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Screenwriters are authors who write the screenplays from which films are made. Many of them also work as "script doctors," attempting to change scripts to suit directors or studios; for instance studio management may have a complaint that the motivations of the characters are unclear or that the dialogue is weak. Script-doctoring can be quite lucrative, especially for the better known writers; David Mamet and John Sayles, for instance, fund the movies they direct themselves, usually from their own screenplays, by writing and doctoring scripts for others.

Professional screenwriters are unionized and are represented by the Writers Guild of America.

Alan Ball[?]
Leigh Brackett: The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, The Empire Strikes Back
Ray Bradbury: Moby Dick, King of Kings
Bertrand Blier
Francis Ford Coppola
Nora Ephron
Ben Hecht
James Kearns[?]
David Mamet
Harold Pinter
Ayn Rand
Robert Riskin[?]: It Happened One Night, Lost Horizon
John Sayles
Aaron Sorkin: A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing
Paul Schrader[?]
Tom Stoppard

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