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Writers dream up characters for actors to bring to life. Actors know what makes a good screenplay. So when an actor puts themselves in the screenwriting chair, their unfair advantage is that they will write scripts for actors to fall in love with. Whether they are creating work for themselves or just want to be the boss of the story world, they have a deep understanding of character and bring unique skills and experience to the writing process. And for writers who play the lead role, their connection to the character and reason for writing them can give a depth and specificity to a performance that has the potential for magic.

Actors-writers Sophie Henderson (Fantail, Baby, Done), Kura Forrester (Ahikāroa, Golden Boy) and Hanelle Harris (Baby Mama’s Club, Sis) along with filmmaker now also actor David White (This Town, Meat) discuss how story and character can be developed and deepened through thinking like an actor and what the disciplines of writing and acting lend each other. Moderated by Robyn Malcolm.

Get the most out of your Big Screen Symposium experience, catch up on all the fabulous work these Actor-Writers have created on our 2020 Where to Watch list.