Brian Bird's 10 Commandments of Screenwriting

Today on Lit Up! with Angela Breidenbach, Brian Bird shares the 10 Commandments of Screenwriting he calls the Thou Shalts... (Don't miss the details. Listen to the interview to delve into each Screenplay Commandment...)

Brian Bird

 1. Thou shalt know why before how.

 2. Thou shalt not listen to the negative self-tapes that play in your head."You'll never be  able to..." "You're not good enough..."

 3. Thou shalt be in the business of loving people
 Brian said: We work in a business that's very insecure, worry and competition,  opportunity, paying bills... be a friend-maker. People love people who love them. People  who hurt people hurt people and you don't want to be with them. 4. Be part of the   conversation. 

 5. Thou shalt respect the powers-that-be.
 Brian said: The media golden rule. He who has the gold gets to make the rules. If you don't like the reaction to your script/screenplay, maybe you need to do more to be better. Don't disrespect the gatekeepers.

6. Know the difference between excellence and mediocrity
Brian's tip: It's not all about subjectivity. 10K hour rule, first written by Malcolm Gladwell, applies.

7. Copy the greats. (No, no...not stealing...keep on listening for some great tips...)

8. Tell great stories.
Brian said: Why? Mankind is wired for story like it's food.
Brian's tip on a book to read: Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces and The Writer's Journey.

9. Leave the door open behind you...
Brian said: Be proactive about mentoring the new writers behind you...

10. Know that God was and is a writer.
Brian said: If you have a strand of that DNA, aren't you a writer too?

Books mentioned on this episode:


The Hero with a Thousand Faces (click the book to view more)

The Writer's Journey (click book to view more)

About Brian Bird: During his 30-year career in Hollywood, Brian Bird's writing and producing work comprises -dozen films and 250 episodes of network television.  He is founding partner with Michael Landon Jr. of Believe Pictures, most recently responsible for five seasons of the hit Hallmark Channel original TV series When Calls the Heart, along with cultivating the birth and growth of an ardent fan movement for the show - The Hearties.

Bird's film writing and producing credits include The Case for Christ which released nationally in theaters in April 2017, The Heart of Man (September 2017), Paramount Pictures' Captive (2015), The Ultimate Life for 20th Century Fox (2013), Not Easily Broken for Sony/Screen Gems (2009), The Last Sin Eater for 20th Century Fox (2007) and Bopha! for Paramount Pictures (1993). Additionally, Bird is writing and producing the upcoming theatricals, Northern Lights and The Boy from Baby House 10 and The Case for Miracles.

Additionally, in television, he has written or produced such shows as Touched By An Angel, Step By Step and Evening Shade, along with the award-winning TV films Captive Heart, Call Me Claus (the highest-rated cable film of 2003), and The Shunning, The Confession, The Reckoning, and Saving Sarah Cain, all based on the novels of New York Times' best-selling author Beverly Lewis. Bird is considered a leading voice in the exploding faith-based media marketplace, and has spoken widely on the role of faith in the arts, including lectures at Pepperdine, Chapman, Biola and Palm Beach Atlantic Universities, along with being a keynote speaker at the Blue Ridge and Florida Christian Writers Conferences.  He is on the founding faculty of the Act One Writing for Hollywood program, and has served as a jury member for the Heartland, 168 and City of Angel Film Festivals.  He is also on the faculty of the Stephens College Screenwriting MFA.
His own films have garnered awards from the New York Independent Film Festival, New York Festivals, Heartland Film Festival, the Black Reel Awards, the Movie Guide Awards, the Telly Awards and the Christopher Awards.  And his professional blog, serves as a lively exchange on the art and craft of story-telling.But beyond Bird's professional achievements, he considers his top productions to date to be his 36-year marriage to wife, Patty, and his five children. 

Find Brian on Social Media: Twitter: @brbird  Facebook: Brian Bird

Brian's Website:

Find Angela Breidenbach on Social Media: @AngBreidenbach


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