How The Pros Rewrite & Polish: Essential Rewriting Tools and Techniques

Hosted by Corey Mandell

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Corey Mandell

Webinar hosted by: Corey Mandell

Playwright, Screenwriter and Writing Coach

Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. Corey is also a distinguished instructor at UCLA, where he earned his MFA. His students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, Fox, Fox 2000, MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers, Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC and HBO. Others have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justifed, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, Young and Hungry, Playing House, and Treme. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Writing is rewriting. All writers know this, but unfortunately too many writers waste valuable time and energy rewriting their scripts over and over without really making them better. Or they make some parts of their script better while weakening other parts -it's almost like an endless whack-a-mole game. The reason this happens is that often writers don't know the most effective ways to evaluate and rewrite their material. They rewrite without a clear focus or understanding of the fundamentals. Knowing how to effectively rewrite your script will lead to a dramatic improvement in your final product for both feature and TV scripts, and will be a game changer in your writing career!

There's an art to the rewriting process that many successful writers embrace. It begins with letting go, relaxing, embracing, and, eventually, enjoying the process. Great writers know how to save time by quickly identifying issues with their scripts and how to fix the problems quickly and efficiently. They know how to receive notes, how to discuss those notes, and which notes are worth pushing back against and which are worth taking. They know a great script doesn't evolve all at once. It takes time, patience, awareness and constant molding.

Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. Corey is also a distinguished instructor at UCLA, where he earned his MFA. His students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, Fox, Fox 2000, MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers, Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC and HBO. Others have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justifed, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, Young and Hungry, Playing House, and TremeCorey knows what it takes to write and rewrite a great script, and he has proven it time and time again.

Corey will walk you through the entire rewrite process for feature and TV screenplays from first understanding how your story reads in other people's heads (and why that is important!) all the way to correcting structural weaknesses in your script. He will break down rewrite memos, notes, and narrative cohesion, leaving you with a comprehensive overview of how to do an effective rewrite and how to immediately apply it to your own work. He will teach you how to receive notes and how to find the note within the note, an overlooked and misunderstood practice that can save you major rewriting time and win you points with executives, producers and financiers. Corey will show you all the pitfalls and common mistakes writers make during the rewriting process so you can move forward with not only confidence in your writing, but confidence you can carry into any room.

 

"Pure magic."

- Alonzo G.

 

"I always loved pumping out the first draft, but hated the rewrite. Now I know why. I had no idea what I was doing. I have 4 scripts that I can't wait to tear down and build back up bigger and stronger than ever."

- Mark R.

 

"This was so comprehensive and helpful. The entire webinar I was recognizing faults in my latest script. So happy I took this webinar!"

- Mariana W.

 

"I feel like I was just let into a secret club. The Rewrite Club. I know things other writers don't. Excited to put all this information into practice."

- Jules P.

What You'll Learn

  • How to Test Your Script
    • What Questions You Need to Ask to See if the Movie ‘Plays’ in Other People’s Heads
    • How to Strategically Close the Gaps From What’s In Your Head, What’s On the Page and What Some Else Reads
  • How to Understand and Fix Foundational Problems
    • How Not to Waste Time in Your Rewrite
    • How to Make Sure You are Improving Your Script
    • How to Use Narrative Cohesion (Advice straight from working with Ridley Scott)
  • How the Pros Rewrite
    • Understanding the Process of Composing and Using Strategic Rewrite Memos
    • Learn How to be More Efficient to Get More Done in Less Time
    • How Not to Waste Time
  • Rewriting vs. Editing/Polishing
    • What are the Differences Between Each?
    • How Not to Sabotage Your Chances of Your Script Going Further into Development
  • How to Interpret the Notes You Receive on Your Script
    • How Do You Know If You Need a Rewrite or a Polish?
    • Finding the Note Behind the Note
    • Learning How to Identify Real Problems in Your Script
    • Learning How to Target the Results of These Problems
  • Your Writing Drafts
    • Your Private Draft Rewriting vs. Your Public Draft Rewriting
    • A Checklist of Questions to Ask Yourself For Each Kind of Draft
    • How to Time-Track Your Characters Before Showing Your Script to Others
  • Should You Pay Someone Else for Notes on a Rewrite?
    • Who To Pay, Who to Avoid, and Who To Target
  • Avoiding the Common Mistakes Most Make in Rewriting
    • ‘The Factory vs. the Village’
    • ‘The Twin Script Piles of Gloom’
    • Skipping Phase-One of the Rewriting Process
  • Q&A with Corey

About Your Instructor

Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures.

Corey is also a distinguished instructor at UCLA, where he earned his MFA. His students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, Fox, Fox 2000, MGM, Universal, Warner Brothers, Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC and HBO. Others have been staffed on such shows as Community, Justifed, Bones, The Mentalist, The Fosters, Young and Hungry, Playing House, and Treme.

FAQs

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! 

Testimonials

"Corey is by far the best writing teacher I've ever had and taught me techniques I had never heard of before or since. After finishing his class I landed an agent and my first produced writing credit. I sill consult the notes from Corey’s class in my writing as they’ve been indispensable."

--Keith Schreier, Justified, The Good Wife

"As someone with years of experience in the development world I found Corey’s class to be absolutely refreshing. He provides exercises which reinforce fundamental elements needed to create a strong screenplay. If you are committed to becoming a better screenwriter this class can help you."

--Jennifer Soskin, Director of Development and Production at HBO films.

"No one, and I mean no one, is teaching what Corey is teaching. This is the best workshop I have ever attended. There is no way to describe how beneficial it is. I always felt close as a screenwriter, but after taking this workshop I was able to make the necessary changes in my writing and recently sold my first script to Paramount."

-- Michael Helvin, writer of The Lesser Heart

“I've written 11 screenplays without any success. During that time I read every screenwriting book and attended all the seminars. After four weeks with Corey I FINALLY knew why my scripts didn’t work, and more importantly, what to do about it. I used everything he taught me to write a script that landed me a manager and then my first script option. THANK YOU!”

--Monica Owens, writer of Timebends

"I read the books and took the classes but Corey's workshop was different. Honestly, it was transformative for me. I use the tools I learned from him in every single script meeting. He reshaped the way I think about screenwriting. If you want to become a better screenwriter and you are not signed up for Corey's class -- seriously, get it together!"

--Nick Weiss, Co-Writer and Director of the upcoming Paramount movie, Destination Wedding

"After developing thousands of television shows and feature films, and lecturing on behalf of the UCLA Film, Theater and TV Program for the past 20 years, I can say unconditionally that Corey's method is the most successful, succinct, clear and constructive I've ever encountered - - and I've probably read every notable book on the subject and seen every leading expert who teaches screenwriting and pilot writing…Corey's idea of creative integration isn't just revolutionary, it is fundamental to successful writing - - and has never before been taught. I can't recommend Corey and his programs highly enough."

-- Tom Nunan, former network and studio president, and Executive Producer of the Academy Award-winning Best Picture, Crash

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

  • A monotonous snore. Save your money. Buy Syd Field's book and/or McKee's STORY. Clarity of Context. Really? What a revelation. Platitudinous and plodding.
  • TAKE THIS CLASS. Period. Full stop.
  • This webinar was great! Corey explained things delightfully clearly, I especially like the story he used to explain "compelling context." I have a much better idea now of why stories I think should be amazing aren't quite hitting the mark. Thank you!

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