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FINDING STORY HANDOUT FOR VIDEO #3 – THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

by on Jan.01, 2021, under events, Featured, Personal tips

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

Someone is knocking on a hotel room door. We see a disheveled woman run out of the bathroom. She says, “I’m coming.” She looks in the mirror. She is a mess. She says, “Fu—.” She starts to clean up. We see that it’s Paris 1967. She takes some pills. We see that there is someone in the bed. She takes a swig of alcohol.

She takes the elevator down to the lobby. She rushes. We see that she enters a chess tournament. Lights start flashing from all of the photographers’ cameras. She is late for her match. She apologizes to the Russian player for being late. They both sit down to play chess.

(CONSEQUENCE – FUTURE MOMENT. FLAW – ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR.)

We go back in time to when this chess player was a little girl. We see a car accident and hear some officers talking about what happened. We see a body that is covered next to the accident. We see the little girl standing in front of it all.

A woman drives the little girl somewhere. She apologizes that her mother passed on in the accident. We hear V.O. that the little girl, Elizabeth (Beth) Harmon, was orphaned after the accident. She surveys a troubled future.

(EARLIER WOUND.)

The woman reading the information about Beth is at the orphanage. She talks about Beth’s mother, Alice, being pronounced dead at the scene. There’s no info on the father.

Beth arrives at the orphanage. Mrs. Deardorff welcomes her. She gives her the tour. She meets some people, including Mr. Fergusson. We hear one of the orphans cussing in the background. It is Jolene.

Mrs. Deardorff brings her to where she will sleep. She tells her that there are twenty-one girls there. Beth has a stuffed animal. Mrs. Deardorff tells her that she knows that all she’s feeling is a loss. She says that after grief brings you low, prayer and faith will lift you.

(SERIES TRIGGER AND DILEMMA.)

They cut Beth’s hair. They pick out some clothes for her. We see that her name, Beth, is in her old dress. But they call her Elizabeth. Jolene gives Beth info on the pills the kids are given. Jolene tells her about the green ones. Jolene asks if her mother and father are dead. Beth nods her head. Jolene asks what the last thing was they said to her before they died. Beth has a vision of her mother right before the accident. She says, “Close your eyes.” Beth tells Jolene that she doesn’t remember.

Jolene takes the pills. Beth takes both medications despite Jolene telling her that she should hold the green one for bedtime. Beth has trouble walking. She sees the Janitor cleaning the floors. She sees his keys.

(WORLD SHIFT AFTER SERIES TRIGGER AND DILEMMA. LOSS OF CONTROL.)

At the meal, Jolene can tell that Beth took the green pill. Beth asks about the dinner. Another girl tells Beth to eat everything. Otherwise, they’ll tell Mrs. Deardorff, and she won’t get adopted.

(GREEN PILLS – THIS LINKS TO BETH’S FLAW OF HER ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR. THIS FLAW LINKS TO THE WOUND.)

We see all of the girls in bed. Beth watches the shadows on the ceiling. She has a dream. She sees a man talking to her mother. He tells her that she’s not taking care of herself. Her mother drops a bottle of pills. Her mother burns some things. We see that the man asks to see Lizzie. Alice says that she belongs to her. The man says, “You honestly believe that our daughter belongs in a trailer in the middle of nowhere?” Alice says, “Who says she’s our daughter. And she doesn’t like being called Lizzie.” Beth sees what her mother is burning. It’s titled Monomial Representations and Symmetric Presentations—Department of Mathematics at Cornell University. The man tells Alice that he can’t keep chasing her. Alice says, “I’m sorry, Paul.” He tells her that once he drives away, he’s not coming back. Beth hears him drive off.

(EARLIER WOUND – EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ABANDONMENT OF THE FATHER.)

In class, we see that Beth finished her assignment early. The teacher is impressed since it is before everyone else. The teacher suggests that Beth goes to the basement to clean the erasers. Beth sees the Janitor playing chess. He looks up at her. She goes back to class.

Jolene shows Beth how she saves the green pill on her tongue. Beth thinks about the chess game. She sees the shadows on the ceiling. She plays the chessboard on the ceiling.

Beth makes her bed. Jolene and Beth watch as a little girl packs her suitcase. She gets adopted. Jolene tells Beth that no one is going to come for them now; they’re too old.

Beth goes back to the basement. The Janitor is playing chess. She asks him what game he is playing. He tells her that it’s chess. She asks him to teach her. He tells her that he doesn’t like strangers.

(PILOT TRIGGER, DILEMMA, AND PURSUIT SETUP. FROM THE RESOLUTION, IT APPEARS THAT THE GOAL IS TO GET ACCESS TO THE GREEN PILLS SO THAT SHE CAN CONTINUE TO PLAY AT THE LEVEL THAT SHE DOES.)

Beth takes the green pill. She sees the chessboard on the ceiling again. She considers the chess pieces.

Beth tells Jolene she was right; the vitamins work better at night. She tells Jolene that sometimes she skips a day or two. Then, she takes three at once. She says that she likes the way that it makes her feel. Jolene tells her not to get too used to the feeling.

(ADDICTION STARTING.)

Beth cleans the erasers. She tells the Janitor that she’s not a stranger. She lives there. He tells her that girls do not play chess. She tells him that she already knows some of it after watching him. She shows him what she knows. He engages her. He says, “Let’s play a game. I play white.” She sits down to play. He teaches her. He shows her a play. It’s called “The Scholar’s Mate.”

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth takes her green pills. She sees the chessboard on the ceiling. She goes through the plays. She sees them all. She teaches herself about The Scholar’s Mate from what she remembers.

She plays with the Janitor the next day. He teaches her how to “resign” when she loses the Queen. He tells her that she lost. She says, “You cocksucker.” He tells her to leave.

(ACTION TAKEN. OBSTACLE HIT.)

Beth goes back the next day, but the basement door is locked. She imagines the chess game on the ceiling again. She goes through the plays.

(ACTION TAKEN. OBSTACLE HIT.)

She cleans the erasers outside. There’s a boy at the gate. He waves to her.

Beth asks Jolene what a cocksucker is. Jolene tells her about it.

In class, Beth is bored.

Beth reads about the male and the female body.

Beth goes back to the basement. The Janitor hears her. They play a game of chess. She beats him. He tells her that she’s gloating. He shows her a new play. She asks about it.

We see a montage of them playing in a sequence with taking the pills and playing chess. It shows that Beth is learning a lot about the chess game. They play several games. The Janitor teaches her about king’s bishop three. He teaches her several more plays.

(ACTIONS AND OBSTACLES SEQUENCE. THE PILLS AND THE GROWING ADDICTION ARE THE OBSTACLES THAT RAISE THE STAKES.)

The teacher notices that Beth is not in class.

Beth watches a film with the rest of the girls. In it, a young woman tells her mom that she started her first period.

The sequence continues with the pills and playing chess.

Beth watches a couple on the outside of the school property making out.

(BETH WATCHING THE COUPLE AFTER SEEING THE FILM SHOWS HER COMING OF AGE.)

Her chess lessons continue. She learns about one of the openings, The Queen’s Gambit.

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth is surprised when the janitor, Mr. Shaibel, tells her that she’ll play white. He tells her that from now on, they’ll take turns. This is the way games are normally played.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth continues to see the chessboard on the ceiling at night. She sees Mr. Shaibel drinking whiskey. He gives Beth a book, Modern Chess Openings. She asks if she is old enough to read it. He finds out that she’s nine. He tells her that she is astounding.

Jolene looks at Beth in class. She is reading the book under her desk while class is going.

The Janitor introduces Beth to Mr. Ganz from the Chess Club. He tells her that he is also a coach for the high school team. She plays. She impresses him. He asks if she plays with the other girls. She tells him that she just plays with Mr. Shaibel. He asks what she does in between games. She says, “I play in my head.” She mentions that she does this on the ceiling. Beth plays both men. She steps away from the board while playing. They say their moves out loud. She tells them her moves in response. Mr. Ganz can’t believe it. He gives her a gift. It’s a doll. Beth pretends to be grateful. He asks to take a picture of Beth with Mr. Shaibel. This picture is for the chess club.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Mrs. Deardorff calls Beth in her office. She tells her that Mr. Ganz says Beth has a gift. She is a phenomenal chess player. He asks if she can go to high school. He wants her to perform for the chess club. He wants Beth to play all of the players at the same time. He mentions that he will bring a young woman as a chaperone. They make plans.

Mrs. Deardorff asks Beth if she’s been playing chess with Mr. Shaibel in the basement. She says that she has. Mrs. Deardorff tells her that she can’t have her playing in the basement, so she will arrange to have chess sets put in the game room.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth notices that she doesn’t get a green pill anymore. She is upset. The man distributing the medications tells her that the state won’t let them give tranquilizers to kids anymore. She knows that the pills help her play. She finds that she has one pill still saved. She takes it.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth looks at where the locked up green pills are.

In the bathroom, Beth asks Jolene if she has any extra green pills. She tells her that she doesn’t. She tells Jolene that the pills are still there in a jar. Jolene asks if Beth is having withdrawal symptoms.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Fergusson goes to get Beth. She is in the dark. They are there to pick her up to go to high school.

The woman that accompanies them talks with Beth. Jolene catches them before they leave. She gives Beth a green pill.

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth surveys the chess room. A bunch of high school students enters. They are all male.

Mr. Ganz tells everyone how it is going to work. Beth is in the middle of the room. She starts with board #1. Then she goes to the next one. Beth proceeds to play. Mr. Ganz tells her that they can’t respond until she opens every board. Beth proceeds to win every game. She tells Mr. Shaibel how she had the best players’ pieces tied up in fifteen moves. She mated him in six more with a knight-rook combination. She tells him that Mr. Ganz said that she beat them all in an hour and twenty minutes. She tells him that it felt good. She’s never won anything before. This outcome starts her addictive behavior with winning.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth asks Jolene for more vitamins. Jolene tells her not to be rude. Jolene introduces her to Samantha.

Beth goes to get a drink of Mr. Shaibel’s whiskey.

(ACTION AND ALL IS LOST MOMENT. BETH CAN’T GET ACCESS TO THE PILLS. SHE THINKS THAT THE PILLS ARE WHAT MADE HER WIN.)

She watches a film with the rest of the girls. She tells them that she has to go to the bathroom. She takes a tool out of her pocket to pick the lock where the green pills are. After struggling, she gets in. She is trying to do it before someone catches her. She opens the jar. She puts a bunch in her mouth and a bunch in her pockets.

The movie dismisses.

Beth hears her mother’s voice. She drops the bottle of green pills as she falls from the chair and passes out in front of her class.

(SHE ACHIEVES THE GOAL. SHE GOT ACCESS TO THE PILLS. SHE HEARS HER MOTHER. THE ADDICTION/FLAW IS THE SETUP OF THE SERIES ARC.)

 

 

*Copyright® 2020 Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc.

 

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2021 STORYWISE 6-WEEK TV PILOT WRITING TELESEMINAR AND STORY MODULES – FINDING STORY

by on Dec.01, 2020, under events, Featured

2021 STORYWISE 6-WEEK TV PILOT WRITING TELESEMINAR AND STORY MODULES – FINDING STORY

My Twelfth Annual Storywise Teleseminar starts on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, and goes through March 23, 2021. This seminar is a live and interactive event that includes story instruction, pitching, and an opportunity to get feedback from top working TV writers.

 

Classes begin on Tuesday, February 16 at 7:00 pm PST ONLINE and go through March 23, 2021

Want to learn all of the things that I teach in Writers on the Verge at NBC? Check out my Storywise 6-Week Teleseminar that includes an eight-module story instruction training series called “How To Write A TV Pilot That Sells: Finding Story.” I will go into how you find the story in this digital product when writing the TV pilot. I give full breakdowns for nine shows. We will take a deep dive into several story tools that could lead you to a sale.

I designed the story modules for “Finding Story” and the 6-week program to help you write a compelling TV pilot in six weeks. I will teach you how to write at a level that will help lead your script to a sale, get staffed on a show, place in a writing competition or get into one of the various writing programs. This course is everything that I teach in Writers on the Verge and more. To date, eighty-five pilots sold from writers that took part in this experience and my one on one consults.

Last year we had over 150 writers from all over the world. You will not only learn all of the story tools that you need to succeed, but you will also gain the opportunity to be in a private community of writers. This community is a precious resource. In it, you can exchange scripts, find accountability partners, and form writer groups. 

I’ve seen the success of this course first-hand. Many of the writers who have taken this course have gone on to sell pilots, get staffed on TV shows, and get into several prestigious writing programs. Eighty-seven pilots sold from the writers that I’ve worked with and six of them went to series.

I will pre-record the story instruction. The story instruction will launch in January. The digital course is titled “How To Write A TV Pilot That Sells: Finding Story.”

In February, each call is approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours in length. On each call, we will go over the notes for the four writers participating at Level 3. You will have an opportunity to read their scripts and make your notes each week. You will also get to share your notes with those writers directly. This process is what we do in Writers on the Verge. It is a way to prepare you for being in the Writers’ Room. Then, I will allow five people to sign up each week will get an opportunity to pitch to a guest speaker. We all learn from hearing others’ pitch. This part of the program will help you learn from others’ pitching style and allow you the opportunity to pitch yourself. It’s an invaluable tool. Every level will have a chance to sign up for this.

 

ALUMNI RATES – If you are an alumni, press HERE for rates.

 

LEVEL 1

RATE – $497.00

At Level 1, you get to participate in all six classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. You will also get to turn in a 1-2 page pitch document on your TV spec or TV pilot script. You will receive written feedback. You have up to a year after the course ends to turn this in.

 

LEVEL 2

RATE – $1,247.00

At Level 2, you get to participate in all six classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. This level also includes a one-on-one consult for your TV Pilot script.

Level 2 w/ TV Pilot Consult

 

 

Level 2+ w/ TV Pilot Consult and TV Spec Consult

RATE – $1,772.00

At Level 2, you get to participate in all six classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. This level also includes a one-on-one consult for your TV Pilot script.

Level 2+ w/ TV Pilot Consult and TV Spec Consult

 

 

LEVEL 3 – 4 SLOTS (Submission only)

At Level 3, you will get feedback during all six classes. Assignments are due the Saturday before the class. This level includes written and verbal feedback. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community.

I am going to offer you the option of not writing a TV spec. You can use the full six weeks to write your TV pilot. 

There are only FOUR SLOTS for this level: three for drama and one for comedy. This breakdown could change depending on the strength of the submissions. If you are interested in applying, you will need to submit ten pages of a script. I am not looking for the first ten pages of the pilot you will write during the program. I want the first ten pages for a pilot that you already completed.

The rate for this level is $2,700.00. If you are interested, please email your 10 pages in PDF to me at jen@jengrisanti.com.

LEVEL 3 WRITERS

  1. Lisa Steadman/Comedy
  2. Shannon Amborn/Drama
  3. Tatiana Blackington/Drama
  4. Alain Legend Raymond/Drama

 

LEVEL 4 – SOLD OUT

 

 

 

ALUMNI – The SPECIAL OFFER rate applies to you through 2/16. 

 

 

GUEST SPEAKERS FOR 2021 STORYWISE 6-WEEK TV PILOT TELESEMINAR

 

DAN O’SHANNON 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Dan O’Shannon is an American television writer and producer who has worked on shows such as Newhart, Cheers, and Frasier. He was an ABC show Modern Family executive producer but left the show after season five to accept a development deal at CBS TV Studios. He grew up in Euclid and Painesville, Ohio, graduating from Riverside High School in Painesville Township.

 

ZOANNE CLACK

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Zoanne Clack, also known as Zoanne Arnette, is an American television producer, writer, story editor, actress, and medical doctor/consultant. Clack’s most notable work has been on the medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy. She has also served as an extra for the show. Her other work includes medical supervisor on ER, writer on Presidio Med, and minor acting roles in The District and Philly.

 

BRIDGET WILEY

HEAD OF DEVELOPMENT AT FARAWAY ROAD

Before Faraway Road, Bridget served as the Executive Vice President of Programming at CBS, overseeing all aspects of scripted programs from CBS Network and CBS Studio’s current programming departments and reported directly to both divisions’ presidents.

She worked in multiple television business areas, from my years at a talent agency to some of the most influential studios, including 20th Century Fox TV and CBS Studios.

 

AARON RAHSAAN THOMAS


EXECUTIVE PRODUCER – S.W.A.T.Aaron Rahsaan Thomas is an American television and film screenwriter and producer and an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. Thomas was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, and attended the Pembroke Hill School in nearby Kansas City, Missouri. He attended Morehouse College before transferring to the University of Kansas, where he graduated with a degree in English Literature. Thereafter, he attended the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, where he remained afterward and lives today.

 

CHARMAINE DEGRATE

CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Charmaine DeGraté is currently a writer and co-executive producer on HBO’s Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon and Hello Sunshine’s Daisy Jones and The Six.

Her other works include the critically acclaimed sci-fi series, The 100, in addition to other Amazon and Netflix shows.

Charmaine attended Vassar College where she spent summers working as a Congressional intern in Washington, DC and producing plays at The Powerhouse Theatre.

She graduated from Vassar with a double major in English Literature and Political Science.

A recipient of The August Wilson Playwright Fellowship, Charmaine is also a graduate of The Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop, an alum of the Austin Film Festival, and an active member of Women In Film.

In the spring of 2020, Charmaine partnered with Margot Robbie and Christina Hodson on the sale of her first feature film.

In the summer of 2020, she signed a development deal with Warner Bros Television.

Ms. DeGraté has a long-standing commitment to humanitarian causes and is an advocate for the education of young women in America and around the world. Currently, she works with Girl Up, Write Girl, and the International Rescue Fund.

 

MICHAEL NARDUCCI

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Michael Narducci is a producer and writer known for

The Crossing (2018),

The Originals (2013) and

The Vampire Diaries (2009).

 

 

 

 

ASSIGNMENTS

Level #3 is the only level that has assignments due every week.

Level #3 writing assignments will be due the Saturday before each class. Everyone who signs up for the course will receive assignments turned in by the Level #3 writers to follow along and provide notes directly to the Level#3 writer. 

Levels #1, #2, and #4 will do the assignments on your own. Level 1 receives feedback on a 1-2 page pitch document only. Level 2 and Level 4 get feedback during the pilot consult or coaching consults. 

  • I highly recommend that all levels use the Facebook community of writers to exchange scripts for receiving weekly feedback.
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SCREENWRITERS SAFARI – SEPTEMBER 15 – 20, 2021

by on Sep.21, 2020, under events, Featured

INSPIRED UNDER AFRICAN SKIES

Have you got something really fabulous to look forward to?

5 nights in luxury with Hollywood mentors on this Screenwriters Safari in South Africa 

Breathe new life into your script

ONLY 16 spots available.

Choose one of our 4 exceptional mentors.

Have a safari vacation of a lifetime while you network and learn from some of the most connected film and screenwriting professionals in Hollywood.

Take your screenwriting career to the next level, and who knows where that next level may be!

YOUR TYPICAL DAY

Partners Welcome

6.00am –   9.00am

Early morning safari (the best time to view Africa’s wildlife)

9.00am –  10.00am

A luxury breakfast that caters to all dietary requirements

10.00am – 10.30am

Q&A / knowledge sharing from your mentors

10.30am  –  1.00pm

One-on-one consulting script consulting and feedback session with your chosen mentor

1.00pm –    2.00pm

Lunch in the award-winning restaurant

4.00pm –   4.30pm

High Tea overlooking the bushveld

4.30pm  –  7.30pm

Evening safari game drive where you’ll witness the awakening wildlife amidst the dramatic African sunset

7.30pm

Dinner in the restaurant or under the starry sky, accompanied by uniquely African ‘song’ of lions, hyenas and jackals

VENUE

SHEPHERD’S TREE GAME LODGE PILANESBERG, SOUTH AFRICA

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ROCABERTI RETREATS – JULY 16TH – 21ST, 2021

by on Sep.21, 2020, under events, Featured

Late July 2021

July 16th-21st, 2021
Marouatte Castle,
The Dordogne,
France

Jen Grisanti

Fully booked

Kelly Edwards

Fully booked

Richard “RB” Botto

Fully booked

Tom Dever

Fully booked

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 16th century Aragonese Castle set on a rock off the coast of the island of Ischia (where The Talented Mr Ripley was shot), 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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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, one hundred and twenty-five  of her writers have staffed on television shows and eighty have sold pilots, six that that went to series.

 

Kelly Edwards

 

As the Senior VP of Talent Development for WarnerMedia Entertainment, Kelly Edwards oversees all emerging artist programs for HBO, HBOMax, and Turner.

Edwards brought an innovative new approach to developing the company’s writing and directing fellowships which have become an industry best practice. By marrying the two programs, material created by the writers is shot by the directors with a fully inclusive crew for air on WarnerMedia’s digital platforms. The content has garnered festival awards at SXSW, Tribeca, Seriesfest to name a few.

Prior to HBO, Edwards was a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal for over five years where she oversaw over 20 divisions, launched employee resource groups, and introduced diverse creative talent to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Telemundo.

Edwards’ career has spanned both television and film having produced the movie of the week A CHRISTMAS DETOURfor Hallmark, the one hour series SEX, LOVE, AND SECRETSfor UPN, serving as a network executive for UPN and Fox, and as a creative executive in features. As an executive she helped to develop series such as GIRLFRIENDS, THE PARKERS, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, CLUELESS,and THE WILD THORNBERRYS.

In 2000, Edwards co-founded the non-profit organization Colour Entertainment, a networking group for diverse creative executives and assistants in TV, Film, and Digital, all designed to connect current and future industry executives with one another.

Edwards graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television from Emerson College. She currently serves on the Annenberg Inclusion Board and is a 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab fellow.

 

Richard “RB” 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.

 

Tom Dever

 

Tom Dever was born and raised in Ohio and has worked in every conceivable facet of the film industry for the past decade; most notably in feature film production at Fox Searchlight Pictures and most regrettably in reality television casting. He is currently the VP of Development for Coverfly, a talent discovery platform and screenplay aggregation software company, where he recently packaged a feature film at Netflix, with Imagine set to produce. His debut feature FOR THE WEEKEND is currently available on streaming platforms worldwide.

 

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The Retreat includes…

SMALL GROUP MENTORING SESSIONS
EXPERT TUITION
ALL MEALS AND DRINKS
FIVE NIGHTS’ LODGING
ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE AIRPORT/LOCAL TRAIN STATION AND THE CASTLE
EXCLUSIVE ACCESS
PROGRAM
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ROCABERTI RETREATS – JULY 9th -14th 2021

by on Sep.21, 2020, under events, Featured

Early July 2021

July 9th-14th, 2021
Marouatte Castle,
The Dordogne,
France

Kelly Edwards

Fully booked

Jen Grisanti

Fully booked

Joan Lane

Fully booked

Stan Zimmerman

Fully booked

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 16th century Aragonese Castle set on a rock off the coast of the island of Ischia (where The Talented Mr Ripley was shot), 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!

symbol

Mentors

Kelly Edwards

 

As the Senior VP of Talent Development for WarnerMedia Entertainment, Kelly Edwards oversees all emerging artist programs for HBO, HBOMax, and Turner.

Edwards brought an innovative new approach to developing the company’s writing and directing fellowships which have become an industry best practice. By marrying the two programs, material created by the writers is shot by the directors with a fully inclusive crew for air on WarnerMedia’s digital platforms. The content has garnered festival awards at SXSW, Tribeca, Seriesfest to name a few.

Prior to HBO, Edwards was a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal for over five years where she oversaw over 20 divisions, launched employee resource groups, and introduced diverse creative talent to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Telemundo.

Edwards’ career has spanned both television and film having produced the movie of the week A CHRISTMAS DETOURfor Hallmark, the one hour series SEX, LOVE, AND SECRETSfor UPN, serving as a network executive for UPN and Fox, and as a creative executive in features. As an executive she helped to develop series such as GIRLFRIENDS, THE PARKERS, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, CLUELESS,and THE WILD THORNBERRYS.

In 2000, Edwards co-founded the non-profit organization Colour Entertainment, a networking group for diverse creative executives and assistants in TV, Film, and Digital, all designed to connect current and future industry executives with one another.

Edwards graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television from Emerson College. She currently serves on the Annenberg Inclusion Board and is a 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab fellow.

 

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, one hundred and twenty-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and eighty have sold pilots, five that that went to series.

 

Joan Lane

 

Joan Lane is a British film and theatre producer, primarily known for having developed the Academy Award-winning 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.

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 member of the British Shakespeare Association.

Primarily engaged as a Consultant by the BBC, Joan 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 own first original screenplay, completed in 2018 and based on the true story of a 1930s actress and singer, was recently taken up and is expected to go into production in 2020.

Joan is currently working with new writers to develop two films and three new TV series.

In addition, four TV series on which she has worked with first-time writers are under consideration.

 

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.

 

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The Retreat includes…

SMALL GROUP MENTORING SESSIONS
EXPERT TUITION
ALL MEALS AND DRINKS
FIVE NIGHTS’ LODGING
ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE AIRPORT/LOCAL TRAIN STATION AND THE CASTLE
EXCLUSIVE ACCESS
PROGRAM
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ROCABERTI WRITERS RETREAT IN ITALY – APRIL 2021

by on Sep.21, 2020, under events, Featured

April 2021

April 13th-20th, 2021
Aragonese Castle,
Ischia,
Italy

Diane Drake

Fully booked

Joan Lane

Fully booked

Kathie Fong Yoneda

Fully booked

Jen Grisanti

Fully booked

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 16th century Aragonese Castle set on a rock off the coast of the island of Ischia (where The Talented Mr Ripley was shot), 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!

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).

 

Joan Lane

 

Joan Lane is a British film and theatre producer, primarily known for having developed the Academy Award-winning 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.

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 member of the British Shakespeare Association.

Primarily engaged as a Consultant by the BBC, Joan 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 own first original screenplay, completed in 2018 and based on the true story of a 1930s actress and singer, was recently taken up and is expected to go into production in 2020.

Joan is currently working with new writers to develop two films and three new TV series.

In addition, four TV series on which she has worked with first-time writers are under consideration.

 

Kathie Fong Yoneda

 

With 35+ years experience, Kathie Fong Yoneda has worked for Paramount, Universal, Fox, and Disney, focusing on analysis and development of live action and animated film, television, novels, adaptations, and web series projects. Her career includes exec posts with Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures and Disney TV Animation.

Kathie has given workshops in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and wrote a column on screenwriting which became her book, The Script-Selling Game. Some of her clients include RAI-TV Roma, National Film School of Denmark, Bournemouth University, ScreenTraining Ireland, South Carolina Writers, Singapore Media Academy, Romance Writers of America, ScriptFest, Roma Webfest, Writers Institute, Hawaii International Film Festival, and Melbourne Webfest. She was a guest of The Soviet Peace Committee for a 10-day media symposium in Moscow and was Keynote Speaker for Asian-Pacific Heritage Month at The Smithsonian. Kathie received the Mayor’s medal from the City of Marseille for her work in Cultural Arts and was honored as a Catalyst SuperStar for her work by the BronzeLens Film Festival.

Kathie is a mentor for the Rocaberti Writers Retreat and also team-teaches with author/consultant, Linda Seger, Pamela Wallace (writer-producer, co-writer of Oscar- winning WITNESS), Carole Kirschner (author, CBS TV exec) and Pamela Jaye Smith (author, writer-producer, creator of MYTHWORKS).

Her clientele includes several award-winning writers and her book, The Script Selling Game(2nd edition), is used in screenwriting curricula in universities worldwide. She was Co-Exec-Producer on the series Beyond the Break, Associate Producer on the web series drama The Big O, Executive Producer on the upcoming short film Thirty Minutes and is on the Advisory Board for IMAGO (French Production Company) and LAWEBFEST.

 

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, one hundred and twenty-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and eighty have sold pilots, five that that went to series.

 

symbol

The Retreat includes…

SMALL GROUP MENTORING SESSIONS
EXPERT TUITION
ALL MEALS AND DRINKS
SEVEN NIGHTS’ LODGING
ROUND-TRIP TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE AIRPORT/LOCAL TRAIN STATION AND THE CASTLE
EXCLUSIVE ACCESS
PROGRAM
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