Official Website of Screenwriters (and now Authors)
The team of Diamond and Weissman has been writing movies and mentoring filmmakers for decades. In this practical guide, they take the aspiring writer by the hand and guide them through the logistics and tools of writing an attention-grabbing, audience-pleasing screenplay. Readers will learn the interests and needs of managers, agents, producers, executives, financiers, directors, and actors. Diamond and Weissman attribute their phenomenal success to a career-long focus on the motives and priorities of film sponsors and benefactors.
Whether it’s a theatrical release or a streaming movie, a major, big-budget tent pole or an intimate, character-driven indie drama, Diamond and Weissman apply their time-tested approach. This fresh way of thinking will resonate with writers, industry professionals, and cinephiles excited to peek under the hood at what makes their favorite films tick.
Bulletproof is the rare screenwriting instructional penned by authors with both massive credits and decades of business experience. It is poised to take its place as one of the must-reads of the genre.
David Diamond and David Weissman's partnership is rooted in a 30 year friendship that dates back to their high school days together in Philadelphia. They parted company for college while Diamond majored in Cinema Studies at NYU and Weissman studied Chinese history, first at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and then at the University of Michigan. Weissman received two Masters Degrees in the subject, one from the University of Wisconsin and the second from Brown University, before setting aside academic aspirations to join Diamond, who had settled in Los Angeles to pursue a career in screenwriting.
The partners sold their first spec script, The Whiz Kid, to 20th Century Fox in 1994. They followed with a series of original ideas for comedies, including their first produced credit in 2000, Universal Pictures’ The Family Man, starring Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni. Collaborations with producer-director Ivan Reitman and producer Andrew Panay followed, yielding Diamond and Weissman’s next feature credits, the Dreamworks Pictures sci-fi comedy Evolution, and Disney comedies Old Dogs and When In Rome.
The team sold their first television pitch to 20th Television and CBS in 2005. More pilot sales followed for both half-hour comedies and one-hour dramas. Together, Diamond and Weissman have sold pilots at every major network, and conceived and contributed to over a dozen movies with a combined box office gross of over a billion dollars worldwide.
Now in the third decade of their writing partnership, Diamond and Weissman continue to explore concept and character driven stories that add up to more than the sum of their parts.
Bulletproof authors Diamond (l) and Weissman (r), 2018
(photo credit: Jonathan Diamond)
We’ve been writing movies and television pilots together for decades. In that time, we’ve had hundreds of conversations over coffee with aspiring writers looking for feedback on their scripts, guidance about their careers, advice about what to do and how to do it. Sharing our experience, and whatever insights we may have, has been one of the great pleasures of our partnership and our career. But not every aspiring screenwriter knows, or has some connection to, a working writer in Hollywood. So we wrote this book. In it, we share an approach to screenwriting that’s served us well since the sale of our very first spec script more than two decades ago.
In Bulletproof, we view the entire screenwriting process, from the germ of the writer’s idea through the submission of the screenplay, from the perspective of all the creative and financial stakeholders who have to say YES in order for a screenplay to sell — managers and agents, producers, directors, actors, production company and studio executives and financiers. Along the way, we’ll share anecdotes from our own career, lessons that we learned the hard way in some cases, and were greatly rewarded for in others. We hope this practical screenwriting guide is helpful to all who want enter this business, and to any and all with a general interest in movies, the writing process, or the work of the thousands of writers for movies and television who keep us entertained each and every day.
The Family Man
When In Rome
For full filmography, visit
Dream A Little Dream 2
ADVANCE PRAISE & PRESS
“The Davids have written an accessible, relatable and indispensable guide to how to take a story from nascent idea to a great screenplay. No matter your level of experience, it’s a must read for anyone who cares about story.”
— Jonathan Glickman (president, MGM Motion Picture Group)
“I loved it! I read it in one sitting. It’s so honest. I think it would be really helpful for anyone daring to enter….it made me want to write a script.”
— Holly Bario (president of production, DreamWorks Studios)
“What’s so incredible about Bulletproof is that it’s as ‘inside’ a book about writing Hollywood scripts as has been written. I love the Davids, and I love their book.”
— Bert Salke (president, Fox 21 Television Studios)
“Incisive, smart and incredibly fun…an instantly indispensable book for aspiring screenwriters. This book is destined to be dog-eared from constant use, and will sit next to Adventures in the Screen Trade and Save the Cat as the gold standard on how to get your script written, sold, and most importantly: made.”
— Richard Shepard (writer/director, The Matador, Dom Hemingway, The Perfection)
“Diamond and Weissman have written the ultimate how-to guide for writing inside the studio system with lessons that can only be learned from years of experience on the front lines and at the highest levels. This book contains all the things an aspiring writer needs to know that they will not be taught in film school.”
— Sean Perrone (manager, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment)
“This is the book for everyone who doesn’t have the luxury of a couple good friends willing to sit down with them for a few hundred cups of coffee and share all their secrets for breaking in. A practical, funny, and down-to-Earth insider’s guide that covers everything from script development to what it’s really like working in “the industry” — from people who have actually done it.
— Etan Cohen, writer, (Idiocracy; Tropic Thunder; Men in Black 3)
“I love this book. Truly. It’s like having lunch with David and David, albeit with charts and one-pagers mixed in with the hummus and salad.”
— Sascha Penn, writer (Creed 2; Power)
“Finally a screenwriting book by two incredibly talented, accomplished people on the front lines who've actually written hit movies.”
— Peter Steinfeld, writer (21; Be Cool; Drowning Mona; Analyze That)
“I reallllly wish I'd had this book when I started writing. It would have saved me years of figuring it out.”
- Will Akers, Chair and head of screenwriting, Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, Belmont University
“Diamond & Weissman are like talmudic brain surgeons when it comes to screenwriting. Thankfully, they’ve put all their wisdom into this amazing book, which is way better than any other screenwriting book.”
— Roger Kumble writer, director (Cruel Intentions; The Sweetest Thing)
“Diamond and Weissman have a unique style that uses the head and the heart to create stories that are universal and irresistible.”
— Jon Shestack, producer (Air Force One; Dan In Real Life)
“As screenwriters, Diamond & Weissman possess the rare talent of being able to write from the heart—and in Bulletproof they reveal their process in a pragmatic way that any writer, novice or experienced, can benefit from.”
— Jonathan Mostow, writer/director (Breakdown; U-571; Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)
“(Bulletproof) changed the way I think about my screenwriting. A must read for every screenwriter, from the novice to the professional.”
— Jonathan Fernandez, writer (Rob the Mob), Writers Guild of America Board of Directors
“The mix of practical but savvy, easy to understand advice and personal insights is both extraordinarily educational but surprisingly encouraging. I recommend this book for screenwriters at any level.”
— David J. Greenberg, University of the Arts/Drexel University
“The book is filled with nuggets to hone your skills and make your script bulletproof, so that you can thrive and succeed in the network, studio, and streaming universes.”
— Dr. Selise E. Eiseman, screenwriter and film and education professor
"Diamond and Weissman have been through the process and break it down to help you navigate your story to getting made."
— Dave Watson, author (Walkabout Undone), editor (Movies Matter)
“Bulletproof is the definitive and up-to-date how-to book on finally getting your screenplay produced as a movie!”
— Elizabeth English, executive director, Moondance International Film Festival
“The closest I’ve found to the ‘secret sauce’ that can help get scripts sold and produced.”
— Elliot Grove, founder, Raindance Film Festival & British Independent Film Awards
“You’ll learn surefire strategies to help you write a script that industry professionals will want to read and produce!”
— Forris Day Jr., host of Rolling Tape filmmakers interview show, cohost, of Get Real: Indie Filmmakers podcast
“Every chapter is punctuated by valuable, learned-on-the-job sage advice and anecdotes from two wise screenwriters who have earned their stripes the hard way.”
— Fritz Kiersch, writer/director (Children of the Corn, Tuff Turf, Surveilance, Shattered Image)
“A clear-eyed, informative and inspiring look into the ways in which professional screenwriters tackle the task of writing scripts that sell.”
— Roy Finch, assistant professor, Chapman University
“They say write what you know. But as I know incredibly little, thank the lord Diamond & Weissman have written this book. I truly wish I had it when I was starting out.”
— David Berenbaum, writer (Elf; The Haunted Mansion; The Spiderwick Chronicles)
“Where was Bulletproof when I needed it? Oh, wait I still need it! A great how-to for the first-time writer; an equally essential refresher for the veteran.”
— John Eisendrath, co-creator (The Blacklist), writer-producer (Alias)
“Before I was even halfway through, I began applying their techniques to make my next script bulletproof. Their advice is so good, they may try to commission me ten percent!”
— Chris Brancato, co-creator and showrunner (Narcos; Godfather of Harlem)