I loved doing this roundtable back in December 2015 with these amazing women: Jessica Bendinger, Lindsay Devlin, Liz W. Garcia, Julia Hart, and Lisa Joy. Check out the serious writing knowledge these fantastic women drop on Scott Myer’s blog. Glad to have been part of this group.
I’ll be speaking on a writing panel with the kick-ass writers of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, STAR TREK BEYOND, and EMPIRE (just to name a few from the pretty cool lineup). If you’re in Los Angeles, want to hear a bunch of writers gab about writing, and are looking for something to do this Friday, April 8th — check it out.
Watch out, I made another list. Honored to be on here with these talented screenwriters. Check out the full list.
I am horrible about posting here. Since I made the Black List in 2013 I’ve been steadily working for the studios, which has been a crazy fun ride, but my blogging has been spotty at best. So in an act of shameless self-promotion, it looks like I made another list this year: The Young And Hungry List: Top 100 Writers On The Verge. Not sure what I’m on the verge of (hope it’s not a cliff), but it’s always nice to be recognized. Happy to be among such a talented group.
If you’re around Hollywood on Saturday, November 22nd, check out the No Budget Film Festival. I’ll be speaking on a panel with Black List CEO and Founder Franklin Leonard and 2013 Black List writers Meaghan Oppenheimer and Geoff Tock. Come on down and chat with us!
Here are the details:
Every year a list of the best unproduced scripts, voted on by an industry’s worth of tastemakers, is released to the public. Since its inception 10 years ago The Black List is easily the most surefire and reputable way for writers to be discovered. Join writers whose success on the Black List has translated into real life progress in their career as they talk about the process, inspirations and what pushed them from writing in a vacuum to pursuing the next phase of their careers. Black List CEO and Founder Franklin Leonard will be on hand with 2013 Black List writers Meaghan Oppenheimer, Geoff Tock, and Stephany Folsom to discuss the list’s role in their journeys. From first getting representation, to being staffed on TV shows, to being hired by studios, to having their scripts read aloud in Black List Live by the likes of Nathan Fillion, Alison Brie, Clark Gregg and more, to the holy grail of Black List-dom: getting your unproduced script produced, get the low down from the people who know it best.
Whenever I run across some good storytelling advice, I always want to pass along what I’ve learned. I recently reread Cut to the Chase: Forty-Five Years of Editing America’s Favorite Movies. I’d forgotten how much good stuff was in this book. It’s a transcription of the last interview with legendary film editor Sam O’Steen. For the uninitiated, Sam O’Steen edited The Graduate, Cool Hand Luke, Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Catch-22 and more. Basically, Sam O’Steen was a badass editor that had mastered his craft.
I highly recommend reading his entire interview, but below are a few of my favorite bits of wisdom (and even though Sam is talking about editing, I think a lot of it applies to writing). Check it out:
“Movie first, scene second, moment third.”
“As long as you’re always conscious of where the audience’s eyes will be (what’s in motion, etc.) you can cheat, so they aren’t looking at the mistakes.”
” (A good storyteller is) someone who can tell a joke. The timing is right and he tells just enough.”
“You have to be organized. That’s the life of it. If you’re not organized, you can’t keep your head clear. Then you can be totally involved when you cut, you can concentrate, which is the name of the game. You have to have total concentration and I do.”
“I go by my first instincts. The film basically tells me where to cut, so I make very quick decisions about what I do.”
“If I start editing a scene and if it’s not going right, I’ll put it away and come back to it later.”
“I’ve always been into puzzles and that’s what it’s all about.”
“Until the money’s in your pocket, it’s just talk.”
And finally, we have Sam’s philosophy on how to put the film business in proper perspective:
“It’s only shadows on the wall.”