All Posts By

Matt Joseph Misetich

Joshua Paul Johnson and Jamie Napoli

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– Joshua Paul Johnson and Jamie Napoli, winner of the 2017 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with Getaway.  Co-writing relationships can be tricky. It’s always impressive when a script turns out so tonally consistent when there’s more than one writer involved. How do you iron out who plays what role? What’s sort of your general dynamic? It’s a safe assumption that your instincts and styles fall in line, but what are some of the challenges in writing a feature with a partner? Jamie: I think we’re very lucky that we have similar, and perhaps similarly immature senses of humor. We’re often just trying to make each other laugh with each pass of the script. We can’t really have any ego or preciousness with our writing, because the only way this works is if we’re completely honest and brutal when things aren’t working. And I think often the biggest hurdle for us is staying confident…

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Penelope Chai and Matteo Bernardini

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– Penelope Chai and Matteo Bernardini, winner of the 2016 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with Cinderella Must Die.  Regardless of the fact 2016 turned out to be our best year for screenwriting, with so many fantastic finalist screenplays, Cinderella Must Die was a unanimous pick for the grand prize. Personally, when I read during the quarterfinalist round, 30 pages in I stopped immediately to text Chad (Script Pipeline’s Executive Director) and our development assistant to tell them they have to read this immediately. Part of this was due to the unique spin on the fairy tale, but mostly because of your writing style. Is style and crafting a unique voice—which is something we constantly emphasize for emerging writers—an area you feel can be refined through “deliberate practice,” meaning an element you can specifically work on, or is it something that simply comes from years of experience? What has helped each of you the most when…

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Nir Paniry

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– Nir Paniry, runner-up in the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with The Coyote.  What pushed you more into writing than any other field within the film industry? Besides the love of writing itself, I think it’s the autonomy of it all. Every other job in the film business relies on moving parts. If you’re a director you need a script. If you’re an editor you need a film, etc, etc. . . . You’re reliant on others in order to start creating. When you’re a writer (unless you’re on assignment) you are completely dependent on your own mind and gumption to put pen to paper. It’s insular, like painting a picture. I can think of a story tonight and start writing it tonight. There are not many  jobs in this business that function that way. And yes, ultimately if it moves up the pipeline, your story will change and morph and become a…

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Howard Jordan Jr.

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– Howard Jordan Jr., runner-up in the 2015 Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition with the comedy Family Be Like. An advertising industry veteran, Howard is pursuing a career in writing television comedy. You worked for many years in advertising. Tell us a little about your background and how you transitioned into TV writing. Technically speaking, my career started at 12. I ripped ads out of magazines, rewrote, and my mother mailed them in. But it officially began when I attended masters program “slash” boot camp for wannabe advertising creatives. My first job was at a small agency in Manhattan. I worked on anything and everything. I didn’t have time, or money, to do much else. But I managed to take sitcom writing classes at night. I’ve always loved sitcoms. And I’m kind of an unofficial pop culture encyclopedia, so I figured, why not do both? However, as I advanced from junior copywriter to creative director with famous campaigns…

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Henry Dunham

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– Henry Dunham, winner of the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition with the contained crime/thriller The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (formerly Militia), which released in January 2019. The film, his feature directorial debut, received massive praise from Rolling Stone, Birth.Movies.Death, Slash Film, and other top critics. A Detroit native and Michigan State alum, Henry has written, directed, and produced his own short films prior to Standoff. Prior to entering the Script Pipeline competition, how had you tested the waters—submitting to production companies, other contests, querying managers and agents. . . ? To be honest, I never submitted to production companies/agencies blindly before because I used to intern for them and spent a lot of the time having to actually read those blind submissions, seeing firsthand how futile a process it is. You’re not getting the attention you think you are, and some kid (like me) who’s probably very tired and probably over-worked is reading your story, and…

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