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, 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


Commentary / Essays

The Hollywood Reporter

The Shot Turning the Marvel Universe Upside Down

Avengers: Infinity War knocked fans for a loop - but audiences can't say they weren't warned. Directors the Russo Brothers and cinematographer Trent Opaloch used a particular...

The Hollywood Reporter

My Son Finally Has a Hero Like Him in 'Avengers: Infinity War' (Guest Column)

The haunting ending of Avengers: Infinity War gives audiences a lot to discuss. But one of the film's most exhilarating aspects is how little it talks about what might draw...

Script Magazine

Want Complex Female Characters? Put Them in Action

The latest women in action at the box office would share enthralling stories if we asked, "What do you do?" Go beyond a character's career and explore what she does in the plot...

The Script Lab

Writing Emotional Scenes in Animated Films

If characters are what they do, a great way to learn how to write action that reveals character is to study scenes and scripts without a lot of dialogue--especially animated...

The Script Lab

How to Create Strong Female Characters

With Black Panther and Tomb Raider perched at the top of the box office earlier this year, audiences can see a multitude of powerful female characters lately. They aren't just...

Script Magazine

Developing Diverse Stories Featuring Disabled Characters

If you're writing about disabled characters and you are not disabled, develop these characters beyond their abilities to tell an authentic story. Consider a disability part of a...

The Script Lab

How The Shape of Water Teaches Filmmakers About Acceptance

Elisa, the protagonist of The Shape of Water, may be mute, but how the film treats her speaks volumes about portraying characters with disabilities onscreen. For all its...

The Script Lab

6 Screenwriting Tips from Logan's James Mangold

Writer/director James Mangold adores the taciturn Western hero, an archetype that he's woven into some of his best-known work. Whether he's crafting a story about a lonely cook...

The Script Lab

Screenwriting 101: Humor and Bathos Done Right

Humor is a peculiar tool for a writer. Laughter can add layers to a character and woo an audience, but it can backfire when the jokes drain emotion from an otherwise powerful...

Signature Reads

These Popular 'Universal Monsters' Came to Life on the Big Screen

The young lawyer shuddered, feeling a tad nauseated in the company of his client, though he didn't know why. The count had been nothing but gracious, yet the firelight seemed to...

The Script Lab

Screenwriting 101: Is it Ever Too Late to Start Writing?

Screenwriting is a dream that entices many of us-but all too often, it seems as if the City of Stars romanticized in La La Land is enthralled only with those on the sunny side...

The Script Lab

From Mad Max to Blade Runner: How to Make a Long-Awaited Sequel Work

More of the same, yet different. That's the hurdle facing screenwriters with sequels. Bring back enough of what audiences liked-the characters, the themes, the tone--yet give...

The Script Lab

Ghost in the Shell: How To Mishandle Controversy

Identity and humanity are two concepts that science fiction loves to explore, so it’s a shame when a film that touts these themes does little more than give them lip service....

Signature Reads

What Is It That Beguiles Sofia Coppola Most?

Few things beguile Sofia Coppola more than the female mind. Her films' meticulous detail and deliberate pacing make us curious like the boys who loved the unobtainable Lisbon...

Signature Reads

Still Dreaming: A Guide to the Essential Philip K. Dick Books

The visually striking "Blade Runner 2049" plunges audiences back down a futuristic rabbit hole mingling noir sensibilities with artificial beings living among people who want to...

The Script Lab

Kicking Your Screenplay Into Gear: How Baby Driver Subverts Familiar Archetypes

The archetype of the morally ambiguous getaway driver driven to care about something besides crime gets a fresh spin in Baby Driver, a hugely entertaining caper that mixes...

The Script Lab

4 Reasons The Mummy Fails as a Launchpad For Universal's "Dark Universe"

Whether you're building one film or several with story threads and characters that intertwine, you need a solid foundation with a focused story and a clear tone. The latest...

The Script Lab

Wonder Woman and the Importance of Tone

The proper tone in a fantastical story can be as elusive as the truth that Wonder Woman seeks with her golden lasso. Phenomenal powers, secret identities, unusual creatures,...


Aaron Sorkin's 7 Tips for Creating Memorable Characters

Aaron Sorkin is known for intelligent, rapid-fire dialogue, but his characters' voices are the last things he imagines when creating them. The Oscar-winning screenwriter of...