Valerie Kalfrin

Writer. Editor. Script Consultant. Storyteller.

I'm a multiple award-winning journalist, film and fiction fan, and creative storyteller. From writing articles, essays, reviews, lists, and profiles
to collaborating on books and screenplays, I have a knack for detailed, engaging stories.

My interviews include director John Sayles (Baby It’s You), screenwriting guru Robert McKee (Story), actor/director Joely Fisher, actor/writer Tricia Leigh Fisher, and screenwriters Gary Whitta (The Book of Eli), Patrick Sheane Duncan (Courage Under Fire), and Isaac Adamson (Bubbles). My work has appeared in The Guardian, Bright Wall Dark Room, The Script Lab, ScreenCraft, the Final Draft blog, Signature Reads, MovieMaker, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Film Racket, The Tampa Tribune, Woman’s World, and Poynter.org.

Portfolio

When Narration Works
Bad narration is like watching a movie with someone chatting in the seat behind you, except you can’t turn around and tell him or her to be quiet. Narration, or voice-over,...
“Run Lola Run” and Writing Elegant Action Sequences
Action sequences can be tricky to write. Screenwriters often struggle to strike a balance between orienting the reader/viewer and directing the scene. Run Lola Run is one action...
Understanding The Art of Good Dialogue
Good dialogue strikes a nerve, usually in my spine. I'll sit up taller or lean in closer to hear it better while my brain stores it away for later. Bad dialogue hits me in my...
The 6-Film Roald Dahl Must-See Cinematic Lineup
Roald Dahl, who would have been 100 years old on September 13, wrote plenty of macabre tales for adults that inspired suspense and mystery teleplays on TV shows such as "Alfred...
Reel Advice: 7 Writing Tips to Take from the Movies
For writers, turning the page on a new year may mean the anxiety of facing a blank page - or the excitement of finally attempting to write that novel or screenplay that's been...
'Penny Dreadful': What You Need to Know About and Beyond the Show
Black- and blue-tinged images unfurl to the low bass of a violin. A rosary. Drops of blood. Tarot cards. A scorpion curling its tail. A scalpel slicing into a cadaver. An insect...
Silence is Golden: Our Favorite "Silent Types" in Animation
Whether they're working with pixels or pencils, animators fill us with awe. They create not just worlds from scratch but characters whose eyes and body language alone speak...
Remembering Robin Williams, 1951-2014: Shining Star, Comedy Genius
The death of Robin Williams hits hard, even for those of us who knew him only as fans. We're sad for his three children, now without their father, his wife, and longtime friends.
7 Movies that Are Just. Bad. Enough.
You know the type: goofy enough for a mental vacation but not so inane that you become frustrated. It has a preposterous premise, hokey dialogue and unbelievable stunts, but the...
Much Ado About Shakespeare: From Joss Whedon to the Beyond
After uniting The Avengers, writer-director Joss Whedon recharged with a pet project: adapting and shooting a black-and-white version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing...
Breaking Hubris: Walter White, Breaking Bad, and 6 Fatal Flaw Films
With Sunday's series finale, the acclaimed AMC crime drama " Breaking Bad " wraps up a modern-day Greek tragedy. Over five seasons, this Primetime Emmy winner for Outstanding...
A Brains-eatin' Time: The Western Side of 'The Walking Dead'
AMC's " The Walking Dead" ends its third season on Sunday, March 31, with all signs pointing toward a battle between The Governor's well-armed troops and Deputy Rick Grimes'...

Features / News / Profiles

Storytelling lit a fire in Robert McKee that still burns 35 years later
The venerable screenwriting instructor Robert McKee is not only a knowledgeable craftsman, but also a fan of well-spun tales, whether on stage, in books, or on screen. Creator...
Quicklet on "The Closer": Season 1
The Closer introduced TV mystery fans to the prickly and intense Brenda Leigh Johnson, a brilliant CIA-trained interrogator recruited by L.A.P.D. Assistant Chief Will Pope to...
Screenwriting Runs in the Family for the Fisher Sisters
Joely Fisher's feature directorial debut is a true family affair. Her sister, Tricia Leigh Fisher, worked on the original script, and their children read it through to make it...
Interview with John Sayles: The Indie Film Legend Tells Us What it Means to be an Independent...
Story is a guiding principle for writer-director John Sayles. For nearly forty years, he’s made films outside the studio system such as Eight Men Out, Honeydripper, and Lone...
Crowdfunded Publishing and the Writer's Vision
As a veteran screenwriter, Patrick Sheane Duncan is used to hearing suggestions, some mind-boggling, about his work. Imagine his surprise when the publishers he pitched wanted...
Stop the Presses: The end days of The Tampa Tribune on film at Tampa Theatre
Deborah Kerr had never made a film before, but she knew a good story when she saw one. Kerr had watched her husband, George "Buddy" Kerr, work as The Tampa Tribune's production...
Sunscreen '17: 125 films, four days, Dylan McDermott, Daphne Zuniga - and Joey Pants!
For its twelfth year, the Sunscreen Film Festival boasts an impressive lineup of 125 feature and short films, celebrity guests such as Dylan McDermott and Joe Pantoliano, a film...
Ellroy Unconfidential
Bald and cleanshaven, wearing glasses, jeans and a blue blazer, author James Ellroy stands spread-eagled on the cherry-colored carpet at Columbia University in New York City and...
Hometown Hero: Lutz teen helps raise $1 million for Shriners
Leigh Dittman is proof that small actions over time can have a huge impact. There are the painful ones. With osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, the Lutz teenager...
Mural festival casts spotlight on St. Petersburg's street art
The outside of a building isn't just a canvas to artist Chad Mize but an opportunity to transform and energize the urban landscape. Mize painted a mural of '60s icon Twiggy with...
Ron White, wife to double the fun at Tampa shows
Comedian Ron White shot to mainstream fame on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, but traveling with his wife is a real trip. White returns to Tampa for two shows on his "Nutcracker"...
Nobody's Perfect ... But You Can Stay Healthy Anyway
Wish you could eat less? Resist junk food? Get to bed earlier? It takes time to get in a healthy-habit groove. In the meantime, balance out your slip-ups with easy little health...
Harlem Globetrotters to celebrate 90 years of skills and tradition at Tampa show
The whistling strains of "Sweet Georgia Brown" and the happy-go-lucky rhythm of basketballs bound into the Amalie Arena for one night next week as the Harlem Globetrotters...
Reel Action In Tampa Bay: Filmmaking Creates Jobs
Steve Tatone of Sarasota knew he had a hot story and a great soundtrack behind the film he wrote, " Beautiful Noise," a twisty drama and romance between musicians. The producer...
Reporter's Book Describes Decision to Let Sources Move In with Her
The Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a vulture stalking a starving Sudanese child haunted Alysia Sofios for years. The television reporter recalls discussing the late Kevin...
Through The Pain, Anger And Sorrow, They Forge Ahead
The memories are always there, just below the surface like stones in a shallow pond. David and Lynda Yoder struggle with them daily. There are photos around the house, of...

Reviews


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