Founded in 1989, Script magazine has been the top screenwriting publication for 30 years, in large part because of our talented and passionate contributors. Meet our team!
Balls of Steel™ by Jeanne Veillette Bowerman: Jeanne is the Editor-in-Chief of Script magazine and a Senior Editor at Writer's Digest, where she writes the regular screenwriting column, Take Two, for Writer's Digest print magazine. She is Co-Founder of Writers Strong as well as Co-Founder and moderator of the weekly Twitter screenwriters’ chat, #Scriptchat, and wrote the narrative adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, with its author, Douglas A. Blackmon, former senior national correspondent of The Wall Street Journal. Her writing has been selected as a Creative Screenwriting Expo Finalist, PAGE Awards TV Pilot Finalist, Top 25 Tracking Board Launch Pad, Semi-Finalist Sundance Episodic Lab, Quarterfinalist in Final Draft Big Break, Slamdance and Script Pipeline. She’s also been selected as Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition Second Rounder, and the DC Women in Film’s Spotlight on Screenwriters. Visit her website and follow @jeannevb on Twitter and @jeannevb_ on Instagram.
SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITORS:
Script Secrets by William C. Martell: William has written 19 films that were carelessly slapped onto celluloid: 3 for HBO, 2 for Showtime, 2 for USA Net, and a whole bunch of CineMax Originals (which is what happens when an HBO movie goes really, really wrong). He has been on some film festival juries, including Raindance in London (five times—once with Mike Figgis and Saffron Burrows, once with Lennie James and Edgar Wright, plus 2009 and 2012 and in 2013 with Julian Assange and back in 2018). The late Roger Ebert discussed his work with Gene Siskel on his 1997 “If We Picked The Winners” Oscar show. He’s quoted a few times in Bordwell’s great book, “The Way Hollywood Tells It.” His USA Net flick, Hard Evidence, was released on video the same day as the Julia Roberts’ film Something To Talk About and out-rented it in the USA. In 2009 had two films released on DVD on the same day and both made the top 10 rentals. Recently wrote the remake of a hit 1980s horror flick for a minimajor, and should have a family film shooting in the USA later this year. He is the author of The Secrets of Action Screenwriting and can be reached at Scriptsecrets.net. Twitter: @wcmartell
Meet the Reader by Ray Morton: Meet the Reader looks at the art, craft, and business of screenwriting from the perspective of an experienced script analyst an story consultant. When it comes to screenplays, script “readers” are the gatekeepers to the industry and having your work assessed by a professional analyst is the first step in the development process for every screenwriter, so it is vital that every script makes the best possible first impression. Every month, Meet the Reader examines the issues that analysts encounter in the screenplays they read and offers constructive advice to help screenwriters make their work script “reader”-friendly. Twitter: @RayMorton1
Joshua Stecker: Joshua Stecker is a freelance entertainment journalist based in Los Angeles. His bylines include The Hollywood Reporter and Death & Taxes Magazine. Stecker is the former west coast/web editor of Script magazine. He’s also the co-founder of the Modjeska Playhouse theatre company in South Orange County. Twitter: @joshuastecker
Dave Trottier (AKA Dr. Format) has sold or optioned ten screenplays (three produced) and helped hundreds of writers sell their work, win contests, and break into the biz. He is an award-winning teacher, in-demand script consultant, and friendly host of keepwriting.com. Follow Dave on Facebook and Twitter: @DRTrottier
Susan Kouguell, award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, is a senior contributing editor for Script Magazine, and is the author of The Savvy Screenwriter: How to Sell Your Screenplay (and Yourself) Without Selling Out! and Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays!: A comprehensive guide to crafting winning characters with film analyses and screenwriting exercises. As chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a motion picture consulting company founded in 1990, Kouguell works as a script doctor and post-production consultant with over 1,000 writers, filmmakers, executives and studios worldwide. Her extensive background includes work as story analyst and story editor for many studios, including Miramax, Paramount, and Viacom, acquisitions consultant for Warner Bros., writer on voice-over narrations for Miramax, associate producer on two features, and over a dozen feature writing assignments for independent companies. Susan teaches screenwriting at SUNY College at Purchase and is a visiting assistant professor at Pratt Institute. Her short films are in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and archives and were included in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. Follow Susan on Twitter: @SKouguell.
Bob Verini is the Los Angeles-based theater critic for Daily Variety, for whom he also contributes features on film, theater and television. Since 2000 he has been a senior writer for Script Magazine, also their resident go-to guy for all things Oscar related, and a frequent moderator of live screening talkback sessions and podcast Q&As on industry topics. By day, Bob is an academic director and teacher for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, welcoming your questions on standardized tests and stress management issues. Twitter: @BobVerini
Breaking & Entering by Barri Evins: Breaking & Entering is a working producer’s guide to breaking into screenwriting. Whether you’re miles from Hollywood or it’s just around the corner but seems far away, Breaking & Entering is your roadmap to get there. You may be at the start of your scriptwriting journey or on the road but have run out marketable screenplay ideas, are lost when it comes to marketing and selling your script or stuck in rewriting. This is the Auto Club of Advice. Avoid roadblocks, discover short cuts, get on track for success. These practical, insider pointers send you confidently in the direction of your dreams. Twitter: @BigBigIdeas
A Flick Chick by Paula Landry: A Flick Chick is a column to help writers and artists become creative entrepreneurs and take advantage of trends to improve, promote and sell their work in the rapidly changing film industry and media landscape. A Flick Chick shows screenwriters where movies, media and business intersect, covering screenplay and TV writing, pitching, social media and production hacks, trends in filmmaking, marketing as a writer, contests and disruptive ways to give writers an edge in creative pursuits and growing a successful media career. Motivation, inspiration and practical encouragement are key to the activation of achieving writing success. Twitter: @paulalandry
A Writer’s Voice by Jacob Krueger: A truly great script is like a rare bird, so infrequently spotted that it’s easy to wonder if it actually exists. With so many writers following the same tired formulas, catching that bird requires a leap of faith in yourself, trusting that the answer lies not in some get-rich-quick screenwriting book or (gasp!) some miraculous software program that promises to solve all your plot problems for you, but in your own instincts, your own characters, and your own voice as a writer. Learn to achieve the craft you need to survive, without sacrificing the art you need to succeed, with award-winning screenwriter Jacob Krueger’s new column, A Writer’s Voice.
Alternate Routes by Marty Lang: Independent filmmaker Marty Lang offers advice to folks who want to work in film (as a writer or anything else), but who don’t have access to the industry’s traditional power centers. Or to folks that are in the business, and are struggling to take that next step in their careers. Twitter @marty_lang.
Anatomy of Selling a Script by Wendy Kram: Producer Wendy Kram takes you into the screenplay development process, sharing conversations with her screenwriting clients to help writers better understand the anatomy of selling a script. Wendy is an established producer with credits that include the feature Mad Money with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes, directed by Oscar-winning writer/director Callie Khouri. Wendy is also the owner of L.A. FOR HIRE, Inc., an international consulting company for screenwriters, facilitating talent packaging and sales. Creative Screenwriting Magazine ranked Wendy as one of the leading script consultants in the industry. With a proven track record selling projects to major studios, networks and cable companies, Wendy’s column focuses on marketing your screenplays, making them the best representation of your writing ability possible and getting your screenplay sold in Hollywood. Twitter: @wendyla4hire
Alex Bloom is the founder of the screenplay consultancy Script Reader Pro, a team of professional screenwriters who understand how important getting your stories out into the world is to you. We’ll let you choose a pro writer to work on your script, or even act as your mentor. Our screenwriting course and screenplay book series are also all designed to help you realize your dream of getting paid to do what you your love – write. Head on over to www.scriptreaderpro.com to let a professional screenwriter help kick-start the next stage of your writing career. Twitter: @scriptreaderpro
Erik Bork won two Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for his work as a writer-producer on the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon, working with executive producer Tom Hanks (and Steven Spielberg, on Band of Brothers). Erik has sold original series pitches to the broadcast networks, worked on the writing staff of primetime drama series, and written feature screenplays for Universal, HBO, TNT, and Playtone. He teaches for UCLA Extension’s Writers’ Program, and National University’s MFA Program in Professional Screenwriting. He has also been called one of the “Top Ten Most Influential Screenwriting Bloggers” for his website, Flyingwrestler.com. Twitter: @flyingwrestler
Dan Bronzite studied photography and graphic design and worked in computer graphics before pursuing his passion for cinema and a full-time career in film. He has directed two award-winning short films and his feature screenplay commissions, novel adaptations and produced credits include LONG TIME DEAD (Working Title Films), FILTH (Crab Apple Films) and Brit Listed DO OR DIE (Qwerty Films). Dan’s LA crime-thriller SMOKE OUT is optioned to KIDULTHOOD director Menhaj Huda, and Dan is currently developing two TV shows and setting up his debut feature as director – a near-future psychological thriller. Dan is also the creator of Script Studio screenwriting software and founder of Hollywood Script Express. You can follow Dan on Instagram and Twitter @danbronzite and find out more about his latest projects at http://www.danbronzite.com.
Beyond writing and producing original works—like the short, N.O.S. (now available on Amazon Prime)— for her production company, Third Person Omniscient Productions, Joy Cheriel Brown has also served as a screenwriting mentor for the DC Shorts Filmmaking Mentor Series and as a panelist for the screenwriting panel at the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council’s Festival of Literary Arts. In addition to writing for Script Magazine, she also writes for other media outlets. She is also the author of The Secret of Life Through Screenwriting: How To Use the Law of Attraction to Structure Your Screenplay, Create Characters, and Find Meaning in Your Script. Instagram and Twitter: @joycheriel
Comedy Writing by Evan Smith: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard—and getting paid to write comedy is really really cool!” This column is for people who want to write funny scripts that pay the rent. Evan Smith has written for NBC, CBS, FOX, USA, and various producers, and has worked as a programming VP responsible for developing network TV movies, specials, and series. Evan is the author of the bestselling book WRITING TELEVISION SITCOMS, he teaches screenwriting at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, and he serves as a private script consultant for screenwriters and entertainment companies.
Cross Road to Films by Dan Goforth focuses on the Christian filmmaking community. The Gospel has a long history in the movies, dating back to 1903 with the French silent film Vie et Passion du Christ (Life and Passion of the Christ). Recent movies have brought the Good News to film studio awareness, showing that not only is there already a built-in audience for these stories, but there is also an opportunity for filmmakers to reach out beyond their brothers and sisters in Christ. Twitter: @Dango_Forth
Short Circuit by Dan Goforth: From writing a short film to shooting and distributing it, Short Circuit is your portal into the art and craft of short filmmaking (documentaries, original narratives and adaptations). We’ll cover a wide range of information, including interviews, tips (everything from securing script rights to film distribution). screenwriting contests and film festivals. Twitter: @Dango_Forth
Directing for Writers by Kevin Resnick: Kevin is an award-winning writer, director, actor, film instructor, and military veteran. As a writer/director, his films have screened in festivals worldwide, to include the Cannes Film Festival, and have won many awards, including multiple Best Film and Audience Choice Awards. His award-winning debut feature film, Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine, is now distributed on Prime Video and DVD. Twitter: @brandnewkevin
Diane Drake is an accomplished screenwriter, writing instructor, story consultant, author and international speaker. Prior to becoming a screenwriter, Diane served as VP of Creative Affairs for Academy Award-winning director/producer Sydney Pollack. Her first produced original script, ONLY YOU, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei, sold for one million dollars, while her second produced script, WHAT WOMEN WANT, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, is the second highest grossing rom/com of all time. Both films have also been remade in China featuring major Chinese stars, and WWW was recently again remade as WHAT MEN WANT with Taraji P. Henson. Diane is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America. She recently released her debut book on screenwriting, Get Your Story Straight. Visit Diane's website. Twitter: @dianedrake
Getting Writers Writing by Lynn Dickinson: There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to writing. Trying what works well for other writers is a great start, but ultimately it comes down to discovering what practices and strategies and methods and rituals work to get YOU writing – and then doing them! This column will help you explore you – and with any luck – will get you writing more than ever before. Twitter: @LifesizeLD
Lynn Grant Beck is a professional screenwriter. She’s had two television movies produced for Hallmark and Lifetime, and was recently hired by Google to write a pilot for YouTube Red. She’s been hired to write both film and television scripts and has had numerous scripts optioned. She began her career in New York writing and producing plays and founded an independent theater company, The Chelsea Players. She was an assistant at Kushner-Locke, a Creative Executive at Interscope Communications and a VP of Production at Kopelson Productions. She is also currently a Professor in Pepperdine University’s MFA Screenwriting Program. Visit Lynn’s site here. Twitter: @LynnGrantBeck
Valerie Kalfrin is an award-winning crime journalist turned essayist, film critic, screenwriter, and emerging script consultant. She writes for The Hollywood Reporter, CC2K, The Script Lab, The Guardian, Film Racket, Bright Wall/Dark Room, ScreenCraft and other outlets. A member of Screenwriters of Tomorrow and the Tampa Bay Film Society, she’s available for story consultation, script editing, coverage, and collaboration. Find her at valeriekalfrin.com or on Twitter @valeriekalfrin.
Cheryl Laughlin is a reader for the Nashville Film Festival screenplay competition, gopher for indie sets throughout NorCal, and grass roots marketer for micro-budget documentaries via 20KFilms. As a Midwestern transplant to California, she hopes Francis Ford Coppola was talking about her when he said, “Someday a little fat girl in Ohio is going to be the next Mozart and make a beautiful film”… although she openly admits she can’t write a lick of music. When she’s not screenwriting or editing screenplays, you can find her quietly tweeting her support of all things indie film @cheryllaughlin and occasionally blogging eclectic inspirations at bitsoflovestyle.com/blog. She also believes you can never say please and thank you enough for all the kindnesses to your scripts along the way.
Legally Speaking, It Depends by Christopher Schiller: Christopher Schiller is a NY transactional entertainment attorney who counts many independent filmmakers and writers among his diverse client base. He has an extensive personal history in production and screenwriting experience which benefits him in translating between “legalese” and the language of the creatives. The material he provides here is extremely general in application and therefore should never be taken as legal advice for a specific need. Always consult a knowledgeable attorney for your own legal issues. Twitter: @chrisschiller
Jon James Miller won Grand Prize of the 2008 AAA Screenplay Contest sponsored by Creative Screenwriting Magazine, the 2009 Golden Brad for Drama and was a finalist in the 2011 Austin Writers Conference for “Garbo’s Last Stand.” Jon co-wrote Adapting Sideways: How To Turn Your Screenplay Into A Publishable Novel (Komenar Publishing), which chronicled the process of adapting his screenplay to novel. Garbo’s Last Stand is Jon’s first novel. He is represented by Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and Kevin Cleary with Pooka Entertainment. Twitter: @JonJimMiller.
Navigating Hollywood with Manny Fonseca is a harsh, truthful look into what it’s like working in Hollywood. Join Manny as he regales you with tales from his days as an executive working the pitchfest circuit as well as current, nerve wrecking stories working as a writer. He’ll share the successes, the failures and everything in between without pulling any punches. If, after reading, you still want to work in Hollywood, then you might just be crazy enough to be successful. Twitter: @mannyfonseca
Notes from the Margin by Danny Manus: Danny Manus is an in-demand script consultant and founder of No BullScript Consulting, and was ranked in the Top 15 “Cream of the Crop” Script Consultants in 2010. He is the author of No B.S. for Screenwriters: Advice from the Executive Perspective. Danny shares notes, tips, lessons, anecdotes and information that will hopefully improve your writing, enlighten you about parts of the business that aren’t talked about, lessen the number of notes you get in YOUR margins, and help you further understand what breaking into this business and staying here really entails. Twitter: @DannyManus
Brian O’Malley started his career in film production working for legendary B-movie maverick Roger Corman in 1997. He’s written and directed three feature films, including Bleak Future, Minimum Wage, and Audie & The Wolf, and in 1999, assembled a team of experienced script readers to launch the script coverage company Screenplay Readers, providing brutally honest, actionable script feedback for screenwriters, agents, and filmmakers. Twitter: @scriptcoverages
Mike Sargent is a nationally quoted film critic and Co-President of the Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC). He is chief Film Critic for WBAI RADIO’s host of ‘Reelworld’ and of popular late night show ‘Niteshift’. Mike was also the creator and host of ‘Arise Onscreen’ for Arise Networks which was the first African-American hosted film review television show ever. Mike is a frequent film commentator on PBSNewshour, i24News & FoxBusiness News. An established Filmmaker, Sargent’s writing and directing debut feature film, Personals (aka Hook’d Up) starred Malik Yoba, Stacey Dash and was the feature film debut of comedian Jim Gaffigan. Twitter: @Mikeonscreen
Tim Schildberger is a an experienced writer, script coach, and Founder/Director of LiveRead/LA where winning scripts are read by professional actors and receive feedback from an ‘Industry Insider’. Tim is also co-founder of Write/LA – 3 winning writers will go to L.A. for a workshop, meetings with Insiders, and a gala invitation only reading of their winning script. In his spare time, Tim is a husband, parent, sometimes a tennis player, and always a passionate fan of his beloved Australian Rules Football Team, the Richmond Tigers. He will gladly explain the rules of the sport, if you have a day to spare. No, it’s not soccer, or rugby, so stop guessing. Twitter: @timschildberger @LiveReadLA
Sci-Fi Circuit by Jenna Avery: Jenna Avery is a screenwriter, columnist, and blogger who redesigned her life and career to support her call to write. She specializes in sci-fi action and space fantasy, and her current script is a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age story she’s writing on assignment for a Canadian producer. Jenna is also a writing coach and the founder of Called to Write, where she has helped hundreds of writers overcome procrastination, perfectionism, and resistance so they can get their writing onto the page and into the world where it belongs. Jenna writes about writing and creativity at calledtowrite.com, for ScriptMag, for Final Draft, and teaches for Screenwriter’s University. Download Jenna’s free guidebooks for writers when you join her mailing list. Twitter: @JennaAvery
Script Gods Must Die by Paul Peditto: Script Gods Must Die will be a place of teaching about screenwriting and playwriting. I will never bullsh*t you. Hollywood rejection sounds like this ———— Silent. Economical. Perfect. You try to “make it” as a writer by sending out query letters, entering screenwriting contests and attending Pitchfests. What the hell else are you gonna do? How about controlling what you can control? How about not waiting for the phone to ring? How about making something happen. Read Script Gods Must Die. It will help. You might be the genius in the crowd. You might not. Let’s find out. Vamos! Twitter: @scriptgods
Script Notes by Michael Tabb: Michael Tabb is a firm believer in giving back to fellow artists in an ongoing effort to constantly elevate the medium of visual storytelling through the exchange of free-flowing ideas. This column is one WGA writer’s perspective of entertainment from within the screenwriting trade, including craft as well as industry, occasionally separating conceptions from misconceptions. It’s part trade analyses and part opinion column. Writers are story surgeons. Scrub in and let’s dissect this living, breathing, evolving thing we do called entertainment writing. Twitter: @MichaelTabb
Selling Your Screenplay Podcast by Ashley Scott Meyers: The Selling Your Screenplay Podcast was created to help screenwriters sell their scripts. Most screenwriting books, blogs, and podcasts try and help screenwriters write a better screenplay. While writing a good script is important, most screenwriters grossly underestimate the importance of aggressively marketing their screenplays. The Selling Your Screenplay Podcast aims to fill that gap and teach screenwriters exactly what they need to do to effectively market their material. The Selling Your Screenplay Podcast includes interviews with successful screenwriters, actionable screenwriting marketing tips that all writers can use, reviews of screenwriting marketing services, and a host of other marketing information for screenwriters. Twitter: @ashleymeyers
Story Structure by Jen Grisanti: In this column, Jen will write articles on story structure in film and television from the studio executive perspective. She will give story tips and tools. She will also offer insight from current TV shows and films to help illustrate some of what she will be covering. The intention of this column is to help the reader see and understand structure in a new way by teaching new tools and drawing examples from some of the best work being done. Twitter: @jengrisanti
StoryTelling to Story$elling by Heather Hale: It’s not art ‘til someone else encounters it. Get your stories out of your head, onto the page and up onto the worldwide stage. From the inspiration and conception of creative writing, through the development process of rewriting and pitching through navigating Hollywood, partnering and even physical production, Heather explores how – and why – we write, create, collaborate, monetize and share stories around the world today. Check out her webinars, tutorials and online classes. Connect with Heather on Twitter: @HeatherJHale, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Storytelling Strategies by Paul Joseph Gulino: Storytelling Strategies takes a look at contemporary popular films and studies them for the strategies they use to tell their stories. Subjects covered have included or will include adaptation, hooking the reader, romantic comedy, horror, sci-fi, drama, fantasy, rewriting, screenwriting, character development, dialogue, plot development, theme, structure, writing inspiration, how to deal with writers block, discussions of screenwriting books, theme, premise, plot, outlining, dramatic scenes, rewriting. The column looks not only at successful films but those that are less successful and discusses strategies for improvement, tying these in turn to screenwriting craft as it applies to those seeking to master it.
The TV Writer Podcast by Gray Jones was founded in 2010 by TV editor/writer Gray Jones, to profile television producers and writers, authors, educators, and other industry personnel of interest to TV writers. The purpose of the interviews is to inspire up and coming writers, to raise the profile of existing television writers, to introduce helpful resources, and to aid in career development. It is released in video format, though an audio-only version is available through the Script Magazine iTunes feed. The podcast website at www.tvwriterpodcast.com has many helpful resources, including links to free scripts and a Twitter database. Twitter: @GrayJones
The Unknown Screenwriter is a screenwriter, producer, and script doctor for hire. He works with director Roland Joffé and a New York Times best-selling author that must remain anonymous as well. He enjoys riding his motorcycle extremely fast and the occasional triple of Wild Turkey. Visit his site and follow Unk on Twitter: @UnkScreenwriter
Rebecca Norris is an award-winning writer and independent producer. Her web series Split won multiple Outstanding Achievement Awards at LA WebFest, was nominated for an Indie Series Award, and was named one of WebVee Guide’s Favorite Web Series. Her feature film, Cloudy With a Chance of Sunshine, is distributed on Prime Video and DVD. She’s currently teaching for Screenwriters University and working on a YA novel and screenplay, all while chasing her adorable toddler. Twitter: @beckaroohoo
True Indie by Rebecca Norris: Rebecca Norris explores the world of independent filmmaking from development to production and navigating the film festival circuit.
Writers On the Web by Rebecca Norris: Writers On the Web strives to empower writers to create their own work by demystifying the web series production process, from development through distribution. The column also provides inspiration and insight through interviews with writers and producers, both established and new.
TV Writing Tips & Tricks from Script Advice by Yvonne Grace: Yvonne Grace writes about her experience as a TV Drama Producer of Series. She covers the craft of writing for television from the writer and the producer’s perspective. Yvonne talks about the relationships in television; how the production works with the writer to get the job done. She writes about script editors, agents, social networking, working collaboratively and digs into what makes great TV drama and how to create must-have documents that sell your best ideas to the max. She features links, tips and the do’s and dont’s when working in TV as a writer. Twitter: @YVONNEGRACE1
Understanding Screenwriting by Tom Stempel: Tom Stempel taught film history and screenwriting from 1971 to 2011 at Los Angeles City College, and has contributed to Slant Magazine and Creative Screenwriting. He has also written six books on film, five of them about screen and television writing. You can learn more about his books here. His latest book is Understanding Screenwriting: Learning from Good, Not-Quite-So- Good, and Bad Screenplays. The book evolved into his column “Understanding Screenwriting.” In the column he reviews movies and television from the standpoint of screenwriting. He will be looking at new movies, old movies, and television movies and shows, as well as writing occasional other items, such as appreciations of screenwriters who have died, plays based on films, books on screenwriting and screenwriters, and assorted other sundries.
Why Spec Scripts Fail by Stewart Farquhar: You are told that you have a flair for writing. You borrow money then travel to writing seminars. You outline then write and re-write your heart out. You fail to invest in you with books and formal screenwriting classes. You fail to enlist the guidance of a qualified writing coach. Your folks and close friends say you have a blockbuster story. You look for support and are convinced to try online pitchfests. You borrow or spend your savings to attend pricy pitchfests in person. You take the feedback, make adjustments and enter contest after contest. Stewart Farquhar explores why spec scripts can fail. Twitter: @stewartfarquhar
Writer’s On The Verge by Lee Jessup: Lee Jessup’s column, Writer’s On The Verge, investigates the different elements that go into building a screenwriting career, from agents and managers to pitching, taking meetings, writing assignments and the contests to launch your screenwriting career. Relying on years of industry experience working with novice and professional screenwriters as a screenwriting career coach, Lee delivers in-depth, no-nonsense information about building your screenwriting career, marketing your script and selling your script. Her insights are derived from daily interactions with aspiring and working screenwriters, coming to answer the many business questions plaguing writers trying to make their way into screenwriting today. Twitter: @LeeZJessup
Bryan Young is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and author. He's written and produced documentary and narrative feature films and has published multiple novels and a non-fiction book. He's written for Huffington Post, Syfy, /Film, and others. He's also done work in the Star Wars and Robotech universes. You can reach him on Twitter @Swankmotron or by visiting his website: swankmotron.com.
Story Broads are an international collective of women filmmakers who stand for equality with a goal of creating a place for women in film to come together for community, support, and empowerment. Their ultimate goal is to champion for a female presence both in front of and behind the camera. Each week they bring you information on much more than femalecentric topics. After all, no job or aspect of this industry should be defined by gender or race. “Like” The Story Broads on Facebook and follow them on Twitter: @StoryBroads
Meet all the Story Broad writers below and HERE!
Asmara Bhattacharya is a produced screenwriter and playwright, script reader, and festival screener. A trusted sounding board and consultant for industry professionals, she is developing several shorts and a webseries. Check out her website, DickFlicks.net, or tweet her at @hotpinkstreak.
Kelly Jo Brick is a television and documentary writer and producer. She wrote the Telly Award-winning film PAUSE and the Frank Lloyd Wright documentary The Jewel In The Woods. Kelly Jo is a Sundance Fellow, winner of Scriptapalooza TV and a member of the WGAW Nonfiction Writers Caucus and Women In Film – Los Angeles. Prior to moving to L.A. in 2013, Kelly Jo grew and developed her writing career while working in television and radio advertising in her home state of Wisconsin. You can follow Kelly Jo on Twitter: @KellyJoBrick
Waka T. Brown is the 2016–17 Film & TV organizer for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland, OR. Waka was one of the six 2013 Quest Initiative participants led by Scott Myers of Go Into the Story at The Black List and her screenplays (comedies, romcoms, & animated features) have been 2nd-rounders at AFF, and placed in the semifinals of PAGE, and quarterfinals of Screencraft writing competitions. Waka has also authored a variety of units and teacher’s guides on international topics through her work with the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education. Please follow her sad little Twitter/Instagram accounts that she only set up because someone told her she needed to establish more of a “social media presence”: @wakatb
Raised on a diet of Lean Cuisine and Sergio Leone, CC Campbell thrives on high stakes and lean narrative. From the slow burn of a TV pilot about a family’s musical dynasty to the hot sizzle of a road trip movie that travels through race and sexual identity, to a short story about coming-of-age during the Cuban missile crisis for Tin House Workshop, her interests are a varied buffet. Currently, she’s finishing a narrative non-fiction book based on her own story, a female buddy odyssey that winds through drug lords, snakes, hallucinogenics and masturbating baboons – for which there is no food metaphor. Twitter: @chachango
Camilla Castree is a screenwriter and freelance food writer living in the U.K. She has previously managed a beauty salon, trained as a professional biscuit taster and handled travel arrangements for the British Royal Family. She writes comedy/drama. Camilla is a founding member of the Story Broads and regularly attends the Austin Film Festival. She can be found at the Driskill Bar or on Twitter @Cilly247.
Cameron Chapman is a Stowe Story Labs alum, freelance writer, author, designer, screenwriter, and filmmaker living and working in Vermont. She has sold four short film scripts to date, was a quarter-finalist in the 2016 PAGE International Screenwriting Awards for her short script Wildflower, and is currently in pre-production on her first feature. Follow Cameron’s website and her Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @cameron_chapman
Sara de Waard is a small-town girl from the wrong side of the tracks in a country that apologizes for its successes just as emphatically as it does for its short-comings. The past five years were filled with hits and misses in the screenwriting department for this full-time elementary teacher and mother of two who feels she has entertaining life insight to share. Follow her on Twitter @deWaardSara.
Belinda Downey moved from sunny Australia four years ago to cynical New York. She studied screenwriting under the talented mentorship of Jerome Perzigian, and gained a community of talented writer friends. Belinda’s writing circumnavigates drama and comedy. Recent scripts include, Journey on the Voyage to the Future about an entrepreneurial convict; Rose, From the Dead about a ghost who haunts her daughter to get married; The Method about a delusional method actor; and Little Isis about a race war in small town Australia. Currently she works in a women-owned Advertising agency in Manhattan, copywriting and art directing. Twitter: @beldowney1
Ethnically Sri Lankan, but born and raised in Dubai, Sabina Giado was part of the first ever all-female comedy troupe, the Funny Girls, and the first improv troupe in the Middle East, Improv Revolution. Her greatest accomplishments to date? The Funny Girls being mentioned in a TED Talk. An off-the-cuff remark on #activistpickuplines ending up in a Buzzfeed article (“I’m underrepresented. In your pants.”) Making the second round of Sundance Labs. What few moments of sweat-and-spice-drenched zen she can muster in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Her tornado, sorry, toddler son. Deciding finally to make her own stuff. And being a Story Broad. She blogs at www.sabinagiado.wordpress.com and tweets at @SabinaGiado.
From sci-fi adaptations of Shakespeare, to dramas inspired by the ancient Greeks, Shelley Gustavson integrates her rural Iowa upbringing, and a background in cultural anthropology and theater, with character-driven independent dramas. Her scripts have been honored as Nicholl and Stage 32 quarterfinalists; Bitch List and Half The World Literati Prize honorees; Screencraft finalists, and second-rounders for Sundance and Austin. Active in the screenwriting community, she volunteers as a Happy Hour representative for The Blacklist in Chicago. An experienced actor and theater production manager, Shelley is also an educator and anthropologist, working over 15 years in museum exhibit development. Twitter: @shelleygusto
Vicky Hinault is a London based freelance writer and editor where she works creating content for global brands. Outside of work Vicky’s had short stories, poems and articles published, online and in print. One short story was translated into a performance piece and staged in London while a collaborative art and poetry project was exhibited in Jersey Museum. Vicky also used to run an award nominated film blog but decided to stop reviewing films and start writing her own. Vicky has had scripts reach the second round at AFF, Quarterfinals in Screencraft and the finals of the LSF Create 50 initiative. Twitter: @vickyhinault
Hailing from the sometimes-embarrassing, but ultimately-amazing state of Texas, Despina Karintis was a closeted cinephile who eventually came to terms with her obsession and took up the craft of screenwriting. Thanks to too much television and an endless supply of National Geographics as a kid, she was a daydreamer and wanderluster from the start. This prompted adventures across the globe that included sliding down glaciers, skirmishing with sharks, and nearly drowning in a desert tinaja. Needless to say, her life has birthed quite a few tales that inspired scripts in the Action/Thriller and Comedy genres. Despina is Co-Founder of Story Broads and hopes to broaden the horizon of women in film for generations to come. Twitter: @Wonder_Writer
Lisa Kothari is an emerging screenwriter who focuses on writing comedies that are either romantic, like The Michaels, or fun mash-up concepts, like The Hip-Hop Hillbilly. She enjoys writing across many types of mediums, from blog articles to essays to a memoir, and is constantly working on new material to write and publish. Most recently, she has undertaken a graduate degree program in mental health counseling, not only to counsel people, but also to draw compelling characters in their fictional worlds.
Shara Lerman is a Los Angeles based attorney, actress and producer, and the founder of Lerman Law Group. A life-long performer, Shara has never quite been able to get away from the business and co-founded Three Amoebas Productions in order to facilitate her own projects. She is currently developing several projects of her own as well as producing projects for clients. Shara is also an avid cook and budding wine collector, and occasionally ventures back into ballet. She would love to hear your suggestions for great wines to try! Twitter: @SharaLerman
Gabrielle A. Lodl is a screenwriter, unapologetic nerd, and proud Story Broad. She has attended AFF six times and has no plan to stop going. She works overnights in a mental health facility, and spends her days sleeping. When she’s awake, Gabi can usually be found gaming, writing, or soaking up stories. Though tweet-less, you can reach her by email at email@example.com Twitter: @happysockqueen
CK Love is a screenwriter and content creator living sometimes in LA and sometimes in Toronto. She co-founded an art/design company in Toronto named “Ceremony Chagall” where she used both her 3D and writing skills – writing, acting and performing plays, and finally developing a computer game optioned by Virgin Interactive. CK received Advanced Certificates in Yoga/Meditation and in Transpersonal (Integral) Therapy and owned and operated two studios in the Toronto area. Her major focus, now, is on her writing – primarily screenplays – features and shorts. She writes Thrillers, mostly psycho – of course, and much to her surprise and perhaps a smidge of chagrin, she finds she has an aptitude for RomComs. Twitter: @lala_hip.
Natalia Megas is a Washington, D.C. freelance journalist who turns biographies and ripped-from-the-headlines narratives into screenplays that have won awards and placed in contests like Austin Film Festival, Sundance Labs, and Page International. Inspired by real people with extraordinary stories whose moral shade isn’t always black or white, Natalia infuses her European upbringing and the colorful personalities she’s met along the way with her sleuth-like ability to find just about anything on the internet. When she’s not writing, she’s screening films for fests such as AFI, an experience that keeps reminding her why the first 10 minutes of a story is always the most important. You can follow her on Twitter @DameWriter.
Originally from Aurora, CO, Roe Moore‘s vast experience has taken her both in front of the camera and behind the scenes on familiar television shows like Lucha Underground and Wives with Knives as well as indie film favorites like Entertainment (John C. Reilly/Michael Cera) and The Escort (Bruce Campbell/Lyndsy Fonseca). She’s had the opportunity to work as a script supervisor alongside many highly acclaimed directors including Student Academy Award Winner, Davide Henry Gerson. As founder and producer of PiePie Productions, she has produced multiple award-winning projects including short film Dark Specter and narrative web content for Funny-or-Die. Roe was recently awarded a women’s Filmmaker-in-Residence with Her Film Project. When Roe isn’t on set or working on her upcoming projects, she can be found swimming, sweating in Bikram yoga, or enjoying time with her two dachshunds Peanut and Slinky. Twitter: @Roe_Moore
Farahday Morgan strives to underscore the presence of light in all of her work whether in life or on the page. Ms. Morgan was born and raised in Austin, Texas—where Southern roots and soulful tunes planted the foundation for her to be a storyteller at heart. Farahday was invited into the ISA Development Program in 2015 due to her strong original pilot. In addition, two of her feature projects have placed in the top 15% of the Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. She is currently working on launching a resourceful site, Female Film Collective to help support female filmmakers, writers, directors, producers and actresses. She aims to expand management companies and target likeminded, creative artists to better support each other in the film industry. Ms. Morgan has worked for Madhouse Entertainment and is a recurring film critic on the Page 2 Screen podcast with host Jeff York for the Curious About Screenwriting Network. Most recently, her unfiltered comedic autobiography entitled Naked won a scholarship from the Writers Retreat in Spain. Follow Farahday on her website, Instagram and Facebook and Twitter: @farahdaymorgan.
Screen and television writer Amanda Parham earned her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA, where she was two-time winner of the Screenwriters’ Showcase competition. Amanda’s work has been recognized in the Nicholl Fellowship (Semifinalist, top 2%), the Page Awards (Finalist, top 1%), the Austin Film Festival (Semifinalist, top 1%), the StoryPros Awards Screenplay Contest (3rd place winner), and the ScreenCraft Fellowship (winner). Twitter: @aparham
Aarthi Ramanathan’s addiction to movies began at age 10 when she penned her first Disney movie. Unfortunately, they never got back to her, but by that point, she had already been bitten by the screenwriting bug and has been writing scripts ever since. Her love of animation, combined with her cross-cultural upbringing – India, where she was born, Kuwait, where she grew up, and Canada, where she lives now – has lent itself to a portfolio of rich characters and journeys in the family and fantasy genres. She has previously written for a web series, and her screenplays have also been recognized in various screenwriting contests including Final Draft Big Break (top 10 in genre), Stage 32 Feature (winner), Screencraft (finalist), PAGE (semifinalist) and AFF (2nd Rounder). Visit her website and follow her on Twitter @ajramanathan
Shoshana Rosenbaum is a writer/director and educator based in Washington, D.C. Her award-winning short film THE GOBLIN BABY has screened at festivals around the U.S. and internationally. She was an invited filmmaker at Stranger With My Face International Film Festival’s inaugural 2015 Attic Lab with her supernatural thriller script THE GOBLIN CHILD. Her Goonies-for-girls script THE CREEPY HOUSE was a selected project at the 2016 Stowe Story Labs. Her screenplays have been finalists in the Austin Film Festival Pitch Competition, Nashville Film Festival, Hollyshorts Film Festival, DC Shorts Film Festival, and Asian Pacific American Film Festival. Follow Shoshana on her website, Facebook and Twitter: @shoshanarosenba
Heather Taylor is a writer, director and co-founder of the creative studio, Cereal Made. She was a 2018/19 resident of the Bell Media Prime Time TV program at the Canadian Film Centre (sponsored by ABC Signature Studios), and was part of the 2019 Corus Writer’s Apprentice Program where she interned in The Hardy Boys writer's room (Hulu/ YTV). She was a finalist in the Austin Film Festival 2019 script competition. Heather graduated with a Masters in Screenwriting from City University, London. She’s an idea machine, the Indiana Jones of research, and builds supernatural worlds with real world consequences. Her career highlights include her first feature film, The Last Thakur, which premiered at the London International Film Festival; her sci-fi web series, Raptured; and Stitched, her award-winning horror short. Heather is currently working on her next feature film, ROT, with New York-based BullMoose Pictures. See more of her work on HeatherATaylor.com and follow her on Twitter: @heatherAtaylor / @redonblack YouTube: redonblackfilms
Terri Coduri Viani got her screenwriting start on Disney/ABC's hit show, Brand Spanking New Doug. After Disney, she freelanced in New York City before moving to New England to write for The Westerly (RI) Sun and The Stonebridge Press rural newspaper group. Her scripts have been Finalists in both the New England Film Fellowship Contest and the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, as well as placing at Stowe Story Labs and the Austin Film Festival. She is an associate member of the WGA, West, and a Script Magazine contributing writer. In her teens and twenties she lived all over the world including Saudi Arabia, England, and the Soviet Union, and currently resides in the Connecticut countryside with one husband, three cats, fifty-thousand honeybees (give or take) and a passel of ornery hens. Instagram and Twitter: @tcviani
Based in Barcelona, Anne-Cecile Ville is a French screenwriter and honorary Brit, having spent 22 years in the UK. In the last five years, she has written five feature films, two TV pilots and four short films. In May 2015, her rom-com feature film was listed in the top four romance screenplays in The Black List. She’s just completed her debut novel: YOU PULL ME IN. She is also very active across filmmaking platforms including The Story Broads and @TheWracGroup. Follow Anne-Cecile on IMDb and @AC_Screenwriter.
Raised on a diet of television and old Hollywood, Teresa Warner was destined for the movie business before she could walk. Jury’s still out on whether the movie business is destined for her. Her pilot has placed at the Austin Film Festival and the Nashville Film Festival. Most recently it was in the Top 100 of the Launch Pad Pilot Competition. She highly recommends that you read it. After receiving her MFA in screenwriting from The University of Texas, she made the dreaded leap to Los Angeles. Spoiler alert: It’s actually pretty great. Her writing focuses on coming-of-age stories with strong female characters, where the stakes are low and the emotions are high. Twitter: @TheTeeeeeeLife
All Write by Charles Kipps: Writer/producer Charles Kipps has won an Emmy, a Peabody, and an Edgar Award. Kipps’ television credits include Exiled: A Law & Order Movie, Little Bill, Fatherhood , The Cosby Mysteries, Columbo, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Among his film credits is Fat Albert: The Movie, co-written with Bill Cosby. Kipps is the author of the Conor Bard Mystery Series. The first two installments are Hell’s Kitchen Homicide and Crystal Death, which was chosen by publishing trade magazine Kirkus as one of the best mysteries of the year. Twitter: @times2ck
Alt Script by Clives Davies-Frayne: Alt-Script is about screenwriting for independent filmmaking and independent filmmakers. The skills and knowledge needed to work in this sector of the film industry are very different from those needed to write mainstream spec scripts. It’s different simply because independent filmmaking encompasses everything from zero budget alt-cinema to multi-million dollar projects. Many of the articles offer an alternative and very personal point of view about the way that scripts are written and careers are built. More than anything else, Alt Script encourages screenwriters and filmmakers to control their own destiny and think for themselves.
Back to the Chalkboard by Brad Riddell: I’ve learned a lot of lessons in twelve years as a working screenwriter. Lessons leaving home to chase the dream, lessons as a MFA student at USC, lessons breaking into the business, lessons trying to stay in the business, and for the past eight years, lots and lots of lessons as a screenwriting professor. I’ll be sharing these lessons with you here on the chalkboard, as we discuss writing and the business of writing through the eyes of a teacher. Twitter: @bradriddell
Behind the Lines with DR by Doug Richardson: Doug Richardson cut his teeth writing movies like Die Hard, Die Harder, Bad Boys and Hostage. But scratch the surface and discover he thinks there’s a killer inside all of us. His Lucky Dey books exist between the gutter and the glitter of a morally suspect landscape he calls Luckyland—aka Los Angeles—the city of Doug’s birth and where he lives with his wife, two children, three big mutts, and the dead body he’s still semi-convinced is buried in his San Fernando Valley back yard. Follow Doug on Twitter @byDougRich.
Blue Sky by Lisa Alden: To have a “Blue Sky” session in a writers room means that every writer has the complete freedom to pitch whatever they want about anything. For a certain amount of time. Usually until the lunch menus arrive and things get serious. This is a column devoted to the awesome spirit of “Blue Sky”, wherein all ideas are not only possible but valuable. Temporarily. Until the next one comes down the pike that sounds even better. Because as William Goldman so famously once said, “Nobody knows anything.” Truthfully, I probably titled the column “Blue Sky” because I have to do lots of things to trick myself into writing, including starting this column. So it seemed pretty clever to give it a title that would allow me the freedom to write about whatever I want. And guess what, it worked. So far. As a person who generally goes through life with an opinion about everything and a “more than the average bear” amount of experience in Hollywood as a studio executive, d-girl, teacher and TV writer, I hope to be able to offer some advice or at least musings on writing, not writing, writing for television, watching television, pilots, finales, and how to have more fun being a writer (hint – get at least one dog). Ie. Blue Sky. Blog: www.lisaaldenme.tumblr.com Twitter @lisaalden3.
Angela Bourassa is the founder and editor in chief of LA Screenwriter. She is also the co-founder of Write/LA, a new screenwriting competition created by writers, for writers. A mom, UCLA grad, and alternating repeat binger of The Office and Parks and Recreation, Angela posts articles through @LA_Screenwriter and unique daily writing prompts through @Write_LA. Twitter: @angelabourassa1
Breaking In by Staton Rabin: If you’re old enough to have felt a pang when Mickey Rooney died, but young (or hip) enough to know who Pharrell Williams is, BREAKING IN is for you. Quality is quality, whether in a classic movie, or the latest Oscar-nominated song. Learn from the best. Staton Rabin has evaluated more screenplays than there are grains of sand on Laguna Beach. Her credo? Write with passion, learn craft, market intelligently. With wisdom garnered from decades in the film business, realistic but never cynical, Staton Rabin’s myth-busting column gives you the nitty-gritty on becoming a better screenwriter. Twitter: @StatonRabin
Breaking Into Hollywood by Gary W. Goldstein teaches strategies that magnetize ‘insiders’ to support you and your goals, projects and passions. As an attorney, literary manager, author and producer of ‘indie’ and major studio films, Gary discovered keys to turn your talent into a more rewarding business and is committed to teaching creatives how to take control, save years, gain access and build relationships with people that truly matter. Follow Gary on Twitter: @garywgoldstein, Facebook, Google+, Google+ community, and YouTube.
Building a Bridge to Hollywood by Monica Lee Bellais: Building a Bridge to Hollywood requires a well-structured and crafted screenplay demonstrating creative skill and the understanding of industry standards. As a first impression, it can link a screenwriter to entertainment financiers and executives who may otherwise be hesitant to take a chance on unproven talent. Whether you are a beginner who needs to learn the fundamentals of creative development and storytelling or an emerging pro who wants to improve, the Bridge to Hollywood column will give insightful tips and tools necessary to get there. Monica Lee Bellais is a screenwriter / producer who has bridged experiences working in Hollywood, Washington, DC and international markets. Twitter @CreativeMonica
Business of Screenwriting by Michele Wallerstein: Michele Wallerstein’s column, Business of Screenwriting, informs readers of all the intricate maneuvering they must learn to become successful screenwriters. She helps writers learn how to get an agent, sell their scripts, why and if they also need a personal manager and an entertainment attorney. Michele is a story and screenplay consultant who spent many years as a literary agent. Michele shares her knowledge of networking, marketing your script, story, structure, character as well as pitchfests and writing contests. She writes about Indie vs. Studio decisions and the art of pitching your script. Twitter: @Scpconsult
Casting and Acting Magic by Hester Schell M.F.A. focuses on great performances and casting. Schell examines casting choices and the various way actors approach their craft. “When you understand more about how actors do what they do, you can write better character arcs and create better action.” Schell is the author of CASTING REVEALED: A Guide for Film Directors.
Column D by Drew Yanno: Screenwriter, screenwriting professor and story consultant Drew Yanno shares his ideas on screenplay structure, story design, plot and pacing, writing rich characters, crafting memorable dialogue, employing theme, rewriting the script, creating stories outside of three act structure, writing great endings and everything else that goes into fashioning a commercially-viable screenplay in today’s screenwriting market. Twitter: @drewyanno
Craigsgrist by Craig Van Sickle: Television Writer/Producer Craig Van Sickle believes talent is innate, only fools rely on luck and that on this yellow brick road known as show biz, hard work is the key element writers control. Good thing, given that writing is hard work. In his decades of fending off witches and monkey bats in the poppy fields of Hollywood television, Craig would like to share his vast writing/producing experiences with integrity and a smile; from the blank page of a writer’s mind to the wondrous glow of a writer’s imagination pouring out from flat screens across the globe. Twitter: @CraigVanSickle1
Development Hell by Brad Schreiber: Development Hell is a column that defies description, though not comprehension. It is an amalgam of articles on craft, essays on the writing life, TV or film reviews and in general, an exploration of issues that affect screenwriters, be it helpful advice, analysis of the marketplace, anecdotes about development or production and the like. Twitter: @bradschreiber
Donna ON PR by Donna Hardwick: Public Relations specialist Donna Hardwick’s specialty is marketing and publicity on behalf of film and television programs, but she also has a flare for coming up with campaigns that are tailored to meet the needs of her projects. In this column, she shares some of my passion and expertise and provide you with guideposts on your journey to tell your own amazing stories. Donna will take you into the world of marketing your film or screenplay and teach you tips on getting the most exposure possible for your art. Twitter: @onandonpr
Dream Career Toolkit by Shawn Tolleson: Career Coach Shawn Tolleson gives writers like yourself the tools you need to accomplish your dream career. Her Dream Career Toolkit Column gives you powerful and practical tips and tools so you can avoid mistakes, stop wasting time, overcome fear, procrastination and rejection, get optimum results from your efforts, and have the writing career you’ve always dreamed of! Enjoy! Twitter: @shawntolleson
Fragments by Tyler Weaver explores the new storytelling possibilities available to filmmakers through digital technology and transmedia concepts. With a special focus on the evolution of transmedia concepts and analyses of projects that have worked throughout the modern (and not-so-modern) era, “Fragments” aims to get filmmakers and screenwriters excited about the unparalleled potential available at their fingertips, while offering practical applications to make the worlds of their films even more thrilling than they thought possible. Twitter: @tylerweaver
From the Lens by Nathan Blair: Director of Photography, Nathan Blair, shares his viewpoint of breaking a script down from the cinematographers point of view to help screenwriters learn more about their writing craft and the collaborative process. Nathan has worked on a variety of productions of many sizes and budgets. His experience ranges from short and feature films, to commercials and branding videos. Twitter: @Nathan_Blair
Get Real by David Garrett: When I didn’t win the Razzie Award for “Worst Screenplay” in 2005, I proclaimed in public that it was an honor just to be nominated. In private, I was embarrassed, humiliated and almost gave up writing forever. After some serious soul-searching, I actually grew a pair and climbed back on the screenwriting horse. I hope this column will inspire you to ignore the haters, adapt to adversity and build a career as a working writer. Whether you receive your umpteenth rejection letter or get raked over the coals by a jaded film critic, you too must get back in the saddle when things get rough. Twitter: @DavidCGarrett
Good in a Room by Stephanie Palmer: This columnist shares advice from the buyer’s perspective and focuses on helping screenwriters learn how to pitch and sell their projects. This includes preparing for meetings, strategies for getting in the room and knowing what to do and say when you’re pitching your ideas to a decision-maker who could buy your project. Twitter: @goodinaroom
Guerrilla Screenwriting by Martin Shapiro: In today’s ultra-competitive entertainment industry, a writer needs every weapon at his disposal to get ahead of the competition. Our Guerrilla Screenwriting column provides unconventional strategies and tactics to help writers sell their work and build successful careers. My goal is to open your eyes to new possibilities and make you aware of how important marketing is to your success. I’ll share practical advice and war stories, not only from my own experiences in Hollywood, but those of other successful screenwriters and entrepreneurs as well. We’ll discuss such topics as transmedia, graphic novel writing, web series, video game writing, independent filmmaking, selling your script, networking, personal branding, and internet marketing. Twitter: @MartinShapiro
Hollywood Bound and Down by Joshua Caldwell: Hollywood Bound and Down follows the exploits of writer-director Joshua Caldwell as he attempts to navigate the ever-shifting paradigm of indie filmmaking. Opinionated and outspoken, Joshua is a believer in the power of “just doing it” and of finding ways to get your script or your film made no matter what it takes. And he’s done it. Joshua’s first feature film Layover was shot for only $6000 and had it’s World Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival where it was nominated for the prestigious FIPRESCI New American Cinema Award. Twitter: @Joshua_Caldwell
Improvising Screenplays by Brett Wean: Improvisational actor Brett Wean shares how the concepts of theatrical improvisation can be applied to the work – and play – of writing your script. Based on the methods taught at theaters such as The Second City, Upright Citizens Brigade, and The People’s Improv Theater, the column reveals how to use techniques such as agreement, Yes-Anding, and heightening to: get past writer’s block; generate compelling ideas that resonate with any audience; create strong, three-dimensional characters; write sparkling dialogue; recognize patterns and archetypes to determine story structure in any genre; develop bulletproof outlines; and make the most of professional feedback. Twitter: @brettwean
Indievelopment by Jeff Richards: Indievelopment is about the art and business of screenwriting from the independent film perspective. No matter the genre, directors and producers are looking for marketable screenplay ideas that they can make in an independent framework. Loglines or networking, screenwriting contests or writing rules, let Indievelopment be your guide to selling your script independently and launching your career in screenwriting (plus, you might even learn a thing or two for Hollywood). Twitter: @jeffrichards
Indie Film Academy by Jason Buff: How to build a career as a filmmaker. We know what we’ve been told, but how does the film industry really work? We ask filmmakers from all levels of success how they got to where they’re at and what advice they have for those just getting started. Is it possible to make a living? What were their biggest mistakes? We’re out to discover all of the things that you don’t hear about screenwriting and filmmaking as well as my personal advice to help get on the right path to success. Read Jason’s Indie Film Academy blog and follow him on Twitter: @indiefilmacdemy
Indie Film Hustle by Alex Ferrari will cover screenwriting and filmmaking from the trenches. Alex’s RAW and in your face approach to indie films will jolt you awake from your creative funk. Having 20 years of experience working with filmmakers and screenwriters, Alex’s perspective on the film industry is from the street level. Guerrilla filmmaking at it’s best. What does it really take to make a screenplay into a feature film in today’s world? Can a script writer direct, producer, edit, market and sell his/her own movie script? Indie Film Hustle is here to show you the way. Read Alex’s Blog: Indie Film Hustle. Twitter: @IndieFilmHustle
Indie Reel by Dennis Rainaldi: Dennis is a late bloomer. Three years ago, he left a cushy job at the United Nations where he worked as a technical project manager to chase a life-long dream – a dream to make movies. Indie Reel follows Dennis through this transition. Interviews with writers, directors and producers will shed light on just what it takes to make it in this business while the personal stories of his own successes and failures trying to produce and promote his own creative work will offer insights into a hungry newcomer trying to make it in the Independent Film Industry. Twitter: @drainaldi; Instagram: @dennisrainaldi
Inner Drives by Pamela Jaye Smith: Create unique, dynamic, believable characters using the chakras, our Inner Drives. Chakras are actual bundles of nerves that control the endocrine glands which release hormones, which affect our feelings. Each chakra has unique hopes, fears, strengths, weaknesses, actions, speech styles, and more. Whether a writer, director, actor, or designer, you can develop characters, arcs, and ensembles that’ll hook the readers and viewers of your novels and scripts, features, TV shows, stage plays, and web series. Learn to use these Inner Drives and you too can tap into the power of mythic archetypes no matter your genre or style.
Michael Lee is a writer, script consultant, script reader and judge. He’s worked as a creative executive for a few production companies and as reader and judge for some of the most prestigious screenwriting contests in the country including PAGE and Final Draft Big Break. The last five years his life has consisted of reading lots and lots of screenplays. He’s recently optioned his latest project: a science-fiction comedy entitled How to Conquer the Earth. Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter: @GoldenAgeofGeek.
Legitimacy Pending by Erica Rosbe & Sarah Carbiener: In Legitimacy Pending, writing partners Sarah and Erica explore the excitement, heartbreak and reality of breaking into television, tackling subjects like writing original pilots, the ins and outs of staffing season, working with production companies, pitching to networks and balancing life, day jobs and writing. Since they’re in the “hustle and pray” stage of their career, they focus on subjects that are particularly useful to newer writers. Twitter: @crashrosbe and @TooAdorkable
Lisa McFadden is a screenwriter and essayist living in Los Angeles. Her short scripts have placed in the semis in the First Glance and Blue Cat competitions. Most recently after an amazingly melodramatic panic attack, she entered a short script into the Austin Film Festival and placed as a 2nd Rounder. She has published essays in Role Reboot as well as performed her essays in numerous storytelling shows. Lisa has volunteered as a staff journalist for the Dallas International Film Festival for several seasons as well as programmed short films for a variety of other film festivals. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @CrispyPhoenix where she’s taking boredom to new heights and because she feels obligated to have a social media presence.
Sammy Montana has worked in several different capacities. He served as the VP of Production and Development for the Producer of the HALLOWEEN remakes. Then he ran his own Film/TV literary management company, Anarchy Management and had an active list of clientele, including writers and directors. Currently, he is a script consultant drawing on his years of experience in the film industry. Under the Anarchy Management and Anarchy Management & Consulting banner, he is developing in-house projects. To stay up to date and get constant invaluable free information listen, watch, subscribe to and share Anarchy Consulting Blog and to Anarchy Consulting YouTube Channel. Click on this for script coverage and consultation at the most affordable prices.
Real Screenwriting: The Business & The Life by Ron Suppa: There are lots of books on screenwriting out there, most of them covering the same tips — the 12 step programs to turn your idle daydreams into award-winning screenplays. My previous books and the 100 or so columns and articles I had written for various trade publications dealt instead with the hard facts of the business and everyday life of the screenwriter. This column will continue in that vein, offering up the yin and yang of a writer’s daily angst and a straightforward view of a real screenwriting life. I hope you enjoy it, get inspired or frustrated by it and will write me your thoughts either way. Twitter: @rasuppa
Reel Story by Corey Mandell: The Reel Story is where professional screenwriter Corey Mandell breaks down the tools and techniques required to write a spec screenplay that can get an agent or manager, and eventually lead to a script sale or paid writing gig. Topics explored include organic story structure, deep character development, thematic subtext, cohesion and compelling conflict. In the past three years more than 50 of Corey’s students and clients have sold features, TV pilots, landed studio assignments and won prestigious screenplay contests. Twitter: @coreymandell
Rona’s Reel Take by Rona Edwards: Ranting and raving about the film/TV/Transmedia industry is what producer/writer Rona Edwards does every day whether writing about it, putting it into practice as a producer, or teaching it at various universities around the world. She believes you have to think with both your left and right brain as a creative artist. A former development exec, she was dragged kicking and screaming into the world of producing, and understands success and what it’s like to be caught in the web of development hell. Now she’s going to help you understand the business at hand with frank tips and advice on all facets of the industry. In addition, Edwards co-wrote the critically acclaimed books, I Liked It, Didn’t Love It (Screenplay Development from the Inside Out) and The Complete Filmmaker’s Guide to Film Festivals with former studio exec, Monika Skerbelis, with whom she is the co-founder of ESE Film Workshops Online. Their mission: “Help You Succeed.” Twitter: @ronaedwards @ESEFilm
Nick Sadler is an actor, filmmaker, and founder of AWD Creative Consultation. Among his current projects, Nick’s developing a film with Todd Field (Little Children, In The Bedroom), and is in post-production on TIMES LIKE THESE, a feature documentary. As a consultant, he advises writers and filmmakers in all stages of their projects. You can learn more about Nick by visiting his website.
Denny Schnulo began his writing career at age eleven with the release of his first collection of poems to the kids on the school playground. Years later as he struggled through the Writers’ strike of 1988 he once again stood tall against the wrath of bullies. Believing that first hand reports are always best, he spent his early adult years living and working throughout the world. His writing today is informed by the real people he met and things they did together. Denny and his family live in Chandler Arizona, where the heat forces him into his den to write. Twitter: @DennySchnulo
Screenwriter’s Guidepost by Mario O. Moreno: When Mario O. Moreno first stepped off the plane in Los Angeles, new screenplay under his arm, he was confident some producer at the baggage claim would bid on it. But no one did. And life as a budding screenwriter has been anything but predictable since. In his blog, Screenwriter’s Guidepost, Moreno candidly answers questions on all topics related to screenwriting, from the page (story, character, theme, structure) to the business (managers, agents, notes, meetings, writing partners). Moreno shares his unique perspective, gained from his experiences and those of his peers (writers, filmmakers, and the suits). These are the truths, tips, and tricks he wished he’d known getting off the plane, and those he’s still discovering everyday. Twitter: @MarioOMoreno37
Script Angel by Hayley McKenzie: Script Angel will help you develop your screenwriting skills, break into the industry and survive the development process. Script Consultant Hayley McKenzie advises on writing great spec scripts by honing your screenwriting craft, covering genre, story structure, hooking your reader, character development and writing dialogue. Script Angel is your screenwriting career coach with advice on setting goals and keeping motivated. We’ll tackle breaking into the industry and the development process; getting noticed, getting feedback, handling script notes, rewriting your script and turning your spec script into a shooting script. Script Angel will help you turn your screenwriting talent into a career. Twitter: @scriptangel1
Script Tips and Sitcom Success by Marilyn Horowitz: Professor Marilyn Horowitz has been teaching screenwriting for over 15 years. In addition to her books, she has written over 100 tips intended to inspire writers to new heights or to overcome a problem that has plagued them. Each tip is a writing prompt with an exercise that can be completed in 15-30 minutes. Each tip challenges the writer to see their screenplay in a different light – and provide helpful insights on all aspects of the process, from time management to understanding structure. Twitter: @marilynhorowitz
Studio Notes by Brad Caldirola: Driving home one day from a lengthy and somewhat inane notes session, I started thinking, “Hell, you could probably give notes on even the greatest scripts ever written.” That night as an experiment, I pulled out the screenplay for The Godfather and started marking it up from a film executive’s viewpoint. Thus was born “Studio Notes” — a comedic take that envisions how head honchos might have critiqued (and likely destroyed) cinematic masterpieces. It’s funny, irreverent, and, it turns out, a good way to let off steam.
The Scoggins Report: The Scoggins Report is a terribly unscientific analysis of the feature film development business based on information assembled from a variety of public and non-public sources. The numbers in the reports are by no means official statistics. Each week, spec sales, pitch sales, and the screenplay market are analyzed and reported. Twitter: @jscoggins @SpecScout
Script Partners by Claudia Johnson & Matt Stevens: Claudia and Matt met on the FSU Film School faculty and have been writing together since. The leading experts on collaboration, they co-authored Script Partners: How to Succeed at Co-Writing for Film & TV. Their feature Ruby has been optioned by Invitation Entertainment, and they recently finished the screen adaptation of their published novella, A Christmas Belle, a sequel to A Christmas Carol. Matt also works as a Senior Copywriter and Digital Content Specialist in L.A. Author of the widely adopted Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect, Claudia taught at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Follow them on Facebook.
Script Hacks by Script Reader Pro: Tired of reading vague screenwriting advice and feedback on your screenplays like “Just trust in your story” or “You need to go deeper” with no mention on how exactly to do it? Or what about misleading advice, like “Never use camera angles” or “Your protagonist needs to be more likable”? Script Reader Pro’s Script Hacks posts cut away the confusing and vague “fluff” found in many screenwriting books and coverage by de-mystifying theory and utilizing writing hacks and practical exercises. Check out their script coverage and screenwriting course at Script Reader Pro and stay connected on Facebook and Twitter @ScriptReaderPro.
Script Symbology by John Fraim: The Script Symbology column investigates the study and application of symbols and symbolism to scripts by exploring the relationship of symbols and symbolism to character archetypes, drama, storytelling, screenplay structure, film genre, screenplay acts and scenes, mythology, multi-media, popular culture and leading communications theories and technologies. It combines a synthesis of leading screenwriting books and theories with the author’s long-term research into symbolism and provides a structure for providing powerful dramatic and powerful scripts. Such a synthesis is long overdue and greatly needed. In the same way mythology ideas of Joseph Campbell have revitalized film structure, so will symbolism do the same if understood and applied.
Snark a Film by Miranda Sajdak: Miranda is a writer/producer/director currently living in Los Angeles. As a script reader, she has done coverage for producers of films ranging from indie hits like Drive to studio features including Final Destination, American Pie, and television shows Huge, Man in the High Castle, and My So-Called Life. She co-founded Script Chix in 2012 to provide coverage services to screenwriters. She was a winner of Go Into the Story‘s Quest Initiative in 2013 and was also a winner of The Next MacGyver competition in 2015, paired with mentor Clayton Krueger at Scott Free to develop original pilot Riveting. Her last project as a director premiered in LA at Outfest, and as a producer at Screamfest. She enjoys hard-hitting dramas, films with female leads, and ’90s legal thrillers. She takes film snarking suggestions over on Twitter @MirandaSajdak and further potentially dangerous lifestyle choices can be supported at https://www.gofundme.com/MirandaDirects.
Specs & The City by Brad Johnson: Specs & The City is a weekly column that aims to help anyone writing a spec by talking about specific screenwriting tips, techniques, or general advice, and then taking it a step further by providing an actual example from a produced film to help you then apply that advice to your own spec. By pulling these examples from successful high concept films and across all genres – Comedy, Romantic Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Action, and Drama – you’ll learn the skills successful screenwriters use in hooking the reader with their marketable screenplay ideas. Twitter: @RWWFilm
Show Me the Love! All Kinds of Love for All Kinds of Stories is based on the how-to book by Pamela Jaye Smith and Monty Hayes McMillan. Screenwriters and filmmakers of every genre and style – drama, comedy, romance, adventure, horror, thriller, fantasy, animation – from features to TV to web series, all need to have some kind of love in their stories to hook the reader and the engage the viewer. Each column covers a different type of love and will touch upon character psychology and motivation, mythology, symbolism, and cinematic techniques so you can create better stories.
Stories Without Borders: When Julie Gray, Hollywood script guru and blogger moved to the Middle East in 2012, she had no idea just how much vibrant creativity she would find there. From film to fiction to theater and more, creativity is bubbling up in arguably the world’s most contentious place. Stories Without Borders is about the power of story and how Hollywood writers have much more in common with writers and creators on the other side of the globe than they might have imagined. Twitter: @JulieGray972
Story Development by Tim Long: Mr. Long is a screenwriter who has sold, optioned, and pitched feature film projects at the studio level, and has had original screenplays in development with Academy Award® winning and nominated producers. Mr. Long is also a nationally recognized screenplay consultant, and taught screenwriting at the MFA level in a top ranked University film program. He’s currently Founder and C.E.O of PARABLE, an online, interactive, screenwriting course. Follow Tim on Twitter: @ScreenplayStory
Story Steps by Jeffrey Schechter: Jeffrey Alan Schechter is an award-winning screenwriter and producer as well as the author of the bestselling book My Story Can Beat Up Your Story! A popular international speaker and script consultant, Jeff has written for such diverse studios and broadcasters as The Disney Channel, Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, ABC, NBC, The Discovery Channel, Hallmark, Nickelodeon, the Walt Disney Company, and the BBC among many others. Twitter: @mscbuys
Story Universe by Jerry Flattum: The human experience is a universe of stories, from prehistoric cave drawings to ghost tales around a campfire, from classic novels to a $250 million dollar Hollywood blockbuster. Speaking of the universe, how was the universe created? Now there’s a story! Our past is a story. And most certainly, so is our future. Storytellers need an audience. And for audiences, reality is perception. Reality or fiction? Truth or illusion? How audiences interpret/engage stories is as important as what kinds of stories are told and how they are told. Stories move us; take us somewhere. The best stories even change us. Twitter: @JerryFlattum
Story Talk by Jeff Lyons: Story Talk is a regular Script Magazine column written by Jeff Lyons, a leading U.S. story consultant, script doctor and story development teacher. Along with opinion pieces; spotlight articles on hot, new entertainment-related books; and stories about the latest issues facing screenwriters, the movie industry and television, Story Talk focuses on the nuts-and-bolts of screenwriting craft and storytelling essentials, while informing readers about cutting-edge story development tools every writer needs to lift their game to the next level. Story Talk is therapy for your stories and an invaluable addition to any screenwriter’s toolbox. Twitter: @storygeeks
Submissions Insanity by Lucy V. Hay: Finding an agent or producer is hard… Especially as screenwriters usually have to go through a script reader first. Submissions Insanity is dedicated to the madness that is the spec pile and how scriptwriters misrepresent themselves, especially when trying to “stand out” from the crowd. From classics like accompanying CDs, to the truly bonkers: the adaptation (that wasn’t); the cheese-covered screenplay; or the one page pitch shaped like a jigsaw, UK Script Editor Lucy V Hay has seen them all! So forget everything you know… or think you know about submissions. Here’s what NOT to do… Twitter: @Bang2Write
Rob Tobin is a produced, award-winning screenwriter (Storefront, Broken, Vengeance, The Camel Wars, and a contributor writing on Dam 999) published novelist, former motion picture development executive, and author of two well-known screenwriting books – The Screenwriting Formula and How to Write High Structure, High Concept Movies. Rob just signed a six-figure, three-book adaptation deal. Follow Rob on Twitter: @RobTobin
TV Writers’ Room 101 by Eric Haywood: If you’ve ever wondered what goes on inside a television drama writers’ room, look no further. “Inside the Writers’ Room” will pull back the curtain and show you how “the room” functions, how ideas get pitched and stories get broken, how the writer functions on set when an episode he or she has written is being filmed, and more. This column is geared towards writers who are either actively seeking to break into television writing or have already landed their first job on staff and could use a little help navigating the unspoken do’s and don’ts. Twitter: @EricHaywood
Visual Mindscape by Bill Boyle: The primary focus of this column is to explore the Visual Mindscape of the Screenplay. If film is first and foremost a visual medium does it not make sense that the script which is the heart, spine and soul of a film should also be a visual experience? From a visual point of view the column will discuss, narrative, character, scene development and even the visual aspects of dialogue. Visual storytelling is most effective in engaging the interest of the script reader. Using visual tools the column will also cover the marketing elements such as log lines, query letter and even the pitch. Twitter: @VisualMindscape
What’s in a Mind by Kayley Loveridge aims to help writers understand human nature at its very core. Story analyst, Kayley, breaks down the psychology of primary characters in screenwriting to help develop them from their two dimensional existence into the three dimensional universe. She takes a look at interpreting the dream world and memories and writing the surreal into your narrative. Of course, overcoming procrastination is key to the writing process, What’s in a Mind also touches on optimising creativity and the importance of mental routine when it comes to writing. Twitter: @k_loveridge1
The Wide Margin by Kevin Delin: It’s a closely guarded secret that the City of Angels contains a thriving theater community. In fact, this group freely exchanges its artistic talent back and forth with that other entity better known as “The Biz.” During any given weekend, on dozens of intimate theater stages across Los Angeles, faces familiar from film and television will pop up in plays often penned by those who also write for “The Industry.” Going live provides incredible opportunities for writers who wish to create works longer than a YouTube sketch and see them performed by seasoned pros. The Wide Margin is a backstage pass to that artistic place bridging the gap twixt set and stage. Twitter: @kdelin
Write, Direct, Repeat by Kim Garland: Write, Direct, Repeat is a filmmaking column geared to screenwriters who want to learn about directing and/or producing their own work. Written by writer/director Kim Garland, the column chronicles the early stages of her career while she shares the lessons she is learning about breaking into the world of independent film. Articles focus on a range of topics including writing and directing short films, self-producing your own script, working in your local filmmaking community, and the film festival circuit. Twitter: @kim_garland
Write in the Wild by Katiedid Langrock: Katiedid is a Hollywood scriptwriter, TV development exec., author, internationally syndicated humor columnist and guest lecturer. She recently founded Write in the Wild, a nature-based writers retreat and creative space for story classes and script consultations, which blends her years of story coaching experience with her previous job as an adventure tour guide in the Australian Outback. Join her in breaking story around the campfire. Scrawl outside the sprawl. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter: @WriteInTheWild
Writer’s Edge by Steve Kaire: Having been a screenwriter/pitchman for over 30 years, my mission now is to impart my knowledge and experience to up and coming writers. Everyone knows that there is fierce competition for those who want to become screenwriters. Plain and simple, my job is to maximize a writer’s chances for success. I cover all aspects of the creative as well as the business side of the industry in my articles. My strength is High Concept, having sold 8 High Concept projects to the major studios without representation. The title of my CD says it all: “High Concept- How to Create, Pitch & Sell to Hollywood.” Twitter: @SteveKaire
X-Ray Spec by Robert Piluso: X-Ray speak is written by Robert Piluso, a film critic (The Essential Sopranos Reader), screenwriter (CS Expo 2011 Winner-Best Comedy Script, Strum & Wail; Austin Film Festival 2012 Feature Comedy Second Round), poet (Dash, The Chaffey Review), and English Professor at Chaffey College. He earned his Master of Arts in English from CSU Fullerton in 2008, and his Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Screen and Television from the University of Southern California in 2012. Twitter: @RobertPiluso
Your TV Guide by Tawnya Bhattacharya: Working TV writer & founder of television writing program, Script Anatomy, Tawnya Bhattacharya, draws on her adventures in the industry as well as her ten-year teaching background to help you navigate the complex terrain of the business and reach your career destination. For more info about Script Anatomy, go to www.scriptanatomy.com. Follow Script Anatomy on Facebook or Twitter: @ScriptAnatomy
Zen in the Art of Screenwriting by Jose Prendes: Jose briefly considered titling this segment Hey Idiot, Just Write Already! But he decided to go with a more lyrical, less harsher column title for what is your weekly shot in the arm to get you past that bastard writer’s block that is eating up all your precious creation time. Instead of a how-to and or a how-not-to, each week Jose gives you a gentle reminder of what it is you are really doing and what is truly important. We sometimes get so caught up in the drudgery of screenwriting as a job, that we forget that movies, and writing specifically, is first and foremost an art form before it is a commercial prospect, and in so doing it we should derive pleasure from it. So whenever the blank page has you down and you need a little pick me up, swing by and give this a read. Jose hates the mosh pit of Facebook, but you can stay in touch and make bird noises at him on Twitter: @JosePrendes