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HOW DID WE END UP HERE?

Crafting the Inevitable Conclusion

To entice a buyer, you need a great opening sequence. To close the deal, you need a killer ending. Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (co-written by yours truly and my former writing partner, Tara Ison) began as a spec screenplay that—as luck would have it—we sold to 20th Century Fox. It was our “big break” into the biz, not only because it snagged us an agent and big bucks, but also because it got made (by HBO and Warner Bros.—but that's another long story …). We had a blast writing it, but I'm under no illusions that it's a brilliant screenplay. At best, it was a dark comedy with some edgy macabre scenes and a few memorable one-liners and set pieces. A popcorn flick for teenagers ...

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