Allie Smith

Screenwriters at the Oscars 2017

Screenwriters at the Oscars 2017
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Interviews and articles featuring all ten of the 89th Academy Award screenwriting nominees and their scripts.

Another year, another Academy Awards ceremony. And, once again, we have articles and interviews featuring all 10 of the screenwriters and scripts nominated in the Best Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay categories.

In addition to eight interviews with the screenwriters, we have an interview with Fences producer Todd Black, and a fantastic analysis of the script of The Lobster.

So, before you settle down to a night watching the Oscars, don’t forget to check out all our articles!


Best Adapted Screenplay



Shepherding Arrival to the Screen

Eric Heisserer on wooing your director, working with your source material, and how a screenwriter is like Charlie Brown.






“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.



Hidden Figures

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.




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.



Moonlight: WINNER!

Barry Jenkins on Moonlight

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.





Best Original Screenplay


20th Century Women

Annette Bening and Mike Mills on set of 20th Century Women. Image courtesy of A24.“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.



Hell or High Water

Taylor Sheridan on Sicario and Hell or High Water

Taylor Sheridan discusses research, challenging the audience, and the importance of being selfish.




La La Land

La La Land Damien Chazelle on La La Land

Damien Chazelle discusses writing two movies in one, the underlying sadness of musicals, and challenging yourself to make it personal.



The Lobster

Dissecting The Lobster

James Napoli explores the Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Lobster, and reveals its surprisingly traditional elements.





Manchester by the Sea: WINNER!

Building a tapestry: Kenneth Lonergan on Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan discusses making the story your own, the use of flashbacks, and rooting your script in realism.



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