This is a list of all the articles currently on the site, in the order they were published. Happy browsing!
- Honor Your Premise
April 27, 2017 Through analysis of Nocturnal Animals, Groundhog Day and Black Mirror, James Napoli explores how to fulfill the promise of your script’s premise.
- Let characters be at the top of their intelligence: Paul Rust on Love.
April 26, 2017 Paul Rust discusses taking an idea from pitch to finished show, how working with Judd Apatow literally opens doors, exploring character through location, and the importance of characters having an intelligence.
- “Good Screenwriters are Good Filmmakers.” T.S. Nowlin on Phoenix Forgotten
April 24, 2017 T.S. Nowlin discusses writing found-footage film Phoenix Forgotten, allowing space for improvisation, and the importance for writers of getting into production.
- A Distinctive New Voice: Ben Wheatley on Free Fire
April 21, 2017 Ben Wheatley discusses genre, writing movies you can actually make, and how to avoid being given script notes
- Daniel Pyne on Screenwriting
April 20, 2017 Bosch showrunner Daniel Pyne discusses writing plot twists, research, and updating novels for the screen, and offers great advice for screenwriters.
- Time, Money and the Invisible Bullshit Line: Chris Morgan on The Fate of the Furious
April 19, 2017 Chris Morgan discusses The Fate of the Furious, the three things that limit action, and and the heartbreak of losing franchise star, Paul Walker.
- Seeing what the film needs to be: Gareth Edwards on Rogue One
April 18, 2017 Gareth Edwards discusses never giving up, not letting fear get in the way, and the importance of remaining fluid.
- Birth of an Obsession: The Lost City of Z
April 14, 2017 James Grey on personalising the material, why writing is like cooking, and the challenges of writing period pieces.
- How to write Action Description
April 12, 2017 Alex Southey explores five different kinds of action description, and how they dictate tone in a script.
- “It’s the golden age of indie cinema.” Texas Film Awards Press Conference 2017
April 11, 2017 The golden age of independent films, under-representation of Latinos in American cinema, and the future for women filmmakers.
- Defying Genres: Nacho Vigalondo on Colossal
April 10, 2017 Making a monster movie without a big budget, breaking screenwriting rules and tropes, and why a film should be a conversation with the audience.
- Meet the Reader: James Napoli
April 7, 2017 Great advice from James Napoli on the importance of story flow and voice, doing away with “happy endings”, starting slowly, and what writers can learn from silent films.
- “It feels really good to be recognized.” Winning the Nicholl Fellowship!
April 6, 2017 Geeta Malik, one of the winners of the 2016 Nicholl Fellowship, discusses what it is like to win the award, the subversive nature of comedy, when to ask for notes, and dealing with rejection.
- Understanding Screenwriting #156
April 4, 2017 Tom Stempel on Hidden Figures, Fences, Get Out, Eye in the Sky, Deadpool, and Mid-season Television 2016-2017
- The Producer: Touching Every Part of the Story
April 3, 2017 Miriam Segal discusses the role of the producer, reveals what writers should know about the production process, and offers advice for screenwriters.
- For Here or to Go: Blog Post to Big Screen
March 31, 2017 Rishi Bhilawadikar on how he learned to write in order to tell this story, communicating through entertainment, and taking an idea from blog post to a finished film.
- The Discovery: A Big Premise Character Piece
March 30, 2017 Charlie McDowell on making exposition interesting, the importance of regret, writing for your actors, and news of an upcoming adaptation of Don DeLillo’s novel Zero K.
- The Frankenstein Formula
March 28, 2017 Marilyn R. Atlas & Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein explore the enduring influence of Shelley’s Frankenstein, and offer advice on bringing both the Creator and Created character types to life.
- Five Origin Stories: John Gatins on Power Rangers
March 27, 2017 John Gatins discusses writing for teenage characters, the importance of keeping the audience personally invested, and seeking inspiration.
- “Polarizing, inspiring, strong and difficult.” The Most Hated Woman in America
March 24, 2017 Tommy O’Haver and Irene Turner on portraying the essence of the truth, flashbacks, and getting the death right.
- 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.