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.
As of January 2015, Claire Newman will only be running the TV meetings side of the group, while Robert (Bob) Cartland will be running the film side of the group! So from now on, if you have a TV script you'd like to present please contact Claire via the website, but if you have a film script please contact Robert :-)
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 Robert Cartland [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 author of the script we're discussing to say what he/she is aiming for with the script. If it's a spec TV script for "The Big Bang Theory" then it's probably pretty obvious what you're aiming for ;) But if it's a feature and you'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. We avoid talking about things like formatting or punctuation, grammar, spelling etc. (unless it's a very general, brief comment) and try instead 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 don't go person by person, though we do encourage everyone to have a say, so the discussion tends to evolve through subjects and comments organically (and enthusiastically!)
- 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, and you won't be solicited to attend fee-paying seminars or to purchase anyone's script editing services, though you'll often find free 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!