Christopher McKittrick

Birth of an Obsession: The Lost City of Z

Birth of an Obsession: The Lost City of Z

James Grey on personalising the material, why writing is like cooking, and the challenges of writing period pieces.

James Grey on personalising the material, why writing is like cooking, and the challenges of writing period pieces.

 Christopher McKittrick

Wilson: A Walking Id

Wilson: A Walking Id

Daniel Clowes on writing a gag in five minutes, adapting comics into screenplays, and catching Scarlett Johansson in a bad mood.

Daniel Clowes on writing a gag in five minutes, adapting comics into screenplays, and catching Scarlett Johansson in a bad mood.

 Christopher McKittrick

Seven Decades of Cinematic Storytelling: Roger Corman on Screenwriting

Seven Decades of Cinematic Storytelling: Roger Corman on Screenwriting

Roger Corman on what he looks for in a script, telling stories for teenagers, and how to plan a low budget shoot.

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 […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“Every movie is its own beast.” Max Borenstein on Kong: Skull Island

“Every movie is its own beast.” Max Borenstein on Kong: Skull Island

Max Borenstein on bringing giant-scale movies down to earth, how great actors elevate a screenplay, and making the audience care about your monsters.

Max Borenstein on bringing giant-scale movies down to earth, how great actors elevate a screenplay, and making the audience care about your monsters.

 Christopher McKittrick

Myth vs. Man: James Mangold and Scott Frank on Logan

Myth vs. Man: James Mangold and Scott Frank on Logan

Writing an intimate superhero film, the summer blockbuster arms race, writing for children, and dialogue as a delivery system of lies.

Writing an intimate superhero film, the summer blockbuster arms race, writing for children, and dialogue as a delivery system of lies.

 Christopher McKittrick

“The star of the movie is the screenplay.” August Wilson’s Fences

“The star of the movie is the screenplay.” August Wilson’s Fences

Producer Todd Black discusses bringing Wilson’s adaptation to the big screen, letting the screenplay inform every decision, and working with platinum.

Producer Todd Black discusses bringing Wilson’s adaptation to the big screen, letting the screenplay inform every decision, and working with platinum.

 Christopher McKittrick

Hidden Figures: “A Mathematical Juggling Act”

Hidden Figures: “A Mathematical Juggling Act”

Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi on the importance of repetition, ensuring balance in an ensemble piece, and not getting attached to your first draft.

Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi on the importance of repetition, ensuring balance in an ensemble piece, and not getting attached to your first draft.

 Christopher McKittrick

“Power comes from writing.” M. Night Shyamalan on Split

“Power comes from writing.” M. Night Shyamalan on Split

M. Night Shyamalan on the importance of outlining, using dark humor, the four genres of Split, and writing for different budgets.

M. Night Shyamalan on the importance of outlining, using dark humor, the four genres of Split, and writing for different budgets.

 Christopher McKittrick

“What guides me is the real person.” Mike Mills on 20th Century Women

“What guides me is the real person.” Mike Mills on 20th Century Women

Mike Mills discusses writing from personal experience, why plot is not that important to him, and how to know when a script is ready.

Mike Mills discusses writing from personal experience, why plot is not that important to him, and how to know when a script is ready.

 Christopher McKittrick

Roger Corman on Death Race 2050

Roger Corman on Death Race 2050

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.

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.

 Christopher McKittrick

Chris McKittrick’s Year in Quotes

Chris McKittrick’s Year in Quotes

Chris looks back over his interviews from 2016, and shares some of his favourite quotes.

Chris looks back over his interviews from 2016, and shares some of his favourite quotes.

 Christopher McKittrick

From All We Had to X-Men: Josh Boone, a Busy Man

From All We Had to X-Men: Josh Boone, a Busy Man

Josh Boone on his many projects, writing in a bubble, and building your career around books you love.

Josh Boone on his many projects, writing in a bubble, and building your career around books you love.

 Christopher McKittrick

Lion: A Powerful, Primal Childhood Fable

Lion: A Powerful, Primal Childhood Fable

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.

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.

 Christopher McKittrick

The Different Faces of Jackie

The Different Faces of Jackie

Noah Oppenheim on writing a multilayered protagonist, the political mythmaking of the Kennedys, and the importance of narrowing the aperture.

Noah Oppenheim on writing a multilayered protagonist, the political mythmaking of the Kennedys, and the importance of narrowing the aperture.

 Christopher McKittrick

Walking the line between filthy and having heart: Bad Santa 2

Walking the line between filthy and having heart: Bad Santa 2

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.

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.

 Christopher McKittrick

Emotional Trajectories: Jeff Nichols on Loving

Emotional Trajectories: Jeff Nichols on Loving

Jeff Nichols discusses gestational thinking, emotional trajectory in films, writing from a female perspective, and the universality of specificity.

Jeff Nichols discusses gestational thinking, emotional trajectory in films, writing from a female perspective, and the universality of specificity.

 Christopher McKittrick

Inspired by Salinger: Coming Through the Rye

Inspired by Salinger: Coming Through the Rye

James Steven Sadwith on what happened when he walked up Salinger’s drive, how is the final rewrite, and the challenges of scripting inner monologue.

James Steven Sadwith on what happened when he walked up Salinger’s drive, how editing a film is the final rewrite, and the challenges of scripting inner monologue.

 Christopher McKittrick

The Eternal Now: Todd Komarnicki on Sully

The Eternal Now: Todd Komarnicki on Sully

Todd Komarnicki discusses the laziness of flashbacks, explores the theory of ‘the eternal now’, and reveals what he learned from Clint Eastwood.

Todd Komarnicki discusses the laziness of flashbacks, explores the theory of ‘the eternal now’, and reveals what he learned from Clint Eastwood.

 Christopher McKittrick

Chopping in High Cotton: Robert Schenkkan on All the Way and Hacksaw Ridge

Chopping in High Cotton: Robert Schenkkan on All the Way and Hacksaw Ridge

Robert Schenkkan discusses the dramatic potential of President Johnson, how to adapt your own play for the cinema, and why the best idea in the room wins.

Robert Schenkkan discusses the dramatic potential of President Johnson, adapting your own play for the cinema, and why the best idea in the room wins.

 Christopher McKittrick

Queen of Katwe: Expanding What a Disney Film Can Be

Queen of Katwe: Expanding What a Disney Film Can Be

William Wheeler on how a script teaches you how to write it, universal themes in storytelling, and the Ghost in the Shell live-action film.

William Wheeler on how a script teaches you how to write it, universal themes in storytelling, and the Ghost in the Shell live-action film.

 Christopher McKittrick

Robert McKee on Dialogue

Robert McKee on Dialogue

Robert McKee on his first new book in almost 20 years, the importance of learning to act, and why there’s no such thing as writing a screenplay without form.

Robert McKee on his first new book in almost 20 years, the importance of learning to act, and why there’s no such thing as writing a screenplay without form.

 Christopher McKittrick

Hacksaw Ridge: 10 Years in the Making

Hacksaw Ridge: 10 Years in the Making

Robert Schenkkan on why Hacksaw Ridge took ten years to realize and is “unlike any other war story you have ever seen in your life.”

Robert Schenkkan on why Hacksaw Ridge took ten years to realize and is “unlike any other war story you have ever seen in your life.”

 Christopher McKittrick

Writing in Slow Motion: Finding Dory

Writing in Slow Motion: Finding Dory

Victoria Strouse discusses the challenges of writing a character with memory issues, writing effective supporting characters, and the benefits of working in Pixar’s creative environment.

Upon its 2003 release, Finding Nemo became Pixar’s highest-grossing movie and the highest-grossing animated film of all time. While two of Pixar’s later films – Toy Story 3 and Inside Out – eventually passed Finding Nemo at the box office, the popularity of the movie never waned in the thirteen years since its release, as […]

 Christopher McKittrick

The Consistent Link: Simon Kinberg on X-Men: Apocalypse

The Consistent Link: Simon Kinberg on X-Men: Apocalypse

Simon Kinberg on why Mystique is a key character in his X-Men films, the similarities between the X-Men and Star Wars franchises, and whether one writer per film is best.

By Christopher McKittrick. Not many screenwriters have the distinction of being a member of the creative teams of two multi-billion dollar franchises, but Simon Kinberg is among them. His latest film as a screenwriter, X-Men: Apocalypse, is the ninth film in Fox’s X-Men franchise and comes on the heels of Deadpool, the most successful entry […]

 Christopher McKittrick

The Academy: Shining a “Spotlight on Screenwriting” in New York City

The Academy: Shining a “Spotlight on Screenwriting” in New York City

By Christopher McKittrick. From May through July in New York City, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present “Spotlight on Screenwriting,” a screening and discussion series devoted to screenwriting. The series will highlight the importance of screenwriting to the creation of film and will include screenings of Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films, a […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“The biggest superhero brawl in blockbuster history.” Captain America: Civil War

“The biggest superhero brawl in blockbuster history.” Captain America: Civil War

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely discuss how their relationship with Marvel Studios has changed over the years, how the original Captain America comics inform their work, and adding Spider-Man to the Civil War script.

By Christopher McKittrick. Captain America: Civil War is the third film in the Captain America series after 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it is also the thirteenth film in Disney and Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe series based on Marvel’s universe of superheroes. Screenwriters Christopher Markus […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“My love letter to Los Angeles” – Andrew Kevin Walker on Nerdland

“My love letter to Los Angeles” – Andrew Kevin Walker on Nerdland

Andrew Kevin Walker on moving from Se7en to comedy, tips for writing animated screenplays, and the importance of a one-page outline.

By Christopher McKittrick. Andrew Kevin Walker’s screenplay for 1995’s Se7en remains one of the most highly-regarded screenplays of the 1990s and helped relaunch the career of director David Fincher after the disappointment of Alien 3. The film’s shocking ending is one of the most memorable in movie history, and Walker followed Se7en with 8MM (1999), […]

 Christopher McKittrick

King of the Swingers: Justin Marks on The Jungle Book

King of the Swingers: Justin Marks on The Jungle Book

Screenwriter Justin Marks on Jon Favreau, how Apocalypse Now and Goodfellas influenced The Jungle Book, and his dream project, Top Gun 2.

By Christopher McKittrick. After the massive box office success of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Walt Disney Pictures began exploring producing other feature film versions of the studio’s beloved animated classics. Of the recent live-action remakes perhaps the most surprising was The Jungle Book, which Disney had originally made as an animated film in 1967. […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“Gyllenhaal can ride a bike, but can he take drugs?” The Program

“Gyllenhaal can ride a bike, but can he take drugs?” The Program

John Hodge on finding the truth in Lance Armstrong's story, the cult of personality, and the sequel to Trainspotting.

By Christopher McKittrick. In one scene in The Program, cycling superstar Lance Armstrong (Ben Foster), then at the height of his fame, speculates who will play him in a Hollywood biopic. One cycler on Armstrong’s team suggests Jake Gyllenhaal because Gyllenhaal rides a bike in the film Donnie Darko. Floyd Landis (Jesse Plemons) a teammate […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“Is this the best story we can tell?” – Inside Out

“Is this the best story we can tell?” – Inside Out

Josh Cooley and Meg LeFauve discuss why their lead character was the most difficult to write, how they emotionally connected to the story, and the advantages of working in a creative environment like Pixar.

By Christopher McKittrick. In Pixar’s Inside Out, it takes five emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust – working together inside the head of an eleven year-old girl named Riley in order to maintain a healthy emotional balance. Similarly, the way the creative process works at Pixar is that many minds come together to […]

 Christopher McKittrick

The Real Heroes: Reese and Wernick on Deadpool

The Real Heroes: Reese and Wernick on Deadpool

Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick discuss the difficult process of getting Deadpool made, the jokes Fox let them get away with, and why they spend a lot of time thinking about funny ways to kill people.

By Christopher McKittrick. When the fan-favorite comic book anti-hero Deadpool appeared in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine portrayed by Ryan Reynolds, fans almost universally agreed that the character might have been called Deadpool, but it sure wasn’t the hilarious “Merc with a Mouth” from the comics. Reynolds, a longtime fan of the character, knew that X-Men […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“I think he wanted to toss me off the cliff.” Mark L. Smith on The Revenant and Martyrs

“I think he wanted to toss me off the cliff.” Mark L. Smith on The Revenant and Martyrs

Mark L. Smith discusses long development periods, how he took a special approach to writing The Revenant, and what appeals to him about stories of survivors.

By Christopher McKittrick. For screenwriter Mark L. Smith, patience has paid off. After not having one of his credited screenplays produced since 2009’s The Hole, two films he wrote have been released recently. The Revenant, one of the most acclaimed drama of 2015, and Martyrs, a remake of the French horror movie that debuted at the […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Alex Garland on Screenwriting

Alex Garland on Screenwriting

In a career-spanning interview with Alex Garland, he discusses how he went from novelist to screenwriter, why he doesn’t look too far ahead or too far behind, and why filmmaking is like surfing.

By Christopher McKittrick. The critically acclaimed 2015 sci-fi psychological thriller Ex Machina might have been the first film by Alex Garland as a writer/director, but Garland has been involved in film ever since his first novel, The Beach, was adapted as movie directed by Danny Boyle in 2000. After becoming acclimated with screenwriting, Garland wrote […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Life Goes On: Drew Goddard on The Martian

Life Goes On: Drew Goddard on The Martian

Drew Goddard discusses the challenges of adapting a scientifically-detailed novel, what he loves about collaborating with others on screenwriting, and why something that seems like a setback might be the best possible thing to happen to a film.

By Christopher McKittrick. Drew Goddard’s career as a screenwriter started in television, where he worked with Joss Whedon as a staff writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. He later joined J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, working as a staff writer on Alias and Lost. In time, Goddard’s collaborations with Abrams and Whedon extended […]

 Christopher McKittrick

The Wannabe: A Gangster Love Story

The Wannabe: A Gangster Love Story

Nick Sandow discusses when to ignore notes, the influence of Scorsese, and how his background as an actor informs his writing style.

By Christopher McKittrick. On the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black, Nick Sandow portrays prison administrator Joseph Caputo, who tries (often in vain) to maintain control of Litchfield Penitentiary. It’s probably not much different from trying to write and direct a film while sustaining a career as an actor. Yet the longtime character […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Writing Obsession: Nick Hornby on Brooklyn

Writing Obsession: Nick Hornby on Brooklyn

Nick Hornby discusses his first rule of screenwriting, why he doesn’t trust characters without obsessiveness, and how indie filmmakers can “cast up” by creating interesting minor characters.

By Christopher McKittrick. With Brooklyn, novelist and screenwriter Nick Hornby adds another rich adapted screenplay to his filmography, this time one that explores the often-heartbreaking narrative of immigration and building a new life in a new world. In addition, Brooklyn follows Hornby’s previous adapted screenplays focusing on female protagonists after Wild and the Oscar-nominated An […]

 Christopher McKittrick

The Final Girls: A Slasher Movie Inspired by Woody Allen

The Final Girls: A Slasher Movie Inspired by Woody Allen

Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin on movies within movies, writing about grief, and attuning your dialogue.

By Christopher McKittrick. In The Final Girls, student Max (Taissa Farmiga) reluctantly attends a special screening of a schlocky slasher movie, Camp Bloodbath, which her mother Nancy (Malin Akerman) had starred in as a victim years ago. Max is uncomfortable enough with going to the screening because she saw her mother die in real life […]

 Christopher McKittrick

A Year in Quotes Part III

A Year in Quotes Part III

East Coast Editor Christopher McKittrick takes a look back over our articles from 2014.

 Compiled by Christopher McKittrick. For this three part series, I have undertaken the wholly enjoyable task of re-reading the articles first published in Creative Screenwriting in 2014, and choosing some of my favourite quotes. Some are from famous actors and screenwriters, some from less familiar faces, but all have something of interest to say. And if you want to read […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Ed Burns: An Independent Force

Ed Burns: An Independent Force

Ed Burns discusses the long genesis of Public Morals, how his screenwriting process has developed and changed, and why he needed to relearn structure.

By Christopher McKittrick. Out of all of the independent film success stories to emerge from the Sundance Film Festival in the 1990s, writer/director Ed Burns has done the most of any of his contemporaries to champion independent filmmaking. While working as a production assistant in the early 1990s, Burns wrote, directed, and starred in The […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Follow the Book’s Lead: Berman and Pulcini on Ten Thousand Saints

Follow the Book’s Lead: Berman and Pulcini on Ten Thousand Saints

Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini discuss their collaboration process as a married couple, and the similarities between adapting a screenplay and making documentaries.

By Christopher McKittrick. Husband and wife filmmakers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini became known for co-directing two acclaimed documentaries, Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen’s, about the famed West Hollywood restaurant, and The Young and the Dead, about the restoration of the Hollywood Forever cemetery and the man who oversaw its rehabilitation, […]

 Christopher McKittrick

A Year in Quotes Part II

A Year in Quotes Part II

East Coast Editor Christopher McKittrick takes a look back over our articles from 2014.

 Compiled by Christopher McKittrick. For this three part series, I have undertaken the wholly enjoyable task of re-reading the articles first published in Creative Screenwriting in 2014, and choosing some of my favourite quotes. Some are from famous actors and screenwriters, some from less familiar faces, but all have something of interest to say. And if you want to read […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Richard LaGravenese and The Fisher King

Richard LaGravenese and The Fisher King

Writer and Director Richard LaGravenese discusses the ugliness of the 80s, The Fisher King, working with Terry Gilliam, and reveals the three things every good screenplay needs.

By Christopher McKittrick. Richard LaGravenese is an award-winning New York born writer and director with a career that spans four decades to date, and whose screenwriting credits include The Bridges of Madison County, The Horse Whisperer, Behind the Candelabra and most recently, Unbroken. For many, however, he remains perhaps best known for writing the much-loved […]

 Christopher McKittrick

A Year in Quotes Part I

A Year in Quotes Part I

East Coast Editor Christopher McKittrick takes a look back over our articles from 2014.

Compiled by Christopher McKittrick. For this three part series, I have undertaken the wholly enjoyable task of re-reading the articles first published in Creative Screenwriting in 2014, and choosing some of my favourite quotes. Some are from famous actors and screenwriters, some from less familiar faces, but all have something of interest to say. And if you want to read […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“It’s a lonely job, you know?” Dolph Lundgren on Screenwriting

“It’s a lonely job, you know?” Dolph Lundgren on Screenwriting

Dolph Lundgren discusses screenwriting, balancing creativity and financing, what he’s learned from Stallone, and his role in the upcoming Coen brothers movie.

By Christopher McKittrick. Most audiences recognize Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren for his portrayal of the towering Soviet brute Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. However, unlike Drago, Lundgren is not a man of few words. In fact, in recent years Lundgren has branched out from acting to co-writing several of his movies, including his latest film, […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Adam Carolla’s Road Hard

Adam Carolla’s Road Hard

Adam Carolla on how YouTubers like Jenna Marbles have changed comedy, and bagging Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston for a cameo.

By Chris McKittrick. Road Hard, a movie which comedian Adam Carolla both stars in and co-wrote and co-directed with longtime collaborator Kevin Hench, has a message familiar to every touring stand-up comedian – that traveling from city to city and performing on stage after stage isn’t as glamorous as some might think. Carolla plays Bruce […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Pitch Perfect: a ‘Sports Movie’ about A Cappella

Pitch Perfect: a ‘Sports Movie’ about A Cappella

Kay Cannon discusses her how her improv background helped her write screenplays, why Pitch Perfect is like Rocky, how to balance over two-dozen characters in an ensemble film, and the challenges of writing a television series.

By Chris McKittrick. Pitch Perfect debuted in 335 theaters in September 2012. In February 2015, a trailer for the sequel played during a commercial break for Super Bowl XLIX in front of the largest audience in American television history. How did a movie about college a cappella groups go from a limited release genre comedy […]

 Christopher McKittrick

“I want to tell a story in a new way” – Linklater on Boyhood

“I want to tell a story in a new way” – Linklater on Boyhood

"I think the whole thing was overthought. All I had was time to think about everything." Linklater discusses his latest film, Boyhood.

By Christopher McKittrick. As both a writer and a director, Richard Linklater has undertaken storytelling challenges his entire career. Whether it is the “day in the life” narratives of ordinary people in Slacker or Dazed and Confused, presenting a film in real-time in Tape, weaving real interviews within the narrative of Bernie, or viewing a […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Night at the Museum: Writing for Ben Stiller and Robin Williams

Night at the Museum: Writing for Ben Stiller and Robin Williams

David Guion and Michael Handelman on what can make screenwriting a "Helpless and terror-filled experience".

By Christopher McKittrick. It isn’t often that studios want a popular family film franchise to end, so the writers behind Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb were presented with the challenge of wrapping up the Ben Stiller comedy franchise in a meaningful way while making sure to keep the series’ all-ages humor intact. […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Writing the Aftermath of a School Shooting

Writing the Aftermath of a School Shooting

William H. Macy, co-writing, and finding the perfect twist in Rudderless.

By Christopher McKittrick. Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison have been writing partners for over a dozen years, and several years ago it appeared that the music-based drama Rudderless would be their first produced screenplay when the script began to attract interest from actors, musicians, and investors. But getting the project on a stable path to […]

 Christopher McKittrick

Externalising Inner Turmoil in Wild

Externalising Inner Turmoil in Wild

Nick Hornby on adapting Cheryl Strayed's memoir of her hike across America.

By Christopher McKittrick. In March 2012, American writer Cheryl Strayed published a memoir titled Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail about her experience hiking the west coast of the United States in 1995. Despite her lack of backpacking experience, Strayed embarked on the deeply personal journey as she came to terms […]


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Joss Whedon on Screenwriting

MFA in Screenwriting