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 Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, Script magazine, 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

United States of America


Signature Reads

'Westworld' and the Ever-living Legacy of Michael Crichton

Like dinosaur DNA preserved in amber, the works of late author Michael Crichton keep bringing new generations of provocative stories to life. In early October 2016, HBO debuts...

Signature Reads

Why Bridge to Terabithia Is as Relevant Today as 40 Years Ago

We all remember how old we were when we first lost a friend in the real world. But friends in literature? That's another story. Charlotte A. Cavatica was the first I mourned as...

The Guardian

Disabled people don't need Me Before You. We've got the Avengers

With the drama Me Before You rankling disabled people and their loved ones on both sides of the pond (and the director still stoking the fire), it's time to applaud another...

Bright Wall Dark Room

No Unauthorized Breeding: Jurassic Park and Female Control

The first female character in Jurassic Park arrives onscreen in a metal box atop a forklift that smashes through the jungle. She bides her time, silent. We’re with her as she...

Final Draft

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,...

Final Draft

“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...

The Script Lab

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...

Signature Reads

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...

Signature Reads

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...

Signature Reads

'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...

The Script Lab

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...

Signature Reads

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.

Signature Reads

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...

Signature Reads

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...

Signature Reads

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...

Signature Reads

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

Final Draft

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...

My Book - Sold on

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...

Final Draft

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...