/Questions Answered by Expert John M. Lovett

SubjectDate Asked
Favorite movie screenplay of 20169/13/2016
  Q: What is your favorite movie screenplay of 2016 so far. Also what's your favorite movie of the year ...
  A: Truthfully, I have read none of the 2016 movie scripts. Except for "Sully" or "Hacksaw Ridge," none ...
Quick formatting question6/25/2016
  Q: Can't find the answer to this anywhere: I have a 4/5 shot montage with VO dialogue under it. In the ...
  A: Richard, Normally, dialog follows visual. I would have to ask why the montage? This scene(s) are ...
Formatting special situations4/5/2016
  Q: I am working on a script that involves the deaf parents of the protagonist. The father is totally ...
  A: Richard, Deaf and mute. Dumb implies lack of intelligence of which I do not think you are trying ...
Screenwriting Agent10/5/2015
  Q: Is there a place to find out about the track record of agents? A Literary Agent's sales are listed ...
  A: Rick, The short answer is no. However, an agent that is listed or works with one of the agencies ...
Black and White in Slugline7/30/2015
  Q: My spec script starts in the 1964 switching back and forth between three scenes. I want these ...
  A: Greg, For the definitive answer to screenplay formatting questions, I would check out David ...
Title page question5/27/2015
  Q: If a screenplay is based on actual events, is it ok to indicate so on the title page? How would you ...
  A: Dave, If your screenplay is based on actual events, you could put that information in your synopsis ...
Fade away from final shot5/5/2015
  Q: In the final scene of my screenplay, Joey and Vanessa are dancing a waltz at their wedding, and the ...
  A: Dave, Formatting questions are best answered by D. Trottier's book "The Screenwriters Bible." If ...
HOW LONG TO GO NOW 34/19/2015
  Q: (This is not a spam question or a homework question) I was wondering would you please explain to me ...
  A: Cameron, In motion pictures, each page of screenplay is worth one minute of screen time. In other ...
Formatting Question2/23/2015
  Q: In my screenplay, the story begins with an old man having a nightmare in which he dreams of a WW 2 ...
  A: Dave, What you are asking about is not flashback but a dream sequence. Basically, they are ...
Are one line direction scripts wrong?11/15/2014
  Q: I've noticed some of my screenplays are exclusively made of one line directions. There is one action ...
  A: Victor, Yes, one line action is okay as long as the action is the staccato style of motion you are ...
inquiry about screenplay competition10/31/2014
  Q: please I found some international competitions for screenplay writing , this competition required ...
  A: Mr. Ossama, First of all, I am not sure any competition would welcome a screenplay over 120 pages. ...
Short Film. Screenplay, Filmmaking9/17/2014
  Q: How do you suppose to write a great short film? What are the elements? How do I breakdown the ...
  A: Daroderick, How do you suppose to write a great short film? You mean, 'How are you supposed to ...
Climax9/15/2014
  Q: I want to know if I can experiment with a new climax to my screenplay, which is at many points is ...
  A: Vps, It is your screenplay. Experiment away. Write both or several endings. Have peer writers, ...
The character's pov6/26/2014
  Q: I'm going to write about two boys and their families, the problem for me is that on whose point of ...
  A: VPS, It is your decision on who the main character is. Prior to writing the story, I would suggest ...
Screenplay registration and query letter.5/1/2014
  Q: I have just completed a screenplay. I am going to register it with the Screenwriter's Guild. ...
  A: Dave, Your first question regarding infringement (whatever that means in this context) seems to me ...
Contacting TV producers4/20/2014
  Q: I am a big fan of paranormal TV shows. Maybe that's because I had a few paranormal experiances ...
  A: Bud, A simple answer is that you can post your request for expressing your experiences on ...
Title page format2/7/2014
  Q: I've asked you a question before and received a very useful answer and I would like to thank you for ...
  A: Cassi, The short answer to your questions is that if this is your script and your movie then you ...
Font1/27/2014
  Q: I have begun a screenplay using a font titled Courier 12, and the size of the font is 10 point. Is ...
  A: Dave, I am not sure what you are asking. Courier 12 is 12 point. If your are using Final Draft, ...
PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP12/27/2013
  Q: It's nice being able to write directly to some one who is experienced in the industry. I need you ...
  A: Christopher, Well, you start by reading the following books all of which are available at The ...
PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP11/20/2013
  Q: From your profile, i see that you have great experiences in the area of writing for movies. i would ...
  A: Christopher, So, you want to be a screenwriter? You have asked a myriad of questions. Let me see ...
advantages and disadvantages9/16/2013
  Q: What are some advantages and disadvantages of having an agent or a manager? Some say it's a bad ...
  A: Jack, A question for you is what is it that you expect the agent to do for you? An agent accepts ...
Query Letters and script coverage.9/12/2013
  Q: do you give insight on how I can improve my query letters and where to get script coverage?
  A: Raymond, Writing Query Letters The best article I have ever read on query letters is at The ...
getting an agent9/2/2013
  Q: I am a screenwriter. I wrote a screenplay that was made into a short film. I sold it to Movieola, ...
  A: Mr. Hofer, A standing joke that Syd Field tells in his lecture when someone asks this same question ...
Opening crawl script format7/10/2013
  Q: Using Celtx, or other scripting methods, what would be the professional, industry recognised way for ...
  A: Kieren, That opening for Stars Wars was a thing of post-production. While the words appear in the ...
screenwriting profits5/24/2013
  Q: I have a question about the money that screenwriters are paid. Once the screenplay is bought by a ...
  A: Danielle, The quick answer is that the amount of money and residuals paid to the writer depends on ...
Script Formating : Voice message4/2/2013
  Q: One of my characters will play an old voice mail message on his phone and I am unsure how to format ...
  A: Cassi, I would just show it as: Joe pushes buttons on the phone. JANE (O.S.) or JANE'S VOICE ...
I'm giving up...3/27/2013
  Q: My screenplay is very similar to two others. One has been launched this year. The other one will be ...
  A: Victor, Do you really want to be writer? I am asking the question because if you give up so easily ...
how can i make a trailer script?3/20/2013
  Q: i'm hanna 14 years old. i am confused how can i make a movie trailer script? i am assigned to be the ...
  A: Hanna, I have never heard of a script for a movie trailer. A trailer is usually put together from ...
Characters numbers3/6/2013
  Q: How would I decide that how many characters should be in my screenplays? If I have to write a ...
  A: VPS, I am not quite sure what you are asking. A screenplay has no more or less characters than it ...
the price for screenwriting3/4/2013
  Q: I will be attending a seminar here in Miami at the Miami International Film Festival, this seminar ...
  A: Raymond, I am not sure what a 'published' screenplay is. Screenplays are produced into movies or ...
Formatting3/1/2013
  Q: I'm not really sure how to ask this so if this rambles a bit, I apologize. In my script I want to ...
  A: Ryan, You use your sluglines to move back and forth from the perspective of the audience. INT. ...
Character discription2/9/2013
  Q: When i read any screenplay i think, why the character discription is so necessary like, hair and ...
  A: VPS, Character description should be succinct. Unless some characteristic is necessary for the ...
English language2/5/2013
  Q: Sir,my english is very poor so I have to learn english language first then screenwriting or just ...
  A: vps, I believe you have answered your own question. If you are writing to the Hindi (Indidan) ...
treatments1/20/2013
  Q: direct,and produce one day.I was reading on screenplay writing.I just recently heard of ...
  A: am, A treatment is a device used by production companies to understand, and sometimes control, the ...
Screenwriting11/26/2012
  Q: I was just wondering: when you do screen writing, do you just write the script itself or is it more ...
  A: Ike, A script has only three things; sluglines, action (narrative), and dialog. A slugline ...
query5/25/2012
  Q: Good day Throughout the history of movie making there are certain common factors that make a small ...
  A: Mr. Mahabir, What you are asking for is the secret formula to successfully film making. Sorry, ...
Will too long dialogues automatically get my script rejected?4/12/2012
  Q: I read somewhere about the reasons why some movie scripts are rejected and one of them was about ...
  A: Victor, Scripts are rejected for a plethora of reasons one of which may be the amount of 'white ...
A screenwritting question4/6/2012
  Q: I have just starting to write my first movie script,using a kind of software.From what I ...
  A: Victor, Do not include anything in the script that does not move the story forward. Details about ...
Movie Idea4/3/2012
  Q: If i have a good idea of a movie who should i contact??...and how i make sure ill get my share after ...
  A: Mohamed, Truthfully, ideas are a dime a dozen in Hollywood. Production companies do not buy ideas; ...
Spec script standard.4/2/2012
  Q: Greetings! Is the dual-dialog technique allowed/necessary in a spec screenplay? (I've read a couple ...
  A: Artur, There are a couple ways of writing dual dialog. Written as two people speaking at the same ...
screenwriting software3/22/2012
  Q: I'd like a no-frills inexpensive software that I can simply use for formatting my screenplay. Any ...
  A: Alex, There is a free no frills screenwriting software CELTX https://www.celtx.com/ . This ...
Techniques of Adaptation2/28/2012
  Q: Greetings! Say, I want to refer to locations (and other things, also) from a computer game in my ...
  A: Artur, My answer is use standard slug line formatting such as INT. WORLD OF WARCRAFT (IN COMPUTER ...
Copyright and trademarked characters1/30/2012
  Q: Mr. Lovett, When I write a spec script for a TV show with trademarked characters, do I still put my ...
  A: Phil, If you have copyrighted the script, then the little circle c with the year goes in either the ...
Selling my Screenplays1/12/2012
  Q: Mr. Lovett, Before I ask my question I would like to thank you beforehand for taking time away ...
  A: Dr. Keoseyan, I am not sure how anyone would be forced to work in medicine, but I will try to ...
Unsolicited Material12/27/2011
  Q: I recently purchased the Hollywood Representation Directory to search for literary agents. Some ...
  A: Jared, The simple answer to your question is yes, maybe, sorta. The words "no unsolicited ...
Agents12/13/2011
  Q: How many agents who accept unsolicited material should I send my screenplay to at once? Thank you in ...
  A: Jared, The movie business is not like the publishing business. You do not have to put "multiple ...
To who is may concern12/5/2011
  Q: To who is may concern, I thank you for your time, you have spent on this site and I am sure it ...
  A: Mr. Oni, You start writing by, well, writing. You do not need to know how to write a script to ...
Is it possible?!10/20/2011
  Q: Mr. Lovett, My question applies more to television. A little while ago, I had an idea for a ...
  A: Barry, Yes, the process requires you doing more than writing out a 'blueprint' for the series. You ...
Thanks in advance- Script Question10/19/2011
  Q: I am an aspiring writer who recently came across a contest featured on my state's film office ...
  A: Ada, A 'pilot' script is a thing of television and is formatted exactly the same as a motion ...
CAPS to emphasize things in script10/10/2011
  Q: While I had an internship, I read a good chunk of scripts that employed caps to emphasize things in ...
  A: Katherine, A quick review of Trottier and others reads that you are correct in your observation ...
Title Page9/26/2011
  Q: could you please tell me how to correctly format a title page nowadays including how to put the ...
  A: Eddy, The best format for a title page is placing the title centered on the page in bold capital ...
in need of assistance9/1/2011
  Q: I have the opportunity to write many small screen plays for dramas and a few large fantasy science ...
  A: Mr. Behnam, I am not clear from your question what exactly you want. If you want an agent, I am ...
script7/27/2011
  Q: John I appreciate the replies I get from here. I just finish my feature film script. And I don’t ...
  A: Mr. Romiti, A few questions first- Have you re-read you script checking for basic spelling errors ...
question !2/11/2011
  Q: I ll enter a screenplay competition , it required for competitors to submit just screenplay pitch ...
  A: AJ, Not knowing which contest, I would speculate that all the contest runners want is a long ...
Acquiring info for screenplay plot11/3/2010
  Q: Who would be the right person (military title) to contact at a Naval Installation that would provide ...
  A: Don, Each Naval Base has a website. On that website is a phone number for the Public Affairs ...
When to and when not to CAP!8/20/2010
  Q: I am writing a story but this is just a general question. I know I CAP characters names, even in the ...
  A: Aaron, In short, things and names are capitalized only if there is a sound or speech associated ...
Buyer beware?8/16/2010
  Q: I want to try and sell my script to a major studio after I am finished with it. Besides all the ...
  A: Aaron, Good luck on the sale your script to a studio. Simply put, any excuse a production company ...
royalties4/14/2010
  Q: My friend has written a play and she asked me to help her add to her play. I have contributed much ...
  A: Angela, The directly answer your question, there is no standard fee or fixed percentage. You get ...
Registering script4/10/2010
  Q: I've written a script for a sequel. A friend told me I can register it with the Writers Guild of ...
  A: Mike, To directly answer your question, you can send any written material to the WGA, usually ...
Hollywood recommend screenplay11/14/2009
  Q: can my screenplay that has budget be produce, its set in WASHINGTON, female lead. Talbert
  A: Are you writing that your film has a budget or that you have determined an estimated cost for the ...
Movies8/18/2009
  Q: What is the choir that provides dramatic movie backgrounds? The songs without words, just dramatic ...
  A: What you are asking about are movie scores. While the studios had for a long time in house ...
Movie Idea6/6/2009
  Q: I have an idea for a movie writer it is about terrorism and oil industry and how can i get the ...
  A: Desmond, Allow me to ask you a question. What if a neighbor comes to you and suggests that you ...
phenomena12/11/2008
  Q: there is some phenomena I practice want to take your opinion on ? when I m writing a scene or ...
  A: aob, I have absolutely no idea what it is that you are asking for the first question. If you are ...
question !12/1/2008
  Q: I asked you before about recommending musical notes or entrance in my script , you told me that ...
  A: I do not know how to answer your question regarding musical notes and camera directions. If you ...
another new11/22/2008
  Q: I had shown you a scene , I had written before , you had told me your opinion , hope you remember I ...
  A: AJ, I have no opinion about the short scene. It is just a conversation between two people. May I ...
need opinion9/7/2008
  Q: I had written 2 separated scenes as a sample to proving my abilities as new screenplay writer , I ...
  A: AJ, Before you proceed, may I suggest you get a book on screenplay formatting. What you have ...
POW7/11/2008
  Q: Where Can I find detailed information on POW camps and life as a prisoner of war? Particularly POW ...
  A: Patrick, For information regarding POWs in the Iraq War, start here ...
need to ask5/31/2008
  Q: because I want to improve my screen write with some shots & camera movement & angles so I required ...
  A: jc, Simply, camera angles do not go into a speculative screenplay. How you write the narrative is ...
screenplay4/7/2008
  Q: Is it better to write a screenplay in scene sequence first, then dialogue. For example (scene one: ...
  A: Alex, My initial answer is for you to write the screnplay in the way that best suits you or the ...
Sending my query letter3/27/2008
  Q: I had a question regarding sending off my query letter. I was told to send it to agencies. But my ...
  A: Mrs. Underwood, You can send your query to whomever you wish; agents, managers, production ...
screenwritting1/1/2008
  Q: all i can say i am more than facinated towerds directing a film. i am new like a baby born. i have ...
  A: Miftahur, Your question has two distinct issues; directing and screenwriting. These issues require ...
Military Questions8/19/2007
  Q: Good day John, I am putting together a script that covers two military bases and would be happy if ...
  A: Michael, Can we call a coms room a coms room? If a coms room you mean a communications center, ...
airforce7/3/2007
  Q: I am writing a screenplay about a fighter jet shot down over enemy territory. What is the title of ...
  A: David, The rank of USAF officers is the same as the Army - Second Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, ...
marines5/24/2006
  Q: i am writing a screen play and the main character is in the marines. he enters the military after ...
  A: Ms. Houghtelling, To begin with, why don't you go on line and look at http://www.marines.com/ . ...
practical??3/29/2005
  Q: I would just like to know how practical is it really to get into screenwriting? Will I be able to ...
  A: If you want to know about screenwriting and its advantages and disadvantages please go to Writers ...
About war9/16/2004
  Q: I have this idea that involves a flashback to World War 2. My question is how emmotionally and ...
  A: My question is how emmotionally and physically draining were battles in that particular war? I am ...
Traning Academy in US4/22/2004
  Q: I have a character who joins the Miltary Academy as a career option in 1980s. Then he is deployed to ...
  A: Shashi, This is not as easy to answer as it would seem. What you are really asking about is how ...
about tibet&secret armies in china4/15/2004
  Q: greetings,sir,i'm typing this message in order to ask you something about policies given by the ...
  A: I do not know anything about secret Chinese armies. What I do know is that on 7 October 1950, ...
Extraction tactics3/28/2004
  Q: .. I'm outlining a story and I need my main character to extract a deep cover agent from danger. ...
  A: I'm outlining a story and I need my main character to extract a deep cover agent from danger. Would ...

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John M. Lovett

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Expertise

I answer questions regarding film production and screenwriting. I will answer questions dealing with screenwriting style, ideas, film production, format, and agents.

Experience

Sixteen years working in the motion picture and television industries as a screenwriter, producer, and military technical advisor. Have two produced movies TWO WEEKS and CATHY MORGAN. Worked with Digital Ranch Productions, Warriors Inc, and Nichols Productions.

Education/Credentials
CSUF, BA, 1980 UCLA, Certificate in Screenwriting, 2009

Past/Present Clients
Warriors, Inc.
Dreamworks Interactive
Legacy Interactive
Silvertouch Pictures
Synergy Group
Nichols Productions

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