This is a list of all the articles currently on the site, in the order they were published. Happy browsing!
- Wilson: A Walking Id
March 23, 2017 Daniel Clowes on writing a gag in five minutes, adapting comics into screenplays, and catching Scarlett Johansson in a bad mood.
- He Writes like a Girl
March 22, 2017 Gary Goldstein looks beyond the adage of writing what you know, and offers advice on writing for characters of the opposite sex.
- The Umami of Story
March 20, 2017 Art Holcomb explores how to elevate your writing from the simply competent to the extraordinary with seven questions to ask of your script, and reveals why a script must be a work of art.
- What is Documentary Writing?
March 17, 2017 In the second of our series on documentaries we interview Robert Greene, the filmmaker behind the Sundance Award-winning film Kate Plays Christine, to explore writing for documentaries, and what fiction and documentary makers can learn from one another.
- Love the Process: Jeff Stockwell on The Ottoman Lieutenant
March 15, 2017 Jeff Stockwell on using research to shape your project, not critiquing your first draft, avoiding the internet, and the importance of enjoying the process.
- Seven Decades of Cinematic Storytelling: Roger Corman on Screenwriting
March 14, 2017 In the early 1950s, Roger Corman began his creative career in the film industry as a story reader for 20th Century Fox, but left in order to create his own independent studio with its own distribution. Within only a few years he became the undisputed king of the low-budget movie. In his seven-decade career he has ...
- “When I write by myself there are no rules.” Martin Koolhoven on Brimstone
March 13, 2017 Martin Koolhoven discusses writing a Western from the female perspective, the evolution of Brimstone’s non-linear structure, and how his film is spiritually connected to Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
- “The first duty is not to be boring.” Louis Theroux on My Scientology Movie
March 10, 2017 In the first of our series of articles on documentaries, Louis Theroux discusses the attraction of the weird and the dark, shaping the story, and finding the right questions.
- “Every movie is its own beast.” Max Borenstein on Kong: Skull Island
March 9, 2017 Max Borenstein on bringing giant-scale movies down to earth, how great actors elevate a screenplay, and making the audience care about your monsters.
- Kaufman’s Folly: Considering the Viewer’s Perspective
March 8, 2017 Ernest Garrett explores the issue of Kaufman’s Folly: what is it, and what screenwriters can do to avoid it.
- The script doesn’t exist on its own: Ed Gass-Donnelly on Lavender
March 6, 2017 Ed Gass-Donnelly on what two things a scene has to accomplish, figuring out the ‘why now’ of your story, and the importance of working on many scripts at once.
- Myth vs. Man: James Mangold and Scott Frank on Logan
March 3, 2017 Writing an intimate superhero film, the summer blockbuster arms race, writing for children, and dialogue as a delivery system of lies.
- Fabrication: A Company for Writers
March 2, 2017 Fabrication’s Alexandra Cunningham on protecting the writer’s vision, why television is the place to be for writers, and saying thank you for notes.
- Understanding Screenwriting #155
March 1, 2017 Tom Stempel on Manchester by the Sea, Things to Come, 20th Century Women, La La Land, Sophie and the Rising Sun, Julieta, and Railroad Tigers.
- Developing Drama and Conflict: 10 Tips for New Screenwriters
February 27, 2017 Scott McConnell offers “back to basics” advice for screenwriters new and old.
- Screenwriters at the Oscars 2017
February 24, 2017 Interviews and articles featuring all ten of the 89th Academy Award screenwriting nominees and their scripts.
- Learning from Lucas’s Mistakes: The Phantom Menace
February 23, 2017 Kieron Moore explores the script of The Phantom Menace, and reveals the screenwriting lessons it has to teach about what not to do.
- Bitter Harvest: More Than Just a Movie
February 22, 2017 George Mendeluk on pruning your script, why going to film school is a waste of time, and why writers don’t make good directors.
- Adapting Fiction for Television: Purvis and Wade on SS-GB
February 18, 2017 Neal Purvis and Robert Wade discuss adapting a complex plot into series format, turning budget limitations into creative opportunities, and delaying the moment when the gun comes out.
- The Moment of Leaning Forwards: Matthew Newton on From Nowhere
February 17, 2017 Matthew Newton discusses going home with your characters, the importance of the “leaning forwards” moment, and the constant process of revelation in childhood.
- Dissecting The Lobster
February 16, 2017 James Napoli explores the Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Lobster, and reveals its surprisingly traditional elements.
- Ramona Zacharias’s Year in Quotes
February 15, 2017 Ramona looks back over her interviews from 2016, and shares some of her favorite quotes.
- “The star of the movie is the screenplay.” August Wilson’s Fences
February 13, 2017 Producer Todd Black discusses bringing Wilson’s adaptation to the big screen, letting the screenplay inform every decision, and working with platinum.
- Damien Chazelle on La La Land
February 10, 2017 Damien Chazelle on writing two movies in one, the underlying sadness of musicals, giving your script feeling, and challenging yourself to make it personal.
- Barry Jenkins on Moonlight
February 9, 2017 Barry Jenkins discusses making the audience walk a mile in the character’s shoes, the use of waypoints in adaptations, and the importance of poor first drafts.
- Finding Your Creative Value: Jamal Joseph on Chapter & Verse
February 7, 2017 Jamal Joseph on writing a film based on your own experience, the importance of comedy in drama, and not waiting for that big studio movie.
- Understanding Screenwriting #154
February 6, 2017 Tom Stempel on The Edge of Seventeen, Moonlight, Elle, Loving, Allied, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
- Building a tapestry: Kenneth Lonergan on Manchester by the Sea
February 3, 2017 Kenneth Lonergan discusses making the story your own, the use of flashbacks, and rooting your script in realism.
- Brianne Hogan’s Year in Quotes
February 2, 2017 Brianne looks back over her interviews from 2016, and shares some of her favorite quotes.
- Hidden Figures: “A Mathematical Juggling Act”
February 1, 2017 Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi on the importance of repetition, ensuring balance in an ensemble piece, and not getting attached to your first draft.
- “Nothing’s harder than writing.” Evan Oppenheimer on Lost in Florence
January 30, 2017 Evan Oppenheimer discusses achieving authenticity, getting to the heart of the story, and finding your point of entry.
- “Dive Deep and Flush Out Your Craft.” Patrick Massett and John Zinman on Gold
January 27, 2017 Patrick Massett and John Zinman on watching movies with the script in your lap, the rhythm of a scene, not sending out your first script, and why working in Hollywood is like prospecting for gold.
- Making Your Protagonist the Antagonist: Robert Siegel on The Founder
January 26, 2017 Robert Siegel discusses his fascination for outsiders, using research to get into your characters’ heads, and writing what you love.
- John McNamara & Sera Gamble: The Magicians
January 25, 2017 John McNamara & Sera Gamble discuss finding the best version of the moment, the importance of not knowing what happens next, and the value of treating everything as practice.
- Brock Swinson’s Year in Quotes
January 23, 2017 Brock looks back over his interviews from 2016, and shares some of his favourite quotes.
- “Power comes from writing.” M. Night Shyamalan on Split
January 20, 2017 M. Night Shyamalan on the importance of outlining, using dark humor, the four genres of Split, and writing for different budgets.
- “What guides me is the real person.” Mike Mills on 20th Century Women
January 19, 2017 Mike Mills discusses writing from personal experience, why plot is not that important to him, and how to know when a script is ready.
- Giving Up and Letting Go: Erin Cressida Wilson on Adapting The Girl on the Train
January 18, 2017 Erin Cressida Wilson discusses her process of adaptation, embracing writer’s block, and the importance of embarrassing yourself when writing.
- Roger Corman on Death Race 2050
January 17, 2017 Roger Corman discusses what makes a good screenplay, how Death Race 2000 influenced Mad Max and The Hunger Games, and why killing pedestrians was important.
- “One Script does not make you a writer.” Gloria Calderon Kellett on One Day at a Time
January 16, 2017 Gloria Calderon Kellett talks about how a show is developed, writing for television, and how exactly a writers’ room works.
- Shared Inspiration: Claire in Motion
January 13, 2017 Lisa Robinson and Annie J. Howell on learning from your actors, a unique way of writing as a duo, and what makes a partnership work.
- Chris McKittrick’s Year in Quotes
January 12, 2017 Chris looks back over his interviews from 2016, and shares some of his favourite quotes.
- Communicating through Fiction: Tom Ford on Nocturnal Animals
January 10, 2017 Tom Ford on why all his scenes have their own 3-act structure, writing as catharsis, the value of a strict schedule and the importance of photo research.
- “Don’t draw the line at good enough.” Diane Drake on Screenwriting
January 9, 2017 Diane Drake on giving yourself permission to be bad, the essentials of a first act, and what to do with your script when it is written.
- Paths, Ripples & Choices: How character and story logic can make or break your script
January 6, 2017 Using examples from The Night Of, Unfaithful and Breaking Bad, Brian explores character and story logic, and reveals the importance of believability.
- Logarithmic Time in Screenwriting
January 5, 2017 In the first of a brand new series of video articles brought to you in conjunction with StoryBrain, we explore the concept of Logarithmic Time!
- How to Handle Notes
January 4, 2017 Lucy V. Hay explores what to do when you receive conflicting feedback on your script.
- What Writers Can Learn From Musicians
January 3, 2017 John Davis on practice, working on your flaws, and the importance of throwing it all away.
- Fictionalization: How Not To Get Sued
December 30, 2016 David Albert Pierce, Esq. explores how to use factual events in your screenwriting, and offers advice on best practice for fictionalization.
- Understanding Screenwriting #153
December 28, 2016 Tom Stempel on The Birth of a Nation, The Accountant, Inferno, Denial, Arrival, Beauty Shop, and All the President’s Men.