She learned about screenwriting through typing scripts for Hollywood writers in the 1970s. In 1979, she transitioned from typewriter to computer and launched Hollywood’s first computerized script typing service Ace Computer Script. This venture was inspired by her first writer-director boss Mike Gray’s word processor on which he typed scripts like “The China Syndrome” and books about Three Mile Island and NASA.
Eventually, Barbara helped screenwriters and producers choose and buy their own personal computers and word processing software so they could easily make their own script changes (since “most of screenwriting is rewriting…”).
In the mid-80s, Barbara worked in script development at Disney Studios as Creative Assistant to writer-producer Dan Petrie Jr. (“Beverly Hills Cop.” “Turner and Hooch”). Laid-off during the 1988 Writers Guild strike, she began reading scripts and writing script coverage for indie producers even though writers were not supposed to be submitting work around town. She spent the next 30+ years reading thousands of scripts and film-adaptable books for top Hollywood producers, broacast and cable networks plus literary agencies. She also served as a development/creative executive for Warren Beatty, working with him on “Love Affair,” “Dick Tracy,” “Bulworth” and other projects.
Barbara’s read scripts for Hollywood writing contests and fellowships, including Universal-NBC’s annual Emerging Writers Fellowships (2013 + 2014).
She also served as a teaching assistant for screenwriting students (2010-2014) via her friend Willam Akers’ Screenwriting 101 classes at Vanderbilt University, Nashville Film Institute and Belmont University. Akers is the author of one of Barbara’s favorite books on screenwriting: “Your Screenplay Sucks” – available at Amazon.
As a freelance script consultant, Barbara has advised indie producers, directors and writers about their scripts-in-progress or in-production to help their visions become fully realized on the page and ultimately on the screen.
In 2005, Barbara co-founded the first Toastmasters chapter for Writers in Southern California (and possibly the world) — Toastmasters4Writers — based in Burbank CA. She highly recommends Toastmasters to any writers (or others) seeking to improve their speaking and pitching skills.
Barbara was invited to TM4Writers’ 2014 Xmas gathering to read from her book “The Akashic Muse” — she’s bottom right in the purple.^^
Click to read or download her Story Analysts Union/Editors Guild resume: Barbara Schiffman : Story Analyst Resume 2014
As a script consultant: Barbara provides “first look” feedback to screenwriters, directors and producers as well as pitch coaching (by phone, Skype or in person). Her long list of Hollywood script consulting and story analysis clients includes Starz Network, Mandalay Films, HBO, Miramax, Dreamworks, UTA, CAA and Harpo Productions (Oprah Winfrey’s company) in addition to hundreds of freelance writers, independent producers, directors and agents.
As a screenwriting & creativity teacher/coach: Barbara’s chapter “Key Things to Know About Your Script Before You Write“ was included in Tarcher/Penguin’s book “NOW WRITE! SCREENWRITING: Exercises from Today’s Top Screenwriters and Teachers” (available on Amazon). This chapter was inspired by her workshops at the Scriptwriting Expo (LA) and she has been invited to teach it again in October 2016 at Authors of the Flathead Writers Conference in Kalispell, Montana, along with a workshop on “The Art and Challenges of Adapting Books & True Stories to Film or TV.”
She’s also written and taught about Creativity from the inside out in “The Akashic Muse: Collaborating With Your Soul & the Akashic Records for Writing & Other Creative Endeavors” (available at Amazon.com)
As an author: Barbara specializes in personal and spiritual development, and also edits articles and books written by other authors. She credits her work on screenplays and character development with helping her understand the inner workings of “true-stories-in-progress,” which she believes we all are as human beings.
She has chapters in personal or spiritual development oriented anthologies, including “Spirit is Talking to Me,” “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life (Vol. I), “Inspiration to Realization (Vol. 1),” “2012: Creating Your Own Shift,” “Happiness is Waiting for You,” and “Your Soaring Phoenix.” (These anthologies are available on Amazon or via YourSoulSupportShop.com)
Her co-authored book-in-progress “THE EXHILARATION EFFECT: Building the Courage to Take Your Leap of Faith” ranked among the Top 25 Semi-Finalists in the Next Top Spiritual Author 2010 publishing competition.
Find out about The Exhilaration Effect and the Art & Science of Taking Leaps of Faith to support any Life &/or Career Breakthrough — developed by Barbara and co-author Camille Leon — at The ExhilarationEffect
Barbara also created her exclusive Energize Your Life with the 4 Elements ecourse for DailyOM.com from her Life Energy Tune-Up coaching programs.
As a book coach and freelance editor: Barbara edits novels and non-fiction books for other writers, including Linda Collucci Madalone’s wonderful novels “The 440 Train” and “Tesrod Farmhouse” (available at Amazon.com) . She also edited her husband Glenn Schiffman’s Amazon #1 Bestselliing and Eric Hofffer 2014 Award Finalist novel “The Way I Was Taught.”
Barbara is available for private book coaching (by phone or Skype) as well as book editing and publication services (ebooks and print editions)
As a journalist: Barbara’s written dozens of articles about creativity, book publishing and screenwriting for publications and websites including Emmy Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Writer’s Digest, Hollywood Scriptwriter and other writer oriented publications. She also contributes articles to personal development blogs including YourTango.com.
As a Certified Hypnotherapist: She helps writers reduce “high anxiety” over public speaking and pitching their work (and themselves) as well as gain confidence in presenting their work so it can get read, sold and promoted. She’s been a breakthrough coach for creatives and people in life &/or career transitions. She’s also the co-founder of Toastmasters 4Writers, the first Toastmasters Int’l chapter designed to help creative writers get comfortable speaking about themselves and pitching their work.
Check out her flyer on HypnoPitch Coaching: hypnopitchflyer 2014
Contact Barbara at 818-415-3479 for info on her book coaching/editing, script consulting &/or career coaching services..
~ ~ ~ ~ ~