Tag: screenwriting

FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL – Friday, March 2nd at Palomar Hotel at 6:30 pm

by on Feb.13, 2018, under events, Featured

Friday Night Social ~ March 2, 2018 ~ Double Take Restaurant and Lounge

 

Event Date: Friday, March 2, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti and Final Draft.

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:

register_button

 

IMPORTANT:

Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

 

ADMISSION:

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.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

This month’s Friday Night Social is being held at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge area.   Please join Jennifer GrisantiFinal Draft and The Scriptwriters Network at this location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

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.

Join us at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge:

Below: Photos from previous Friday Night events:

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Event starts at 6:30 pm – Ends at 9:30 pm

 

LOCATION:

The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge

10740 Wilshire Blvd #101, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone # 310.475.8711

Toll-free: (800) 472-8556

Palomar Hotel

 

PARKING:

Valet parking is $10.00 – with validation at check-in.

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

Directions from the south and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

  • From the airport, take W. Century Way east for 1.8 miles.
  • Merge slightly right onto I-405 North. Go 9.3 miles.
  • Exit onto Wilshire Blvd. Go 1.1 miles.
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills is located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard at Selby Avenue.

Directions from the north and the San Diego Freeway.

  • From I-405 South / San Diego Freeway, take the Wilshire Blvd. exit. Go 0.2 miles.
  • Turn right at Wilshire Blvd. Go 1 mile.
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills is located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard at Selby Avenue.

 

 Happy Networking!

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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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SCRIPTWRITERS NETWORK – STORY TOOLS FOR WRITING A TV PILOT THAT SELLS

by on Nov.15, 2017, under events, Featured

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.

 

IMPORTANT!

For security purposes, you MUST REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, January 18, 2018 – for guaranteed entrance onto CBS’ lot.

**Please note that each guest and/or attendee needs to REGISTER individually.

Admission:_____________________________
$30.00 online – Please Pay Here
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_____________________________SWN Annual Members,

Sign-In Here

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_____________________________
To become a paid SWN AnnualMember, Join Now!

____________________________

Check-in begins at 12:30 pm.
Event starts at 1:00 pm.

No Refunds. No Credits.

 

More Information.

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!

Any questions, email us at info@scriptwritersnetwork.org.

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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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FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL OCTOBER 6, 2017 AT DOUBLE TAKE RESTAURANT AT THE PALOMAR HOTEL AT 6:30 P.M.

by on Sep.08, 2017, under events, Featured

Friday Night Social ~ October 6, 2017 ~ Double Take Restaurant and Lounge

Event Date: Friday, October 6, 2017 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti and Supporting Sponsor Final Draft.

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.  

 

IMPORTANT:

Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, October 5, 2017,

register_button

This month’s Friday Night Social is being held at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge area.   Please join Final DraftJennifer Grisanti and SWN at this location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

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.

Join us at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge:

Below: Photos from previous events:

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Event starts at 6:30 pm – Ends at 9:30 pm

 

LOCATION:

10740 Wilshire Blvd #101, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone # 310.475.8711

Toll-free: (800) 472-8556

Palomar Hotel

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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

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Bacardi Martini Logo
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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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WHY STORIES LIKE “THE MARTIAN” WORK

by on Oct.20, 2015, under Featured, Motivation

The Martian is an extraordinary feel good film that really takes you into the idea that anything is possible if you focus on a desire, take action, don’t let the setbacks bring you down and always move forward and believe. It takes the idea of being positive to a whole new level. The Martian’s success at the box office is a sure sign that this type of story appeals to the masses. We all want to believe that we can achieve the dream despite the odds. It shows you that the underdog holds a place in all of our hearts. When the focus on the outcome is clear, it is truly amazing to see what can transpire even in what appears to be an insurmountable situation. This story takes achieving the dream to a whole new height. It is universal. It is accessible. It will make you feel like you can accomplish anything if you put forth a plan in action.

I was fascinated by this story. Drew Goddard wrote the screenplay. My first thought was that it is similar to Gravity that was written by Alfonso Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron. Both films started with a very powerful trigger and dilemma. In The Martian, the trigger was when Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is thought to be dead after he is hit in the middle of a storm and his crew leaves him on Mars. His dilemma is that he has to figure out how to survive until there is a return visit. He knows that this won’t be for 4 years. His pursuit is to do the math and figure out how to make food and create an environment that will allow him to survive. In Gravity, Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock), a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission with veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalsky (Clooney) must face disaster when their shuttle is destroyed and they are left alone in space. The dilemma is clearly to find a way to survive despite the odds. The pursuit is to make it back to earth. In both films, I think that we knew what the outcome would be, but being part of the journey and learning what it took to get there is why we go along for the ride. We want to be able to see what heroes do to get over their hurdles. We want to learn how to be the hero in our own life and to be able to get past what appear to be insurmountable obstacles.

In stories like these, we know that the pursuit feels unattainable. The fascinating thing in The Martian was that the science was simplified and we were able to understand some of the choices that Matt Watney’s character had to make in order to survive. His tactics were so logical. His character remained incredibly optimistic for the majority of the journey despite the odds, the obstacles and the stakes that he faced. There was so much emotion that came from seeing his drive and watching his belief. This is such a strong message for everyone who faces a situation where it seems like “all is lost” and the chances of moving through it seem unattainable. By watching the actions that Watney takes and seeing the obstacles that he is able to overcome, we can apply the same thought to our own lives. What if we took optimism and determination and used it to fuel our pursuits? Usually, our fuel is the pain of knowing what the worst that can happen is if we don’t pursue our dreams. What if we started focusing on what the best is that can happen and believe in this possibility? How could this approach change our lives?

It also comes down to the questions that we ask ourselves. In Gravity, it felt like the question being debated was “Do I want to live or die?” This stemmed from a deep wound that happened in the past with the loss of Ryan’s child. In The Martian, we know that Watney wants to live. Part of what is fueling this is that he knows his crew is going to feel like they made a mistake. He does not want them to feel this. With Watney’s character, more of what is being debated is; can he use his resourcefulness, knowledge and optimism to attain the outcome he wants. Both situations are being fueled by emotion and desire. When you understand how to tell a story where we fully feel the emotion that is fueling the desire, you attain an outcome that appeals to the masses.

It is interesting how the real life story of the author of the book that the film is based on, Andy Weir, has parallels with what could appear to be an insurmountable goal. After dropping out of college and getting rejected for his first two books, Andy went back to working in computers. He figured that with the Internet, he could do writing as a hobby. What he produced was The Martian. The Martian was Andy’s first published book. He self-published it when he couldn’t get a publisher. It sold really well on Amazon. When it started doing well, it got on Amazon’s bestseller list. Random House approached him. This led to him landing an agent and getting a publishing deal. The film followed this.

The insurmountable goal that gets attained is what inspires all of us to believe that anything is possible. This is why these stories work; they make the attainment of the dream seem possible.

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THE POWER OF THE EMOTIONAL FUEL BEHIND THE MESSAGE

by on Jan.15, 2014, under Featured, Motivation, Writing

 

When we feel the message in your story, there is an imprint that the storyteller leaves with the receiver. We experience what you wanted to say and we connect our own history and emotions to it and walk away with a stronger sense of fulfillment of what the journey was all about. Stories that make us feel the fuel behind the pursuit are the stories that resonate on a universal level because the message is clear. We understand what is motivating the character toward the goal. There is a quote that encapsulates the experience of life and the idea of choice perfectly, “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald. I love this quote. It reminds me that this is what story is all about. With the incredible batch of movies this year, I felt a variety of emotions for stories that came from a place of depth and a wide array of topics.

With the movie Nebraska, written by Bob Nelson and directed by Alexander Payne, we felt the pursuit of a son’s desire to connect with his father by helping him on a pursuit that others considered frivolous. It is a story about belief. They go on a road trip. The father has to settle scores along the way. For the son, it was about the idea of allowing his father to believe in something as a way to give him purpose. In doing so, he gets a chance to get to know him more. I really connected with this. Now, the timing of just going through cancer with my mom certainly made the idea of this simple pursuit resonate even more. The humor was perfectly placed. There were lines that made you laugh out loud and moments that tugged at your heart and really made you feel what the storyteller intended. We understood the fuel behind the pursuit. Universally, the desire to connect with our parents before the time passes is a strong one. I loved this film.

With the movie 12 Years A Slave, screenplay written by John Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen, I felt so many emotions.  One of the strongest emotions that I felt was anger. I really struggled with the concept of human behavior. This was the first movie I’ve been to where I seriously wanted to leave several times because the brutality hurt my heart. The power of the story, the performances and the pursuit of the central character are what kept me there because I wanted to know the answer to his quest. The universal idea of one day we have everything our heart could ever dream of and in a moment, it is taken away. How strong is our desire to get it back? Do we have the strength to survive? What did it all mean? Can we get back to a moment that will forever change as a result of the pursuit and the obstacles hit? This powerful story is a gift. It shows the true meaning of kindness and the will of the human spirit to feel unconditional love.

In the movie American Hustle, written by Eric Singer and David O. Russell and directed by David O. Russell, we feel the fictional story of a con man on a quest to survive with a woman that he loves. The two, Irving and Sydney, are caught in the middle of a con when she accepts a check from an undercover cop, Richie, and is arrested. They are given the choice of her giving up her freedom or the two of them helping Richie to get four more con artists like them. They realize to pull this heist off and free Sydney from returning to prison, they will have to make one final play. The idea of “People believe what they want to believe” resonates throughout. We feel the pursuit of moving from the idea of conning people for a living to the idea of legitimacy and truth.  The emotional motivation behind the pursuit and the stakes were clear in this story. I loved the themes that were explored.

With the movie Philomena, screenplay written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and directed by Stephen Frears, we feel the story of a man who is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace and a woman who had her son taken away when she was an “inmate” at a Catholic convent. The pursuit is fueled by a mother’s desire to find out whether she made the right choice in giving up her son. There is strong emotion behind this. He helps her in her pursuit and in doing so finds some of the answers to his own. Through her emotional responses to the obstacles that they hit on their quest, he is able to open his eyes to his own flaw and what is holding him back in his life. It is about a man’s search for meaning as we see this odd couple learn about life through the conflicting perspectives that each of them has toward it and the choice that she thinks she made but discovers was really made for her.

In the movie Her, written and directed by Spike Jonze, we feel the pain of life after divorce through the lead Theodore. He purchases an OSI to help him cope with the loneliness. He falls in love with an Operating System named Samantha. The gift of this journey is that it is such an internal experience. The writer and director brilliantly figured out how to tell it externally. It is a movie about living after trauma and how we find closure when parts of our story end. I was totally immersed in the gift of this vision. Having gone through divorce, I know what it is to move through the filling of a hole after something major changes in your life. Universally, this hits all of us who’ve known the experience of love and loss.

Storytellers, when we feel your intent with clarity and can define the fuel behind the pursuit, you give us the gift of understanding your message and interpreting it in a way that speaks to our own journey.

 

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