This is a list of all the articles currently on the site, in the order they were published. Happy browsing!
- Navigating Your Story: Salva Rubio on Save the Cat Goes to the Indies
July 28, 2017 Author and screenwriter Salva Rubio discusses the ideas found in his latest book, the classical narrative structure behind most indie films, and why beat sheets are helpful to writers.
- “Black Women, New Orleans, Party Movie, Go!” Tracy Oliver on Girls Trip
July 21, 2017 Tracy Oliver discusses transcending color and background, making characters likeable, and writing friendships.
- “Every story deserves a space to be told in.” Marti Noxon on To the Bone
July 18, 2017 Marti Noxon discusses getting beneath the surface issues, writing based on your own life, and leaning into your idiosyncrasies.
- A 73 Hour Movie: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss on Game of Thrones
July 15, 2017 The Game of Thrones showrunners on their writing process, creating characters who resonate, and the portrayal of women on television.
- War for the Planet of the Apes: a “Biblical Epic Western War Movie”
July 14, 2017 Screenwriter Mark Bomback on finding inspiration, balancing tone, and developing backstory for antagonists
- Chasing Intuition: David Lowery on A Ghost Story
July 13, 2017 David Lowery discusses the importance of humor, putting Casey Affleck under a sheet, and the shabbiness of his daily writing rituals.
- No Cookie-Cutter One-Liners – Spider-Man: Homecoming
July 7, 2017 Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley on what sets their Spider-Man apart from others, why lowering the stakes actually increases the stakes, and developing the right voice for a project.
- Working Quietly: Jon Ronson on Okja
July 5, 2017 Jon Ronson discusses setting the tone, putting aesthetics above ideology, and the perfect budget for a film.
- Understanding Screenwriting #159
June 30, 2017 Tom Stempel on Wonder Woman, The Hero, My Cousin Rachel, Twin Peaks: The Return, Fargo, and Brockmire. Plus a message for his readers.
- How to Create the Perfect Antagonist
June 29, 2017 Ashley Scott Meyers reveals the four essential criteria for creating a great antagonist!
- Writing for Animated Movies
June 28, 2017 Great advice on writing for animated movies, including the importance of appealing to all ages, finding emotional balance, and the advantages of collaboration.
- Going on a Hero’s Journey to Save Syd Field’s Cat: Exploring Story Structure Paradigms
June 27, 2017 James Napoli takes a look at screenwriting structure guides, and asks the questions: should we be using them, and if so, when?
- Diane Drake on Screenwriting
June 23, 2017 Diane Drake offers advice on strengthening loglines, finding seed scenes, and approaching the challenges of act two.
- Research and Historical Accuracy in Screenwriting
June 22, 2017 William Brower explores the fact and fiction behind the characters of James Cameron’s Titanic, and offers a historian’s perspective on research and character development in fact-based drama.
- Nothing Fake: Amanda Kernell on Sami Blood
June 20, 2017 Amanda Kernell discusses the importance of conveying how a situation feels, filming in a language only a few hundred people speak, and the extraordinary casting process for her film.
- Breaking Boundaries: The Making of Preacher
June 19, 2017 Seth Rogen, Sam Catlin and Garth Ennis on trusting your instinct, knowing where to draw the line, and translating the ideas in your head.
- Cars 3: The Third Act
June 16, 2017 The screenwriters of Cars 3 discuss catalyst characters, giving your writing emotional weight, and why Pixar offer the best prenatal care for scripts.
- Al Jean on The Simpsons
June 15, 2017 The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean on keeping the show fresh, the use of cultural references, and what he looks for in a writer.
- A deep dive into character: Ken Biller and Noah Pink on Genius
June 14, 2017 Ken Biller and Noah Pink discuss writing in a nonlinear narrative structure, the advantages of working in a writers room, and the value of doing more work than you should.
- “Most of Writing is Thinking.” Sam Esmail on Mr. Robot
June 12, 2017 Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail discusses the importance of authenticity, portraying mental illness, and playing with memory.
- Understanding Screenwriting #158
June 9, 2017 Tom Stempel on The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Free State of Jones, and Tales of Wells Fargo.
- Inspired by Sam Elliott: Brett Haley on The Hero
June 8, 2017 Brett Haley discusses the ideas behind his latest film, the use of dream sequences, and the importance of opening yourself up to criticism.
- Art Holcomb on The Art of Preparation
June 7, 2017 Art discusses his new book The Art of Preparation, exploring your premise, and the difference between plot line and emotional line.
- The Hand of the Princess: Understanding the Romantic Subplot
June 5, 2017 Michael Welles Schock delves into the cultural origins of the romantic narrative archetype, before exploring its use in film, and its ethics and application in screenwriting.
- “Writing is Free Therapy.” John Butler on Handsome Devil
June 2, 2017 John Butler discusses the personal origins of his latest film, the distinction between autobiography and emotional truth, and importance of exercise to writing.
- Pushing through the membrane of discomfort: Damon Lindelof on The Leftovers
June 1, 2017 Damon Lindelof discusses writing a show with religious overtones, making every character the star of the show, and using the title sequence as an overture to the episode.
- “Telling my story through someone else’s story.” Avi Nesher on Past Life
May 31, 2017 Avi Nesher discusses his latest film Past Life, mathematical versus poetic elements of structure, and the importance of a personal story to screenwriting success.
- Dos and Don’ts in Screenwriting: The Best of Meet the Reader
May 30, 2017 Great screenwriting advice from the gatekeepers of Hollywood, as Brianne Hogan looks back over her “Meet the Reader” column.
- Get the story in your DNA: David Michôd on War Machine
May 26, 2017 David Michôd discusses developing fiction from non-fiction, use of narration, and why you should treat your brain like an oven.
- Text as pure thought and pure poetry: Julian Rosefeldt on Manifesto
May 25, 2017 Julian Rosefeldt discusses the inspiration behind Manifesto, characters as messengers of thought, and finding what is original in yourself.
- Filmmaking is a Marathon: Robin Swicord on Wakefield
May 24, 2017 Robin Swicord discusses adapting Doctorow’s short story Wakefield for the big screen, seeing the potential in a story, and why making a movie is like a marathon.
- Keep your stories true and interesting: Zander Lehmann on Casual
May 23, 2017 Zander Lehmann discusses planning a season of Casual, the differences between writing for television and film, and a writer’s greatest asset.
- “We wanted to create a really frightening movie!” John Logan on Alien: Covenant
May 19, 2017 John Logan discusses bringing fear back to the Alien franchise, tackling the big philosophical questions, and the importance of being told to do better.
- “This is a story that we have to honor.” Misha Green on Underground
May 18, 2017 Misha Green discusses making your worst stories better, the importance of strong opinions, and the use of contemporary music in a period show.
- Go For The Throat: Amber Tamblyn on Paint It Black
May 17, 2017 Amber Tamblyn discusses writing about grief, poetic language in film, and the importance of asking for advice.
- James Ivory on Screenwriting
May 15, 2017 As he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his landmark film Maurice, James Ivory discusses adaptations, collaboration, seeing with a documentarian’s eye, and his plans for filming Shakespeare in 3D.
- A Simple Conversation: Dwain Worrell on The Wall
May 12, 2017 Dwain Worrell discusses writing naturally in the three-act structure, stripping your protagonist naked, and not worrying about formatting your script.
- “Making a film is creating emotion.” Stéphane Brizé on A Woman’s Life
May 11, 2017 Stéphane Brizé discusses finding just the right time for a project, how to tell a costume designer that you’re going to throw mud on a vintage dress, and what to say to someone who insists films are for the intellect only
- Your Questions Answered: Flashbacks, Foreshadowing and the Fourth Wall
May 10, 2017 Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein answers your questions about flashbacks, narrative voice, the fourth wall, foreshadowing, and confrontation vs. resolution.
- Jeff Nichols on Screenwriting
May 8, 2017 Jeff Nichols reveals the source of his ideas, the benefit of leaping into the middle of the narrative, and the importance of making your audience play catch-up.
- “Tell the Story Through Jokes.” Chris Spain & Jon Zack reveal How to Be a Latin Lover
May 5, 2017 Chris Spain & Jon Zack on writing comedy, taking a joke to the next level, and gender-flipping.
- Understanding Screenwriting #157
May 4, 2017 Tom Stempel on Personal Shopper, Colossal, Five Came Back, Their Finest, The Intervention, The Son, and the season finale of Big Little Lies.
- “There are no rules or guidelines.” Ilene Chaiken on Empire
May 3, 2017 Ilene Chaiken discusses working in television, recognizing when ideas in the room are better than your own, the recipe for creating an iconic cliffhanger, and the spectacular season 3 finale of Empire.
- Finish What You Started with Finishing School
May 2, 2017 Cary Tennis and Danelle Morton discuss their new screenwriting book Finishing School, why we have such a hard time finishing things, and the trouble with claiming that “Actually, it’s a trilogy.”
- “Filmmaking is a disease.” Steven Shainberg on Rupture and Fur
April 28, 2017 Steven Shainberg discusses writing female leads, portraying fear, and why movies are like splinters in the eye.
- 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.