Week 1: Introduction & Concept/Theme – Every script begins with an idea. I’ll give an intro to the workshop process and discuss the basics of crafting a script with a strong central premise. Week 2: Character – Great scripts revolve around great characters. In this session, we’ll explore how to create compelling, three-dimensional characters that jump off the page and attract talent. Week 3: Plot/Structure – Plotting and structure are among the most difficult elements for any writer to master. We’ll dive into examples and determine how it’s best to craft a strong (but not necessarily conventional) storyline. Week 4: Dialogue & Where to Go From Here – Truthful and natural-sounding dialogue is the secret weapon of any screenplay. We’ll end the workshop by discussing the subtle ways dialogue can improve any script, and writers will determine their plans moving forward. In addition to the scheduled topics, I’ll also speak on general dos and don’ts in the industry, advice on getting representation, and other issues creatives commonly face. Writers are encouraged to participate and ask any questions that would be helpful for their projects or overall career goals.
In the first Executive Hour of 2021, we're bringing in Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley! Shane has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like "SEINFELD" and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG starring Dwayne Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Ent. where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, and John Travolta. During the webcast we discuss Shane's time working on - and getting fired from - "SEINFELD", producing for Dwayne Johnson, developing features with Charlie Sheen, and much more!
To see a video sample of the class, see below! 4 part class taught by Nate Matteson, literary manager named one of “Hollywood's New Leaders” by Variety Magazine. No matter if you write comedy, drama, horror or sci fi, every page has to count. It's easy for an executive to get distracted or lose focus if a script doesn't have high enough stakes for the protagonist, and/or the antagonist and secondary characters. One of the biggest reasons for passing we hear from executives are lack of clear or tangible stakes. Learn what it takes to keep the stakes high and keep the executive reading! Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class:How to Keep the Stakes High in Your Script - Keeping An Executive and Audience Engaged taught by Nate Matteson, literary manager at Gotham Group. Learn straight from the source on what he teaches his clients to keep them working! Here's a sample of what to expect in this exciting Next Level Class: Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Nate is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!
Development Exec from Rosey TV joins our Panel as we listen and read your pitches live to help educate the Writers' Room screenwriters on what is and isn't working in their pitch.
In this Executive Hour, Screenwriting Jon Stahl talks about moving from production on projects like Young Adult to the Writers' Room of the HBO award-winning series, "VEEP." Jon has in writers' rooms for NBC, Nickelodeon, and HBO. Jon talks about his next creative endeavor, writing and producing a podcast radio play starring Tony Hale of "Arrested Development" and "VEEP"!
Having a great idea to turn into a television series or feature is one piece of the writing process. And you likely have a great idea. But introducing characters into your world, characters with layers and depth and nuances and flaws, is a huge piece of the writing process that sometimes goes unchecked. Character flaws are diminished or underserved. Backstories aren’t fully explored. Or relationships between characters aren’t developed to their highest potential. Whether you're a new writer or someone that's more experienced, creating grounded and believable characters can always be challenging. Yet if you can clear this hurdle and paint fantastic characters, it’s no holds barred. There can be something very intimidating about creating people out of nothing and building your story's characters from scratch. In the real world, people are complicated, nuanced, and hard to fully nail down or encapsulate. Yet creating an incomplete representation of a person and a less-than developed character is instantly noticeable to the audience, and of course to decisionmakers and actors who might be considering your script. Learning to create players with separate agendas, quirks, fears, and passions is vital to creating an exciting script and memorable characters, but it can be incredibly difficult. It's a process that would be a lot easier with a shortcut, and a spelled out guide for how to develop your own story's characters. Believe it or not, though, this kind of already exists. Sara B Cooper is an accomplished and experienced TV writer and producer with over 30 years in the industry writing for standout shows like THE X-FILES, CHICAGO HOPE, HOUSE, and HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS. Over her storied career, Sara has learned from and worked with TV icons like Chris Carter, David E. Kelley, Tom Fontana, David Mamet, and Eric Roth. Beginning her writing career on science fiction shows like STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, Sara has been able to pivot to other genres like police procedurals, medical dramas, and even feature films like LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER with Angelina Jolie. Sara continues to write and consult on many TV projects in both the U.S. and Canada and serves as a writing coach and mentors young writers through the WGA and WGC. Sara's deep experience writing characters, producing character-driven television shows and coaching newer writers to find their own voice has given her valuable knowledge in the art of character development, as well as useful tools and shortcuts any writer can apply to their own project. During this information packed webinar, Sara will show you a surprisingly effective strategy and shortcut to help build out your own characters and aid them in being three-dimensional, authentic and memorable. This method is based on the Enneagram, a model that explores nine personality types. Using the Enneagram as a guide, Sara will show you how to better define your characters, explore how they should interact with each other, and dig into more nuanced factors like speech patterns, reactions, behaviors. Sara will show you how to use this model not only for your TV or feature script, but also for your bible, character descriptions, and pitch. Leaning on notable examples and case studies to help, Sara will demonstrate how her Enneagram model may be the key you're missing to fully developing your own characters and making your project more desirable for execs, producers and other decisionmakers.