Click the play button on the Soundcloud player above to listen, or listen to other deep-dive episodes of The First Feature.

This episode covers many screenwriting tips and tricks, including:

  • Tracking your hours to ensure you prioritize screenwriting in your life
  • Brainstorming out loud and recording yourself so you don't forget a lightbulb moment
  • Writing your first draft by hand to ensure you finish it and you can't go back and edit
  • Spending >50% of your time NOT in screenwriting software — researching, outlining, breaking the story
  • Why applying for grants can be helpful even if you don't win them
  • The Sundance Screenwriters Lab (which we did an entire podcast on at Sundance)
  • Doing entire drafts from the perspective of supporting characters
  • Apps like Workflowy, Final Draft, and WriterDuet
  • Workshopping your script with actors at table reads

….and more.

If you have questions about the making of the Netflix Original Film Amateur — or about your own feature project — you can ask me at or find me on twitter @ryanbkoo.

Here's the trailer for the feature Amateur. Watch it now on Netflix!

About Amateur

14-year-old basketball phenom Terron Forte has to navigate the under-the-table world of amateur athletics when he is recruited to an elite NCAA prep school.

Amateur stars Michael Rainey Jr., Sharon Leal, Ashlee Brian, Corey Parker Robinson with Brian White and Josh Charles. The film is written and directed by Ryan Koo and produced by Jason Michael Berman, Chip Hourihan and Mark Moran with Michael Finley, Tony Parker, Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens, Ben Renzo and Caroline Connor serving as executive producers. The film premiered on Netflix on April 6, 2018.

This episode of The First Feature is sponsored by Music Bed. Get 20% off your next on-site license with coupon code "FirstFeature20."

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