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David Freeman

David Freeman is a screenwriter, and teaches screenwriting and script development internationally.

A long-standing member of the Writers Guild of America, he has sold and optioned scripts and ideas to Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, MGM, and other major film and television companies. He works half time for News Corp (which owns 20th Century Fox and television networks around the world), developing television dramas.

He has taught screenwriting and script development not just to writers around the world, but at Pixar, Disney, to many executives of the BBC, at various film studios in China, and to many other film and television companies around the world.

Products by David Freeman

Articles by David Freeman

Dual 'Character Arcs' in 'Erin Brockovich'

Hopefully, you're not the same person you were when you were a teen. (If you're a teen, reading this, I realize the above sentence defies logic. But not to worry -- it's an illogical world, and you'll soon get used to it). Perhaps once you were shy, and now you're not. Perhaps once you felt unimportant, and now you understand your value to yourself and others. The point is, ... (read more)

Focusing on the Use of Symbols in Film: Why 'American Beauty' Works

There are many ways symbols that can be used in a movie. Today I will examine one of them.

Alan Ball, the screenwriter of 'American Beauty,' makes riveting use of the color red throughout the film. The first time we see Annette Bening, she's cutting bright red roses.

What does the color red mean in this movie?

The way Ball uses it, it refers ... (read more)

Adding Emotional Depth to a Plot Via a Subplot

One way to add that mysterious quality of emotional layers or 'depth' to a plot is to have the hero's emotional journey echoed in a subplot. Alan Ball, the screenwriter of 'American Beauty,' does this masterfully.

This can be seen in how Wes Bently's (the intense young man in the film) plotline echoes Kevin Spacey's (and sometimes, vice versa).

First, t... (read more)

Sneaking Emotional Depth into 'Shrek'

Learn how Shrek utilizes emotional depth that appeals to both kids and adults with 7 expert techniques in this article by David Freeman.

In The Simpsons, Toy Story, A Bug's Life, and Shrek we see film ... (read more)

Unique Speak

Our reader Singh from Toronto, asks:
My dialogue sounds flat and indistinguishable between characters. How can I work on writing more engaging dialogue?

David Freeman responds:

Dialogue has long been a problem for writers. The problem is that dialogue needs to serve a variety of functions: (1) make the characters sound different from one another, ... (read more)

Adding Depth to Villains

Our reader F.X. Snyder from Garden Grove, asks:
My villain is a bit too one-dimensional. Any tips for fleshing out a character who's not the protagonist?

David Freeman responds:

Sure, I know a lot about villains, although not from personal experience mind you. That bank robbery thing was a big mistake, and the reporter got it all wrong... (read more)