I just want to start off because I tend to forget to disclose there is a $3 fee to attend the workshop. If you have friends who attend with you but aren't there to workshop they are required to pay as well. Anyone who sits at the table is required to pay the $3.
Also, please remember to email up to 15 pages of your script to [masked].
The Performing Arts Library of the New York Public Library is off of Amsterdam Avenue, between 65th and 64th streets. It is in Lincoln Plaza. You walk up the steps and past the MET. The library is towards the back of the plaza. You will past a pond with a sculpture on it.
In the library you past the checkout/return counter and make a right. You will see the witchcraft kiosk. We will meet in the eating area.
I hope everyone is keeping warm, if you are like me staying indoors, I hope you are using this time to write.
The last workshop was super successful. We had an eclectic mix of works workshopped, my short film, a graphic novel, a science fiction film, and a thriller/drama film. We also discovered we had some award winning members. New Member Big Witt won best short film, I believe in 2007, at the Hollywood Black Film Festival.
We went over our goals and aspirations for writing, which for me was a great exercise. I feel catalyzed to work on my writing goals outside of writing my script, especially as I am on the last leg of finishing my script. And moving in tiny steps has been super helpful, just slowly moving forward as opposed to my larger goals and expectations which could quickly overwhelm and stagnate me.
As I am preparing my script for submission to reps and producers and of course the oft spoken of Ink Tip, I will of course hold a table read. If other members have completed feature films or short film scripts and have yet to have a table read, please let me know. It would be fun and interesting to have a night of table reads, drinks, and feedback. Seeing your words realized through actors, can be extremely instrumental, you can see in live time what works and what doesn't. Also, developing relationships with actors never hurts.
Again members if you have won any awards, fellowships, contests, etc. let me know so we can give you a shout out.
Also, I have provided two links regarding dialogue. In my opinion weak dialogue that tells the plot as opposed to revealing character is a symptom of lack of character development and perhaps poor structure. I don't address dialogue until about the second draft. The dialogue that often reveals too much plot and not enough character and conflict can be divined for clues as to what needs to be dramatized. Expository dialogue is needed to let the audience know what is going on but too much of it takes the audience out of the story. Film is a visual medium, showing verse telling is important. Anyway below are two links, one is for John August the writer of Go and Big Fish. You can watch him revise a short scene in a script, specifically the dialogue, for a Sundance Lab screenwriter, step by step.
Please take the list with a grain of salt, I understand how a list of do's and don'ts can be detrimental to the creative mind. I know when I read how to write books by the time they tell me what I can and can't do, my head is spinning, and I don't know how to write my own name much less my script. And of course as aspiring screenwriters we are discovering our own process as well as writing the stories that drive us, so please don't internalize this list if that is your nature.
The Austin Film Festival has begun accepting film and television scripts for their writing contest. The screenplay and teleplay deadline is April 30, 2014. The screenplay late deadline is May 31, 2014. The deadline for a lot of screenwriting contests are in May, so if you are close to finishing/polishing your script you may want to hustle in the next few months to meet those deadlines. Placing high and even better winning a reputable contest is a sure fire way to gain representation and to have your script read by studios and producers.
If like me you often wondered how good were the winners of these contests and what types of scripts won, the Nicholls Fellowship, considered the Grand Puba of screenwriting contests displays the scripts of past winners on its websites. I recommend reading Butter by Jason Micallef, I found it hysterical. It was also produced.
I hope this helps and I hope to see you at the next workshop.
All the best,