How To Make A Screenplay Better by Kelli McNeil

Film Courage: Do you have to be empathic or open to be a writer?

Kelli McNeil, Writer, Actress and Voice Over Artist: Isn’t that the job of being a writer is to tell the story of humans? I mean you can certainly write a blockbuster movie, I know that there are a lot of big studio platforms out there that just tell (and I’m not going to name any particular films) but there are some that just don’t have character. They are all action and maybe storylines.

But yes, I think in order to tell stories that people gravitate to you have to be willing to tell a little bit of yourself in each one.

One thing that people always ask you when you are writing is why are you the person to tell this story? Why should you be the voice of this? And it’s easier to …I don’t want to say prove, but it’s easier to persuade people that you are the right person to tell a particular story if you yourself can relate to it. I think that is what we are all looking for any time we go to a movie. We are looking to experience a kind of catharsis, we are looking to experience some kind of human emotion.

I find that my best pieces, my best work, are the ones that I really put myself into. They have a bit of me in it…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


DARUMA is inspired by a true story about two unlikely friends: a paraplegic & a double amputee. Kelli and her team are authentically casting amazing actors, Tobias Forrest & John Lawson. Disability inclusion is the last bastion of inequality in Hollywood: it’s time for change. Video is closed captioned.


About Kelli:

Kelli McNeil is a Los Angeles based writer, actor, voiceover artist and producer. As a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Drama, McNeil has performed in multiple film, TV and stage productions and wrapped production on three features in 2017, including Gus Van Sant’s new movie, Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot.     


She was selected to attend BADA (British American Drama Academy) during her junior year. She currently has a national commercial airing for Little Caesars, directed by celebrated commercial director Harold Einstein of Dummy Films. She has voiced numerous commercial, corporate and theatrical projects.     


McNeil has also carved out a career for herself in advertising, where she has been a Creative Director and writer for multiple clients, including Fortune 50 companies. Her focus has been on producing digital spots and content creation…(Continued here on Kellimcneil.com).

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