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Enjoy the latest from our blog, member happenings, and industry news below.

Happy Holidays

Welcome to SmashCut! A PSA Newsletter dedicated to giving you all the industry news in an entertaining and informative way.  The Holiday Season is upon us and Christmas is right around the corner. It’s time to dust off that list and see what we can ask Santa to bring. Don’t know what you want? Well, that’s okay because with SmashCut we give you everything you need. It’s like Christmas in every issue. 

Our guest columnist this month, Sarah Archer (novelist and screenwriter), will be discussing the Eight Tools From Fiction To Make You A Better Screenwriter and Beverly Nault (PSA member and screenwriter) will review the book What I Wish I’d Known About Screenwriting Before I Wrote my First Screenplay: The Ultimate Guide to Resources for New and Aspiring Screenwriters Volume 1 by Penelope Poole. Looking for good books on screenwriting? Beverly will give you the real deal on what books make the grade what ones don’t.  

Want to know what’s happening in Hollywood? The deals, the dealmakers, and dealbreakers? Look no further than Smashcut. We do the work, so you don’t have to. From membership happenings to box-office numbers, SmashCut has what you need. So, sit back, pull up your smartphone or tablet and be prepared to spend all day enjoying the wealth of information we have obtained.  If you are so inclined, please drop us a line – have any news to share, would like to contribute to the newsletter? 
We’d love to hear from you.

December 3rd
Screenplay Analysis: The Big Sick

December 13th
In The Works: Actors Reading Writers

Carlo Dall’Olmo (Screenwriter/Board Member): Carlo is continuing to pound away on his first book and cautiously excited on the progress. He is working with the board on a couple of really events for 2023 – stay tuned!

Brian O’Connor (screenwriter/PSA member): Brian’s drama Arthur and the Cat is a Quarterfinalist in the Stage 32 Feature Screenwriting Fellowship.

Michael Magee (screenwriter/PSA Member): Michael really enjoyed the experience of sharing his first work with the readers.  Currently working on his third piece of work ... a modern mash up of the Odd Couple and Ordinary People.  He chose the title:  Brothers and Strangers. Hopes to have it finished sometime in January.  Stay tuned.  

Patricia Camden (screenwriter/PSA member): Patricia went to the Austin Film Festival which she recommends to anyone who can manage it. It's more for connecting with like-minded writers than anything. She had wonderful, serendipitous meetings with writers having similar stories to her own, and they have maintained contact by email since.  Patricia met a few people from Phoenix and told them about the Phoenix Screenwriters Association.  She got information about television writing from producers at the Round Tables, met Jill Chamberlain who wrote The Nutshell Technique. She did the pitch which was harrowing to think about but went well. They only give you 90 seconds to tell your story. Great experience overall.

Jessica True (writer/PSA member):  Jessica True had a great time meeting everyone and learning from the entertaining presentation Thursday at Film Works. She can’t wait to do that again some time. She is also looking for a company or someone who could help her put her screenplay into Final Draft software. She is not comfortable attempting it herself as she is not good with tech stuff.

Pamela Hick (screenwriter/PSA member): Pamela got to visit and take a tour of Pure Flix.  Her husband, who works at Sony Pics in Culver City, wanted to meet and network so he could get himself a cubicle in AZ at their Scottsdale location.  Pure Flix, owned by Sony Pics works with Pinnacle Productions and they make only Christian Films.  She did ask the HR lady that gave us a tour, who to give a script to.  The HR person didn't quite tell her but Pamela found out that the COO of Pure Flix lives in Tucson so if she can somehow get her the script or even mail it into Pure Flix, that might work.  The tour was very motivating to Pamela in that perhaps she should start writing Christian scripts.  Pure Flix has a Wednesday morning fellowship and prayer service, followed by lunch being brought in.  Wednesdays are special there, let's put it that way.  They were already decorating for Christmas, which was really cool.  The tour made Pamela’s husband happy as he finally got to interact with fellow coworkers as he's been working from home for three years now.  He finally has a place to go, which makes Pamela happy.  She is also selling her homemade soap at Mesa Marketplace and doing counseling ~ all after working her day job.  Pamela’s father recently died so she putting her writing skills and movie making skills together to write a speech and make a video.  She’s learning it all with iMovie, which isn't that difficult to work with.  If there's anybody out there wanting to make Christian films let Pamela know!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Brad Graber (writer/PSA member): Brad Graber will be speaking at the upcoming MENSA Annual Retreat to be held on November 26th about "Establishing a Second Career as a Writer: Ins and Outs of the Publishing Industry." Brad has also been awarded 2nd Place in Fiction from the Arizona Authors Association for his novel Boca by Moonlight. 

Susan Magestro (writer/PSA member):  Susan finished the publication of her book 'Raging From Within: De-Escalating Angry People'. It is presently on Amazon; she is selling copies. There will be a book signing event on February 25th from noon-3:00 at Anticus Art, Books, Jewelry, and Design, 3922 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85261

Suzanne Paschall (screenwriter/PSA member):  Suzanne is working on two scripts this month, both of which she’s writing with others, which is her first-time co-writing, and she’s looking forward to that experience. Also doing final proof corrections on her fourth non-fiction book, a 7-generation family history, which will be published in January 2023. Suzanne has attached a co-Exec Producer, Director, Editor and DP to her short film project. They are working on a financing strategy for it, and re-working the script. 

Phoenix Screenwriters Association would like to welcome our new members in 2022, we are excited to have you as a member and look forward to watching you grow as writer: Mecca Whitfield and Dwight Jolivette

Lovinder Gill

Eight Tools from Fiction to Make You a Better Screenwriter
by Sarah Archer

After studying and practicing screenwriting for years, and working in TV development in Los Angeles, I decided to try something new, and wrote my first novel, The Plus One. Throughout that process, I found there were many lessons I’d learned as a screenwriter that helped me get off the ground as a novelist. But now that I’ve spent several years writing fiction and learning about the publishing industry, I’ve seen the learnings go the other way too. What are some takeaways from fiction that screenwriters can use to improve their craft and their careers?

Read More
Lovinder Gill

What I Wish I’d Known About Screenwriting Before I Wrote my First screenplay: The Ultimate Guide to Resources for New and Aspiring Screenwriters Volume 1 by Penelope Poole
Review by Beverly Nault

Sometimes unlikely encounters become likely introductions, and the crazy world of screenwriter networking proved that to me recently when I “met” Penelope Poole in a Facebook group for screenwriters.

Read More
Resources for Screenwriters


Stage32 Education

Roadmap Writers Programs

Final Draft

Script City

Happenings in Tinseltown


Ex-Turner Networks Boss David Levy To Co-Lead Sports Marketing Venture At Horizon Media

Hulu With Live TV Adding Hallmark, Weather Channel to Lineup

CBS Shakeup: Thom Sherman Steps Down & Segues To Producing Deal, Amy Reisenbach Upped To President Of Entertainment



Phoebe Robinson’s ‘Everything’s Trash’ Canceled By Freeform After One Season

HBO Cancels ‘Westworld’ in Shock Decision

Disney Plans Targeted Hiring Freeze, Staff Reductions and “Cost Structure Taskforce”

Kelly Kahl To Exit CBS After 26-Year Run



Price Hikes at Streaming Giants May Fuel Churn Rates as Consumers Opt Out

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Increases Stake in Paramount Global as Streaming Wars Stay Hot

Hot Package: Jonah Hill Sets Next Directing Gig With Secret Project ‘Outcome’, Keanu Reeves To Star

WME Promotes Five Across Film Sales, Production



Paul Haggis Civil Trial: Jury Awards $2.5M in Punitive Damages; Oscar Winner Says He Will Appeal & “Die Clearing My Name”

HBO Cancels ‘Westworld’ in Shock Decision

Jason Blum, James Wan in Talks to Merge Horror Production Companies

‘CODA’ Producers Vendome Pictures Taps “The Imitation Game’ Helmer to Direct ‘Ibelin,’ About Disabled Boy Who Became Inspiring Gaming Star




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