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All Posts By

Matt Joseph Misetich

Nir Paniry

By | Exclusive Interviews

– 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.

By | Exclusive Interviews

– 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

By | Exclusive Interviews

– 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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Another Top 10 Films You’ll Never See on a Top 10 List

By | Uncategorized

Sneakers (1992) See that poster? The list of names? If you’re over 25 years old, you might recognize all of them because they’re all legendary. One of the finest casts ever assembled. Superbly written and directed. Vastly underrated. Unless I missed something in the past decade or so, I don’t think Hollywood makes movies like this anymore. There would be a perceived lack of box office draw, as it doesn’t fit neatly in a particular genre and it’s not based on an existing property, albeit it was helmed by the already established Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams), Walter F. Parkes (WarGames), and Lawrence Lasker (also WarGames). This is no Ocean’s Eleven, or cookie-cutter crime/dramedy ensemble. It doesn’t resort to big action pieces, evil villains, or contrived twists, which conceptually it could have very easily gotten away with. Sneakers is what I would refer to as a “low-key thriller,” although even that moniker isn’t quite accurate. Watch it yourself,…

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When Is Your Screenplay Finished?

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Rather than spur a micro-analyzed philosophical debate impossible to win, allow me to first clarify: the process of writing a screenplay does end. Because it has to. A protege of Mario Puzo isn’t locked up in some Bronx basement still writing The Godfather in an eternal, Sisyphean loop of infinite futility. It was written, it was produced, and it was released. Script done. The End. Or “fin,” if you’re into that sorta thing. This whole “you’re never done writing a screenplay!” nonsense is nothing more than buzzy seminar filler and pseudo-screenwriting advice to arouse, I guess, comradery amongst writers. But it’s easy for some to take this claim literally and sit stoic on the fallacy that no matter what they do, they haven’t “finished” their script. It’s one of the easiest ways to spoil a sense of accomplishment. So they edit, rewrite, tweak, polish. . . usually without professional guidance, erroneously making an educated guess at what needs work,…

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The Myth of “Realistic” Writing

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“Just write it more realistic,” they said. Makes sense. Realism. That’s like everyday stuff, right? Easy. And then, maybe an hour later, you break down–this hollow, brink-of-tears, absurd frustration stemming neither from the sadness of failure nor the euphoria of success. Those would be concrete emotions. This is utter confusion—a special breed of creative annoyance impossible to solve. A riddle without an answer. “Write something realistic,” you repeated aloud. “What does that mean? Am I living in reality right now?” Yes. You are. Truth is, all writers have been there, and hitting this dead end is no fault of your own. Because “write realistically” doesn’t really mean anything, at least not without context. Over the last decade, I’ve given (and received) the old-timey “just make it realistic” note probably over 100 times. Basically, what the reader is saying is that the experience should come off as “realistic” within the world you’ve created. Specifically. What they may…

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