Week 1 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Character Descriptions, Comedy vs. Drama, and Title Suggestions

Week 1 of Zachary Rowell’s 90-Day Screenplay Challenge: Character Descriptions, Comedy vs. Drama, and Title Suggestions
Zachary Rowell is now a full week into his 90-Day Screenplay Challenge as the winner of SoCreate’s “So Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes. We’ve promised to pay his bills through December if he promises to write! And guess what? He’s ahead of schedule. Zachary needs to finish a minimum of 30 pages per month as part of the challenge. In week one, he’s completed 20 pages already. But, now comes the tough part. Watch Zachary’s weekly vlog below to learn more about what he thinks he’ll struggle wi… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

This Month in Movie History – September Roundup

This Month in Movie History – September Roundup
A Trip to the Moon – September 1, 1902On this day in history 117 years ago, filmmaker Georges Méliès introduced the world to science fiction, in his 18-minute long hand-colored silent film about traveling to the moon. Méliès became famous for his theatrical style, fancy sets, and special effects. Although the film was silent, it was meant to be presented alongside a live orchestra and narrator, so the score varied from theater to theater. Méliès pioneered the style of leaving the camera stat… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Our Top 8 Halloween Costumes New for 2019, And the Screenwriters We Have to Thank for Them

Our Top 8 Halloween Costumes New for 2019, And the Screenwriters We Have to Thank for Them
Halloween: So many options, but so much pressure! I somehow end up at TV show and movie-themed Halloween parties most often and see the same costumes over again. I went as a Baywatch lifeguard last year (it was the last costume at Halloween City when I finally got around to finding one on Halloween day), accompanied by the Easter bunny (supposed to be Roger Rabbit), Kermit the Frog, Glenda the Good Witch, The Black Swan, Mary Tyler Moore and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. All cute, b… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Emmy Winner Peter Dunne and NY Times Best Seller Michael Stackpole Talk Story with SoCreate

Emmy Winner Peter Dunne and NY Times Best Seller Michael Stackpole Talk Story with SoCreate
Why write stories? At SoCreate, we’ve posed the question to most writers we meet, from novelists to screenwriters, because their answers are always inspiring. Our interview with Emmy Winner Peter Dunne and New York Times Bestselling Author Michael Stackpole was no different. I hope their responses inspire you if you need it today. We first met Dunne and Stackpole at the Central Coast Writers Conference. What a treat to have talent of this caliber willing to share their writing wisdom with other… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

90 Days Starts Now! Follow Along as Zachary Rowell Writes a Feature-Length Screenplay by December 31, 2019

90 Days Starts Now! Follow Along as Zachary Rowell Writes a Feature-Length Screenplay by December 31, 2019
If you’ve been following, you know that Zachary Rowell, 28, of Los Angeles won SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes about a month ago. As the winner, we’ll send him enough money to pay his bills for the next three months, if he completes a series of check-ins to show that he’s using the time to write a feature-length screenplay. He has 90 days to take the project from start to finish. And the best part? He is going to share his entire experience with you! We came up with this swee… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

SoCreate’s OTHER Top Secret Project Gets Help from Artists Autumn Smith and Carter Broad

SoCreate’s OTHER Top Secret Project Gets Help from Artists Autumn Smith and Carter Broad
Oh, you thought we were only building revolutionary screenwriting software over here at SoCreate? You must not know our founder Justin Couto very well! If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time with this company, it’s that we do nothing halfway. We won’t even stop at 99.99 percent! And that’s why regular ol’ office décor won’t do. We’re painting our own Sistine Chapel, screenwriting style. What does that mean, exactly? Well, we can’t show you until it’s done, so you’ll have to wait an… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

This Month in Movie History – August Roundup

This Month in Movie History – August Roundup
Rear Window – August 4, 1954Sixty-five years ago, “Rear Window,” written by John Michael Hayes and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, premiered to prominent members of the social and entertainment worlds at Rivoli Theater in New York City. It received four Academy Award nominations including Best Writing and ranked on AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies list, among others. The story went on to inspire screenplays for generations, including “What Lies Beneath,” “Panic Room,” “The Girl on the Train,” and… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Experience Abounds: Veteran Video Editor Doug Slocum Joins SoCreate’s Outreach Team

Experience Abounds: Veteran Video Editor Doug Slocum Joins SoCreate’s Outreach Team
We’re growing our Outreach Team with the addition of Doug Slocum! That means more great content for you, writers. Doug will help us create video content from screenwriter and industry professional interviews, to support you and help you along through the screenplay process. And he knows plenty about storytelling; Doug has worked with some of the biggest names in the business! I feel so lucky that he made his way to San Luis Obispo, and now SoCreate. Doug started his career in New York City w… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Are Script Consultants Valuable? This Screenwriter Says Yes, and Here’s Why

Are Script Consultants Valuable? This Screenwriter Says Yes, and Here’s Why
Depending on where you’re at in your screenwriting craft, you may have considered hiring a script consultant. Also called script doctors or script coverage (with varying definitions of what, exactly, each provides), consultants could be a valuable tool if you know how to use them. I wrote a blog about the topic where you can learn more, including pointers about the best way to choose a consultant that’s right for you. If you’re on the fence about consultants and you’ve got about a minute, watch… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Learning from the Big Guys: GoDaddy on Reputation, Hate Speech, and Public Policy in Tech

Learning from the Big Guys: GoDaddy on Reputation, Hate Speech, and Public Policy in Tech
I am amazed at the number of talented people who choose to call the small City of San Luis Obispo home. I guess we are ideally located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, have stunning hills to the east and shining seas to our west, and continually rank as one of the best places to live. Maybe I shouldn’t be so amazed? But still, when the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Small Business Development Center said the upcoming (and free) “Coffee and Conversation” series would feature Ka… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Celebrating The Screenwriters of Summer ‘99

Celebrating The Screenwriters of Summer ‘99
Ahhhh, summer of 1999. I was a young teenager, sneakily watching R-rated movies at my friends’ houses, listening to Britney Spears, and trying to decipher adult whispers about Y2k. Were we all going to die? Meanwhile, brilliant things were happening in Hollywood. If the world had ended that year, at least we’d be leaving a bevy of fantastic films behind. That year was simply a great year for movies, so let’s relive those glory days with a recap of six of the summer ’99 cinematic greats and the s… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

The Writer’s Panel with Ben Blacker Interviews SoCreate CEO

The Writer’s Panel with Ben Blacker Interviews SoCreate CEO
Slowly but surely, we’re spreading the word about SoCreate! SoCreate Founder and CEO Justin Couto just appeared on the popular podcast The Writer’s Panel with host Ben Blacker to talk about SoCreate’s screenwriting platform and the SoCreate story. Ben Blacker is the writer of the comic “Hex Wives”, creator of the podcast “The Thrilling Adventure Hour Treasury”, producer of the “Dead Pilots Society” podcast, and host of “The Writer’s Panel” podcast, “the definitive insider’s guide to our current… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Let’s Hear it for Zachary Rowell, SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes Winner

Let’s Hear it for Zachary Rowell, SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes Winner
From nearly 5,000 entries, we are proud to introduce you to 28-year-old Zachary Rowell, SoCreate’s “So, Write Your Bills Away” Sweepstakes winner! Over the next three months (October 2019-December 2019), we’ll pay Zachary’s bills so he can focus on writing a feature-length screenplay, instead of focusing on finances. The best part is that you get to follow along as he does it! Zachary made the risky choice to move to California two years ago from his small hometown in Texas to pursue his scre… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Is It Hard to be a Screenwriter? Writer Robert Jury Answers

Is It Hard to be a Screenwriter? Writer Robert Jury Answers
Screenwriter, producer, and director Robert Jury climbed the ladder in Hollywood through hard work and determination. He’s done the LA thing, and he’s also been successful as a writer living in his current home of Iowa City, Iowa. Over the course of a couple of decades, Jury learned that there’s no substitution for perseverance and passion. Jury started his career as a script reader, interned at Warner Bros. Pictures and worked for Touchstone Pictures Company. “Back in the old days, I would… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

When is a Good Time to Show Your Screenplay? This Screenwriter Reveals His First Draft Strategies

When is a Good Time to Show Your Screenplay? This Screenwriter Reveals His First Draft Strategies
As a screenwriter, it can be difficult to know when it’s time to seek feedback on your script. You’ve toiled over it for a long time, presumably, and sometimes feedback can send you right back to the drawing board. So, is it better to show your rough draft to someone early to catch problems before you spend more time writing, or wait until you’ve refined your screenplay? Strategies vary. Oscar-winning screenwriter Nick Vallelonga told me he NEVER shows a script to anyone until it’s complete bec… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

How Do Screenwriters Network? Take This Advice from Filmmaker Leon Chambers

How Do Screenwriters Network? Take This Advice from Filmmaker Leon Chambers
Networking. The word alone makes me cringe and shrink back into whatever curtains or bushes are closest behind me. In my past life, my career depended on it. And you know what? No matter how often I “networked,” it never got easier for me. It was always awkward, forced, and for lack of a better buzzword, inauthentic. I can’t speak for all of us, but I’d bet there are a lot of writers in this same boat. It wasn’t until I heard similar advice to the sentiment filmmaker Leon Chambers shares below… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Announcing 25 Semi-Finalists for SoCreate's "So, Write Your Bills Away" Sweepstakes

Announcing 25 Semi-Finalists for SoCreate's "So, Write Your Bills Away" Sweepstakes
DRUMROLL Please … We received nearly 5,000 entries from writers who are ready to write their bills away! Here are the top 25 semi-finalists, drawn randomly from all the entries and bonus entries. These top 25 now must submit a cover letter, letter of recommendation, and screenwriting sample for consideration. We’ll select ONE winner on August 30, who will receive $3,000 per month for 3 months to pay their bills so they can finish a 90-120 page screenplay while the writing community follows alon… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Use This Screenwriter’s Meditation to Access Your Creativity

Use This Screenwriter’s Meditation to Access Your Creativity
I recently came across Dr. Mihaela Ivan Holtz through a blog post that she authored on the topic of being a more fulfilled artist. I posted a link to her blog through SoCreate’s Twitter account, and it remains one of the most clicked article links that we’ve ever posted. As a psychotherapist who specializes in treating people in film, TV, and performing and fine arts, she had a unique viewpoint to offer on breaking through creative blocks. Her approach wasn’t one that I’d seen before on screenwr… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

This Month in Movie History – July Roundup

This Month in Movie History  – July Roundup
Alice Guy-Blaché - July 1, 1873 Alice Guy-Blaché was born in Paris, France. She grew up to become a pioneer filmmaker and is believed to have made the first-ever film featuring an all-African American cast, called "A Fool and His Money." The film is preserved at AFI. Forrest Gump - July 6, 1994 25 years ago, “Forrest Gump” charmed audiences with a story told through eyes of a man with an IQ of 75. The script, originally written as a novel by Winston Groom, varied greatly in its adapta… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Why There’s Never Been a Better Time for Screenwriters to Take Charge of Their Destiny

Why There’s Never Been a Better Time for Screenwriters to Take Charge of Their Destiny
2019 will go down in history as the year screenwriters fired their agents. But could it also go down in history as the year screenwriters finally got the respect they deserve? As someone watching from the sidelines while the WGA standoff continues, I can’t help but be proud of all of you writers who worked so hard to get an agent, only to stand by your fellow creatives and fire those people who have been your supposed lifeline to paid work. But in what you’ve lost, you seem to have found so muc… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich