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DSA August Meeting: Screenwriting Career Coach Lee Jessup

*Please note that membership in the Dallas Screenwriters Meetup does not constitute membership in the DSA, which is a paid membership available through Perks of membership are offered to those who are paid up in good standing. However, visitors are always welcome and encouraged to come to any and all events!

The DSA Welcomes Lee Jessup

Screenwriting Career Coach

Friday, August 16 at 7:00 PM - KD College Dallas (Doors open at 6:30)

DSA Members are FREE, Non-members Pay $10 at the Door

Lee is a 20-year entertainment industry professional with a lot of experience, a few important relationships, and a strong eye for promising writers and interesting brands.

At 17, she finished high school, by-passed college and arrived straight into the world of physical film production. After two non-stop years as a production coordinator and production manager, she found herself not yet 20, without much of a life, and no “Lord of The Rings” or “Fellini’s 8 ½” to make the time sacrificed worthwhile. So what’s a girl to do? She became a writer. But writing, especially in the beginning, doesn’t pay the bills. Luckily, during her years in production she managed to impress enough of her producers with her sense for story and keen editorial eye, and managed to pay for the better part of her early 20’s providing copious notes and script recommendation to working producers, writers and directors. And when she wasn't doing that, she wrote.


Success! By 23 Lee was an optioned writer working with a prominent production company. One of the major agencies was packaging the material. But she quickly discovered that she was much more comfortable giving notes than receiving them and so… she crossed over to the other side. The development side.


Running development for a small, since-defunct production company that specialized in genre and indie projects, Lee learned to see past a given script, the mechanisms of a story, and dig deep for the writer’s voice and core competencies. She quickly discovered that despite what she wanted to believe when she was an aspiring scribe, all writers are not created equal, each has their unique strengths, and those who go the farthest are those who know where they are weak, and are able to capitalize on their strength.


Almost by irony Lee became a product manager at Baseline, the industry’s leading data services provider, 10 years later. Product management is all about brand identity, identifying core competencies, enhancing, optimizing and delivering them to the user, visitor or reader in the most compelling package. And wouldn’t you know it? The product she was handed was ScriptShark, the industry’s leading coverage and consultation service. At ScriptShark, Lee was finally able to bring together the creative know-how she gathered from years of industry experience, and combine it with the love of product and branding development. She was so excited by this that she convinced her parent company, The New York Times, to bankroll a national lecture series exploring the business side of a screenwriter’s career.


Through her lectures, Lee met with hundreds of writers, some of whom went on to become clients, other who became friends. Schools like UCLA, NYFA, Writer’s Boot Camp and Columbia College invited her to share my insights; she was invited to write for Script Magazine, and was interviewed for a popular entertainment-centric web series. Festivals and conferences such as Final Draft’s Take A Meeting and Screenwriting Expo invited her onto their panels. Her message seemed to resonate: Managers don’t sign a script. They sign a BRAND. A studio doesn’t call in an A-List writer for rewrites because of one script that he or she wrote; rather, they bring them in due to the trusted brand they’ve established.


Over the years, Lee Jessup has worked with writers all over the world, conducting lectures, seminars, and private coaching sessions in cities such as Paris, London, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Los Angeles. She is fortunate to have been able to contribute to the creative process of innumerable writers, producers and directors both on set and off. Her clients and associates include academy-award nominated professionals, produced playwrights, best-selling authors and aspiring professionals.


We'd love to see you there!

Jessica Beaugez,

Publicity/Social Media Chair,

Dallas Screenwriters Association

KD College (formerly KD Studio)

2600 Stemmons Freeway

Dallas, TX 75207

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