with Natalie Lemberg
by: Christopher Wehner
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
The Screenwriters Utopia is please to present our interview
Screenwriters Utopia: First, can you give us a little on
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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