Constructing Your Screenwriting Career: A Breakdown Of Breaking In

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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.

Book-to-Screen: Taking Your Book (or Screenplay) from Proposal to Published to Produced

Learn directly from Emmy Award-winning producer Lane Shefter Bishop! “Your story/book seems like it would make a great TV series or movie!” Ever heard these words before? If so, join executive Lane Shefter Bishop, as she takes you through the process in this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar. Over the last few years, Lane Shefter Bishop with Vast Entertainment has set up more than two dozen book properties – many of them only book proposals and early partials – with studios, networks and production companies throughout the entertainment industry. Underlying intellectual property is like gold these days. Great projects ‘based on’ or ‘inspired by’ literary material are constantly in demand. And by being in the center of this ‘content is king’ world, only Lane can give you the valuable insights towards making your story more sellable to the industry marketplace.

Loglines: Sell Your Story In A Single Sentence

“What’s your story about?” Having a perfect logline ready to answer that question can help give you the best chance of seizing the opportunity when you are asked. Your logline is your most important asset. It's invaluable for keeping you focused on what makes your story unique and for always making sure that you nail the first impression when someone asks you about your work. Having the perfect elevator pitch ready to go can make or break you when the opportunity presents itself. But, why do so many creatives struggle with coming up with that one-sentence? How do you get better at honing your logline? Stage 32 is here to help you. We have brought in Emmy-award winning producer Lane Shefter Bishop who has sold 30 PROPERTIES in the last 5 years - all from pitching just a logline. Plus, she is the author of the book Sell your Story in a Single Sentence; Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood Touted as “The Logline Whisperer” Lane Shefter Bishop has the specific tools you need to help you know how to sell what you write! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Lane will give you insider information on how you can best position your project to sell your work to agents, editors, publishers and producers. Lane has successfully sold projects to various networks and studios, including NBC/Universal, ABC/Disney, CBS, Lifetime, Sony and 20th Century Fox.   All of these projects have one thing in common – they began with a single sentence, a top-notch logline. After all, you can have the best material in the world but, if you get on the phone or in a room, you need to know how to sell it with your logline!  

TV Drama Pilot & Bible Writing Lab - 8 Weeks from Concept to Script

PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pilot outline and start work on your bible. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given.   Payment plans are available - please contact edu@stage32.com for more information.

So You Want To Be A TV Writer? An Inside Look - Part 2

Part 2 you're not going to want to miss! Ever wondered what daily life is like for a TV Writer? Looking for ways to manage and maximize your schedule to output great, useful material without losing your mind? Wondering how the hell you’re supposed to write when you’ve got a full-time job? Tune in for this exclusive 2-Part Stage 32 Next Level Webinar taught by TV Writer/Producer Charlie Charbonneau (CW shows: The Secret Circle, The Vampire Diaries, and its spin-off The Originals) to hear about life and work of TV writers, on AND off the clock. You'll gain insight that will help you succeed in finding your next assignment and how to excel in the position. In Part 2 the followup to So You Want To Be A TV Writer? An Inside Look - Part 1, Charlie will unpack all the ups, downs, problems, and pleasures that come in the daily life of a working TV writer. Hear insider advice and information about writers room etiquette, climbing the title ladder, taking notes, rolling with the punches when your material doesn’t impress the powers that be, and making sure you get paid. He’ll even discuss the best way to interact with those hot-shot actors in your show. As usual, get ready for some horror stories from the trenches!

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