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MovieMaker Presents: Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch, 2016

MovieMaker Presents: Austin Film Festival’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch, 2016


Mike Covino and Sam Kretchmar

Who: New York-based writers (amongst other things) of Keep in Touch (2015), their debut feature

(L-R) Mike Covino and Sam Kretchmar

(L-R) Mike Covino and Sam Kretchmar

What are you working on right now?

SK: Most of my time is spent on a documentary project, but I have two narrative feature films about nature and wildlife that I’d like to finish writing and get produced before the arctic completely melts.

MC: I’m writing a breakup film that deals with the idea that people are more desirable in relationships. So after a couple breaks up, they decide to get back together in order to help each other attract more compatible partners. And then I just finished a TV pilot which we’re hoping to start pitching soon.

How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting?

SK: Just by writing. Self-producing. Self-starting.

MC: My first job out of college was as a producer’s assistant on the film On the Road. I learned a lot in the short time working on that. In a way it set me up for for many more years of just figuring things out as I go. After that, I bounced around freelancing until I found a group of people I liked working with on a more regular basis, and then we started a production company.

What would be your advice to aspiring screenwriters?

SK: As hard as it is… try not to self-censor. I just read something that said it’s not a creator’s job to judge or critique his own work. Just get it out there.

MC: I’m still learning the lesson that life is too short to be precious about any idea or piece of creativity that you have. Sometimes your best scene, or best idea, just doesn’t make sense in the final script so you have to cut it. Nothing profound—I’m just learning the practice of killing my darlings.

What was a major turning point in your career?

SK: Finishing Keep In Touch.

MC: Getting Keep In Touch made was a huge accomplishment for us. Up until that point, writing a movie that actually got made was just a thing that we were constantly working toward. When the money hit the account and we went into pre-production, it finally hit me that I was doing the thing I had always dreamed of doing.


1. Annie Silverstein 2. Jared Frieder 3. Mike Covino and Sam Kretchmar 4.Troy Anthony Miller 5. Kieran Fitzgerald 6. Ya’ke Smith 7. Brian Klugman 8. Nina Ljeti 9. Kevin Hamedani 10. Eric Haywood 11. Andrew Lanham 12. Julie Howe 13. Tess Morris 14. Matt Cook 15. Monica Zanetti 16. VJ Boyd 17. Edward Ricourt 18. David Broyles 19. Sasha Gordon 20. Eric Hueber 21. Faraday Okoro 22. Arturo Ruiz Serrano 23. Maya Perez 24. Max Taxe 25. Negin Farsad

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