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BPS 051: The Coffee Break Screenwriter with Pilar Alessandra

I’ve been trying to get today’s guest on the show for months. Pilar Alessandra is an author, podcaster, and script consultant. She’s the director of the popular writing program On The Page, author of The Coffee Break Screenwriter: Writing Your Script Ten Minutes at a Time and host of the On the Page Podcast.

Pilar started her career as Senior Story Analyst at DreamWorks SKG. In 2001, she opened the Los Angeles-based On the Page Writers’ Studio dedicated to teaching and consulting with screenwriters and TV writers at all levels.

An in-demand speaker, she’s taught seminars at DreamWorks, Disney Animation, ABC, CBS, and the AFM and has traveled the world teaching in the UK, China, Poland, Vietnam, Colombia, Portugal, and South Africa.

Pilar’s greatest accomplishment is the success of her students, many of whom have won top competitions such as the Nicholl Fellowship, are working on TV shows such as “The 100,” “Silicon Valley” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and have sold feature films to major studios. 

Enjoy my conversation with Pilar Alessandra.

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:33
I like to welcome Michelle pillar. Alessandra. Thank you so much for being on the show.

Pilar Alessandra 4:42
Thank you so much for having me.

Alex Ferrari 4:43
We have been going back and forth for months because you are a busy lady and I'm a busy guy. So it's amazing that we've been able to do this.

Pilar Alessandra 4:51
I know I know. Thank you for your patience.

Alex Ferrari 4:53
Oh no thank you for being on the show. I really appreciate it. I like I was saying before we started recording we I reached out to you back When I was a young screenwriter, looking for some advice in 2010, on my first I think was my first screenplay. And we went back and forth a little bit, but it never ended. Nothing materialized about it. But I've known about you for a long, long time. And you do some really great work out there for screenwriters. So thank you for all the work that you do.

Pilar Alessandra 5:17
Thank you. It's great work.

Alex Ferrari 5:20
And you are one of the original podcasts out there.

Pilar Alessandra 5:25
I sound so old I was making, I didn't

Alex Ferrari 5:27
want to, I didn't want to say oh, gee, but since you throw it out there, you know, you're one of the Oh, geez. of the podcasting screenwriting world up there with john August. And because you've been, what, 10 years, you were doing your on the page, a podcast.

Pilar Alessandra 5:42
You know, I didn't even realize I mean, at the time, I was too lazy to blog. And so I was like, I'll do this. And yeah, I guess I there just weren't that many screenwriting podcasts at the time. And, and so it caught on. And when I realized that people were actually listening, I was like, Oh, I have a responsibility here. I better start making it good. I better start making it about something. And and and you know, since then, yeah, I take the responsibility pretty seriously. Even the show, the show can be bumpy and silly. But the whole point of it every week is that somebody should leave with a nugget of information about the craft and business of screenwriting. So

Alex Ferrari 6:27
I know the feeling when I first started out, too, I just like I you know, and then when people started listening, you start taking this seriously, oh, crap, oh, crap. Someone's listening to this, we got to

Pilar Alessandra 6:34
know what's happening. Yeah, we

Alex Ferrari 6:36
gotta we gotta bring our a game. So let's, let's start at the very beginning, how did you get into this business? Um,

Pilar Alessandra 6:43
I was, you know, I was in my 20s. And I sort of accidentally fell into a script reading job, because I liked writing analytical papers in college about books. And somebody remember that they're like, wow, and you're lit and lit classes, you wrote these really great papers, that's kind of what we need, we need this book report called a coverage at our studio are a production company, would you do it like once a week. And then when I found out, I could actually make money at it, because I had no idea. I had samples. And I was able to get a job through amblin entertainment that way, as a script reader, and learn on the job as a reader, and then ended up sort of teaching people how to be a script reader as well. They were getting jobs. And then I found I really loved teaching. And I wanted to find tools that that actually could fix certain things that I was seeing sort of common mistakes, if you will, and scripts and hated just saying pass or consider. And I thought what can I develop some tools would they work? And they did work? And and so that's how the classes were born.

Alex Ferrari 7:57
And you also worked at DreamWorks for a little bit.

Pilar Alessandra 8:00
Right. So when amblin became DreamWorks, so to speak, was kind of there for a while. Yes. Yes,

Alex Ferrari 8:08
that was a hodgepodge of stuff, right? I'd

Pilar Alessandra 8:10
been at amblin for a while. And so I became sort of a senior story analyst position, so that I was also doing notes on existing projects. I also worked for a number of other companies as well. Always analyzing material doing notes on material. But I've found working directly with writers is more satisfying, because I can say, and here's a possibility of fixing it, rather than always saying, you know, pass or consider. That's no fun.

Alex Ferrari 8:41
And when you were working at DreamWorks, you were working at a time that was pretty cool. It was early 2000. So they were at the height of their powers, if I'm not mistaken. Right?

Pilar Alessandra 8:49
It was actually again, because let's just let's just go with aging me with every question.

Alex Ferrari 9:00
I'm trying to help. I'm trying Yeah.

Pilar Alessandra 9:02
Thanks, man. I appreciate it.

You know, like sort of the the, it was the age of the rock star writer,

Alex Ferrari 9:09
where Shane Black Joe Astor house, those guys.

Pilar Alessandra 9:12
Yeah. And the idea that you would get a script at even as late as 9pm have to make sure that coverage was in by 7am. because there'd be a bidding war at 8am. I mean, if people were throwing so much money in to get the next big shiny thing, which also is why they burned out a little bit, you know, and started sort of holding back and saying, okay, we're not taking any more specs. And when the writer strike happened when they had sort of an excuse to stop taking original material for quite a while. But yes, at the time, lots of scripts, lots of excitement and lots of learning for me.

Alex Ferrari 9:55
It must have been a wonderful time. I always tell people about that time, which I wasn't around, but I did study That I mean, it wasn't round. Of course you

Pilar Alessandra 10:01
weren't for him, right?

Alex Ferrari 10:02
No, yeah. I'm 22. I'm 22. Yes, I'm just worn really hard. But no, but I wasn't in the business at that time I was in college and those type of areas, but you would read these stories of like every week, Joe Lester house to $3 million, Shane Black and all these Rockstar screenwriters. And I feel sometimes when I seek to speak, I speak to screenwriters, they think that that's still going on. And to a certain extent, there are million dollar buys still. And they're still, there are some spec stuff that happens every once in a while. But it's nothing like it was like every week, every day, there was some new stuff coming out. And these guys were making just, I mean, extra house, I think what it is, I think Esther has like 20 $25 million. And most of them were never produced, that was the thing,

Pilar Alessandra 10:45
right, we could actually make, you know, sort of a sweet living and never have been produced, you know, there were a lot of people who got development deals and got, you know, their scripts bought, and, but also, you know, along those lines, they would take things on pitch a lot. And then they'd have to hire another writer, because the the draft that they got was only me. So half of my job at that time was reading writing samples to rewrite other things that they had bought on pitch or too quickly. So now there are doubling what they have to pay even in the development process. But again, for me to sort of distinguish between like, Okay, what is a project that really, really works, you know, in terms of idea, and another project that works in terms of execution, so you can have a write a great writing sample as well. And that all helps in the work that I do now.

Alex Ferrari 11:42
So what is the biggest mistake? Do you see in first time screenplays?

Pilar Alessandra 11:45
Oh, I don't think there is one biggest. It used to be overriding, you know, I could I could have sort of an easy answer to that question. But now, you know, gosh, there's so many resources out there. writers are so savvy, they're so well read, and they understand, you know, sort of how to be spare on the page. So that's not really it. Um, I think it's maybe sometimes not doubling down on their own good idea that they'll start something with a high concept, and then they'll think it's boring. So then they start to sort of snowball into another high concept, or they'll bring in this magical character here. And then suddenly, we're in a dream and backstory. And they just kind of think that by throwing in all these things, it gets more interesting when actually it's getting more convoluted. And you're not serving your own good idea. So I really like people when they when they just lead to wonderful logline. Best rewrite they can do.

Alex Ferrari 12:51
So in your opinion, what is the screenplay that you've read? That is just like, oh, man, this they got this, like, it's this is if everybody should read the screenplay, and use this as a, as a template of what to do? And how they did it. Of course not copy the screenplay, but just like, Man, that's just good writing.

Pilar Alessandra 13:10
You know, I, first of all, you probably not gonna believe me, but I'm always the most in love with whatever clients work I read that just worked. You know what I mean? I'm always like that script, that script. So I don't really have one script that I tell everybody to read. But I do say that, you know, in the in the age where you can just type in the script title, and then script PDF, and something will magically illegally download for you. You know, you can go to like your favorite movies, and then go to the section of the script, where that favorite moment was in that favorite movie, and look at how it was executed. Like, how did they make you feel that way? Whether it was it feeling romantic or surprised or horrified. And to me, that's the best thing you can do with scripts is find those moments in those great scripts with movies you love. So I'm kind of throwing it back not going like there's this one script? Because I think every script has has its moment. Yes, yeah, every every scripts work. You know, Oh, I love this part of it. But it also there there are dead moments and every great script.

Alex Ferrari 14:25
Absolutely.

Pilar Alessandra 14:27
copy everything that your favorite writer does. every writer does is not perfect.

Alex Ferrari 14:32
It's like like in a john Ford film. The Indians take the fort like that. You know, that's one line but it took 20 minutes on screen. Now what what is your process structure do you do you suggest creating a beat sheet of some sort or how do you like do structure?

Pilar Alessandra 14:51
Well, though, in my classes, I do have them everybody create a beat sheet but not two beats that I think they should have. So I'm not sitting there going on page 12, there needs to be this. And on page one, there needs to be that. Instead, I first asked them to think big picture in terms of beginning, middle and end. And we usually take that middle and divided into two parts. So we've got beginning middle part one, middle part two, and and so you sort of have four equal parts that you can play with. Then I asked them to divide those up a little bit into beats of story. And I just asked them to think of every beat in terms of what somebody wants to do, what they actually do, and what gets in the way. And if you have those beats of story with the, you know, sort of fitting into those four equal parts, great look, you got to structure what story you want to tell, or how you want to tell it is completely up to you. But it helps people at least organize so that they can see the big picture, have some kind of map to follow and then start start writing.

Alex Ferrari 15:51
No. character building is always a very difficult situation. What What do you how do you build an interesting character? In your opinion? What are some, what's some advice that you can give for screenwriters to build interesting characters? Because I've read a lot of screenplays, and I've watched a lot of movies and the characters are just like, there's no depth. There's no, especially in a big studio movies, too. I always beat up on the DC Universe. But, you know, there's a reason why Marvel's done very well in DC has not because the characters, you really feel Iron Man, you really feel Spider Man, and you don't feel as much for the other side of the fence at times?

Pilar Alessandra 16:27
Well, I think I think if you look at the Marvel characters, they're always paying off their own particular character rules, so things that they always or never do, you know, you know, Tony Stark's philosophy of the world, you know, his flaw in the fact that he is always going to sort of try and grab the attention of the room, right, he's always going to try and alpha lead, right, um, you know, what his soft spot is. And they're constantly mining these things we already know about them and bringing them through the scenes. So he doesn't stop and talk about his past. Instead, his past is always shining through in the choices that he makes. So when going back to my classes, when we're talking about character development, I really love it when we are learning about characters on the job, who, how they were raised, who they are, comes through, and the choices they make and the behaviors that they exhibit. So it's what we see, rather than what they stop and talk about, I am not a big one on stopping and discussing things that happened before page one,

Alex Ferrari 17:39
you associate. So you meet. So you'd be basically you shouldn't have two characters goes, Hey, Tony, I know that you had a bad childhood. And that's why you're an alcoholic. Now, like, that's not what you do. And that's it. But a lot of screenwriters do that, unfortunately,

Pilar Alessandra 17:53
all the time. I read it all the time. There's always that, you know, stop and talk scene, you know, and it also comes from a battle of backstory, like you think you had a bad childhood, you know, did the character character

Unknown Speaker 18:06
you know, like,

Pilar Alessandra 18:09
why are you doing that, you know, but if I saw someone, you know, look at an object and start shaking, okay, know that there is some kind of traumatic incident connected with that object or that that object trigger something from the past. And I will find out more with with the choices that character makes. And if at a certain point, they've earned their cathartic moment of revealing the backstory, fine. You know, but at least you've shown it for a while. And now I'm getting just what I need to sort of fill in the blanks.

Alex Ferrari 18:45
It's kind of like Indiana Jones, where he he's afraid of snakes. And he didn't he does never says let me he does say he's afraid of snakes. But you never know why until the third movie, where he actually explains the backstory of it, which is such a great payoff for that character. And even that even that little cut that Harrison Ford has, is when he was a kid, and he whipped he tried to do the whip for the first time and he's hid himself, like those little nuggets are so it just adds like a tapestry, if you will, on the characters.

Pilar Alessandra 19:11
about all we cared about in the first one was, wow, this guy who isn't afraid of anything is afraid of this one thing. We all have fears. That's all we had to know. And then once that's in we can also see it pay off, you know, in a pit full of snakes. So it's, it's it works there. You know, you're right, as you build that build out these trilogies then you can find out more and more and it's it's what keeps us coming back to the movies.

Alex Ferrari 19:37
And that's why that the the payoff I mean, with endgame as of this recording endgame came out a few weeks ago, and it is just the crescendo of 22 films as it's no one's ever done anything like this. And, and again, I'm not I'm a Marvel guy, but I'm not like, oh, everything's great. They have bad movies, but this was such a wonderful way of just wrapping it up. And in payoffs of the characters over 20, over 10 years, it is amazing. I mean, when you I mean, I'm sure you've been watching these stories, as they've, you know, come out over the years. And to see this kind of crescendo of these characters. It's there's just nothing like it I've never seen.

Pilar Alessandra 20:17
It was so great. And you're just sitting there going, you know that that last moment if I say it, you know. And you know, and to be honest with you, there were moments in that battle when I thought, Oh, that's a great way to end it. And then they would bring into something like, Oh, no, that's a great way. Oh, of course, they have to, you know, they they finished off everything was still leaving room for whatever they're going to do with the next series of Marvel movies, Spider Man, etc.

Alex Ferrari 20:47
What I find? No, no, it's okay. What I what I found also fascinating, and I heard this from the directors and the writers is that they actually when they got to the battle scene of endgame, that was going to be a three act structure of that literally of the battle. It was such a mess, it was like 45 minutes. So it was such a massive part they were going to do a three act structure of the battle itself within a giant or strip because it was just so I mean, the screenwriters for that film and the directors how they were able to work in so many storylines, so many characters, so many like giving everybody because every single one of them literally is the star of their own franchise, right? And yet, they're giving everyone their moment they're giving Miss Marvel the moment they given the spider man that moment they give me an Iron Man and Thor and oh, how do you like with people who are writing very, you know, a lot of characters in a screenplay. And I know that there's not many films like endgame, but out there that have a lot of different characters that have like, like, let's say, a suicide squad or a Guardians of the Galaxy, that have a group of characters. Any advice on how to balance that? Because that is an art in itself?

Pilar Alessandra 21:53
Well, I think first of all, step back, Think big picture in terms your major act breaks, so that you know, at least where this is all landing, okay. And again, when we're talking about act breaks, it doesn't have to be prescribed, this must happen at this point, right. But if you imagine that you have at least three turning points in a project, okay. You know, what leads into that second act? And what feels like that midpoint? And what's the end of that second act before you're really going forward? And the third act, just knowing those things? Okay, that first, then look at your ensemble of characters, you know, what is driving tour, but they're all having sort of their mini stories along the way, see if you can now tell what tell each of those stories in three to four scenes. So again, thinking like what's the that beginning, that middle, part one, middle, part two, and just for that character, okay? Because sometimes when it's heavy, heavily populated, that's all you're you're going to get? Or even look into your favorite ensemble movies. And, you know, pluck out one character, and just think about the scenes that you're seeing them and you're gonna see, it's really not that many. So how are they telling that one story? And how do they sort of jump in, so that you're focusing on that major story beat even though it's only a scene? So I think that that would be my advice.

Alex Ferrari 23:24
I hope that makes sense. It makes perfect sense. Makes perfect sense. Now, do you have any advice on how to find the voice of a character because so many characters are so vanilla, and they just, they just don't have any flavor to them? Like, you know, let's bring back Indiana Jones. Boy, that man has a lot of flavor, and you pick up that character and within the first five minutes of the movie, you know, you know who that character is. And then you start developing the voice of that character. And like you were saying with like Tony Stark and these other characters that there's rules within what they do and their actions that they stay true to? What do you do to find the voice of a character?

Pilar Alessandra 24:00
Well, I have a couple of tips that I sort of have my, my my writers run through in class. Number one is what profession or stage of life are they in? And therefore what language do they speak? So we all speak English maybe right? But some of us speak surfer and some of us speak comic book geek and some of us speak lawyer, right? So that profession or stage of life, that becomes a language. So that's one way to find a unique voice. Another is a verbal rule. So this is not what they say but how they say it. So some people curse some people give one word answer some people ramble, right? So their verbal rule that's another thing to think about. A third is what region or country are they from what what phrases do they use? You know, so Thor is going to use you know, phrases From where, Where's he from? What? Well, he's

Alex Ferrari 25:04
from a magical land. But generally Norse is kind of like that kind of vibe.

Pilar Alessandra 25:09
And and he speaks the language of the gods, right? So he will say things that nobody else would say, right?

Unknown Speaker 25:15
and get away with it and get away with it. Absolutely. But

Pilar Alessandra 25:18
including those phrases like, that's just this is normal world, right? And then the fourth one is to actually magically cast in your head. Be Okay, about having the voice of Harrison Ford in your head? Okay, that will be a completely different voice on the page than say, Chris Pratt. Right, right. So, um, so so having it right will help you express the line, nobody has to know that that's living in your head. And if you were doing a spec of a TV show, you would have the advantage of characters that we already know that your chat channeling, so why not do that with original material. So those are my four ways of finding voices.

Alex Ferrari 26:05
I really love the stage of life idea. That is a I've never heard that that idea is a really great idea because it really sets you're there. You know, I'm a 45 year old comic book geek who lives in the basement of his mom's house, that pretty much gets the voice of that character pretty quickly. Now, is it a voice that we've seen 1000 times too? Yeah, that's another thing. So you could start tossing it around and start adding other things on there. Also an archaeologist? Oh, okay. Well, there you go. So they start adding like little flavors of things that, but the but that's a good starting point of how you can kind of brainstorm ideas. Have you?

Pilar Alessandra 26:40
Have you seen booksmart yet?

Alex Ferrari 26:42
I'm dying to I really looks fantastic.

Pilar Alessandra 26:45
So good, right. So if you said, Well, she speaks high school senior, well, we have these sort of stereotypes in our head, right? But if you say she speaks over achiever, okay, that's different. she happens to be a high school senior who speaks over achiever, right now she's got an interesting voice, you know, so that's interesting. Everything about that, that movie I just adored, because every time you thought it was going to make a certain choice, based on all these movies you've seen, it makes it a slightly different one, doesn't mean there has to be the opposite, but it's just different. And it works for the character. It's in keeping with the rules of the character that we've come to know very quickly. With the characters. It's, it's, it's lovely.

Alex Ferrari 27:34
A good example of that is like you just said high schools clueless, like it's either not just your general, they're Valley girls, basically, you know, Valley girls in that time period, not like valley girl, like when valley girl came out back in was in like the late 70s or early 80s. With Nicolas Cage, that that was the first time anyone had ever heard valley girl talk, like, Oh, for sure. And all that kind of stuff. And that was you, but it would they were all high school kids, or Fast Times at ridgemont High. And so how many different types of high schools that we've seen on screen. So fast time in Richmond high speaks very differently than Breakfast Club.

Pilar Alessandra 28:08
Right? Right. You know, if you go even dig deeper to you know, why did clueless not feel cool cookie cutter, right? You could go for you know, the lead is, you know, she speaks matchmaker in a way that that is everything, she looks at everything in terms of who to fix up who you know, who should be with whom, who's the projects, right? And it speaks to her control issues. So her voice matches what she needs to do. I have to be I have to make a confession, right? So I'm in my 20s reading. And I misread that script as just another valley girl script. And I passed on it, because I was always and I thought these girls are dumb. They're just Valley girls. And I really wasn't looking at No, wait a minute. They've got their own rules. They've got their own ways of looking at things. I was actually probably too much of a clueless valley girl myself at the time. To really have the perspective. It haunts me in Hotspur

Alex Ferrari 29:14
Yeah, it almost almost got you fired because he was like you passed on the script and it made a god gazillions amounts of money.

Pilar Alessandra 29:20
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 29:24
But the thing is to it was also a lot of perfect storms in that situation with Alicia Silverstone was perfectly cast and I was Penelope. Who's it? Not until on appeal Miller, who was the director of that.

Pilar Alessandra 29:36
It was oh my god. She's amazing.

Alex Ferrari 29:38
But not Beth. Miller.

Pilar Alessandra 29:41
were so bad.

Alex Ferrari 29:42
Oh my god. No, it's it's a female director. Okay, I forgot who she has everyone someone.

Pilar Alessandra 29:49
Thanks for thanks for making me feel better. I really appreciate it. It was just me being an idiot. So

Alex Ferrari 29:56
are there any other

Pilar Alessandra 29:57
anything else that I passed on? Sure. I mean, it was a long time ago. Yeah, but nothing

Alex Ferrari 30:04
has stood out like that.

Pilar Alessandra 30:06
But you know what one thing I have to say, I do think that, you know, it does say something about, you know, getting older, having some experience, we're also, you know, having a bigger picture view of the world, that, you know, if you're just reading scripts from your own little bubble, right, you're gonna miss some really valuable material. You know, a, you have to sort of think like an audience, for one thing, a really wide audience, and you have to kind of be open to characters and situations that may not necessarily be you or any choices you would make, you know, which is why I get like, prickly when people go into this unlikable note. Because it's like, well, that might be unlikable for you, right, you know, but it's, it's, it could be fascinating for someone else, you know, that doesn't mean we shouldn't sort of look at this life on screen. And, you know, and dig into that story

Alex Ferrari 31:02
was kind of like clueless for you, like you knew those girls, because you were probably close to you, you were too much of a valley girl yourself. So you're like, this is stupid.

Pilar Alessandra 31:10
I was judging them. Exactly. And it had nothing to do with me. You know?

Alex Ferrari 31:16
Do you have any other advice on developing a good protagonist? And what they need to do to kind of move that story forward? Are you Oh, by the way, are you more character driven? Or plot driven? Or is it a combination of two? Because I know I've spoken to a lot of people on the show, and some people like it's all about character, you need a good plot, you need a good structure, but it's all about character and other people like no, it's about plot, it's about structure and characters are in addition, where do you fall on that, that pendulum,

Pilar Alessandra 31:42
I'm gonna, I'm gonna say something wishy washy and say is what the project needs. So in, in the first, in my first day of the first draft class, I have my writers brainstorm in three different ways. Because they may be coming at their project in three different ways. And they have to see what's really going to work for them. So the first thing that we do is brainstorm around character, sort of throwing that character into uncomfortable situations and seeing what choices they make and seeing what structure emerges. The second thing I have them do is actually brainstorm around event. So if they have this one key scene in their head, what happens? Where is it on the timeline? Is it in the beginning, the middle that end and that that way? What comes before it, what springs after it? And the third way I have them brainstorm is just Okay, let's, if it's just your big high concept idea, let's make it the most killer logline possible and see if that really helps you brainstorm. So I really go with what's going to serve the writers intentions the most. I don't think there's one way to do it

Alex Ferrari 32:51
yet because there's certain movies like I was just thinking of Wayne's World, like that's a character based kind of film, The structure is in the plots. It's fine. But you're just going on the road with these guys to work crazy. Cheech and Chong. Let's put that out there. You know, it's like,

Pilar Alessandra 33:06
those book came out of sketches, right. So we have these guys, who we just laughed at the dynamic between them, you know, this one little world that they were in and then did a lot of one thing to find a story. So what if, you know, I think Wayne and Garth, are they trying to get to their ultimate cause I don't

Alex Ferrari 33:25
even remember, I don't even remember what the plot is. I remember Bohemian Rhapsody. I remember Bohemian Rhapsody. And that he had a crush on a girl and they like and then basically all this good stuff. That's basically what I remember from the movie.

Pilar Alessandra 33:39
You know, as long as they're, they have like one goal and they're making choices along the way that are specific to them. You know? Great. You got you got to film.

Alex Ferrari 33:50
It's like a Muppet Movie. I mean, it's like you're just all you're hanging out with the Muppets and then just they're all doing this one thing we got to get to the show. We got a we got a break in and steal that diamond. We got it. You know that kind of that kind of thing. It's it's fascinating now.

Pilar Alessandra 34:04
An emotional turn somewhere in a Muppet Movie at some point, right? They always Miss Piggy is is gonna break up with Kermit or Chrome is gonna break up with Miss Piggy or there's a misunderstanding between, you know? Yeah, there's always something that sort of reinvests you emotionally. So even though we're saying, Yeah, you take these characters put them in gold. There's always also that sort of emotional,

Alex Ferrari 34:27
even even with the Wayne Wayne and Garth that was at some sort of, you know, emotional thing doesn't make you cry. But there's something I just loved that this this this interview went to the Muppets, and now we're using the Muppets as a structural exam.

Pilar Alessandra 34:41
We can learn many things from the Muppets.

Alex Ferrari 34:43
Yes, amen. Amen. Sister, though. antagonist creating a good bad guy is so I mean, there's such a problem. I think it's a it's an epidemic of really bad foreign bad guys in action movies. Like it's always The guy who has the accent and all this stuff and then you, you look at some of you know, some of the greatest bad guys of all time and I'll go just at the action genre, you know, hands from diehard who also was a foreign dude and all that stuff was so wonderfully written so wonderfully directed and played, you know, and you you look at, like Mr. Joshua from Lethal Weapon who's so you know, amazing and of course like Darth Vader and and those kind of characters what do you what are some advice you have for creating a really great antagonist, the Joker, I just came to me with one of the greatest

Pilar Alessandra 35:35
one, it was the Joker from the Dark Knight you're talking about

Alex Ferrari 35:40
the 1969 Adam West version?

Pilar Alessandra 35:44
You never know. Right? So. So if there is, I wish I could quote it right now. But I actually show the logline of the Joker from the Dark Knight in one of my classes because his love line is that he's somebody who is who is trying to bring fun back to the city and stop this horrible masked men from from ruining all of that fun. He believes what he is doing is is a good thing. You know, if you have to kill people to do it, so be it. So every bad guy has his or her own logline. And the you know, my first my first piece of advice is what is their logline? What's their movie, right? So as they're looking in on the scenes, how do they feel they're the hero. And I'm certainly not the first person to say that. But it does it is worth it to actually go in and go, what is your antagonist logline. They don't think they're evil. They think they're right.

Alex Ferrari 36:55
Right, isn't it? But isn't that the truth for every bad guy in history? You know, every dictator, every mass murderer, and in one way, shape, or form. They're not they're twisting, twisting, twisting their mustache, they truly believe that they're doing something If not, you couldn't really go to sleep at night. So you truly believe in a psychotic break of some sort. Obviously, that breaks from societal norms, that you're doing good from your perspective, because I always tell people, the bad guy is always the hero of his own story. He's not the villain, you know?

Pilar Alessandra 37:26
Yes. So the writer, it's like, we can say this for days. But if the writer doesn't actually know what that story is, if they just go I'm, I believe you right? And still write them in this cookie cutter way. They haven't really gone into the the writers into the bad guys psyche, you know, why are they doing what they do? Now, that does not mean that you stop the script, and you go into a flashback of what made the guy evil. That's different. That's their backstory, and we don't need it. We just need to what is their point of view? Now, in this moment? Why do they think they're right? And it will humanize them in terms of how they express their lines, some of the choices that they make, things like that.

Alex Ferrari 38:13
So two great examples. I was just thinking off the top of my head was a Thanos, obviously, because it's an unmined is, you know, in his mind, he's just trying to it's the universe is overpopulated and it's just, there's just too many people so we're just gonna get rid of half of the universe. That's that's his point of view. He's like, I'm just I'm just trying to help. And then, right is that basically, that's basically kindness

Pilar Alessandra 38:35
to the actor's gentle voice that he uses, right? He doesn't know even though he's huge. He's always kind of explaining this like he's a philosophy professor.

Alex Ferrari 38:47
Yes. Yes. Just Brolin. Yeah,

Pilar Alessandra 38:49
right. And and so I think it goes with again, he the the point of view is very clear. So the actor is able to now interpret it with more depth than than usual.

Alex Ferrari 39:00
Yeah, and a lot of the Marvel movies is that's one of the weaknesses of those Marvel movies is that the antagonists always a lot of times wasn't as strong as the protagonist. The protagonist was so well developed, but the antagonists weren't. That nose is a good one, but the other one in black and black panther was wonderful because you just felt bad for him. You know, cuz he was so you remember Black Panther Black Panther. Manga got his name? warmonger. But it's warmonger thing. His name was but he was he's basically his. He's like a stepbrother or cousin. He's a cousin to Black Panther. And he never got raised in Wakanda. He was thrown out in the street and he was rejected.

Pilar Alessandra 39:42
And we do see a little of his backstory, right, Trey that triggers that.

Alex Ferrari 39:46
Yeah. And he just wants to come back and take what's hit me because it's obviously wrong what he's doing, but you get it like you like if I was put in that position, would I make those choices if I had that set, you know, and that's what really humanizes that character. Like you The main character feel bad about re spoiler alert when he doesn't win at the end. You know if he feels bad when he asked to, you know, finish the job, if you will, because he's like, I feel your pain. I do. And those that was what made I think that they that made that movie such a hit as well as all the other cool stuff that happened in it. But without that great antagonist. I mean, what a Star Wars without Darth Vader, like,

Pilar Alessandra 40:23
Hey, I'm looking I'm going to Devil Wears Prada, Miranda sight. So like, you know, what's fun is how beastly she is through most of it. And then we're starting to see her point of view. And this is a you know, a busy working mother like, this is like, sorry, you know, sometimes you need to get stuff done. Plus she has an expertise in fashion. So when she's cutting your protagonists down to size, she's not just saying you're stupid. She's saying you don't understand the industry you're in. And this is why, you know, and she's right. Yeah. So I you can't help but go. Oh, yeah. I wish you hadn't been so mean to the protagonists. But you were right. I get it.

Alex Ferrari 41:11
Yeah. And that's what makes that movie so wonderful. And Meryl Streep, of course, but, but that character is so so wonderfully played. Yeah, agreed. 110%. Now, do you have any techniques for brainstorming? brainstorming scenes, you know, sometimes you like you have a story. But like, I always find that the beginning of the end are very easy to write. It's that it's that middle stuff that gets a little, a little rough how they get to point A to point B, creating those scenes in a wonder in a good way, or in a entertaining way or in a way that we haven't seen 1000 times. I feel sometimes the screenwriters in the 50s and 60s and 70s had such a leg up because audiences weren't nearly as sophisticated. And they and a lot of stuff hadn't been done yet. You know, nowadays, how much content are we making? How many things how many things have we seen? I've seen 10s of 1000s of movies, probably in my lifetime, let alone TV show episodes and stuff. So I'm extremely literate. You're extremely literate on like, my wife is even going oh, this storyline on that one didn't work. The character arc didn't work. Like she's even pointing out green screen bad green screenshots. And she's not in the business. So we're so sophisticated. What do you do about coming up with some original ideas? And what kind of brainstorming techniques to suggest

Pilar Alessandra 42:27
a way, you know, you can flip what you just said and make it an advantage for the modern day screenwriter, because the audience does have so much context now, right? But you can drop into a scene at a specific point without setup, because the audience already knows the journey that led there because we've seen other versions of this story in other movies. That's the first thing I would say is drop it. Okay, maybe drop in at the least hand holding part and see what it looks like. Okay, another is if you do that, does that work within the context of the movie in terms of something that you set up earlier on? Another is having a fresh take on an old trope. So it's absolutely fine to have troops that we I mean, like with genres

Alex Ferrari 43:28
will scream, like scream, for example.

Pilar Alessandra 43:30
Yeah, yeah. But I mean, that was very self aware and sort of calling it out. But like, if you look at I always use an interrogation scene as an example because immediately you know what that looks like right?

Alex Ferrari 43:42
light bulb light bulbs flowing in. I mean, you got the two guys good cop bad cop. Yeah, the rooms dark. Yeah, we get it.

Pilar Alessandra 43:48
But change one thing, change up the setting, and go it's not an interrogation, there is an interrogation in a park. It's an interrogation in the ocean, it's interrogation at an amusement park. It's an interrogation in a kitchen, and suddenly there's a fresh take on it. So you can do one little thing, even just changing upsetting and that will give it a fresh take. So again, I'm going to book smart to have everybody like when you're watching it, look at the fresh take on certain things, certain scenes you thought you knew

Alex Ferrari 44:25
exactly in I was thinking of the and now of course my my juices start flowing interrogation seem like, well, what if one of the cops like always eating like constantly while he's while he's talking to somebody, he's just eating and it's disgusting. And you're focusing on what he's eating, but yet, he's tearing this guy apart? I don't know. I'm just throwing things out there. But right. It's just a new way of doing it.

Pilar Alessandra 44:45
Right. What is it one of the cops is a clown, instead

Alex Ferrari 44:49
dressed dressed as a clown because he was undercover somewhere. We're writing something together. We need a co writer credit on this on the scene. Now, tell me a little bit about Coffee Break screenwriter, which has been around for a couple years. Oh, that book? Yes. Yes. The coffee break screen writer, I want you to, I want you to tell me first of all, how can you write? How does a writer write a screenplay? 10 minutes at a time?

Pilar Alessandra 45:17
Well, kind of like, if you look at the answers to the questions you've asked me, right, if you actually applied all those things that we just talked about, you could you could make progress in 10 minutes on a character. For example, let's say you wanted to go back to voice, okay, I'm going to do a pass on 10 pages, making sure that my character is now speaking his or her stage of life or profession. Okay, so I've now rewritten 10 pages, just with that one technique that could take you 10 minutes of time that could take you your coffee break time. You know, I think we spend this much time on like, updating Facebook or tweeting something, or whatever, you know, you could just go like, I'm just gonna take, I'm going to do one thing to rewrite or make progress and the script and really can do it. And I know you can do it, because I do it in my classes I make make people like, I don't even give Kevin 10 minutes. Again,

Alex Ferrari 46:21
you know, isn't isn't I always tell people. This is one of the pieces of advice I always give people when they want to write screenplays, I'm like, just set up a goal of one page a day, you know, and in 90 days, you'll have a screenplay. If you if you're feeling Froggy, do two pages a day, and you'll be done in 45 days, do three pages a day, and you've done in a month and you've got a you got a first draft of a month, in a month. You know, it's and I've actually had people come back to me like, oh, Alex, thank God, you told me to do that. I'm doing that now. And I'm like, but it's, it sounds so simple, but yet, it's not. And it could be a 10 minute to do to do and you're done.

Pilar Alessandra 46:56
Now, now, what will kill your 10 minutes is when you go back in and you reread that page first. Because you're going to go in and rewrite it, you're going to struggle over it. And then just getting your second that I have to go back to work, you know, or back to my kid, you know, or school. So So yeah, try and do these things, knowing you will be able to go back in and make it all perfect. But don't try and get it perfect right away.

Alex Ferrari 47:26
What are some of your suggestions for the dreaded rewriting process,

Pilar Alessandra 47:30
dreaded rewriting process, it goes back to something that we talked about a little bit earlier, which is first lean into your own good idea. The first pass I have everybody do is making sure they're honoring their own logline. Because it is the common thing that I see with my own clients that they backed away from it. And I kind of give them certain tools to sort of check in on certain areas, make sure that they're honoring at least sort of the two main hooks that come through in their log line at certain stages. Another thing is being, you know, if you have these sort of behaviors that come through these character roles, right, turning up the dial, in certain key scenes, making sure that those behaviors are constantly paying off for entertainment value, or even breaking one of the rules to show change later on. So instead of going back in and sort of redoing all of your characters just turning up the dial on, on who they are. So So those are some tricks I would I would do for story and for character dialogue, you could do one of the things that we talked about. For your ending. This is where a lot of people have problems with the first draft is they, they thought they could cheat the ending. Okay, so, yes, somebody may have found the treasure, but how did they do that? Make sure that there's a trigger moment, like what was the event that triggered the solution to help you find the treasure, go back in if that scene is missing, that needs to be there, that's really important for your re re

Alex Ferrari 49:15
know, we've been talking a lot about craft, and this but I want to talk a little bit about business, about the business of screenwriting, because it's something that people don't talk about. And it's all wonderful when you have this perfect Oscar winning screenplay in your hand. But if you don't understand how to pitch it, how to get it into the system, how the system works, you know, that's so I see so many I mean, I've read screenplays that I'm just like, how is this not produced? Like how is this not made it? And and it also and I've read screenplays from you know, million dollar screenwriters. And they just like here, this is one of the 30 that I have in my drawer that I had never been able to get the bruise and I'm like, Oh my god, how is this not being produced? He's like, I just can't. So it's tough for even established screenwriters later. alone for screenwriters coming in. So what advice do you have on the business side of it? I know that's a very large, very large question. So you know, whatever, whatever areas you would like to discuss?

Pilar Alessandra 50:10
Well, you know, it's funny, because that's not my area of expertise. Mine is all sort of in the in the writing and development stages. But I'm from No, I'm going to, the first answer I'm going to give is going to be an eye roll answer, because it is also about having a lot of content and really good content. And the reason I say this is because on my podcast, got over 600 episodes, I try and have successful screenwriters and TV writers. And we're always going back to what was that moment that that triggered your big break? And it's completely random? It's all random. Like, there's never one answer. It could be, you know, I was at this party, and I'm a friend of a friend. And like, we ended up bonding over skateboards. And then we found out that I mean, it could just be rad, right? Or it could be that, you know, they tracked this one producer, and they were able to really like get in the room and sell them on something. But when it all came down to it, it was when they had the opportunity, it was the content. So I would be remiss if I didn't say it's all about the content first. But as far as what's going on in the industry right now. There's so many things that are happening, because this agent wda thing is actually creating new opportunities. You know, people always get creative when certain things are cut off. That's why like with a writer's strike, right, we started seeing other platforms develop or independent producers rise back up and things like that. So I would say right now, you know, get on Twitter, look at what's happening in the writers community, there are opportunities there that weren't there before. Another is, and don't be mad. But I do think that competitions have become the new vetting ground for managers and agents. They, if you if you place or win a prestigious contest, they'll go, Oh, I want to look at that material. But you as the writer have to vet some of these contests and make sure that you're not just throwing your competition money at willy nilly at things that are unproven, or don't have industry connections at the end of it. So those are that's some advice.

Unknown Speaker 52:42
I hope that

Alex Ferrari 52:43
hope that is helpful, but also, you know, speaking to so many screenwriters, I'm sure as you have as well in your life, you realize that screenwriter, a professional screenwriter is a one that's not six years on one screenplay. You know, that is the biggest problem I see with so many young screenwriters. I'm like, hey, how does that screen right, but yeah, I mean, what have you done? I'm like, Oh, I'm still on that script. I've almost got it, almost that almost cracked it. And it's five years later. And they're still on that one screenplay, where the professional screenwriter in that time has gotten 10 1520 screenplays done. And they're in their drawer. So when you do have that opportunity, like you were saying, that one script is not going to be they're gonna go up, they might take that one, or they might go, that's nice. It's a great example. But do you have anything else you should have three or four other samples? or other projects waiting to go? In a lot of ways? Would you agree with that?

Pilar Alessandra 53:31
Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and think of it this way. Um, if you sell your script to a large studio, you don't own it anymore. So why would you be married to that? No. scripts, but don't marry him, okay? Because somebody else is gonna is going to actually pay the money to marry that thing. You're gonna have to give that bride away. You know. Another thing is if you rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite and rewrite, rewrite, how open Are you going to be to notes? You can be exhausted by the time somebody actually takes it and gives you notes, and then it becomes your job to do the notes. So

Alex Ferrari 54:08
protective and protective of it, too.

Pilar Alessandra 54:10
Yes. So my, my advice is sorry, I'm

Alex Ferrari 54:17
notice a bird behind you. There's a bird behind you in the window. Don't worry. Yeah, I see her in the background. It's all good.

Unknown Speaker 54:22
So cute.

Pilar Alessandra 54:28
Is is read till it meets your own intention. Okay, if you've read written and go, you know what this is, this is what I kind of had in my mind when I started when it was just in my brain. And there it is on the page. You're done. Okay, time to send it out. If somebody wants to pay you to rewrite it. Awesome. You don't need to go around chasing notes. You've met your intention.

Alex Ferrari 54:55
That's awesome. And do you have some big do's and don'ts when writing a screenplay?

Unknown Speaker 55:03
Um,

Pilar Alessandra 55:05
do Don't chase the market? Oh,

Alex Ferrari 55:10
yes, I'm gonna start doing superhero movies because it's hot. Like,

Pilar Alessandra 55:14
and by the time you're done, it's not right. Oh, yeah. So so I don't chase the market. Do these days, try and think why you're the best writer to tell this story actually no, go the other way, find a story, where, really, you're the best writer for it. So this matches a little bit with your personal brand. You've probably heard other guests talk about this, the idea that that, you know, draw from something that's happened to you or some expertise you have don't turn up your nose at maybe even the job that you do. You know, um, like, for example, I had a client who was coming up with this courtroom thriller, and I was like, have you been in the courtroom? No, you know, are you uh, are you a woman? No. And you know, have you experienced sexism? No, it was like, all about like, sexism in the courtroom. And. And I was like, not that you're not allowed to write that. But the the, the project didn't feel authentic. And we thought to the fact that at one point, he was a lager in the 70s. Oh, yeah, he was a lot. He was in his 20s. He was a hippie who had to go into logging to support his family, and into that logging company came these ex cons that were hired from the local jail. Yeah, exactly. So he wrote an original pilot around that it was awesome. And guess what? It's, he's really the person to write that

Alex Ferrari 56:52
he's the only person to write that. Yeah,

Pilar Alessandra 56:54
yeah. No, did it have to match verbatim his own experience? No, it was inspired by his own experiences. So you don't have to find something that that is like, where you have to protect the rights of all the people around you. It's more the idea that you have some authority in this world, it feels authentic, and it pitches really well. That way you're connected to it.

Alex Ferrari 57:15
It's kind of like if Tarantino would do a Pixar movie, which I would go see. But that's truly not on brand, is it?

Pilar Alessandra 57:23
Well, but if he does, if he did a Pixar movie, you know, you know, he's, he's, you know, King of certain genres, right? So in a way, if you were going to animate a certain genre, he'd be the person to do it, you know, plus, you know, you know, what if he did something about, you know, a mouse, who worked in a video store and became an iconic film director?

Alex Ferrari 57:49
It's a bit on the nose? A BIT bit on the nose, bit on the nose, but yes.

Unknown Speaker 58:00
Do it, man.

Alex Ferrari 58:01
He'll do it. Um, and can you actually, you know, for everyone who's listening, because we have a lot of first time screenwriters who listen to this? Can you just describe what on the nose is because that's a note that a lot of people get, and they just don't get what that means. They just really quickly explain that.

Pilar Alessandra 58:14
Well, I think that you the way that you just sort of critique what I said was on the noses, I was being awfully literal, right? You know, it was like, well, that is definitely his story. And literally, it's not, it's not taking maybe an experience and nuancing it right. So that's one version of on the nose. But when we're talking about dialogue being on the nose, it's often when someone's speaking their thoughts or feelings out loud. So they're saying things like, Oh, I'm,

Unknown Speaker 58:43
I'm so angry right now.

Pilar Alessandra 58:45
But I'm experiencing this this mixture of entertainment and embarrassment right now. to Alex, right. Like that kind of thing.

Alex Ferrari 58:54
Yeah, there is. And that is an epidemic as well, a lot of times when with with first time writers as well, I did it when I started writing, I was writing right on the nose. I would that was the note I would get back from studios when they would see my scripts and they would say it's on the nose. It's on the nose. I'm like, What the hell is I got the look on the nose meant and I was like, Oh, it's called about nuances, subtext, you know, a look. You know, always show don't tell it whenever you can.

Pilar Alessandra 59:19
And it goes back to what you said about the audience has educated themselves in movies and TV, they're really smart, savvy audience, so they get the context. All they have to see is that visual clue, and they get it a whole story is told.

Alex Ferrari 59:36
And now you have a new book coming that just it just came out a little while ago, right?

Pilar Alessandra 59:41
It's it's a little thin. There you go. But I guess we could call it a book. It's called coffee breaks, screenwriter breaks the rules. And it's about you know, you know, those rules you all think you're supposed to follow because all those other books and stuff. It sort of goes like well You know what, you should break those rules. But if you break those rules, here's why the rules there to begin with, here's how to break it creatively to actually make your script a little more original. Right? But here's also how breaking that rule can break bad if you go too far with it. So it's it's looking at all those things that should be educational and fun. And gives you a Yeah, it gives you permission to to do something a little nuts.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:32
And when you said break bad, I just Walter White just flew into my head. It was such a good show.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:37
Everything around Walter White, obviously, obviously, What's my name? anyway?

Alex Ferrari 1:00:46
So I'm gonna ask you a few questions. Ask all of my guests. What advice would you give a screenwriter wanting to break into the business today?

Unknown Speaker 1:00:53
Ah,

Pilar Alessandra 1:00:57
what advice would I give? Um, again, start with your own experiences. Look around you right now. Where are you? What can you mind from who you are and what you know? Okay,

Alex Ferrari 1:01:10
now, can you tell me a book that had the biggest impact on your life or career?

Unknown Speaker 1:01:14
Wow,

Unknown Speaker 1:01:15
Mmm

Unknown Speaker 1:01:18
hmm.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:18
A

Pilar Alessandra 1:01:21
guide, I wasn't prepared for these.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:25
That's why I do that.

Pilar Alessandra 1:01:28
As far as I as far as Linda Aronson's a book god what was it screenwriting reconstructed or Oh my god,

Unknown Speaker 1:01:41
Okay, got it. We

Pilar Alessandra 1:01:42
look it up about nonlinear screenwriting, her first, her first screenwriting book, Linda Aronson, and I really respected the fact that she was trying to find patterns outside of conventional structure. Oh, screenwriting updated, sorry. As we establish the answers screenwriting updated, you know, I really, really admired the effort to really dig in and find out why. unconventional storytelling works.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:14
Got it. Now, what lesson took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life,

Pilar Alessandra 1:02:19
guy, guess I'm still learning it? You know, what lesson took me the longest to learn is that I'm always learning is that that you are always learning on the job that you never know, everything you are, every day, there is something new to learn, you know, and so be open to it. So that's what I'm learning is that I'm still learning.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:42
Now, what was the biggest fear you had to overcome to achieve one of the biggest goals of your life?

Pilar Alessandra 1:02:48
Oh, gosh, people think because I have a podcast. And

Unknown Speaker 1:02:54
I feel you.

Pilar Alessandra 1:02:56
I teach publicly, you know, they think I must be a very sort of public showy person. I really don't like social media. I don't Google myself. Every day is kind of some wrestling with the anxiety of how, how open everything is right now. advantages to it, there are disadvantages as well. And every day, I think you have to be a little bit brave if you want to communicate to a lot of people so that's, that's my, my daily fear is, is I don't know.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:38
It's social media. Basically.

Pilar Alessandra 1:03:40
I have a little bit of anxiety about it. I hate being on camera. I hate being on video. I hate it.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:46
But you know, fantastic. You've been fantastic. And I i've hope I've made it easy for you. But it's been fantastic having you on camera. You know, I think this is a this is a something that happens to podcasters because, you know, I've been podcasting for almost four years now. My two podcasts and you know, when you're a bass I do it basically alone in a room with a mic or I'm doing it like this over a Skype call with somebody. And you know, it's very different than being out like a YouTuber. Like you know, like getting out there and like Okay guys, we're gonna go do this like I'm not that dude either. I A lot of people think that I'm very, and I am to a certain extent but I I'm happy at home. I don't need to be out at a club somewhere. Those Those days are gone for me. I'm very happy.

Pilar Alessandra 1:04:36
introverted extrovert, right. I

Unknown Speaker 1:04:38
feel that introverted extrovert

Pilar Alessandra 1:04:40
those categories.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:41
Yes. It's the extrovert who enjoys being an introvert. Right?

Pilar Alessandra 1:04:46
Can't wait to go back to their introverted like, Oh, yeah,

Alex Ferrari 1:04:49
I'm just vege at home with my wife and watch Netflix tonight. I don't need to go out party anywhere. And now the toughest question of all three of your favorite films of all time.

Pilar Alessandra 1:05:00
Oh, I'm paper moon.

Unknown Speaker 1:05:03
I love it. Yeah, good movie.

Pilar Alessandra 1:05:06
It's one that I can watch over and over again. And you're gonna you're gonna laugh at me.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:13
I've heard it on the show.

Pilar Alessandra 1:05:14
It's such a script writing teacher thing to say. But Citizen Kane movie I really really love. You know, it's, it's different points of view. I was one of those people that was like, what that was.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:32
Shows spoiler alert. Hello. I thought you were gonna I thought you were gonna say Chinatown?

Pilar Alessandra 1:05:40
Yeah, no, I'm really. No, I'm not in love with Chinatown. Don't tell anybody you know. Um, and then, um, gosh, I again, I always go with sort of like that my latest boyfriend and my latest boyfriend. I keep going. That's fine. Yeah, I just really I was so happy about that movie for so many reasons. So, yeah, so I would say those three movies off the top of my head.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:12
Cool. Now where can people find you and your work?

Pilar Alessandra 1:06:16
I'm on the page.tv that is my website for classes. I love it when people show up in classes. And now I'm also doing online video classes again, try not to be afraid of the camera so that I can I actually teach in real time to people all over. So check that out in the books there and links the podcast and all that kind of stuff. Awesome. Pillai,

Alex Ferrari 1:06:39
it has been an absolute pleasure. I'm so glad we finally got to do this. It was great talking to you. Thank you so much for dropping some major, major knowledge bombs today on the tribe. I appreciate it.

Pilar Alessandra 1:06:48
I really appreciate you inviting me and for being so patient with the scheduling. Thank you so much, Alex.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:54
I want to thank pelajar for coming on and dropping those knowledge bombs on the tribe today. Thank you so much Poehler. It was an absolute pleasure having you on the show. She is a wealth, a wealth of information. And I will put links to everything. She has her website, her podcasts, her books, her courses and workshops, everything I'll put in the show notes at indie film, hustle, calm forward slash bps 051. And if you haven't already, guys, please head over to screenwriting podcast.com subscribe and leave a good review for the show. It really helps to show out a lot. Thank you for everyone who has done that. Thank you for all the support and for all the bulletproof screenwriting true believers. Before the year is out, there might be a small surprise for you. That's all I'm gonna say. You know, I love doing this. You know, I love just dropping little nuggets, little hints of things that I'm working on. And I am going to be just, you know, just a nice surprise for all of the bulletproof screenwriting tribe. So, thank you guys again, so much for everything. As always keep on writing no matter what. I'll talk to you soon.

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