How To Utilize A Painful Past in Creating a Successful Film


Screenwriter Mark Renshaw discusses his personal investment and creative process in the  2016 award-winning short drama Surrender, directed by Christopher Carson Emmons. The film centers on the inner life of a struggling alcoholic, played by Aram Hekinian. Surrender is Renshaw’s second film.


Back to the Feature: How (Some) Shorts Grow Long


Originally published in the January/February 2005 issue of The Independent, this article is also available in our archives. A long time ago, in a film school far, far away (from NYU), a young man with big dreams and a small bank account made a short film with a long title. His name was George. And… Read more »


Expanding Off-Screen Relationships, On Screen: A Closer Look at “Twinsburg”


Earlier this year, independent filmmaker Joe Garrity debuted Twinsburg, a short film about identical twin brothers, Jerry and Paul, who reconnect at the largest gathering of twins in a small town in Ohio. In this essay, Garrity chronicles the making of the story and its impact on his relationship with his own twin, who he played opposite in the film — as well as how he plans to expand it from a short into something greater.


From the Archives: First Person Singular, Autobiography in Film


Three decades have passed since David Schwartz’s exploration of the connection between subjective perspectives and objective truths in documentary filmmaking, yet this essay remains as relevant and informative as ever. Reproduced here, the article was originally published in May 1986 and is also available in The Independent‘s print archives. The filmmakers of tomorrow will express themselves in the… Read more »

Confessions of a Failed Screenwriter


Editor’s note: Our friend Randy Steinberg sent along an essay he originally wrote for Scriptshadow and we asked if we could re-publish. He said yes. Author’s note: Throughout this essay, when I refer to screenwriting it should be meant to understand I am discussing theatrical film writing as opposed to television writing. I received a… Read more »

Personal Take on 10 to Watch filmmaker Mike Day


Director Mike Day, 10 to Watch in 2012, is the one-man turbine behind Intrepid Cinema’s documentaries. Here, Intrepid’s composer and on-location sound designer Nathaniel Mann tells The Independent about their friendship and working relationship: “Mike and I first connected in 2008 at a performance by my avant-folk outfit Dead Rat Orchestra (DRO) at London’s Cafe… Read more »