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

SoCreate Gets a Lesson on New Headless CMS ‘Prismic’

SoCreate Gets a Lesson on New Headless CMS ‘Prismic’
Our latest Lunch Meet, a team-led learning series for which the team gathers monthly, was of particular interest to me as a content manager. Our Chief Software Engineer Jami Lurock presented an overview of Prismic, a “headless” content management system that’s powering the content of the all-new SoCreate.it. Unlike Wordpress or Umbraco, where the developer themes on the platform that’s already built and uses the language the platform has chosen, a “headless” CMS is simply an API. The front en… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

5 Things Professional Screenwriters Would Say to Up and Comers

5 Things Professional Screenwriters Would Say to Up and Comers
Most writers who’ve “made it” won’t sugarcoat the facts: earning a living as a screenwriter is hard. It takes talent. It takes work. And maybe most importantly, it takes standing up when you’ve been knocked down … over, and over, and over again. But the reward? It’s oh-so-worth it to be able to do what you love for a living. We had the pleasure of meeting screenwriter, playwright, producer and director Dale Griffiths Stamos at the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. She’s also a dramat… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

The Screenwriting Community’s Favorite Books for Scribes

The Screenwriting Community’s Favorite Books for Scribes
I recently conducted a survey of screenwriters to learn more about what makes them tick: when do they write? Where do they write? What type of content do they find most useful? And where did they LEARN to write a screenplay? The last question was revealing: So many screenwriters never went to film school. They learned the craft by reading a ton of screenplays and screenwriting books. And you can, too. We asked the screenwriting community to name their favorite books for screenplay how-to’s, and… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Screenwriters, Novelists, Game Writers: Michael Stackpole Tells You How to Get an Agent

Screenwriters, Novelists, Game Writers: Michael Stackpole Tells You How to Get an Agent
“Finding an agent is one of those questions that a lot of people ask. Everybody wants one,” Michael Stackpole explained during an interview with us at the Central Coast Writers Conference. A writer, game designer, podcaster, and regular conference speaker, Stackpole had an answer at the ready. “Once you’ve completed something, farm it out to some friends. Get them to write down two or three authors that they think you write like. Research those authors. Find out who their agents are. Perhaps… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Why Male Allies Are Important in Tech, Now More Than Ever

Why Male Allies Are Important in Tech, Now More Than Ever
I’d still consider myself a tech world newbie. There’s lots to love about it – being part of building something new, the comradery and “we’re all in it together” attitude, starting something from scratch, and constant innovation and education. Perhaps I don’t know enough just yet to point out many things I don’t like, but I have one very obvious observation. The tech world is a man’s world. That’s changing, however, and we have both women AND men to thank for leading the conversation.    "It'… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Need to Get Away? Use This Screenwriting Event as a Very Good Excuse

Need to Get Away? Use This Screenwriting Event as a Very Good Excuse
This one’s for our worn-out writer friends, and especially those of you who live within driving distance to the Central Coast of California! Here’s a chance to recharge your batteries AND learn a ton from professional screenwriters. It’s almost time for the Central Coast Writer’s Conference. Registration is now open for this three-day event, September 26-28, 2019 in beautiful San Luis Obispo. We’re biased, A) because we live here and B) because we’re big backers of this conference, but you can… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

The Magic of CSS Houdini

The Magic of CSS Houdini
Hat tricks, and card tricks, and magical CSS, oh my! Our latest Lunch Meet, a team-led learning series, was full of surprises from Lead UX Designer/Developer Anthony Harris. The topic was CSS Houdini, a somewhat magical, albeit somewhat unavailable, project that could revolutionize web development as we know it. Here’s what we know. Houdini is a new collection of browser APIs that allows you to gain more access to your browser’s CSS engine. The API’s are accessible through JavaScript, making… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

6 Stretches Screenwriters Should Do Daily

6 Stretches Screenwriters Should Do Daily
I once worked with a company that required its employees to take “ergo-breaks.” It sounds strange – both the name and the fact that it was enforced by a timer that acted as a kill switch to their computer every hour, on the hour – but the brief pause to step away from writing and get your wiggles out is effective, especially for those of us stuck on our work-in-progress. These easy stretches also get your blood flowing again, relieve physical tension, give you a boost of energy, and increase pro… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich