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Screenwriting: with Natalie Lemberg of The Insiders System for Writers

Interview with Natalie Lemberg

by: Christopher Wehner

The Insiders System for Writers is owned and operated by Natalie Lemberg, a story analysis professional who has worked in personal management, feature development and production. Lemberg has experience in writing, evaluating, buying, selling and editing materials for film, television, theatre and publishing. Her columns have been seen in Screenwrite Now! and Creative Screenwriting, and she has taught in connection with The UCLA Writers Program, Learning Annex and American Film Institute. In addition to her associations with the Gotham Publishing Society and Women in Film, Lemberg has served as judge for the InnerCity Cultural Center and The National CableAce Awards.

The Screenwriters Utopia is please to present our interview with Natalie.

Screenwriters Utopia: First, can you give us a little on your background?

Natalie: Out of UCLA, I was around writers and story was table talk. That was my first training, and then I went to work for a personal manager with clients in acting, writing, directing and below the line talent in TV, film, stage, publishing and variety. From there, I joined the feature developmment department of a mini-major best known for TV. I supervised the readers, ran the story department, and ultimately oversaw six features as they went through pre-production, production, and post-production. When they "downsized," I freelanced as a story analyst for a number of producers and agencies.

SU: How did "The Insiders System for Writers" come about?

Natalie: Freelancing, I started to notice how unconstructive coverage is for writers, and at the same time, how life-and-death it is to them. Agents, producers and publishers were spending less and less time to help near-miss writers improve, and writers were having a harder and harder time getting the decisionmakers' attention, because they were way too busy. So there was a gap I could fill. First, I'd give writers the detailed, helpful feedback they needed to make the most of their first impressions. Then, I'd publish a magazine, writers Showcase, so that the pre-screened work could be introduced to the agents and buyers in New York and Hollywood. writers Showcase helps writers get introductions, but the real reason that it works is that it makes life easier for agents, producers and publishers.

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