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Write On: A Screenwriting Podcast


Oct 27, 2023

“I’m not happy with a script unless I can look through it and find at least five or six pages where there’s no dialogue – where the story tells itself through imagery,” says horror screenwriter Dennis Paoli. Feeling strongly that the screenwriter’s job is to help the director see their vision for the scenes and characters, he says that instead of writing shot-by-shot, he writes, “Visual by visual. I try to give the important visuals that are inherent in that scene that help tell the story.”

Famous for writing the cult-classic body-horror film Re-Animator from 1985, Paoli has a new film called Suitable Flesh starring Heather Graham and Barbara Crampton just in time for Halloween.

In Final Draft's Write On podcast we talk about the importance of a screenwriter embracing visual storytelling on the page and discuss the challenges of reinterpreting H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Thing on the Doorstep to create two bewitching female leads.

Listen to the podcast to hear more about Paoli’s long working partnership with the late Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator), making the “Miskatonic-verse” feel fresh and modern, and planting Easter eggs in the new movie.