Friday Night Social is a networking group that meets the first Friday of every month. It started as a way for TV and feature writers to meet one another and has evolved into so much more. This is a great way to “Network”. Plan on meeting people from different areas and levels in the entertainment industry.
This networking event is on a first name basis and everyone will receive a name tag with their first name only. As we will not reveal who is in the room, this is best for the more established professional entertainers to maintain their anonymity which will allow them to network as well.
PLEASE click below to Register:
Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, March 1, 2018.
FREE to attend. Pay for your own food, cocktails & parking. We ask everyone to purchase one drink, minimum, please.
**Check in with us at the entrance to receive your name badge.
Double Take is all about the energy of the west Los Angeles modern bar scene that effortlessly compliments an avant-garde approach to classic comfort cuisine. With an edgy aesthetic that pays homage to the local independent filmmakers who took part in making Los Angeles what it is today.
Double Take, A New Beverly Hills Restaurant – Situated in the midst of Wilshire Blvd, between Beverly Hills and UCLA, Double Take at Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills is a dining hotspot inspired by a Hollywood backlot. Chef Bryan Podgorski’s serves up unfussy, market-inspired snacks, salads and entrées that shine with Southern California ingredients. Grab coffee and house-baked pastries on your way out in the morning or linger over breakfast while working in the lounge. After work, let Sarah Mengoni’s updated takes on classic cocktails mellow you into the evening.
I am constantly analyzing new series to see what works with story structure. One of my favorite new shows is Atypical on Netflix. I find this show explores in-depth familial dynamics at the same level as Friday Night Lights and This is Us. Understanding how structure can influence emotion and bring your audience to tears is what great storytelling is all about.
Structurally, a story tool that I’ve drawn from watching Atypical is the recognition that all the character arcs stem from the main problem of the main character and that sets up the series. It is when we feel it all linked, that story can reach such tremendous heights of emotion. This is because we feel the concept through all of the characters and the choices that they make. It often comes from the same wound but seeing it play out through different choices and different worldviews.
The main problem in Atypical is that Sam, a young boy that has autism, expresses his to therapist his desire to date. The series/season 1 is about this choice and his family’s reaction to it. The story explores how love is hard enough for a “neuro-typical” person to experience. With Sam, this pursuit becomes a lot more complex but the gift of it all is showing that the desire is real and it is doable.
We watch Sam take actions and hit obstacles in his pursuit to find love from filling out an online profile to learning how to approach girls that might be interested. It really gives us a glimpse of how he sees the world and shows us how things that might be considered simple for us are that much more difficult for people with autism. Seeing Sam take actions towards finding love connects with all of us.
We immediately feel the father’s wound to his son’s autism when he mentions buying his son tickets to a Mets game simply because he wanted to find a way to connect with him. He wanted them to have one thing in common. So, his reaction to Sam’s choice to date is to support this. He reminds his wife that they met around Sam’s age. It is clear that he hopes this experience will bring him and Sam closer together.
With Sam’s mom, Elsa, her reaction is panic because of her worry and the codependent relationship that she shares with her son. She clearly needs him to need her. So, the idea that he wants to find love, in her mind, threatens this. We see that Sam has become her life. This has gotten in the way of the intimacy that she and her husband share. The mother remains resistant despite the therapist sharing with her that autistic people have the same desire to love and be loved. They just don’t know how to approach it in a typical manner.
We see Sam’s problem play out in his sister, Casey’s arc when she punches a student that taunts another student. Casey is the protector. This is her role because of her brother’s condition and the fact that she is his older sister. We feel her angst. The irony is that it is due to her role in Sam’s life and this action she took that her first opportunity at love and romance comes into her life with Evan, who is the brother of the girl she protected.
Sam’s pursuit of love continues. When Sam gets an online response, we see the trials and tribulations that Sam has to go through in preparation for the date. When he hears that she wants to meet at a café, he has to find a way to block out the noise by wearing headphones. Sam hits an obstacle and the date doesn’t work out. Sam tries again when a girl at his work makes eyes toward him. This leads him into a situation where she offers to have sex with him. He hits an obstacle when she touches him in a way that he doesn’t like to be touched. This opportunity takes a turn for the worst.
When the parents go to dinner, we really see the opposing viewpoints to Sam finding love and the rift that it has caused in their relationship. This leads Sam’s father to buy his mother passes to a dance class. After class, she goes to drinks. This is when Elsa meets a bartender that opens her eyes to the fact that her son will never have the choices that he does. This begins an exploration toward finding intimacy.
In Casey’s budding connection with Evan, we see that Sam comes first in her life. This could cause a problem for the possibility of her finding a true connection with Evan.
When Sam learns that 49% of marriages end in divorce, Sam goes with his father to look at a place with penguins. Sam says that penguins mate for life. So, penguins aren’t like people. They’re better.
The structure in Atypical all stems from the main wound. This really works for connecting the audience to this concept and the characters in this world. This is a very strong story tool that all writers can learn to utilize for the concepts that they write.
Writing the TV pilot is one of the most challenging scripts to write,
and to write well. I’ve helped in the development of thousands of scripts over the past 20 years. I was a Studio Executive at two major studios for 12 years, I am currently a Writing Instructor
at NBC, and I’ve been a Story/Career Consultant for 10 years.
From the 48 pilots sold from the writers I’ve worked with since starting my business 10 years ago,
there are the five questions that I believe every writer should ask themselves when they are writing
their TV pilot:
Does my series trigger push my central character into a powerful enough dilemma to set up season one?
Is there a personal component that sets up the personal dilemma of my central character?
Does my central character actively make a choice in the pilot trigger and dilemma that leads to a pursuit?
Is my pilot goal clear?
How do I setup the series?
Trigger & Dilema
With your series trigger and dilemma, you want to think about something that happens to your central character
that knocks their life out of balance. At this point in the story, your central character is often reactive versus active.
The dilemma should make us feel empathy for your character.
With the personal component, you are setting up the personal dilemma of your central character that leads to the
professional pursuit. This sets up the void. The pursuit is one step towards filling this void. With the personal part,
you want to think about the arc of the wound. The best pilots have a childhood wound that the series trigger and
dilemma splits open. The personal component in your story is the emotional part of your story.
With the pilot arc, your central character goes from being reactive to active. With the setup of the series arc, they react to what happens to them. Then, they make an active choice that leads to the setup of the pilot arc. In the pilot arc, we should be clear about what your central character wants and why they want it by the end of Act One.
If the pilot goal is not clear, the story doesn’t work. In each act, the central character should take an action, hit an obstacle, and the stakes should be raised to the pilot goal. If the goal is not clear, you cannot link these points. We should feel what your character wants and what is in the way for every scene.
Series Set Up
After the resolution of the pilot arc, you need to set up the series. When I see this done well, it bookends
what happened in the series trigger and dilemma setup and helps to build the next level of the concept. The
point of this is to make your audience so enthralled that they can’t wait to see what happens next.
Mastering a story by utilizing the right tools is what will lead you to a sale.
Storywise: Story Tools For Writing The TV Pilot That Sells
Event Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018 || Speaker: Jen Grisanti || Check-in: 12:30 pm ||
The key to becoming a working writer or creating longevity as a working writer is writing a TV pilot script that they can’t ignore. The pilot script is one of the hardest scripts to write.Jen Grisanti developed a story system that has led 48 of her clients to sell their pilots. Six of them went to series. Jen was a studio executive for 12 years at Spelling Television Inc. and CBS/Paramount. She staffed over 15 primetime shows in her career. She is also the writing instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC. See more details below.
For security purposes,you MUST REGISTER before 10:00 pmon Thursday, January 18, 2018 – for guaranteed entrance onto CBS’ lot.
**Please note that each guest and/or attendee needs to REGISTER individually.
Check-inbegins at 12:30 pm. Event starts at 1:00 pm.
No Refunds. No Credits.
Jen has launched numerous writing careers over the last 20 years. She developed a system of story for writers leading them to sell their pilots and staff on television.Part of her system includes story structure, adding fiction to your truth, writing memorable characters and creating a strong internal story. In this class, Jen will dive deeply into story structure.
MASTERING THE SET UP OF YOUR PILOT THROUGH STRUCTURE
Learn Jen’s Story System – Jen believes that every strong story starts with a trigger incident that leads the character into a powerful dilemma. The choice made in the dilemma defines the external goal in the A story. Then, every obstacle, escalating obstacle and “all is lost” moment needs to connect back to the goal. It is when the goal/want/desire isn’t clear that the story doesn’t work.
Link your series trigger and dilemma to your pilot trigger, dilemma, and pursuit. This is KEY to the success of your pilot.
Learn to create empathy and a rooting factor for your character from the start through linking the personal dilemma to the pursuit.
Understand how using the trigger, dilemma, and pursuit in all your storylines will change the way that you write.
Learn the value of linking every preceding scene in each story arc.
Create a powerful dilemma that will lead to a question. Answer the pilot arc question with your resolution. Build on the season arc question with your opening and the end of your pilot.
Practice how to write your act breaks in a way that will bring your audience back.
International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.
Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years, and she quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends.
In January 2008, Grisanti launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the
industry. Drawing on her experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers/showrunners, Grisanti personally guides writers to
shape their material, hone their pitches and focus their careers. Since launching the consulting firm, Grisanti has worked with over 1000 writers specializing in
television, features and novels. Due to her expertise and mentorship, ninety-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and forty-six have sold pilots, five
that that went to series
Join us on the Third Saturday every month at:
CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604
Free Parking — Enter the CBS* lot at the main gate & inform security you are there for the Scriptwriters Network event.
*You must RSVP by the deadline mentioned above in order to be on our RSVP list for Security clearance onto CBS’ lot. If you do not RSVP by the date above, you may not be allowed onto CBS’ lot.
You’ll be asked for your government issued photo ID, and then given directions to the meeting location. You may park in any available space on the lot, unless CBS’ Security directs you to a park at a different area.
As this is a professional event, we ask that you please arrive prior to the event start time.
Meeting Timeframe: 1:00 pm to approximately 3:00 pm
Please remember to bring a picture ID and your SWN Membership Card!