Write Club: 5 Choices You Must Make Before You Start Writing

Welcome to Write Club. The first rule of write club is… just kidding. (Sorry, I had to.) We’re writers not fighters, so talk about write club all you want. The folks at ScreenCraft discuss five choices a writer must make before they begin writing their story. These five questions will help guide the writer through the development of their story as well as help the writer figure out how their story will influence the genre.

Read the full article here: Write Club: 5 Choices You Must Make Before You Start Writing

Women at Sundance

I have to admit, Sundance has found a special place in my heart after attending the 2016 film festival. Perhaps it’s because it was my first film festival, or possibly because it was a nice reprieve from my usual surroundings. Perhaps it was learning that my Virginia blood can handle a Utah winter… maybe. (Jury’s still out in that one.) The incredible energy and passion of everyone there was contagious. Seeing wonderful work inspired me and reminded me that I am, slowly but surely, heading in the right direction. But the fact that the Sundance Institute actively promotes women in the film industry, gives them a place to thrive and grow, as well as continually improve their efforts has inspired me that much more and the Sundance Institute has earned that much more of my respect.

Full page here: WOMEN AT SUNDANCE

The Q&A with 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters

Jeff Goldsmith with ScreenCraft sat down with nine of the 2016 Oscar nominees in the Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay categories to talk about everything from the best writing advice to favorite procrastinating methods – yes, you read the correctly, as well as battling the obstacles and demons. Enjoy.


Full article and podcast here: The Q&A with 9 Oscar-Nominated Screenwriters

Lessons for Filmmakers from Julian Rosefeldt’s “Manifesto”

Randy Astle at Filmmaker Magazine discusses four lessons that filmmakers can take from Manifesto, Julian Rosefeldt’s film featuring Cate Blanchett in twelve different roles.

Four Lessons for Filmmakers from Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto

STORY DEVELOPMENT: How Plot Can Kill Your Character

Tim Long at SCRIPT discusses three ways plot can kill your story’s character development. He discusses that a writer’s first focus should be on developing the character and making them compelling and engaging to the audience. Once that is done, the plot will be better to work with and easier to direct.

Full article here: STORY DEVELOPMENT: How Plot Can Kill Your Character

The ‘Jane Test’

Angela Watercutter at Wired magazine discusses the “Bechdel Test”, a simple three question test to gauge the level of gender bias (towards females in particular) that a film or story has. Watercutter goes a step farther and introduces what she calls the “Jane test”. The name is inspired by Natalie Portman’s character Jane Foster in the MCU’s Thor films. Following the lead of script reader and producer Ross Putnam, who began posting female character descriptions in scripts on Twitter, she adds three additional questions to consider. The point of the test is to evaluate how female characters are portrayed, not just onscreen, but on paper in the initial script so that female characters can be given the multi-dimensional qualities they deserve.

Read full article here: The “Jane” Test

Three of the Most Common Conceptual Mistakes Writers Make

Ken Miyamoto at ScreenCraft created a list of three of the most common mistakes writers make when developing the concepts for their stories and offers insight on how to correct these errors.

Read full article here: 3 Most Common Conceptual Mistakes Screenwriters Make

Secrets of Budget Filmmaking from the Masters

Graham Winfrey at IndieWire created a video essay with budget film making secrets used by the pros such as Christopher Nolan and Richard Linklater.

Full article and video essay here: Christopher Nolan, Richard Linklater and More Share Secrets of No-Budget Filmmaking in Video Essay

“The More is Inside”… A Celebration and Discussion of Women Filmmakers

Women, veteran and new, in film industry gathered during the Sundance Film Festival to discuss women’s roles in the film industry and possibilities of what the future holds for women’s place in the world. The article also opens up an important line of discussion as far as women are concerned: we need to have each other’s backs, regardless of profession, ethnicity, religion, or self-identifiers. We need to support each other now more than ever. We need to stop competing. Yes, acknowledge the problems. Absolutely. And there are plenty of them. But let’s work together to fix them. That’s the beauty of cinema; it provides a space for all people to come to the table, contribute, and learn about/from one another so that we can leave this world better than we found it. Perhaps that’s a dose of naïveté talking, but I’m optimistic about the possibilities of what people can accomplish when we learn to work together despite our differences.

Full article here: Perspective: Celebration of women filmmakers triggers heated debate among Salma Hayek, Jessica Williams and Shirley MacLaine