Skip to main content

A Peek into the Mind of a Movie Producer

Hey, guys--

My friend Dena Hysell, one of the founders of Secret Handshake Entertainment (Drinky Crow, Baxter & MacGuire) is one of the producers on St. Vincent, director Walter Hill's new movie starring Mickey Rourke.

CORRECTION: Okay, it's not actually St. Vincent... it's A Little Help, starring Jenna Fischer and Chris O'Donnell, and written and directed by Michael Weithorn, who created King of Queens. St. Vincent doesn't start till later this year. (Thanks for the correction, Dena!)

She's leaving LA this week to produce the movie in New York for the next 15 weeks... and she's started a blog, www.denanicole.com, to journal the experience of producing her first big feature.

I don't normally promote random blogs on here, because EVERYONE has a blog... and while many of them are fun to read, I'd go crazy if I tried to promote each one.

But I think Dena's blog will be especially interesting to those of us who love movies, want to be in the film business, or wonder what it's like producing your first-ever feature. We've all dreamed of that, and this is a chance to live it through someone else's eyes.

We often look at producers and agents as our enemies... money-grubbing people trying to change writers' creative visions... but the truth is: producers are often passionate, movie-loving people who want to make incredible films-- they simply have jobs that force them to be occasionally be odds with their co-workers and creative partners.

I hope Dena's blog will help us peek into the mind of a producer who loves movies as much as those of us who write them.

Two days ago, for instance, she wrote a nice post about how hard it is to say "no" to everyone... even though that's often her job... and it made me think about how much I would HATE having to do this.

Anyway, I don't know where Dena's blog will go... or how the movie will turn out... but I wanted to pass it along as a fun behind-the-scenes look at an interesting feature...

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2022

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2022

Here are the top live streams, podcasts, and YouTube channels as identified in the 24th Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

What Is Fan Fiction in Writing?

What Is Fan Fiction in Writing?

You might have heard the term, especially if you’re in online fandoms, but what exactly is fan fiction? Managing Editor Moriah Richard explains.

5 Ways To Use Short Stories To Grow as a Writer

5 Ways To Use Short Stories To Grow as a Writer

Short story writing can be a gateway to writing your novel—but they’re also fun and worthy stories in their own right. Here, author Dallas Woodburn shares 5 ways to use short stories to grow as a writer.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not having an online presence.

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Shirlene Obuobi: On Writing From Experience

Physician, cartoonist, and author Shirlene Obuobi discusses the writerly advice that led to writing her new coming-of-age novel, On Rotation.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Kimo Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the kimo.

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

8 Things Writers Should Know About Tattoos

Tattoos and their artists can reveal interesting details about your characters and offer historical context. Here, author June Gervais shares 8 things writers should know about tattoos.

Tyler Moss | Reporting Through Lens of Social Justice

Writing Through the Lens of Social Justice

WD Editor-at-Large Tyler Moss makes the case for reporting on issues of social justice in freelance writing—no matter the topic in this article from the July/August 2021 issue of Writer's Digest.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Intentional Trail

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character leave clues for people to find them.