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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions (often with a humorous eye) about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

I feel I should write a holiday movie, but I don't want it to be crap like so many are.  What do you think and how do I do it?

Michael T. 

This week's Answer: 

Christmas Cheer Up 'Cause It Won't Be Christmas Much Longer

Michael, I think it's a great idea to write a non-crap holiday script.  (It will be so much easier to read that way.)  How do you do it?  Good question.  You're going to need a lot of snow (especially if you have scenes where it's going to snow a lot).  Somebody will need to not be in good holiday cheer.  And you'll need some snow.  One of your characters will have to have ruby cheeks and an almost cloying or actually cloying smile that the character who doesn't have ruby cheeks or a holiday smile wants to slap off his face (or something even more violent and un-holiday-ish).  And did I mention that you're going to need snow?  And a miracle.  You're going to need a miracle or something that could be referred to as a miracle or a strange, wonderful happening that happens to happen during the holiday and is quite holiday-esque.  This holiday-type happening will most likely transform the originally "uncheerful" person into a cheerful one and will cause he or her to, once again, believe in the power and joy of the holiday season, along with sometimes a whole town or some large, populated area.   They'll be a lot of cheery holiday music especially at the end.  And as we pull away, glad to have gone through the two hours in order to remember to feel good during the holidays (even though we just might not want to)... it snows, snow being emblematic of purity, refreshing the landscape, blanketing it and all with its beauty and grace.

Which will eventually need to be shoveled so the cheery holiday people can get out of their beautifully blanch-blanketed houses.

So, Michael, as you can see, you've made an excellent choice, being that it's much easier to shovel snow than to shovel... well, you know.

Cheery Holidays,

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