Constructing Your Screenwriting Career: A Breakdown Of Breaking In

Taught by Lee Jessup

$99

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

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Who Should Attend:

Any writers looking to break into the working industry space, or to make the most of a current opportunity. Including:

  • Entry level screenwriters eager to understand the paths that are available to them
  • Moderate to advanced screenwriters looking to reinvigorate relationships and momentum
  • Screenwriters who have had contest wins and trying to figure out next steps
  • Authors looking to transition into screenwriting
  • Producers looking to understand opportunities for scripts

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Class hosted by: Lee Jessup

Script Consultant

A recent invited speaker at the WGA and London Screenwriting Festival, author of the best selling book Getting It Write: An Insider's Guide To A Screenwriting Career Lee Jessup is a career coach for professional and emerging screenwriters, with an exclusive focus on the screenwriter's professional development. Her clients include television writing program fellows (Humanitas, CBS, WB Television Writers Program), WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated screenwriters, writers who sold screenplays and pitches to major studios, contest winners, and many more. Lee spent 6+ years as director of ScriptShark.com. During her time with ScriptShark, Lee introduced hundreds of screenplays to entertainment industry professionals, and spearheaded a national Business of Screenwriting seminar series launched in partnership with Final Draft and sponsored by The New York Times Company. An invited speaker at screenwriting conferences and festivals both in the US and Europe, Lee is a regular contributor to Script Magazines and was the interview subject for a number of film-centric television and web programs. To learn more about Lee and her services, visit www.leejessup.com. Full Bio »

Week 1: Preparing yourself for the industry

  • Reverse engineering your path
  • Brand
  • Primary materials - screenplays, pilots
  • Supplementary materials - essays, short stories, one act plays
  • Webseries & shorts
  • Writing partnerships
  • Representation

Week 2: Breaking into Film

  • Contests - TrackingB, Tracking Board, PAGE, Nicholl, Script Pipeline, Final Draft, Austin
  • Feature writing fellowships Universal Emerging Writers, Sundance, Film Independent
  • The prestige lists The Blood List, The Hit LIst, The Young & Hungry List, The Black List
  • Selling a spec
  • General meetings
  • Landing a writing assignment

Week 3: Breaking into TV

  • Television writing programs - Humanitas, Sundance, NBC, ABC, WB, CBS, CAPE, NHMC
  • The assistant route
  • Getting staffed
  • Selling a pilot
  • The hierarchy of the room
  • Television development deals

Summary:

Most screenwriters who have been at it for any length of time know the mechanics of writing a screenplay. But not everyone knows the specific steps one must take to go from screenwriter hitting the keys in off hours to become a working screenwriter working within the industry structure. Utilizing knowledge gathered over years in the industry working both in development and directly with emerging and professional writing clients, as well as insights from countless industry sources, during this 3-week session we will set correct expectations for the construction of a screenwriting career, and identify the various paths and opportunities available to writers eager to break into film or television.


About Your Instructor:

A recent invited speaker at the WGA and London Screenwriting Festival, author of the best selling book Getting It Write: An Insider's Guide To A Screenwriting Career Lee Jessup is a career coach for professional and emerging screenwriters, with an exclusive focus on the screenwriter's professional development. Her clients include television writing program fellows (Humanitas, CBS, WB Television Writers Program), WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated screenwriters, writers who sold screenplays and pitches to major studios, contest winners, and many more. Lee spent 6+ years as director of ScriptShark.com. During her time with ScriptShark, Lee introduced hundreds of screenplays to entertainment industry professionals, and spearheaded a national Business of Screenwriting seminar series launched in partnership with Final Draft and sponsored by The New York Times Company. An invited speaker at screenwriting conferences and festivals both in the US and Europe, Lee is a regular contributor to Script Magazines and was the interview subject for a number of film-centric television and web programs. To learn more about Lee and her services, visit www.leejessup.com.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Found a lot of great information. I just wish I could have seen a bigger video of her, not just the slides which pretty much detailed what she was saying. I felt as if I was paying attention to the Power Point presentation and not her and her expertise.
  • If you are 1) evaluating where you are on your writing journey and/or 2) trying to figure out how to position yourself given where you are, this webinar will help you assess your options so you can begin the process of creating a more strategic path for yourself and your writing goals. Lee is wildly informed and experienced in providing direction. Highly recommend!
  • Up to the minute industry context and process. Invaluable!

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Loglines, One-Sheets, and the Critical Personal Narrative

Learn from Lee Jessup, Screenwriting Career Coach and author of best selling book 'Getting It Write: An Insider's Guide to A Screenwriting Career'! First impressions are everything. And in today's industry, where screenplays are not easily read and many writers are competing for every rep's or executive's attention, screenwriters deliver their best first impression with their loglines, one-sheets, pitches and all-important personal narrative. This is how an executive becomes interested not only in reading a particular script, but also in working with the content creator behind it on assignments, adaptations, or future works. True story: One of my coaching clients was pitching via Happy Writers. His material was strong, but represented some subject-matter challenges right out of the gate. However, he kept getting screenplay requests. I called up one of the managers who requested to read the work, and asked for her impression. "The work has issues" she said "but the presentation was so strong, the writer's identity was so clear, I just wanted to read for voice." Careers are rarely built on any one script these days; instead, they are build on the writer's identity and voice, and nowhere are those more powerful than in the materials you use to introduce yourself. In today's shifting industry climate where single script sales present a challenge, agents, managers, development executives and producers are seeking to get involved with content creators who will deliver again and again, complete with a strong understanding of not only how to market their work, but also how to position their personal narrative and brand, the sort that executives want to work with, and reps want to sell. Remember: Executives get in business with people, not with a piece of paper. They want to know that you understand how to present both your material and yourself. In order to take you on as a client or a creative partner, they want to know that they can send you on a general meeting or a pitch assignment in which you will thrive and impress. Those are the skills that will get you into the room again and again. Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is excited to present Developing Your Marketable Identity: Loglines, One-Sheets, and the Critical Personal Narrative presented by Lee Jessup, career coach for professional and emerging screenwriters. Lee is the best-selling author of Getting It Write: An Insider's Guide to A Screenwriting Career, whose clients include television fellows, contest winners, produced screenwriters, and more. Lee will discuss the various materials you should prepare for meetings, pitches and events, and provide practical examples and guidelines for each. She will also explore the often-under-prepared personal narrative, which will allow you to effectively communicate who you are as a person and a writer, and the critical life events that inspired you to explore the specific themes, wounds and worlds that will set you apart in your work. This webinar is for screenwriters aiming to present their work to the professional space, be it via Skype or in-person pitches, general meetings or screenwriting events.

The Do's and Don'ts of Landing a Manager or Agent

Learn directly from Lee Jessup, a career coach for screenwriters with an exclusive focus on the screenwriter's professional development. Her clients include WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated screenwriters, writers who sold screenplays and pitches to major studios, best-selling authors, contest winners, as well as novice and emerging screenwriters! Everyone wants to find representation but... What are reps actually looking for? Strong specs? TV pilots? The million dollar idea? The industry has changed rapidly over the past 5 years, and so has the representation game. Discover how to create a winning brand, develop both creatively and professionally, identify the representation that would be right for you and become the writer agents want to sign, managers want to develop, and executives want to hire. Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is honored to have brought in Lee Jessup, one of the leading screenwriting consultants, with an exclusive focus on the screenwriter's professional development. Her clients include WGA members, Golden Globe and Emmy nominated screenwriters, writers who sold screenplays and pitches to major studios, best-selling authors, contest winners, as well as novice and emerging screenwriters.

How to Find & Adapt Comic Book, Video Game, Book & Article IP for Film & TV

State of the industry Why the majority of TV/Film comes from pre-existing IP "The Executive Bias" Pre-existing Fan Base/Fleshed Out World Adapting Books/Articles Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study: Game of Thrones, Sex and The City Case Study: The Wedding Sting in the Atlantic, now going to be a film at Paramount Adapting Comic Books / Video Games Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study (Comics): Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel/Disney, lesser known/less successful comic became a blockbuster) Case Study: Jessica Jones (Marvel / Netflix) Case Study (Video Games): Assassin's Creed (FOX, to be released this December) Making it your own Most say DO NOT adapt your own material (leads to being too protective of your work/not as open to change) Fun thing about IP, when you build a world, it can keep being adapted into other mediums (Example: Orphan Black the comic book was one of the best-selling comics last year, adapted from TV show. Goes in both directions) The heart of this, however, is making sure the new versions are different enough from the old, AND have your voice in them. LIVE Q&A with Maggie!

How to Create a Long Term Studio Writing Career

Learn directly from 30+ studio veteran Michael Colleary (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Face/Off, The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents & more)!   You have a high concept screenplay. You control some blockbuster intellectual property. Or perhaps you have the next big trilogy or breakthrough character idea. You want to be a studio writer. But how do you break in and sustain such a career? Landing a studio job as a writer is NOT an impossibility. It's about knowing your path from completed screenplay to getting in the room. It's about knowing how to secure a manager, agent, attorney - a team designed to help you succeed. In this exclusive 90 minute Stage 32 webinar, How to Create a Long Term Studio Writing Career, Michael Colleary, writer of such big budget blockbusters as Face/Off & story creator of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, will take you through everything you need to know about breaking in and sustaining a career.

Strengthen Your Supporting Characters & Subplot

As screenwriters, it is our job to create well-rounded stories. That means not only having a main character whose journey we follow but also including supporting characters and stories. The addition of strong supporting characters and subplots allows the audience to feel as if your story actually has a life outside of the confines of your script. This is the difference between being a professional screenwriter and someone who writes as a weekend hobby.  In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Jordan Barel (Development, for Producer/Actor Paul Scheer and Abominable Pictures) will teach how to bring your supporting characters to life. You will learn how to create characters that are integral to the main plot and the shape of your screenplay. He will walk you through using your support characters to subtly deliver key exposition and give insight into your protagonist.  In addition, Jordan will show you how to use your subplots to strengthen your second act and keep the action moving along. You'll break down various film genres to show how each utilizes supporting characters and subplots so you can apply it to your projects. You will walk away with the tools necessary to deliver a fully developed script!

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Learn directly from award winning non-fiction producer of 8 films, Jim Young, President of Animus Films: Lovelace (Amanda Seyfried), The Words (Bradley Cooper), Life of a King (Cuba Gooding Jr.) - Exclusive for Stage 32 members! With all the recent success for true story dramas including 12 Years a Slave, The Butler, and Dallas Buyer's Club (among many others), it’s an exciting time in the marketplace for non-fiction. If you have found a story that truly inspires you and know it will make a great film, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start to make that happen. The easy part is finding the right story, the hard part is knowing what to do with it. Whether it’s a book, a newspaper or magazine article, a documentary, or even if it’s a story of someone you’ve met or are related to - If you want to learn how to take the kernel of an idea or acquire existing material and develop it into a feature length film, this is the webinar you need taught by one of the most experienced independent producers on the subject. Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is thrilled to bring you Developing a True Story Into a Film (Acquiring / Developing / Writing / Producing / Distributing), hosted by award-winning Producer Jim Young of Animus Films (Lovelace, The Words, Life of a King). Jim is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with 8 films under his belt. We are honored he is bringing his knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community. In Developing a True Story Into a Film, Jim will take you through the steps of acquiring the rights to a particular article, book or other printed material about, or the life rights of, a given person (or persons). From there he will cover writing and developing the script, getting buttoned up legally to avoiding pitfalls in the pre-production and production phases, and navigating the process of releasing and distributing the film. He will provide real life case studies using some of his own films as examples to help you gain real world experience and make the process painless.

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