Screenwriting How-To Articles
Discover the essential techniques on how to write a screenplay that grabs an executive’s attention and make the execution of your story as good as the hook, all while taking the audience on an emotional ride. Learn outlining, writing dialogue, crafting memorable scenes, proper screenplay format and more.
A Beautiful Collage of Obstacles and Heartbreaks: An Interview with ‘Marcel the Shell with Shoes On’ creators Dean Fleischer-Camp and Nick Paley
“We wanted to tell a very personal film, and we all, Nick, Jenny [Slate], Liz [Holm] and our other producers as well, really put pieces of ourselves into the film, especially in the emotional moments. I think it's a beautiful collage of obstacles and heartbreaks in our lives.” - Dean Fleischer-Camp
Constructing the Period Piece: A Talk with Writer Suzanne Allain
'Mr. Malcolm’s List' has had quite an evolution from short story to theaters. Suzanne Allain discussed that process with us recently, as well as her love for writing.
San Francisco Director Maria Judice Talks Community, Filmmaking and ‘Elephant’
Filmmaker Maria Judice shares with Script the aspect of community filmmaking and being a multifaceted artist.
TRUE INDIE: Catching Up with Barbara Morgan, Executive Director, Austin Film Festival
Script contributor Rebecca Norris Resnick chats with Barbara Morgan, executive director of the Austin Film Festival, about how the pandemic and virtual technologies have changed the game for writers, what AFF looks for in screenplay submissions, and her advice on breaking into the industry.
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: Ep. 438 - If Jumanji was a drinking game
This week Ashley Scott Meyers talks with actor and filmmaker Jim Mahoney, the Actor, Executive Producer, and Writer of the Comedy movie 'Gatlopp' (2022). Jim talks about what inspired him to write Gatlopp and he gives the great pitch by saying, it's if Jumanji was a drinking game.
A Deep Emotional Drive to Tell Stories: An Interview with 'Made for Love' Director Wendey Stanzler
Wendey Stanzler shares with Script about directing for television, how she got started in the business as an editor, and why an emotional hook is essential for her as both a director and viewer.
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: Ep 437 - Writing A Contained Horror Movie
This week Ashley Scott Meyers talks with filmmaker Neil McCay, Writer/Director of 'Trip' (2022). Neil McCay talks about why he chose to write a limited location Horror movie and the things he had to consider by making a contained movie.
How Director Pete Chatmon Dove into the Mind Palace of ‘The Flight Attendant’
Director Pete Chatmon shares with Script about his approach to directing episode five of season two, how he approaches breaking down a character's emotional journey, his filmmaking journey and more!
Developing the Short Story: An Interview with C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson about 'The Black Phone'
Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill have become maestros of the macabre. They’re a perfect example of a writing duo that’s in sync.
Not Just Another Pretty Face: 'Elvis' Film Review
Baz Luhrmann’s vivacious directing style is his signature. Elvis is deified and not examined as a person. We don’t find out any information we don’t already know. It just takes the easy route in portraying a complicated soul who was the first rock star.
Writing the Immigrant Experience with HBO Max's 'Gordita Chronicles' Creator Claudia Forestieri and Showrunner Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz
Claudia Forestieri and Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz speak with Script about the show's conception, their approach to finding the comedy within their lived experiences, staffing their room with diverse voices, the importance of telling and seeing immigrant stories, and why they became writers themselves.
Being a Story Custodian: A Conversation with 'Rise' Screenwriter Arash Amel
The Antetokounmpos family story couldn’t have been placed in better hands than with screenwriter Arash Amel. The 'A Private War' writer, through artful storytelling and characters cemented in their values, quietly and confidently conveys a story of hope and victory. He didn’t seek out the story, it found him.
Where Genre Has No Limits: Spotlight on Screenwriter Delé Adams
Screenwriter Delé Adams shares with Script his favorite genres to write in, what inspired him to become a screenwriter and the importance of not shying away from feedback.
Character Study with ‘Apples’ Filmmaker Christos Nikou
Christos Nikou speaks with Script about his feature directorial debut, how and when this story idea came to be, his interest in character studies and the creative choices behind the aspect ratio, and much more.
The Soul of the Story: An Interview with 'The Essex Serpent' Writer and Executive Producer Anna Symon
Anna Symon speaks with Script about the adaptation process, the amount of research she and the writer's room conducted, charting character arcs, and she share's invaluable advice for writers interested in adapting a book into a screenplay.
The Game of Writing the Ensemble Comedy: An Interview with ‘Gatlopp’ Screenwriter Jim Mahoney
Screenwriter and star Jim Mahoney speaks with Script about how this story idea came to be, his creative collaboration with director Alberto Belli and his approach to writing an ensemble of grounded characters with unique voices.
Hitler, Napoleon, Dinosaurs: Writing Your Historical Characters as Fictional Ones
Once we make a historical character a part of our story – we own that character. It’s our character now, and we can do whatever we want with that character, for the sake of telling the best story we possibly can.
Tracking the Emotional Journey: An Interview 'The Dropout' Creator Elizabeth Meriwether
Creator, showrunner, and writer Elizabeth Meriwether speaks with Script about what fascinated her about Holmes' story and character, the importance of setting tone and following her emotional journey as the anchor of the show.
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: Ep 436 - Making 12 Short Films In A Year
This week Ashley Scott Meyers talks with UK based filmmaker Sheikh Shahnawaz, Writer/Director of the Crime Thriller 'Bluff' (2022). Sheikh Shahnawaz talks about making 12 short films in a year and why they spent more money marketing the feature 'Bluff' than was spent to produce the movie.
Shaping and Dramatizing History with 'Women of the Movement' Creator Marissa Jo Cerar
'Women of the Movement' creator, writer, and executive producer Marissa Jo Cerar speaks with Script about how this project came to fruition, the amount of preparation from historical research to outlining the series, to talking about her writing journey and why writing is her "jam."
Reckless Creatives Podcast - Season 2 | Episode 2: Implementing Inclusivity Into Your Storytelling with Jess King
Filmmaker and professor Jess King joins Reckless Creatives co-hosts Sadie Dean and Jeanne Veillette Bowerman for an honest dialogue not only about the importance of inclusivity in writing, but also the obstacles traditional Hollywood has put in the way of writers, including the issue with the classic "hero's journey."
Ask the Coach: How Do I Keep Writing During Summer?
Here are seven ideas to help you creatively keep writing and enjoy the summer. Use them with a mix-and-match approach, adopting those that work for you and ignoring the rest.
A Massive Creative Undertaking: An Interview with ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Head Writer and Executive Producer Joby Harold
Joby Harold shares how the core creative team made the important decision on where to start Obi-Wan's journey, his character arc and trajectory, world-building, and the ambitions for the show and creatively keeping his inner child alive during his filmmaking journey that eventually brought him to work within the Star Wars world.
Investing in Characters with 'WeCrashed' Limited-Series Co-Creators Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello
Co-creators Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello speak with Script about how the Wondery podcast of the same name was a great blueprint for the story foundation and why it was important to understand these characters fully so that it gave the show a reason for being.
Screenwriter Laura West Perelman: From New York to LA and Back
Script contributor Dr. Rosanne Welch celebrates the female screenwriters who came before us with this month's spotlight on playwright turned screenwriter Laura West Perelman.
Mining the Comedy from Uncomfortable Situations: An Interview with ‘Pen15’ Co-Creator Anna Konkle
'Pen15' co-creator, co-showrunner, writer, director, and co-star Anna Konkle speaks with Script about tackling the second season, character development, and arcs, where and when nostalgia fit in, and how they were able to mine for comedy from the most uncomfortable situations.
The Latinx House, Sundance Institute, Netflix, and Shondaland Announce Inaugural Cohort for Adelante Directors Fellowship
This program will support authentic and inclusive storytelling from up-and-coming Latina directors.
'Spiderhead' Film Review: No Man is an Island
When we’re first introduced to 'Spiderhead,' we can see why director Joseph Kosinski is one of the best in the game. Based on The New Yorker short story “Escape from Spiderhead” by George Saunders, this Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick adaptation makes use of the claustrophobic atmosphere by focusing on the physical, mental, and emotional limitations of our main characters.
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: 435 - How Pagan Lore Inspired the Movie 'Shepherd' (2021)
This week Ashley Scott Meyers talks with UK Filmmaker Russell Owen about how Pagan lore, the setting in Scotland, and other rituals inspired 'Shepherd' (2021), a Mystery/Horror movie written and directed by Russell Owen.
Telling Your Truth on the Page with 'Ted Lasso' Writer Jane Becker
'Ted Lasso' writer and co-executive producer Jane Becker shares with Script the collaborative process behind breaking the second season, and how her emotional journey is imbued into the quintessential episodes she's written. Plus, she shares invaluable advice for comedy writers and tapping into your voice.
INDIE SPOTLIGHT: An Interview with ‘Next Exit’ Writer-Director Mali Elfman
'Next Exit' writer-director Mali Elfman speaks with Script about her feature directorial debut, tapping into her emotional connection to the material, creating and working with her established filmmaking tribe, character development with her cast, and the great impact of having her editor on the road with her during production.
'Jurassic World Dominion': A Fun but Soulless Bookend
A fun summer movie that is pure escapism. If only 'Jurassic World Dominion' had maintained a singular focus. It incorporates climate change, genetic engineering, and man vs. nature without the weight of steady, affecting storytelling. This is by far the most anemic film in the series.
Creating the Murder Mystery Comedy with 'Only Murders in the Building' Co-Creator and Showrunner John Hoffman
'Only Murders in the Building' co-creator, writer, and showrunner John Hoffman speaks with Script about collaborating with Steve Martin, creating character connections of an unlikely trio, creating a crime with a clear ending, and his personal connection to the world and so much more.
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: 434 - On the Writer's Struggle To Get Read
This week Ashley Scott Meyers talks with writer DeAndra Stone on the writer's struggle to get read. She shares how she got over those hurdles as a screenwriter by submitting to writing contests including the SYS Six Figure Screenplay Contest.
UNDERSTANDING SCREENWRITING: French Lessons, A Trip Up the Nile, and a Book in English
Tom Stempel is taking a cinematic holiday in France with 'Paris, 13th District,' 'Happening,' 'Petite Maman,' followed by a boat cruise in 'Death on the Nile,' and 'Audience-ology: How Moviegoers Shape the Films We Love.'
Setting a Thematic Anchor with ‘Dopesick’ Creator Danny Strong
'Dopesick' creator, writer and showrunner Danny Strong speaks with Script about his original story conception to the adaptation of the source material, utilizing the theme of pain as an anchor for character storylines, his writing routine to working with legend Barry Levinson. Plus, Danny shares invaluable advice for adapting true stories.
Blending Tone and Texture from Page to Screen: An Interview with ‘The Great’ Creator Tony McNamara
'The Great' creator, writer and showrunner Tony McNamara shares with Script his approach to breaking seasons by starting with character first, the importance of tone, and how his team navigates fabricating the 18th century on-screen. Plus, he shares what influenced his writing style and satirical voice.
Reckless Creatives Podcast - Season 2 | Episode 1: Turn Your Bitching Into a Plan
What's a new season of Reckless Creatives without a plan? Sadie Dean and Jeanne Veillette Bowerman launch Season 2 sharing their thoughts and tips for creating a productive plan to create your art.
Hollywood, Health & Society Announces Contest Call for Script Entries That Envision a Better Future
Five Fellowships of $7,500 Each and One Grand Prize of $20,000 Will Be Awarded
Sins and Sensuality: An Interview with ‘Under the Banner of Heaven’ Director Isabel Sandoval
Series lead Andrew Garfield only had 30 minutes to prepare for one of the most emotionally devastating scenes in 'Under the Banner of Heaven'.
Creating Space for Neurodiversity On Screen with 'As We See It' Creator Jason Katims
'As We See It' creator, writer, and showrunner Jason Katims shares with Script about his personal connection to the show's subject matter, his commitment to telling neurodiverse stories authentically, and his writing journey working on character-driven shows.
Return of Balls of Steel™: How to Find a Reputable Screenwriting Contest
Before I knew better, I entered every contest I stumbled upon. Man, I wish I had that money back! But like every great lesson in life, you learn from your mistakes. How do you find a reputable screenwriting contest?
'Zero Contact' Beyond the Pandemic to Artistic Heights
'Zero Contact' director Rick Dugdale speaks with Script contributor Paula Landry about his experience making this film, which is a follow-up conversation she previously had (when the film was launching as an NFT) with Cameron Chell, co-founder of Vuele, the NFT platform.
Indie Spotlight: An Interview with SXSW Special Jury Award Winning Short Film ‘The Voice Actress’ Writer-Director Anna J. Takayama
'The Voice Actress' writer-director Anna J. Takayama shares with Script her personal connection to the story and world, the passion behind bringing this story to life as a beautiful homage to her mother who is a master of her craft, the attention to detail that she poignantly crafted, and her filmmaking journey.
Interview with 'Love and Baseball' Writer-Director Steve Acevedo
Steve Acevedo shares how the play of the same name written by Jerry Montoya came to his attention, the adaptation and collaborative process with fellow screenwriters Tate Hanyok and Joe Boothe, his personal connection to the material, and his filmmaking journey as a multi-hyphenate filmmaker.
The Importance of Tonal Consistency and Character Arcs: An Interview with ‘The Morning Show’ Showrunner and Executive Producer Kerry Ehrin
Kerry Ehrin, the prolific award-winning writer who has in the last few years served both as showrunner and executive producer on 'The Morning Show' shares with Script how she and her writer's room approached character arcs and tone in season two, putting her writer's room together, her writing journey and so much more!
SELLING YOUR SCREENPLAY: 433 - The Myth Behind The Story
This week Ashley Scott Meyers talks with filmmaker Philip Todd. His credits include being the director and one of the writers of the movies 'Jessie and the Elf Boy' and 'The Gaelic King'. Philip Todd talks about how 'Jessie and the Elf Boy' was inspired by a Scottish Myth and how that affected the writing.
The Sky's the Limit: A Review of 'Top Gun: Maverick'
What makes 'Top Gun: Maverick' as good as, if not better, than the original is that it contains the successful elements of the first film, but they’re squared. It’s a heady blend of male eye candy, romance, humor, emotional peaks and valleys, and thrilling jet maneuvers.