Jim Mercurio | Author, Screenwriter, Filmmaker
How long have you lived in Pittsburgh?
I grew up in a small town an hour from here (New Castle) and left after high school. After a two and half decades in Los Angeles and the East Coast, I came back for a few years. In that time, I finished a book, two scripts and a few writing assignments. Am planning to head back to NYC or LA soon.
What role(s) do you fill when making films? (actor, director , DP, other?)
About how many movies have you worked on?
I have been a producer or director on my five feature films. As a teacher I have overseen several hundreds of short films. In my various roles as filmmaker, development exec, contest judge, I have read 6,000 features. I have also had a development hand in scripts and series for Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmakers and clients.
What are some awards you’ve won or festivals you been in?
I have had several films premiere at Cinequest, which is an awesome fest in San Jose. Hard Scrambled won best Dramatic Feature at Garden State Film Festival. The horror/thriller feature I directed called Last Girl won Best Feature in the Texas DOA Film Festival. My spec pilot dramedy recently became the number one script in its category at Coverfly. The most prestigious award I won was for my first script… a Hopwood Award for Screenwriting… an award, I playfully remind people, that was also won by Larry Kasdan and Arthur Miller.
How long have you been making films?
I directed my first feature in 2000 and have made 5 features since then.
What are some of your “more visible” films? (Please include links)
Hard Scrambled and Last Girl are available on Amazon Prime, Google Play and through BrinksVision. My book and ebook are on Amazon where the audio version will be released May 12. My DVD set is available at my site.
What’s the best way for people to reach out to you? (Please include links)
Jamespmercurio.com is my story analysis website and my email address is there: Jim@jamespmercurio.com.
Consulting site: Jamespmercurio.com
Jim Mercurio is a writer, author, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He has directed or produced five feature films and has helped countless writers as a teacher, story analyst, and script doctor.
Jim directed the horror/thriller Last Girl that won Best Feature at Texas DOA Film Festival. Jim produced Hard Scrambled, starring Kurtwood Smith (That ’70s Show), which won best dramatic feature at Garden State Film Festival. He wrote and directed the bonus material for the film Making Hard Scrambled Movies—a two-hour seminar on making indie films—which the Washington Post called “a must for would-be filmmakers.”
He directed the feature film March, which stars Cynda Williams (One False Move) and Michelle Phillips (of the 1960s folk group The Mamas and the Papas). Chris Potter of the Ann Arbor News gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and wrote: “March is in fact an astonishing and deeply disturbing meditation on the tangled conflicts of the human heart … a remarkable first film.”
While receiving his M.A. in film from the University of Michigan he won a Hopwood Award in screenwriting. The Hopwoods are the most prestigious college writing awards in the country. Past recipients include Arthur Miller and Lawrence Kasdan.
One of the top screenwriting educators in the country, Jim has directed more than 40 DVDs on the craft of screenwriting, including his own 6-disc Complete Screenwriting: From A to Z to A-list. His book, The Craft of Scene Writing — the first-ever screenwriting book to focus solely on scenes, was released in 2019 and debuted as an Amazon bestseller in the Screenwriting New Releases and Television Writing categories. He was a star speaker at the Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles and was invited by Disney to teach story at Siggraph in Boston.
Creative Screenwriting magazine ranked him as one of the top screenplay consultants in the country. The Los Angeles Times singled out his former column in Creative Screenwriting as “hilarious. His clients range from beginners to Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated A-list filmmakers. To attend one of Jim’s workshops or work with him one on one, visit his site at www.jamespmercurio.com.