Screenwriting rules

There was a good twitter thread today about supposed screenwriting rules. Mazin, McQuarrie, Mangold, Rian J and a few others got in there to reiterate that these supposed rules don’t matter. Here’s my screenplay for Solitary Man. You will see I break all the rules on the first page. Michael Douglas read it and signed on.

These rules–don’t use camera angles or moves, don’t use songs, don’t write emotions we can’t film–they don’t matter. Just be engaging. Just carry us through the story. Just demand our attention. Solitary Man, Blue pages

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Brian Koppelman

I'm co-creator/Executive producer of Showtime's Billions. Some of the films I've either written/produced/directed are Solitary Man, Rounders, Ocean's Thirteen, Knockaround Guys, Runaway Jury, The Girlfriend Experience & the 30/30 Documentary on Jimmy Connors. I'm also the host of the podcast The Moment.

One thought on “Screenwriting rules”

  1. I agree. Tell the story slickly and engagingly. Actors an directors want a quick slick engaging emotional read. Never write a boring script. Write it like this one, for example. Good script – SM. Smooth fun cool exciting read. Breaking the rules. Enjoyed it.

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