year : 2019 21 results

Pokémon Detective Pikachu writers share secret to cracking huge, franchise-based screenplay

The Pokémon franchise has been around for over two decades. Trading cards and videogames featuring over 800 adorable “pocket monsters” as they’re called in Japan (the birthplace of Pokémon), have enchanted both kids and adults. More recently the augmented reality game Pokémon GO, played on a smart phone, has captivated the world and continues to increase in popularity.

How I turned my screenplay into a novel (and how you can too!)

Back when I was in film school at UCLA, a friend told me about a real woman named Ada Lovelace who lived in the 1800s. She was a mathematician and worked with inventor Charles Babbage to create programs for the world’s first computer. I read several biographies about Lovelace’s life, and though I went to film school to write broad, female-centric comedies, I decided I would try my hand at a biopic.

Wine Country writer talks about her time on SNL, Amy Poehler and not taking Molly

Wine Country is a new comedy movie about a group of longtime girlfriends who go to Napa for the weekend to celebrate Rebecca’s (Rachel Dratch) 50th birthday. The film also stars female comedy legends Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Ana Gasteyer and Maya Rudolph. Directed by Poehler, from a script written by Emily Spivey and Liz Cackowski, the film is based on a real-life wine country trip some of the actresses attended a few years ago. Co-writer Liz Cackowski opens up about the real-life trip that inspired the film, her time writing for Saturday Night Live, and of course, wine. 

5 Tips on Writing Opening Scenes

When we talk about screenwriting rules, Hollywood legend Frank Capra said it best: “There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”

How one writer wrote about the fake novelist JT LeRoy in an emotional bio-pic

If you were a fan of edgy, youth-driven literature in the 1990s, you may remember books like Sarah or The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things by an author named JT LeRoy. Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy quickly became a literary sensation. But his story, like many stories that make it to film, is lovingly filled with both fantasy and fraud.

Writer/director Madeleine Olnek Explores Poet Emily Dickinson’s Secret Love Affair in Wild Nights with Emily

When you think of poet Emily Dickinson, it’s likely you think of a hysterical Victorian recluse who locked herself in her bedroom and went to the grave without sharing her trove of poetry. The new film Wild Nights with Emily, however, paints a very different portrait of America’s favorite poetess. I sat down with the film’s writer/director Madeleine Olnek to find out how history got Dickinson’s story so very wrong.

Writer/director Daniel Farrands on The Haunting of Sharon Tate

In 1993, I was invited to a party in Beverly Hills at 10050 Cielo Drive, a dead-end street roughly half way up Benedict Canyon. I knew full well it was the so-called  “Sharon Tate Mansion,” where the Charles Manson “family” brutally murdered Sharon Tate and three other unfortunate souls.

4 Things To Know Before Writing A Horror Movie

Horror movies and televisions shows are a perennial favorite among audiences. The storylines tap into our single most primal animal desire—to survive—and give us space to imagine how we would react if we were put into the same situation. But there’s more to horror than jump scares and music. It’s a complicated beast, as any director will tell you—and it’s not as easy as it may look.

5 Old School Ways To Write A Cult Classic

Everyone in Hollywood wants to write a cult classic. Who doesn’t want a crazed fandom going berserk over your movie and watching it obsessively while memorizing every single line and getting permanent tattoos on their arms in the shape of your main character’s face? That’s the dream, folks. Cult classics aren’t always the ones that garnered critical acclaim when they hit the theatres, but they’ve all found an extraordinary afterlife in the imagination of their viewers. If you’re one of those writers who dreams of writing a cult classic, let’s take a look at some of our favorites and see what makes them tick.

ScreenwritingU Alum Adapts Stephen King and So Can You

Did you know aspiring filmmakers can option a short Stephen King story for just $1? It’s called the Stephen King Dollar Baby program and that’s exactly what writer/director Nicole Jones-Dion is doing. I spoke with Jones-Dion about her project and her challenging career goals.

Write What You Know: Good Advice or Bad?

One of the oldest bits of writing advice is: Write what you know. I remember being told this as a young writer and thinking 'But I’m too young to know anything.' Indeed, taken at its most literal there would be many fewer plays by Shakespeare since he'd certainly never been to Italy where many of his plays are set; there would be no books by ...

For ScreenwritingU alum writer/director Linda Palmer, making movies is all about community

When you’re a creative person, it’s important to find a community that supports your efforts, especially when it comes to filmmaking. By definition, there is no more collaborative venture than making a film because it truly takes a village to act in, produce and finance. For filmmaker Linda Palmer, she’s found that supportive village right here in the ScreenwritingU community. 
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