How To Make A Screenplay Better by Matthew Kalil

Film Courage: When someone presents you with their script saying I need you to help me make this better, what are you looking for? What are the main things that will stand out first?

Matthew Kalil, Screenwriter/Author/Instructor: Very often when I’m in that position with someone who has given me a script and says What can I do to make it better? My question is Why do you want to tell the story? And very often when I do that I untap…Untap? Unplug? Untap a whole well of stuff that is not in the script.

Very often people will say I want to tell the story because of this, this and this. And it happened to me when I was younger… There is the story! There’s some stuff. Let’s put that in the script.

Very often the first step for me is always, always, always why do YOU want to tell the story?

And if they say Well to make money and to be the next superhero movie, then I’ll say Cool, okay let’s fix it with the structure and the characters and stuff. As long as I know why you want to tell the story…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Bio: Matthew Kalil is a writer, director and script editor. He has written and co-written over 40 produced episodes of TV and has received various grants, development funding and awards. Matthew’s productions have been screened and broadcast in Canada, Denmark, Morocco, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Kenya, South Africa, Thailand, the United States and the United Kingdom. Since receiving his MA in Screenwriting, he has been teaching, writing and mentoring students for close to 20 years. Matthew has developed a unique system of screenwriting theory that helps beginners as well as established screenwriters get in touch with their creative cores. His workshops have touched and inspired thousands of participants. His gentle and insightful script editing guidance has helped many writers realize the stories they were always trying to tell.

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