This is a list of all the articles currently on the site, in the order they were published. Happy browsing!
- 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.
- Arenas and Finish Lines in Screenwriting
December 26, 2016 Michael Hauge explores the concepts of Arenas and Finish Lines, as shown in Avatar and The Hurt Locker.
- Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: A Cinematic Prototype
December 23, 2016 Michael Welles Schock reveals what A Christmas Carol can teach us about plot structure, and how it illustrates the relationship between narrative conflict and the character arc.
- Walking a Tightrope: John Hamburg on Why Him?
December 22, 2016 John Hamburg discusses character motivation and infusing back story into the comedy, and reveals a serendipitous behind-the-scenes anecdote.
- Writing a Dramatic Script: Five Key Techniques
December 20, 2016 Scott McConnell on plot and story, creating a layered central conflict, and the use of disguise, deception and ingenious complications.
- Collateral Beauty: A Holiday Fable
December 16, 2016 Allan Loeb on the secret to writing a good twist, walking while you write, and the biggest lesson he’s learned from being a writer in Hollywood.
- From All We Had to X-Men: Josh Boone, a Busy Man
December 15, 2016 Josh Boone on his many projects, writing in a bubble, and building your career around books you love.
- Shepherding Arrival to the Screen
December 14, 2016 Eric Heisserer on wooing your director, working with your source material, and how a screenwriter is like Charlie Brown.
- “An Authentic and Vibrant Love.” Southside with You
December 13, 2016 Richard Tanne on connecting to your characters and story, making use of your research, and being inspired by love.
- Lion: A Powerful, Primal Childhood Fable
December 12, 2016 Luke Davies on bringing scenes to life, symmetry and turning points, and why a script has to be both a technical document and also a work of art.
- Frank & Lola: A Long Labor of Love
December 9, 2016 Matthew Ross on writing a psychosexual noir love story, playing with audience expectations, and accommodating changes into your script.
- Fact vs. Truth in Screenwriting
December 8, 2016 Taking Quiz Show as a case study, James Napoli explores the art of turning true stories into powerful drama.
- Meet the Reader: Berkeley Hunt
December 7, 2016 What readers look for in a script, why reading scripts is good for writers, and what to avoid when writing your screenplay!
- The Different Faces of Jackie
December 6, 2016 Noah Oppenheim on writing a multilayered protagonist, the political mythmaking of the Kennedys, and the importance of narrowing the aperture.
- Understanding Screenwriting #152
December 2, 2016 Tom Stempel on Hell or High Water, Sully, Bridget Jones’ Baby, The Magnificent Seven, The Dressmaker, and Shadow of a Doubt.
- “I could hear their voices.” Michael Hirst on Vikings
November 30, 2016 Michael Hirst on the process of writing historical fiction, the importance of poetry, and how Vikings has rejuvenated interest in Scandinavian culture.
- Nadiya Chettiar: An Emerging Screenwriter on the Rise
November 29, 2016 Nadiya Chettiar on the importance of networking, what you should consider before signing with your first agent, and what really happens at one of those infamous LA meetings.
- Blunt Talk: No Unkind Humor
November 28, 2016 Jonathan Ames on writing about friendships, his rules of screenwriting, and ideas for a film of his cult show Bored to Death.
- “I want to entrance and surprise.” Stephen Poliakoff on Close to the Enemy
November 24, 2016 Stephen Poliakoff discusses handling multiple characters, seeing what your protagonist sees, and avoiding the distancing effect of period dramas.