James Napoli

We Need to (Not) Talk

We Need to (Not) Talk

James Napoli discusses the use – and over-use – of dialogue.

By James Napoli. A funny thing happened when I decided to revisit the car chase from Bullitt. I found myself on edge in a way I could not quite define. I seemed to be experiencing more of a sense of tension and worry than I normally do in an action scene. Then, about three minutes […]

 James Napoli

Writers: Know Your Place

Writers: Know Your Place

James Napoli discusses what to do – and what not do to – when setting scenes in your screenplay.

By James Napoli. EXT. STREET – DAY A car is parked at the curb. Inside, a group of screenwriters wait at the corner of nothing and nowhere, failing to set the scene with any specificity and therefore failing to engage the reader into something resembling a cinematic experience. Every screenplay should be set somewhere. Forget […]

 James Napoli

From the Over Describer to the Compulsive Recapper: Eight Screenwriting Screw-ups to Avoid

From the Over Describer to the Compulsive Recapper: Eight Screenwriting Screw-ups to Avoid

Script Reader James Napoli gives us a run down of the most common mistakes he sees, and how to fix them.

By James Napoli. Many of the most common mistakes found in screenplays are also easy to rectify. So if you are working on a screenplay of your own, make sure that you do not fall into one of these types.         1. The Compulsive “We See-er” We see an eyeball staring directly […]

 James Napoli

The Fault in our Screenplays: Godzilla’s Missed Opportunities

The Fault in our Screenplays: Godzilla’s Missed Opportunities

The Unmerited Misfortune of Aristotle.

By James Napoli. Aristotle’s Poetics is most commonly known as the place from which we derive three-act structure, but his guidelines for what occurs as a character comes to a new understanding within that structure are also pretty awesome. Briefly, here is a paraphrasing of Aristotle’s basic recommendations for protagonists: They should have an “unmerited […]

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