Writing For The Green Light: Scott Kirkpatrick Interview

Anna Kemp interviews Scott Kirkpatrick on how to build a screenwriting career with a manageable game plan.


Anna Kemp: What is the biggest misconception for new writers straight out of film school?

Scott Kirkpatrick: For me, the biggest misconception film schools unintentionally plant into the minds of newbie writers and filmmakers is that their early works must shake the system apart and be ‘different’.  I argue that first newbies should embrace the Hollywood system, support it by writing Gold-mine Genre Types for the indie zone, and build a reputation as a dependable writer; then, later, they have the merit and authority to break the rules apart.  One should never put the cart before the horse. Filmmaking is a business, it’s about supply and demand.

Anna Kemp: Should new artists forget about their passion project?

Scott Kirkpatrick: If a writer has a non-commercial script that they’re passionate about, all I’m suggesting is that they keep it in their back pocket so that once they have the reputation and career in place, they can pull it out and see real traction.  But, following the simple advice of simply ‘writing the scripts Hollywood needs’ will jump-start a newbie’s career much faster than anything else.  I’m in no way suggesting one should abandon a script they’re passionate about—quite the contrary.  First, there’s nothing wrong with getting passionate about ‘what sells’.  And second, the commercially viable scripts that Hollywood execs are on the hunt for offer just as many artistic challenges as any pet project.  I want novice writers to write commercially viable scripts first so that they can build a strong reputation and gain the contacts they’ll need to get that passion project into the marketplace later on with the real opportunity of seeing it produced.

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5 Things Cinematographers Don’t Talk About

 discusses a few things that go unspoken among cinematographers (and maybe why they shouldn’t be).


1. When to Say No

Possibly one of the hardest parts of this career is dealing with any level of success. I’m very grateful for the filmmakers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. They are all incredibly hard working and dedicated to their craft. They don’t let up until it’s right. That usually makes for interesting films — films audiences respond strongly to, good or bad. I owe much of my ability to continue working in this field to their perseverance. Other filmmakers see those movies, and I’m lucky enough to find myself being asked to work on new projects. It’s the dream, right? So what happens then?

When I moved to New York City back in 2009, only a few months married to my lovely wife, Laurie, we landed hard, put our heads down and got to work. We asked ourselves, “How could there be room for another d.p. and production designer in this city?” We didn’t wait to hear the answer. We just went for it.

Everything was going according to plan, except one little detail: Jackie. Our baby boy joined us in November of 2010, and he immediately had his own ideas about what this life was all about. All too suddenly those days tucked away in coffee shops with warm mugs and scripts became about negotiating health care, childcare, transportation, doctor visits, immunizations.

Filmmaker Magazine | Read the Full Article

BAFTA Film Craft Sessions Talk With the Best in the Industry

BAFTA invited some of the best minds in the film world to our BAFTA HQ in London to discuss their craft and work with an intimate audience.



Production Design

Costume Design




Hair and Make up


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