Tag: screenwriting

Rocaberti Writers’ Retreat in France – July 10th – 15th, 2020

by on Nov.10, 2019, under events, Featured

Late July 2020

July 10th-15th, 2020
Marouatte Castle,
The Dordogne,
France

Have you dreamed of writing a screenplay and seeing it come to life on the silver screen?

Or maybe you’ve published a book and are wondering about how to turn it into a film script?

Seems impossible, right?

Well, the answer, is, NO! Nothing is impossible, and on this one-of-a-kind writers’ retreat, at the beautiful 14th century Marouatte Castle in the Dordogne, Southwestern France, we’ll show you just how your words, your vision—let’s face it, your baby—can make it all the way to the big screen!

Please reserve my place, and the mentor of my choice, now

Mentors

  • Jen Grisanti

    International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, 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 800 writers specializing in television, features and novels. Due to her expertise and mentorship, seventy-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and forty have sold pilots, five that that went to series.

    Jen currently has 2 spots left for the late July 2020 retreat.

    Reserve my spot with Jen

  • Richard Botto

    Richard “RB” Botto is the Founder and CEO of Stage 32, the official film education & networking platform of AFM and the Marche du Film at Cannes Film Festival. Stage32.com is the world’s largest online platform connecting and educating film, TV & digital creatives and executives worldwide. Since 2011, Stage 32 has emerged as an online community of over 500,000 creatives with over 1,000 hours of online education taught by over 500 industry executives.

    RB is also a working actor, producer and screenwriter. As a producer, his films have played at dozens of festivals including the Sundance award winning feature, Another Happy Day, written & directed by Sam Levinson (starring Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin), the documentary Crutch, the feature What Lies Ahead (starring Rumer Willis and Emma Dumon) releasing in 2019 and the upcoming Rain- Beau’s End (starring Ed Asner, Sean Young and Kate Arrington). As a writer, his latest screenplay, The End Game, is currently set up at Covert Media. As an actor, his latest film On the Corner of Ego and Desire premiered at the 2018 Raindance Film Festvial.

    Botto is a best-selling author with his book Crowdsourcing For Filmmakers, published by Routledge Press under the American Film Market Presents banner. The book can be found at the Routledge Press booth by AFM badge registration and on Amazon, where it has over 50 5-star reviews.

    A sought-after speaker and mentor, RB has been a keynote speaker and panelist at such festivals and conferences as Cannes, AFM, Tribeca, Sundance, Raindance, SXSW, Portugal FEST and Winston Baker. He has also taught at institutions such as Harvard and Columbia University on the subjects of filmmaking, producing, film finance, screenwriting, social media, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, entrepreneurship and business.

    RB currently has 3 spots left for the late July 2020 retreat.

    Reserve my spot with RB

  • Stan Zimmerman

    Stan Zimmerman’s long career covers multiple mediums (TV, film and theatre) and he’s won many LA directing awards, including one from BroadwayWorld.com. In addition, he’s been nominated for two WGA Awards for Best Comedy Episodic writing for his work on the classic TV series, THE GOLDEN GIRLS and ROSEANNE.

    Stan’s also written and produced on GILMORE GIRLS and co-created the Lifetime sitcom, RITA ROCKS. He was Director/Writer/EP/Creator on the Emmy-nominated web series, SECS & EXECS, on Tellofilms. In film, he wrote both BRADY BUNCH movies.

    He has been busy lately writing, directing and producing theatre in Los Angeles. Some of Stan’s critically-acclaimed productions include: the LatinX The Diary of Anne FrankHeartbreak HelpPledgeWarm CheeseEntertaining Mr. SloaneBLINK & You Might Miss MeSpike HeelsA Tuna Christmas and Gemini. He also directed two of the plays he wrote with Christian McLaughlin: Yes Virginia, Knife to the Heart and Meet & Greet.

    Stan has appeared on Broadway with Nureyev & the Joffrey Ballet at the Mark Hellinger Theatre and was the Host/Showrunner on Sean Hayes’ Bravo reality show, SITUATION: COMEDY. Stan also teaches audition technique classes in LA and NYC. He has a BFA-Drama NYU/Circle-in-the-Square.

The Retreat includes…

Please reserve my place, and the mentor my choice, now

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Rocaberti Writers’ Retreat In France – July 3 – July 8, 2020

by on Nov.10, 2019, under events, Featured

Early July 2020

July 3rd-8th, 2020
Marouatte Castle,
The Dordogne,
France

Have you dreamed of writing a screenplay and seeing it come to life on the silver screen?

Or maybe you’ve published a book and are wondering about how to turn it into a film script?

Seems impossible, right?

Well, the answer, is, NO! Nothing is impossible, and on this one-of-a-kind writers’ retreat, at the beautiful 14th century Marouatte Castle in the Dordogne, Southwestern France, we’ll show you just how your words, your vision—let’s face it, your baby—can make it all the way to the big screen!

Please reserve my place, and the mentor of my choice, now

Mentors

  • Jen Grisanti

    International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, 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 800 writers specializing in television, features and novels. Due to her expertise and mentorship, seventy-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and forty have sold pilots, five that that went to series.

    Jen currently has 2 spots left for the early July 2020 retreat.

    Reserve my spot with Jen

  • Joan Lane

    Joan Lane is a film and theatre producer and has worked in arts management and production for over 30 years. Trained as a Speech and Language Therapist, with a background as a music scholar, she has also worked as a vocal consultant.

    Her company, Wild Thyme Productions, has toured six innovative productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the UK and Germany and mounted world premiere showcases and readings of new plays and musicals in London. She is a member of Musical Theatre Network UK, concerned with the writing of new musicals, and also of The British Shakespeare Association.

    Primarily engaged as a Consultant by the BBC, Joan’s skills were used for the recording, filming and Royal Opera House performance of THE LITTLE PRINCE. She was a director for BBC Radio Two and BBC Television’s New Talent UK-wide search for the Voice of Musical Theatre, involved with background music for the film THE ACTORS, coordinated the participation of singing Angels for Stephen Fry’s directorial film debut, BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS and worked on the BBC’s Promenade Concert/Opera, THE WATER DIVINER’S TALE.

    As well as touring with her own company, Joan has worked on several plays at the Royal National Theatre and toured plays with ATG and Pleasance Theatre. She recommends scripts to Russian translator colleagues and two plays were produced in Russia recently.

    Her varied work in music, theatre, film and television exposed Joan to scripts and screenplays and she is known for having developed the film, THE KING’S SPEECH, directed by Tom Hooper, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter, and adapted from the stage play by its author David Seidler.

    More recently, she has developed a screenplay from a radio play and has been commissioned to write a screenplay based on a true story. Currently, four TV series on which Joan has worked with first-time writers are under consideration and three films are expected to go into production in 2018.

  • Stan Zimmerman

    Stan Zimmerman’s long career covers multiple mediums (TV, film and theatre) and he’s won many LA directing awards, including one from BroadwayWorld.com. In addition, he’s been nominated for two WGA Awards for Best Comedy Episodic writing for his work on the classic TV series, THE GOLDEN GIRLS and ROSEANNE.

    Stan’s also written and produced on GILMORE GIRLS and co-created the Lifetime sitcom, RITA ROCKS. He was Director/Writer/EP/Creator on the Emmy-nominated web series, SECS & EXECS, on Tellofilms. In film, he wrote both BRADY BUNCH movies.

    He has been busy lately writing, directing and producing theatre in Los Angeles. Some of Stan’s critically-acclaimed productions include: the LatinX The Diary of Anne FrankHeartbreak HelpPledgeWarm CheeseEntertaining Mr. SloaneBLINK & You Might Miss MeSpike HeelsA Tuna Christmas and Gemini. He also directed two of the plays he wrote with Christian McLaughlin: Yes Virginia, Knife to the Heart and Meet & Greet.

    Stan has appeared on Broadway with Nureyev & the Joffrey Ballet at the Mark Hellinger Theatre and was the Host/Showrunner on Sean Hayes’ Bravo reality show, SITUATION: COMEDY. Stan also teaches audition technique classes in LA and NYC. He has a BFA-Drama NYU/Circle-in-the-Square.

    Stan currently has 2 spots left for the early July 2020 retreat.

    Reserve my spot with Stan

The Retreat includes…

Please reserve my place, and the mentor my choice, now

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SCREENWRITER GATHERING on November 1st at Cantina Frida in Beverly Hills from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

by on Oct.24, 2019, under events, Featured

In place of Friday Night Social in November (our location was not available), Lee Jessup and I are going to have a casual gathering for screenwriters on Friday, November 1st at Cantina Frida at 252 N Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills at 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Come out and make some new relationships. All are welcome. #screenwriting #connecting #relationships#story #amwriting

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STORYWISE TV SEMINAR ON THE EAST COAST

by on Aug.02, 2019, under events, Featured

 

HOW TO WRITE A TV PILOT THAT SELLS w/Jen Grisanti

Hosted by Nicole Couloute

Sunday, September 22, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

 

Description

Are you an aspiring TV writer, director, actor, or exec? Learn how to break into the industry and better your TV pilot writing skills. NBC executive, Jen Grisanti, will explain how to write a compelling pilot and the process to start a career in the television industry. Nicole Couloute hosts this event.

 

Registration begins promptly at 9 am and ends at 9:50 am. You must present your ID at check-in, so make sure to bring appropriate documentation.

 

Please note that space is limited, so be sure to purchase your ticket sooner rather than later.

 

Send a request to the Nicole Couloute TV Writing Events Facebook group after the purchase of a ticket. This action will allow you to stay up to date on the event and keep in touch with other attendees.

 

The workshop has three sections:

  • Jen will give a seminar – “How To Write A TV Pilot That Sells
  • There will be a pitch panel
  • There will be a networking session to collaborate with other attendees.

 

Plan to stay beyond 2 pm if you can, but it is not required. To pitch, you must have purchased a pitching ticket. Please contact Nicole to get a pitching ticket. Due to the limited time of the pitching session, there will only be a handful of pitches. Pitching ticket includes all benefits of general admission. General admission attendees can listen to other’s pitches and learn for their future pitches.

 

Space is limited, so be sure to get your ticket early.

If you or your company is interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Nicole at ncouloute1@gmail.com.

Address of the event will be given to all ticket holders by the end of July. The event will be within 30 minutes of Bradley Airport.

 

Why Jen?

Writing the TV pilot is one of the most challenging scripts to write and to write well. Jen has helped in the development of thousands of scripts over the past 20 years. She was a Studio Executive at two significant studios for 12 years. She is currently a Writing Instructor at NBC and has been a Story/Career Consultant for ten years.

 

5 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN WRITING YOUR TV PILOT

  1.    Does my series trigger incident push my central character into a powerful enough dilemma to set up season one?
  2.    Is there a personal component that sets up the personal dilemma of my central character?
  3.    Does my central character actively make a choice in the pilot trigger and dilemma that leads to a pursuit?
  4.    Is my pilot goal clear?
  5.    How do I set up the series?

 

Trigger & Dilemma

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.

Personal Component

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.

Central Character

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 structure 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.

Pilot Goal

If the pilot goal is not clear, the story doesn’t work. In each act, the central character should take action, hit an obstacle, and the stakes should escalate 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.

 

You will learn about these techniques in this class.

 

Jen Grisanti’s Bio:

 

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 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 900 writers specializing in television, features, and novels. Due to her expertise and mentorship, seventy-five of her writers have staffed on television shows, and 60 have sold pilots, five that that went to series. Also, she is an instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge.

Grisanti has taught classes for the “Change Your Story, Change Your Life” Writing/Yoga Retreat with Alta Retreats in Nicaragua, Rocaberti Writing Retreat in Spain, the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, TV Writers Summit (in LA, London and Israel), The TV Writers Studio (in Australia), Story Expo, The Big Island Film Festival, Chicago Screenwriters Network, Scriptwriters Network , Screenwriting Expo, the Great American Pitchfest, the Writers Store, the Northwestern Screenwriter’s Guild in Seattle, and the Alameda’s Writer’s Group. Also, she has served on panels for the WGA, iTVFest, UFVA, PGA, and The Writer’s Bootcamp, telling her story to inspire others.

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PODCAST INTERVIEW – HOW TO TELL YOUR INTERNAL STORY

by on Dec.15, 2018, under events, Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

BPS 021: How to Tell Your Internal Story with Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

How to Tell Your Internal Story with Jen Grisanti

Today on the show we have Hollywood Story/Career Consultant and former Studio Executive Jen Grisanti. Grisanti is also a Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former studio executive, a blogger for The Huffington Post and author of Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and her recent book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

Over twenty years ago, Jen Grisanti started her career as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years. 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 years of 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 her consulting firm, Jen Grisanti worked with over 1000 writers specializing in television, features, and novels. Due to her guidance, over ninety of her clients have staffed as writers on television shows, fifty-three have sold pilots, and six of those pilots have gone to series.

Enjoy my conversation with Jen Grisanti.

Right-click here to download the MP3 (Transcription below)
Download on iTunes Direct
Watch on IFH YouTube Channel


LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

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CREATING A SERIES CONCEPT THAT WORKS: ATYPICAL

by on Nov.19, 2017, under Featured, Motivation

Creating a Series Concept that Works: Atypical

Jen Grisanti analyzes the new Netflix series, ATYPICAL, exploring how structure can influence emotion and bring your audience to tears.


International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc., a Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former twelve-year studio executive, and author of Story Line, TV Writing Tool Kit, and Change Your Story, Change Your Life. Keep track of Jen’s upcoming events on Facebook and Twitter, @jengrisanti, and listen to her Storywise Podcast. Read Jen’s full bio and sign up for her Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot video series.

Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers!

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.


Script EXTRA: Finding Your Character’s Wound


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.


Script EXTRA: ‘All is Lost’ Equals Opportunity for Character Growth


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.

More articles by Jen Grisanti

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5 QUESTIONS FOR WRITING A TV PILOT THAT SELLS

by on Nov.19, 2017, under Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

Jen Grisanti5 Questions for
Writing a TV Pilot that Sells

Guest Post by Jen Grisanti,
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot

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:

  1. Does my series trigger push my central character into a powerful enough dilemma to set up season one?
  2. Is there a personal component that sets up the personal dilemma of my central character?
  3. Does my central character actively make a choice in the pilot trigger and dilemma that leads to a pursuit?
  4. Is my pilot goal clear?
  5. 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.

Personal Component

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.

Central Character

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.

Pilot Goal

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.

* * *

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, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and
Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Her new video series is
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot. Learn more.

Read my Q&As with Jen on Story Line and Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

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Webinar on 9/21 w/ EIACE – Power Up Webinar – Comedy, TV writing, Representation, Writing Action Lines & Cinematic Storytelling

by on Sep.11, 2017, under events, Featured

eiACE Power-Up Webinar – Sept. 21 – 4PM PT

The third installment in the Power-Up Webinar Series features Dan Calvisi, Jen Grisanti,

Lee Jessup and David Misch. These industry-leading educators will provide instruction

through 20-minute segments, live at the Relativity School Studio in LA.

Dan Calvisi – Write Great Description Paragraphs – Learn From The Masters!

A lot is written about the art of dialogue, but what about the equal challenge

of writing great description/action? Citing examples from modern masters like

Christopher Nolan, Vince Gilligan, Shonda Rhimes and Quentin Tarantino,

Dan Calvisi will explore the mechanics, formatting and execution of this crucial

element of the screenplay. Dan will also lead the class in writing the introduction of a famous movie

character, to be compared to the actual text from the original screenplay.

Jen Grisanti – Writing A TV Pilot That Sells: Setting Up The Series And Season One

Through The Arc Of The Wound

In this talk, Jen Grisanti will go over how to set up the series and season one arc by

creating a strong arc of the wound for the central character. It is when the personal

dilemma links to the professional pursuit and the pilot arc is one step toward healing

the wound that we root for the outcome and emotionally connect to the story. Jen

will discuss the season arcs for FLEABAG (Amazon), RIVER (Netflix) and HAPPY VALLEY (Netflix).

Lee Jessup – Representation Rundown

This will cover everything you ever wanted to know about agents and managers,

including how to get the right representation, what to expect from your agent vs.

what your can expect from your manager, how much you should pay them, what

they will expect from you, and what you can do to motivate them.

David Misch – How “How Comedy Works” Works

My seminar “How Comedy Works” makes a unique guarantee in the world of

screenwriting seminars: it gives you absolutely no help with screenwriting. HCW,

as we in the office like to call it (Note: There is no office), is about comedy as an

art form; what it is, what it means and how it works. Why take time with that instead

of figuring out why your 2nd act sucks?, I hear no one asking. Because learning how comedy works will

help you do it better. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This talk will show how looking at

comedy not screenwriting can help your screenwriting; how contemporary comedy goes back to ancient

Greece (and yes, I’m looking at you, fart and vomit jokes); and the precision, skill and ingenuity that

comedy requires. Most of all, this talk explains why everyone who says examination kills comedy is

not only wrong but should be killed, and shows how comedy principles translate into actual laughter.

So, y’know, forget that stuff about no help.

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Rocaberti Writers Retreat – July 6-11, 2018

by on Aug.14, 2017, under events, Featured

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The Rocaberti Writers Retreat

APPLY HERE

July 6th-11th, 2018
Marouatte Castle,
The Dordogne,
France

Making the impossible happen

Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel and seeing it come to life on the silver screen?

Or maybe you’ve already published your book and are wondering about how to turn it into a screenplay?

Seems impossible, right?

Well, the answer, is, NO! Nothing is impossible, and on this one-of-a-kind writers’ retreat, at the beautiful 14th century Marouatte Castle in the Dordogne, Southwestern France we’ll show you just how your words, your vision—let’s face it, your baby—can make it all the way to the big screen!

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The first Rocaberti Retreat, held in March 2016, completely transcended all expectations: out of the eleven writers who attended, one had her script optioned before the end of the retreat, two are currently in the midst of negotiations for their script or book to be optioned and deals are in the works for several others … the impossible did happen, and it happened at Rocaberti!

Here’s what Georgia Clark, winner of the first Rocaberti Scholarship, said about her Rocaberti experience:

“I was honored to be awarded the scholarship for the inaugural Rocaberti Writers Retreat. My mentor was simply fabulous: experienced, generous, warm, funny and insightful. We made great headway on helping turn my new adult fiction THE REGULARS into a feature film. A once-in-a-lifetime experience, and all in Spain!”

And the second Rocaberti Retreat surpassed even the first (there’s even a reality TV show in the works, involving one of the special guests)!

Attendees called the retreat, “A magical, miraculous event”, “The experience of a lifetime”, “The best decision I’ve ever made” and “Life-changing.”

But let the writers speak for themselves!

“The Rocaberti Writers’ Retreat was a smashing success. The accommodations in a medieval castle near the Mediterranean sea in Spain, meals by a chef, Tai Chi and meditation, a visit from royalty, intrigue and after-parties all created lasting memories. The teaching blew away my expectations. We had experts in agency representation, production, story structure, screenwriting, pitching, book and memoir writing, book proposals, and career advice. A combination of lectures and individual mentoring sharpened my knowledge of the craft of writing and how this industry works. Thanks to Claire and her colleagues it’s a trip I will cherish forever.”
–Betty Sullivan (October 2016)

Click here for photos & more testimonials from previous retreats

Your July 2018 Rocaberti Retreat mentors include million-dollar screenwriter Diane Drake (WHAT WOMEN WANT with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt and ONLY YOU with Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei); Jen Grisanti, former Studio Executive and VP of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount and now a highly-sought after Story and Career Consultant; award-winning Italian screenwriter, Roberto Marchionni (‘Menotti’), nominated for an Italian Oscar for THEY CALL ME JEEG and film financing and international distribution expert Scott Collette, who is now an in-demand writer and story consultant, with six projects in development.

We’ve joined forces because we want to help show you how to bring your “literary twins”—your book and screenplay—to life! Not only how to finish writing them (an art in itself, as anyone who has an unfinished manuscript or screenplay lying around their home will tell you!) but also how to have them successfully published … and made into a movie!

You’ll be part of a small and exclusive group of a maximum of no more than 16 writers at the retreat.

Through focused, practical presentations in the mornings, afternoon mentoring sessions, evening social events—and with a mentor/writer ratio of approximately 1:4—you’ll learn how to tell your story on the page and on the screen, and be one step closer to seeing your dream come to life!

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About

Write. Engage. Experience.

Château Marouatte
Château Marouatte

Sound enticing? We’re inviting writers of fiction, non-fiction, and for the screen to come join us for what promises to be a memorable (and productive!) experience. Enrollment is limited to just 16 guests to ensure small class size and maximum access to our mentors.

Picture yourself staying at a 14th century castle (how’s that for inspiration?). Participating in stimulating workshops. Enjoying a glass of wine with a screenwriter who has written the second highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time or a former Paramount Studio Exec. Sharing your work with others for constructive feedback. Just taking the time to breathe—and to write, away from the demands of your daily routine. Imagine the conversations that might unfold daily around the breakfast table or on a walk round the castle grounds.

Whether you’ve written a book, are working on a screenplay—or are just thinking about it!—wherever you are in the process, we’re here to help you move forward and show you that dreams can become reality!

This retreat is for you if…

  • You’re working on a book/screenplay combination or have an idea for one.
  • You have a book and want to turn it into a screenplay or vice-versa—or sell it directly to Hollywood.
  • You’re unsure how to get your book/screenplay in front of agents and producers.
  • You’re serious about completing your project and making your dream come true!
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The retreat includes…

Reserve my place, and the mentor of my choice, now

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Program

The retreat commences the evening of Friday, July 6th, with welcome cocktails, dinner and then, with a glass of fine wine in hand, a group discussion about writing in the castle’s historical salon.

Château Marouatte
Château Marouatte
Château Marouatte
Château Marouatte

Please reserve my spot at the retreat

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Your accommodation

When you go on a retreat to focus on your writing, you want a place which both inspires you and strengthens your commitment to your craft. (And if it happens to make you feel like royalty, while doing so? All the better!)

Which is why we chose the spectacular Marouatte Castle, in the heart of Southwestern France.

Each room is exquisitely decorated and each writer will have their own private room.

Château Marouatte
Château Marouatte
Château Marouatte
Château Marouatte
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Your Rocaberti Retreat Mentors

Diane Drake

Diane Drake is an accomplished professional screenwriter, writing instructor, story consultant, speaker, and author. Prior to becoming a screenwriter, Diane served as Vice President of Creative Affairs for Academy Award-winning director/producer Sydney Pollack. Her first produced original script, ONLY YOU, starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Marisa Tomei, sold for one million dollars, while her second produced script, WHAT WOMEN WANT, starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, is the second highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. In addition, both films have recently been remade in China featuring major Chinese stars.

Diane is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America and has been an instructor/speaker/panelist for the Austin Film Festival, UCLA Extension Writer’s Program, Scriptwriter’s Network, Story Development Group, University Club, and Writer’s Store. She has also served as a judge for the Austin Film Festival, UCLA Extension Contest, and The Humanitas Prize. She recently released her debut book, Get Your Story Straight: A Step-By-Step Guide To Screenwriting By A Million Dollar Screenwriter, (Reel Life Publishing, May 2016).

International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, 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 800 writers specializing in television, features and novels. Due to her expertise and mentorship, seventy-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and forty have sold pilots, five that that went to series.

Jen Grisanti
Roberto "Menotti" Marchionni

Menotti (the pen name of Roberto Marchionni) works in Rome, has lived in Germany but was born in Italy a long time ago.

He studied Fine Arts in Bologna, Italy, Semiotics in Berlin, Germany and Filmmaking in New York (NYU).

As an award-winning comic book artist, Menotti has worked for Italian and international magazines, such as Frigidaire, Comic Art, Il Manifesto, Cyborg, Mondo Naif and Blue. He also co-created the graphic novel Europa, published by Black Velvet.

As a screenwriter, he’s written several successful TV series, from Un posto al sole to Incantesimo, L’onore e il rispetto, La squadra and 7 Vite.

Besides other short and feature films, Menotti co-wrote Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (‘They Call Me Jeeg Robot’), the first Italian superhero film, nominated for best screenplay and winner of seven statuettes at the David di Donatello Awards 2016.

Scott Collette is a writer and story consultant with a background in pre-sales film financing and international distribution.

Collette started his career working for legendary producer Mark Damon at Foresight Unlimited, where he worked his way up to Executive Director, Sales and Distribution and was responsible for the international sales of Foresight’s titles in multiple territories in East Europe and Asia.

In addition to sales, Collette negotiated the majority of Foresight’s international licensing agreements and helped facilitate all production finance closings. These titles include Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, Rob Reiner’s And So It Goes, 2 Guns, The Ledge, Flypaper, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, and Rob Cohen’s upcoming Category 5.

In 2013, Collette was invited to speak at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference (I/ITSEC) to share his experience and knowledge of film distribution with the U.S. Department of Defense, aiming to educate the Department as to how private industries go about conducting business in fragile and emerging marketplaces around the globe.

Having never surrendered his passion for writing, Collette shifted gears with his career after writing multiple projects on spec and was hired by Hydra Entertainment as writer in 2015 to help a creative team develop a big budget, special effects-heavy feature (the details of which are currently under wraps).

Collette is currently in development on multiple television and feature projects, while also writing a novel.

Scott Collette
Claire Terry

Claire Elizabeth Terry is your Rocaberti Retreat host and moderator and is a British screenwriter, travel writer and novelist.

After graduating, she worked for several years in British theatre, where she fought for, and won, the right to become the first female stage-hand at the Royal National Theatre, London.

Short-listed for the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize, Claire has also written for the Rough Guides travel series.

In 2008, Claire conceived, compiled and edited The Art of Living: a Practical Guide to Being Alive, published by Kairós Publishers in both English and Spanish, the profits from which are donated to Green Cross International, the environmental organization founded by Mikhail Gorbachev.

The book includes contributions from Michael Douglas, Desmond Tutu, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Mario Vargas Llosa, Richard Branson, Mikhail Gorbachev and several members of the United Nations’ Alliance of Civilizations.

Claire is also the founder and president of the website and not-for-profit of the same name, The Art of Living Guide. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, the former Director General of UNESCO, sits on the Honorary Board.

She is the screenwriter and executive producer of the upcoming film ROSES, about four friends from all over the world, whose lives are transformed when a rose is secretly drawn for each of the women.

The film is being produced by Golan Ramraz and Adam Sherer of Boom Picture Company and Alejandro Miranda of Versus Entertainment. George Parra, the Executive Producer of Silver Linings Playbook, Nebraska, The Descendants and Sideways, is attached to direct.

Claire’s novel of the movie, I Draw Roses was published in 2013.

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Special Guests

Jason Chan

Jason Chan is a spiritual master and healer whose energy and teachings have transformed and enlightened the lives of hundreds of his close students, as well as touching the lives of thousands more spiritual seekers who have attended his courses, retreats, workshops and demonstrations in the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA and Thailand.

He is also the author of The Radiant Warrior (Hay House 2009), Infinite Abundance (2012 and winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards 2013) and Infinite Awakening (2015).

Jason was voted Most Inspirational Individual in 2008 by readers of Kindred Spirit magazine. In their 21st Anniversary Awards, Kindred Spirit said: “Jason has quietly, with dignity and integrity, worked tirelessly to help others find inner peace and balance”. For over thirty years, Jason has dedicated his life to passing on the benefit of his “Infinite Arts” program, including vitality, natural health, inner strength and removing blockages to allow creativity to flow naturally.

As Jason says: “Looking at life from the highest possible view, we can see that there is a definite order in all that happens in nature and the universe. We form part of nature and it follows we’re affected by the same patterns, cycles, flow, change and movement of the natural laws. And it is from these ancient sources of wisdom, that creativity also flows naturally and abundantly.”

Jason will be leading morning meditation and offering optional afternoon workshops on Infinite Tai Chi and Chi Kung (energy work), creating the perfect environment in which we can gently still our minds and experience the true creativity which arises when we do so.

As one of the music industry’s most influential figures, Miles Copeland has a career in the business that stretches back more than 40 years.

In London, during the 1970s, he represented Wishbone Ash, Joan Armatrading and all sides of progressive rock until he jumped ship, landed in the turbulent ocean of punk, and worked with the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Blondie, along with many other seminal bands.

In 1978, Miles became the manager for his brother Stewart’s band, The Police, who became one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. The success of The Police and the novel methods used to break them brought Miles to found I.R.S. Records.

During the next few years, the company had hits with REM, The Buzzcocks, The English Beat, The Cramps, Fine Young Cannibals, Wall of Voodoo, Timbuk 3 and a Number One album with the all-girl group, The Go-Gos.

He continued to manage Sting (solo) through seven blockbuster albums, along with The Bangles and Squeeze. Eventually, he introduced Sting to Algerian Raï singer, Cheb Mami. Their collaboration bloomed with “Desert Rose” whose worldwide success was attributed to Miles’ innovative corporate deal with Jaguar.

Miles can rightfully claim to having been responsible for the sale of over $1.5 billion of recorded music sales and over $500 million in ticket sales.

Miles also successfully ran his own film production company, IRS Media, producing over 35 movies, including Billy Bob Thornton’s directorial debut, One False Move.

Currently, he owns and operates CIA – Copeland International Arts, which is comprised of a record company, music publishing, merchandise and performing arts properties.

Additionally, Miles also co-hosts a yearly song writing retreat with ASCAP at his castle in France, the lastest song written being the Number One hit, “Somethin’ Bad” sung by Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood.

Miles Copeland
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Please reserve my place, and the mentor of my choice, now

The retreat is $3,499 per person, including 5 nights’ accommodation at Château Marouatte, all meals and drinks, all tuition and round-trip transportation between Angoulême train station and the castle.

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Sponsors

Final Draft Logo
Bacardi Martini Logo
Freixenet Logo
London Film Academy Rocaberti Writers Sponsor
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THE SCRIPT LAB SCREENWRITING SUMMIT – AUGUST 26-27, 2017

by on Aug.14, 2017, under events, Featured

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2 Days, 30 Speakers, Free Online

The Script Lab is launching its first ever Screenwriting Virtual Summit – a FREE weekend of lectures and interviews with Oscar-winning filmmakers and Emmy-winning TV writers! And best of all, it’s FREE to register for two days of access to this amazing content.

 

Plus, we’re excited to highlight Jen Grisanti, with an in-depth interview available to all registrants!

Register Free

Speakers include…

 

Scott Neustadter is an acclaimed screenwriter and producer of (500) Days of Summer, The Fault In Our Stars, The Spectacular Now, Paper Towns, and X-Men: The New Mutants.

Literary manager and producer Jewerl Ross is the founder and owner of Silent R Management. He has worked at APA, ICM, Marathon Management and Paradigm. Some of his clients include Barry Jenkins, Matt Aldrich, David H. Steinberg, and Brad Buecker.
 

Cathryn Humphris is a producer and WGA Award-winning writer known for her work on Mad Men, Elementary, NCIS: New Orleans, Under The Dome, and Supernatural.

Writing team Amanda Silver & Rick Jaffa have been responsible for some of the most successful reinvigorations of iconic franchises. Their credits include Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Disney’s live action Mulan.
Check Out All 30 Speakers

Thanks to our official sponsor:

 

 

Check out our non-profit partners:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Registration is FREE! Join us for this incredible event – all from the comfort of your living room.  All you need is a computer and internet connection – and a curiosity to learn from some of Hollywood’s leading producers, executives, managers and award-winning screenwriters!

 

 

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