On Being Sister Screenwriters

JS: Writing with a sibling is a unique collaboration. Because we share similar backgrounds and experiences, there
is a kind of unspoken communication between us that can save time.

KS: And because we’re related, we can be completely
honest with each other; there’s no standing on ceremony we’re free
to say ‘that idea is ridiculous.’ And we can work in our pajamas,
which is probably the best benefit of all.

On Figuring out the End First

JS: We always try to think of the end first even
the final shot because it helps lend direction to the story.

On Sizing Up the Competition

JS: Our first draft was done at the end of 1997. We never imagined the years it would take to get the money to
make it. In the interim, we would read about other multiple
storyline movies getting made; we were certain that this growing
phenomenon would negatively affect the chances of ours ever getting

On Allowing for Improvisation

KS: When we’re writing dialogue, we really try
to think of how our character might say something. Of course,
it’s just a blueprint. We are always grateful when an actor
contributes to the dialogue.

On Following the Rules of Screenwriting

KS: It’s important to know about plot structure;
it’s inherent in any kind of dramatic writing. And when you’re having
trouble, these rules can give you the basis for analysis to determine
what might be missing. But it’s equally important to explore
during the writing process; to feel free and not bound to any textbook

On the Importance of the Editor

JS: Once we finished a first draft of 13 Conversations,
we immediately gave it to Stephen Mirrione, our editor. He
is great at giving notes; they come from his innate sense of rhythm
and pacing and what is essential. We would be lost without

On Believing in Your Work

JS: We try to write from the heart. Because
it takes such a long time to see a film realized, it’s absolutely
essential that you believe in what you’re saying.