IFA #42: Pilar Alessandra of On The Page

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Pilar Alessandra of OnThePage

I first came across the podcast OnThePage a few years ago when I was working on my screenplay for Subterania. I was addicted immediately. Not only was the podcast full of great advice, but Pilar is a wonderful host and does a great job of finding topics that are useful to all writers. I was amazed at her natural ability to nurture and help writers grow.

In preparation for the interview, I decided to pick up a copy of Pilar’s book, The Coffee Break Screenwriter. Having read just about every screenwriting book out there, I have to admit I’ve grown pretty cynical. But I found Pilar’s book to be very refreshing and different. While it does discuss your typical theory like most screenwriting books, it primarily focuses on helping writers get that first draf out of their head and onto the page. The book breaks things down into 10 minute bites so even those of us with busy schedules can find time in the day to write. It also includes a ton of helpful exercises so that writers can start fleshing out their ideas before the begin writing. This is one of the things that separates Pilar from the droves of screenplay guru’s out there. She genuinely understands how difficult it can be to just sit down and write and seems to understand exactly what we screenwriters need to grow and move forward.

From onthepage.tv

PILAR ALESSANDRA is the director of the popular writing program “On The Page” and author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter.” A sought-after teacher and lecturer, she’s traveled the world teaching screenwriting, pitching and story analysis. As a consultant, Pilar has helped thousands of writers create, refine and sell their scripts and was named “Cream of the Crop” in Creative Screenwriting’s Script Consultant Survey. Her students and clients have sold to Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Sony and have won prestigious competitions, including the Austin Film Festival and Nicholl Fellowship.

Pilar Alessandra Creator of On The Page Script Consultation Company
Pilar jump-started her career in film as a script reader for Amblin Entertainment. With the formation of DreamWorks, she became Senior Story Analyst and a reader liaison between the studio and Robert Zemeckis’s company ImageMovers. Her expert script analysis was also sought out by The Robert Evans Company, Cineville Entertainment, Handprint Entertainment and Saturday Night Live Studios. Work at Interscope Communications led her to a position as Senior Story Analyst for Scott Kroopf’s production company Radar Pictures.

Pilar was later bitten by the “teaching bug” while teaching screenwriting and story analysis at the UCLA Writers’ Program. In 2001, she started her own company “On the Page,” and in 2004 opened the On the Page Writers Studio in Sherman Oaks, California. In the interest of expanding access to her teaching tools, Pilar created the instructional DVD “On the Page” and presents the weekly “On the Page Podcast” with guests from within the industry. Recently, Pilar was listed as one of LA Weekly’s top 100 people in their “Best of LA People” issue.


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