FYI - as of January 2016, writers will be charged a nominal fee to present their scripts at PASG TV and Feature meetings. For Feature scripts the writer will pay $8, whereas for TV scripts each writer will pay $4. This is purely to cover the cost of the Organizer dues I have to pay in order to run the group on Meetup. (No, it's not free ;) In past years I have covered the cost of this without charging anything, but the dues have risen to over $170/year - and the PASG is now my only reason for continuing as a Meetup Organizer - so I needed to make a change.
To be clear, there is still NO charge to join the group OR to attend a meeting (unless you are presenting).
This group is for people aiming to become film or TV screenwriters.
We typically have discussion meetings twice per month, with one devoted to feature (or short film) scripts and one devoted to TV scripts. We meet primarily to provide feedback on a completed script written by one of our members, which we all download and read before the meeting. The other purpose of the group is networking with other writers.
A note about sharing scripts: Scripts being discussed by the group are made available via the website to all group members for at least a week. It should go without saying that if you read someone else's script you should not copy their ideas or work, nor should you share them with others without the author's permission. I strongly believe that it is more important to get my work and ideas out there, and to receive feedback from a wide range of people, than to worry about someone stealing my ideas or scripts, but if you are at all concerned with this then - while you are still very welcome to attend our meetings - you can simply choose not to have your work discussed by the group. It is also a good practice to copyright your scripts (with e.g. the US Copyright Office) before sending them anywhere.
Please note: Only people who have attended at least two *discussion* meetings in the past 3 months can submit their scripts for discussion by emailing Claire Newman [TV scripts] or Michael Riedel & Trent Russ [film scripts] via the website. This is partly out of fairness, and partly so you know what to expect when you receive feedback at a meeting. How soon your script is discussed depends on the queue ahead of you.
Here's how a typical meeting works:
We go around the room, introducing ourselves and saying (briefly) what kind of scripts we write. This is a good time for the writers of the script(s) we're discussing to say what they're is aiming for with their script(s). If it's a spec TV script for "The Big Bang Theory" then it's probably pretty obvious what they're aiming for ;) But if it's a feature and they're aiming for e.g. an Indie rom com or a Paranormal Activity-like horror, then that's useful info for the group to have before delivering their comments.
We then start off the feedback by once again going around the room and saying something (general or specific) that we really liked about the script :-) We then open the floor for general feedback, and encourage everyone to have a say.
We avoid talking about things like formatting or punctuation, grammar, spelling etc. (unless it's a very general, brief comment). Instead, we try to focus on big picture comments (e.g. structure, plot, character, tone, etc.) before getting down to more detailed comments (e.g. jokes, specific dialogue, etc.).
We encourage people to give their feedback respectfully, and not to 'play to the audience' by poking fun at something the writer did. However, please note that the discussion does tend to evolve organically and enthusiastically! We require writers to attend 2 recent meetings before presenting their script partly so that they are aware of how the group operates and can decide if it suits them (or not).
Particularly if the group is large, there can be a large amount of feedback delivered in a short time by many different people with different perspectives, which can be a little overwhelming for the author trying to keep track of it all. So, when you present your script (particularly if it's a large group), please feel free to bring a recording device and/or to ask people to slow down and repeat themselves!!
There are no fees (other than a nominal fee if you're presenting your script at the meeting), and you will NOT be solicited to attend fee-paying seminars or to purchase anyone's script editing services, though you'll often find free (or very cheap) events posted on the message board.
All we ask is that when you RSVP 'yes' you commit to downloading and reading the entire script we'll be discussing ahead of time. We won't be reading any of the script during the meeting, so if you haven't read it in advance you'll find it difficult to participate fully on the day.
Basically: if you're serious about becoming a professional screenwriter, and are willing to provide others with feedback in exchange for getting feedback on your own scripts, then this group is for you!