Prolific writers discuss how they write across features, TV, and theatre and how writing for different formats can influence story.
Key Insights

  • Screenwriting is like chess, each move has implications later; getting to the final version, you'll find yourself moving pieces around
  • Theatre is very collaborative, you must unify the vision of the creative team and allow for the process to unfold
  • There are more format options than ever before. You can now decide which medium serves the ultimate expression of your idea.
  • Think about your story: If it can unfold over several years, then it may be right for television. If it derives power from its resolution, then it may be best as a film. 
  • The story will tell you what it is once you dig in.
  • Regardless of format, make your story entertaining.
  • Theatre is very collaborative: unify the vision of the creative team and allow for the process to unfold 
  • Think about how you want your audience to feel when they finish watching your work.
  • Keep questioning–don’t be complacent. Your ideas can always be better.

Writer, Director, Producer
Michael Showalter is a director, writer, and producer who most recently directed the 2017 hit THE BIG SICK. Previously he directed and co-wrote the 2016 film HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS starring Sally Field. Showalter's first film was the THE BAXTER (2005) starring Michelle Williams and Justin Theroux. more...
Jenny Lumet is the author of RACHEL GETTING MARRIED, for which she received the 2008 New York Film Critics Circle Award, 2008 Toronto Film Critics Association Award, and 2008 Washington D.C Film Critics Association Award. She also received a 2008 NAACP Image Award. more...
Writer, Producer
D.V. DeVincentis was born in Europe and raised in Evanston, Illinois. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California, but is often in other places. He began his creative life at an early age in the Chicago theater. After studying literature and filmmaking at a number of colleges, DeVincentis moved to Los Angeles. more...
Writer, Director, Producer
Jessie Nelson wrote, directed and produced CORRINA CORRINA and I AM SAM, starring Sean Penn. She co-created and executive produced Sara Bareilles’ LITTLE VOICE for Bad Robot and Apple TV. Among her other directing credits are CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM and LOVE, THE COOPERS. more...

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