Writers' Room Member Uses the Power of Stage 32 to take her Script to Screen!

Writers' Room Member Uses the Power of Stage 32 to take her Script to Screen!

Writers' Room Member Uses the Power of Stage 32 to take her Script to Screen!

Chaun Lee
Chaun Lee
4 years ago

I’ve been screenwriting for the past four years consistently, and the past ten inconsistently. I stumbled across Stage 32 from a Facebook post that a member made over a year and a half ago. I decided to check it out because of the great things that were said about Stage 32 in the post. Wow, I’m so glad I did! My life has changed so much since then. I've met some truly wonderful people who’ve helped me tremendously in my writing endeavors as mentors who spent extensive amounts of time to further my growth as a new screenwriter. I wanted to share some of the key aspects of my journey to assist anyone else who might be in the same boat I was in.

Ok, the truth—initially I was completely lost on how to begin. I thought my work was stellar, top-notch, ready to stand next to the likes of seasoned professionals. NOT. So, of course, my ego got bruised when submitting my work for review on Stage 32. I even teetered with the idea of giving up, but the words of my late father kept lingering in my head, “You can’t win if you quit.” And, I’m no quitter.

My next step was to do a little more research; I started with checking out some of the videos from the Stage 32 Writers' Room. I saw a few videos where some of the members’ work was being critiqued in a non-threatening environment of creatives. It appealed to me, so I joined. I was excited, especially when I got some great feedback for my Romantic Comedy (which placed in the semifinals last year in the Save The Cat Screenplay Challenge) and then I was encouraged to pitch in the Writers' Room Pitch Tank Webcast hosted monthly.

Pitching by far was the most difficult part, having a deeply seated fear of public speaking. The first time I pitched, I was so nervous, I actually forgot the name of the project I was pitching in front of an invited industry executive and a host of colleagues in the Writers' Room! When I finished pitching, I was drenched from perspiration and mortified with my tail between my legs.

YouTube Video

Stage 32 member Chaun Lee has made huge leaps forward because of the Writers' Room

But, then something wonderful happened—I started getting messages in the chat during the Writers' Room from my peers encouraging me and telling me great things about my project and, most of all, pleading with me not to give up. I was on the verge of tears, but had held it in, and when I saw those messages, I was able to smile and cut myself some slack...something I realized I needed and hadn’t learned to do. This group of people, creatives like me, gave me the space to be my imperfect self without judgement. I now ensure I show up every week for my group, my tribe, my community of creatives, and I so look forward to it.

I’ve still had a lot of bumps. But, recently, I wrote and directed a short film based on an assignment given in the Writers' Room by Jason Mirch, Director of Script Services and host of the Writers' Room. The assignment was to write short script with a plot twist. I chose to write a psychological thriller called, The Impasse, revolving around a troubled patient who is forced into a breakthrough by her therapist when confronting a "door" she refuses to open.

When Jason read it for the group during the Write Now Challenge Webcast, he encouraged me to pursue filming it. Then, he took it a step forward and ushered me in the right direction. He told me to reach out to folks on Stage 32 who might be in my same city in the Atlanta area.

YouTube Video

Behind the scenes interviews with the cast & crew of The Impasse by Chaun Lee

I did and I met several producers and chose a wonderful producer, Stephen Beehler, to assist me in bringing my vision to life! We finished filming a few weeks ago with a small crew. The feedback has been awesome and I expect great things to come in future festivals. I owe it all to my beginnings in the Writers' Room!

So, if you’re hesitant or unsure about joining the Writers' Room, don’t be! Just commit and invest in yourself. I promise you won’t regret it. I certainly haven’t and I’m now part of an amazing group of writers from all walks of life, in many different countries, who are all dedicated to the same thing I am, telling a great story. It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of work, that’s truly, truly paying off big.

Follow up from Jason: Obviously, the world is going through a difficult period, and now more than ever it is important to stay connected and support one another. For that reason, I am offering FREE access to the Stage 32 Writers' Room for a month to any new member who emails me at j.mirch@stage32.com. I will respond personally and send you a special link to join for month, which includes all of the previous webcasts on demand, perks, benefits, and access to the private lounge. I look forward to hearing from you! In the meantime, keep writing and keep up the positive energy!

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About the Author

Chaun Lee

Chaun Lee

Screenwriter, Director

Who’s Chaun Lee? I’m an Atlanta-based screenwriter with a sincere love of great stories. I have a complex background having lived all over the world from Alaska to Iraq. My military and bi-racial beginnings have given me a unique perspective which is both broad and non-ethnocentric. You’ll fi...

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