Script Gods Must Die - Chicago Screenwriting Consultant

Jan 25th, 2015 by paul peditto


I recently posted about a 50-something, this-close-to-the-scrap-heap-of-obsolescent teacher, Grandpa Peditto, attempting to stay relevant in the teaching of the M2 (Millennial) Generation. Even if I wasn’t a self-confessed Luddite, it would be a constant struggle in attempting to keep up with the current media consumption patterns of this voracious group. Staying hip–and God help you if you tried to used that moldy phrase–has never been tougher. The M2’s are samplers. With instant access to all content comes the necessity to sample all the cool new shit that daily appears via Instagram and Facebook pages, Youtube vids, video games, graphic novels and manga streams, music via Grooveshark, Spotify or Pandora…I get dizzy/exhausted just imagining the 5-6-7 multi-tasking tabs they have to run 24/7 just to keep up with it.

I recently came across a short film that got into the Toronto Film Festival last year. It’s called Noah. This is a movie that looks like nothing you’ve seen before. It’s forced POV for the majority of the movie–meaning we’re IN THE COMPUTER SCREEN–seeing it exactly as our hero Noah sees it. Poor Noah is breaking up with his girlfriend via Facebook. It’s just 17 minutes. I’ve screened it for a couple classes at Columbia. The first time was for a Screenwriting 2 class and the response was pretty remarkable. Cries of “THIS IS MY LIFE!” emerged. Finally, it seemed, I had tapped into something the M2’s could relate to. Maybe now they’d forgive me trying to jam The Elephant Man down their throats.

The very speed of technological advance in our culture means that, by definition, Noah will soon be outdated as Millennials move on from Facebook (hasn’t that already happened?) to other activities. Meanwhile, here’s the link to Noah. If you want to tap into the consciousness of the generation that’s going to be paying into Grandpa Peditto’s Social Security fund, check this out.


Screen Sounds
Jan 18th, 2015 by paul peditto


“I believe you shouldn’t force the audience’s interpretation of a character or story. The more you explain things, the less intriguing and imaginable they are for the viewers. Film to me, in its essence, in its ultimate nature, is silent. Music and dialogue are there in fill in what is lacking in the image. But you should be able to tell the story with moving pictures alone.”– TAKESHI KITANO

My screenwriting students at Columbia sometimes don’t get the incongruity. Film is a visual medium. Hitchcock understood it best: The juxtaposition and manipulation of moving images for emotional effect. Screenplay dialogue is there only to fill in the gap where necessary, when the images alone can’t convey all the information. You don’t have to say everything because we can SEE it. Screenplay dialogue should be railroad tracks. You have the first rail, what is spoken. But you also have the second rail, the UNSPOKEN, the subtext. Actors fill in emotional gaps with body language. And what else fills in the emotional gap?


A great composer can do wonders to lead the audience where you want to take them. A great score is pure manipulation.

I must admit that I until recently I never appreciated what great sound could do, or even how it was attained. It was someone else’s job, a mystery to me. So today I thought it might be interesting to look at that aspect of movie-making. This being Script Gods Must Die though, I have to start you off with a short Puck-like diversion. Check out this video on the life of an adult film foley artist:

Interesting, eh?! Now on to something a bit more mainstream. With recent controversy about the sound of INTERSTELLER, check out this short film on how they did the sound on that movie. Fascinating stuff.

The soundtracks from dozens of other movies come are featured at a website called SoundWorks. It’s a gas to see how the sound from some of your favorite movies came to be. Check it out.



SoundWorks Collection – The Sound of Interstellar from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

Copyright and Intellectual Property
Jan 2nd, 2015 by paul peditto
A written report based on numbers; A document characterized by claims that specific quantities have a direct result on the intended purpose of the document;

verb: Proports: The juice concentrate package proports; a 1:3 mix to water ratio.

noun: Proport: The proport claimed false ingredients.

If there’s only thing I’ve learned teaching Millennials at Columbia College for over a decade now is never bluff.  You will get called on your bullshit if you proport to have knowledge of a subject you do not. I am not an entertainment lawyer, nor do I play one on television. So when folks ask me about copyright issues I usually send them to for specifics.

Recently a class I teach at Columbia did an online workshop about Copyright and Intellectual Property issues and I’d like to share that with you in case you have some questions about either topic.


What is Copyright?

What does Copyright protect?

Do I have to register with your office to be protected?

I’ve heard about the “poor man’s copyright”– what is it?


How do I register my work?

Can I file online?

What is the registration fee?


What does copyright protect?

How do I protect my idea?


Copyright of video games

The Future of Publishing

Copyright Laws and Treaties


What is a patent?

How long does a patent last?

Patent topics and issues


Lastly, here’s a great five minute video by Columbia College Cinema Art and Science Lecturer Rod Plummer on Intellectual Property, a beginner’s A to Z.

Hope it helps.





Screenwriting On The Pale Blue Dot
Dec 16th, 2014 by paul peditto


Seasons greetings, oh ye Script Gods Must Die writers! I wish upon you all seasonal goodwill, Christmas cookies, reindeer bells and snowy nights, stressless shopping and travel, Mom’s lasagna and pizza fritas, jello molds and Ice Box cake, multiple viewings of Charley Brown’s Christmas and A Christmas Story. And, of course, THE BREAKTHROUGH in your writing for the year 2015…

What’s interesting–in the great galaxy of screenwriting information available to you, Good Reader–what’s interesting is that perspective isn’t often challenged. By perspective I mean stepping back and seeing the big picture. Awhile back, I tried to go there with a post on Screenwriting & Mortality. Why is it, exactly, do you write? And why screenplays?

When I punch SCREENWRITING into Google, what I get back for search numbers is “About 2,000,000 results“. In those millions of results are every movie script you ever saw or read. Every consultant’s website and every book written by every guru claiming they could make your writing better, claiming that employing such-and-such structural model will give you a better shot at getting into the Old School L.A. Country Club. Every subscriber website charging you for access to “industry professionals”, every screenwriting contest charging $50 or more in your hopes of making it to the semi-finals and maybe bagging an agent or manager–is found here, in this search.

If I’m sounding like Carl Sagan here it’s because I DID think of him. And the perspective he brought.

I meanwhat the fuck…sure, fame and fortune would be great. It’s beats the alternative–which is the world imposing itself on you. No no no, no matter what, Good Reader, endeavor to impose your order on the world before the world imposes itself on you.

If that strikes you as philosophical mumbo-jumbo, then I ask you, have you ever asked yourself WHY you are writing? With all the desperation that surrounds the tens of thousands of writers pumping out tens of thousands of screenplays EVERY YEAR, why are you joining their ranks? Will your contribution mean anything in the grand, cosmococcic scheme of things?

Before you start writing today, take a peek at this. It might mess with your mind, and change your POV.

And have a wonderful holiday, dammit!


10 Tips For The Unknown Screenwriter- Part 2
Dec 9th, 2014 by paul peditto


Hey guys, ’tis the Season for giving. Not really sure what your Humble Narrator here at Script Gods can offer you this holiday season, other than a few Life Lessons on how to improve your writing and avoid making the same mistakes that I have throughout the years. Had an article on some basic improvements you can make to your writing style published at Script Magazine this week. It–believe it or not–gives a firm rationale for why I walked out of BENJAMIN BUTTON for PAUL BLART, MALL COP. Also, the four most important words when it comes time to sell your script.


Check out the link to the article here.




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