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Curious About Screenwriting Network

Welcome to the Curious About Screenwriting Network where you'll enjoy listening to fascinating film and writing industry guests who share insights from their careers and how you can take your screenwriting skills to the next level.
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Curious About Screenwriting Network
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Now displaying: June, 2015
Jun 24, 2015

Crushing to learn:  Nobody wants to read your stuff, unless it's your mom.  You are duty bound to give the reader a document that is 1.) clear and 2.) easy to read.  Will Akers will show you how to clean up that first draft. Will has written scripts and series television for studios, independent producers, and television networks.

Jun 24, 2015

There are many ways to get noticed in Hollywood. Spielberg started working in an open office on the Universal lot. Trey Parker and Matt Stone got South Park on the web. Diablo Cody wrote a funny blog. However you do it, you have to get yourself out there, even without an agent, a manager, or so-called "connections." Producer/Writer David Silverman will delve into real-life example of how famous writers and some of his friends got jobs writing in Hollywood.

Jun 22, 2015

There are many ways to get noticed in Hollywood. Spielberg started working in an open office on the Universal lot. Trey Parker and Matt Stone got South Park on the web. Diablo Cody wrote a funny blog. However you do it, you have to get yourself out there, even without an agent, a manager, or so-called "connections." Producer/Writer David Silverman will delve into real-life example of how famous writers and some of his friends got jobs writing in Hollywood.

Jun 22, 2015

Writer/Producer/Literary Consultant Brad Brad has written for all media, done consultations for worldwide clients when he was V.P. at Chris Vogler’s Storytech, and has been writer-producer for PBS. Brad created the series North Mission Road, which ran six seasons on truTV.

Jun 22, 2015

A five-minute pitch meeting is plenty of time to impress an executive as long as you don't pitch for the full five minutes. In 90 Pages/90 Seconds, the founding team behind the Great American Screenwriting Conference & PitchFest will discuss how to maximize your time to deliver an effective and efficient pitch.

Jun 22, 2015

In this insightful teleconference, Dr. Melody Jackson, founder and Chief Smart Girl at Smart Girls Productions, will break down a variety of distinctions in screenwriting that have always been thought to be subjective. She turns them into a list of measurable checkpoints for evaluating your script's "saleability".

 

In this interview, some of the points she will cover are:

  • A fool-proof way to create a strong dilemma for your character. Most writers gets this completely wrong by doing the exact opposite - especially new writers.
  • The Critical Factor that must be present for us to care about your Main Character and the keys to implementing it into your screenplay.
  • Three Types of Stories to avoid at all cost in your first screenplay.
  • How to create your most interesting, edge-of-seat moments in your script.
  • A Big Mistake new writers often make and even love to do - even though it's a terrible idea.
  • A Simple Choice that will dramatically increase your odds of writing a commercial script on your first try.
  • Five Quick Ways to improve your script's commercial appeal in under two hours.
  • The Most Basic Element of your story that makes it more commercial for Hollywood.
  • Learn how long you should spend on a script if you're serious about a professional career. 
Jun 22, 2015

So many writers are seeking a formula for success, but don’t know the truly essential ingredients. Combine a powerful concept with self-knowledge and industry awareness for a real recipe for success. Discover and develop these components and then harness the extraordinary power of using them in concert to advance your career to the next level in this teleconference with producer Barri Evins.

Jun 17, 2015

From the industry's top stars to first-time comedy screen and TV writers, producers, directors and performers, Steve Kaplan has worked with and coached the best. His Comedy Intensive offers proven and practical methods and principles that help you reveal and understand comedy from the inside out.

Jun 17, 2015

There have been enough prequels, sequels, reboots and remakes. It is time for new, authentic screenplays to be written for the collective consciousness. Laurie Scheer has a writing method that assists you in successfully preparing, writing, and pitching your screenplay. The secret is learning how to master your genre.

Jun 17, 2015

Listen to this webinar with Candace Kearns Read and learn how to: Identify the theme of a true story; Use a story’s themes as a springboard for the development of plot and character; Translate real life into dramatic action; Develop engaging characters from real people; Choose what to leave out in the interest of dramatic craft. 

Jun 16, 2015

There are different kinds of creative blocks and kinds of cures. Special guest David Silverman - writer, producer, LMFT - and ISA Teleconferences host Laurie Lamson discuss what writer’s have done in the past and what they can do now using psychology.

Jun 16, 2015

Linda's job as a script consultant, seminar leader, and author is to guide writers to make their script the best script it can be. She has an objective professional eye to help solve elusive script problems and to help writers become better writers. The author of one of the most widely known book on screenwriting, "Making A Good Script Great", Linda Seger is the best of the best.

Jun 16, 2015

Join Novel Consultant, Leslie Lehr, for a talk about why now is the best time in history for screenwriters to work on a novel, and why screenwriters are uniquely qualified to succeed. As a prize-winning novelist, produced screenwriter, and NY Times Essayist, Leslie knows whereby she speaks. She applies the Truby Writers Studio 7-Step Structure method to fiction and screenplays alike.

Jun 16, 2015

John Truby has been one of the world's leading story theorists, as well as one of Hollywood's most respect script doctors. In this free teleconference, Mr. Truby covers some of the most important elements of the writing process. The Importance of a Good Story. Why Writers Fail at the Premise. The Importance of Genres. The #1 Most Important Element in Developing Character and the stark difference between Professional and Amateur Writers.

Jun 8, 2015

Having worked with James Cameron, Wes Craven and Martin Scorsese, to name just a few, you would think writers of such a caliber would simply be too busy to spend time on a podcast, but the writing team of Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier joined the ISA for one of our favorite interviews to date. The writing team is eagerly awaiting their upcoming installment of the Terminator series – Terminator: Genisys - which releases on July 1, of which they give some fun tidbits about their experience working on set with Schwarzenegger. They’re currently working on more projects with David Ellison’s team at Skydance.

They’re a powerhouse team of writers, but we were especially thrilled with how down-to-earth and just plain real they were on the call. If there is anyone who can give advice to screenwriters, it’s these two. Patrick with an extensive career working with auteurs like Craven and Guillermo del Toro, and Laeta with, as stated, Scorsese and Cameron – their insights into the business of writing, working as not just a team but true collaborators, and the special advice they give at the end of the interview, is enough to make this podcast a must-listen. We can’t thank Laeta and Patrick enough for taking the time out of their busy schedules to join us – Laeta was even ready to take notes and brainstorms in case anything spurred her creativity on the call. They were consummate professionals with a no-bull approach and they’ve found a new fan in the ISA. We're excited to see what’s next for them. So take a listen, and feel free to spread the word about our Curious About Screenwriting podcasts. Enjoy.

 

Jun 8, 2015

The term “young writer” doesn’t necessarily mean “young in age”. A young writer is simply someone who is still early in his or her career and pushing forward in their own creative growth process. Technically speaking, we as writers and filmmakers are always growing, but the more experience we gain from writing our seventh or eighth script, or shooting our tenth or eleventh film, the more we grow in a personally creative way. Melissa Hoppe joined me to talk about her recent short film STEALTH about a transgender 11-year old and the challenges she faces as a young girl simply fighting to come into her own. Melissa graduated from AFI in December of 2014 and was awarded the Bricker Award for her work on STEALTH, as well as received a College Television Award in Children’s Programming. Her career is well on its way, and from her work on STEALTH, it is clear that we have future star on our hands.

In our conversation, we talked about the importance of staying practical in an incredibly creative world, how important education is, and the true value of friends and your personal network. In a long line of educational interviews, this is another back-and-forth that will inspire you to grab a pen or a camera, take that story you’ve been daring yourself to create, and just do it. Enjoy, and we wish Melissa the best of luck in her future projects.

 

Jun 8, 2015

A veteran TV comedy writer and producer, Gloria Calderon Kellett joined me to talk about…well, to talk about so many things! A comic and performer at heart, Gloria’s personality shined while chatting with her about the highs and lows of the TV writing world, her experiences writing on How I Met Your Mother, Devious Maids, and iZombie, but most importantly she gave us some valuable insight on how a writer’s room works. Her experience speaks for itself, but she reminds us that experience is only gained through hard work and a dedication to your passion.

Our podcast guests always give fantastic advice, but Gloria’s advice on how to become a working TV writer was inspiring and quite frankly, a lot of fun to listen to! She was fun, open, honest, forthright and answered my questions with enthusiasm. If you’re looking to enter the world of TV writing, Gloria is a perfect model of inspiration. Give it a listen, take some notes, and we hope you get something from this. Enjoy.

 

Jun 8, 2015

Another in a long line of extremely informative interviews, Max Timm, the Director of Community Outreach for the International Screenwriters' Association (ISA), invited Leigh Savidge to discuss a rather vast array of industry elements and tidbits. From his upcoming movie, the 90’s hip-hop biopic, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (set to release in August of 2015), and his experiences writing that movie, to his work as the Founder and CEO of his distribution company Xenon Pictures. Founded in 1986, Savidge has taken Xenon from a small upstart to what in 1998 the LA Times proclaimed, “a pioneer in the video market for films geared toward young African Americans.” 

A former stand-up comedian, freelance journalist and film editor, Mr. Savidge built Xenon from an under-financed pipe dream with one program and no major customers, into one of the film industry’s most successful independent distributors.

Leigh was gracious with his time, patient with his answers, and offered up fantastic insights into the writing world as well as the importance of approaching your screenwriting career with a business mind. We hope you enjoy, and thanks for listening.

Jun 8, 2015

SEINFELD producer/writer Peter Mehlman discusses different types of humor and various comedy genres, how to find the humor in a situation, what he learned from working with Larry David on Seinfeld, and more.

Jun 2, 2015

Learn the writing strategies to get your script ready to win the big contests, and learn how to use these contest wins to advance your writing career. Screenwriter and script consultant, Mark Stasenko, will enlighten us on the ins and outs of the screenwriting contest circuit.

Mark J. Stasenko Jr. is a screenwriter and script consultant. He has recently won the Grand Prize in the Francis Ford Coppola American Zoetrope Contest, the ScreenCraft Fellowship, and the Nevada State Film Office Screenwriting Competition. 

 

Mark will discuss on the call the importance of contest wins and how to obtain them. We'll start by discussing how to stand out against the thousands of other scripts that enter the contests. Most of the major contests award Grand Prizes to less than the top 1% of writers, and so there are some important things to consider to make sure that your script doesn't get lost among the pile.

 

We will also talk about elements to consider when choosing a contest to enter. Unless money is no object or issue, you won't be able to enter every screenwriting contest available. We will talk about the various considerations at different parts of your writing career so that you better understand what the best contests are for you.

 

While winning a competition like the Nicholl Fellowship is pretty much a guarantee to the start of a career as a writer, there are plenty of other big contests that will still require effort on your end even after the win. With the right strategy, you can turn contest wins or even finalist placements into reads from top agents and managers. There is more than one big writer today who didn't win Nicholl, but started his or her career with a contest success.

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