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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: 

Dch, since it's Memorial Day and I really want to write a military war script, but haven't they all already been written?  What chance would I have selling it?


This week's answer: 

Don't Fight Writing About Fighting

Ruben, if you truly feel moved to write a military/war script, by all means, follow that instinct.  There may be a story in you that needs to be told.  There are still many regarding certain poignant war scenarios that haven't yet found their way to the screen.  If you happen to want to delve into world of courage, sacrifice, passion, patriotism, valor, bravery beyond the call of duty, and pathos, I know no better "canvas" to work on.  There's always room for on the shelf with Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Paths of Glory, Black Hawk down, Tears of the Sun, The Red Badge of Courage, The Patriot, Birth of a Nation, Glory, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Longest Day, Days of Glory, Das Boot, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and so many more.

In regards to selling such a script, what producer who wants to put their name on another war classic, wouldn't want to release his or her movie during the Memorial Day weekend?  Well-written war stories, screenplays, touch us deeply.  They always will.  And, as long as we dwellers on this planet have the misfortune of having to continue to wage wars, their telling is extremely important.  These stories need to be shown to our children and their children's children, until, finally, one day, war will be a distant memory.  It will be something that can only be found in the history books.

And our movies.

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