Michael Lee Simpson

What Makes A Character Memorable?

What Makes A Character Memorable?

A white feather floats through the air, drifting high in the afternoon sky. As it drops, fluttering through clouds, “Paramount Pictures Presents” fades in with opening titles—“A Steve Tish/Wendy Finerman Production”—“A Robert Zemekis Film”—and the feather travels further on its journey, whisked away by the breeze, hovering over a busy Savannah, Georgia street. The feather […]

 Michael Lee Simpson

Why The Film & TV Industry Needs Producers

Why The Film & TV Industry Needs Producers

“The idea of a star being born is bushwa. A star is created, carefully and cold-bloodily, built from nothing, from nobody. Age, beauty, talent, least of all talent, has nothing to do with it. We could make silk purses out of sows’ ears every day of the week.” So says Louis B. Mayer, one of […]

 Michael Lee Simpson

Why Do Some Filmmakers Revise History?

Why Do Some Filmmakers Revise History?

It’s August 8, 1969, in the Beverly Crest neighborhood of Los Angeles. Tucked comfortably away behind hedges on Cielo Drive, a French country-style mansion sits with five people alive and well inside. It’s the end of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Leonardo DiCaprio stands outside the gates. He’s playing the role of faded […]

 Michael Lee Simpson

What Makes A Good Scene In Your Screenplay?

What Makes A Good Scene In Your Screenplay?

An estimated five hundred thousand feature films are floating around on earth, circulating among us, streaming on Netflix or Hulu, stacked in dated DVD collections, or stored in a basement somewhere on VHS tapes, lost since 1997. In general, there are forty to sixty scenes in a two- hour running time. That’s thirty million scenes […]

 Michael Lee Simpson

Navigating The Agent and Manager Conundrum

Navigating The Agent and Manager Conundrum

There’s a wall in Hollywood that every screenwriter stands before, staring up at its towering height with dread and discouragement. That blockade is built on the foundation of six words: We Do Not Accept Unsolicited Material. Etched on the stone surface, some dismissive legal jargon, “Material is only accepted for consideration when submitted by franchised literary agents […]