Industry Insights: Scriptwriting with Kate Sierzputowski

By Libby Smith • Project Manager

Welcome to our new blog series “Industry Insights” where we interview members of the production world that we have had the opportunity to collaborate with! This week, we are featuring a talented scriptwriter, who we have worked with on several recent projects. Meet Kate Sierzputowski!

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Kate studied journalism and art history at Ohio University, a college tucked in the small town of Athens, Ohio. After graduation, she moved to Chicago to pursue a hard-hitting career as a journalist, and found herself as an editor of a local newspaper geared specifically for Chicago’s cab drivers. Deciding that she wanted to instead merge her interests in both journalism and the arts, she founded INSIDE\WITHIN, a publication that explores the creative spaces of Chicago’s emerging and established artists. In addition to interviewing four artists a month for INSIDE\WITHIN, Kate is a freelance writer, serves as a co-director of an artist-run space in East Garfield Park, conducts a series of curatorial retail experiences with Tusk boutique owner Mary Eleanor Wallace, and freelances for several publications, including the Chicago Reader, Hyperallergic, and Colossal. And even with this full plate, she still has time to create scripts for us!

MS: What kind of information does it take to create a successful script?

KS: I’m always most interested in the voice that is behind any script that I write—a knowledge of the human that will be eventually broadcasting the words to the public. By forming this person in my head I am able to select the best words for any script as I come to understand the character behind it.

MS: What are the top three things you think about when preparing to write a script?

KS: Voice, audience, and concept. Again, one of my main concerns is the voice, as I feel like this is the most important thing to get across in any script by suspending your own to adopt that of another. It is also important to know who will be listening to the script and what concept they should come away with after hearing it.

MS: Describe your writing style in three words.

KS: Precise, understated, and artistic.

MS: When you’re not writing a script, what do you enjoy writing?

KS: When I’m not writing scripts, I love interviewing artists and writing reviews about local exhibitions hosted at alternative spaces throughout Chicago. Engaging with the arts community is my favorite aspect about freelance writing.

MS: What has proven most challenging thus far about your job?

KS: Length. Each and every time, I want to extend a script far beyond the wants of the client. It has taken some practice to be able to curtail what I write to fit within the time limits I’m given.

MS: What inspires you?

KS: Great meals, cocktails, lively conversations, and bizarre floral arrangements.

MS: What do you do when you experience writer’s block?

KS: Do something completely different to try and suck some inspiration out of an experience rather than thin air.

MS: What is your personal mantra?

KS: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to rely on just one. My opinions change too frequently.

MS: What are some of your favorite movies?

KS: Map to the Stars (and anything by David Cronenberg), Mulholland Drive (and anything by David Lynch), and any crime-based procedural.

MS: Can you give us a fun fact about yourself?

KS: I’m from a tiny town called Loveland.

To see Kate's work in action, check out a recent video we produced for our client, CulTao, that Kate helped craft the script for.


Interested in learning more? You can check out Kate’s website (http://katesierzputowski.com) for all her updates and social media outlets. While you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe!