William C. Martell

William C. Martell

Screenwriter, Blogger, Author & Instructor

William C. Martell is a prolific screenwriter, journalist, blogger, author and instructor.

For over a decade, Martell was the West Coast Editor of Script Magazine where he wrote the “Independents” screenwriting column. He has also contributed to Writer’s Digest Magazine, wrote the Screenwriting 101 column for the Independent Film Channel Magazine, and was the only non-nominated screenwriter mentioned on “Siskel & Ebert’s ‘If We Picked The Winners” Oscar show in 1997. Additionally, Martell has been interviewed and exclusively featured in several publications including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Hollywood Scriptwriter (cover), and ScreenTalk Magazine in Denmark. Entertainment Today (March, 2001) named Martell’s website Scriptsecrets.net “The Best On The Web” for screenwriters and several quotes of his have appeared in print in Bordwell’s book “The Way Hollywood tells It.”

Martell has written 19 films that he comically states have been, “carelessly slapped onto celluloid” – 3 for HBO, 2 for Showtime, 2 for USA Network, and a whole bunch of CineMax Originals. His USA Net flick HARD EVIDENCE out-rented Julia Roberts’ film SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT (1995) and in 2007, William had two films make the top 10 rentals list, both released on the same day. William’s more recent works include a remake of a hit ’80s horror flick and a family script that he recently sold to a well-known producer.

In 1998, Martell wrote THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING, which has proven to be a bible for some. Ted Elliott, co-writer of THE MASK OF ZORRO, SHREK, and all four PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies refers to THE SECRETS OF ACTION SCREENWRITING as, “The best book on the practical nuts-and-bolts mechanics of writing a screenplay I’ve ever read.” Additional published works include the Screenwriting Blue Book series, a collection of 8 books covering most topics script-to-screen.

Mr. Martell has taught screenwriting courses at Sherwood Oaks College in Los Angeles; for Project Greenlight in Los Angeles; at the Cripple Creek (Colorado) Film Festival; the Ft. Lauderdale (Florida) Film Festival; the Temecula (California) Film Festival; and several times at the Santa Fe Screenwriters Conference alongside Oscar winners William Kelley (WITNESS), David S. Ward (THE STING), and Oscar nominees Chris DeVore (THE ELEPHANT MAN) and Mark Medoff (CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD). Twice William spoke at the Las Vegas Screenwriting Conference along side Steven Katz (SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE), Shane Black (LETHAL WEAPON), and Ross LaManna (RUSH HOUR), and three times taught classes at the Sacramento (California) Film Festival. His two-day “Script Secrets” class has been offered by the Raindance Film Institute in London for five years. The Los Angeles versions of the class have been very popular and have successfully traveled to a number of cities.

Past students of Martell’s “Script Secrets” two-day classes have sold scripts to Miramax, George Clooney’s Section Eight Productions, and Joel Silver Films. Steve Robinson took what he learned in William’s class and scripted the winning film of the 2004 Nokia International Short Film Competition, “HAVE I PASSED?

In addition to his many films and publications, William C. Martell has served on several film festival juries, including Raindance in London five times – once with Mike Figgis and Saffron Burrows and once with Lennie James and Edgar Wright. He is slated to make another appearance in 2016.

The 3 Rivers Screenwriters Conference is delighted to list Pittsburgh among the many international cities where Script Secrets has travelled. We are thrilled to host such a prolific, entertaining, and well-versed author, screenwriter, and instructor as William C. Martell during 3RSC’s inaugural year!


May 21, 2016
Story Structure
RM 321
9:00 AM
May 22, 2016
Heroes & Villains
RM 321
10:20 AM
May 22, 2016
Visual Writing
RM 321
1:30 PM
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