Passionate Filmmaker & Educator

Dawn Spinella is an award-winning filmmaker, passionate educator and optioned writer-for-hire.

She cut her writing chops on biographical features at UCLA, but enjoys action/adventure and comedy – both television and feature formats.

Her short films (directed/produced) have screened at numerous festivals and her short-form workshops have helped young writers learn the craft.

She holds an MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA, and an MA in English/Creative Writing. She’s taught at UCLA and University of the Pacific, as well as workshop events. She’s thrilled to watch her students win screenwriting accolades, but more than that – she loves to inspire them and watch that transfer to the page.

She’s had the honor of working with, and learning from amazing filmmakers like Dustin Lance Black (MILK), Bobby Moresco (CRASH), Paula Wagner (MISSION IMPOSSIBLE), and Wolfgang Petersen (THE PERFECT STORM).


Write Biographical Screenplays & Leverage Your Career

Since the dawn of mankind, we’ve told stories. Sometimes gossip. Now called news. A well-crafted, beautifully told story can create legends, offer insights, guide our own journeys and spark our imaginations. They also win Oscars, and that’s good for business.

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Bio-Pic; A-List Magnets

Biographical stories…

  • Bio-Pics
  • True Stories
  • Based On
  • Actual Events
  • Inspired By
  • Adapted From

And my favorite —

  • Loosely Based On… Very Loose

…have been representing at the Academy Awards over 40 years, but for the past ten years they have nearly owned the awards. Even television shows are reaching for ‘inspired by’ material.

And if it’s not a biographical story, it’s probably based on the novel by the same name. But that’s a different conversation.

This conversation is all about how you can use the massively popular ‘bio-pic’ to leverage your screenwriting or film-making career.

From germination of the bio-pic to the red carpet — it’s a journey of fortitude and perseverance; finding the story, obtaining the rights, focusing the story for attention, finding talent, and getting produced… but if done right, you’ll be on your way.

Do you have a story in mind? Already own life-rights? Want to do the ‘unauthorized’ version? Don’t need rights because the story is so dang old? Or already in the public domain?

So many questions. So many things to understand. That’s okay. You’ll find answers here. Inspiration. Lots of knowledge. Secrets. Hints. Clues. Basically everything you’ll need to not only leverage your career no matter what material you’re using.

Contact us if you have questions and enjoy the ride.

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Inspired By Films

In A Heartbeat: Under 5

In A Heartbeat: Under 5

In A Heartbeat is a wonderful little short film, about 4 minutes long, that is both impactful and entertaining. It’s a great study in how to deliver a compelling story in a short amount of time. 

Check out the full structural breakdown here

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