What we're about
Screenwriting Tribe is a donation-only workshop consisting of screenwriters and actors helping writers to polish their scripts.
The workshop is for single cam TV, one-hour drama TV, short film, and feature film scripts (no multi-cam sit-coms - for sit-com scripts, go to the Monday night screenwriting workshop held in Sherman Oaks).
Screenwriting Tribe workshop is held Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m. in Santa Monica.
During each workshop, we read up to 12 standard formatted pages from four scripts written by four writers who are in attendance at the workshop.
Up to 15 people can participate in the workshop by RSVPing to the MeetUp page.
The first four writers who RSVP and write the word "pages" as a comment, get to have their pages read.
Each writer is given 24 minutes, including their short intro/logline, handing out the sets of pages, assigning roles to the readers, and having the pages read out loud, and then listening to feedback.
After we read the 12 pages, we go around the room one time for positive feedback, then a second time for helpful criticism. After 24 minutes, we go to the next set of 12 pages.
The writer whose pages are being read is to remain silent during the read, and during the feedback. They listen and take notes. They are not to be defensive, or to answer questions. Any questions they might receive during feedback should be considered hypothetical.
Discussions to clarify feedback can be had after the workshop, or writers can exchange contact information.
Writers must attend at least one meeting to observe how the workshop functions before having their script pages read at the workshop.
To avoid spending the meeting time having the members repeatedly pointing out the same formatting errors to each writer, those attending should have studied the formatting section of David Trottier's books "The Screenwriter's Bible." and "Dr. Format Tells All," and the books "Your Screenplay Sucks," "Essentials of Screenwriting," and other screenwriting books.
Script pages presented at Tribe need to be in 12 pt courier type face with correct margins. If they aren't, we not read them. So, do not bring pages to the workshop that are not in the correct type face or that don't have the standard script margins (see the book "Screenwriter's Bible").
It is understandable that script pages brought to the workshop won't be perfect, and are works in progress needing to be polished. However, writers shouldn't solely rely on Tribe to polish their scripts. They should also do their homework, including by reading the screenwriting books on the list of suggested books (below), reading screenwriting articles, watching YouTube videos about screenwriting, and taking other steps to learn the craft of screenwriting.
Being a member of the International Screenwriters Association (ISA) is encouraged. As a member of ISA, you can attend their events, and utilize the resources on the ISA web site. (Access: NetworksISA.org).
Union actors are welcome to attend Tribe workshop to help read the script pages. It is one way for actors to practice cold reading - while also learning about screenwriting. Knowing the craft of screenwriting is one way an actor can sharpen their screen acting skills.
Screenwriting Tribe is specifically meant for writers to polish their scripts so the scripts will be presentable to agents, managers, directors, studio readers, producers, development executives, financiers, actors, screenwriting contests, and fellowship programs.
Trying to make it as a screenwriter can be quite a game. Screenplays are often dismissed because they are sent out before the writers took steps to polish the scripts. Taking your script through Screenwriting Tribe workshop to help polish it is one way to help prevent your script from being dismissed.
The workshop is not free. During the workshop, a donation envelope is sent around to help cover the variety of expenses associated with running the workshop. Suggested donations per person are $4 to $12 at each workshop. Other screenwriting groups charge $20 to $65 per month, and some have yearly dues on top of that.
Compared to the cost of other ways of having a variety of writers and analysts help you to polish your script, Screenwriting Tribe is amazingly inexpensive.
Script pages to be read at the Tribe workshop should have the character dialogue highlighted or circled according to which character you want the reader to read out loud.
One person should be selected to be the narrator, reading the scene headings and description. The narrator needs to maintain a good pace and energy during the read.
You will not learn everything that you need to learn about screenwriting by attending a screenwriting workshop. To improve your skills in the craft, do homework.
In addition to studying "Screenwriter's Bible," and "Dr. Format Tells All," also study Akers' "Your Screenplay Sucks," Field's "Screenplay," Field's "The Screenwriter's Problem Solver," Walters' "Essentials of Screenwriting," Flinn's "How NOT to Write a Screenplay," Gallo's "Screenwriters' Compass," Vogler's "The Writer's Journey," and at least several other popular screenwriting books. Check the screenwriting books sections in your local library and bookstore. Consider also reading psychology books written by Carl Jung.