Black List Writers on the Craft

September 1st, 2015 by

In August, I featured many of the Black List writers I have interviewed, zeroing in on their approaches and insights into several key areas of the writing craft.

Black List logo

Here are links to each of those series:

How do you come up with story concepts?

Black List writers on the craft: Story Concepts (Part 1) – Waiting for inspiration to strike

Black List writers on the craft: Story Concepts (Part 2) – Reading to surface story concepts

Black List writers on the craft: Story Concepts (Part 3) – Sourcing story ideas from the real world

Black List writers on the craft: Story Concepts (Part 4) – Finding inspiration for story concepts from feelings

Black List writers on the craft: Story Concepts (Part 5) – Using questions as a starting point for generating story ideas

Black List writers on the craft: Story Concepts (Part 6) – Assessing and developing story ideas

Black List writers on the craft: Story Concepts (Part 7) – Honing one’s skill at generating and developing story ideas

What aspects of story prep do you devote the most time and focus to?

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 1) – Research

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 2) – Characters as the focal point of prep

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 3) – Not using an outline as part of prep process

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 4) – “Preliminary” outlines

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 5) – Working with an extensive outline

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 6) – Comprehensive approach to story prep

How do you develop your characters?

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 1) – Real people

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 2) – Brainstorming and asking questions

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 3) – Biography

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 4) – Finding a character’s voice

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 5) – Insider Tips

How do you understand and work with the concept of ‘theme’?

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 1) – What is theme?

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 2) – Begin the story-crafting process with theme

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 3) – Discover theme during the writing process

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 4) – Not come off as “preachy”

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 5) – Being personal

In a few months, I’ll continue the series with more observations from Black List writers. Until then, I encourage you to read what these writers have to say about some key aspects of the craft. Wisdom in their words.

Go Into The Story Black List Writer Interviews

August 31st, 2015 by

In the month of August, I have been featuring insights on the craft from Black List writers I have interviewed over the years. That inspired me to complete something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: Aggregate links to all of the Black List interviews I have done.

Black List logo

Here they are:

Arash Amel (2011, 2014 Black List)

Nikole Beckwith (2012 Black List)

Roberto Bentivegna (2012 Black List)

Carter Blanchard (2012 Black List)

Christopher Borrelli (2009 Black List)

Elijah Bynum (2013 Black List)

Damien Chazelle (2010, 2012 Black List)

Spenser Cohen (2013 Black List)

James DiLapo (2012 Black List)

Geoff LaTulippe (2008 Black List)

Brian Duffield (2010, 2011, 2014 Black List)

Stephany Folsom (2013 Black List)

F. Scott Frazier (2011, 2014 Black List)

Jeremiah Friedman and Nick Palmer (2010 Black List)

Joshua Golden (2014 Black List)

David Guggenheim (2010, 2012 Black List)

Julia Hart (2012 Black List)

Eric Heisserer (2012, 2014 Black List)

Jason Mark Hellerman (2013 Black List)

Brad Ingelsby (2008, 2012 Black List)

Rajiv Joseph and Scott Rothman (2012 Black List)

Lisa Joy (2013 Black List)

Kyle Killen (2008 Black List)

Eric Koenig (2014 Black List)

Justin Kremer (2012, 2014 Black List)

Daniel Kunka (2014 Black List)

Seth Lochhead (2006 Black List)

Kelly Marcel (2011 Black List)

Donald Margulies (2013 Black List)

Chris McCoy (2007, 2009, 2011 Black List)

Jeff Morris (2009 Black List)

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012 Black List)

Declan O’Dwyer (2013 Black List)

Ashley Powell (2012 Black List)

Chris Roessner (2012 Black List)

Stephanie Shannon (2013 Black List)

Will Simmons (2012 Black List)

Chris Sparling (2009, 2010, 2013 Black List)

Barbara Stepansky (2013 Black List)

Michael Werwie (2012 Black List)

Gary Whitta (2007 Black List)

I consider interviews to be the equivalent of primary source material. In other words, when you read interviews with writers such as these, you are getting information from people who are on the front lines of the movie and TV business.

Interviews with over 40 Black List writers. You should read them. Who knows you may gleam some key insight which could transform your approach to writing.

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (5 Part Series)

August 29th, 2015 by

Over the years, I have interviewed over 40 Black List screenwriters. This month, I am running a series featuring one topic per week related to the craft of writing.

Black List logo

This week: How do you understand and work with the concept of ‘theme’?

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 1) – What is theme?

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 2) – Begin the story-crafting process with theme

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 3) – Discover theme during the writing process

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 4) – Not come off as “preachy”

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 5) – Being personal

Once again, we see a variety of approaches to a key aspect of the screenwriting craft. Test out some of these ideas in your own writing. When you find something which works in terms of themes, stick with it.

In my opinion, the Black List is the most important brand related to screenwriters and screenwriting in Hollywood. Therefore it makes sense we should study the creative processes of writers who make the list. More insight and inspiration coming in next week.

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 5)

August 28th, 2015 by

Over the years, I have interviewed over 40 Black List screenwriters. This month, I am running a series featuring one topic per week related to the craft of writing.

Black List logo

This week: How do you understand and work with the concept of ‘theme’?

The diversity of responses among the Black List writers I have interviewed is fascinating. Monday we explored various articulations of what ‘theme’ is. Tuesday we looked at some writers who begin the story-crafting process with theme. Wednesday we hear from writers who discover theme during the writing process. Thursday we considered writers who carry a concern about theme: Not to come off as “preachy”. Today writers who emphasize the importance of theme being personal.

Stephanie Shannon: “Theme is really important to me. They emerged in my research– learning about what made “Alice in Wonderland” different from other children’s stories and learning about what was really special about Lewis Carroll and what was going on at Oxford at the time. In my research I found so many interesting things to mine in the story. I think I ended up embracing the themes that also meant something to me personally. Father/daughter relationships are an important theme with me. I think it was important to me that the theme not only serve the story but also was something that was close to my own heart personally. I think those are always the stories that I want to tell, that I’ll end up telling the best.”

Brian Duffield: “Usually it’s a theme I want to explore because it’s really locked into my head as a person, as something I’m going through or struggling or interested with, so even if I throw out the characters or genre surrounding that theme a dozen times, the theme stays intact because it’s an itch I need to scratch.”

Seth Lochhead: “I leave theme to my subconscious (I’ll let it come out as I pursue the more tangible elements of the story – although according to my previous answers, tangible doesn’t seem to be one of my writing pursuits). If I’m obsessed with something, if I’ve noticed something, some illness in the world, some crack in reality, I let it in and if it wants to come out in my work so be it.”

Spenser Cohen: “Movies are there to teach us about the human condition, what it’s like to be in difficult or impossible situations… Every writer has their own life experiences, their own point of view, so the way they see the world often dictates the theme.”

Geoff LaTulippe: “The good news is that, in talented writers, I think theme comes out organically. It’s not something you have to force. But it is something you have to consider, or why are you writing the fucking thing in the first place? Why bother?”

Takeaway:

* You are more likely to write an empowered script if you have an emotional connection to its themes.

* You can also reverse this: If you can identify your points of emotional connection to a story, there’s a good chance some of its themes are to be found there.

For Part 1 of this week’s series with Black List writers, go here.

Part 2, here.

Part 3, here.

Part 4, here.

Case Study: Female Driven Comedy

August 26th, 2015 by

Over at the Black List, among the titles the super bright Terry Huang has is Director of Data, and his latest post features some interesting… well… data.

I’ve been recently providing data to a screenwriter to help her pitch her new female-driven comedy and thought it would make an interesting case study. Basically, she’s going out to financiers to ask for money to direct and wanted help to make a financial case to back the film.

Here are two interesting charts of data Terry uncovered:

We were looking specifically at female driven comedies, so I wanted to look at what someone could expect to get for financing such a film.

This chart shows male versus female comedy budgets year over year.

Female = blue, Male = red

Female led comedies get far less money for production. The median budget for female led comedy is around $20 million. For reference, the median male comedies are given about $7 million more each year.

So I sort of knew how much a female comedy was historically financed at, but how did it the return compare to male driven comedies? Did male driven comedies warrant the higher production budgets based on their theatrical grosses?

The answer was not really.

If you look at the gross for male versus female, you find that even given substantially lower budgets, female performs in line with male comedy and sometimes outperforms.

Female = blue, Male = red

When you look at the median film for female comedies, it more often than not returns higher than the median male driven comedy (7 out of 11 years shown), even though if you look at the chart above the median male comedy gets again about $7 million more in production budget (as stated previously).

Terry’s conclusions:

So I went into it trying to figure out a way to make a case for the female driven comedy and it wasn’t that hard. It turned out that female driven comedy more often returns its budget.

It seems then that studios are probably overspending on male content and underspending on female content given the grosses. They should probably be more selective about the dollars they give out to male led movies and a little more generous to female led content.

Charlton Heston once said, “The problem with movies as art is they are commerce.” At the end of the day, someone has to pony up the cash to get a movie made. Hopefully armed with information like that which Terry has surfaced, writers and directors who are promoting a worthy female driven comedy will find more receptive financiers.

For the rest of Terry’s post, go here.

Black List writers on the craft: Theme (Part 3)

August 26th, 2015 by

Over the years, I have interviewed over 40 Black List screenwriters. This month, I am running a series featuring one topic per week related to the craft of writing.

Black List logo

This week: How do you understand and work with the concept of ‘theme’?

The diversity of responses among the Black List writers I have interviewed is fascinating. Monday we explored various articulations of what ‘theme’ is. Yesterday we looked at some writers who begin the story-crafting process with theme. Today we hear from writers who discover theme during the writing process.

Eric Heisserer: “Theme. That’s something that I have such a hard time engineering. If I were given nothing but the tool of ‘Here’s the theme. Write something with this theme,’ that’s an impossible task for me. I can’t start a story with that. I can figure out later on, after I’ve written a story, what the theme is. I can’t start with that in the forefront of my brain. It doesn’t work for me as a storyteller. I think other people can. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for anybody else. I’m just saying it’s not how I’m wired.

James DiLapo: “I think theme is immensely important, but for me, it’s not always readily apparent when I begin the process. With ‘Devils At Play’ we were talking about the idea of redemption, that there can be angels and devils inside our own personalities and societies. That, for me, is the theme of the story, but I didn’t know it when I began. Eventually the story itself will tell you what the theme is.”

Nikole Beckwith: “I think it definitely evolves over time. I’m sure that there are things that I carry around with me while I’m writing and they emerge on their own, I don’t say, ‘I’m going to write something that explores identity.’ That’s all I do, immerse myself in it.”

Aaron Guzikowski: “Definitely that they emerge whenever I’m writing the story. I definitely think a little bit about it at the beginning, but usually it’s more after you’re writing the story, the theme just emerges. If it’s a story that’s working, then themes generally just start to bleed out of it, and they just present themselves to you. They just appear.”

Julia Hart: “My students would always get frustrated when we would talk about the themes that the author was using. They would always ask, ‘Did they really think about all this before they started writing it?’ And I don’t think that they do or I don’t think that good writers do. Of course when you’re writing a cohesive world the themes are going to rise out of it.”

Lisa Joy: “I don’t necessarily start with theme, but by the time I’m done – I always have one. And often, writing a script shows me what my theme is and allows me to deepen my own thinking on that theme. Writing becomes, in its own way, a philosophical investigation into theme. Sometimes I go back, once I understand the theme more fully and use it in the rewrite to enrich the scenes.”

Chris Borrelli: “If you don’t have a theme as you write, then you are writing blind… Sometimes the theme presents itself. Usually other themes present themselves as I write, and I’ve had a theme or two change as I write, but still become something I care about…I want to say. That’s the jumping off point for me…something I care about…something I want to say.”

Justin Marks: “I think theme comes very late in outlining. I don’t think it comes immediately at the beginning. I think at the beginning it’s a character that you really like, or it’s a hook that you want to figure out.  I don’t think it becomes a movie, though, until you find that theme.  Until it centers on some idea that is not specific to the plot. I think you need to know theme before you start writing dialogue.  I think you need to know theme before you start writing scene work.”

Declan O’Dwyer: “Thematically, I try to be governed by what my character is telling me it should be and not what I’m deciding it is on the outset, because it will grow and it will change as they grow and change.”

Daniel Kunka: “For me, theme is usually something I find as I write through the first draft. I probably have a general idea when I start, but theme becomes the unifying factor as I go. I always work better sort of discovering it rather than coming up with something early in the process or even before I start writing pages. That’s not to say it’s not there, but I don’t consciously make the decision ‘this is my theme.’ I think theme is directly related to voice. A lot of my themes are similar, because those are the stories I want to tell. And it’s not planned, it just is. Because of that I’ll sort of trust my theme to tag along with me until I’m done with the first draft, then the second draft is when I’ll go back in and add a few lines here or there to highlight some things that will help take the piece to the level I want it.”

Brad Ingelsby: “I don’t like to go into a script saying, ‘I want to write a story about forgiveness,’ and then try to fit forgiveness into every single scene. That feels maudlin and a bit silly to try to imbue every scene with a theme. It feels like a homework assignment and it doesn’t allow for much discovery or revelation. After all, you’ve already told yourself what the movie is about. You’ve limited yourself. What I prefer to do is say, here’s a character. I like this character and I know the journey I’d like him or her to go on. And then I write that journey, that arc, and then I let the audience or reader decide what the theme is. Let them take what they want from the story. If you say a movie is about forgiveness, then an audience or a reader is only looking for that theme in the material and there’s no discovery. But if you present them with a character on a journey, they’re able to take away from that character and that journey what they want. It’s less limiting, I think. Stories mean different things to different people.”

Justin Kremer: “With ‘McCarthy,’ people have said things to me on the thematic level — “oh, I enjoyed this thematic element of the script” — and I’m surprised by it. Often, that thematic element wasn’t even something that was intentional on my part. Reading is obviously inherently subjective and people can take away so many different things from a work. As long as you have a strong character and a clear arc, it tends to come together organically. Look at a classic like The Godfather, it can be this intimate father son story or an epic about American capitalism and the American dream.”

And why is theme so bloody damn important? How about this:

Stephany Folsom: “I think when I first find an idea that I’m not like, ‘Oh, gosh, let’s find the theme in this.’ But as I go through my steps to see whether or not this idea is going to be something that can actually make a good movie, one of my steps is, ‘What is going to be the theme?'”

And this:

Jason Hellerman: “I think theme is super important, but I let myself find what I’m afraid to talk about, and I let my fears and my own inhibitions dictate the theme of what I need to get off my chest.”

And this:

Chris McCoy: “A story theme is tremendously important, because it’s what you’re trying to say with the work as a whole. If there’s no theme, there’s nothing holding the script together.”

And there’s this:

Justin Marks: “Look at how Chris Nolan writes. Everything is written to theme.  Everything comes back to that.  That’s what makes the Batman movies so great is that they’re always about theme.  Every scene is about guiding itself towards theme.  When you don’t know what a scene is supposed to be about, the answer is theme. Yeah.  I think if you’re getting away from it, that’s when you ask, why doesn’t this scene feel right?  Or, why doesn’t this sequence feel right? Or, why does the third act feel right?  Oh yeah, because it has nothing to do with my theme.  It has nothing to do with what I wanted this story to be about in the first place.  If a script starts to meander beyond theme, I think you lose your reader.  Because they start to wonder, ‘Why am I reading this? What am I getting from this story?’ You’re getting theme.  If you don’t get it, you’re not going to read it.”

Takeaway:

* Trust the process: If you go in the story… if you engage your characters… if you live in, then reflect upon the narrative… the themes will emerge.

* Use your themes as a touchstone: For everything including how you approach scenes to how you handle character relationships to how you write scene description, from big to small, themes can help you expand your understanding of your story and focus how you convey it emotional meaning to a script reader.

How about you? Do you discover theme in your writing? How is theme important to you in your writing?

For Part 1 of this week’s series with Black List writers, go here.

Part 2, here.

Come back tomorrow for more about this important subject: Theme.

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (5 Part Series)

August 25th, 2015 by

Over the years, I have interviewed over 40 Black List screenwriters. This month, I am running a series featuring one topic per week related to the craft of writing.

Black List logo

Last week: How do you develop your characters?

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 1) – Real people

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 2) – Brainstorming and asking questions

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 3) – Biography

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 4) – Scene-writing

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 5) – Insider tips

Perhaps the biggest tip: Get curious about your characters.

In my opinion, the Black List is the most important brand related to screenwriters and screenwriting in Hollywood. Therefore it makes sense we should study the creative processes of writers who make the list. More insight and inspiration coming next week.

 

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (5 Part Series)

August 22nd, 2015 by

Over the years, I have interviewed over 40 Black List screenwriters. This month, I will run a series featuring one topic per week related to the craft of writing.

Black List logo

This week: How do you develop your characters?

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 1) – Real people

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 2) – Brainstorming and asking questions

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 3) – Biography

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 4) – Finding a character’s voice

Black List writers on the craft: Characters (Part 5) – Insider Tips

Once again, we see a variety of approaches to a key aspect of the screenwriting craft. Test out some of these ideas in your own writing. When you find something which works in terms of character development, stick with it.

In my opinion, the Black List is the most important brand related to screenwriters and screenwriting in Hollywood. Therefore it makes sense we should study the creative processes of writers who make the list. More insight and inspiration coming in next week.

Reddit AMA: Franklin Leonard

August 17th, 2015 by

It was something like 5 years ago when Franklin Leonard first reached out to me about the blog. Via numerous emails and phone calls, several things became clear. First, Franklin is smart as hell. Second, he loves movies, but perhaps even more, he has a passion for all things screenwriting and especially screenwriters. Even in those early conversations, I could tell Franklin and the Black List had the potential to build on what was fast becoming the most important brand associated with screenwriting in Hollywood into a truly transformational and cutting edge movement.

Which is precisely what Franklin and crew has done… and one big reason why I am proud to be partnered with them as the official screenwriting blog of the Black List.

Recently Franklin did an AMA on Reddit. It’s amazing that as busy as he is, Franklin consistently makes himself available to dialogue with aspiring screenwriters. This Reddit exchange is particularly informative, so here are a few excerpts from that conversation:

How many 1) signings to agents and managers and 2) sales do you think have come as a direct result of connections made by submitting to blcklst.com?

This is information that contests love to disseminate, and I think a comparison to blcklst.com’s numbers would be helpful to a lot of writers.

Franklin: Honestly we’ve lost track of both 1 and 2 because it’s become so much the norm in the industry that folks no longer bother to inform us when it happens.

Suffice it to say that our numbers are strong enough that I don’t really worry about comparisons to the contests. Not sure any contests, Nicholl included, have four produced scripts to their credit in the last 2.5 years.

I’m confused a little now. Isn’t Nightingale (2014) the first script to be produced from the website?

Franklin: It is. And since then ZINZANA, EDDIE THE EAGLE, and SHOVEL BUDDIES have been produced as well.

Did the director of ZINZANA,Majid Al Ansari, submit to the website as well?

Franklin: No. The screenwriters, Ruckus and Lane Skye, did. Their script RATTLE THE CAGE was found there by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, who optioned the script, translated into Arabic and made the film. You can read more about it here: http://blog.blcklst.com/2015/07/the-black-list-interview-ruckus-and-lane-skye/

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Anyone? tell me difference between blklst & Black List

Franklin: The annual Black List and the Black List website are not the same thing.

The former is a survey of every executive at a major film financier or producer about their favorite unproduced scripts of the previous year.

The latter is a two sided marketplace wherein writers can make their scripts available to thousands of working industry professionals ranging from agency assistants all the way up to studio presidents, producers, and working actors and directors.

There have been ten scripts to date that have been discovered on the Black List website and ended up on the annual list, including last year’s #1 script, Kristina Lauren Anderson’s CATHERINE THE GREAT.

Hi Franklin. I’m a young college graduate that’s been working as a production assistant in NYC for the last year. I’m interested in writing, but the more I work the more impossible it seems to make a living off of writing professionally. That being said a site like blacklist seems like a great opportunity to explore for someone like me, but I want to ask you personally what kind of obstacles had to be overcome to gain attention in the industry before you made the site? What did you see that inspired you to make submitting and reading scripts easier for everyone and do you still see some of those issues in the industry today?

Bonus question: Are there any scripts you enjoy coming back to and reading again?

Franklin: Short answer:

Prior to the existence of the Black List there were essentially three ways to get your script to Hollywood:

  1. Know someone in the business and give them your script.
  2. Submit to the Nicholl, hope you were in the top 30 and that you received some incoming phone calls.
  3. Move to Los Angeles and network yourself to death until you could do #1.

That reality was a problem for me. The Nicholl is a once a year proposition, and subjectivity means that a script that could attract notice from one reader may get bounced in the first round. And #1 and #3 are limited, for the most part, to folks from very specific backgrounds that have exactly zero to do with whether or not they’re a great writer or not.

I wanted to create a venue whereby if a writer had the goods – no matter where they lived or what their circumstance was – they could have the opportunity to have a career as a screenwriter. I think we’ve done that.

Can’t think of a script that I read frequently for pleasure. There are so many scripts, books, etc. that I need/want to read, for myriad reasons, it’s not really an option even if there was one.

—-

If you feel you have the tools as a screenwriter do you recommend going to school or jumping straight into the industry? Are films set in war less likely to be produced due to the high production cost?

Franklin: Different strokes for different folks, and I’m sure folks who have screenwriting degrees and found success in the film industry can speak to that degree’s value far better than I can.

That said, my recommendation is to study something that you’re deeply interested in OTHER THAN screenwriting if you do make the decision to pursue a post secondary education. If your response to this is “but movies are all that I care about,” then okay, get an English degree and read the canon. Get a degree in Folklore and Mythology and learn everything you possibly can about the stories that have undergirded storytelling for millenia.

There are two reasons for my recommendation against pursuing a screenwriting degree:

  1. The most important elements of being a good screenwriter are insight into the human experience and being a good storyteller.
  2. These are things you can pick up in many other degree programs, some of which may be even more valuable in that regard than a screenwriting program.
  3. Having another degree will make it easier to get a job after college before you break as a screenwriter.
  4. There are myriad valuable free resources online that can help you learn the craft. Among them (and one I highly recommend) is Go Into the Story (http://gointothestory.blcklst.com)

It’s a great AMA, not only for the information Franklin conveys, but also you really get a sense of how passionate he is about what we do as screenwriters.

Which leads me to wonder: Who knows where and what the Black List might become in 5 years time and beyond… and how that could change things for screenwriters in Hollywood…

To read the entire Reddit AMA, go here.

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (6 Part Series)

August 16th, 2015 by

Over the years, I have interviewed over 40 Black List screenwriters. This month, I am running a series featuring one topic per week related to the craft of writing.

Black List logo

Last week: What aspects of story prep do you devote the most time and focus to?

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 1) – Research

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 2) – Characters as the focal point of prep

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 3) – Not using an outline as part of prep process

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 4) – “Preliminary” outlines

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 5) – Working with an extensive outline

Black List writers on the craft: Story Prep (Part 6) – Comprehensive approach to story prep

If you track the posts from Parts 3-6, you will see an arc at work – from writers who do little to no outlining, then step up their prep work to the point of a really comprehensive approach. Once again, this supports the thesis: There is no right way to write. You have to find the process that works for you… and do that!

In my opinion, the Black List is the most important brand related to screenwriters and screenwriting in Hollywood. Therefore it makes sense we should study the creative processes of writers who make the list. More insight and inspiration coming in the weeks ahead.