This is a list of all the articles currently on the site, in the order they were published. Happy browsing!
- “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.
- Into the Badlands: Blood-splattered Heroes and the One Degree of Jackie Chan
November 23, 2016 Alfred Gough and Miles Millar on keeping the martials arts authentic, why a fight scene is like jazz, and writing for Jackie Chan.
- “Don’t bow to that trope.” Ben Younger on Bleed for This
November 22, 2016 The pros and cons of taking ten years off from screenwriting, the boxing film as a parable, and choosing what to tell.
- Walking the line between filthy and having heart: Bad Santa 2
November 21, 2016 Johnny Rosenthal and Shauna Cross on writing a sequel to a modern classic Christmas comedy, knowing when a character shouldn’t develop, and writing without a filter.
- James L. Brooks and Kelly Fremon Craig on The Edge of Seventeen
November 18, 2016 The importance of details, building audience trust with the narrator, and the writer’s edge.
- True Memoirs of an International Assassin: A Tonal Tightrope
November 17, 2016 Jeff Morris and Jeff Wadlow on writing characters into a corner, the challenge of balancing action and comedy, and giving yourself permission to quit for the day.
- Defending Your Time to Write: Michael Lannan on Looking
November 15, 2016 Michael Lannan discusses defending your time to write, writing what scares you, and the importance of observation, and offers great advice for writers.
- “We didn’t want to put pencils inside any of them!” Aibel & Berger on Trolls
November 14, 2016 Creating relatable characters, the secret to the success of a decades-long partnership, and great advice for aspiring writers.
- It’s all about the leaving out: American Pastoral
November 11, 2016 John Romano on the challenges of adapting Philip Roth, identifying the central through line of a story, and the importance of the spoken word.
- Emotional Trajectories: Jeff Nichols on Loving
November 10, 2016 Jeff Nichols discusses gestational thinking, emotional trajectory in films, writing from a female perspective, and the universality of specificity.
- Indignation: Breaking the Philip Roth Curse
November 9, 2016 James Schamus on adapting Philip Roth, hinging a movie around an 18 minute conversation, and going against the grain of the dialogue.
- Understanding Screenwriting #151
November 7, 2016 Westworld, Lethal Weapon and more! Tom Stempel takes a look at the 2016 Fall Television Season.
- 12 Powerful Principles of Story Structure
November 4, 2016 Michael Hauge discusses superior position, foreshadowing, ticking clocks and other screenwriting techniques, as revealed in James Cameron’s Avatar.
- A 2-Act Film: Paul Schrader on Dog Eat Dog
November 3, 2016 Paul Schrader discusses his new film Dog Eat Dog, shooting on a budget, making a 2-act film, and the state of the film industry.
- Create Your Pitch Part II: Sell, Don’t Tell
November 1, 2016 Lee Nordling on why all writing is selling, the danger of detail, evoking an emotional response, and conceiving your story in broad strokes.
- Banshee: Brutal Good Fun
October 31, 2016 Jonathan Tropper on collaborating with your actors, imperfect characters, and saying goodbye to a show.
- When Allegory Becomes Real: Desierto
October 28, 2016 Jonas Cuarón on the influence of Spielberg, the connection between Desierto and his space epic Gravity, and being careful with the space between characters.
- “Every movie requires a different storyteller.” Michel Franco on Chronic
October 27, 2016 Michel Franco on writing about end-of-life care, shooting without manipulating the audience, and the importance of knowing where your story is headed.