HI Film Doctor Folk!

Well now that the Academy Awards have been announced we thought it might be nice to offer up some tips on how you can make it to the Kodak Theater yourselves and maybe wrap your fingers around a little golden man called Oscar.

We found this great little post by Screenwriting for Hollywood, check it out:


16 Tips on How To Write Oscar Winning Scripts

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

1) Write a Drama.

2) Live 30 years or more before writing your Oscar winning script.

3) Your subject matter should appeal to people age 30 to 100 because that is the age range of Academy voters.

4) Make the audience laugh or cry.

5) Surf a current debated social-political topic without offending anyone.

6) Create sympathy for the type of character that is usually despised.

7) Base it on a true story or real setting or common event.

8) Keep it simple and realistic. Cutting edge, abstract, and avant-garde movies are appreciated only in small circles.

9) Build your story with a slow, strong, steady pace. Super fast, splashy, action-packed, modern masterpieces seldom win.

10) To get people to watch the film, attach a famous actor with a good reputation, but not so famous that he or she does a disservice to the story and the script is overlooked.

11) Story arch and character developments are mandatory. Audience must learn something as the lead character learns it.

12) Conflict and obstacles are requisite.

13) No one is perfect, nor should be your characters.

14) Don’t write a story that is too disturbing, gross, violent, or outrageous; you don’t want your viewers to walk away sick, upset, or angry. People vote for stories that make them feel good about themselves and their own lives.

15) Impart an indisputable moral message.

16) For an award winning movie script, the lead character must break away from what is expected of him or her. Whatever the person is supposed to do, he or she does the opposite. Macho guy is weak. Prostitute is innocent. Parent is irresponsible. Monster is friendly. Child is brave. Poor person is rich. Dumb person proves smart. You get the idea. Create an unusual twist on the norm.

Hell or High Water
Photo by Lorey Sebastian
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Any additions you have? Any disputes? Comment below to share your thoughts.

Here are some Oscar-winning screenplays for you to read.

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The Film Doctor Team
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