BrianKoppelman

It’s unlikely that you’ll see Brian Koppelman plugging a screenwriting how-to book anytime soon. The writer/director behind Ocean’s Thirteen and Solitary Man publicly denounced the hoodwinkery birthed by the cat-saving industry and felt strongly enough about the seminar culture to make it the message of his first six-second screenwriting tip.

Those tips come in the form of Vines (what else?) that he produces daily. Each comes with a kind of scorched earth sincerity that you don’t often get from working filmmakers, and by next week, he’ll have amassed one hundred of them. That’s a full ten minutes of helpful jabs where his face and nearly two decades of insight fill the frame.

Typically with this space we focus on 6 filmmaking tips and offer further challenges and exploration, but for Koppelman’s unique delivery, we’re making a special exception — particularly because there’s so much here (and because digging deeper would be like analyzing a punch with the person who’s on the mat). These bursts of advice easily stand alone.

So here are my favorite six minutes of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a true grinder.

Your Personal Guide

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“Write What You Know” Has Limits

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Just Do It

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Just Do It Without Trying to Game the Studios

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Consistency is the Only Real Rule

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The Books Worth Reading

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 Ask the Passionate Question

 

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Seeking Permission to Write

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 A Specific Script for Starting Out

 

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More Required Reading (from Murakami)

  

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What’s Within Your Grasp

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Unsellable Today, Sellable Tomorrow

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Advice From Your Heroes

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Beating Writing’s Block With Morning Pages

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Three Act Structure is a Snap

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 Formatting is a Snap, Too

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Two Shots of Inspiration

 

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The Flipside of Faith

 

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The Robots Can’t Do It (Yet)

 

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Your Favorite Movie Was Once a Dead End

 

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A Reason to Move Swiftly

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You Can Take a Break By Writing

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Aim Higher

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Be Bold Against the Realistic Odds

 

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Likability Loses Out to Intrigue

 

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Tap Into Your Own Storytelling Knowledge

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The Crystal Ball is Bullshit

 

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All Writers Start With These

 

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Respect the Ritual

 

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A Way to Maim Your Dream

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More Required Reading About Dedication

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And More Required Viewing About Speed and Dynamism

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What You Earn When You Get It Done

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When You Don’t Feel Creative

 

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The Blank Slate Can Be Your Friend

 

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 And So Can Your Favorite Band

 

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Struggling Through Like the Pros

 

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Stamina is Key

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In Every Single Scene

 

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The Flipside of Success

 

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Quality as Job Delineation

   

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The Secret to Scoring an Agent?

 

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The Question Beyond the Organizational Technique

 

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The Right Idea

 

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Take Pleasure in Good Cinema

 

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The Productivity Killer

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If You Keep Quitting

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Indulge Your Excitement

 

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The Small Part of the Day

 

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Wunderkinds Are Rare

 

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Making It Easy On Yourself

 

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Them!

 

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The Upside Of Your Full Time Job

 

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More Required Reading (From Walter Murch)

 

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The Side Benefit of Compartmentalizing Your Writing

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Do I Have to Move to LA?

 

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Plan Ahead for Localized Peer Pressure

 

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Your Second First Draft

 

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What You Owe Readers

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But It’s So, So Hard

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