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Write On: WGAeast Mentors Andrew Bergman and Caroline Kaplan and NY Screenwriting Fellowship Mentee Irina Rodriguez

March 13, 2024
2 min read time

“Just write a story you want to tell and don't try to write something which you think you can sell to somebody because that way is madness. You have to write what you want to write whether it works or not for other people. But if it's not authentic to you, it's doomed at some point along the road. So stick to your guns!” says award-winning writer, Andrew Bergman about writing your first spec script.

The Writers Guild of America East has again partnered with FilmNation and Final Draft for the NY Screenwriting Fellowship that fosters underrepresented New York screenwriters to help get them career mentorships as they navigate their way into the business. On today’s episode, I speak to two of the program’s mentors, award-winning screenwriter Andrew Bergman, best known for his script Blazing Saddles, and producer Caroline Kaplan, known for the recent Oscar-nominated animated film, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. I also speak to their mentee, Irina Rodriguez about her journey as an emerging writer and what it’s like to get guidance from these two accomplished filmmakers. 

“I have always just felt like mentorship is such a big part of the independent film community and what we all do – it's really such a supportive community in that way,” says producer Caroline Kaplan, adding, “This program is really exciting because of how that they create it, both from an artistic mentorship and sort of a business mentorship so we can holistically help somebody… I think connection and community is what it’s all about.”

To hear more advice and what Andrew learned from working with director Mel Brooks, listen to the podcast.


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