R2R Interview: Screenwriters Brooke Mulkins & Stephanie Moore

*I’ve been wanting to add interviews to the blog and well, there is no time like the present. Here is the first in what I hope will be many more interviews on the blog. Enjoy!

What is your name and title/occupation?

Brooke Mulkins, Screenwriter ( You can also find her here)

Stephanie Moore, Screenwriter

We’re writing partners and are now incapable of independent thought haha.

How would you define a screenwriter?

A screenwriter is someone who writes film and television scripts. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had anything made, as long as you do the work. 

What do you think is a screenwriter’s main job/responsibility in writing a script?

You’re telling a story, but you’re also creating a blueprint for all the other Creatives involved in the project. The story needs to be compelling, yet leave room for creative interpretation. 

What tips would you give (new or experienced) screenwriters?

Don’t do it! …Just kidding. You must learn the craft. Read a lot of scripts (good and bad) and write every single day. Write and write and write.

A lot of screenwriters think just because you type the words “The End” or “Fade to Black” that it is done; however, that’s only the beginning. You have to revise and rewrite again and again. The end of a first draft is just the beginning of the process. 

Any pet peeves in scripts or things that are overused that would like to see stop?

Yes! Don’t use adverbs (even though I love them) or have your characters repeatedly say another character’s name. Also, avoid using the passive voice. Use action words!

What is something about your job that most people don’t know but that you wish they knew?

It’s a lot harder than you think. It’s also surprisingly collaborative, especially for films, and you’re constantly dealing with other people’s input. 

 It’s also incredibly difficult to go from an idea to a fleshed out screenplay. 

Where do you get your inspiration for a new story?

From anything and everywhere. A simple conversation with a neighbor, or a story that your grandfather told you. You can find inspiration everywhere. Stephanie wrote a screenplay because she was spending too much time staring at her phone. Brooke wrote a screenplay based around her experience with divorce, but added a creature. You just never know. 

What are your favorite resources when you are doing background research?

The internet is a great place. We are probably on many watch lists as we research some pretty horrendous subjects. Just be careful because for every great article, there’s a ton of misinformation. Perusing libraries and even just people-watching or talking to people can be very informative. We prefer face-to-face research; it’s fascinating and can help you understand your characters better than any Google search ever could

What are our favorite types of scripts to write and why?

Dramadies (drama and comedy combined) because they mirror our view of life. 

Since you have experience working with costumes, has that changed the way you write your characters? How?

We both have worked in different aspects of production. Brooke is also a Motion Picture Costumer and Stephanie works in the Production Department. Working behind the scenes has had a huge impact on our writing, and for the better. We are very aware of what it takes to bring one action line or a scene or stunt to fruition. We understand location cost, talent cost, and overall production design/costume costs – all of it. It definitely changes your perspective, but on the other hand you have to forget about that. You can’t always let your producer brain interfere with your writing. If you need an explosion to further the story, then you need the explosion. Bombs away!

Can you tell me something (hint/tease) about your current writing project?

We can’t really give details right now, but we’ve been working on it for two years. It’s been a lot of hard work, but we are very excited to see where it goes. 

Is there anything that you would like to include/talk about that I didn’t ask?

Only become a screenwriter if you can’t envision yourself doing anything else. 

Name a favorite movie that you can watch over and over again?

Stephanie – “Jaws” and “Silence of the Lambs”. 

Brooke – “Jurassic Park”. I nerd out when he ties the female ends of the seat belt together in the helicopter because it foreshadows that “life finds a way.” 

There’s clearly a theme here. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments for Brooke and Stephanie?

[Credit: flickr/Alan Levine]

E-mail emilie@real2reelscience.com Hours M-F: 5-10pm EDT, EST Weekends: 12-5pm and other times by appointment.
%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close