Here’s Why A Screenwriter Should Submit To A Script Contest by Kelli McNeil

Film Courage: You drove out here from Texas to attend USC for Theater/Dramatic Arts? But now you’re focused more on writing?

Kelli McNeil, Writer, Actress and Voice Over Artist: Yes.

Film Courage: Where did this shift come in?

Kelli: It’s hard to make it as an actor out here, it’s really hard. I knew I wanted to write, I just didn’t know how to tell the stories. I think that this is something that is inherently different in men and women and this could be just me. But women (when they don’t know how to do something) I find that they try to educate themselves first before they take the leap and do it. That may be a good thing and that may be a bad thing, I don’t know? But that’s my particular process. I find that a lot of men are able to just fake-it-till-you-make it and just wing it.

Check out the Seed&Spark! campaign for Kelli’s film DARUMA movie 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.

I always get what is called Imposter Syndrome. So for me at that point I had failed with the children’s book. When I first started writing Baltimore School of Charm (which is what launched my screenwriting career) I hadn’t been published. That came literally six weeks after I started the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. I was in class with this adjunct professor (Justin Trevor Winters), he’s fantastic, a really great guy. We’re still friends. He taught me my first screenwriting class. Even as an actor I knew how to break a script down, I knew what the beats were but I never looked at it from a writing standpoint and I decided this was something that I really wanted to…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


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



Like this video? Please subscribe to our Youtube channel. Or love this video and want more? You can show additional support via our Youtube sponsor tab or through Patreon.

Advertisement – contains affiliate links: