Holly Grigg-Spall

She’s Funny That Way: Peter Bogdanovich

She’s Funny That Way: Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich on screwball comedies, strong female characters, and how to pace your script.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. Peter Bogdanovich, writer-director of classics such as The Last Picture Show, Saint Jack, and What’s Up Doc? returns to feature films with She’s Funny That Way, a screwball comedy starring Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots and a whole host of A-listers including Quentin Tarantino in a cameo role. The New York-shot movie was […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

“Character is Story.” Richard Walter on Screenwriting.

“Character is Story.” Richard Walter on Screenwriting.

Richard Walter discusses teaching, the importance of new media platforms, and explains why we should rejoice in the collaborative process of film-making.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. Richard Walter is the chairman of UCLA’s prestigious graduate program in screenwriting. A screenwriter himself and novelist, he has produced some of the most popular screenwriting texts around, including Essentials of Screenwriting. He has given master classes all over the world and produced a series of DVDs. His students have gone on […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Running the Asylum: Part II

Running the Asylum: Part II

From monsters to mockbusters: the art of the D.I.Y. moviemaker.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. In Running the Asylum: Part I, we began our series of interviews with the inmates of film production company The Asylum, who produce a movie per month. Part II concludes these interviews. Kalie Acheson, Production Designer 1) Being resourceful and thinking outside the box is imperative when taking on a low budget […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Running the Asylum: Part I

Running the Asylum: Part I

From monsters to mockbusters: the art of the D.I.Y. moviemaker.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. The crackerjack crew behind film production company The Asylum produces a movie per month, with the entire process from pre-production to DVD release taking a maximum of 12 weeks. Although previously relying on DVD rentals via Blockbuster or RedBox and marketing off the back of their fantastic titles, B-movie style art work, […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Mr. Leigh on Mr. Turner

Mr. Leigh on Mr. Turner

"I personally believe in a well-structured film..But I have little time for the industry that has grown up around theorizing this." Mike Leigh discusses his approach to film-making, and his latest masterpiece Mr. Turner.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. Filmmaker Mike Leigh is known for his unique, particular, and deeply involved technique for directing and writing that is very much a script-less process. The blend of improvisation and characterization he and his casts bring to his films, such as Vera Drake and Happy-Go-Lucky, works to set the screen alight with warmth, […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Leviathan: The Last American Hero

Leviathan: The Last American Hero

"The job of the artist is to show things as they are, to take a critical look, but not to sway opinion."

By Holly Grigg-Spall. Co-writer and director of Russian epic Leviathan Andrey Zvyagintsev won the Palme D’Or for screenwriting at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and is now set for the Academy Awards. The film follows the plight of a family struggling to keep their business, home, and land in the face of government […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Foxcatcher: A Sports Story with No Home Run

Foxcatcher: A Sports Story with No Home Run

"A Sad Resource" - writers Daniel Futterman and E. Max Frye discuss working on a tragic story where one of the subjects is still alive.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. Foxcatcher is director Bennett Miller’s second collaboration with screenwriter Daniel Futterman, the first being the Academy Award winning Capote. E. Max Frye worked on the project prior to Futterman, whittling down and sculpting Miller’s copious research into the true story of Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz and their […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Whiplash: a ‘Sports Movie’ about Jazz Drumming

Whiplash: a ‘Sports Movie’ about Jazz Drumming

Writer-director Damien Chazelle gets blood on the cymbals.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. The Whiplash screenplay first drew attention when it appeared on the 2012 Black List. As a method of gathering financial interest, writer-director Damien Chazelle isolated one scene from his script and produced a short movie that screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. This led to the feature starring Miles Teller as […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Pride: “Prejudice Can’t Survive Proximity”

Pride: “Prejudice Can’t Survive Proximity”

Stephen Beresford tells us all about when sexuality met politics.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. First time screenwriter of Pride, Stephen Beresford has a successful background in British theatre. He joined forces with Matthew Warchus (who previously wrote, directed and produced Simpatico based on Sam Shepherd’s play) to work on this very personal project some 20 years in the making. Pride details the formation in the early […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

America’s #1 Film Instructor

America’s #1 Film Instructor

Dov Simens inspired Quentin Tarantino, Michael Jackson and Will Smith. Now he gives Creative Screenwriting his best advice.

By Holly Grigg-Spall. “Keep it simple stupid!” Filmmaking guru Dov Simens leads the notorious ‘2 Day Film School’ – an intensive course in how to write, direct, produce, and release a movie under any budget that inspired the likes of Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie, and Chris Nolan, and gleans a string of A-List endorsements (just […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Alex Drummond and The Shower

The writer/director/producer decides to make his own movie, showing them what he can do

by Holly Grigg-Spall After trying out the studio system for size and making some head way, screenwriter Alex Drummond decided to take a horror script and make it himself—over a summer, with his wife and co-workers in the restaurant business. Drummond directed and produced The Shower, a fun, entertaining, but thought-provoking movie about a group […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Alex Karpovsky on D.I.Y.

Making movies in your spare time

by Holly Grigg-Spall Alex Karpovsky is best known for his performance as Ray, the grumpy barista in HBO’s Girls, and perhaps for his forthcoming role in the much-hyped Coen Brother’s Inside Llewyn Davis, but he’s also a prolific filmmaker with five features he’s directed, four of which he also produced and wrote, and three he […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Going for Gold

Ari Gold’s Adventures of Power and the D.I.Y. life

by Holly Grigg-Spall Ari Gold might be best known as the inspiration for the name of Jeremy Piven’s character in Entourage. Google “Ari Gold,” and that’s what you’ll find first, but look a little closer and you’ll see the man behind, and in front of, the cult classic, air-drumming comedy Adventures of Power (which also […]

 Holly Grigg-Spall

Simon Savory on Bruno & Earlene

Why don’t we just do it in the road?

by Holly Grigg-Spall British writer-director-producer Simon Savory’s first feature, LGBTQI road movie Bruno & Earlene Go To Vegas, had its US premiere at OutFest in Los Angeles and has already garnered an array of gushing reviews. Former Troma team member and film theorist turned filmmaker, Savory discusses the ups and downs of playing as many […]


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Joss Whedon on Screenwriting

MFA in Screenwriting