Interview with Screenwriter : D. Patrice Weaver

I was born and raised in California. I received my Master’s degree in Screenwriting from California State University, Northridge. I am currently a Script Analyst and Manuscript Editor, and I have worked in both Development and Film/TV Production for over 10 years.

When did you fall in love with writing (your defining moment)?

About twenty years ago. I started journaling at a very young age and I did it habitually for 10 years. During that time, I came in contact with a TV script for the sitcom Family Matters, and reading it gave me the desire to write for TV. It was in the beginning of my senior year of undergrad when I decided that screenwriting was what I want to do the most.
What movies or stories inspire your creativity?

Westside Story, The Pursuit of Happyness, and The Fault In Our Stars. As a screenwriter, capturing the audience is a major accomplishment when telling a story. The films I just mentioned inspire me to keep writing (in my own unique way) compelling dialogue and heartfelt relationships where people can relate or feel like they are experiencing with the characters their particular journeys.
What is the biggest misconception about being a screenwriter?

That it’s easy to be one.

I believe when you have made the decision to be a screenwriter, you have to do your research and work on the craft. Not doing that is like wanting to build a car but not knowing what parts you need to make the vehicle. You would have to study and do your research so that it will actually work. The same for a screenwriter. You have to read other individual’s scripts and find someone who can successfully proof read or edit your screenplay so that you will have the discipline and knowledge, not just on how to be an effective screenwriter but also on how to capture your readers.
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

Write what you’re passionate about. Your story will be more authentic when the story means a great deal to you.

One of the biggest mistakes first-time writers make? 

Not reading other scripts.
What questions should a writer ask herself prior to crafting their story? 

Has this story been told already? If so, how is mine going to be different?
What’s your favorite quote?

“It doesn’t matter how many people can do what you do. No one can do it like you.”
What’s next for you?

As for screenwriting, I can’t give out details yet. But I can say that I will be collaborating with some filmmakers for a couple of awesome projects.

Outside of screenwriting, I am in the works of starting my own publishing company. The first book to be published will be from one of my clients.

How can we keep in Touch?

Write Me Pink





A Little Guide To Loglines And Why Your Film Needs One


The logline.


It’s the one component of screenwriting that requires careful thought and continued practice to master.


Films come to life and get made due to the grit and strength of a logline.


It may be easy to begin writing scenes based on an idea or plot, but sustaining your film from start to finish will go much easier if you begin the creative process with an airtight logline.


As a writer trying to take your first crack at screenwriting this is what you need to know:


A LOGLINE is a succinct sentence that shows what your film is about.


It must be powerful, answer questions, and incite the desire to know how it all ends.


In essence, a solid logline reveals what your script will be about.


Now that, that’s covered, lets dive into why loglines are necessary to begin with:


Loglines are crucial to selling your script. It serves as an opportunity for you to generate interests from producers, directors, agents, and studios.


Think of loglines as your cover letter and your script the resume. One must follow the other.


Many argue that you can write your logline after you’ve completed the first draft of your script.


I believe the contrary. Loglines can serve as the blueprint for your film. It’s like having a mini outline for your entire film. They help tremendously in your film idea being fleshed out.


If you are lost on any part of your plot when brainstorming your film idea, then a logline will help you get grounded and achieve clarity.


In the spirit of brainstorming, loglines are ideal to craft during the brainstorming phase or right afterwards. Once again, before the actual scriptwriting takes place. That’s the sweet spot.


James Burbidge from film festival heavy weight, Raindance, offers that loglines must include; a protagonist, their goal, and the antagonist.


Just from examining those structural elements, they reinforce how fluent and tight a logline must be in order to serve its purpose successfully.


The logline examples below from Elements of Cinema hits on all of the must haves that Burbidge highlights:


THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION – Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.


THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS – A press agent, hungry to get ahead, is pushed by a ruthless columnist to do cruel and evil things, and is eventually caught in the web of lies that he has created.


BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY – An Iowa housewife, stuck in her routine, must choose between true romance and the needs of her family.


ROTHCHILD – A young, well-educated loner kills the members of his mother’s estranged family one-by-one in hopes that he will inherit the family’s vast fortune.


All four seamlessly tell the tale of a movie. As a reader, you find yourself wanting to know more.


When you achieve that with your logline, you are able to command the attention of influencers.


To exercise your logline muscles, try the free online service, Logline It. Hands down, it is the best destination on the web for being able to quickly share your logline and get feedback. There is a feeling of community there, and as writers, tribe building is a must.


Scripts are written everyday by talented screenwriters and unfortunately many of those scripts never see any action.


Breaking into this industry is tough. You have to use every weapon available and build an arsenal. Writing a logline for your script is one of those weapons.


It can give you an advantage amongst competition. It demonstrates to potential collaborators and gatekeepers that you have a clear vision for your film and that you mean business.


Now its time to turn the discussion back to you, have you ventured into the logline world?

If so, how did you feel about writing one?

Was it difficult, smooth sailing, time consuming?


We’d love to know. Share in comments and we will reply with any insight and tips we can.




CJ Childress is currently wrapping up her first paranormal novella and the script adaptation for it.

She is also lovingly knee deep in two major non-fiction book projects, one as a ghostwriter, and the other for aspiring authors. You can find her on twitter HERE.



Interview with Vera Casaca : Women In Filmmaking

This is the first of our series featuring women in the film industry who are making strides to leave their mark while encouraging other women to do the same. We wanted to give you an inside look into their world, no matter the stage they are in their journey of filmmaking.


My name is Vera and I see myself as a citizen of the world. One of my grandmothers was American and the other one was from Angola, but I was born and raised in Portugal. I have lived in four different countries and my passion is to tell stories!

When did you fall in love with writing (your defining moment)?

I was 17. And I cried tears of joy. Putting it into context: I was young, naive and I had never been beyond the borders of my small country, Portugal. There was a radio contest open to everyone, to write a one page science fiction story. I wrote 12, all hand written. I couldn’t stop writing. I was so into it! I felt so free, I could create a world, names, a story, and it was magical. Months later they called to let me know they were taking me to the USA, to NASA. The space center. I couldn’t stop crying in disbelief. This is still one of the happiest moments of my life.

What defines a good story?

That’s a tricky question because stories resonate with you for different reasons. To me, a good story is something that takes me on a journey, good or bad. I’m so involved in it, that I almost forget that what I’m watching is fiction, because the story, the characters, the events, the details, are so well crafted, that the barrier between the screen and I it’s seamless.



Writing good dialogue is one of the toughest things to do. How do you give each of your characters an original voice when they speak?

Personally, writing dialogues is one of the things that I struggle with. We want it to be the best it can be: well written, interesting, and preferably full of subtext. A way that I found that helps me is: when I finish writing a screenplay, I read it again, and next to me I have the characters’ description/backstory (I always have those) and then I cut and paste all the dialogues of each character into a blank document. I focus only on that, because I can see if that character’s dialogue is coherent with him/her. I like to do one re-writing focusing exclusively on dialogues. Plus, after writing the entire screenplay you have a much better grip about how characters are, and therefore how they speak. So I find that this way of working on dialogues on a later stage works great. Try it!

Could you name 3 non-screenwriting sources writers should be learning from to better their craft?

Check YouTube Every Frame a Painting and BAFTA Guru’s contents, they are wonderful. And the book: Hitchcock and Philosophy: Dial M for Metaphysics. I also need to add this one, I met her in NYC, but was a fan way before! Please check Marie TV, from Marie Forleo, she keeps you in check if you have a dream and need to grind!


How can writers learn to deal with rejection?

This quote stuck with me, “There’s never a failure, I win or I learn”. And it’s true. I’ve been rejected several times and I must confess there was a part of me which was temporarily upset “oh they just didn’t get it”. But… Who cares, maybe the script really sucked, maybe there were more interesting scripts/films than mine. So dust yourself off and keep going. Re-write. Write new things. Film a new story. Don’t stop. But I must add, if you can’t deal with rejection then you should change your dream. You must have very tough skin to survive in this ruthless arena.

What’s your daily writing routine?

It depends. When I am co-writing I go to the office during the morning or afternoon and we bounce ideas back and forth. It can take months even before we write the first lines. It’s a more freestyle, in a way.

When I am writing by myself and I am very methodical. I wake up early and I must start working. Working doesn’t necessarily mean that I am writing lines on final draft. I could be developing characters backstories, making the line of major events of the 8 sequences, writing random ideas for new projects like: the name of a character, what she’ll say, etc. Or I am studying, which I consider as part of my work, as one must continue to educate oneself.

So you can find me listening to an informative podcast, or music that inspires me, or reading a new screenplay (currently I am reading The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson). Anything that helps me to get better at my craft. At the end of the day this can be draining so to unwind I go for a walk or make a small yoga practice right in my bedroom!


Writing is solitary how do you deal with this?

Thanks for asking this question. You are there, in your office or bedroom for several hours, and your lips don’t even move. You are alone, besides the imaginary friends you’re creating. By now I am very used to this, so I think I can handle it. But for those who struggle with it I suggest to put some music on (if it doesn’t distracts you, Spotify is your friend). Take a few breaks, where you move around, call a friend, have a Skype conversation with someone, etc.


What’s next for you?

At the moment I am applying for funding to produce a short film and co-writing two features.

Solo projects include directing another short film, writing a dark comedy feature script and start a web series to help out fellow filmmakers, particularly screenwriters. All of it until the end of this year!

How can our readers keep in touch with you?

Vera Casaca



5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Working On A Film For Free


You’ve been really giving this filmmaking life much thought and figure that the best way to get your feet wet is by working on an indie film.

Finding an indie film crew to jump on is often the best and easiest way to start building your career as a filmmaker.

It’s a perfect endeavor no matter if you aspire to be a director, producer, screenwriter, editor, you name it, because of the invaluable skills you will gain on set. It will open your eyes to all of the ins and outs that goes beyond any book or article you could read. It gives you first hand knowledge of the film business, which is priceless.

However, in saying that, most indie films have a very limited budget or none at all. Therefore, if you decide to volunteer your time to working on one, there are several factors to consider on whether or not it is worth pursuing.

Can I literally afford to work for free?

This seems really obvious but it’s worth asking yourself. I’ve known newbies to practically quit their 9 to 5’s at the drop of a hat just because they were being offered an opportunity to work on a film “for experience.”

If you don’t have a flexible job, ample vacation time, or have income that’s on life support as a freelancer, then it may not be worth the risk to work on a film for free.

At the end of the day, you have to take care of yourself and your responsibilities.

Yes, you may get an IMBD credit on a film working as a gaffer or production assistant or 2nd camera, but if it comes at the expense of you losing your primary source of income, then keep your eyes peeled for another opportunity that will better fit in or around your current work load.

Will I be able to leverage this opportunity?

If you are not being compensated financially directly for your work on a film, then you need to consider other ways how you can maximize this opportunity.

One way that you can get mileage out of working on a film for free is by sharing your journey behind the scenes via social media and or your blog.

This builds social proof and clout for you. It lets the world know that you are gaining actual on set experience. It will also make it easier for you to generate industry connections for future projects.

Make sure you get clearance from the film’s producer or director on whether or not you can use images captured on set and make social media mentions about the film.

If it’s a green light from them, then take that opportunity and run with it.

Will I receive official film credit for my involvement?

Another way to justify working on a film for free is if you will be given proper acknowledgement in the film’s credits.

If you can get a guarantee from the producing team or director that you will be getting an IMBD credit then use that to build credibility for yourself as an aspiring filmmaker.

Is this film in a genre I want to build a career and portfolio in?

When you envision yourself in the film world and only documentaries or TV shows come to mind, then it may not be worth the time and energy to volunteer on a horror film or romantic comedy.

Not that you can’t learn an onslaught of tips and tricks by working on an indie horror film, but if you have to do it for free and as a genre is just not your cup of tea, then why make the sacrifice.

Having a portfolio you can be proud of and that reflects your aesthetic is something to keep in mind from day one. Save your volunteered time for films that fall in align with your goals.

Does the director and producing team appear competent, organized, financed, and capable of leading a team and creating a quality film?

This is a biggie. No matter how awesome the film sounds when you read about it on Craigslist or Stage 32, if you get a sneaking suspicion that the producing team or director is unorganized or incompetent, then do yourself a real favor and sit this one out.

In the end, you run the risk of wasting your time. And if you are going to work for free on a film, then time is the last thing you can afford to waste.

A well-run set is noticeable from day one. The director is sticking to the call-sheet, actors are in make-up timely, craft services is a priority, the crew knows their duty stations for opening scenes, and the remainder of the day’s activities move swiftly and efficiently.

If that is happening then you are apart of a solid grew and golden set.

You will be able to walk away from working on that film for free with invaluable gems that will empower you on the next film (that you should definitely get paid for).

No matter how bad you want to jumpstart your filmmaking career, sometimes the pay-offs are too small and not worth the risk.

But the good news is that with a little patience and a watchful eye, a solid opportunity will materialize that will be more than worth the wait.

What did we miss? Do you have any tips for working for free on a film?


CJ CHILDRESS is a photographer, cinematographer, and writer. She just had a blast pretending that she was the technical director at the Beyonce concert in Houston last weekend. At the moment, she is editing stock video footage for commercials. You can keep up with her on Instagram. 


Shortie of the Week-Ana Monaco


Ana Monaco: By day, I’m a Film Student (attending the top Art School in the world!) media entrepreneur, writer/director, photographer and founder of the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective (#LLBLOG) and creative director for the First Annual #LLBLOGNOTACONF Blogger Getaway.

Check out Her Shortie of the Week : Meet Kenny.

Regardless of what you see and read in the media, this is probably the most exciting time to be a female filmmaker – and to be a woman of color to boot!
Just look around you: we’re right at the cusp of Hollywood paying attention to something that needed to be done a long time ago – including women in the mix.
The voices of women of color are unique and yet inspire greatness. Women can make great films – and everyone, begrudgingly as it may seem –  is ready to see what we do…and as female filmmakers, we’re ready to show the world what we CAN do.
That being said, it’s never too early or too late to pursue a passion. I for one, applied to Film School school after more than 15 years working in PR/Marketing and Social Media. Because the passion in film, as you probably have already figured out, is not something that goes away when you get a stable job after college.
If you’re like me, don’t be afraid to go back and pursue your passion. I, for one, have already discovered that life experience coupled with a unique voice and point of view, will make you stand out from everyone else. And, as scary and sometimes lonely as it may seem, it’s actually a good thing.
So do whatever it is that you need to do to discover YOU. That might mean taking a job after college – in a non-related film industry – traveling the world, and of course doing the things that will make you a better filmmaker: Take part in the arts (painting, photography, etc.), read (scripts and books – everyday!), watch good and bad films, old and new; and have a life. A REAL life. Because unless you’re writing about a world that doesn’t exist, you need to connect to the people you’re writing about – and for. Do all of this until your heart is so full and so ready to do something, that like it happened to me, someone will tell you that it’s time to pursue your passion. And they will. Listen to those signs.
Going into filmmaking, know that regardless of what you want to say or share, filmmaking is a collaborative industry that largely depends on its history – so you can’t learn by just doing, you learn by getting inspired by the work of others. You HAVE TO work with others. Men and women. Gay and Straight. People of color and of course, the largely white male fraternity that has run Hollywood for years. So while it will help you get ahead to be you, you also have to learn to play the game. THAT, is probably the hardest thing to do when you decide to pursue your filmmaking dreams.
Lastly, while sometimes you discover who YOU are by working on your own film projects, there’s something to be said about attending Film School and having the collective feedback of some of the best folks in the industry and others just as passionate about storytelling as you are; and, able to make mistakes in a safe setting versus striking it out on your own. Film School also helps you refine your unique voice in such a way that you begin to learn where you want to be and what you want to work on.
Yes, Film School is expensive and it’s INCREDIBLY hard to get accepted into the top schools – so if you can’t do it now, collaborate with students attending those schools and learn from them. We’re always looking for crew and we’re always ready to share our knowledge.
As they say in Hollywood: See you on set!
Lydia Hunter Britt
Ursa Gifted Major Kenny
Mary Dallas Nicki
Maria Richwine Jan
Kevin Duarte Editor
Carrie Hesse Production Design
Ana Lydia Monaco Wardrobe Styling
Stephen Adler Cinematography / Director of Photography
Frank Duncanson Catering
Andrey Bailey Camera 2 + Sound Supervisor
Vicki Jo Costanzo Script Supervisor
Cathy Guzman Location Manager
Mimi Guzman-Duncanson Production Assistant
Bobbie Roth
Frank Monaco

10 Film Festivals That Support Women Filmmakers

5 Film Festuvals


10 Film Festivals That Support Women Filmmakers


Now in its seventh year, the Athena Film Festival — a celebration of women and leadership — is an engaging weekend of feature films, documentaries and shorts that highlight women’s leadership in real life and the fictional world.  The four-day festival, which includes conversations with directors and talent and workshops for filmmakers, has quickly established itself as one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind.




This film festival has a deep commitment to fostering the growth of young women filmmakers. They even have a Camp Jane program for middle and high school girls who have an interest in film.

There call for women filmmakers on their website states:

Are you a female filmmaker? Then please submit to our 9th annual Citizen Jane Film Festival that will take place November 3-6, 2016. We screen films in all genres and short or feature length that are directed or co-directed by women. We program films made by filmmakers in all stages of their careers–from first time filmmakers to pioneers in the industry. If accepted, filmmakers are strongly encouraged to attend the festival in person to participate and collaborate with other female filmmakers throughout the weekend, and we work hard to help make this happen for you as much as possible!




“Amplifying the voices of women and girls” is the tagline and mission of the Women’s Film Institute.

The San Francisco Women’s Film Institute was conceived and founded in 2005 by filmmaker, media arts activist and community educator Scarlett Shepard. Shepard’s goal was to build upon the success of the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival (founded in 2004) and it’s mission of supporting, promoting and celebrating films directed by women as art and education and expanding its programming year-round.

The institute supports its mission by presenting the annual San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival, Generation HERstory filmmaking training program for young women (ages 12-19), and a variety of film screenings and educational programs.




Stands for Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival.

It is a mighty regional festival and even has some exciting summer workshops for aspiring teen filmmakers already planned.

Their mission is simple:

In recognition of the power of women’s voices in film, the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (POW Fest) places a spotlight on women directors by showcasing their work and strengthening the community of women in film.

We feature the work of today’s top women directors, honoring the true pioneers while providing support and recognition for the next generation of leading women filmmakers.




If you are across the pond, or want to be, then check out this festival in the UK.

Underwire is the UK’s only film festival celebrating female filmmaking talent across the crafts. Founded in 2010 by Gabriella Apicella and Gemma Mitchell with the aim to change the face of the industry from the inside out, the festival has awarded training and mentoring opportunities to over 40 filmmakers, and has screened over 300 films.

The festival recognizes talent across Directing, Producing, Screenwriting, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Design, and Composing, and any short film that has a woman in one of those roles is eligible.

With women making up only 21.8%* of a typical feature film crew it is clear that these talents must be showcased early, to propel the women filmmakers of the future into their feature film careers.




This is a classic film festival that champions the voices of women in film.

They allow film submissions that range from features, shorts, documentaries, music videos, animation, and written screen plays.

Students can even enter this festival.

Here is an overview from their website:

The California Women’s Film Festival is deeply honored to celebrate women filmmakers, artists and writers by providing a showcase and networking forum in the heart of Hollywood.

The CWFF understands how important it is to hear and see the educated, entertaining and diverse stories of women from around the globe. We provide a platform so these voices can be heard and shared with audiences that want to be inspired.  The California Women’s Film Festival accepts all projects that has at least one woman in one of the key production positions:  (Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Lead Actress, Etc……). Projects that are produced and/or directed by men are accepted as long as there is a lead female protagonist and/or the story is based around women.




This film festival caters to more veteran women filmmakers but it is definitely worth attending to make industry connections if you are an aspiring or emerging filmmaker.

FeFF, an international film festival for women directors, bridges the gap between the written, visual, and media arts with an eclectic program of films, script readings, book signings, a photo exhibit, music nights, industry-initiative panels, and best-in-the-biz tributes. FeFF provides an exclusive showcase for Canadian and international independent women filmmakers. We present high-calibre short and feature films in drama, comedy, sci-fi, action, horror, documentary, animation, and experimental genres. The directors and their casts and crews participate in Q & As with audiences following their film screenings. In addition to the annual festival, FeFF also curates film programs throughout the year and produces community-outreach programs to raise awareness of issues that pertain to women.




If you made more of an experimental film then this festival might be up your alley.

They truly see being a filmmaker as being an artist.

The International Les Femmes Underground is a film festival centred on the subversive, unique, and innovative. LEFUFF, showcases artists from all walks of life creating work which redefines the manner in which women are represented in mainstream cinema. Making its debut in 2016, Les Femmes Underground is premiering in Los Angeles as the first ever traveling women’s underground film festival. Les Femmes Underground was created as a response to the decline of feminist icons and role models in the media. As feminists, we believe it is our responsibility to empower new generations of young women to generate work which breaks away from society’s gendered roles. Les Femmes Underground seeks to premier first time under-represented emerging feminist film-makers and artists.




“Reel Women Power” sums up the aim for the FLO Film Festival based in Mumbai, India.

The FLO Film Festival creates a platform to address the representation of women and girls on screen, and exploring – through cinema – the themes unique to this side of the gender spectrum. The Indian and international features, documentaries, animation and short films showcased at the Festival will highlight relevant content dealing with women’s issues, as well as inspiring stories of hope, courage and empowerment. The mission is to start a dialogue breaking down stereotypes, and to enable audiences to become discerning viewers and critically reflect on their media consumption and how it _influences them.




WVN is really a community and collective of women filmmakers that are dedicated to pushing boundaries and opening more doors for women in the industry.

They have organization ambassadors, plan screenings, coordinate college tours, and even provide fiscal sponsorship (which ideal for documentary filmmakers).

A distinctive feature about WVN is that their film festival takes place solely online. This allows more flexibility and diversity for emerging filmmakers to participate.

Their mission statement is as follows:

Women’s Voices Now amplifies the voices of all women by promoting the free expression of women’s struggles for civil, economic, political, and gender rights worldwide. By providing free online platforms for film, art, writing, and social-media activism, we connect people and resources striving for global women’s rights.

Women’s Voices Now fills a critical gap in global efforts seeking to elevate the status of women, especially women who are underrepresented and women with little access to resources. Through the narrative of films, writing, and art featured by Women’s Voices Now, our work continually inspires and challenges women and men to overcome obstacles in the advancement of women.

Through our annual online short-film festival, hosting platforms of written and visual expression, and coordinating community engagement, we foster and enhance the international dialogue on women’s rights and encourage engagement from a worldwide audience.



What do you think about our list? Are there any that you’d like to add, let us know.

We hope that there are a few that have your film’s submission’s name on it!

CJ CHILDRESS is a photographer that keeps true to having a documentary style and an emerging filmmaker that follows that same aesthetic. She can’t wait to go to New Orleans this summer and pretend that she’s filming LEMONADE part II. You can follow her on instagram.