I am a Los Angeles-based script consultant and story editor, and if you’ve landed here you are likely looking for feedback on a screenplay you’ve written. Or maybe you’re a director or production company and you’ve got a piece of material you are interested in developing.

Either way I’m here to help you develop your script. As a script consultant and story editor with over 20 years of experience working in all aspects of film and television, from development to distribution, and having read well over 2000 screenplays, my script analysis will ensure your script is entertaining, solidly structured and ultimately marketable.

My feedback, in the form of detailed written notes or one-on-one discussions, is designed to give you specific information about what works and what could use strengthening. I offer solutions and give suggestions so that you realize your vision and tell your story your way. I also give you tools you can use not just for your current draft but for every script you write, direct or produce.

So if you are staring at a blank page or have just read the 17th revision and are going in the direction of Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation:

“To begin… To begin… How to start? I’m hungry. I should get coffee. Coffee would help me think. Maybe I should write something first, then reward myself with coffee. Coffee and a muffin. Okay, so I need to establish the themes. Maybe a banana-nut. That’s a good muffin.”

I can help get you started, or back on track, and on your way to a well written, marketable screenplay.

Now Playing…

The accolades and achievements of all the writers and filmmakers I work with are becoming too numerous to keep track of let alone list. I’m so proud of everyone’s success and am thrilled to see how their hard work is paying off.

A few highlights:

We’re at TIFF! Film Independent’s Global Media Makers have two films playing the Toronto Film Festival – Ali Vatansever’s Saf and Nejib Belkadhi’s Regarde Moi (Look at Me), which is also playing at the Los Angeles Film Festival. You can read about the 2018 GMM fellows here.

2018 Film Independent Project Involve Fellows will showcase their short films at the Los Angeles Film Festival in September. Look for them on the festival circuit this fall and into 2019.

Sundance Film Festival & SXSW kudos! Film Independent’s 2017 Project Involve short film Emergency won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance 2018 and the Narrative Shorts Jury Award at SXSW 2018. It has continued to play at festivals and win awards across the country. Huge congrats to the entire team! You can see a trailer here.

On the script front Fawaz Al-Matrouk has received a SFFILM / Rainin Foundation Grant for his script MR. ROB. Congrats Fawaz!

Film Independent Global Media Makers Fellow Amr Salama’s film Sheik Jackson played to rave reviews at TIFF and was Egypt’s official best foreign language submission to the Oscars. It’s a beautiful, moving film and I look forward to US audiences being able to see it soon.

Previous fellows continue to have their films screen at festivals around the world. You can find a promo for Project Involve here. 2016’s They Charge for the Sun co-written by Eugene Ramos and Terence Nance played at the Oscar qualifying Palm Springs International Film Festival (among others) and Writer-Director Mary-Lyn Chambers’ Debris screened at The Short Corner and Diversity Corner at Cannes (2015) and has won awards at major film festivals including best narrative short at the Alliance for Women in Media Awards.

Vamonos co-written by Moira Morel and Erik Castrillon was a finalist in the 11th annual NBCUniversal Short Film contest and won an Imagen Award for Best Short (2015). While Writer/Director Lulu Wang’s Touch (2014) screened at the Asians on Film Festival where it won Best Drama and Best Supporting Actress. The film also screened as part of the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival where it scored a Best Actor award in addition to being nominated for Best Writer, Best Director and Best Short.

In other news Newfoundland filmmaker, Noel Harris’, film Touch (2015) screened at The Diversity Corner at Cannes and snagged the jury award for Best Short Film! It’s been traveling the world and winning awards and accolades ever since.

Other filmmakers from the rock (aka St. John’s, Newfoundland) continue to make movies too. Jenina Macgillivray’s short Skip and Martine Blue’s short Perfect Family, both played at the Saint John’s International Women’s Film Festival last year along wiht 2017’s recipient of the Michelle Jackson RBC Award, Emily Bridger’s short Waste It. She was following in the footsteps of Wanda Nolan, the 2016 recipient, who screened her short CrocusesKerry Gamberg, who won this year’s award, will screen her film CRUSH at this year’s festival in the fall.

Fellowships & Labs 

I was honored to return as story advisor for Film Independent’s 2018 Screenwriting Lab and thrilled to be back with the Directing Lab this past winter (read about the 2018 fellows here). I will be returning as an advisor for the third year of Film Independent’s Global Media Makers a cultural exchange program with filmmakers from the Middle East. You can read more about this fabulous program and past filmmakers here.

This past June I returned to Whistler, BC for the third year where I was a mentor for the Praxis/Whistler Film Festival Screenwriters Lab. This is a wonderful program and it’s been exciting to see  all six projects move forward these past few months. I will be back for the second phase, which is held during the festival in December. Last year I also had the honor of working with the Aboriginal Filmmakers Fellowship Fellows.

In other adventures… I have been teaching screenwriting to high school students in the Palm Springs School District for Digicom an initiative spearheaded by Digicom President and CEO, David Vogel, to bring digital storytelling skills to both students and teachers. The passion, commitment and talent these students show is truly inspiring. We recently hosted our second annual Filmmaking Symposium for over 400 students across the district. We screened several Film Independent Project Involve shorts and held Q&A’s with the filmmakers. The event was a huge success and you can read about the Symposium here. You can read more about the screenwriting program here and about Digicom here. We’re already planning for the 2019 Symposium where we’ll be looking to incorporate documentary filmmakers as well.

Classes & Workshops

The Scriptwriters Network is a fabulous membership program that brings writers together for workshops, speakers, classes and networking. This fall I’ll be leading a hands-on workshop called THE NEXT BIG THING: Finding Your Voice and Your Next Big Idea. Looking forward to working with this wonderful group of writers.

Past Classes

STORY PREP WORKSHOP at Scriptfest 2017. If you follow me you know how important I think story prep is. So I was thrilled to have a chance to teach my story prep tools to writers at Scriptfest. This workshop covers what you need to do before  you start writing pages including how to break a story. I also recently taught this workshop at the Writers Store and on-line. To access my on-demand webinar click here. Want to get started? Read my blog post on Testing Your Story Concept here. I’m working on a book about Story Prep and Development so any and all feedback welcome!

PODCASTS! I recently talked to Max Timm at the International Screenwriters’ Association about theme, both what it is and how to weave it into your script. Check it out here.  Theme was the topic as well when I was a guest on Pilar Alessandra’s popular podcast On the Page. You can listen here.

SECONDARY CHARACTERS WEBINAR. My recent webinar on writing secondary characters for the Writers Store is available on demand and you can download it here  and find a blog post re-capping my webinar here.