An Oscar-Winning Screenwriter and a Playwright Walk into SoCreate …

An Oscar-Winning Screenwriter and a Playwright Walk into SoCreate …
… but it’s no joke! The only punchline here is in the wise words that two-time 2019 Oscar-Winning Screenwriter Nick Vallelonga (The Green Book) and popular playwright Kenny D’Aquila bestowed upon us during a recent visit to SoCreate’s headquarters in San Luis Obispo. They gave us a ton of a great feedback on the SoCreate Screenwriting Platform and taught us a few tricks of the trade while they were here (more videos on that later). We were honored to host these two partners in crime. Unorganized… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

SoCreate Founder Justin Couto Featured on Script2Screen Podcast

SoCreate Founder Justin Couto Featured on Script2Screen Podcast
Our Founder and CEO Justin Couto recently took to the airwaves to tell SoCreate’s story and explain our vision to Script2Screen host Alan Mehanna. You’ll typically hear upbeat and positive film and TV reviews on the show, but Alan features other interesting characters in the film industry every now and then, so we were honored to be interviewed about SoCreate!   Below, you’ll find the podcast transcript.  Listen to the podcast and subscribe to SCRIPT2SCREEN here. Alan has a master’s in scree… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Writers Vallelonga & D'Aquila: Chip Away at Your Script Until It Looks Like 2 Oscars

Writers Vallelonga & D'Aquila: Chip Away at Your Script Until It Looks Like 2 Oscars
It’s hard to give titles to Nick Vallonga and Kenny D’Aquila. For our purposes here, we’ll call them screenwriters, but this pair is multi-talented. You can barely stand next to them and NOT be inspired to do something creative. You probably know Vallelonga from his two-time Oscar win at the 2019 Academy Awards (no big deal!), both for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture for “Green Book.” The film is based on the true story of Vallelonga’s father Tony Lip, who toured the south with fame… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

“Don’t be precious,” and More Advice from Screenwriter Adam G. Simon

“Don’t be precious,” and More Advice from Screenwriter Adam G. Simon
From Hollywood to Pakistan, screenwriters from around the globe tuned in to our Instagram Story to ask screenwriter Adam G. Simon questions about how to get their screenwriting careers off the ground.   “I love contributing because no one really helped me,” he told the writing community. “I want more people to succeed. I want more people in. I want more people creating ideas. Before I broke in, I had negative 150 dollars in my bank account and a bag of scripts. It put me in a position where I h… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

How Much Money Does a Screenwriter Make? We Asked 5 Professional Writers

How Much Money Does a Screenwriter Make? We Asked 5 Professional Writers
For most, writing is less of a job and more of a passion. But wouldn’t it be ideal if we could all make a living in a field that we are passionate about? It’s not impossible to get paid to do what you love, if you’re willing to accept the reality: there’s not much stability for writers who choose this path. We asked five expert writers how much money the average writer can expect to earn. The answer? Well, it’s as diverse as the backgrounds of our experts. Per the Writers Guild of America Wes… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Writer Jonathan Maberry Talks Finding Representation

Writer Jonathan Maberry Talks Finding Representation
As a New York Times best-selling author and five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, Jonathan Maberry is an encyclopedia of knowledge when it comes to the storytelling business. He’s written comic books, magazine articles, plays, anthologies, novels and more. And while he wouldn’t call himself a screenwriter, this writer does have onscreen projects in the works. V-Wars, based on Jonathan’s best-selling franchise by the same name, is headed for Netflix this year. And Alcon Entertainment just bought th… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Say What?! Screenwriting Terms and Meanings

Say What?! Screenwriting Terms and Meanings
Expert screenwriters say one of the best ways to learn to write a screenplay is to read screenplays that have been produced. You may come across some unfamiliar terms while doing this, especially if you’re new to the craft. We’ve put together a quick read for you to refer to when you come across a word or acronym you don’t understand. These are also good to know when you dive into your screenplay masterpiece, of course! ActionShowing through action is generally better than telling through dia… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

4 Common Dialogue Problems in a Script

4 Common Dialogue Problems in a Script
Screenplays are meant to be taut, precise, almost effortless reads. But there are common dialogue problems that muddy a screenplay’s purity, leaving your reader trudging through page after page of gobbledygook. Luckily these issues are easy to spot during a rewrite. Take a read through four common dialogue problems that you can probably find (and fix) right now. 1. Fluffy Dialogue We recently wrapped the SoCreate “Get Writing” One-Page Screenplay Competition, and the results are fascinating. W… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

How a Homeless PA Inspired Filmmaker Noel Braham to Write Screenplays That Matter

How a Homeless PA Inspired Filmmaker Noel Braham to Write Screenplays That Matter
Filmmaker Noel Braham was wrapping up a night of production on his second short, The Millennial, when he was confronted with a story that gripped him at the heart. The inspiration was sitting right there. “I had a production assistant helping me out pro-bono … working tirelessly, without complaining. The guy was amazing to work with.” Braham offered to drive the PA home, and at first, the PA declined. “He said just drop me off at the train station, and I said no, I’m going to give you a ride ba… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Acts, Scenes, and Sequences - How Long Should Each Be in a Traditional Screenplay?

Acts, Scenes, and Sequences - How Long Should Each Be in a Traditional Screenplay?
If I had to name my favorite adage, it’s that rules are for breaking (most of them - speed limits are exempt!), but you must know the rules before you can break them. So, keep that in mind as you read through what I’d call “guidelines” to the timing of acts, scenes, and sequences in a screenplay. There’s a good reason for these guidelines, though (just like speed limits 😊) so don’t stray too far off the mark or you might pay for it later. Let’s start from the top. A 90-110-page screenplay is s… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Calling All Screenwriters: Help Us Help You!

Calling All Screenwriters: Help Us Help You!
Hey screenwriters, beginners to experts! We want to know more about you. How can we provide better content and better support where and when you need it? Help us make the SoCreate Screenwriting Platform and Community the best it can be by filling out the survey below. Your individual answers will be kept private, and your name will be anonymous. Thanks in advance for being part of our mission to revolutionize screenwriting! Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Producer David Alpert on How to Take the Weird and Make It Great

Producer David Alpert on How to Take the Weird and Make It Great
Somewhere between selling 6,000 comic books a month as a high school student, and producing the mega-hit The Walking Dead, David Alpert has learned a thing or two about “Taking the Weird and Making it Great.” And he shared those lessons at a tell-all evening of the same title during a recent visit to San Luis Obispo County. The event was the first in a series of Creative Chats at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. While best known for The Walking Dead franchise, Alpert also found success produ… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

SoCreate Shoutout to the Sunday Script Club

SoCreate Shoutout to the Sunday Script Club
The first bullet on SoCreate’s list of values is “always put the writer first.” We do our best every day to support writers, encourage you, help you, and celebrate you. And, when we come across a writer who’s doing the same for other writers, we can’t wait to shout it from the rooftops! This month, I discovered Sharmini M’s “Sunday Script Club,” and I just had to share. Not only is her material educational and collaborative, but it’s also a visual way to delve into scriptwriting that I’ve yet… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

SLO International Film Fest Brings in Big Talent in 2019

SLO International Film Fest Brings in Big Talent in 2019
Movies Matter! For 25 years, the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival has been singing that tune, and 2019 will be no different. For the fest’s silver celebration, organizers are bringing in films that address politics, environment, women’s rights, and more. “We aren’t saving the world,” said Executive Director Wendy Lewis, “but we are definitely impacting the way audiences see the world.” And that sentiment is what keeps SoCreate going back year after year, as both sponsor and guest of S… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Screenwriter Adam G. Simon Wowed by SoCreate Screenwriting Platform

Screenwriter Adam G. Simon Wowed by SoCreate Screenwriting Platform
“Give me the f***ing software! Give me access to it as soon as possible.” – Screenwriter Adam G. Simon, reacting to SoCreate Platform demonstration It’s rare that we allow anyone to see how the SoCreate Screenwriting Platform works. We fiercely protect it for a few reasons: We don’t want anyone to attempt to copy it, and then deliver a sub-par product to screenwriters; The software needs to be perfect before we release it – we want to prevent future frustrations for screenwriters, not cause t… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Want to Sell Your Screenplay? Screenwriter Doug Richardson Tells You How

Want to Sell Your Screenplay? Screenwriter Doug Richardson Tells You How
Take it from someone who’s had incredible success in Hollywood: your screenplay had better be great if you’re trying to sell it! Screenwriter Doug Richardson (Die Hard 2, Mooseport, Bad Boys, Hostage) expanded upon that advice during a sit-down with SoCreate at the Central Coast Writer’s Conference. Watch the video or read the transcript below to hear his take on the question he’s asked most often – now that my screenplay is done, how do I sell it? TRANSCRIPT “How do you sell your screenpla… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Should I hire a script consultant?

Should I hire a script consultant?
Mom said she’s already picturing your name in lights. Your girlfriend said she’s deciding what to wear to the Oscars when you accept your award for Best Original Screenplay. And your best friend said, “It’s cool, man.” It sounds like you have a winning script on your hands! But somehow, encouraging words from your family and friends don’t instill the confidence you’re craving in your final draft. That’s where a script consultant comes in. They’re highly debated in the industry, mostly for two… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

Fall in Love With These Romantic Movie Screenwriters

Fall in Love With These Romantic Movie Screenwriters
Love them or hate them, mushy films about love are here to stay. Whether you love love or can’t stand the site of heart-shaped candy, there’s something special to be said about the screenwriters who tug at our heartstrings with stories of finally meeting our someone. The following romance writers have found a place in the hearts of millions of viewers around the globe.   Casablanca “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.” – Rick Blaine, Casablanca What… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

How Do You Sell Your Screenplay? Screenwriter Jeanne V. Bowerman Weighs In

How Do You Sell Your Screenplay? Screenwriter Jeanne V. Bowerman Weighs In
Jeanne V. Bowerman, self-proclaimed “writer of things & scriptwriting therapist,” joined SoCreate at the Central Coast Writers Conference to talk it out. We are so appreciative of writers like Jeanne who help other writers! And she knows a thing to two about putting pen to paper: she’s the editor and online community manager of ScriptMag.com, and she also co-founded and moderates the weekly Twitter screenwriters chat, #ScriptChat. Jeanne gives consultations and lectures at conferences, pitc… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich

What is a Beat in Screenwriting?

What is a Beat in Screenwriting?
In the film industry, the word beat gets thrown around all the time, and it doesn’t always mean the same thing. Beat holds various meanings when you’re talking about it in context of the screenplay, versus in context of the timing of a film. Confusing! Never fear, our breakdown is here. What is a beat in a screenplay? A beat in dialogue usually means the screenwriter wants to indicate a pause. It’s a theatrical term that you shouldn’t really use outright in your screenplay, because its seen… Read this article »
Courtney Meznarich